What's that mysterious white powder clogging Skip's Miata?

Dear Car Talk

Dear Car Talk | Dec 01, 2008

Dear Tom and Ray:

I drive a 2002 Mazda Miata. I love it. Yeah, I'm a guy, and it's a great car. It reminds me of my old MGB. Back when I had hair, I had a 1965 MGB roadster and picked up many a girl with that car. And the Miata is almost as good. I had the 60,000-mile checkup a month ago. After the checkup, I had to take it back because the fuel filter clogged up. The filter was clogged with a white substance. Then, a week ago, I had to have the fuel pump replaced and the fuel tank cleaned. The pump and pump screen were covered with a white powder. It was dry and chalky. The mechanic had no idea what it was. The whole thing cost me another $1,000 on top of the checkup. Yes, I am a fat, bald, old man, trying to figure out what happened to my life and my hair. And my Miata helps keep the other losses in perspective. Can you tell me what the white substance was? -- Skip

RAY: Sounds like it's revenge powder, Skip.

TOM: Yeah. One of those many girls you picked up -- or one of their angry boyfriends or husbands -- put something in your gas tank.

RAY: I can't imagine what else it could be. As far as I know, there's nothing in the car that could produce copious amounts of a white, chalky substance in your gas tank.

TOM: Yeah. You may want to start an apology campaign. Go through your little black book, call anybody you've wronged, tell them you've been feeling terrible about what happened and say you'd like to apologize.

RAY: Then ask if they happen to be missing a five-pound bag of King Arthur Enriched Flour.

TOM: Or if their husband happens to be missing an extra-large container of Cruex Jock Itch Formula.

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