Hot Fuel Could Cost You - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

7/16/07

Hot Fuel Could Cost You

Gas prices are on the rise in Lubbock, above $3 a gallon at some stations, and with prices like these, the last thing drivers want to hear is that they maybe getting cheated at the pump.  That's exactly what some consumer groups are saying, though. 

NewsChannel 11 is looking into the phenomenon known as 'hot fuel' and how it could make that gallon of gas you buy not all it's cracked up to be.  

The scientific term is called thermal expansion.  Like all liquids, gas will expand when it's heated, and contract when it's cooled.  The industry standard is 60-degrees.  When gas is dispensed at that temperature you are getting what you pay for, but when fuel comes out at a higher temperature, that gallon isn't a true gallon.

"As you get to 70-degrees, then that gasoline will expand. You don't pay for quite as much as you would at 60-degrees. Also, in the winter time as the gasoline drops down to say like 30-degrees, you're going to get more fuel," Charles Bolton of Bolton Oil Company said. 

Those in the industry buy fuel at temperature adjusted levels, but everyday consumers cannot.  Some consumer groups say we should, and Congress is even looking into the issue.

Monday night NewsChannel 11 investigates the 'hot fuel' effect to show you exactly what you could be losing out on, and why some say correcting the problem may cost you more.

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