We list a few quick and very basic pointers on how petrol pumps cheat you and if you are not vigilant you may end up getting much lesser fuel in your bike than what you have paid for…

Ran out of fuel while going to office or during an urgent call? Obviously, in such a state of urgency you do not give much of a thought to the attendant at the gas station who is waiting for an ideal opportunity to cheat you. Getting cheated in a petrol pump could be an experience that every rider/driver must have gone through at least once in his life. And, unfortunately, there could be a few who get conned quite regularly.

There may be some lucky alert ones who know to deal with such fraudulent attendants and then many others are completely ignorant kinds who simply do not pay heed to it. Let us get aware of these cheat tricks so that the next time around you are at a lesser chance of getting conned…

How Petrol Pumps Cheat – Pointers

The first common trick that the petrol attendants use is to engage you in small talks while appearing to set the meter to zero. In fact you may not notice if the fuel started from zero level or not. For example, he may ask you – “Sir, will you pay through cash or card?” or ask you for some change, etc. This is precisely when you need to get alert and make sure to see the meter actually ticking from zero level.

The other trick is that the attendant may not reset the meter after the previous customer’s bike is refueled. For example, the bike rider in front of you filled 1 litre of fuel and leaves. You enter the pump and ask the attendant to fill 5 liters in your bike. If you are not alert he may not reset the meter and continue filling after the 1 liter of fuel in your bike. In the end, you will see that your bike has gulped down five liters in its tank on the meter, but in reality only four liters have reached in.

Distraction is the most commonly used weapon by the attendants and the only solution for this is pretty simple – you need to be alert and have a good presence of mind. Irrespective of the fact that you may be in a hurry, but at that instant when you are about to get your bike refueled, be wary of the attendant and his antics. If not, remember that you will let the attendant take full advantage of your casual approach and he may continue to con hundreds of unsuspecting customers everyday.

how petrol pumps cheat
Pay attention while refueling your motorcycle. Do not get distracted by the attendants…

Bike Run-in Period: Some Do’s and Dont’s

Most of the times two guys try to cheat you- one guy has the fuel nozzle ready and the other guy comes from the opposite direction to keep you occupied in a talk for change, card, oil or something else.

The other trick is the fuel may start flowing from zero but stops half way through to what you have actually asked for. You need to check for such deceptions as well as once the fuel gets flowing it should happen continuously until your requirement is fulfilled.

Tyre Ratings, Maintenance: All You Must Know About Tyres – in Simple Terms

So friends beware of such petrol pumps and attendants who are on the prowl to cheat on the customers. It is always better to go to reliable petrol stations, do not use your mobile phones and be all eyes and ears once you enter the fuel zone for it will save your money, fuel, and be peace of mind.

Next Read: “Which Engine Oil Shall I Use?” – Engine Oil Explained in Very Simple Terms

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  1. Sometimes they instead of 1 litre of fuel fill upto 990 ml saving 10ml…n that translates into hundreds of litre fuel cheating per day

  2. I am From Chennai, Whenever I fill petrol in INDIAN OIL, AMBATTUR OT or ANNA NAGAR WEST, My bike will run only 40Kms for 2lts. Anyone facing the same?

  3. i think ppl shud not fill their tanks wen in hurry.they shud keep a chek on the fuel gauge time to time.wen u r almost over or maybe 75% of the petrol is over u can go and fill it up wen u think the the stations are free.wen its busy ppl will defenitely cheat you are hurry u in moving on by telling there r a lot of ppl waiting.are giing an angry stare r trying to make problem,so we in hurrry or not wanting to create trouble n anger the other ppl in the line.so always be careful.
    ride safe n always wear a helmet!!

  4. very useful!!i would suggest everyone to share any other trick they know so that we can save ourselves from such cheaters.
    there are few things i want to share.first if you are new to a city and dont know which pump is good and which one cheats,then it is better to follow local auto riksha/taxi drivers,since their life depends on fuel,they are likely to fill up from best available pumps. secondly fill up your tanks during colder part of the day like early morning as lower temperature fuel has more density which means more mass.

  5. A very important PSA article Deepak. 🙂 Another point is, the display meter should stop and it should not blink. If it is blinking, it means that the guy had not filled the tank completely. For eg. If u are asking to fill the tank for 200, the guy will set the meter, will ask you to check for zero and he starts to fill the tank. Watch carefully, the guy should take off his hand from the pouring nob because once the meter crosses 150 Rs. he will release the nob half way. What happens here is – the display meter will run but the petrol flow will be stopped. Finally he can cheat you saying that he had poured for Rs.200. But the meter knows that the petrol is not filled for Rs.200 and it will blink for a few times. Always check this one too. 🙂

  6. Opt for SHELL Petrol. Though its a little heavy on the wallet, the fuel quality is really good and the chances of such frauds are minimal. I have been chated at the Bharat Petrol Pump near Pune station. Anyways good thread to spread awareness..Kudos.. 🙂

    Ride safe.

  7. Another very common trick is …

    When you ask, for instance, Rs.1000 of petrol, the chap at the pump fills till 200 Rs and stops. He pretends that he misheard you. And when you insist on another 800 Rs. of fuel, if you are not alert enough, he starts filling from 200 and stops at 800 without resetting the meter. A loss of 200 Rs. !!

    It happened to me !! It was when we took a delivery of our brand new Alto and returning home.

    • This is what exactly happened to me a few weeks back at the HP Petrol Bunk, next to Alpha Hotel in Secunderabad. They cheated me in broad daylight. I have taken up the complaints with HPCL. They promised to fire all the attendants at the station. I am going to meet them soon. Friends, whenever you feel that you are cheated, pls fight it out. Use Social Media and the company website to lodge your complaint

  8. Another common trick played is input wrong amount.. then act as though correcting it.. in the process cheat you. For example if you say 300.. they will punch 100 first.. then they say fill this 100 first and then fill another 200.. in the process neatly cheating you. This happened with me in Marathalli HPCL pump in Bangalore.

    • Oh..God..You guys are just reading my mind. This is what happned to me. I am glad that I took the issue with HPCL. They are taking a remidial action. I am going to meet them on 13th May

  9. Mr. Shibin, if the situation is happening regularly, then try to check them. Take a 1 or 2 ltr bottle with you and ask them the fill the 1 or 2 ltr respectively in bottle. If they are cheaters, then they will hesitate to fill petrol in bottles. This is the simple method u can adopt if u feel u r regularly cheated by any pumps.

  10. always insist tha the attendant stays away from both the nozzle and the machine….cos we can’t really be sure of any newer tricks they might come up with…

    now the bp fiiling station guys recognise me and stay away on their own. i know they curse me for being a snob but its our money and we have a right to ensure we aren’t cheated….

    whats up with the planned car blog????

  11. this is a relly nice topic……..but i always use reliance’s petrol and i went there in the early mornings before i go to my collage…..so i never faced this problem. but yes i have heard it from many of my friends….and specially this happenes on a very busy petrol pumps…..so guyz beware……

  12. i just happend to me today morning i just filled petrol fr 50 rs and the reading was 89 in some bunks its 99 and wats happening is wen i just filled it at 89 points my fazer goes 3o km milege but today it just went 20km and stoped in middle of the road and they cheated in reading the fuel quantity is less

  13. Got feedup with this cheating petrol bunk guys

    In some places they did change the reading to show bigger value than the normal one.(it will show as 3 ltrs but actual petrol gone to your tank is 1 ltr)

    How come a bike will give 32 kmpl when we fill it at HP or BPCL bunk even if i go with 1 ltr can the mileage didn’t cross 48 kmpl

    and the same week when I fill it with shell normal petrol its giving 52-55 kmpl

    Shell is bit costlier but they never cheat and for the respect and customer service paying little bit more is reasonable.

  14. I am experiencing this from the two bunks in jeevanbheema nagar, bangalore, i had seen many times the meter running, but petrol not pouring from the pipe, i had argued with the persons there, they asks to remove and check the tank, it will have the petrol that i had filled, that’s sure right, since we wont go in empty tanks.
    Which Neta is going to check this.
    Even police stations are just near by.

  15. @ harish
    the same happened to my friend. i dont know its indian oil pump. but 2 days he fill from the same pump the fills 1 ltre the bike onllly rns less than 25kms and stopped. another day the same. then he changed the pump now the old milage about 45-50km/L. so i think some pump guys cheating…

  16. Hi all,
    One simple suggestion never fill for regular round figure amount like for Rs. 50,100,150,200 instead fill differently like for Rs. 60,110,160,210 …. etc. The chances of cheating are reduced to a great extend and 50% of your alert attention looking at the meter is also reduced.

  17. experience of
    retail lic no. 64/2005 dtd4-3-2005
    expl lic. no. P/WC/GJ/14/2476(P142043) dtd.4-2-2005

    bill no. 536881
    the attendant cheated while filling the petrol when asked to fill FULL 2 ltr he filled petrol of only rs. 100. when i went to complain the manager over there he aslo first misguided me and when i corrected him he started to talk with and abusive language raised voice.

    i asked him to fill 2 liters of petrol when he filled i asked him why amount is not showing he told me that when u lock with liters amount doesn’t shows up. i was confused for a min but then i thought i might be so and i went away. but while i was leaving the petrol pump it strikes me so i went back and asked the same attendant to refill again with 1ltr . he asked to fill for Rs.60 i said no fill it full 1ltr(lock it with 1 ltr). now when he filled one liter screen blinked liter as well as the amount(which was not in the first case when i filled 2ltrs)
    then i scold him to refill it by the amt he didn’t do it before(time when i filled 2 ltrs of petrol) ..he filled Rs.25 more petrol.(that means he dint fill petrol of Rs. 25)….
    i went to manager to complain him…he also started with the same story, when u lock with liters amount wont show up ..so i cleared him that being a manager ur also cheating he got red and was not speaking any word.i cleared him the whole thing that what ever u lock with amount and liters both shows up..he was shouting on me that im putting falls allegation …when i told him to ask his attendant he started yelling at him and used bad word such as (bhosadchoodi) thats not the way u behave with a lady around.

    i am planning to go to consumer court for this matter and complain.

    an this is not the only one case one more bharat petroleum pump at athwalines surat has the same issue the cheat their customers on daily basis ..
    the owner have big big cars on the cost of us.

    im literally going to get their license cut this time.

  18. Dear Deepak, many a times I had a tussle with these petrol pump guys. They cheat and cheat for sure and there is no hearing anywhere. However on the roads of experience I discovered a small practice that outwits them or at least help considerably. Just do these two things:
    1-Buy petrol in liters. That is, one two three as per your need. Never push a 100,200 rupee notes saying-“100, 200 ka daal do”

    2-This step is crucial-Ask the attendant to set the machine on VOLUME MODE and then deliver. You will get the right quantity for sure. The machine is neutral. It will follow the command given and the attendant will not be able to use his finger technique to inhibit the flow in between. Be very adamant on using the volume method. This really works. To check compare the mileage of both rupee and Volume Mode. You will be surprised.


  19. Yes the above listed tricks are common in Bangalore too.
    But I did not see those tricks in any of the SHELL bunks.
    I usually fill petrol for my bike and car SreeLakshmi filling station at Gokula near BEL Circle mathikere. There petrol quality and quantity is good but I saw attainders playing these tricks many times. What to do Quality is good u can feel the smoothness in engine.
    Other petrol bunks except shell quality is not good. I hear that they mix diesel in petrol since diesel is cheaper, they do it at the time of filling the tanker.
    I observed some bunks especially at shell Fuel Gun has transparent part at the bottom to see whether full is pumping or not.
    Find your tank capacity if they fill more than the tank capacity of the vehicle demand the bill with vehicle model and RTO Reg number and immediately file the complaint saying the fraud clearly and call the Media / Police on the spot.

  20. Hi All,
    I was also victim in recent past…. However learnt this trick from one of the petrol bunk holders 
    One thing to be noticed… it’s not the service provider/seller who is cheating us… it’s the attender or the person who fills petrol in some cases managers are also involved in cheating….
    Most of us agree Shell petrol are the best and fill correctly… that is true and every one would have noticed that once the attender fills the petrol he also gives the receipt which is generated from the machine…. This is why millage is more when you fill the petrol in shell….
    I am from Bangalore and fill petrol most of the time in Kaveri service station (Indian Oil Dealers) Koramangala opposite to Passport office. Before I fill petrol I ask the attender if he will give me bill which will be generated from the machine…. I know there is only one machine which generates the bill…. I don’t mind standing in queue for extra 5 min and get it filled from the same machine and get the bill…. I am constantly getting 47KMPL in my 150 cc bike…
    Trick is before filling petrol check with the attender if he will give the bill from the machine and not manually….. Most of the machines have these option but the attenders don’t give the bill and we the public too don’t ask… sometimes they give reasons out of paper and machine not working…. In that case I leave without filling and fill in other petrol bunk who can give me the bill.

  21. Yes the same thing happened wid me! I asked the attendend to fill 500rs petrol in my car nd i felt i got only 200 wrth petrol! I think they r also cheating by allowing air to pass into the tank instead of petrol for a few count!!!! Can this be possible??

  22. Few points
    1. U get cheated only if u give them a chance to cheat u….so, be smart and stay alert.
    2. Fill the fuel when the weather is cooler….early mornings are best bcoz during cold time the fuel density is higher.
    3. Never engage in conversation with the attendant that are not necessary….that is his method to distract u.
    4. Ensure the meter is set on zero before filling and MOST IMPORTANTLY, ensure that the nozzle is on lock mode. Holding the nozzle handle is mainly to make the meter run without the fuel coming out…..this process is called “AIR OUT”.
    5. Pay only after filling the fuel…else he may say that u never paid at all.

  23. Mangalore-statebank petrol pump..

    Those attendents r cheating people.. Try to check the flow if you r fillin fr more than rs 200.. Aft that amnt,dey r filling gas,instead f petrol.. Beware…..

  24. A friend of mine who is a school drop-out joined a petrol bunk as an attendant and he today he managed to construct a 3 storey house, married off his 2 sisters in a lavish way and even owns a honda city (petrol).
    Bcoz of our friendship, he tells me how he managed to do all that.
    Luckily, I am provided free fuel (we have an understanding).

  25. Those who get the most cheated are the ones that give the car keys to the attendant and has no idea what all tricks he does during the filling process.

  26. Exactly same happened with me at KORAMANGLA 80 FEET ROAD Near Pizza Hut. One attendant was filling while other engaged me for payment. I asked for 200/- Rs oil, where as they filled only for 150/-….
    Found some ways to catch them red handed….will try soon

    • We did it according to the plan. We caught the attendant red handed and then we start fighting with him….in between other customers joined us. We went to manager for filing a complain against the attendant. After the manager saw the people complaining… he asked the attendant to fill for 200/- Rs and also returned us back our 200/- Rs.
      My suggestion to all you guys is to be very attentive while filling your vehicle. That is the only way we can avoid to be get cheated.


    I would like to bring to your kind attention the “Great Indian Petrol Pump Fraud” happening all over Bangalore (and I believe all over India ) .

    Today in the morning, I saw the fuel gauge of my car touching the “Empty” sign, so I thought that while on my way to office , I will fill petrol worth 1000 Rs in my car. When I reached the petrol pump at 9:30 Am today(24th April 2008)(BP petrol pump near Richmond road) I showed the crisp 1000 Rs note to the attendant at the petrol pump and told him to fill Rs.

    1000.I repeated 1000 to him 2-3 times so that he registers 1000 Rs in his head fill the petrol for Rs. 1000.I repeatedly told him because of the past experience whenever I had asked him to fill petrol worth 1000 bucks at different gas stations(i.e. for e.g. at Advaitha Gas station, near udapi garden BTM to name one of them),the attendant always filled Rs. 200 of petrol and said “Sir your Rs. 200 of petrol is filled” . I used to say I asked you fill 1000 Rs of petrol not 200 worth. He would look at me like an innocent kid and would start filling the remaining 800 Rs of petrol.

    But this procedure of 200+800 didn’t stop at one petrol pump but gas attendants at all the petrol pumps followed this weird ritual. I could sense something fishy but not before losing money to this procedure 3-4 times.


    coming back to Today’s incident I asked the “Honest” petrol pump attendant to fill the petrol, While filling the petrol my attention was diverted towards the pollution check centre at the same petrol pump but when I looked back at the meter indicator, I was shocked to see the familiar “200”

    mark at

    the petrol pump meter. I told him again why you didn’t fill for Rs.

    1000. He

    said that he heard Rs. 200. So I told him to fill Rs. 800 of petrol also.

    After he had filled the petrol, I got in the car and started towards my office. While on my way to office. I observed the fuel gauge in my car.


    had moved from “Empty” first to half and then little further. But from my past experience that when I used to get Rs. 1000 of fuel filled in the empty fuel tank, it used to come to certain level but today it hadn’t come till there. So I thought. I got duped again.

    After reaching office I checked the Internet for same Frauds which had happened before my case. I was shocked to find that many other people also faced the same problem of 200+800 and some bikes of 40+60 bucks(these petrol pump attendants don’t leave anybody).I spoke to my boss and a colleague of mine at office they told me of the same incident. I was like; this problem is not only with me but with people all over Bangalore. Basically people all over Bangalore (maybe all over India) are getting cheated in this ingenious fraud which is promoted by our friendly neighbor hood petrol pump owners and their honchos’ gas attendants.

    The ingenious technique these people follow is discussed below in italics

    When asked for diesel worth Rs. 500. The attendant filled up only Rs.


    noticing that I told him to fill for Rs. 500 but by that time he is done with 100 so the attender said he will fill up for remaining Rs. 400 that is when he did a trick of as though he is resetting by playing games of hurry burry and continuing to fill and when he is done for Rs. 400 he asked for 500 (100+400) but in reality he only filed for 100+300 as he is not really resetted the machine to zero even though it appears as he reset it.

    So after reading the messages on the website I went back to the petrol pump, parked my car in middle of the petrol pump called the attendant and told him that you have cheated me of Rs. 200 of petrol instead of filling petrol worth of 1000 Rs you have filled the petrol worth only Rs. 800,I told him I am gonna sue your petrol pump and I want to write a complaint against the same ..He got frightened said “Sorry Sir By mistake I have not reset Rs.

    200”. He didn’t ask me any more questions and directly filled 200 Rs of petrol.

    I wonder that BP, IOC, HP talk about going in losses and hence they ask govt. to increase the price of diesel and petrol but in reality petrol pump owners are helping us save lots of oil by asking us to pay Rs. 1000 but giving us petrol worth 800.What a brilliant way to conserve oil and make profit for petrol pump owners .I guess people should know about the ingenious way in which petrol pumps owners helps us. (Pardon me for the

  28. please answer my question.

    can they fill air instead of petrol. How to identify this because the nozzle will be inside the tank and we cannot see the petrol flowing into the tank

  29. Now days something more inoovative, my fuel tank capacity has actually 6.4L, but the fuel sation filled more then that. So when you ask for 1L, they actually gives you 900ml or something like that. It happens in Bangalore Pertol pumps. I had faced this one at petrol pump next to COSMOS mall, white field road.

  30. I got cheated in bangalore sarjapur HP petrol bunk

    I asked him to fill 300Rs petrol in my bike.He was just asking repeatedly 200 or 300 that way he just diverted my attention and he already started filling the fuel meter even before setting to zero and without asking me .I got suspicious when I saw the meter reading was so fast that it almost crossed 200 in no time.He cheated me 100 Rs.He actually started from 100 and filled till 300 which means he didn’t set to zero.

    I got some solutions to this
    1.Don’t open your petrol tank lid.Unless he set meter reading to zero.Ask him to set it to zero first.

    2.Keep watch on meter reading.Amount of litres filled and Rs.

    3.One one important becareful when he gives the change.Sometime he will just give less amount,For example you might have filled petrol of 200Rs and gave him 500 Rs change he might return 200Rs only and fraud you.This happened to me once then I asked him and he pretended as if he forgot.


    5.Go for Indian Oil or shell petrol bunk.Atleast then dont cheat on meter reading.

    6.See the fuel tank Indicator in your bike or car

  31. I got cheated at north main road near O Koregaon park hotel pune from both the petrol pumps for 100 rs and 50 rs please check correctly if any body filling petrol twice sure there is some problem try to avoid filling from this petrol pumps

  32. Whenever i ask the guy at pump to pour petrol for RS. 500/- or 300/- he always adjust the machine to Rs 100/- and says he dint heard properly.stoping there he again re enters balance Rs 400/- or 200/- which he doesnt actual start from 0 count(it stars from 100)..mean while he keeps asking to buy a indian oil petrocard blah blah.. At first i dint noticed bt the same thing is happening again & again for past few times which made to think about it wats wrong 🙁


  33. I got cheated at Indial Oil Petrol Bunk today. I asked the attendant to fill for Rs1000. After reacheing Rs618 he distracted me by asking me about the bike mileage & asked me to gently shake the bike so that petrol settles evenly. As soon as i did that, he immediately did something & the number jumped from Rs600 to Rs1000 within 5 seconds. As there was a queue behind me, he immeidately reset the meter & started filling the next customer. As the evidence was lost, i couldn’t argue with him.

    I felt very angry & frustrated!!

    After reading couple of forums & blogs i have found the following good advice.
    1. Avoid filling during peak rush hours.
    2. Always fill in Shell petrol bumks. They may be tad costlier but you will get your money worth of fule.
    3. If possible try to fill fuel early morning.
    4. NEVER ,,NEVER get distracted while filling. Even if someone tries to talk with you KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE METER.
    5. Open the petrol lid only after the attendant has set the meter correctly.
    6. I highly suggest filling fuel in volume (liters) rather than money (Rs100, 200, 500, etc..,).

  34. Always count the balance amount the pump guy hands over to you, you might get cheated. For example, if you put petrol for Rs. 100 and gives him Rs. 500, the pump guy will pull out four 100 Rs notes from the bunch of notes he has and hands over to you. Since you have seen him counting 4 notes, without suspecting any fraud you might pocket it and leave the pump. But in fact he has counted four Rs 100 notes but will have given you only 3. They are experts in doing this fake counting process.

  35. what hp petrol bunk does is i have been cheated many times if i ask them to fill 150 rs they says we can’t fill petrol like that sir there is no option i will fill 50rs first and them 100 rs first we fills 50rs here is the trick they distract you and meter continues from 50rs to 100rs and he says sir i have filled 150 rs here how it works first 50 again 50 =100 but he makes you believe 50+100 =150 be carefull guys

  36. Today morning I was went to IOC petrol pump near Banaswadi Fly over ( Bangalore )near Railway station to fill petrol. I came out of my car and requested for petrol worth 1500 and attendant started filling . Meanwhile another tried to distract me asking for my credit card and telling that card was not going though and asked for another card . In the commotion I saw attendant pressing 1500 on the meter and when I asked him he told already he had filled 1500 . When I started arguing he relented and said only Rs 1158 worth of petrol actually went in but tried to convince me it happened due to power failure and so on. I went and complained to manager of the petrol pump who tried to act stupid and pretended not to understand what was going on ..

    Better to avoid this pump guys !!

    Anyways I wanted to alert that these things happen and consumers need to be on the alert every time !

    Thanks !


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