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Years ago I bought a Chevy Caprice at a used car lot. It was a thing of beauty. It was big and stylish and it purred as I drove it down the road. Well, it purred for the first few days. Then it began to cough and sputter and I had difficulty getting above 30 mph. Now I don't know much about cars, but I knew something was wrong.

The car was still under warranty so I took it back to the dealership. About an hour later, the mechanic came out of the shop and he has a small BB in his hand. "That was your problem" he said. Apparently the previous owner had been told that they placed that BB in the gas regulator they could improve the car's gas mileage.

"Why on earth would they do that? I asked it.

And he replied, "This engine is extremely efficient. It's as well designed as any car out there. But every once in awhile folks get to thinking they can improve the car's gas mileage, and so they'll do things like put this BB in the engine."

Now, the owner thought he was improving ...

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