Gasoline scam?

MrMike

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We all know that frequently gas stations cut their gas with cheaper stuff here to increase profits, but has anybody experienced fudging the dials so the pump dispenses less gas than what is shown?

I ask because I believe (can't swear) that my car has a 10 gallon tank. (93 Honda Accord) At least I have never been able to stuff more than 10 gallons into it, even bone dry. Yesterday I asked the pump guy to fill it up, then had to ask him to stop as the meter read 11.5 gallons and the fuel guage was just over half. I asked him if he was going to get that fixed or keep stealing for a bit longer, and he threw his hands up and went into a convulsive denial seizure - but I have been suspecting several gas stations in Santiago of doing this for some time now, this is just the first time I "caught" one.

Anybody else had similar experiences? BTW, this was the Shell station on 27 de Febrero, not the big one near Turbi Motors but the smaller one near the old Ochoa store.
 

Simon & Nicky

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Useual practice is not to re-set to zero

I've been caught out in Sosua and Samana - both times I was distracted by passengers in the car, both times I got down the road only to realise that my 1000 pesos worth of fuel was more like 500. Some stations go so far as to tap on the windows to show you that the dial is at zero. A very popular one in Sosua might like to start this practice.


Simon
 

Rocky

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The Sting

MrMike said:
We all know that frequently gas stations cut their gas with cheaper stuff here to increase profits, but has anybody experienced fudging the dials so the pump dispenses less gas than what is shown?

I ask because I believe (can't swear) that my car has a 10 gallon tank. (93 Honda Accord) At least I have never been able to stuff more than 10 gallons into it, even bone dry. Yesterday I asked the pump guy to fill it up, then had to ask him to stop as the meter read 11.5 gallons and the fuel guage was just over half. I asked him if he was going to get that fixed or keep stealing for a bit longer, and he threw his hands up and went into a convulsive denial seizure - but I have been suspecting several gas stations in Santiago of doing this for some time now, this is just the first time I "caught" one.

Anybody else had similar experiences? BTW, this was the Shell station on 27 de Febrero, not the big one near Turbi Motors but the smaller one near the old Ochoa store.
The sting has 3 common aspects.
First, there is the gas station owner who has payed the inspectors to have his meters count out a greater amount than is pumped, as I discovered many years ago, when I would fill up my Daihatsu truck when it was bone dry at the Texaco in Sosua for 310 pesos and only 275 at the Exxon in Santiago, Then there is the scam of not setting the pump to zero after filling a moto concho so that they can double charge that portion, then there are many little games that they play with the change, such as counting out the hundreds and stalling to see if you notice they didn't get the small bills yet, and other variations of that.
This has a lot to do with the Coastal station being so popular in the Sosua area.
I thought the dude was nuts for building a station a mile or 2 out of town, until I discovered a whole new concept in service for a gas station in the DR, not to mention that the attendants don't rip you off.
So now the Texaco had remodeled to compete, I guess, but I'm going to the Coastal even if they give free doughnuts out at the Texaco.
Treat me right and I'm your customer for life.
Rip me off and I'll never forget.
 

Chris

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MrMike said:
We all know that frequently gas stations cut their gas with cheaper stuff here to increase profits, but has anybody experienced fudging the dials so the pump dispenses less gas than what is shown?
Yes, frequently. The Texaco outside of Cabarete on the way to Islabon does this frequently. They caught me with this one a few times while filling the car. When I figured what they were doing, I took a 5 gallon container to fill, for planta gas. They were so used to 'the stupid gringa' that they even tried to screw me on the 5 gallon container and the price on the pump came up to 6 gallons. I made them take the 5 gallons of gas out of my nice red container and made them fill it again. Again, pump charge for 6 gallons, while showing 5 gallons. So, I made them take the gas out again. Took my empty container and never went back again.

Now, I go to Coastal - We plan our journeys around filling up at Coastal. We'll float down the hill on fumes till we get to Coastal but I do not trust any other gas station in this country.
 

gjsuk

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Apr 7, 2003
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We had the same experiences on our diesel deliveries, regularly only getting 85-90% of what the truck mounted gauge was showing.
We now use Coastal and get exactly what we pay for with a great service.
Thanks Greg
 

Thebes

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Jun 18, 2004
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Doesn't suprise me, happens in the US too...

I've seen the same thing happen at a popular gas station in my home town in the US. The 6 gallon gas can took 6 and still had room for one more. I always thought I got worse milage on that gas...

BTW, even if your car tank is 10 gallons, it doesn't mean you really put ten gallons in it. The fuel pick-up takes room. When a car runs out of gas it might have a gallon or more in the tank. I pulled the tank in my truck and it wouldn't pump to the engine with almost two in it, it took four before it made it up to E. I have no idea what the listed volume of the tank is. There will also be space at the top of the tank for expansion of the fuel and vapors.

I think the can method is a good way of checking though.
 

BushBaby

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I have just issued SWMBO with a 1 Gall water container & have one for myself (both now empty of water of course!!). When we want to fill our cars, we shall first ask for the container to be filled - if the meter reads MORE than 1 gallon we will challenge, get our refund & wipe that garage off our future calling list!

I think I will start a 'Book' to guess on how long it will take us to run out of places to refill our cars??? One week? One month?? - Grahame.
 

BushBaby

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JimB said:
Not saying that this is the case here, but in Canada all the gasoline pumps are "Volume Corrected to 17 Degrees Celcius" (average temperature of the gas in the the underground storage tanks)

This is because gasoline changes volume depending on the temperature. I.E. it expands at higher temperatures. Take a 5 gallon can of gas, fill it 1/2 full at 30 degrees C and then put it in a cool place for a day and you will be surprised to see that it is now only about 1/3 full and the container will be trying to collapse upon itself, the reverse is true if you fill it at a cool temp. and then let it get warm, it will appear that you have more gas.

So when you fill your tank on a cold winter day, you actually get more than you paid for, and you get less than you paid for on a very hot summer day.

Just my 2 cents worth...
JimB
Don't get too many wintery days here in the DR!!
So, if the fuel is coming from a "cooler' place (underground) into a 1 gallon container, it should expand in the heat of daylight & appear to be MORE than 1 gallon - correct?? All the more reason to check out how the 1 gallon container system works!!

Just in jest - was you two cents worth done at room temperature & will therefore expand to 3 cents down here - or vice versa???? Grahame.
 

Rocky

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Science

JimB said:
Not saying that this is the case here, but in Canada all the gasoline pumps are "Volume Corrected to 17 Degrees Celcius" (average temperature of the gas in the the underground storage tanks)

This is because gasoline changes volume depending on the temperature. I.E. it expands at higher temperatures. Take a 5 gallon can of gas, fill it 1/2 full at 30 degrees C and then put it in a cool place for a day and you will be surprised to see that it is now only about 1/3 full and the container will be trying to collapse upon itself, the reverse is true if you fill it at a cool temp. and then let it get warm, it will appear that you have more gas.

So when you fill your tank on a cold winter day, you actually get more than you paid for, and you get less than you paid for on a very hot summer day.

Just my 2 cents worth...
JimB
Let first say that I am no scientist, but it's my undestanding that the difference in size of a liquid near it's boiling point vs at it's freezing point is tiny and negligeable and certainly would not account for the differences that you suggest of a reduction in mass of 1/2 of a container down to 1/3 with such a small temperature difference.
The container collapsing is not due to the liquid reducing in mass.
It would be from the other half of the container in vapour state that causes the collapsing as liquids in vapour state greatly reduce or expand with temperature changes.
 

mondongo

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JimB, This is a great comment. I had never thought about the volume of gasoline changing as a function of temperature. I have noticed, however, that the EXXON/TEXACO station I use (in the USA) does seem to cheat a little bit.

I looked up the properties of gasoline. The volume DOES expand with increasing temperature....but not that much. 20 gallons will expand by 0.34 gallons with a change of 18 Celcius (64 Farenheit).

This is the formula:

∆Vg = βgV0 ∆T

∆Vg is the change in volume
βg is the gasoline expansion coefficient (950 ?10?6)/ C
∆T is the temperature difference in Celcius.
 

Rocky

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Formulas

mondongo said:
I looked up the properties of gasoline. The volume DOES expand with increasing temperature....but not that much. 20 gallons will expand by 0.34 gallons with a change of 18 Celcius (64 Farenheit).
That would be a difference of approx. 1.6%, which would not be very noticeable when filling the car up.
BTW. A change of 18 Celcius is equivalent to approx. 32 Farenheit.
 

mondongo

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Yet another formula.

Glad to oblige, Lambada.
Rocky, the formula I used to convert Celcius to Farenheit was: F = (9/5)*C +32F.
 

Lambada

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Yep, my multipurpose thermometer says 18C=64F, but the C refers to centigrade. If there is a difference between centigrade & Celsius.......just kidding, I know there is but this is all getting too mathematical for me at this time of night!
 

Rocky

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Correct

mondongo said:
Glad to oblige, Lambada.
Rocky, the formula I used to convert Celcius to Farenheit was: F = (9/5)*C +32F.
That is the correct formula and as Lambada said, that is what is written on her thermometer.
But in this case, we are not talking about the ambient temperature here in our warm tropical paradise, but the relevance of Celcius degrees vs Farenheit degrees.
The adding on of the 32 is to compenstae for Farenheit's system where water freezes at 32, whereas Celcius has it at 0.
So 0 degrees celcius is equivalent to 32 Farenheit and using your formula of 9 to 5 ratio of 0 plus 32 will give you that result.
When you are converting a difference of let's say 5 Celcius to Farenheit, the result is 9, but you do not add on the 32, if you follow what I mean.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with the local gas stations ripping us off with their infinite variations of scams and the expansion and contraction of gasoline in liquid form does not account for discrepancies of 10% and more.
Some of the guys who work at our local Texaco have been there for as long as I have been in the country and I bet you would have to buy the job from them for more than it costs to buy one of Escotts condos.
These guys make a fortune everyday and it would seem that few people realize it, otherwise there would be a line up at the Coastal and nobody in the other gas stations in town.
 

Wales

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May 21, 2004
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C to F

Rocky said:
That is the correct formula and as Lambada said, that is what is written on her thermometer.
But in this case, we are not talking about the ambient temperature here in our warm tropical paradise, but the relevance of Celcius degrees vs Farenheit degrees.
The adding on of the 32 is to compenstae for Farenheit's system where water freezes at 32, whereas Celcius has it at 0.
So 0 degrees celcius is equivalent to 32 Farenheit and using your formula of 9 to 5 ratio of 0 plus 32 will give you that result.
When you are converting a difference of let's say 5 Celcius to Farenheit, the result is 9, but you do not add on the 32, if you follow what I mean.
Of course, none of this has anything to do with the local gas stations ripping us off with their infinite variations of scams and the expansion and contraction of gasoline in liquid form does not account for discrepancies of 10% and more.
Some of the guys who work at our local Texaco have been there for as long as I have been in the country and I bet you would have to buy the job from them for more than it costs to buy one of Escotts condos.
These guys make a fortune everyday and it would seem that few people realize it, otherwise there would be a line up at the Coastal and nobody in the other gas stations in town.


Marco : Sorry, you are wrong, I spoke to Scott today on his cellular and he said you are always right.. O Centigrade is 32 F...... 5 centigrade is 41 F .....9 F is well below freezing. Not that it matters in DR but it is always divide by five multiply by nine add 32. To do the reverse Minus 32 divide by nine multiply by 5. ie 212F boiling in F. Minus 32 = 180 divide by nine = 20 multiply by 5 = 100 C boiling point. It works always. Sorry again

ENGLISH TWIT
 

Coastal

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How a gas station verifies the gas pumps.

Before I opened this station, I have experienced some of the same problems mentioned here. The thing that bugged me the most was the "sorry, don't have change" at one of the local stations. I never knew if it was a way to con a tip out of you or simply poor planning. I have never knowingly been caught in the "not resetting the meter" scam, but I had been warned many times by different people about that one. Apparently the diesel delivery is wide open to abuse because when we opened, we had quite a few customers who thought that they had larger size tanks than they in fact had. They would say ?fill it up, it holds 125 gallons? for example, but when we filled the tank, it would only hold 100 !!!!

The way a gas station verifies its pumps is quite simple:

Normally the DIGENOR checks the calibration of the pumps every six months or so. This is done with a "test can" which is a calibrated 5 gallon container. Every hose should be checked, not just every pump. Besides the DIGENOR, I have mine checked by an independent contractor every two months or so when I do my filter changes. I also have them checked if something arises which calls for it, like a customer complaint. I have noticed that the pumps do not have a tendency to go out of calibration and in fact vary slightly or not at all over time. But they are mechanical items so proper maintenance and testing is necessary to insure that they perform as they should. I have my calibration tests sheets filed in the office, while not normally for public review, I am always willing to show them if someone has a legitimate reason to see them.

Thanks,
Greg
 

Wales

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May 21, 2004
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scam

Coastal said:
Before I opened this station, I have experienced some of the same problems mentioned here. The thing that bugged me the most was the "sorry, don't have change" at one of the local stations. I never knew if it was a way to con a tip out of you or simply poor planning. I have never knowingly been caught in the "not resetting the meter" scam, but I had been warned many times by different people about that one. Apparently the diesel delivery is wide open to abuse because when we opened, we had quite a few customers who thought that they had larger size tanks than they in fact had. They would say ?fill it up, it holds 125 gallons? for example, but when we filled the tank, it would only hold 100 !!!!

The way a gas station verifies its pumps is quite simple:

Normally the DIGENOR checks the calibration of the pumps every six months or so. This is done with a "test can" which is a calibrated 5 gallon container. Every hose should be checked, not just every pump. Besides the DIGENOR, I have mine checked by an independent contractor every two months or so when I do my filter changes. I also have them checked if something arises which calls for it, like a customer complaint. I have noticed that the pumps do not have a tendency to go out of calibration and in fact vary slightly or not at all over time. But they are mechanical items so proper maintenance and testing is necessary to insure that they perform as they should. I have my calibration tests sheets filed in the office, while not normally for public review, I am always willing to show them if someone has a legitimate reason to see them.

Thanks,
Greg
I am told we can trust you implicitly.. do you deliver diesel for generators to Homes? I am having a 44 KW generator installed at my house -- Scott nows where it is -- We would want you to deliver -- I think he is going to get you to to the hitch up.

Regards

Brian
 

Simon & Nicky

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A fine example

Strange isn't it? Through open honesty Greg will pick up far more customers from this thread because of all the positive feed back. Why can't others see that sometimes honesty really is the best policy? Hooray for the decent guy delivering what we all want. A shining example of how to do business here.