Gas Prices: Up at little? Yes, but compared to what?
Your biggest driving cost? It doesn't rhyme with vasoline.

Gas Pump Calibration Coincidental Email Chain

This is a true story, so read it carefully...

That sentence looks kind of goofy as I write it, but it seems to have magic powers when attached to an email.  The latest one making the rounds has to do with gas pump accuracy/inaccuracy.  By the time it got to me, it had already landed in hundreds of email boxes, so I'd like to offer a response.  If you haven't already recieved it, let me bring you up to speed.

The email tells the story of a guy who filled up his truck in Chatham, Ontario (or Ridgetown, Ontario depending on the email) and witnessed the most amazing thing:

When the pump showed 45 liters had been pumped, I began to slow it down. Then, to my surprise, it went to 50, then 55. I even looked under my truck to see if it was being spilled. It was not. Then it showed 60 liters on the pump. It stopped at 62 liters. This was very strange to me, since my truck has only a 65 liter tank. I went on my way a little confused, then on the evening news I heard a report that 1 out of 10 gas stations had calibrated their pumps to show more gas had been pumped than a person actually got.

What's even more amazing, is the exact same thing happened in Cartersville, Georgia.  See if you notice any similarities in the following paragraph that was chain emailed to thousands of people:

When the pump showed 14 gallons had been pumped I began to slow it down, then to my surprise it went to 15, then 16. I even looked under my truck to see if it was being spilled. It was not. Then it showed 17 gallons had been pumped. It stopped at almost 18 gallons. This was very strange to me, since my truck has only an 18 gallon tank. I went on my way a little confused, then on the evening news I heard a report that 1 out of 4 gas stations had calibrated their pumps to show more gas had been pumped than a person actually got.
 

Aside from the conversion to metric, it looks pretty similar.  In fact, if you read both, they are the exact same, even down to the evening newscast.  A big thanks to the folks at Snopes who sniff out this type of thing all the time.  They do provide some good background on the story as well.

The bottom line is that, like any business, we take our commitment to customer service seriously.  We've even posted our pump calibration approach on this site when questions were asked in the past.  You can read all about it here.  

So unless you know the person doing the commuting between Chatham and Cartersville by truck on a regular basis while sending email updates on gas pump calibration to all their friends and relatives, I'm going to call this "true story" email a hoax.   

 

Comments

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Tim Guimond

I noticed that diesel was the same price as normal gas with some places in the states charging as much as premium grade gas. For decades the reasoning behind diesel being cheaper than gas was the lower cost in refining.
What's change to bring diesel up to these prices? Was there a spike in demand of trucking? Mismanagement of inventory?

Alan Scott

I would like to understand why there is such a large premium between regular grade and premium grade fuel.
Although vehicle manufacturers insist that we will decrease fuel consumption when using the correct octane rated for the car, the price premium appears to negate this.
Are the gas companies 'milking' drivers of performance cars through the unreasonable price adders for premium grade fuels?

Gerry

Also gas pumps are calibrated to 15 deg C. which I have 2 issues with:
I'd be very curious if this is measured at ambient outdoor temp or the temp of the fuel at the time it is pumped. Our ground temp rarely if ever exceeds 15 deg C at the depth of the tank. Also how much average yearly time is the temp above 15 c in Winnipeg?

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