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Water in gas stalls cars at local Conoco station
10/17/2008 By: Melanie B Mazur
Ever fill up your tank, drive away, and have the car stall?
It happened on Sunday, Oct. 5 to four or five drivers at the Conoco station in Bayfield. The culprit, a company spokesman said, was a seal that leaked water into the tank after a full day of rain the day before.
Wendy Beck's husband, Ken, was one of the unlucky drivers.
A new fuel pump and filter cost $888.74 for their Ford Explorer, she said.
Beck said it took several calls to Western Refining, the owner of the station, to get the problem taken care of. She's submitted her bill for the work to the Western's insurance company.
ďI think they just didn't know what to do," when the company had three stalled cars at the gas station, she said.
Daryl Yost, owner of Bayfield Automotive Care, said he had to wipe the resulting goo out of the tanks and replace fuel filters for three cars. He said he hadnít seen a problem like this before.
Another vehicle was towed to Farmington to a Honda dealer, said the owner of Cowboy Towing. Having an underground tank with a leak is a "really rare occurrence," said Gary Larson, corporate spokesman for Western Refining, which owns the Conoco station and 160 other stores in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona. The tank has been repaired, and there havenít been any problems since then, he said.
"We want to take care of our customers," he said. Joe Atencio of Ignacio, another customer, had to replace the fuel pump on his Nissan. He said his wife, Erika, wasn't happy when it stalled near the gas station.
"I was mad at first, but as long as they pay me back, it's OK," he said.