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A look at how gas pumps work

Posted at 7:25 PM, Apr 10, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-10 19:25:48-04

PETERSBURG, Va. --"Trust worthiness is key to me" says Forrest Hoover in referring to why he fuels up at Parham's Service Center in Petersburg.

The owner, Wynne Churn, has been there since 1973 and when it comes to his gas pumps working correctly, he's a stickler.

"You don't want people thinking you're ripping them off, selling too little gas or anything like that," he says.

And when it comes to recent reports of gas pumps starting to charge customers before any gas is dispensed.

"I've never experienced anything like that," he says.

Churn opens up the pump to show us the parts, the bottom half the mechanical part, with pumps, gears and metal piping.

The top half, the brains, with computer chips and wiring.

Churn says as expensive and complicated as gas pumps are, it's unlikely anyone would intentionally try to manipulate them.

"I would say probably it is a mechanical issue with the pump," Churn said.

When it comes to gasoline in Virginia, 30 Billion gallons are sold each year.

There are more than 4200 stations selling gas out of more than 33,000 nozzles.

Churn says his gas station was just inspected two weeks ago and all his pumps were meeting state standards.