Pumping What You Pay For - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

5/25/04

Pumping What You Pay For

Lubbock drivers are pouring more money into their gas tanks. And less back into their pocketbooks. "Extremely expensive. I mean already I'm at $30, the tank's probably halfway full," says one Lubbock driver.

And with the summer driving season kicking off this weekend, drivers' morale is as empty as the tank they're driving on. "I think its absolutely ridiculous. I work out of town and its hard to drive back and forth," says another Lubbock driver.

As you drive the miles, you're paying the price. As of May 25th, the national average for regular unleaded was $2.05, the Texas average, a little lower at $1.92 and here in Lubbock the average, $1.94. AAA reports gas prices in Lubbock have risen more than 50 cents in the last year. And with drivers budgeting more for gas, it's important to know you're getting what you pay for. So when you pump gas into your car and it says you're paying about $10 for five gallons, you can't measure it, or can you? We decided to put a few local gas stations to the test.

The Texas Department of Agriculture inspects gas stations every four years. Steve Jones with TDA uses a 5 Gallon Calibration Can that reflects the actuall number of gallons you're pumping.

"It's a consumer protection service that we do but it's also a protection for the station also. That they're not giving more away than they should," says Jones.  We took TDA's can to five gas stations in all four corners Lubbock.  The Shell station at 19th and Avenue N, 7-11 at 4th and University, Town and Country on 50th and Avenue A, Sam's on the Brownfield Highway and Loop 289 and Diamond Shamrock at 82nd and Slide.

We purchased five gallons of gas from each place.  We checked the measurement on our specially calibrated gas can for accuracy.  And all five stations we checked measurued up. 100% accurate. And Jones says for the most part, that's the story across West Texas. "We have at least a 96% compliance rate so that's pretty good," says Jones. 

And not one of them gave 5 or 6 tablespoons too much or too less. So the next time you fill up, you'll know that your getting the amount they say your getting, even if your paying almost $2 a gallon.

You'll find a green sticker on every gas pump. This will tell you when the last time that pump was checked for accuracy and calibrated by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

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