Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Gas Tank Mystery Solved

Thank you to my good e-mail friend for sharing this secret!

In and out of many countries, as you lug your bags to the car, do you make it a point to figure out which side of the car the gas tank is on? Or do you get to the service station and then realize that you don’t know?

I am one of those who forget, until it is time to gas up. I get to the gas station, and then when I go to fill the tank (yep, there are no friendly helpers there, so I have to do it myself) and often I have to back up or drive out and drive in again so I have the gas tank facing the pump.

There is a secret on your dashboard, one I never noticed and I bet you haven’t, either.

If you look at your gas gauge, you will see a small icon of a gas pump.


The handle of the gas pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the pump. If your tank is on the left, the handle will be on the left. If your tank is on the right, the handle will be on the right. It is that simple!

Am I the only one who didn’t know this secret?

UPDATE: On my car, this is NOT TRUE! On my car, the gas tank is on the opposite side of the car. My bad!

October 27, 2007 - Posted by | Customer Service, Technical Issue | , ,


  1. Someone sent me that picture on Thursday! and I never knew that.

    Comment by Purgatory | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  2. I don’t think I’ll ever get that !

    Comment by chikaP | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the tip Intlxpatr πŸ™‚

    Comment by 3baid | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  4. We must have the same friend, Purg. It is a revelation to me!

    Chika – You’re a smart girl – I think you’ve got it already.

    3baid – You’re welcome!

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  5. This is so interesting, I never heard of it! I’m going to check the SECOND I next get in my car!

    Thanks for this tip.

    Dedicated Elementary Teacher Overseas (in the Middle East)

    Comment by elementaryteacher | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  6. I too didn’t know about it! πŸ˜€

    Comment by Joel Robinson | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  7. ohhhh

    Comment by Enigma | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  8. Doubt it, its one of those mysteries freckles

    Comment by Purgatory | October 27, 2007 | Reply

  9. hmmm, pretty interesting!

    My car’s dashboard has a tiny arrow that points left (where the tank’s opening is) which I find very helpful.

    However, my dad taught me a trick once. When I first started driving I would always forget which side my tank was on so dad told me to pop the tank’s door while looking at one of the side mirrors. If I saw the door then I knew which side it’s on, if I didn’t it was on the other side πŸ™‚

    Comment by kinano | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  10. Kinan, Your Dad is a smart man! Didn’t you say he knows all the words to old rock and roll songs, and sings them LOUDLY, too! My kinda guy! And if I had known that secret, I could have saved a lot of time over the years!

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 28, 2007 | Reply

  11. The above statement is inaccurate. On both of my cars the tank is on the left and the gauge points to the right. Novel idea though.

    Comment by john | December 6, 2007 | Reply

  12. Grin, neat.
    Even if it points in the wrong direction, just look at it and remember: Other side πŸ˜€

    Comment by rainmountain | December 6, 2007 | Reply

  13. John – you need to have read the whole thing, including the update – I also found it to be NOT TRUE! On my most current car rental, however, underneath the gas tank symbol are the words “GAS TANK IS ON THE LEFT.” I really like that!

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 6, 2007 | Reply

  14. Nicole – Kinan’s Dad gave a good tip – flip the tank lever and watch in the rear view mirrors to see which side flips open – IF your car has the inside flipper!

    Comment by intlxpatr | December 6, 2007 | Reply

  15. Surprisingly enough this is not the case for my two cars.

    Comment by yemisi | August 29, 2008 | Reply

  16. Really you writing very well. Thanks for good informations.

    Comment by Bolanka | April 7, 2010 | Reply

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