#988 The Gas Arrow

Put your hand up if you’ve ever driven your car up to a gas pump only to notice after you’ve parked that your gas cap is on the other side.

My brother, if your hand is up right now, you are not alone.

See, some cars I’ve driven have the ol’ gas hole on the starboard side and some on port. Due to my unfortunate afflication with gasholenorememberititis, I’m always parking the car the wrong way. Sure, I try desperately to notice a little gas-cap bulge in the side mirror when I pull up, craning my head wildly in both directions, and generally pretty sure I caught quick glimpse of it as I pull in. But then I get out, notice I messed up, pound my fist on the trunk, give a sheepish toothy grin to the attendant, and then have to pull off a quick and awkward seven-point-turn before anyone moves in to steal my spot.

It is a terrible thing.

But guess what? High fives all around the room, because there is hope for People Like Us. Shockingly, I have recently discovered The Gas Arrow! Yes, believe it, driving fans, because it truly exists. The Gas Arrow is a little, tiny arrow right beside the picture of the gas pump, which tells you which side your car’s gas hole is on! I know, it’s crazy. And I guess whoever is responsible for marketing really dropped the ball on this one, because nobody I asked (n=3) has even noticed this before!

Yes, just look at that Gas Arrow, head-nodding casually to the left or the right, a classy pal just trying to tip you off real subtle like. It’s like a flashlight in a storage closet, a lighthouse on a foggy pier, a finger pointing at what you’re supposed to look at. The great, noble Gas Arrow, telling you which way to park your stupid car.

So thanks Gas Arrow, for the big helper. Until car companies start putting gas holes on both sides of the car or they invent a new wireless gas that lets you fill up through your radio, I think I can speak for all of humanity when I say that we love you and everything you stand for.


The gas arrow

122 thoughts on “#988 The Gas Arrow

  1. Seriously?? There’s a gas-arrow?? AWESOME! We have the exact same situation in our 2-car family, and despite owning one of the cars for 12 years now, I still sometimes get it wrong at the pump.

    To me, this is awesome enough to be higher on the list, but I’m glad it’s not because I would not have wanted to wait all those months to find out about it.

    Ha ha, I said “glad it snot”. I suppose that applies more to #989.

    1. It is not on every car..the gas pump on your fuel guage has a hose on it..sometimes it is on the left of the pump and sometimes on the right. that was the original indicator of what side the filler door was on. This does not alwas work either.. some people just know what side they fill up on. Wife’s care is on passenger side, my truck is on my side…

      1. the older “hose on the pump” indicator is an internet rumor. It was never meant to be an indicator. If it was correct, it was just a coincidence.

  2. Some cars don’t have a gas arrow. Instead, the picture of the gas pump itself is on the side where the tank is. The more you know.

    1. WOAH THAT JUST BLEW MY MIND. My car does not have a gas arrow, but the fuel gauge is on the side of the instrument panel that it is on the car. HOLY CRAP!

      1. Yeah, I never heard about the gas arrow. I always just heard that whatever side the pump is on in the picture is the side the gas tank is on. I’m pretty sure my grandma taught me that…or maybe my ex boyfriend. I don’t really remember. But it sure helps with rentals.

        1. I didn’t even know about the gas arrow and then I looked in my car to see if I had it and there it was amazing how people don’t notice these things until someone tells them

      1. Oh, that’s terrible that it didn’t post the video… the video is key. It’s the “The More You Know” video. I’m no bot. Not as witty without the video. You live and you learn.

  3. That’s amazing! I so did not know that. Now I can feel somewhat confident in possibly being less awkward next time I drive a car.

  4. I was aware of this phenomenon, but I would like to suggest a sub-category for 988. How about cars with their gas hole on the pasenger side? This is particularly useful when pulling up to the flying J and massive lines exist (as entrance is only permitted from one side) for cars with driver’s side gas holes (most North American cars, and many imports as well…it’s easier for the driver to get to it when it’s on that side). I only buy cars with pasenger side gas holes in order to avoid this (often the Japanese do this). I also like to fill up in the RV section sometimes. When RVs pull up and honk and curse at me, I like to tell them that I won’t be long. I just need to empty the septic tank on my Impreza.

    1. If you don’t put gas in your Toyota at all, things will improve..YOUR car will not have that dreaded accelerator problem.

  5. My husband learned this trick only months ago. If we’re ever driving, it’s in a rented (or borrowed) car, so knowing this is truly an AWESOME thing. God bless you for spreading the word.

  6. My 1996 Toyota Corolla (made in Ontario) also has no gas arrow. What a let-down. I was so excited earlier… However, my husband’s Mazda comes through for us.

    1. Toyota has no brakes or accelerator that function properly either. I would not put gas in it if i were you, that way the accelerator won’t stick and you don’t need brakes.

      1. Don’t tell us the thing which You know nothing about please. I had so many Toyota cars. They are most reliable in the world.
        I can tell You as a friend to friend: Don’t listen to propaganda !

    2. My car not only has no gas arrow, but the pump hose is on the wrong side of the picture AND the picture is on the wrong side of the guage. So none of these tips apply to my car! Which is a ford, and fairly common. I was so excited too :(

  7. i travel 50-75% a month for work and am always renting cars. i’ve known about the arrow for a while, and it is one of the greatest things out there.

    thanks for letting others in on the secret.

  8. I mentioned the Gas Arrow on the air this morning, crediting your website of course, and got huge response from my listeners. Everybody had one, no one knew what it was or ever really thought about. You made me a freakin hero today…

  9. Seriously, you just found this?
    I hope you haven’t been driving too long. If you (GASP!) read the owners manual it clearly states the location or lack of the gas arrow.

    My Jeep doesn’t have one, but my Ford did. Not all cars have one. If your truly tank-side challenged, put a small piece of tape on the side of your gauge display that has the tank.

    Come on people.

    1. look at the gas pump on your fuel guage. What side is the hose on? Is your fill tube on the same side as the hose on the guage?

  10. Wow.

    I’ve read every post from 1000 to this post, and this is the first post that I’ve learned something rather than remembered something.

    To quote Tim and Eric, great job!

  11. I guess I’m rather unique in having an old American sedan with the gas cap behind the license plate… means I can pull up to either side! Now that’s useful…

    1. Not unique! I have a Caprice Classic and have the tank behind the license plate too. It’s VERY usefull, but gets annoying when I’m constantly being asked by the gas attendant… “Um… Where is your gas tank?”

  12. John-

    Next time try reading the article before you post. The snopes article is talking about something completely different. The myth was that whatever way the gas handle points, that’s which side the fuel door is on. This article is talking about a little arrow that points to the correct side. These are completely different things. So this post is still true.

  13. My mom used to have a an old Chevy where the gas hole was in the rear. Haha, no joke meant there. It was behind the license plate.

  14. Sorry HF: The picture of the gas tank is NOT ALWAYS on the side of the gas hole. Just ask my buddy Adam who was sure of the same thing. He’s now out $50.00 and I’m off to fill up my tank!

  15. The cars in the 50’s & 60’s also had the filltube under a tail light.
    It was always on the left side in American cars.

    The early 50’s Chevy has one in the rear fender which would ALWAYS stop the automatic nozzle because it wouldn’t accept fuel faster than a guy could pee who had a big prostate and small weiner.

    I worked in a gas station then and, I HATED these cars in winter.

  16. Normally, there’s no arrow, and it’s the side of the pump that the nozzle is on that indicates which side the fuel cap sits on.

  17. Sad to break the news to you, but I’ve known about this for a while. Not to diminish its awesomeness or anything, because it’s still pretty baller.

  18. I am half tempted to go out and look and see if my car has an arrow or not, even though I know which side the fuel hole is on. But this could be very useful knowledge in the future.

  19. ‘a finger pointing at what you’re supposed to look at’

    I never see these. Ever.

    “Look, It’s there.”
    “Right there!”
    -“Where? I can’t see anything.”
    “You’re looking right at it!”
    -“There’s nothing there!”
    “Yeah, that’s ’cause it’s gone now, Mr. Magoo!”

  20. If it makes the rest of you feel a bit smarter…I only drive two cars, mine and my mom’s. They both have the gas hole on the passenger side. But I still pull up on the wrong side when driving mom’s car about half the time. Some kind of mental disability evidently.

  21. No way!! I never noticed this. I don’t have a hard time with my gas pump, I just remember. But it is pretty awsome that they have the gas arrow!! I’m going to check tonight when I get in my car to see if I have it!!! AWSOME!

  22. Just used this trick this afternoon…even though I already knew where the cap was. BTW after reading this blog I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time. Thanks for the laughs and the incredibly precise and funny language you use in your posts.

  23. Thank you ! 1000 Awesome Things. I never noticed the gas arrow before. If I drive someone else’s car and have to put gas in it , no more embarrassing moments of moving the car or trying to stretch the hose to the other side.

  24. Neil-

    I read this Awesome thing a few months back when I began reading your blog. I needed to stop in and let you know that this is the best of the best of Awesome things. I have driven 2 unfamiliar cars since I read this post and the arrow has saved me from the akward head out the window looking for the gas cap situation. Thank you Thank you.

  25. Yeah I pulled into the gas station and ran into the gas pumps,broke the mirror ,scratched my car,and broke a pump.Luckily the lady didnt notice the broken pump otherwise i would have benn charged mucho dinero.After this I get out of the car to discover the gashole is on the other side.So i looked extra foolish in front of my audience!

  26. My car doesn’t have a gas arrow :( It just has the gauge and says “Unleaded Fuel Only”. Thankfully I don’t generally have a problem when I’m in my car.

    1. Cars built in Europe don’t have a gas arrow (At least none I’ve owned have). But then, I think our hoses are longer as it’s easy to fill up from both sides, and we don’t have that silly contraption over the end of the nozzle getting in the way. Although most people still queue for the pumps on their gashole side, which is great for me.

  27. So that’s what the arrow is for?!?!
    I just got a rental today, a Toyota Yarris, and noticed the little arrow by the gas icon. I thought it was showing what that gauge was for like “yup, this little gauge is for the >gas”

    Now I’ll have to trick my husband into getting gas while I’m with him, because there’s no freakin way he knows this already.
    “Hey honey, what side is the gas tank on?”
    “The drivers side”
    Looks at me suspiciously “Are you sure? How do you know?”

  28. no joke, i am 24 and have owned many cars and always just kinda guessed where the gas cap is…until i bought my newest car. my 19 yr old boyfriend told me about the arrow and i was “seriously?! no way!!!” it was possibly one of the more epic discoveries i’ve ever made.

  29. I totally love the gas arrow! Since I got a new car this year, and the gas cap is on the other side, I was always confused, then one day I was staring at my console and…Holy crap, there’s an arrow there! Sweet! I’ve only pulled in on the wrong side once since discovering that.

  30. i noticed the gas arrow on friday in my car and i just read this the folowwoing monday that is kind of weird i thought that was what it was for but i wasnt sure

  31. OMG! I never knew such a thing existed! (I don’t think I’ve ever had this problem, but it’s still sounds awesome!!!) I wanna go check if my car has this, but I’m too lazy & it’s too cold to go outside right now… =P

  32. Wow, this brings back a thought. I’ve known about the gas arrow but a guy on a new car forum didn’t. He actually thought the arrow was a light on his dash that was telling him his gas door was open. He went on and on about it until we finally convinced him that it wasn’t a light, that it was printed on there, and was only there to tell him which side of the car his gashole was on.

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