When a North Texas viewer told us bad gasoline damaged his car, our NBC 5 Responds team got to work.
When we arrived at Tommy's 24 in Mineral Wells, the pumps were closed and the clerk confirmed that workers were making repairs. That's little comfort to Sonny Wilkins who said bad fuel cost him more than $600. He said the trouble started after getting $20 worth of gas at Tommy's 24.
"As I started to accelerate on the freeway there, it started getting real sluggish all the way home and it gradually got worse," said Sonny Wilkins of his red Chevy Camaro.
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The next day, Wilkins said the car wouldn't start. He had the car towed to a dealership where mechanics confirmed what he suspected: He had water in his fuel.
Wilkins said mechanics told him the liquid they extracted from his tank was about 90 percent water. So they had to drain the fuel tank and flush all the lines.
"And it wasn't covered under warranty, which my car is still under warranty," said Wilkins.
NBC 5 Responds called and emailed the owner of Tommy's 24. He didn't return our calls, but Wilkins received an email from the business the next day that read in part, "The investigation has completed and a reimbursement check is being processed for expenses incurred."
While Wilkins is happy with his result, he reached out to NBC5 Responds to help others as well.
"I know other people are probably having issues too, because they were getting gas the same day I was getting gas and I know they probably got bad gas as well," he said.
The Texas Department of Agriculture inspected Tommy's 24 and investigators said they found nothing because all the pumps had been emptied before they arrived. If you suspect you've gotten a tank of bad gas, NBC 5 Responds has the following advice:
- Don't ignore engine knocking or a sluggish engine.
- Fill up at the same station every time. If you get bad fuel, you'll know where it came from.
- Always file a complaint with the Texas Department of Agriculture.