The Genius Trick For Finding Out Which Side The Gas Tank Is On In Your Rental Car

For anyone who's ever had the experience of pulling into a gas station without knowing which side of the car has the gas tank, have we got great news for you. This is more likely to become a problem with rental cars since you're unfamiliar with the vehicle and may not have noticed which side of the car has the fuel door.

Honestly, this is an understandable miss, since you probably put a lot of effort into renting the right car for your vacation experience. There's a lot to know about the process of renting a car, and in all that hullabaloo, it's tough to remember where the gas tank is. It's for this reason exactly that cars now feature an amazing little tip to tell you, so that the next time you pull into a gas station, you won't have to drive in circles to refuel your car. And chances are that you've noticed this tiny feature many times before in many different cars and never registered what it was for. It's a small arrow.

Look for an arrow next to the gas pump icon

On your dashboard display, you'll notice a little gas pump symbol next to the fuel gauge, with a little arrow tip pointing either to the right or the left. That is your indicator of which side your gas tank is on. It's that amazingly simple, and yet so many of us have missed this wonderful (and helpful!) tidbit along the way.

According to the "Every Little Thing" podcast, the idea was actually concocted in 1986 by Ford engineer Jim Moylan, who made a suggestion for some kind of tip in the vehicle itself after pulling in to the wrong side of the pump. In 1989, the Ford Escort and Mercury Tracer began to feature a tiny arrow on the side of the pump. Now, in virtually any car you rent, you'll find this helpful indicator.

Speaking to Slate, Toyota engineer Maurice Durand said that prior to this arrow, some cars used the tiny gas pump symbol on the dashboard as an indicator, using the side of the little hose to indicate which side had the fuel door. However, this was inconsistent among vehicles, as the gas pump symbol didn't always align with the vehicle. Thankfully, things are consistent now, even in luxury vehicles, so you can refuel with ease.