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Why does counting start before gas flows at pump?

TBO.com The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 19, 2013 at 11:03 AM

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Q. Why, when getting gas, does the pump jump 4 or 5 cents then starts pumping? It happens at every Hess I stop at. I started going elsewhere.

- Nathan, Riverview

A. Two possibilities.

First, the pumps may not be calibrated correctly or are broken.

You should note the name of the station, the address and the date. Then call the Bureau of Petroleum Inspection, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services at (850) 488-9740.

They'll send an inspector to check the pump.

You can also report suspected price gouging to the Florida Attorney General at (866) 966-7226. But that's only if you see prices surge during a crisis, like a hurricane.

Second, the pump could be pushing gas through the tube before it reaches the nozzle.

AAA gas prices expert Jessica Brady also notes that pumps really do push gas quickly or slowly based on how many other people at the station are pumping gas at the same time.

But the total dispensed amount should match the number on the pump screen. That's regulated by the state of Florida.

Submit your question here or visit our Gas Prices page and retail writer Richard Mullins will get you the answer.

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