ALERT: AVOID Shell gas stations in South USA for week

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Shell Won't Sell Gas at More Than 500 Stations
Sulfur Content Could Cause Fuel Gauges to Fail
By ALAN SAYRE, AP
NEW ORLEANS (May 29) - Just before the heavy-driving Memorial Day weekend, more than 500 Shell and Texaco stations in the South have stopped selling gasoline because of high sulfur levels that can ruin vehicle fuel gauges and make an empty tank appear full.
The damage done by the bad gasoline could cause some drivers to run out of gas unexpectedly. Also, car owners may have to replace their fuel gauges - a repair job that can easily cost $400 to $600.
The tainted gasoline originated at the Motiva Enterprises refinery in Norco, La., according to Shell Oil Co. Motiva is the refining arm of Shell in the East and South. Motiva supplied the gasoline to both Shell and Texaco.
The refinery said it is investigating how the high sulfur levels occurred. Sulfur is naturally present in crude oil; some of it is supposed to be removed during refining.
As of Friday, 119 Shell and Texaco stations were closed in the New Orleans area, and 400 were not selling fuel in Florida, said Shell spokeswoman Helen Bow.
The problem occurred at an especially bad time for gasoline stations, which had been expecting brisk sales, at high prices, ahead of the holiday weekend.
"The pumps have been off since Wednesday,'' said Sri Guntaka, a cashier at a Shell station in New Orleans. "We've lost a lot of customers, hundreds of them. It's very bad.''
Gas tanks have a float ball that rises and falls with the fuel level. An electrical system reads the float ball's level and transmits the information to the dashboard fuel gauge. The system uses silver electrical contacts, which can be quickly corroded by sulfur.
The problem came to light this week after drivers began complaining about inaccurate fuel gauge readings.
Besides the New Orleans area, problem fuel turned up in shipments to Miami, Tampa, Sarasota and Fort Lauderdale, Shell said.
Shell is replacing the gasoline at its stations. But Bow did not have an estimate of when all the stations would be pumping again.
Don Redman, a spokesman for Louisiana AAA, said that before the shutdown was announced, he fielded several calls from the auto club's members complaining that their gas readings were way off.
"People have been looking at their odometers because of the high prices and saying, 'Hey, wait a minute,''' Redman said.
Shell said it had received 1,800 queries and 825 claims from people who said their fuel gauges had been affected.
Mark Hebert, who lives in Luling, said he filled up at a Shell station on Monday, and 200 miles of driving later, the gauge on his 2002 Impala still read full.
"I just know it has to be between a quarter and a half full at this point,'' said Hebert, who submitted a claim to Shell and planned to take his car in next week for a replacement gauge.
Guy Valvis, owner of an auto repair shop in Metairie, said he normally handles about two gauge replacements a year. "I've fixed three or four here in the last week, and I've got two in here right now,'' he said Friday.
Valvis said the repair job entails draining the fuel and removing the gas tank.
05/28/04 22:54 EDT
Copyright 2004 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
caveat lector
Halcitron misc.survivalism alt.survival "Failing to prepare.... Is preparing to fail." NRA Member since 2002 The Law of the Land, is the weapon in your hand.
Smith & Wesson starts where the Bill of Rights stop.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

and now they have reopened some stations and say that this gas is good and they are standing on their reputation of quality... well what happened last week???? can it happen again?????
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Urban legend?
The gas gauge is a float.... How could it 'fail' from a different liquid? Density might throw it off.... diesel takes a different float from gas.... OK, so it's ultimately electronic, but the potentiometer is outside the gas tank....
Any confirmation of this?
--Kamus
--
o__ | May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and
,>/'_ | only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock
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On Sun, 30 May 2004 17:26:47 -0400, Kamus of Kadizhar

I've replaced several many gas gauge sending units (the tank part). The potentiometers were all inside the gas tank. People are somewhat surprised to find out that their electric fuel pumps are frequently found inside the fuel tank, too.
Galen Hekhuis NpD, JFR, GWA snipped-for-privacy@earthlink.net We are the CroMagnon of the future
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Galen Hekhuis wrote:

That's because with any liquid gasoline at all in the tank the gas/air mixture inside is too rich to support combustion, even if a malfunction or overload causes an electrical spark to occur in there.
IIRC gasoline has lower and upper flamability limits in air of about 1.5 and 7.5 percent by volume. That explains in part why a slight carb or choke misadjustment on a gasoline lawn mower engine can make it so darn hard to start.
The verse:
(To the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.")
My bonnie looked into the gas tank The depth of its contents to see I lighted a match to assist her Oh bring back my bonnie to me!
While humorous, is likely incorrect. Holding a lit match to a gas tank fill pipe will likely result in a "pop" of the fuel/air mix just outside the fill pipe, but I doubt if the flame would propagate into the tank.
But PLEASE don't try and prove that yourself!
Jeff
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone
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On Sun, 30 May 2004 21:52:17 +0000, mean old man wrote:

OK, excuse the skepticism. Too many "Don't breathe, you'll die" urban legends out there. Hasn't bitten me yet. I've alsays thought the float sensors were outside the tank. I knew the fuel pump was fuel-lubricated.

Alas, I don't own any of the cabins at any of our state parks. Or perhaps, with the erosion we're experiencing, I should say 'fortunately'.
In a perverse twist of fate, our state park is eroding at an alarming rate. The only public beach we have is losing 10' every winter. All that sand is accreting across the channel, on private property, with million dollar homes. IRS should look into that..... :-)
--Kamus
--
o__ | May your trails be dim, lonesome, stony, narrow, winding and
,>/'_ | only slightly uphill. May the wind bring rain for the slickrock
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It is real. The gas, regular and mid-grade has too much sulfur in it, which corrodes the silver contacts of the fuel gauge, destroying it.
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On Sun, 30 May 2004 17:26:47 -0400, Kamus of Kadizhar

Exactly what I was thinking. Once these things get started the bullshit goes right along with it.....
As for the bad gas, well guess what? The government is tampering with it, in order to cause the prices to rise even more. The whole shortage and price rise is nothing more than politics. As soon as it gets close to election time, the Bushshit will stop.
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The one time I had a gas sending unit out, it is a float. The float attaches to a rod, and a pivot. About an inch from the pivot is a coil of resistance wire, and the rod contacts the coil of wire.
As the float moves up and down, it touches a different part of the wire, which makes for different resistance (ask a TV guy someday how a "potentiometer" works and you'll get some idea).
If the resistance wire is coated with sulfur, the rod doesn't make contact. I apologize that I can't explain it better than that.
--

Christopher A. Young
Learn more about Jesus
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Has anyone heard just what portion of the fuel gage system the high sulfur level fuel affects?
My inquiring mind wants to know...
Jeff
--

Jeff Wisnia (W1BSV + Brass Rat '57 EE)

"If you can smile when things are going wrong, you've thought of someone
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It corrodes the silver contacts of the gauge.
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Jeff Wisnia wrote:

The slide on which the gauge rides uses silver as the conductor. Sulfur tarnishes the silver.
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Is the refiner Norco , then Chevron and Fina are in to. It will be interesting
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wrote:

OK, lets get this straight. If you're talking about the float assembly which is in the tank, and which sends a signal to the gauge, then this is possible, but so far I have seen no proof. However, the gauge itself is in your dashboard, and the gas never touches it. (unless someone has found a way to make gas travel thru an electrical wire).
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Here is the thing, have you noticed that there isnt one news story linked to this post? over 500 hundred gas stations closed? THE NEWS MEDIA WOULD BE SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF THIER LUNGS! This, my friends is a hoax, an urban legend. If you want to continues to claim this it true show me on CNN, ABC, Or some other known news source that has an article about it! Can't? Why NOT???? because it just isnt true!
--
Happy Trials
PackMule
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On Mon, 31 May 2004 13:42:19 GMT, "PackMule" <justsay

Guess again. This came out thursday in the local papers. AP distributed the story.
http://www.thestate.com/mld/thestate/business/8790369.htm
MOM
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I posted a story from the Chicago Tribune.
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PackMule wrote:

CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/South/05/28/sulfur.gas.ap/index.html
Google news search: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&edition=us&ie=ascii&q=sulfur+%2Bshell+%2Btexaco&btnG=Search+News
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Several hundred units are having to be repaired here in Louisville, and Ashland/Marathon has accepted responsibility.

to
that
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snipped-for-privacy@nospam.com wrote:

The additives in the gas have caused the same issues in the past. It is indeed the half of the 'gauge' that is in the tank that gets messed up.
A gas 'gauge' consists of two parts. It has a dial unit in the dash you read and a sender unit in the tank that makes the dial unit work.
It isn't a gas 'gauge' with out both parts.
Mike 86/00 CJ7 Laredo, 33x9.5 BFG Muds, 'glass nose to tail in '00 88 Cherokee 235 BFG AT's
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