Getting the most from gas station pumps

With fuel prices high, Shane Banquer, a helicopter pilot who has been in the petroleum industry for 31 years, offered some tricks on how to get more of your money’s worth for every gallon. Thanks to Eric Dufour for sharing the information.

  • Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold since storage storage tanks are buried below ground and colder makes for denser gasoline. The difference is likely pretty small since the ground temperature doesn’t change nearly as much as the air temperature.
    Shane reports that a 1-degree rise in temperature makes a noticeable difference and that service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.
  • When filling, don’t pump at the highest rates since you will be getting some vapors instead of all liquid. Most triggers have three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. Low mode minimizes vapor formation. Also, all pump hoses have a vapor return.
  • Keep your tank full to reduce the air space and therefore evaporation. Don’t let it get less than half full. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof to reduce this evaporation but obviously our cars and paramotors don’t.
  • 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.

Thanks to Shane Banquer, PHI Inc.
Pilot CFI/CFII Rotorcraft Helicopter
Cell 504-382-6042