Retail Motor Fuel

Retail Motor FuelShasta County Weights and Measures Inspectors increase consumer confidence when purchasing petroleum and automotive products by enforcing quality, uniformity, quantity, advertising and labeling laws within the State.

Gasoline, diesel fuel and brake fluid are consistently monitored to ensure quality. Products are removed from the marketplace and appropriate enforcement action is taken when substandard products are found.

Gas pumps are regularly tested for accuracy to assure they are dispensing the full measure of fuel charged for. These tests are performed unannounced on an annual or complaint basis.

Service stations are required to post the prices of the motor vehicle fuel that they sell. The signs must be visible to the motorist before entering the station to purchase fuel. Any conditions applicable to the sale of the fuel at the advertised price must also be posted (i.e., full or self service, club cards, and cash or credit price). The Program also enforces the posting of signs relating to disabled drivers services and air and water equipment.


Notes to the consumer:

Gasoline and motor fuels are sold by volume in gallons or liters. The price you pay for gasoline will depend on the octane level, the amount you buy, and any discounts offered.

Fuel prices can change several times every day. Service Stations are required to update price changes at all locations where prices are posted. The octane rating and price per gallon must be clearly marked on each pump. Make certain the nozzle that is being used is the correct one. Be sure the pump is set to zero before pumping begins, and the price being charged is the lowest price qualified for.

After pumping check the price by multiplying the number of gallons by the unit price. Be sure this shows as the total due. If using a credit card, check your receipt to be sure the amount billed is the amount on the pump. Take your card and any carbon paper from the credit slip.

The Division of Measurement Standards does not regulate the price of gasoline or diesel fuel. Questions about the price of fuel can be directed to the California Energy Commission .


Retail Motor Fuel Complaint Form Retail Motor Fuel Complaint Form



Retail Motor Fuel Links

Retail Motor Fuel FAQs

I believe that I was overcharged at a gasoline station. Where do I report it?

Answer: You may fill out a complaint form, or contact our office at (530)224-4949. The investigators will follow up with an investigation into the service station to determine if any discrepancy exists.

I have an 18 gallon gas tank, but the pump says I put 18.5 gallons into my empty tank. Is this possible?

Answer: Yes. The capacity of your gasoline tank found in your owners manual is only an estimate. The actual volume it holds can be higher or lower than the stated capacity. If you still feel that the pump may be inaccurate, contact the County Department of Weights and Measures to file a complaint.

I just filled up my 2.5 gallon gas can and it held 2.9 gallons of gasoline, are the service stations ripping us off?

Answer: Likely no, most gas cans will hold 5% to 10% more than the stated quantity, the extra space is for expansion and to help prevent spillage. A 2.5 gallon gas can will typically hold approximately 2.9 to 3.3 gallons of gasoline.

Do you phone gas stations before you inspect them to let them know you are coming?

Answer: No, all visits are unannounced to verify the business practices being inspected are representative of standard operating procedure.

Do you check the quality of the fuel, too?

Answer: Yes, we check the fuel quality throughout the county. Samples are taken to the Division of Measurement Standards Petroleum Lab for analysis. All petroleum and automotive products must meet the latest specifications set forth by the ASTM International or SAE International, and must be free from water and suspended matter.

What happens if a gasoline or diesel meter is found to be in error?

Answer: If any meter or other commercial device is found out of tolerance, or is overcharging the customer, it is placed out of order ("red-tagged") until repaired by a certified device repairman. After the device has been repaired, we recheck it to verify that it is in compliance.

If there is no seal on the gas pump, how do I know if it is accurate?

Answer: All gas pumps should have a round paper seal showing the date it was tested by our department. If it does not have a seal, call our department at (530) 224-4949.