Utah Department of Agriculture and Food

Efficiency-Oriented Inspection Program Reports High Gasoline Pump Accuracy


Just In Time For Summer Travel Season
Efficiency-Oriented Inspection Program Reports High Gasoline Pump Accuracy

     Salt Lake City – Summer travelers in Utah will encounter more accurate gasoline pumps thanks to efficiencies put in place by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food’s (UDAF) Weights and Measures program.  With the help of updated equipment, added personnel and more frequent inspections, motor fuels inspectors report 98% accuracy of gas dispensing in Utah.  The program has doubled the frequency of the unannounced visits to Utah’s 1,100 gas stations.
     “We have revamped our inspection structure to reflect the state’s new SUCCESS program that’s helped us deploy our resources more effectively,” said Weights and Measures Manager, Brett Gurney  “While there are occasional problems with pumps where consumers are being shorted, the vast majority of the 32,000 gasoline pumps in Utah are operating within tolerances,” Gurney added.

Gasoline inspections Jan. 1, 2016 through May 25, 2016

•    98% of pumps dispensed gasoline accurately.
•    90% of pumps are free of other errors relating to correct price, proper labeling, evidence of tampering, hose condition, computer jump, and other reasons.

Utah Gas Stations by the Numbers
•      1,100 gas stations in Utah  
•    31,200 individual gasoline pumps

     The Weights and Measures Program routinely screens gasoline to verify ethanol presence and octane levels.  This included reviewing fuel delivery documentation, labeling of the fuel dispensers, and testing fuel storage tanks for water content.  The program is one of several within the UDAF that oversees consumer protection interests such as food safety, bedding and down clothing, egg and dairy production standards and more.  Many of the Department’s programs are being realigned under the Governor’s SUCCESS Program.

To avoid surprises at the pump consider these tips:

  • Understand that the vehicle tank capacity in the owner’s manual is only an estimate.  It may hold more or less than the stated capacity.
  • Multiply the number of gallons you purchase by the price per gallon.  This should be the total price showing on the pump.                
  • Be sure you are using the correct pump.  The octane rating and the price per gallon or liter should be clearly marked on each pump.
  • Be sure the pump is set to zero before any gasoline is pumped.
  • If using a credit card, check your receipt to be sure the amount billed is the amount on the pump.
  • Put the nozzle back into the pump after fueling to turn the dispenser off.  Make sure the gallons, dollars and cents are not increasing after fill up.
  • Compare the price on the pump with the roadside advertisement.

Check to see that the price per gallon remains constant during the pumping process.

Saving Fuel Tips

  • Maintain proper tire pressure.  Under-inflated tires can make your car engine work harder and burn more fuel.  
  • Plan trips to minimize the miles driven.
  • In dry road conditions, use cruise control to gain the most efficiency from the vehicle.
  • Drive at or below the posted speed limit.
  • Avoid sudden stops and turns as they cause excessive and unnecessary wear on tires and breaks.
  • Use speed control to maintain an even speed whenever possible.
  • Keep your vehicle properly tuned up.
  • Don’t purchase an octane grade that is higher than what is required in vehicles owner’s manual.
  • Remove unnecessary items from your trunk or storage area.  
  • Keep your vehicle maintained with proper fluids and change of filters.
  • Rideshare and carpool when possible.

Reduce idling time.  

     If you suspect a pump you are using is not working properly, address the situation with the merchant or contact the Weights and Measures Program at 801-538-7158.


See media coverage of this program at these links.






KSL news reporter Andrew Adams and photographer video-tape UDAF Weights and Measures Inspector Jeff Jolley inspecting a gasoline pump.  The inspection program's updated equipment and added personnel helps increase the frequency of inspections as well as the accuracy of the 32,000 gasoline pumps in Utah.  ABC 4 Utah News also attended this inspection.