Some of you have been asking about all that construction work at 6101 Broadway on the island. I’ve done some snooping and learned it’s for a Texaco filling station.

An Exxon franchise once operated at the prime site, but more recently the business has gone by the name 61st Food Mart.Pearland-based Project Construction, the contractor, is giving the place a complete interior makeover and making some exterior improvements.

Robert Vaughn of Project Construction didn’t know the exact opening date of the Texaco. As soon as I know, I’ll buzz it.

But the rise of another gas station on the island made me wonder: Is there still brand loyalty when it comes to gas stations? I’m probably going to regret admitting this, but I’ve only pumped gas twice in my life — once was about eight years ago when my husband was in the emergency room at Mainland Medical Center. I was racing to see him but my car was on empty. He was in the hospital on the cell phone talking me through it while I put gas in my car.

Before my husband, I had a brother, father or boyfriend who indulged me.

Once, as an intern at the now defunct Houston Post, I paid a homeless man $5 to pump gas for me. He needed money; I needed help. My friends were appalled, but I thought it was a perfectly fair trade.

It’s not that I think I’m too fragile or posh to pump gas. But if you really think about it, who wants to breathe smelly fumes and get gas on your hands by pouring $50 in a hole? It’s an unpleasant experience just in general.

Interestingly, via Google today, I found a book called “Real Women Don’t Pump Gas.” But I digress.

My point in sharing all this is that I don’t pay much attention to gas stations. But if they brought back full-service stations, I bet I would. (Are there any around here, by the way?)

My husband uses his Kroger card for points, but isn’t so loyal he won’t stray if he sees a better price or stop where the restrooms are cleanest when we’re traveling.

What about you? What drives you to choose a particular gas station? Is it brand loyalty? Pricing? Location? The coffee? I’d really like to know.


(20) comments

Steve Fouga

For me it's pricing No. 1, and convenience No. 2. I won't drive very far out of my way to buy cheaper gas.

BTW, I'm struck how certain stations on the Island get away with charging so much more than others less than a mile away. I don't see how they stay in business.

Doyle Beard

free enterprise

Stephen Maradeo

I don't think brand loyalty matters much when talking about gasoline.
Habit and convenience trumps loyalty.

Vandy Anderson

Noah Rice Service Center 75th and Stewart Road is full service. Gas, tires, windshield, the works.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Thanks for the information!

Doyle Beard

dont pump gas and talk on cellphone

Joel Martin

Well if you have to you could move to Oregon where you are not allowed to pump your own gas, though you may pump your own diesel. Locals refer to it(the law) as the full employment act.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Hoss, I had no idea. I looked it up after your post and apparently New Jersey has the same law. Fascinating.

Lars Faltskog

Yankee places like Oregon and N. Jersey, who don't let individuals pump gas, probably don't have all-night places to pump gas. What a bummer. To always make regular folks sit in cars and be "serviced" sounds so upperclass, aristocratic, hoity toity.

Now, what if you're a trucker in those "people can't pump their own gas" states? I'd imagine they're bound to still have available truck stops, where only truckers can pump gas at all hours.

Kevin Lang

sverige1, it's been awhile since I was in Oregon, so I don't recall if gas stations there are open all night, but I'd guess that you can find them along the major highways. What I do recall is that there didn't seem to be a price premium versus self serve in California. Since most of New Jersey is either NYC or Philly metro, and since those metros never sleep, I doubt that Jersey does, so I'd expect you can find late night and overnight pumps fairly easily. New Jersey used to have some of the cheapest gas in the country. It's around the middle now, averaging around $3.21/gal. Oregon is about a dime more than Jersey. For reference, Texas is averaging about a dime less than Jersey.

For the most part, with all of the co-terminalling agreements, there's little chance of knowing who made the gas you're pumping. All you know is who's detergent and other additives were added.

Doyle Beard

Hoss sometimes I wish Texas had the same law when I see people amoking, engines running , cell phone use and rentering cars while pumping gas. It is really scary sometimes.. I know this was not about what I wrote except the writer did mention talking on phone while pumpiing gas.Any device like a phone being used around gas vapors should be explosion proof. Gasoline vapors are highly explosive.
i witnessed a guy filling up his boat laying on bow smoking and pumping whitht he cigarette about a foot from nozzle. I mentioned to him I hoped he did not blow my kids and I up and he got beligerent real quick like I might be stupid.

Ellen Morrison

I buy Valero gas, because it is TX/US produced, and a constant quality. Quality does matter, ask a mechanic!

And as far as service, I ~think~ the northern lane of the Exxon at 32nd and Broadway is full service, too. The guys there are so nice. I may buy Valero gas, but I always get my car inspected at that Exxon.

Jim Forsythe

Yes it makes a difference on buying same brand of gas. Some brands only filter product only once. Also if something go wrong with gas (bad blending like in Texas City a few years ago with bad benzene, fiberglass in it, happen to me) it is easer to work with the company that caused this.
The gas you use may be processed by another company then the one who’s station you are in but will have the additives, octane, requirements, and filtering required for the brand they are selling to.

Stephen Maradeo

At 720 Highway 3 in La Marque, Valero is a full-service gas station- at a premium price!

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

Wow. Thanks. I had no idea!

Lars Faltskog

I've always heard the gas at the big-name places is the exact same petroleum by-product as the gas at the quick-and-shops. The only difference is the cost. On the island, I am so glad that Krogers has its gas pumps installed. What a great addition. I use the points also. It cements the "loyalty" I have to Krogers.

I'm still mad at HEB for not coming back to the island, so I like to go to any competitors of theirs. As for Krogers, you can pump gas there any hour you wish. Some of these smaller places close their pumps after-hours. The good thing about the Seawall Krogers also is that the area seems a bit less transitory. An illusion, probably, but if I pump gas at the RaceTrac, I invariably get approached by a panhandler who asks for a quarter or a dollar.

Steve Fouga

Lars, you just don't look mean enough, or maybe you look too affluent.

I never get approached at RaceTrac.[angry]


Price. Live on the mainland, so usually get gas at Wal Mart or SAMs. I would use my Kroger points, but the nearest one with gas is on Bay Area. WM at 646 is almost always cheaper than WM in La Marque. The HEB at 646 is usually comparable to 646 WM, but the national brand across the street is ten cents or more per gallon higher!

I assume you don't believe in equal rights if you don't pump your own gas? Always thought that being able to pump gas, check the oil level, or change a tire were requirements for driving.

lauraelder Staff
Laura Elder

The whole beauty of a right is you can choose not to do it. It's really no different than the fact that more men eat than choose to cook or wash dishes.

Joel Martin

Good one Laura.

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