Join the Car Talk Community!

ago we answered a letter from a reader wondering why...

RSS
A couple of months ago, we answered a letter from a reader wondering why
the position of the gas fillers on cars isn't standardized. He complained
that he can never remember which side of the filling station island to pull
up on. We said we had no idea why it isn't the same on all cars. After
weighing the pros and cons of right vs. left, we suggested that the filler
tube be standardized on the driver's side, to make filling the gas tank
more convenient for the driver, who usually dispenses the gas in these days
of self-service/self-pay/self-window wash/self-oil check/self-spill gas on
pants and self-lose gas cap. Here's some of what you had to say.

***

Dear Tom and Ray:



Hooray for the guy who wrote in about this! I thought I was the only guy
this drove nuts. Mine's on the left, my wife's is on the right. I regret
selling my '58 Chevy, the last year with the filler tube behind the license
plate. Tell the manufacturers to make up their minds! -- John

***

Dear Tom and Ray:



Both sides are nuts. It should go in the back so that no matter which side
of the station you pull up to, you can easily get at it. I have an '87
Mustang 2+2, which has it in the correct spot. -- Pat

***

Dear Tom and Ray:



Your column on the gas filler pipe location reminds me a great deal of the
debate about leaving the toilet seat up or down: No matter which side you
prefer, half of the population will prefer it the other way. The toilet
seat dilemma also suggests a solution. For the toilet seat, the solution is
to put both the seat and the lid down. For the filler pipe, the solution is
to return to the superb design of my old 1965 Buick LeSabre and put it in
the middle! -- Dave

***

Dear Tom and Ray:



I am of the opinion that there should be gas filler tubes (GFT) on both the
right and left side of all vehicles. How hard could that be? This will
prevent all that silly jockeying around the gas pumps that occurs promptly
at 7:15 every Monday morning. I'm sure you've seen or participated in these
wacky events: You pull up to the only vacant pump, then, realizing that
your GFT is on the other side, you try to stretch the hose to reach the
filler tube. It just about makes it, but not enough to slip the nozzle into
the GFT.

You sullenly get back in your car and shift into reverse in order to turn
your car around and line up properly with the pump. Looking into the
rearview mirror, you see that some schmo has pulled in behind you. As you
wave for him to back up, he only backs up enough for you to get out, but
not enough for you to turn around. Rather than suffer the embarrassment of
explaining to this dope that you forgot which side your GFT was on, you
drive around the cramped parking apron of the gas station. With crystal
clear recollection of your GFT's location, you blithely pull ahead of a
line of cars in order to back into a slot soon to be vacated by a young
mother in a minivan who looks to be nearly finished filling her tank.

As gas flows from the pump, out of her GFT and onto the ground, she has
suddenly decided to squeegee all 17 windows on her van. With great
frustration tinged with not a little fury, you decide to "blow this joint"
and stomp on the accelerator pedal. With a great roar of your engine and a
loud squeal of rubber, you tear off to take your business elsewhere. Just
as you get ready to make a sharp right turn back into traffic, your engine
dies due to lack of fuel.
Now you must somehow swallow your pride, ignore the great public
humiliation you've just imposed upon yourself, and ask the guy in the
bullet-proof booth to help you push your car back up the driveway and next
to a pump so that you can put some gas into your GFT. I'm not the only one
this happens to -- am I right? -- Tom

RAY: You forgot to describe how the guy behind the bullet-proof glass can't
make out what you're saying, and calls the police because he thinks it's a
stickup. We'll add that to the script when we do the "Car Talk Movie."

***

Order Tom and Ray's pamphlet, "Ten Ways You May Be Ruining Your Car Without
Even Knowing It!" Send $3 and a stamped (55 cents), self-addressed, No. 10
envelope to Ruin, PO Box 6420, Riverton, NJ 08077-6420.

***
?(C) 1999 by Tom and Ray Magliozzi and Doug Berman
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Login / Signup
Support for Car Talk is provided by:

Donate Your Car,
Support Your NPR Station

...and get a tax break!

Get Started

Find a Mechanic


Go



Submit