"Bad Gas"?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by bfhaith, Jul 17, 2008.

  1. bfhaith

    bfhaith New Member

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    Hey folks. I have a 2008 with 3,700 miles. On my way to work this morning, the car died. I had the VSC, check engine, brake, hybrid, and, of course, triangle of death warning lights as the ICE stopped running. I pulled into the nearest gas station on battery power.

    After getting it towed to the dealer (thank heavens for Better World Club), I was told it was "bad gas". The technician, after checking the car over, drained the tank and told me it looked like "mountain dew" (obviously not your average gasoline).

    Now, after 16 years of driving, I have never had an experience with "bad gas". I am certainly not disputing the tech's claims, as the car seems to run fine now after his efforts, and I will never visit the offending station again, I am curious if anyone else here has had "bad gas" issues.

    In the meantime, I am crafting a tasty letter to the station in question.
     
  2. stevecaz

    stevecaz New Member

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    OK, so what station was it. I'm betting it wasn't was a clean branded station, but something like Bob's Fill & Slurp.

    I've seen a lot of nasty stuff at fleabag stations, but it mostly involves lots of water in the tanks, not mountain dew.:D
     
  3. edselpdx

    edselpdx Member

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    In May 1991 in Fort Stockton, Texas at a Texaco. Limped as far as Lordsville NM, finally out of money on a holiday weekend... it's a long sad story.
     
  4. bfhaith

    bfhaith New Member

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    Heh. It's a discount wearhouse type of place. I know what you mean, but I've spent the past nine years cleaning up after gas stations, and I know that just because "brand X" station advertises "brand Y" gasoline does not mean you're not getting "brand Z" gas.

    I'm fairly convinced I can prove "brand X" caused my misfourtune. I don't expect satisfaction from them, but you never know. I'll update when I know more.
     
  5. patrickindallas

    patrickindallas Shire rat

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    I have my Pri because of bad gas.

    I got a tank full of water at the Mobil by my house. I barely made it home.

    While waiting for the driver to hook up the car and take it to the shop, it started to snow. Now, here in Dallas, that doesn't happen very often, and it was enough to make me quite angry. Of course, I thought it was the car's fault, not the filling station. So that weekend I started researching hybrids.

    It took the mechanic 4 days to figure out what the problem was. The poor guy checked everything else!

    By the time I got the car back, I already had the Prius.

    Good luck getting the station to pay. Especially since you had driven it away. I felt lucky to squeeze half of my repair bill from them.
     
  6. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    If it WAS "bad gas" there are several causes.

    1. Water in the gas - technically, the gas is not bad, it's just that the car can't burn the water. ;) Once separated and the water discarded, the gas is still fine to burn in the car. Ethyl alcohol can be added to the fuel as it will absorb the water and will allow the car to burn it. Isopropyl alcohol is the next best choice, and is the main ingredient in gas line antifreeze (our society has a HUGE aversion to selling ethyl alcohol in anything but diluted form, as there are lots who would drink it).
    I've had a tank of gas with water in it (underground tank corroded - there was even rust dust in the fuel) in a Subaru. Drained the tank, separated the water, cleaned out the rust dust from the carb., and poured the gas back into the car. After that I used to add a litre of isopropyl alcohol to my just filled fuel tank once a year. Don't need to do that anymore, as I use ethanol.

    2. Gasoline will go "bad" if kept for a long time. This requires at least a year and high temps, metal containers, and water (corrosion) will enhance the rate. Once this happens it will not burn in an engine. It will burn if ignited outside the engine.
    I've had fuel go bad like this when it was kept for a lawnmower in a metal container. Used it to help burn vegetation, as it was useless for anything else. It actually smells "different", like an old fuel container.

    3. A Husky station in Hinton Alberta sold many customers fuel over a few days a number of years ago that had some oil field industrial waste added to it. It was very toxic and several customers were hospitalized. The govt. got involved, but I never heard if anyone was charged/convicted.
     
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  7. Stev0

    Stev0 Honorary Hong Kong Cavalier

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    This thread is not what I thought it would be about, so I'm not going to recommend Beano.
     
  8. Highly ImPriused

    Highly ImPriused Impressive Member

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    OK, as someone who drives through Auburn, NY kind of regularly (at least a couple times a month in the summer) and fills up there on occasion (that Sunoco where Rtes 5 and 20 splits to just 20 is awfully cheap), I've got to ask that you out the offending gas station. Of course given that you've already said warehouse place, it's probably BJs or Sam's Club in Syracuse (I don't think they have those in Auburn, do they?). I'd still like to know though as I've been known to fill up at a BJs near Rochester. Thanks! (Oh, and sorry for your misfortune.)
     
  9. bfhaith

    bfhaith New Member

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    It was the BJ's in East Syracuse, on Bridge Street. Funny enough, though, the Toyota dealer here in Auburn gets their gas from the BJ's down the street.
     
  10. Highly ImPriused

    Highly ImPriused Impressive Member

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    Heh, what do I win? Actually that makes me a little nervous about filling up at the local BJs. As I understand it, discount clubs buy up gas from various sources at whichever one has the lowest prevailing price. I'm guessing that whoever delivered that load to them is to blame and that it could happen at any unbranded gas station if they aren't monitoring it closely. I had been under the impression that the only real difference between the gas you get at a BJs and at a name brand is the additives. Now I'm thinking that better quality control at the name brand places might prevent the delivery of such a bad tank. Thanks for sharing !
     
  11. adamace1

    adamace1 Senior Member

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    Do you have to pay the dealer? or did they drain the gas for free to be nice?