Design standards — gas caps

I pulled into the Mobil station on Aviation Boulevard this afternoon to top off the tank on my rental car (and spare myself the $8.86 per gallon gouging by the rental agency). I did what I always do when I arrive at the gas station. I stopped by the tire inflator, got out, looked for which side the gas cap was on, and then pulled up to the pump for the fill up. I kicked myself for not checking before I climbed into the car, but hey, good intentions never go remembered, and as I watched, another guy pulled into, to the same spot by the air hose, got out, looked, and then climbed back in to pull up on the appropriate side.

Why can’t the auto industry come up with a simple indicator on the dashboard to denote which side the gas cap is on? My buddy Lincoln Jackson had a rule of thumb that whichever side of the dashboard the gauge was on, so would be the gas cap.


Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Design standards — gas caps”

  1. I’ve noticed more and more cars with an arrow pointing to the side of the car where the gas cap is… not all, but I’d say > half.

  2. An indicator might have helped me in my most embarrassing petrol cap incident in America when I was late for a plane and had to return to Hertz. In the end 3 or 4 people came to help me find the bloody thing – it ended up being behind the number plate (licence plate). How are us foreigners supposed to know THAT?

    The other one (also in America) and also needing me to go ask for help was the day I found the petrol cap but no way to open it. You’re all shouting – “look for the secret handle in the glove box” I’m sure. Oh my!

    And simple things like you need to lift the handle on the petrol pump to start it – nowhere else in the world! So all us Johnny Foreigners are stood like idiots at American petrol stations waiting for something to happen. I could go on. I feel an “aliens” guide to America coming on.

    Although, to be fair, it seems in recent years your immigration signage has changed and we’re no longer call “Aliens” but “Visitors”. Much nicer thank you 😉

    To get our own back – we have our own American’s Guide to Visiting England. I have posted it here:

  3. I have two cars, one a GM which has cap on drivers side, the other a Ford which has gas cap on passenger side. Both are black vehicles and oft-times I forget which I am driving and invariably end up on the wrong side of the pump. I miss the old days when the gas cap was behind the license plate so it didn’t matter which side of the pump you used. However those cars were subject to blowing up in rear end collisions. The best concept is the bicycle, no gas cap at all.

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