Answer this question as quickly as you can: on which side of your car is the gas cap located? You might have this feature memorized with your own car, but what about when you drive a rental? Regardless of your preference, there’s a sneaky way to know which side of the gas pump you should pull up to.
Rather than craning your neck out the window in hopes of seeing (or not seeing) the gas cap on the driver’s side, you can simply peer down at the fuel gauge on the dashboard. Many newer cars feature an arrow indicator pointing either to the left or the right. This little arrow tells you which side of the vehicle the gas tank is located. By knowing this little trick, you’ll never pull up to the gas pump on the wrong side again!
In countries where the steering wheel is located on the left side of the car – including America – personal preference leans toward a left-mounted fuel door. When located on the driver’s side of the car, it’s easier to pull up close to the fuel pump, and you have less walking to do once you step out of the car to fuel up.
That being said, preferences tend to reverse in countries where the steering wheel is located on the right side of the car, including the UK, Australia, India, Japan, New Zealand, and Hong Kong. These are the only places where the steering wheel is installed on the right, so people with this preference are in the minority. Still, many automakers continue to manufacturer some vehicles with the gas cap on the left, and others with the cap on the right, regardless of where the steering wheel is situated.
No US government regulations address on which side of the car the fuel door should be positioned. With no legal issues, and preferences typically low on a consumer’s wish list, there’s no marketing motivation to standardize a gas cap location. This means car companies are free to design vehicles with gas tanks, and therefore gas caps, on either side of the vehicle.
Irritated motorists take note: fuel door position isn’t a random choice. If engineers need to place a mechanism on the left side of the car for the best performance, the fuel tank and door will shift to the right. Gas cap location isn’t a high enough priority to second-guess other features just to make sure the fuel door ends up on the left side. Plus, there’s not enough room – not to mention no demand – for dual gas caps.
Besides pulling up on the wrong side, the other problem with the gas pump is the amount you have to pay to keep your car fueled. Fortunately for consumers, gas prices have declined following a spike a few years ago. As of late February 2017, they have settled at an average of $2.18 per gallon in Colorado.
Still, you always want to keep costs low. A combination of driving more efficiently and taking care of your car helps to keep fuel economy high and trips to the gas pump low. For help maintaining your vehicle so it uses gas more efficiently, visit Scott’s Fort Collins Auto for regular car tune-ups.
When you’re ready for your next visit, schedule an appointment online, give us a call at (970) 682-4202, or just drop by our auto repair shop in Fort Collins anytime between 7:30 am and 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday!