Watered-down gas damages cars at Buffalo service station

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Customers of a Buffalo gas station say they filled up with diluted gas. Not only do these customers say they didn’t get what they paid for, the damage done to their cars is going to cost them with expensive repairs.

With ethanol and other additives, the gas we pump into our cars has some water. But when you get enough water in your tank, it can stop your car dead in its tracks. If the watered-down gas freezes, the repairs can be expensive.

The complaints started a few weeks ago at a Citgo service station at Fillmore Avenue and William Street. Cars were stopping abruptly right after filling up.

“Gary”, as we’re calling this driver, who didn’t want to be identified, says he couldn’t even pull away from the pumps.

“I said to him, somebody said you had water in your pumps, man, what’s up with that? He said, I’m not going to lie to you, I had a problem,” he said.

He had his Chevy Blazer towed to a garage and the service station owner agreed to pay for getting the water out. But there was more.

Gary said, “I said I put gas in it, it still ain’t running. I jumped it, still ain’t running. I said I took the air filter off, put a little bit of gas in the fuel injector. I said it started up, but it sounded all clinky and died out. He said it sounds like the fuel pump went.”

And Gary says, the owner of the service station won’t pay for the fuel pump.

Erie County Weights and Measures director Edwin Gonsiorek told News 4 they took samples of the gas on February 26 and sent them to an outside lab.

“When we got the report back from the lab, they wouldn’t even test it. They said that it had so much groundwater in it that they weren’t even going to run it through any of their equipment,” he said.

The county has now sealed the pumps for unleaded regular.

We went to the property owner for the service station and the liquor store next to it, known as “Nick.” He blames the fuel wholesaler for the bad gas.

“They mixed it wrong,” he claimed.

Nick went on to say that a crew is coming in Monday to remove the water from the pumps. But Gonsiorek says this has happened before.

“When we went back the second time, it was up to 12 inches. More water the second time,” Gonsiorek said.

We tried unsuccessfully to reach the Citgo station’s owner, but a worker told News 4 he has been paying for some repairs and filing the claim with his insurance carrier.

If you believe your car was damaged by their watered-down gas, contact the Division of Weights and Measures at 825-1310.

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