If you've ever gotten in an unfamiliar vehicle, maybe a rental car, you may have pulled up to the gas pump and wondered, "Which side is the fuel filler on?" Here's a tip for you. There is usually a little arrow on the instrument panel near the fuel gauge that points to the side where the fuel filler is.
But why are the fuel fillers not all on the same side, anyway? There are lots of reasons. At one time, many manufacturers tried putting them in an easy-to-reach spot: in the center of the vehicle's rear end. Some even hid them behind a hinged license plate door. Cool place, but it turned out not to be a good idea. When a vehicle with a fuel filler in the rear was hit by another vehicle from behind, it was much more prone to catch fire and explode.
Safety regulations now dictate that the fuel filler doors be placed within crumple zones and away from where they can drip fuel on hot exhaust pipes or near electrical connections. But why do manufacturers put them on either side?
Some say it should be on the side away from the road. That way if you run out of gas and have to add a little from a gas can as your standing at the side of the road, you'll be a little farther away from passing traffic. So some companies from North America and many European firms with left-hand drive put their fillers on the right side.
Some manufacturers think convenience for the driver is paramount, so they put their fuel fillers on the driver's side. If you have a vehicle with a cable release for the fuel door inside the cabin, it's usually on the same side as the steering wheel. As you can see, there's no standardization.
Fuel doors need regular maintenance such as lubrication, and your gas cap (if your vehicle has one) should seal properly. Have your service facility inspect those regularly. Wherever your fuel filler is, it's obviously important that you can get at it easily because you have to fuel up sometime. Otherwise, you're not going to go too far!
Sovel's Auto Service
41425 W. 10 Mile Rd.
Novi, Michigan 48375
More articles from Sovel's Auto Repair Novi
September 17, 2023
When you get in your vehicle, how does it smell? If it's not so nice, it may be time to have your cabin air filter changed. It's not the same one that filters out the air used in the engine. The cabin air filter screens out dust and other particulates from the outside air so when it enters the c... More
September 10, 2023
There are so many tire choices in the Novi area that selecting the right one can be a bit overwhelming for drivers. And even though it's kind of fun to have new tires on your vehicle, they're a significant investment for most Novi area folks so you want do it right.Tip: talk with your friendly an... More
September 3, 2023
There are a number of factors that contribute to the high nighttime accident rate in the Novi area, things like drowsy driving and a higher rate of impaired driving. Without a doubt, visibility is a major contributor. Let's focus on visibilityIt's said that 90 percent of our driving decisions are... More