Tips On Pumping Gas

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Toxic, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Toxic

    Toxic Defensor Fortis

    I had this email come to me today. I cannot confirm or deny if this is true or not. Maybe someone out there who is in the business can shed some light on it. If it is true hopefully the info will help us all out.

    Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the
    ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations
    have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the
    more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying
    in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a
    gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the
    temperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other
    petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in
    temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do
    not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

    When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a
    fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3)
    stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode you should be pumping on low
    speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are
    pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping
    on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes
    vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground
    storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

    One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF
    FULL or HALF EMPTY. The reason for this is, the more gas you have in
    your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates
    faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal
    floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and
    the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service
    stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature
    compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

    Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage
    tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up--most likely the
    gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you
    might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.
  2. Eriesteamer

    Eriesteamer BORN TO RIDE THE WAVES

    Most you say here is to the gas under ground.take a lot heat to go that far to make a difference.but here is truth is the pump up top ground that if sun gets to it that maybe do you to use a pump the other just did it be cooled.I never use the ones far away that get hot as heck.and seldom used.also for just few gallons it be same.less as by time you pump 2 or 3 gallons from hot pump it just be cooling down.most these pumps are metal and will surly work like an oven in summer and if in can just guess rest.well thats my 2 cents to this.

  3. Interesting information. I can comment on a couple points.
    The fuel in the underground tanks at gas stations is between 55 and 58 degrees, all year. If you use a service station that is busy then all the fuel from the tank to the tip of the nozzle will be this same temperature and nothing you do will affect the volume you receive. Temperature compensation at the public gas stations is not cost effective. Remember the fuel in a half full underground tank is 8 - 12 feet below the surface. The fuel enters the pump in the tank approx. 6 inches off the bottom of the tank which would be about 12' below ground level. A hot day is not going to heat up this fuel.
    All hoses at all service stations do not have vapor recovery. Only those sites located in areas designated by the EPA require vapor recovery. The Niles, OH area is not required to have vapor recovery. The Greater Cleveland area is designated to have vapor recovery. Funny though the Columbus area, (state capitol), does not. Imagine that! Anyhow any increase of vapors generated at a higher flow rate would be offset by longer pumping times at slower speeds. In other words there is not any gain that I can see by pumping slower. I will caution folks that a major problem you could have is if you set the nozzle at slow speed the nozzle may not automatically shut off at a full tank. This would offset any minute gain one thinks they have achieved when you spill 5- 10 gallons of liquid fuel onto the ground. (could take years to recoup this if you believe you can) The customer would then be liable to pay for the fuel and any possible clean up needed. It is against Ohio law to leave the fueling point unattended.
    I cannot comment on the time to fill is at a half full tank. I do not know how tight gas storage systems on vehicles are these days. I do not think there is much evaporation in todays vehicle tanks. One reason is that you can detect a slight pressure build up in these tanks. When you remove your gas cap you can hear the pressure escape. Thus it is not a completely open storage system so there should be minimal evaporation.
    The last point makes some sense. As fuel is dropped into the sites underground tanks there is a mixing effect. This is minimized by a number of design features of the tank system. Most important is the fill point is on the opposite end of the tank from the pumping unit. There are filters in the dispensers/pumps on the island and your vehicle has a filter in the fuel line. However it is not a bad idea to not get gas if a delivery is being made.
    One of the most important points , like anything you buy, purchase from a reputable company. In the past generally a gas station owned and operated by a "big" oil company would be the most reputable. However these are getting scarce. These types of sites would be less likely to have a situation that would cause less than the best possible quality of fuel being dispensed into your vehicle.
  4. Toxic

    Toxic Defensor Fortis

    BlueMax, excellent reply. You hear so many things now a days from the net, you don't know what to believe. I wish I could find that magical trick that will help save me money at the pumps. Thank to all for taking the time to reply.
  5. BuzzBob

    BuzzBob Take a Dad fishing


    The only "magical trick" I can think of is using to check out all your local gas prices. That sight has saved me A LOT of money!
  6. #1 ground temperature below a certain point (I believe around 40 inchs)is consistent year round
    #2 Gas cannot evaporate from modern tanks. the engine pulls vaccum on the tank, and once the engine enters normal operating temperature the fumes are combusted inside the motor. This is why if you leave the gas cap off a modern vehicle you will get a check engine light. This is also the reason when we had E-check they would pressure test your gas cap.

    I think blue max covered most of these points
  7. One "magic trick" to take some of the pain out of fuel purchases is to buy stock in oil companies!
  8. Great response BlueMax, maybe you can answer a few questions?
    I know the BP at rt46 & rt80 has the stickers on the pump that tells you about the vapor recovery and not to top off after the nozzle stops. I know our area (Niles/Youngstown) is not required to have the vapor recovery system but are they installed already or are they just putting the stickers on the pumps?

    I was told from someone that works at a BP terminal that Get-Go is the only stations that don’t use Alcohol in their fuels. Now after doing some reading is alcohol bad for your vehicle or not? I also read that older vehicles including boat motors can not handle too much alcohol in them (rubber hoses and gaskets). Now here’s the confusion, I read that the winter mix for gas has a percentage of alcohol in it to prevent it from freezing. So what’s the whole story with the alcohol in our fuels?
    Yes I do know that the 'DRY GAS" is just alcohol.
    A side note, when getting gas for your mower or snow blower buy it in the same season, as stated above different mixes.
    By no means am I trying to start a debate I'm just confused by reading conflicting data.

  9. I read my van owners manual and it says OK to use ethanol. I found very little difference in the performance.
  10. FireMurph -That location does not have vapor recovery. The stickers were probably placed on the dispensers/pumps in error or as a mass installation. Another way they might have gotten there is if those dispensers were previously installed in a vapor recovery area and the installer did not remove the stickers.

    As far as Get Go and alcohol...The EPA mandates that all fuel sold during cold weather months in this part of the country must have an oxygenator in it. The most common oxygenator used is alcohol. MTBE is also used but not often as it is highly carcinogenic. Ethanol is the choice. So everybody uses some type of oxygenator in the winter here most probably ethanol. Since removing the oxygenator in the warm months and putting it in the fuel during colder months causes other problems for the service stations ethanol is most likely used year round. Another reason is that ethanol is less costly than gasoline. (They can make a few more $ selling fuel with ethanol. I also believe the US gov may provide an incentive $$$ to use ethanol to the distributors.)
    If fuel contains 10% or less ethanol it does not have to labeled at the dispenser as such but most retailers do. Nearly all mixture is 10% or less that I know of. At this ratio there will be no damage to your vehicles. As far as boats are concerned there might be some problems in some very old boats due to incompatability with seals/gaskets etc. but at less than 10% that should be very rare. What you should do as a boat owner is seal the gas tank vent on your boat during long periods of idleness. (I use duct tape) This will prevent the alcohol in the gas from absorbing moisture as it is very efficient at doing this.
    Ethanol is a very good preventer of "fuel line freeze up".
    Alcohol will clean a fuel system when it is first introduced. A little late for this info but if you had not previously been using gas/alcohol and start it would be wise to change your fuel filter shortly thereafter.
    It is best to purchase gas in season as the gasoline mixture is changed 2-3 times throughout the year to provide the consumer with the fuel that will burn best at the temperature in which it is sold. These changes are not related to alcohol content but are an adjustment to the ratio of other components of the fuel.
    Hope this helps.
  11. Bad is a relative term. Alcohol will not harm your vehicle. It actually will help keep your fuel system and fuel injectors clear.
    Alcohol does however contain less BTU's than gasoline. So you do lose a bit of energy (MPG) using ethanol. This is not widely broadcast by the government or others behind the increased use of ethanol. It might be a small decrease but it is a decrease.
  12. Eriesteamer

    Eriesteamer BORN TO RIDE THE WAVES

    yes buy stocks in oil company ok. then watch the price drop and you are out more the Alaska pipe line.once it was finished we never had to worry about the gas pain again. Thats what they said back then.would you believe it.I see now that they send half the oil threw it then desighned to be and now it is plugging up with wax or what ever.and they got send a pig threw it every so often to clear it needs I give up.good I made me a gas saver for my truck that use salt water.get 3-5 mile more per gallon but I still got use gas.
  13. shroomhunter

    shroomhunter USMC 1979-1983

    Eriesteamer, You are right about the pipelines needing pigged, they build up with sludge, parrafin, etc and need cleaned out frequently. There are teams of guys dedicated to this task and it is a very dangerous job. It takes lots of psi to push a pig many miles through the lines and if pressures are not monitored closly as the pig reaches the far end it becomes a torpedo which can send itself and everything it pushed out through the pig trap at the end. There are guys killed every year doing this job. Natural Gas pipelines require this as well, not as frequently but it is a necessity. There is also corrosion monitoring to determine the internal environment of the lines and they need treated with additives to kill certain bacteria that can grow and corrode the pipes. The crude oil pipelines have another form of corrosion that comes from the sand in the raw crude, it eats away at the elbows at every turn. There is a science to the weld repairs on the pipelines called Hot Tap pipe repair. We repair the lines with crude, natural gas and even gasoline flowing through them. I worked on numerous weld parameter development projects for this industry and I can tell you for sure that making a weld on a 6" diameter schedule 40 pipe with over 100 psi of gas is nervewracking. One tiny mistake and that's the last one you'll ever make!! If it is not done EXACTLY as the weld procedure specifies the results can be horrific!! SO, yes there is alot more involved with pipelines than just carrying oil or gas.
    OK I got a little long winded there...sorry;)
  14. Actually, as for the vapor loss during refueling, there should be almost none if you are driving a newer car, SUV, or truck. When you remove the cap it's not pressure you hear released, it's vacuum. Newer cars are mandated by the gov to have "ORVR" systems (Onboard Refueling Vapor Recovery) and they are tested by the manufacturers, EPA, & CARB for compliance. Refueling at any rate has absolutely no effect on the amount of vapors released to the atmosphere ; you are displacing the same amount of vapors from the tank regardless of the flowrate, it may just seem like more since it takes less time. Most new cars allow less hydrocarbon vapors to escape in one year than filling your lawn mower a couple times !!!
  15. Eriesteamer

    Eriesteamer BORN TO RIDE THE WAVES

    thanks for the write put it best I ever could do.hope your not a welder doing that last weld thing. all the money in world would not get me to do it.back to this I was told it was not half as bad when they had it full flow. and if is half flow now and thats why it plugs up.well I now know more on rest thanks to you.
    Seems only real pipe line to lower my gas cost is a hose from my tank to other guys.sipponing his tank dry
  16. shroomhunter

    shroomhunter USMC 1979-1983

    Erie, Fortunately most of the real high pressure lines are repaired with robotics or fixed automation and no body gets hurt. There is a real science to that type of welding and one amp can mean the difference between failure/success. I am no longer involved with it but did develop a few of the procedures that are currently being used for these repairs. I was involved in many unique welding projects in my years of research and development.
  17. duckman

    duckman Dr Data

    I tried e-85 in my flex fuel vehicle and have seen a 48% reduction in MPG.... Even worse now I have put 4 tanks of regular gas through and it has not returned to what it was. What I suspect but have not proven yet (because its cold and its a hard job) is that the e-85 "cleaned" my fuel system and screwed up my O2 sensors.

    $150 in parts and bloody knuckles should determine whether that is true or not.

    Either way my fuel mileage dropped 48% with E-85!

    Anyone else experience this?