Monday, March 14, 2011

When Marketers and Lawyers Clash

I love Harbor Freight Tools - I really do. I look forward to my infrequent visits because I find dozens of items that I didn't know I needed but somehow wind up in my shopping cart. Since I'm a hobbyist, the tools and other gizmos sold there meet my needs without breaking the bank.

Recently, my '76 MGB exhibited some running issues most likely caused by the fuel in the tank that dates back to October of last year. Since most motor fuel contains up to 10% ethanol, it can go stale pretty quickly. In fact according to a study or two, the fuel will become waterlogged. Now the last time I checked water is not really flammable (unless it was the Cuyahoga River of the 1960's) so it will play havoc with an internal combustion engine.

Anyway, the 'B started up just fine, but ran poorly when I drove it, especially under cornering. It was down on power for a short time and required full choke until it cleared itself of the problem. I decided that I needed to siphon the old fuel out and give it a splash of fresh.

I noticed in my Hagerty's Magazine (a nice perk for Hagerty Insurance customers) a large Harbor Freight Tools ad and one of the promoted items was a siphon pump kit with hoses and accessories. Perfect for my task of removing the old fuel from the tank.

I dropped into my local Harbor Freight Tools store in Mobile (c'mon open one on the Eastern Shore, already!) and bought the kit for the princely sum of $4.00. When I got it home, I read the fine print - the front of the package says its ideal for siphoning gas. The back side says it should not be used with flammable fluids.

Hmm. I suppose that the fuel in the tank is only semi-flammable. I wonder if Harbor Freight considered this possibility?


  1. The flammability is only an issue if yuo're a dragon or a fire eater.Mike


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