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Old 04-27-2017, 02:14 PM   #1
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Dirty or water-logged gas/fuel from gas stations. What can consumers do?

I just got back from my mechanic, who showed me that my fuel filter was one of the dirtiest he'd ever seen in all his years. I told him that I only fuel up at one place (the NJ Turnpike Vince Lombardi service station, which probably serves a few hundred cars an hour). My mechanic explained that when the tankers come to refill they mix up all the sediment at the bottom of the station storage. This tip submitted to Fuelly says as much too: Tip: Don't pay for dirty gas! | Fuelly

The Fuelly tip advises against filling up at a station that's been re-fuelled in the last 5 hours -- but there's no way to know how long it's been without asking.

Is this a concern for anyone else? Are there any tips for finding out the refuelling schedule or vetting the gasoline quality that your gas station is serving? I'd love to pick a place and stick with it, but there's a lot of variables and I don't actually have any way of finding out if the fuel they're serving is good quality or not. For instance, is there a way to test it on your own, or view their records?

Thanks for any ideas.

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Old 04-27-2017, 03:37 PM   #2
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A station as busy as the Vince Lombardi service station probably gets at least two tanker trucks a day, so it is probably impossible to get there during daylight hours and not be in the 5 hour window. I would also say that a station that moves that much fuel should not have a sediment problem in their tanks. It is possible that they received a tanker of bad fuel, and you were unfortunate enough to purchase some of it.


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Old 04-27-2017, 07:08 PM   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts, Jay. What you've said makes a lot more sense. Constantly refueling of the storage containers would make the containers pristine -- not constantly dirty. I think I'll stick with my service station then.

I don't remember having gone to any other gas station in the last weeks, but I it could have just been one bad culprit longer ago (the filter holds the dirt there until next changed I assume). It's a good example why you should change your fuel filter frequently, since one bad refuel can muck it up.

Thanks again.
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Old 04-28-2017, 01:46 AM   #4
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I used to blow backwards through the filters to see how bad they were, when I replaced one at my shop. When the 10% ethanol fuel came on line, they had to "flush" the tanks to clean out the sludge in the bottom.

Before that you would get water in the fuel and have to add an emulsifier, after the ethanol came online the alcohol made the fuel emulsify without any additional additive like "dry gas".

If you had a lot of clogged filter issues or junk in the filter, then best to avoid the suspect station. It was nice in the old days when you could look at the filter media through the glass housing, no longer legal.
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