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Bad Gasoline

I had the misfortune of purchasing bad gasoline near my home on Long Island, NY. The service center that repaired my vehicle gave me a sample of the bad gasoline and I would like it tested. Does any one know where I can have my gasoline tested? I would like to know what Bolla Mart Sunoco put in my gas tank to cause $1000 worth of damage!

I once had continuing problems with gasoline from a station i used routinely, it kept clooginh the idle jet in the carburator. After 2 years,my car dealer found it was the gas, he took a sample and put it in a sealed glass jar and let it set for several days. The gas settled into 3 layers, water, diesel and gasoline. Easy to spot in the jar. Seems the gas station had a delivery of deisel dumped into a gas tank by mistake, they pumped it out but did not get much of it, so each load of gas mixed with the diesel. Also mixed with water in the tank. I suggest you put some in a sealed glass jar and see what settles out. If you want a scientific test, look for a general laboratory in your area and contact them to see they will do the content testing. I’m assumimg you are looking for contaimnents and don’t want octaine testing or propriatary additives. Old Motorist

If they gave you a sample you either didn’t have bad gas or they gave you a clean sample.

Do tell us… about the $1000 damages.

So they gave you a sample of the bad gas.  Could you tell us a little more.  Did they admit there was a problem?  How soon after you got gas did you have an indication of a problem (miles and time)?  What was that indication?  Do you have any evidence that other drivers had the same problem?  What did the station say about the situation?  

Have you talked to the station staff and the parent company?   What did they say?

 If they were pumping gas that could cause $1,000 in damage, they certainly would have had a number of customers with problems. 

 Haw much do you trust whoever did that $1,000 repair?  Could they have a boat payment due?

“Bad gas” is often an excuse used by incompetent repair techs or sometimes by those looking for a convenient excuse to do unnecessary repairs.

You may or may not have gotten bad gas from Bolla Mart Sunoco. The trouble now is that it will be difficult to prove.

Joseph Meehan and ZombieWoof ask questions that will need to be answered.
In addition to what they asked, how do you prove that the sample your mechanic gave you actually came from your car and came from Bolla Mart Sunoco? Unless you find others who bought bad gas from there as well or you can get current samples of bad gas, this can easily grow into a long drawn-out “he said, she said” battle.

I think before I can speculate I’d need to know
exactly what the problem(s) that the car developed was(were),
exactly what the shop told you was wrong with the gas that caused the problem(s) as well as their explaination of why it caused the problem(s),
and exactly what the shop did to fix the car. I’ll assume that the fix was successful.

“Bad gas” if too often blamed for other problems, but it does occasionally happen. A few years back there was even a class action lawsuit against a major oil company for gas that contained too high a sulpher content, causing sulpheric acid in gas tanks and attacking the electrical connections on pumps.

Can you answer the aforementioned questions for us?

I gotta somewhat go with Mr Meehan here. It would have been much easier to negotiate before the repairs were done. In fact, if Bolla Mart and the supplier of their fuel had been contacted immediately when contaminated fuel was suspect they would probably sent a tech over to dip and test the in ground tank for contamination. If contaminated they would have immediately stopped selling the bad fuel and very likely suggested a shop to repair your car at their expense. The distributors here seem very determined to make their customers happy. None have ever questioned paying the bill to repair bad fuel damage but I call them as soon as I suspect that to be the problem and get their approval.

Majority of the cost was due to the gas tank, $500 to drop and drain. Another $200 for premium plugs, they were destroyed and appeared scorched (note the attached image on previous post). Additional cost: Lines were flushed, fuel was disposed (a full tank 21 gallons) and labor. After using a service coupon from the dealership my total was $1000.

I am currently speaking with Bolla Mart Sunoco management. They have no reports of bad gas being sold in their station… so they say! 5 minutes/miles after filling up with Ultimate 93 I stepped on the gas pedal and my whole vehicle shook. Any time I went to accelerate, my vehicle felt as if the transmission was going to fall out of the bottom. The next day I brought my Murano into the Nissan service center. They kept my vehicle over night because they could not figure out what was causing the problem (number 6 piston was misfiring). The next day the service tech asked if I experienced this problem after filling up at the gas station. He then tested my fuel and found “the sample to have an abnormal smell and incorrect fuel type.” The Nissan service center asked me if I would like to contact Sunoco and let them know about my issue. Bolla Mart was slow to contact me and I was forced to authorize the repairs. I then called Sunoco Inc. and my claim was handled by their insurance company ESIS Risk Management. A week later I received a letter informing me that Sunoco Inc. was not responsible and Bolla Management Corp is the responsible party. Furthermore, I am not sure if I truly trust Nissan. I don’t know who to believe that is why I want the fuel sample tested.

I hope when bringing my vehicle to a Nissan dealership service center, the technicians are trained and screened so they do not make costly mistakes. However, I have also had bad experiences at other dealerships service centers and they have tried to compensate me for there errors.

I do believe that the symptoms I experienced were caused by the gas I was sold. Nissan did advise me to wait for Bolla Mart Sunoco, however, they did not reply for four days. I needed my vehicle as soon as possible and I had to authorize the repairs.

I would like to add that I did not believe that the gas was bad. I thought it was my transmission! I used sunoco religiously and I have filled up at that gas station before. But the symptoms that I experienced seem directly correlated to bad gasoline!

According to Bolla Mart Sunoco, there have been no other reports of bad gas being sold within their stations. I have read several reasons as to why people experience problems from reliable gas stations.
I have read that gas pumps have an internal filter that can release particulate into the gas if not maintained. I have also read that a recently filled tank could stir up sediment. Gas can also contain high levels of silicon, zinc, lead or different components from dispersants/detergents. If it were not the gas, why did I experience a problem with my highly maintained vehicle after filling up?

Thank you for your suggestion. The gas has no layers or areas of sedimentation, it smells like gas but seems very dark in color. I have been looking for a laboratory locally however I have yet found one that test gas. I attached a photo of the gasoline and the plugs that have been fouled.

Initially Nissan could not figure out what the problem was (This is the same Nissan dealership service center where I do all my maintenance and repair work). The following day, Nissan technician called me and asked if I had recently put gas in the vehicle. When I responded yes, he said he would give me a call after he tested the fuel. I would think they have an actual test, however, they smell and burn the gas. They called me back in 40 minutes and told me that they believe E85 was put in my gas tank (according to the receipt: fuel has abnormal smell, possible incorrect fuel type contaminated gas).

In summation, Nissan dropped, emptied and cleaned fuel tank, performed fuel rail and injector cleaner, replaced all 6 plugs, reassembled vehicle and filled gas tank.

FYI: A week before this I had brought my vehicle into the service center for a 70,000 mile service. I have 100,000 mile plugs and they looked nothing like the image above before that service (Please see attached image on previous post).

Sunoco sent a tech out a week and a half after the incident. Bolla Management Corp. did nothing for 4 days and then called me. I am currently in talks with Bolla Oil and I think I will be contacting Better Business and Consumer Affairs.

In New York, gasoline quality is regulated by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Contact them to complain and request a test. Link

Does Bolla Mart sell diesel? I wonder if diesel contamination could be the problem, since you don’t have the more common problem of water or water and ethanol separating from the gasoline.

No Diesel or E85 sold at the station. I did find out that the station receives 2 deliveries every day and they use an outside company to transport the fuel, not a sunoco tanker.

Maybe this bad gasoline is similar to the bad pizza my brother said he ate one night. I saw the car come weaving into the driveway and my brother rushed into the bathroom and immediately vomited. When my mother came to check on him, my brother said that he had eaten some pizza that evening that must have been bad. I knew that this was a coverup for what he had really been doing. I think most bad gasoline stories are a coverup for some other problem.

Thank you all for your input and suggestions.