Shannon Stacey

Adventures in pumping gas

We have a fairly comfortable routine when it comes to the College Kid coming home for a weekend visit. I pick him up on Friday, getting an hour of him all to myself, and my husband gets his hour on Sunday when he drives him back. But yesterday my husband took the younger one to the Nascar race, so I made the drive back to campus. As is often the case when my husband has driven the truck, I had to put gas in it. While I was waiting for the tank to fill (it takes a while), the vehicle in front of me pulled away and I saw a small, white car waiting to pull up to the pumps. Because of the angle, I could see there was no gas filler door on the driver’s side, so all she had to do was pull up to the front of my truck and all would be well.

I drew you a picture. Arrow 1 shows the location of her gas cap. Arrow 2 shows the path she needed to take. Also, my ponytail wasn’t that fluffy. (I took the liberty of shedding a few pounds, too.)

Diagram of gas station

She then proceeded to turn her car around in a series of pull forward – back up – pull forward – back up that went on for quite some time. The gentleman pumping gas on the other side of the island and I made eye contact briefly, as if silently asking “Should we tell her?”. Of course not. Once she had totally turned the car around and backed it up to the front of my truck, her male companion got out of the passenger side and walked inside to pay in advance for the gas. As I was getting in the truck, he went to the pump, pulled the handle and…no gas filler door!

I got the door closed in time to muffle our laughter and I said: “He should have looked when he walked by.”

The College Kid said: “She could have looked at the indicator on the dash.”

I looked at him like he was a crazy person. “There’s no dash indicator for which side your gas tank is on.”

He looked me like I was the crazy person. “Of course there is. It’s industry standard.”

There’s an arrow. I’ve had my license about twenty-five years and have owned at least a dozen vehicles and I never knew this.

Arrow next to picture of fuel pump under gas gauge

Who knew?

(In my defense, my husband didn’t, either.)

17 comments to “Adventures in pumping gas”

  1. Laura
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 3:42 pm · Link

    My car doesn’t have that indicator. I looked. :roll:

  2. aida alberto
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 3:44 pm · Link

    I didn’t know this either until someone pointed it out to me. I get in the car and look and oh yeah there it is. Before that I always had to remember where it was before I pumped gas.

  3. Jean
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 3:46 pm · Link

    I knew, but it’s not intuitive about where to look, and even if you know, it’s not always easy to see. But that story is hilarious.

  4. Lee
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 3:47 pm · Link

    Son of a gun! I didn’t know that either!!

  5. library addict
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 4:07 pm · Link

    I’ve had some cars that have it, some that don’t. So while I knew it was a thing I did not know it was now industry standard.

    And I have pulled up to the wrong side, but only once when I was driving my mom’s car. It is a very embarrassing thing to do when the pump thingy doesn’t stretch far enough to cover your mistake.

  6. Shannon
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 4:21 pm · Link

    I don’t know if all of my vehicles have it, but I’ll be checking.

    And the only time I ever pull in on the wrong side of the pumps, it’s at an insanely busy gas station. I have, however, learned to at least glance and doublecheck before running my card through the swipey thing. :)

  7. Shari Mikels
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 4:23 pm · Link

    That story is hilarious and I’m laughing at all y’all. But only because Mr M had to point that indicator out to me a very long time ago when I’d gotten a new car. Heh.

  8. Lynnie N.
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 4:25 pm · Link

    As someone who just recently purchased a new vehicle, I wish I new this before I pulled off my version of the gas pump shuffle. ;)

  9. MO
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 4:52 pm · Link

    Ah yes, that indicator is a wonderful thing, especially on rentals. However it has only been around for a handful of years. While our new Subaru has it our departed 12 year old Subaru and my still in use 17 year old BMW does not.

  10. Kelly S
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 5:01 pm · Link

    I knew about it. My 2000 Mercury Cougar has it. It is always by the gas pump icon.

  11. Kathleen
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 6:16 pm · Link

    Me either! Now I have to run outside to look! LOL

  12. ButtonsMom2003
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 9:37 pm · Link

    Someone told me about this several years ago but I still forget about it sometimes. What really messed me up at one time was having two cars from the same company but the gas filler was on opposite sides. I could never keep it straight and would forget to look at the dash! :-)

  13. Tracy S
      · September 22nd, 2014 at 11:45 pm · Link

    I had no idea! Will be checking both vehicles tomorrow! :wink:

  14. chaz
      · September 23rd, 2014 at 2:19 am · Link

    Puzzling. Why was her car facing you, no the other way around?

  15. chaz
      · September 23rd, 2014 at 2:24 am · Link

    Here in Al Ain, UAE, where I live, drivers routinely pull up to the wrong side of the pump (most fuel tank doors are on the driver’s side), and the attendant has to drag the nozzle all the way around the car at absurd angles, stretching the hose to the limit. Neither embarrassment nor apologies here, just a nonchalant examination of the fingernails.

  16. Aja Howes
      · September 25th, 2014 at 10:48 pm · Link

    So funny! I love watching people do that.

    Even if there’s no arrow to indicate which side the gas tank is on, I’ve read that the gas gauge itself is an indicator- if it’s aligned to the left the gas is on the driver’s side, and vice versa. I haven’t found it to be wrong yet.

  17. azteclady
      · September 28th, 2014 at 9:29 am · Link

    I’m lucky I drive the same car all the time–after a few muttered “curses! wrong side” and the drive around the gas station to get it ride, I haven’t forgotten which side to pull to the pump in while *knocking on my head*

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