Drivers report car problems after filling up tanks at the same Palatine gas station

ByRob Hughes WLS logo
Sunday, February 11, 2024
Drivers report problems after filling up at the same suburban station
Drivers have been reporting car problems after filling up their tanks at the SNK Palatine gas station.

PALATINE, Ill. (WLS) -- Several customers have reported engine issues after filling up at the same gas station in Palatine.

The village confirmed five police reports have been filed.

"Yeah it was very frustrating," said Roy Basa, a SNK Fuels customer.

Basa said he stopped to fill up his SUV with premium gasoline at SNK Fuels, located at Palatine and Quentin roads in Palatine, 10 days ago.

"Then, within five minutes of getting the gas, I experienced engine problems. I was stopping and going, so I had to pull over and figure out what was wrong," Basa said.

Five days and $650 later, Basa had his car back from the dealership.

The culprit? A fuel sample showed a large amount of ethanol, not allowing the car to ignite the fuel.

Just down the road from SNK Fuels, Casey Automotive has been seeing an influx of cars with the same issue as Basa, running poorly or unable to start.

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"We had about a half dozen customers come in for inspections and diagnosis of why the car wouldn't start after they had fueled it up at a particular station," said Casey Automotive Manager Mike Bruens.

After taking their own fuel samples, Bruens said the problem was clear.

"So sampling the fuel, you'll see the separation of the gasoline to the water or ethanol based fuels in the system," Bruens said.

ABC7 took the issue to SNK Fuels. They showed us their equipment, which they said is fixed. They said a bad cap allowed water to contaminate their premium fuel supply, but not regular unleaded.

The premium and mid-grade pumps are shut down, but ABC7 observed an employee with the Illinois Department of Agriculture taking samples.

In the meantime, the station manager told ABC7 they are compensating customers who were impacted, including Basa.

"We are in the process of signing some release documents, and they said they'll send me the check by tomorrow," Basa said.

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ABC7 was told that the Department of Agriculture stopped by Casey Automotive shop to collect samples, but when we reached out, the Department of Agriculture said it does not comment on pending investigations.