Saturday morning was a lazy one, spent cleaning up the house and lounging around. Somewhere around 2pm I decided to get dressed and go grab some food and run a few errands. As I was pulling out onto the main road my low fuel light dinged at me, so I swung into the nearest gas station and filled up. Over 16 gallons, my tank really was dangnear empty! My stopsign red jeans were garnering a lot of attention at the little country gas station so I quickly grabbed my receipt, hopped back into my car and took off.
Not even a mile down the road my car started idling real hard. Everyone keeps asking me how I knew it was running funny. Think of those big ol diesel trucks that sit there and go ‘hublub hublub hublub’… suddenly my car was doing that. My car isn’t supposed to do that. I wonder if it has something to do with the fact that I’m getting close to needing an oil change. I hop into the turn lane at the nearest stop light and while waiting my turn to go I honestly start to think my cars gonna die. It sounded like one of those old jank hooptys that was gasping for air.
I pull her into the nearest parking spot at Applebee’s, shut her off and call my parents house. Mom says “sounds like you bought bad gas… I’ll have your dad come up there”. Meanwhile I turn her back on and rev her a few times trying to get the water to burn off from the gas. It just keeps getting worse and worse though. It seriously felt like one of those arcade simulator games she was shaking so bad!
Dad shows up, takes her for a spin and confirms what was already suspected. Bad gas. Not even an hour later I was watching my 2010 camaro get taken away on a tow truck. Poor Cammie! She had pneumonia. Too much water in her tank!
Since the dealership was already closed for the day my car didn’t get looked at til Monday morning, which promptly led to a phone call from the mechanic saying that from the sample of gasoline they pulled, only 1/8th of it was gas, the rest of my tank was water! Which means out of the 16 some gallons of gas I got, only 2 of those were actually gasoline. He explained to me that they would have to drop the fuel tank, empty and clean it all out, replace the fuel filter and clean all the injectors. But all I heard was dollar signs. He guesstimated a $500 bill in parts and labor.
I promptly called the gas station and asked to speak to the manager. She snottily replied that “we don’t have water in our gasoline” and took my number down to have corporate call me (thankfully the gentleman from corporate was a dream to work with and not a snothead). So I contacted the manager of our ISDH Weights & Measures (aka the people who monitor what gas stations are actually selling), I told him the whole story and he sent an inspector out immediately.
I spent most of my Monday morning on the phone with the inspector, the mechanic and the corporate guy (sounds like a bad joke, huh) It ended up there were 6” of standing water in the underground tank for their premium fuel. The legal limit is ½”. The gas station was issued a stop sale and the premium pumps were all flagged. The gentleman from corporate promptly called and apologized profusely and was explaining how it was even possible, and that they were sending someone to check the filters at all of their gas stations now. Without hesitation he told me they would be covering my entire mechanic bill, the tow bill and reimbursing me for the $66 I had spent on the tank of gas (aka water).
I honestly thought the whole situation was going to be a nightmare. I joked that I couldn’t have picked a better gas station to buy water-logged gas from, but honestly it was a nice reminder that there are still companies out there who give a shit about their reputation and customer service!