Help Me Establish Gas Station Fraud- By Exposing Fuel Manipulation.

Prelude:Every week I only ever travel the same route, at the same time, with the same amount of traffic on the road.

I fill my cars fuel tank once a week, with $50AU of petrol.
The prices lately have been stable and around $1.30AU/L

What this post is about is the fact that due to me travelling the exact same Km's per week, I have noticed a significant difference between the two petrol stations fuel that I fill at.

Can anyone educate me as to why when I fill at one station I get 8 days of travel and when I fill at the other station I only get 4 days of travel?

Once again I am filling the same amount of fuel at each station, just one stations fuel (Major corporate outlet) seems to be of a much lower quality.

Is it possible that something is a-miss with this situation. Is there a variable im not considering?

After 4 months of weekly refills I feel that conclusively, one stations fuel seems to combust better than the others.

Is this possible and if so are there any home experiments I could try to prove my theory via testing the fuels combustion/quality.

I only write this as I sit here on a week, where I was forced to fill up at the "suspect" station. Im on day 3 now and my fuel is red lining... What is happening?

I know the difference of 3 -8 days is a massive, surely others would have noticed this also. I thought I was mistaken the first few times it happened. But now I am positive, something is wrong.

I might add, I use premium fuel with the same octane level at both stations.
Could that be it? Would they be mis-quoting the octane level in their fuel? That is the only thing I can think of.

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Another thought, get a small amount of each fuel and do the coffee bean test, it's not perfectly accurate but it would show up if there's a major difference in energy density, a beaker with a litre of water and an exactly measured amount of each fuel, you check the temperature of the water before and after burning. There's an 'ible on it about burning sweets, the process is essentially the same, if there's a significant difference in temperature change then it's lesser quality fuel that's the problem.
Lftndbt (author)  killerjackalope9 years ago
Thats what I was thinking!! A simple burn test... Exactly what I was after. I knew that was an obvious solution. I shall aquire some fuel and try it. Thanks.
PKM Lftndbt9 years ago
Another good test could be to fill a jerrycan with with the pump says is, say, exactly 1 gallon at each station, take them home and measure precisely. As for the burn test, coke cans make great containers for holding the water you are heating because they are light so don't absorb much heat, and have concave bottoms to catch the most heat from the flame. (Even in a GCSE chemistry practical with all the lab glassware we wanted we used coke cans)
Well if the station has larger reservoirs or less traffic - maybe both it'll have lesser quality petrol as it goes off though you'd need to have it turning to paint stripper before it's an issue.

As nacho said a mis-calibrated meter is another suspect, big name stations mean worker bees, people that work there often don't give a rat's ass about the place.

Of course that could give way to there being water in the tanks from seepage etc. also it could be to do with the type of petrol it is - though standardized some cars just hate a certain petrol, is it a fairly high strung machine?

For testing the meter theory take a jerry can and fill exactly to a certain level on the can - compare pump readings.

Lftndbt (author)  killerjackalope9 years ago
I've worked for a high staff level business for 7 years. I know exactly what you mean. The casuals dont really care about the place in general.
NachoMahma9 years ago
. A friend of mine says it may be the meter in the pump. Either a worn meter or an unscrupulous dealer who has miscalibrated it.
Lftndbt (author)  NachoMahma9 years ago
Yes I have to agree if it was a no-name gas n go, yet it is a major service station chain..
DO you pump it till it shuts off, or just pump a dollar (or gallon/liter) amount?
Lftndbt (author)  skunkbait9 years ago
I put $50AU in it.
It may be the meter. That would make sense.
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