How to Tell Which Side of the Car Your Gas Tank is On Without Leaving the Driver's Seat

Published Thursday, May 13, 2021

The first time you get gas in a new car, it’s a 50/50 chance that you’ll pull into the pump correctly.

This is because car manufacturers put the fuel tank door on the right and left sides of models almost equally. It’s both a design choice, and an overall marketing choice (since almost all gas pumps can be accessed either way, having your entire fleet all “one way” is not advantageous.)

Now of course, once you know which side your current vehicle is on, you won’t make the mistake of pulling in the wrong way. But if you are borrowing someone else’s car, or using a rental car, there’s an easy way you can tell which side the fuel tank door is on.

Every car has a small picture of a fuel tank somewhere near the fuel gauge.

You may have never noticed it, but it’s there. And you know what else is there? A little arrow (see the above picture for an example).

And that’s your cue – if the arrow is pointing left, that means the fuel tank door is on the left (driver’s side). If the arrow is pointing right, then the fuel tank door is on the right (the passenger side).

So one quick glance is all you need to know which side the fuel tank door is on any car or truck. Neat huh?

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