Aaron Widmar

The Quickest Way to Tell Which Side of the Car Its Gas Cap Is On

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Always remember where your vehicle’s fuel cap is with this great trick

Gas cap fuel tank refill pump hatch
Photo: The News Wheel

Isn’t it aggravating when you pull into a gas station and can’t remember which side of your car needs to be facing the pump? You park your car and step out only to realize that — yet again — you’ve pulled up on the wrong side and have to turn your car around. If this happens to you often, here’s a great trick many people don’t know to remember which side of your car its gas cap is on.

Tired of Paying for Gas for Your Car? It’s one of these reasons you should consider driving an EV

How your car discreetly tells you where the fuel cap is

Your car actually does have an easy-to-spot indicator that informs you which side of the car to fill up from, but no one may have ever told you about it before. Well, let me be the first to do that.

Next time you’re in the car, take a look at the gas icon next to your fuel gauge on the dashboard. See that triangle? That’s an arrow pointing to the side of the vehicle the fuel cap is on. So, if it points to the left – you guessed it – the filler cap is on the driver’s side of your car. And if it points to the right, it’s on the passenger’s side. It’s that simple.

This trick is especially useful if you’re driving a car you’re not familiar with, like a rental.

car fuel gauge gas tank odometer mileage dashboard meter temperature
Photo: The News Wheel

Of all the aspects of vehicle design and manufacturing that the government regulates, the placement of the gas tank access point is not. According to an article by Southern Living, that allows manufacturers the freedom to design the rest of the vehicle without being bound by the requirement to always have the fuel door and tank opening in the same spot. So, it’s location is generally a result of how the rest of the car is designed.

Still, studies like the one referenced by Allstate show that Americans largely prefer that fuel caps be positioned on the left side of the vehicle, whereas those who drive on the left side of the road prefer to have the gas cap on the right side of the car.

Unfortunately, older cars don’t have that nifty indicator, as no one had this genius idea until only recently. Back in the day, you had to memorize the cap’s location, and it could’ve been hidden anywhere, even underneath the rear license plate or inside the tail light!

Save the Earth! Easy ways to take a zero-waste road trip