Why is this like that?

Metal content. Whatever's still made out of metal in today's cars.
Probably hearing and seeing all the news buzz about gasoline prices
triggered this question, and I wonder if there IS a single good answer
to it?
My inquiring mind wants to know....
Why my last car had it's gas filler on the left rear fender, and my
latest one has it on the right rear fender? Glancing at cars around me
in traffic, it seems the distribution of right and left seems about equal.
Is there a method to this madness? I can't thing of an engineering
reason for the seemingly arbitrary right-left location of the fill caps.
So far I've had these thoughts about the subject:
In the USA, almost all passenger cars are left hand drive and I expect
that the majority of self serve gas pumping is performed by the driver.
Thus, a gas filler location on the left side of the vehicle gets the job
done with the fewest footsteps, so why does my latest car have it on the
A car population with a roughly equal left-right distribution should
improve the chances that you'll find a gas station lane with a pump
available on the side your car's filler is on. (That ignores the
possibility of pulling the nozzle and hose across the car to reach a
filler on the other side. I remember doing that years ago, but don't
recall seeing it done anywhere recently, and don't even know if today's
typical hoses are ong enough to do that anyway.)
I suspect the "behind the rear license plate" filler is fasy becoming a
relic of the past.
Thoughts or answers guys?
Jeff (Whose first car had its gas filler a couple of inches in front of
the center of the windshield. It was a '31 Model A Ford. )
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
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Generally it is on the opposite side as the exhaust. So why are exhausts distributed right and left? As a driver I would prefer them on the passenger side :-).
- Bob Headrick
Reply to
Bob Headrick
Get an old jag xjs. Gas caps on both sides. Exhaust on both sides as well?? :) But recall '60s Merkin cars, gas cap behind the license plate. :) :) But the Boxster has the exhaust dead center. Which kind of reminds me of my goddamm sitting on my chest and then raising his tail..... Exhaust indeed. -- Mr. P.V.'d formerly Droll Troll
Reply to
Proctologically Violated©®
(clip) Jeff (Whose first car had its gas filler a couple of inches in front of the center of the windshield. It was a '31 Model A Ford. ) ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Jeff, what was really neat about that was the gas gauge. It was in the middle of the dash--a glass window that allowed you to see the dial, which was connected directly to a float in the tank.
BTW, the gas gauge on our '29 Graham Paige was a yardstick, which my mother would shove down the filler pipe.
Reply to
Leo Lichtman
Those are for fat people. No really. You'll never see skinny people with a gas filler on th' pasengers side. Face it Jeff, th' salesman where ya bought that car figures you need to lose a few pounds.
Reply to
My memory is a little dim, but I think I remember that when the tank was partially full you'd see the fuel/vapor interface sloshing around behind the glass when the car was moving.
And it had an inlet "fuel filter" which was a closed bottomed screened cylinder about 6 inches long right under the filler cap. Whatever you poured through the filler opening passed through the screen.
Sing to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean"......
My Bonnie looked into the gas tank, The depth of its contents to see. I lighted a match to assist her, Oh, bring back my Bonnie to me.
Reply to
Jeff Wisnia
I generally fill the car , and I'm about as skinny as it gets . The filler is on the right side ... Another theory blown to shit .
Reply to
Buy a car with the filler on the right if your passenger is doing the pumping :-)
As a former full service filling station attendant I saw every gas cap location. My favorites were the old VW beetle--inside the front trunk and the '56 Chevy--the left turn signal folds down.
Reply to
I've heard that the filler is on the left to make gas station operations the same as the road, ie keep right. The problem with that is that there is a higher probability of damage to the left side of the car via sideswipes and damage to the filler on that side.
Jeff Wisnia wrote:
Reply to
An explanation I've heard is that gas tanks are among the lowest priorities in an auto design, so they make 'em to fit in available space.
Reply to
Don Foreman
Then there are the chebby trucks with dual tanks and a filler on both sides .. how handy is that??
Reply to
That's what I would have thought. Though, I wonder what's back there that could make one side specifically more favourable than the other?
Reply to
Robin S.
Exhaust pipe routing, spare wheel well. A car with a transverse-mounted engine is assymetrical to begin with, that could affect economical exhaust pipe routing.
Reply to
Don Foreman
According to ff :
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What about the Caddys -- 1959 was it -- which had the filler cap under one of the tail lights up on those big fins? It was hinged to give access to the filler cap.
Enjoy, DoN.
Reply to
DoN. Nichols
Hmmm. If that were true wouldn't we still have pickups with the gas tank in the cab behind the seat and Ford still making the Pinto?
Reply to
Wood Butcher
And when the tank was nearly full, you could see the line formed by the surface of the gas,between the glass and the dial drum.
Mother's '57 VW had a wooden dip stick and if IRCC a toe operated valve to utilize the last gallon in the tank (don't forget to flip it back up after you gas up.) Gerry :-)} London, Canada
Reply to
Gerald Miller
'54 Landrover pickup - gas cap (and tank) under passenger's seat.
Reply to
Ken Davey
But the SWB Landrover Series 1's had the petrol tank and filler under the seat for a very good reason - to stop the locals nicking the petrol! Remember they were mainly exported to some very dodgy parts of Africa in the 1950's. They also had a very wide filler cap (3" iirc) so you don't need a funnel with a Jerry can.
Reply to
Andrew Mawson
I liked this one and modified it a bit for a .sig.
Reply to
John Husvar
I have been told by a member of the SAE that the automakers try to globally balance out left-fuel and right-fuel cars, mostly for the reason you suggest:
Every time I rent a car on a trip, I never think about looking for what side the filler is on UNTIL I get into the gas station. I believe this is the real reason: to make it take longer for me to put gas in rental cars. A couple of rental car companies put a little sticker on the dashboard telling you what side the fill is on.
I seem to recall a Chevy Chase movie (Vacation?) where the filler location (and it's unfindability behind the license plate) was a major gag.
Reply to
Tim Shoppa

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