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Fuel filler cap location top tip

By Rigval on 28 Jan 2011

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-fuel filler cap from BMW hydrogen car-

If you're one of those people that travel a lot and drive different cars all the time either because you are using a company car, a rented one, a borrowed one or even a stolen one you may have to stop for fuel. You would usually want to park your car at the side where the fuel filler cap is closest to the pump but since you're in a car that is foreign to you, which side is the fuel filler cap on? The driver's side or the passenger side?

If you were the person who checked first before you're driving you would not need to go through all the hassle, but if you did not do so it isn't a hassle as most modern cars nowadays make it easy for you to tell these days. All you have to do is take a look at the fuel gauge at the car's instrument cluster. If you look at the photo above you can clearly see a small triangle-like arrow right beside the icon that looks like a fuel pump. Take a look at the photo below.

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The way the arrow points is usually the side the fuel filler cap is on. If it points to the right, the filler is usually on the right side. It's pretty straightforward, but surprisingly not many people actually pay attention to this little icon.

This little arrow is used by most manufacturers these days. The photograph in the paragraph above is from a Mercedes Benz AMG C63's instrument cluster and it uses this simple icon to show where the filler cap is situated. The photos below is from a a Suzuki Swift and from a Corvette.

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Some cars like the 2005 Impreza makes it even clearer. It states 'Fuel Door' right beside the little arrowhead (photo below). It does make life a little easier for those that actually drive a lot of cars all the time.

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But it isn't a full proof tip. Most older cars don't have this little arrow and some newer cars also don't have it. The 2010 BMW 5 series Gran Turismo (instrument cluster below) is a car that doesn't help its driver (or the person who stole it) any indication as to where the fuel filler cap is located. That is unless the driver stepped out of the car to make sure before he or she stopped at the pumps. It's either that or he'd better make sure the fuel hose is long enough to cross the width of the car.

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photos:wikipedia/author's/various press photos

motoring tip, fuel filler cap and 1 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
SYF77 Jan 28 2011 06:56 PM
I went to look at my fuel gauge and found the arrow after reading your posting. Thanks for highlighting!!
Rigval Jan 28 2011 09:35 PM
you're very welcome
Ilmw Jan 29 2011 12:35 AM
Good info! Learnt something new.

Prior to this, which side the fuel door is, depends on where the car was designed and made.

If it's designed and made in a country with LHD, the fuel door is on the right. If RHD, fuel door on left. I dunno precisely, but I figure this is to balance the weight of the driver (when he's alone).

Take for example, Nissan, it's unlike its Jap brothers, cos it took its design from EU, hence Nissan's fuel doors are the right, when most Jap cars have it on the left.
Kangadrool Jan 29 2011 04:00 AM
The lost logical way is to position the fuel gauge on the instrument panel on whichever side the fuel door is located. There is no need to put sign with arrow on dash.
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