Click & Clack Talk Cars
By Tom & Ray Magliozzi
Dear Tom and Ray: I recently
saw a car catalog that had an oil-filter magnet
for sale. The magnet was placed on the bottom of
an oil-filter and was strong enough to remove any
metal shavings from the oil stream. Is this
product worthwhile, or am I just wasting my
money? - Ron
TOM: These things have been
around for years, Ron. They dont do any
RAY: They sell magnets that go
inside the oil pan, magnets that are built into
the oil plug, and magnets, like this one, that
attach to the filter.
TOM: Now, keep in mind that the
oil filter itself already removes any metal
shavings, or anything thats bigger than
about 25 microns - or about half the width of a
human hair. So they do a pretty good job.
RAY: Does stuff thats
smaller than that harm your engine? Probably, at
least a little. But with the magnet, youll
only get the metallic stuff that sneaks by the
filter. You wont catch any soot or pieces
of aluminum, which are also harmful.
TOM: If a magnet really made
engines last longer, dont you think that
Ford would already have spent the three cents per
car it would take to build one into the oil plug?
RAY: So, Id have to say
that oil filter magnets fall into the category of
TOM: But if youre the
kind of guy who believes in overkill, Ron, then
go for it. Do you wear a surgical mask on an
airplane? Do you go back and double check to make
sure youve turned off the stove before you
leave the house? Do you have your brother taste
your food before you eat it? If so, you should
get one of these magnets.
RAY: In fact, you should get
two, in case one falls off.
TOM: Seriously, though,
changing your oil regularly will probably extend
the life of the engine more than any magnet.
By Greg Zyla
Sponsored by Curry Automotive
The Art of
Racing Vintage Sports Cars
Carl Jensen is competition
director of the Sportscar Vintage Racing
Association, one of the most respected vintage
racing groups in America. Headquartered in
Decatur, Ga., the SVRA is dedicated to presenting
safe, exciting and historic racing events with an
emphasis on actual racing (check it out at
ZYLA: Carl, how would you
describe vintage sports-car racing?
JENSEN: Vintage racing is like
fine wine or, better yet, similar to a great
painting from Van Gogh, Picasso or Monet. I
relate them to Porsche, Ferrari and Bugatti --
all great artists, all great car builders.
ZYLA: Unlike other
organizations, which conduct on-track
demonstrations or "driving" displays
with historic race cars, the SVRA actually races.
Do you feel this is why your organization has
been so successful?
JENSEN: Yes. We race the cars
just as they did in their day. This is really a
big part of the attraction to the owners and
fans. The racing can be just as intense as say,
SCCA, but the difference is we strongly
discourage running into other cars or other
objects. Some of the cars are, of course, very
ZYLA: How about special races
JENSEN: Almost every event has
a special gathering of cars. We did MGAs at
Sebring because it was their 50th year of racing
at that venue. We are doing the 30th anniversary
of the Sport 2000 at Road America, and we have
150 already entered.
ZYLA: What are you most proud
JENSEN: The fact that we
continue to run Vintage racing events that are
safe, fair and fun. Some people collect art ...
we race it!