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I readily admit that my overall knowledge of the intricacies...

Dear Tom and Ray:

I readily admit that my overall knowledge of the intricacies of automobile
repair is extremely deficient. This has not been a problem for me, though,
since I have an ex-boyfriend who considers himself quite the foreign-car
motorhead. He has owned a number of foreign cars, sometimes several at a
time, and has been eager to give me advice whenever I ask.

Sounds like I've got quite the setup, right? Well, let me draw your
attention to the "ex" in front of "boyfriend." My pride has driven me to
slowly wean myself away from ringing him up with every pathetic little
question I have. So I figure I'd bother you guys! Here's the question: The
ex always told me to have my oil changed with only a Volvo oil filter,
instead of using the cheap, buy-'em-by-the-crate American oil filters that
my neighborhood oil, lube and filter shop installs. Do I really need to
bring my own filter with me and insist they use it? I don't want to have a
showdown with these guys if I'm not absolutely sure that I'm right. --

TOM: Your ex-boyfriend has his head in his oil sump, Erin. The filters
made by aftermarket companies such as Fram, Bosch and Purolator -- just to
name a few -- all meet original equipment (OEM) standards. That means they
meet or exceed the filtration standards that Volvo has specified for its
oil filters. And, in our opinion, these aftermarket filters are every bit
as good as Volvo's own filters.

RAY: And besides, we think how often you change the filter has more effect
on your car's longevity than the brand of filter you use. And we recommend
an oil and filter change every 5,000 miles.

TOM: The only down side of using an aftermarket filter on your Volvo,
Erin, is that you can't get the Bjorn Borg signature edition from Fram or
Purolator (as far as we know). But other than that, neither you nor your
Volvo should notice any difference.

* * *
What's one secret of financial success? Driving a used car! Read How to
Buy a Used Car: Things Detroit and Tokyo Don't Want You to Know. You can
order it by sending $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No.10
envelope to Used Car, PO Box 6420, Riverton, NJ 08077-6420.
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