BALTIMORE (WJZ) — High gas prices make drivers wonder: Am I getting what I pay for?

A state inspector tells Suzanne Collins he’s out at gas stations testing to be sure.

The state predicts Marylanders will pay about $600 or $700 more for gas this year. Some drivers are trying to conserve.

“Obviously I’m trying to preserve the gas I buy, I’m trying to drive a little slower and a little steadier, use cruise control a little more,” said Judy Sullivan, driver.

While gas prices are not regulated, the state does enforce the law on gas quality.

“We want to make sure the gas is not contaminated with water or some other product that would make your engine run roughly or not at all,” said Peter Franchot, Maryland Comptroller.

An inspector from the Maryland Comptroller’s Office tested octane levels at a Baltimore gas station Thursday, a surprise visit that takes place at least once a year.

“It tells me if the sample I pulled out from that pump meets the required grade from that nozzle,” said Patrick Dunkes, compliance inspector.

If the gas fails, the station can be forced to stop selling until the problem is fixed.

“If you think you’ve gotten bad gas, call the Comptroller’s Office. We will send an inspector out immediately to check it and make sure it’s not contaminated,” said Franchot.

During the last fiscal year, 3,000 gas stations were tested. Ninety-seven of them failed the quality test.

Here are some tips.  If you see a tanker filling up the fuel tank at the gas station, you may want to go somewhere else because it stirs up water in the tank and you may not get quality gas.  The comptroller also recommends visiting a station you trust.

Another state agency calibrates pumps so you get the amount paid for.  That state inspector also makes sure posted prices match the pump price.

Comments (4)
  1. Steve says:

    Stuff it, i am no longer held pump hostage, i gave that fossil fuel burning, iron oxide laden, pollution emitting jalopy AWAY just to get away from being held hostage at the PUMP!!!!

  2. Chris says:

    If we have to pay these prices, and obviously we do if we want to continue to drive, I for one am glad that there is someone who is keeping an eye out for us and trying to do the right thing. I hate to think that people would do something like add water to the gas to make it go further, but we all know that such people do exist.

  3. Ron says:

    What I think should be illegall is gas stations charging two different prices for gas, one for csah, and one for cards……That to me is BS

  4. Wolf says:

    We need to take a stand! We need to protest! We need to write our feelings to our leaders, and we to get off our butts and wave signs we not going to take it any more. Out Leaders do little, caring less we have money for food and keep our homes. But the rich get what they want all the time. But not the low and middle class.

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