Are you being cheated at the pump?

Stephen Gray does a lot of driving. He spends over an hour a day behind the wheel, so you better bet he's checking his mileage.

There's several times when I'm figuring out my gas mileage and its like, 'well, how come it held this many gallons this time and this many gallons the next time?' Gray said.

Complaints about unfair gas stations are formally filed with the Missouri Department of Agriculture. There are dozens of complaints from consumers from across the state, several from mid-Missouri.

The lab is running daily, Department of Agriculture Ron Hayes said. We're taking random samples in the field throughout the state every week of the year."

Inspectors went back and checked all the pumps that had complaints and it turned out those complaints weren't legit; the tests showed that the fuel was up to regulation.

The meters are all accurate. They're always meeting our tolerances," Hayes said.

In fact, inspectors haven't found any violations statewide so far this year.

If gas stations aren TMt cheating consumers, what is causing the gas mileage inconsistency?

Central Missouri Tire Mechanic Larry Boeckman said that road conditions, elevation, tire pressure and temperature can affect a car TMs gas mileage.

"The way vehicles are designed nowadays if the engine temps not in operating range it dumps more fuel in to keep the engine running smooth, Boeckman said.

Also, this is the time of year when manufacturers change from winter blend fuel to the summer blend, which affects your miles per gallon as well.

Even so, inspectors said they check each station's gas blend and pump accuracy every 18 months. The companies that sell gas to the stations are checked once a month, more if they get a complaint.

We make sure it's good before it's distributed in the marketplace," Hayes said.

But Gray will keep checking his gas mileage, just in case.

"Check when you fill up often, Gray said. You might be able to catch something if there is a problem.