We’ve all been there. That feeling of anxiety as you pull up to your local Katy, TX gas station, see a free space by a pump and realize, you have no absolutely no idea which side of the car the gas tank is on.

Gas Tank Location

If you’ve ever driven a rental car or a car that wasn’t your own, when the time came to fill it up, you probably had to stop and figure out which side the gas tank is on. Given how common it is for drivers to pull up on the wrong side of the pump, you might wonder, why aren’t all fuel doors on the same side of every car?

The answer isn’t that simple. According the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, the U.S. government does not regulate where car manufacturers must construct a fuel door. This means it can be on the left, right, rear, or front of the car. It just depends on the manufacturer. Interestingly, there is little demand from consumers for dual-fuel doors, which would eliminate a lot of confusion.

Domestic vs. Foreign

Ford spokesperson Mark Schirmer explained that Americans prefer left-mounted fuel doors because it allows for drivers to better position their vehicles closer to the pump. However, according to Schirmer, the gas tank location isn’t usually a factor in the buying decision.

In the United Kingdom, Australia, India, and Japan, drivers drive on the left side of the road where they sit on the right side of the car. Those drivers prefer right-mounted fuel doors for the same reasoning.

No matter the make of the vehicle, placement of the fuel door comes down to design, and the design of a car can come down to precise inches, leaving no room for two fuel doors. Also, when a speaker or tubing or some other component needs to be placed in a specific area of the car, the gas tank will be designed around it.

When it comes down to it, the position of the fuel door isn’t just slapped on at the end of the cars journey down the assembly line. Wherever it is located, it is there for a carefully considered reason.

A picture of a person filling up car with gas

So Where Is It?

Next time you have trouble locating the gas tank door, look at your gas gage and notice which direction the arrow is pointed. That is where your fuel door is located. Also, if you have a little gas pump icon, the nozzle will be pointing in the direction of your fuel door.

Got more questions about your car or truck? Contact Dillon’s Automotive. We are here for all of your factory scheduled and preventive maintenance needs.


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