Nugget of Knowledge: Gas tank left or right side?


Len Rome's Daily Feature of Little Known Facts

You’re driving an unfamiliar car, say a rental, and have to put gas in it…where’s the gas cap?
On the right side or the left?
Just find the little gas pump symbol around your speedometer and you’ll see a little arrow on the right side or left…that tells you.
But why do gas caps go on different sides?
In this country, there are no regulations that say where the fuel door should go, left or right.
The car company engineers can place the door to the gas tank on whichever side offers the most convenience to them as they design the car.
Let’s say the engineer must install a large speaker on the left side, so it may be more convenient to put the fuel door on the right.
Fuel door position is not random….but if engineers have a good reason to place fuel doors on the right, that’s where they tend to go.
And surveys from the car makers say Americans prefer the cap on the left, the driver’s side, European drivers on the right.
A lot of it has to do with the design of the fuel tank, too…and safety.
Pull off the road and refuel from a can on the right side of the car and you’re own rear isn’t sticking out into speeding traffic.
Also some cars had their cap behind the rear license plate that had a hinge, pull down the plate and you’ve found the cap….no longer.
The cap has to go on one or the other side.

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