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Warning about having your Octane tested

Don’t let any one other than the State Fuel Enforcement Division test your Gasoline for an Octane rating.

Beware of companies who use Portable Octane Testers like a Zeltex on your gasoline. While it may seem impressive for someone to show a Octane number, the results can be misleading and you can open up a can of worms, because technically you or customers are required to report any irregularities.  A little misguided knowledge, can cost you thousands in fuel disposal in replacement costs.

A true Octane level must be confirmed by an actual octane engine at the State Laboratory before determination of non-compliance is issued. While state fuel inspectors use Zeltex units, it is only for screening at the retail level, not for a definitive determination. Only testing performed at the state’s certified laboratory is taken into consideration. Put another way, the state will not recognize an octane test performed at a private lab.  Furthermore no lab in Md, DC or VA tests for octane and the average costs of labs in PA and NJ is $850.

Causes of low octane fuel are the following:

  • Pump nozzle/pump manifold blend calibration
  • Phase separation from water contamination
  • Driver delivery error
  • Fuel terminal fault (very rare)

Please let me know if you have any questions on the above or need a tank sampled or cleaned.