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ICYMI: Test shows bad gas was contaminated with windshield washer fluid

The person that had been brought in to operate the since-closed Mobil gas station on Woolwich Street has been evicted
Former Mobil gas station on 546 Woolwich St. stripped of its branding.

This article was previously published on GuelphToday

It's been a month, but customers who purchased bad gas at a Woolwich Street gas station are starting to get some answers.

The gas was contaminated with windshield washer fluid, said one impacted customer.

Ella van Oene put $20 of gas in her car from the Mobil station at 546 Woolwich St. Her car stopped working and she was left with a $1,200 repair bill.

She had the gas tested at WearCheck, a "group of independent laboratories, spanning the globe, dedicated to oil and wear particle analysis." The results said it was likely windshield washer fluid. 

She was surprised to learn it was in the gas. People who are more knowledgeable about gas tanks explained to her how it could be possible. They said the gas tanker might have not been flushed properly after it was filled with washer fluid since the same trucks are used for both washer fluid and gas.

The gas station has since been stripped. No Mobil branded signs in sight. On the door a notice from Apex Property Management was posted. 20240227mobilgasstationsb2

The mortgagee asked Apex to close down the gas station. The operator of the gas station has been evicted, said John Parchenko, COO of Apex.

The same operator will not be back to operate the gas station again, he said, referring to the individuals involved. What the future use of the property could be is undetermined and investigations are ongoing, said Parchenko.

Travelers Canada is the liability insurer involved.

The insurance company emailed impacted customers on Tuesday that testing will occur on March 4 and once it is finished it will send an update.

Travelers Canada contacted customers weeks prior and requested them to send information about their cars, proof of gas purchase and proof of repairs.

The insurance company called van Oene and told her she will be reimbursed, she said.

“I feel relieved. Like, I understand that it was a mistake,” said van Oene. “I don't harbour any negative feelings towards anybody in this. So I'm getting reimbursed. It's really the outcome that I was looking for.”

Out of nearly 35 people who have been impacted by the bad gas no one else has been told by Travelers Canada that they will be reimbursed, said Laci Frazier.

Frazier started a Facebook group chat with the impacted customers to band together and get their money back.

She spent nearly $1,600 between gas, car repairs, and a car rental after she filled up at the gas station.

Frazier wasn’t relieved to know what was in the gas. She just wants her money back and is disappointed about the lack of communication she has received.

“I can't say that I was completely flabbergasted when I heard what was in there,” said Brian Holstein. He spent about $250 on gas and repairs for his car because of the bad gas.

Windshield washer fluid and gas are like apples and oranges, Holstein said. He doesn’t understand how the two fluids could be confused or how the washer fluid could have got into the tank.

He hasn’t been contacted about reimbursement.


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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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