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The 87 octane pumps are shut down last week at a gas station in Chanhassen, Minnesota because of water contamination. This unseasonably warm February has led to significant snow melt, increasing the risk of water infiltration. Unfortunately, this not only poses a threat to fuel quality, but a threat to consumer engines.
The Minnesota Commerce Department issued the following guidelines for consumers:
Don’t wait until your tank is nearly empty before filling up. Excessive water can separate from the gas and accumulate in the bottom of your tank. The ethanol blended with gas actually protects against water (up to point) by absorbing it. But when it reaches a saturation point, the water will “phase separate” to form a distinct layer in the tank.
Be aware of how your vehicle is performing. If you filled up a nearly empty tank with water-tainted gas, you may notice an immediate problem with your vehicle’s performance, including possibly stalling out. Or your vehicle may initially operate without a problem, but then will not start up again after being parked for a while.
Keep the receipt from your most recent gas purchase. If there is a problem with the gas, you will need proof of your purchase to seek reimbursement for any vehicle repair costs. While water in gas will not usually ruin a car engine, it can still require repairs costing several hundred dollars to drain and clean the tank and gas lines.
Don’t wait until you’ve got angry customers. Routinely check tanks for water, look for water at the fill, at the STP – standing water is a recipe for disaster. For more on good housekeeping, visit our website or contact a member of our staff at 260-346-2500.