How Accurate Are Gas Stations Pumps?

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How Accurate Are Gas Stations Pumps?

Postby Traveler II » Wed May 06, 2015 8:30 am

I’ve been using one of the trip gauges on the truck to check mileage for each tank of diesel. Several things I’ve observed; while towing I range from 8 – 12 miles per gallon. I run in the 62-65 miles per hour range, and that wind seems to be the biggest factor in mileage. Hilly country doesn’t seen to make much difference, sure you use more going up, but make some of it up coming down.

Here something else, most times the amount of gallons used on the trip meter is close to the amount I pump in, but not always. I can understand a gallon or two, gas station might not be level at the pump, or one may shut off sooner than another, but when it’s 5 or more gallons you’ve got to wonder how accurate the pumps are, doesn’t happen often, but it happens. The last time it occurred I asked for the manager and he said that the state checks out his pumps and they are right on, but I was wondering if anyone else has run into this?
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Re: How Accurate Are Gas Stations Pumps?

Postby snoking » Wed May 06, 2015 8:51 am

Traveler II wrote:I’ve been using one of the trip gauges on the truck to check mileage for each tank of diesel. Several things I’ve observed; while towing I range from 8 – 12 miles per gallon. I run in the 62-65 miles per hour range, and that wind seems to be the biggest factor in mileage. Hilly country doesn’t seen to make much difference, sure you use more going up, but make some of it up coming down.

Here something else, most times the amount of gallons used on the trip meter is close to the amount I pump in, but not always. I can understand a gallon or two, gas station might not be level at the pump, or one may shut off sooner than another, but when it’s 5 or more gallons you’ve got to wonder how accurate the pumps are, doesn’t happen often, but it happens. The last time it occurred I asked for the manager and he said that the state checks out his pumps and they are right on, but I was wondering if anyone else has run into this?


I got diesel in Tonopah, Nv and swore to myself that the guys pump screwed me. Then I got thinking about the very strong head wind that I had be bucking for 200+ miles. 30-40-50 MPH wind will really cut into mileage. I also climbed from 2181 Las Vegas to 6030 at Tonopah, Nv. Chris
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Re: How Accurate Are Gas Stations Pumps?

Postby WVcampers » Wed May 06, 2015 6:48 pm

The pumps are supposed to be very accurate. Here there is a sticker on each pump that gives the last date that it was certified by the state. I will say that working in the chemical producing industry where the results are dependant on instruments measuring liquid flows, it is highly possible that the pump's measurements could be off and it would be hardly noticed. The only way that we know here is by analysis of the final product. We sample the products every 4 hours to make sure that we are making what we want to make. The gas pump would go until the next calibration before it was corrected. But it could also be delivering more that what it should.
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