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A woman in New Jersey is fighting to have her car repaired after she filled up her tank with what turned out to be tainted gasoline.

Adrienne Roetman topped off her nearly empty tank at a gas station in Midland Park, New Jersey. After doing so, her 2013 Mazda3 stopped dead, just a short distance from the station, CBS New York reported. She had the car towed to a dealership where mechanics discovered her fuel tank was filled with mostly water.

Dozens of other motorists were stranded because of the tainted gas, as well. Management at the station blamed the the issue on a bad fuel delivery, but still took full responsibility, paying for the damage incurred by each driver -- except Roetman.

The Mazda dealership replaced the fuel lines and injectors on her Mazda3, which resulted in a bill for $3,000. The gas station owner is refusing to pay that amount, saying that the replacement parts were overkill for the problem.

"I do not have the money to put out to pay for all these expenses that your gas station has incurred on me," she told CBS New York.

The owner of the station has not been fined, but may face sanctions from The Bergen County Division of Weights and Measures if he does not pay for Roetman's repairs.

The chances of getting bad gas in your car are small, but it does happen. It's most likely to occur when the tank at the gas station is near empty. Why? Gasoline is lighter than water. If there is water in the station's tank, it will collect at the bottom.

There isn't much to do to guard against this problem. Experts agree it's best to avoid filling up from a pump attached to a tank that is being refilled by a tanker truck. When this is happening, it means the tank is low, exposing possible water. It is also the time that water, if it is in the tank, sloshes around with the gas before it settles.



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  • 396 Comments
      xraybrain
      • 1 Year Ago
      why the heck did they have to replace FUEL LINES ????????????
      lem314
      • 1 Year Ago
      The woman got hosed really good! $3,000 !!!! Are you kidding me???? It figures though, it's northern NJ for ya. Glad I live in the lower central part of NJ. Drain the tank and purge the fuel lines, change the fuel filter and put a little dry gas in the tank then add a few gallons of fresh fuel, crack open the lines at the injectors, crank the engine to bleed the lines out of water, once bleed, tighten them up. Once the water is PUMPED out under pressure and fuel is delivered to the injectors, the engine should start to fire off, might be rough running for a bit until the all the water is gone but it works. Works for the diesels I've worked on. There is no difference between the FUEL DELIVERY system between a diesel and a FUEL INJECTED gasoline engine. However the differences for one: lies in the fuel - gasoline vs diesel fuel and two: ignition system. gasoline uses spark plugs for initial heat and diesels use the heat of the high compression 17:1 and up to over 20:1 vs gasoline at 6:1 to say 8 or 9:1. Once started a diesel will run without out a battery, shutting down a diesel requires cutting off either the fuel or air supply. Anyway, I'd change fuel dealers if it were me and add a can of 'dry gas' now and then to my fuel tank just before I filled up to take out the water. 'Dry gas' worked for me for years!
      belldn3
      • 1 Year Ago
      How in the hell do you get a mix-up like that at the refinery? Didn't know refineries loaded tankers with water in the first place, that doesn't sound right.
      ra8300
      • 1 Year Ago
      Type Looks like the tankers have been carrying alternate loads of gas and water. Is this legal? What's their next load-milk?
      • 1 Year Ago
      Who ever did this artical has no clue...The tanks at the stations pump from the bottom.
        Steve
        • 1 Year Ago
        I am a retired tanker driver .The driver is supposed to check the tank for water with water paste before dropping the gas.Over an inch of water you don't drop the gas.It is the drivers fault
          rgkarasiewicz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @Steve
          The driver shouldn't have to check anything as it is the station owner's responsibility to insure the integrity of the fuel.
      steves1709
      • 1 Year Ago
      Possibly, just maybe, those additional repais need to be made and were unrelated to the bad gas. Either way, the dealership should have said so and shares some blame in this.
        • 1 Year Ago
        @steves1709
        Very doubtful, some types of fuel lines are metal and will rust when exposed to water in the lines.
      • 1 Year Ago
      What next with these gas stations UNREAL. The prices are not high enough but now you want to sell WATER ROFL LOL wow SHUT THE STATION DOWN . They want to blame it on a bad delivery lol I blame it on the owner of the station. SCUM and SCAM sad ..
      ironwolf97
      • 1 Year Ago
      have had the same issue and have lost thousands as a buissness owner
      Mike Peterson
      • 1 Year Ago
      I was in the Gasoline Distributing business for 30 years. For many different reason things like this happen. Most of the time it is rain water that fills the box that holds the pipes that fill the tanks. Most states, if not all, now demand Oxygenated fuel with ethanol. This makes the problem much worse as the ethanol binds with the water making a mix that won't run anything and simply must be disposed of. We would take this mix back to the refinery for proper disposal. In this case the cars will is most cases not make it out of the station. 99% of tank pull product from a pipe about 6 inches off the bottom of the tank. This is done for this exact issue, in case water somehow gets in the tank. Most stores now have wter collapse filters which will stop the pump if water is detected. Most stores have a paste they put on the measuring stick that will show any water when dipped in the tank and most pumps have electronic alarms that will sound in the back room if water is detected. Regarless of the problem (water in gas, ethanol in gas or diesel in gas) all that is needed is to drain the tank and flush the system. Once or twice a year this would happen at one of our 94 stores, again for different reasons and we would arrange for a nearby mechanic to fix the problem and bill us as the distributor. After the mechanic was done we would refill the customers tank with the highest octane we carried. If it happen at one of our company run stores we would give them carwashes for 6 months for their problems. We would then determine the cause and either pay it if it were our fault or bill the store if it was not our fault. In any of these cases the bill would range approximately between $3000 to a very high of $500. It was not uncommon for other car dealerships or mechanics to see this as their lucky payday. We would just turn them over to our insurance company (because we did not want to be the bad guy) and not once could anyone justify charges over these amount. Sorry to see there are so many crooked people out there. We always took over the issue to keep our customer happy and at the end of the day it was not their fault. In this case the dealership is without doubt cheating both the car owner and station................
      nichmyer
      • 1 Year Ago
      ETHENOL PEOPLE! ETHENOL!!!! I SAID! WHAT ABOUT ALL THE ETHINOL THEY PUT IN OUR GAS, that's ruining our cars, chain saws, lawn mowers etc!!!! I"M SICK OF IT!
      clenchersan
      • 1 Year Ago
      $3,000 "repair = COMPLETELY unnecessary rip-off. Car could have been fixed with- at the most- a new fuel filter.
      Tuhloola11
      • 1 Year Ago
      Why is everything happening in NJ ? Has their Gov. jinxsed thir state ? Wouldn't surprise me , in the least !
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