Mechanics: Bad gas from Citgo station on Ballenger Highway damaged cars
(11/27/2018) - A road trip home for Thanksgiving turned into an expensive headache for two former Flint residents.
They say they began to experience car trouble after fueling up at a local gas station. Both men ended up having their cars towed.
Cameron Logan and Quinton Swift don't know each other. One lives in Pennsylvania, the other in Atlanta.
But both of them say their cars broke down after fueling up at a Citgo gas station on Ballenger Highway between Friday afternoon and Monday morning.
Instead of hitting the road, Swift's BMW got a ride on the back of a flat bed tow truck to the dealership in Grand Blanc Township.
"Went down to I-75. As soon as I got on the interstate it just died on me," said Swift.
He said he had just purchased $35 worth of premium gas at the Citgo station on Ballenger Highway.
"It's a major inconvenience and I do have to get back home," Swift said.
Swift, who is from Atlanta, said he suspects he got bad gas. The contents removed from his gas tank appear to be the source of the problem.
Steve Miller, a master mechanic at H Tech, spotted trouble when he examined photos of the gas sucked out of Swift's tank.
"You can very clearly see the water and the ethanol separating. There's way too much water," Miller said.
"We've seen it range from just a fuel pump to where have to go through the whole fuel system, it's a couple thousand," Miller said.
He explained that condensation can sometimes cause water to leak into gas stored in underground tanks, or sometimes suppliers can also be at fault.
Sam Singh, who owns the Citgo station, said on Tuesday he shut off the premium gas pumps as soon as he learned of the trouble with the his customers' cars. A service technician is expected on Wednesday to determine if there's an issue with the pumps.
In the meantime, Logan, who filled up with premium on Friday, said he will have to drive back to Michigan from Pennsylvania to pick up his car, which is being repaired at a Mercedes dealership in Bloomfield Hills.
An assistant service manager at the dealership said that after taking a sample of the gas from Logan's car, he determined it was probably 50 percent water.
"I just want my car repaired, and to make sure this does not happen to anyone else in the city," Logan said.
Singh said "we're here to service our customers" and at the end of the day, if there's an issue they'll address it. He believes his insurance company will reimburse Swift and Logan for any repairs if they prove bad gas caused the damage.