Curious How Flood Water Seeps Into Gas Tank

A $51 fill-up at a local gas station ended up costing a customer much more down the road.

So, Paul MacAuley, a retired teacher in Winchester, declared his curiosity to WBZ.

He says storm residue ended up in the gas tank of his Chevy Trailblazer after he filled it up at J & S Auto & Fuel in Woburn Wednesday following the flooding from record rainfall.

“I got maybe a mile and the car barely was operating at all,” he explained.

MacAuley made it to Lannan Chevrolet where he had bought the car.

“We found out the gas tank was half filled with water,” said Asst. Service Manager Mark O’Malley.

“It most likely came from him getting his gas tank filled,” O’Malley said.

“We had to drop the gas tank, flush all the gas out of the car, the fuel lines, the fuel filter, you name it, we had to go right through it.”

That cost MacAuley $751.

He filed a report with Woburn Police. An officer went to the gas station and spoke to its owner, Jerry Capelo.

“As soon I found out, I shut the pumps down and I called immediately the company to verify the problem and it was taken care of the following morning,” said Capelo.

The state Division of Standards sent a compliance officer who said the station had the water pumped out.

“It could be condensation in the gas tank. It could also be rainwater. It could be a number of things,” said compliance officer Robert Morrissey.

“My insurance company will pay beyond the ($300) deductable,” said MacAuley, adding, he doesn’t want to sue the owners of the gas station because he understands they’re trying to make a living; but if they wanted to give him $300 worth of gas, he’d be satisfied.

“I will do anything to keep my customers happy. I’m not here to hurt anybody,” said Capelo.

A spokesman for the state Division of Standards says if this happens to you, you should notify them (617-727-3480) or your local weights and measures office, the gas station owner and always get a receipt.

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