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Simple way to know which side of the car the fuel door is on

I first shared this tip on my blog eight long years ago. But after laughing about it with someone yesterday, and realising there are still people out there who don’t know this super simple trick, I’m sharing it again.

If you’ve ever hired or borrowed a car, realised you needed to get petrol and then started looking into the side mirrors trying to get a hint of which side of the car the fuel door is on before pulling into the petrol station then you’re missing a trick.

Something that’s been in plain sight for a very long time.

When I first told friends about this all those years ago, one friend swore blind that the car he’d had for more than five years didn’t have it. A quick trip to the garage led to quite the surprised look on his face.

For there on the dashboard were the words Fuel Door and an arrow to the right.

Now before you check stop for a moment and ask yourself. Did you see it on the picture at the top of this story? If not, look again.

Gas Indicator Icons Reveal Fuel Doors

Yes, all this time those sneaky car companies have been using the dashboards to let us know which side of the car we want to pull up beside the petrol bowser.

At first I thought it was just one or two makes and models, then I realised they pretty much all have their own ways of doing it.

Some actually say the words Fuel Door, others have petrol tank icons with arrows, while some like are a little more subtle, when the handle on the picture of the bowser on the dash is your clue.

Then there are the ‘you’re definitely not going to miss this hint’ cars, like the Nissan X-TRAIL e-Power that I’m currently driving. When it was time to refuel the 12.3-inch driver display changed to this…

When this popped up I burst out laughing as there’s no way I was going to get confused about where that fuel tank was. Mind you, when I got to the petrol station it took me a while of looking around the drivers seat for the fuel release lever before I realised there wasn’t one. As the car doors were unlocked, it was already unlocked. One less thing to worry about.

A Road Trip Handy Hint

If you’re like so many people, including the old me, and hadn’t noticed these easy to follow fuel tank signs before, don’t feel bad.

The fact is we’re usually driving our own car and know which side the fuel door is on so we don’t have to check.

But if you’re going on a road trip in a rental car or borrowing a friend’s car and want to thank them with a full tank then it’s a handy one to know.

So far I haven’t found a car that doesn’t have its own way of giving us the hint, except for a couple vintage numbers and I then realised the fuel door wasn’t on either side, it was at the back of the car so they’re not really contenders.

But that said, I’d be interested to hear from my road tripping friends.

Do you have a car that refuses to give you any hints and instead has you doing some manoeuvring in the petrol station?

And what’s your favourite road trip hack? I have some big ones coming up this year and always like learning new things before I get behind the wheel.

Amanda Woods would like to thank Nissan Australia for allowing her to take a Nissan X-TRAIL e-Power on a road trip. As usual all thoughts and opinions remain her own.

Love road trips? You may like to check out this piece about a Deep South Music Road Trip in the USA, while cat lovers may also like my piece on how to safely take a cat that hates cars on a road trip.

And if you’re looking for a hire car deal for your own road trip you can compare the different car companies through Wotif’s car hire portal.

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