Car Damaged By Contaminated Gas Sold at Gibsonville Station, Man Says
GIBSONVILLE, NC -- Filling up your gas tank every week can be pretty expensive but 2 Wants to Know found buying bad gas could cost you even more.
The Shell Gas Station on Highway 87 in Gibsonville was recently cited by the state for selling contaminated gas.
Investigators found a high concentration of water in the gas and quickly shut the pumps down but not before at least one driver had his car damaged.
Two and a half weeks ago, Kenneth Guman filled up his gas tank at the Shell station and he knew right away something wasn't right.
“I got about five minutes away. Back roads and not a lot of stuff around. All of a sudden the car started losing power, started misfiring really bad,” said Guman. “It was hard to keep it running.”
He barely made it home and the car has been sitting in his driveway ever since.
“It makes it very uneasy,” said Guman. “You almost feel stuck.”
Investigators with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture confirmed he bought contaminated gas with high levels of water in it.
A state inspector visited the station and found that the underground storage tank had 8” of phase separation in the bottom, and that this contamination was coming through the pump with the premium product.
Phase separation is a caustic mixture of ethanol and water that forms when ethanol enriched fuel is exposed to a high concentration of water.
As a result, the inspector issued a Notice of Violation closing the product from sales.
But the state cannot force the station owner to pay restitution.
“I priced out all the parts from the dealership myself,” said Guman. “It was over $3,000 just for the bare minimum.”
According to the paperwork from the state, several people bought the bad gas but Guman was the only one who filed an official complaint.
Guman says he’s tried to contact the gas station owner multiple times with no luck.
“I kept trying to contact them. I kept trying to contact them,” said Guman. “None of the numbers would go through. I tried to leave a message but all the message machines were full.”
Guman has been a certified mechanic for over 20 years, so he knows firsthand how bad gas can affect a car.
“Now it's been sitting for 2 1/2 weeks. All this water sitting in those lines, they can get brittle, and they can crack. They can start to rust,” said Guman. “It takes it out of the injectors. It's sitting inside the motor that can cause even further damage.”
Guman says the stress of dealing with this situation is making it hard for him to focus on anything else.
“It's kind of at a loss of words,” said Guman. “You don't want to take it out on people but at the same time, it's hard to hold it all in.”
WFMY News 2 reached out to the gas station for a comment but did not hear back by the time of this report.
But after we started asking questions, Guman says he got a call from the owner who apologized and offered to pay for the damage to his car.
The station is having a technician come out on Friday to fix the problem with the gas line but it will have to be re-inspected by the state before they can start selling it again.