Tag Archives: fuel

Gas, Why do you hate me so

Gas pump

In my previous post, I mentioned that I am having great fun with Esso pumps when it is cold out. Now that temperatures have been going up and down like a good roller-coaster around here last week, so of course when I need to fill up again, it’s just above freezing.
With the limited selection of stations I have on the way home from work, I decided to go against my better judgement and roll into an Irving. The prices were still pretty close to what I would pay without my SpeedPass, so it was’t too much of a hit to the wallet.

Now to jump a little from the main topic, I own a 2008 Ford Escape. Not the best on gas, and it has a surprisingly small gas tank for a vehicle it’s size. I like it, a lot, handles well in bad weather and a rather decent ride for my drive to work, which is close to 100km away… making my round trips daily almost 200km’s, leading me to have to fill up every other day (though I could get away with 2.5 trips, the gas is almost 10cents cheaper in Fredericton). I decided that to get an idea of my fuel consumption and how much I am spending, to track all my fill-ups using Fuelly, which allows you to input your odometer reading, the fuel amount and cost per litre to give you figures on your L/100km and M/Gallon, along with tracking your weekly, monthly and yearly costs. Below is a banner that represents my Escape since I bought it in August 2011.


It should link you to my profile, where you can see how far I have driven, how much I spend on gas (I really need to explore car pooling…) and some consumption analysis.

Now back to the gas bit, I stopped at the Irving and filled up self service, and even their pump stopped on me 4 times while I was filling up, but at least it let me squeeze the pump all the way, unlike the Esso pumps. To get better data, I will need to try the Irving again when it is minus 10 or so, just to see if the pump stops more frequently, and I need to try the Esso again with the temperatures at or just above freezing.

Now to go make some fun YouTube videos of my dog…

Why do Esso pumps hate me so?

Gas Station in the winterSo it seems when the temperature outside drops below freezing, that the gas pumps at any Esso gas station start acting really funny… Normally I can fill up my 2008 Ford Escape by just inserting the fuel nozzle and squeezing the handle all the way up, but not when it’s cold.

I’m going to back track a step here, so you understand why I prefer to fill up at Esso. I travel back and forth for work, close to 200km daily, and with the small fuel tank on the Escape, I end up having to fill up every 2 days, though I could do every 2 1/2, I don’t. I have found that filling up in Fredericton to be the first step in saving some money, as they have a Costco that has a gas bar that helps keep gas ~8-10 cents cheaper then the Saint John area, and I also have a SpeedPass, which at most stations will save me an additional 3.5 cents per litre.

Now back to the good part…  When it’s cold, if I squeeze the handle to full throttle, the pump will shut off, much like it does when it detects or thinks that your tank is almost full. So I will try again a few times and it will do it again, this does not make me a happy person when it’s minus 15 without the wind chill. I end up having to barely squeeze the handle, to the point that the gas is flowing so slowly that it takes almost 15 minutes to put 50 litres into my tank.

So, being the intelligent person that I am, I decided to do some experimenting.. I have filled up using 4 different pumps at the Smythe Street Esso in Fredericton, 1 pump at the Scholten’s in Grand Bay and 1 pump at the Esso just off the highway in Oromocto to see if I would get any varying results… nope. Next stop will be to try a different brand all together, as long as it is not Irving, I suspect that 10% ethanol isn’t the only crap they are adding to their fuel. Post that, I may have to consider the issue being the Escape.. but I’ll look at that pending more testing.