Bad Tank of Gas?

Updated on November 04, 2010
J.R. asks from Geneva, IL
12 answers

Our car broke down the other day -- completely stopped working! We took it to the dealer and it was a bad tank of gas. $500 later, the car is fine again. They did save the gas for us. I know where we purchased the gas and when AND we have the gas if they would like to test it. I don't have the receipt but I do have my debit card statement to prove it was purchased there. Has anyone ever encountered this, and successfully gone to the station to get compensated for the trouble? Ideally I would like to have them cover the damage to the car (the $500). I'm guessing it's unlikely they will care or respond, but thought I'd see if anyone else ever ran into this before. Thanks!

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answers from Saginaw on

I remember a station a few years back, putting some kind of cleaner in their tanks, and then having a bunch of cars break down because of the debris that was in their gas due to the cleaner.
The did pay for some damages too
good luck

More Answers



answers from Atlanta on

I think you will have a hard time getting ANYTHING out of them unless you have "others" come forward. My question is this would you be able to prove it was indeed their gas that caused the issue? For all they know you could have stopped at another gas station and filled again and it could have been THE OTHER gas stations bad gas.......hey its worth a shot go up there and see where you get-you may have to go on up the line to get what you want but if you are that adamant about getting yur money back then pursue it. I don't think you yourself would have a good chance so you might want to post something on Craigslist or an ad somewhere to see if there were others that were affected and the cost involved. I am not a lawyer by any means and perhaps you have a case here but this is just my own personal opinion.......good luck I hope you can get your money back!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Rapids on

Go to the gas station where you purchased it and ask to speak to the manager. Explain the problem. They will know how to handle it or who you should talk to. If you get the run around, ask for the area managers name and phone number. If you got "bad gas" I'm sure you're not the only one and they will take care of it to prevent bad publicity. Tell the mechanic you will need a statement from him also to substantiate your complaint.



answers from Las Vegas on

The fuel comes out of one big pipe, however, that doesn't mean a line to the station couldn't be bad.

Read the topics:

Story from a friend: Her father syphoned gas out of her truck and returned it to the station. They treated him like he was crazy and he took the gas can outside and lit a lighter to it (crazy). Well, it didn't light and they gave him his money back.


answers from Jacksonville on

"Bad tank of gas"... what does that even mean? What exactly was bad/wrong with it? I would push the dealer for more information about that before I did anything else.

Our mechanic has told me that now that ALL the gas is "up to 10% ethanol blend" that if they accidentally get the mix wrong just a little, it CAN affect your car and cause problems. Did the dealer say that too much ethanol was in the gas? some cars are more sensitive than others.

Do you have a special sport engine that requires higher octane fuel? Some actually do run better on the higher octane, but for most, it doesn't matter. Does your car need that and you didn't use it? Is that what the dealer meant by "bad" gas?



answers from Detroit on

I remember a news story from a few years ago. A station had sold some bad gas which had caused damage to a number of cars. The station wouldn't do anything until someone went to a tv news station. The gas station then compensated those who sustained damage to their cars and had a receipt proving they bought gas there. Bottom line is they wouldn't do anything until there was a threat of bad publicity and only then if drivers had proof of purchase (a receipt). I think it will be unlikely that you will get anything from the gas station but it never hurts to try.


answers from Houston on

There was an episode of The Peoples Court last year with your sinario. "Bad gas" usually means it has water mixed with the gas. Yes, you can take your claim to small claims court IF you can prove that the gas station had "bad gas". That means testing the gas and proving that you purchased the gas at their station.
BTW, water mixed with gas is usually from underground tank leakage, not that they added it.
Good Luck in recovering your costs...


answers from Detroit on

My husband used to work with waste oil and other products. One of the things he used to do was go to gas stations that tended to have water in the tanks, and pump off the layer of water (it's heavier so sits under the gas)
He said to talk to the gas station first, and tell them that you are going to call the department of agriculture to inspect the station and the tanks. Most likely they'll work with you so you will not make that call (underground tank repairs are VERY expensive) He also said the number should be on the pumps at the station. Keep the gas, debit receipt, and the repair receipts until you have this resolved.
One other thing, all gas stations have the ability and materials to test for water in the gas, whether they admit to having it or not. It's in a tube, you put it on a stick, dip it in the gas, and if it turns red, then there is water in the gas. He also said if you put some in a clear jar, it will seperate and you will be able to distinctly see the water and gas both.
Good luck and let me know how it turns out (if you want to)



answers from Charlotte on

J., my husband doesn't believe this, but well, what can I say? When I bought my car, I asked the saleman what kind to put in it. He said to use the 89 (mid-grade) gas. He then told me not to buy from the "off" stations. In that he included Costco brand gas. He said that they had a spate of cars come in that it turned out had "bad gas" and they were all from Costco and some other "off" stations.

My husband says everybody gets the same gas. I do not know. The salesman didn't have any vested reason to tell me a lie. So, I don't get off brand station gas or Costco gas. I just don't want to take the chance. Whether you could get renumeration or not, well, I think it's doubtful. Just use the major stations.

Best of luck,



answers from Saginaw on

I remember a station a few years back, putting some kind of cleaner in their tanks, and then having a bunch of cars break down because of the debris that was in their gas due to the cleaner.
The did pay for some damages too
good luck



answers from Chicago on

I did notice that once I used a new gas that was advertised, my car was very sluggish. No major damage. I would try the gas station first. Chances are your car was not the only one damaged. If they dont respond, check with your insurance agent or try the better business bureau maybe they can help.
Good luck


answers from Dallas on

That happened to me about 2 yrs ago except my cost was $2000 (out of my pocket.....not an insurance issue) because I drive a sport Mercedes. My car was not even 6 months old at the time. $500 would have been a great # for me to see at the time!!! My towing alone was $150.

No, don't expect to get money back, it is not something easy to prove. Suck it up, learn, and never buy from that station again.

I now buy from high end stations, higher profile locations where people do buy the high end (premium) gas.

The station where I bought my premium gas was in an area that was not the most affluent and they didn't sell much premium, ( didn't know that at the time) therefore the issue with the station's premium tank.

My car stopped completely, had to be towed to the dealer, drained, and entire fuel system cleaned out. I did learn that Mercedes and higher end cars are very sensitive to gas.



answers from Jackson on

Bad gas, usually means their is debris such as rust, dirt, metal shavings or chemicals such as water that aren't supposed to be in gasoline. You should contact the gas station manager and explain what happened to you. If you get no positive reaction, contact the Attorney Generals office and the Dept. of Agriculture, they are the governing body for fuel. Look the #'s up on line or the phone book they are all listed in the phone book under the State of Michigan.

Seriously,there could be 10 other people zero people who have filed a complaint against this gas station.

We all understand these things happen, the gas station should have insurance to cover their liability from these kinds of incidents.

I say pursue this, it's your $500.00.
Wishing you the best

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