sub : Great Indian Petrol Politics and tricks to Tackle

Date : Friday, June 06, 2008 6:31 PM

Jai Jagannath,

( Following information is as per lines from a petrol pump employee and bitter experiences of people )

Referring to last few days of petrol politics, here are few secrets unveiled that happens behind screen.

1. Knowing that prices are going to hike from Thursday early midnight, all petrol pumps and LPG dealers kept closed since Wednesday morning, telling there is no stock. They openly hid all their stock so that they can sell the same old stock with higher price the next day morning. And they did that. Even petrol pumps just adjacent to police stations also didn't hesitate to do this. Police on complain remain deaf, they would have got warm violet by pump owners. Andhra Pradesh Govt. Openly announced to sell off the ready stock fuel and LPG with older rates and only then to allow new stock into the state and that will be sold at new price. Even though it because they don't wan to be another Chandra Babu Naidu, but thanks to their timely step to save public. Other state Govts kept quite as silent watchers.

2. Rs. 1000 magic I am sure all of you would have noticed this, but may be not knowing that there is a magic behind. Every time you show a 1000 rupee crispy note to the petrol attendant and ask to fill for 1000 to your car, the attendant always fills for 200 first and after you reminding him again to fill for 1000 like an innocent kid and would start filling the remaining 800 Rs of petrol. And some times during your discussion you will also notice another attendant will try to distract your attention from another side.

The magic here is they some times don't reset the meter back to 0 before refueling for the remaining 800 ( And thus they swallow straight Rs. 200 ) , or some times they reset the meter back to zero but only on the meter screen panel and not exactly inside. This is controlled by one more flip lever just below the steps of the attendant. Have you noticed a small steel plate on ground next to petrol pump fueling meter. That's the step on which the attendant may step at times.

3. We know petrol is coming out of the fuel stand thru the pipe till your vehicle and meter is running on the fuel stand, but how do we ensure that from the meter regulated valve area the fuel pipe may not be divided into two. Thus the meter may be reading for 10 litters, but a part of the fuel would be draining out thru a branch pipe back to their underground tank.

4. As per an employee of a petrol pump, all petrol pump meters use to have a dented ring inside the machine. By tampering the dents makes less petrol flow per liter. Thus even if you have purchased 5 liters, you have actually received 4.5 liters. Per liter they cheat 100 ml.

5. It seems all petrol pump meters jump a mark at start of flow. Means, if you fill petrol for 10 rupees also the pointer on petrol meter just 1 unit and even the same for if you buy for Rs. 500. Thus they make money for their infrastructure.

6. Mixing of Kerosene and other cheap oils with the petrol that's stored in under ground tanks is of course quite common and we all know this is the most traditional & conventional way of cheating by oil pumps.

7. Apparently, the modus operandi is like this. The 'official' who is supposed to give out the equivalent of "business certificate" to these bunks forces them to tamper with the meters, and then share the 'loot'. If the person operating the bunk tries to sing tunes of honesty and ethics, this "officer" knows umpteen tricks to deny him the "business certificate".

8. If you won't ensure Zero before filling, all the times you will start getting filled from the point the previous customer had left. I mean suppose some one before you filled for 50 rupees, now you fill for 200, the attendant will start filling for you from that 50 mark onwards. Thus you land up paying 50 extra not for petrol but for his talent to cheat.

To tackle Petrol Politics :

1. For point no. 1 in previous section, I request all to identify such pumps who did like that and then stop taking petrol from there, suggest others too to do so. Let the pump owner loose customers at least worth to what he earned during last day of price change.

2. Not to advertise, but Shell pumps have less complains than others. May be to first establish in Indian market they are sticking to honesty and later they will also sing the same tune of other pumps. Filling from Shell pumps gives better millage, good performance and

3. Tell the attendant not to put the fuel nozzle inside your vehicle petrol tank and start pouring. Thus you may not know when meter reading is starting and when actual flow of fuel is starting. Tell him to use a funnel and show the fuel nozzle above the funnel. Thus you will know when meter reading starts and stops and whether fuel flow starts and stops in the same time or not.

4. Tell the attendant not to start fueling in a high speed. Tell him to press the fuel nozzle clutch slow, this ensures little more fuel. Believe it.

5. Never get distracted while fueling, be attentive and monitor carefully. This will save you from being cheated.

6. Only buy or fill up your car or bike in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground, the denser the fuel, when it gets warmer petrol expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening. . . . Your liter is not exactly a liter.

In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the petrol, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products play an important role. A 1degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

7. When you're filling up, do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look, you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode, you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created, while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

8. One of the most important tips is to fill up when your tank is half full. The reason for this is, the more fuel you have in your tank, the less air occupying its empty space. Petrol evaporates faster than you can imagine. Petroleum storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the petrol and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

9. Another reminder, if there is a fuel truck pumping into the storage tanks, when you stop to buy, do not fill up - most likely the petrol/diesel is being stirred up as the fuel is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

Hope, this will help you get the maximum value for your money.