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chiph
09-30-2007, 02:04 PM
If you have fuses in your car or truck that you bought (or suspect were purchased at) Harbor Freight, you might want to swap them out. GM has reported several vehicle fires that were caused by fuses that did not blow at their stated amperage. All were bought at Harbor Freight and made in China.

Chip H.

D_E_Davis
09-30-2007, 02:29 PM
Interesting, but I suspect the danger is low (here at least). With just one store in my metro area, and a myriad of Checker, AutoZone, and (yes) even Walgreens, buying fuses at harbor Freight is quite unlikely.

Eric
09-30-2007, 04:44 PM
If you have fuses in your car or truck that you bought (or suspect were purchased at) Harbor Freight, you might want to swap them out. GM has reported several vehicle fires that were caused by fuses that did not blow at their stated amperage. All were bought at Harbor Freight and made in China.

Chip H.



This is getting to be a bad re-rerun of "Made in Japan" = crap. Only worse, because it's more pervasive and we're dealing with a completely unaccountable police state vs. a Western-style democracy (and ally). Also, this China-made crap is being pawned off on us via middlemen, who re-sell it under American name brands...

chiph
09-30-2007, 05:09 PM
I would hope that buying fuses made by Littelfuse would be safer. But with offshoring you're never really sure.

Only way would be to buy 501 of them from the same lot and run 500 of them through a quality test to see at what temperature/current level they fail. So afterwards you'd have one fuse in which you'd reasonably be confident of it's characteristics.
:)

Chip H.

misterdecibel
09-30-2007, 10:10 PM
You might be able to non-destructively test a fuse. If you know the resistance, probably in micro-ohms, of a known good fuse from Littelfuse for example, then measure the Chinese one, if the resistance is even less then you'll know the wire gauge of the fusible metal is too large, and it won't blow under load. I think this might work.

However the ability to measure resistance that small doesn't come cheap, and the time it would take to measure each fuse before use would be far greater than any saving you'd get by buying Chinese fuses instead of name brand product. :)

I bet Harbor Freight only sells them in big boxes as a large assortment of fuses too, so the guys who have 'em have tens or hundreds of the junk fuses that they've been sticking in everything that comes into the shop.

DonTom
09-30-2007, 10:51 PM
"If you know the resistance, probably in micro-ohms, of a known good fuse from Littelfuse for example, then measure the Chinese one, if the resistance is even less then you'll know the wire gauge of the fusible metal is too large, and it won't blos under load. I think this might work."

There's too many variations in fuses. For an example, you can have a fast-blow or slow-blow fuse of the exact same current. And if you ever do an experiment with a new fast blow fuse, I think you will be very surprised. Even a so-called fast blow six amp fuse amp fuse might be able to handle seven amps or so for many seconds, if not many minutes, before blowing. They are far from accurate, even the best grade fuses. And two fuses from the same box might be quite a bit different. I have done such experiments with fuses.

And even when under their rated current, they can blow. They age just like anything else, even when there is no real problem.

-Don-

misterdecibel
10-01-2007, 01:46 AM
I don't think you find any slo-blo fuses in a car.