Drivers say bad gas from Aldine station damaged their vehicles

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Drivers say bad gas from Aldine station damaged their vehicles

Jessica Sustaita says a $13 gas fill-up, ended up costing her more than $200.

"I start trying to leave I was not even a block around from my house and my car, you could hear it stuttering," said Sustaita.

Sustaita said her husband filled up her car at the Shell Gas station on Lauder Road and Greenranch Drive in the Aldine area on Sunday.

Almost immediately after she knew something wasn't right.

"It took us a while to figure it out but we kept thinking and he said, 'You know what? The last thing I did was pump gas'," said Sustaita.

After a mechanic looked at the car, he determined there was water in the fuel tank and that caused the problem.

It cost them $191 dollars to get the car repair.

They were just one of half a dozen people 13 Eyewitness News talked to who said they visited the same Shell station on Sunday or Monday and had similar problems.

"I stopped to get gas really quick before taking my children to school and as I got up the street my car began to stall," said Lesa Eaton, a Shell station customer.

The pumps now have plastic bags covering them and a sign that says: Out of Order.

13 Eyewitness News spoke with two different mechanic shops along Lauder. Both said they had worked on cars that had water in the gas tanks after the customer filled up a the Shell gas station.

They said they could tell it was water in the fuel tank just by looking at it. Water is heavier than gas, so the gas rises and sits on top of the water.

However, the store owner told us it was an Ethanol issue but didn't elaborate.

Customers told us when they confronted the gas station owner about the problem, he said he would only reimburse them for the cost of the gas, not the cost of the repair.

After hearing their concerns, 13 Eyewitness News made a visit to the Shell station.

The owner was not in, but did tell us by phone- the issue would be taken care of. An employee working in the store echoed the same thing.

"He contacted the company directly and the company said to tell the customer to get the receipt, the gas receipt, plus the mechanic receipt and they're going to reimburse the money," said Joe Menez, a gas station employee.

13 Eyewitness News reached out to the Shell Corporation to see if they did in fact tell the gas station owner they would pay for customers repairs. A company spokesperson told us they were looking into it and did not have an answer at the time. We will update you when we hear back from the Shell Corporation.

How can you tell there's water in your gas tank?

The mechanics said you will know immediately if you get water in your gas tank. The car will start to stall out and if it's not fixed quickly it can completely destroy the engine.

"If you take care of it right away you can save a lot of money. If you leave the water in there too long it cause rust and mess up the fuel pump and the fuel injector," said George Acosta of Acosta's Auto Center.

Acosta said if you wait, it could cost you $3,000 to fix. If you address it immediately, it will be closer to $300.

Acosta also said you should make sure you take the car to a mechanic and not try to fix the car on your own.

Also, make sure you keep your receipt every time you pump gas.
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newsgas stationrefundAldine
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