Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Well duh! A little something I learned about my car

Perhaps when you read this, you will roll your eyes and say, "Sheesh! Everybody knows that, Karyn!" Or perhaps like me, you will dash out to your car, check the accuracy of the statement and slap your forehead, thinking "After all these years... if only I'd known!" I would certainly like to hear back from you either way. I would also like to hear from you if you discover that this is a load of bunkum.

Anyhoo, this (original author unknown) comes courtesy of my husband (who also slapped his forehead)...

Quick question, what side of your car is your fuel tank? If you're anything like me, you probably can't remember right away. My solution is to uncomfortably stick my head out the window, strain my neck and look. If you don't do this in your own car you definitely have done it in a borrowed or rental car.

Well ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to share with you my little secret so you will no longer look like Ace Ventura on your way to the fuel station or put your neck at risk of injury.

If you look at your fuel gauge, you will see a small icon of a fuel pump. The handle of the fuel pump will extend out on either the left or right side of the pump. If your tank is on the left, the handle will be on the left (image source unknown). If your tank is on the right, the handle will be on the right (Image source: Irish _Eyes). It's that simple!


Anonymous said...

Totally new info to me. I have no problem remembering on my own car, but rentals are another issue. This would have been a nice tip to have in drivers ed training.

My husband often points out a truism he learned in a user interface design course in college: If the users don't know about or can't find a feature, it doesn't exist. It doesn't matter that you programmed a slick tool or great shortcut if no one knows it's there.

Anonymous said...

@Christy - excellent point. I have just this very minute being trying to delete contacts from Skype. I reloaded Skype onto my laptop, and, for some reason best known to itself, it loaded all my Outlook contacts into the list of Skype contacts. I am not best pleased, because very few of those people have Skype. In fact, some of them are groups rather than individuals. If you think I can figure out how to do it....!

There's all sorts of stuff on adding a contact and blocking a contact - neither of which I want to do - but every time I try to find a way to delete a contact, Skype tries to call them. So I'd say I haven't found that feature, ergo, it doesn't exist. Which is just plain stoopid if that's really the case!

Anonymous said...

One trick with Skype--I hate having a call be the default choice. It's too easy for me to double click the wrong person by accident. Therefore, I changed my preferences so the default is to start a chat rather than call. It's under Tools > Options, General Settings. That should help avoid accidentally calling people when you don't mean to. It still might end up opening a chat window when you don't want one, but at least that you can close and the other person doesn't know about it.

To remove a contact from your list, right click on their name and choose "Remove from Contacts." Unfortunately, I don't see a way to do that in a batch, but deleting them one by one is better than nothing.

Ain't usability grand?

Anonymous said...

Hey Karyn,

I got this email about 12 months ago and checked on our 1991 Nissan POS, and it didn't match. :-(

Then again maybe this is a relatively new innovation...

Anonymous said...


I had the same revelation a few years was huge for me because I always pull up on the wrong side of the pump. Of course it's only in my wife's car: wish it were in mine. (In America we have a law that the wife gets the good car!)

Anonymous said...

@Christy - I expected that to be the solution, but no amount of right clicking produced a menu with that option. It was this action that kept resulting in the attempted calls... and, yes, I do know my left mouse button from my right ;oP

@mick Aha! So perhaps it isn't really a feature - more of a coincidence. More research is required.

@keith Sounds like a very sensible law to me ;o) In South Africa, the wife almost always gets the "second" car. In the UK, two-car families are a relative rarity, so I'm not sure how it works. In wealthy families, the wife seems to get the 4X4. You never know when you might have to go off road in one of London's leafier suburbs!

Anonymous said...

I was very happy when I had this revelation about 6 months ago.

I might have mis-understood the description you quote, but my understanding is that it's the little triangular arrow beside the picture of the pump that points to the aide with the petrol cap.

Works on my Ford focus, anyway, and on a couple of hire cars too (where it comes in particularly handy as I never think to check before I get in the car).

Anonymous said...

@elaine I wondered about that, but I thought the arrow would tell you which side the pump should be when you pull up. Perhaps I'm wrong, but if the arrow tells you which side your cap is, that contradicts what the content of the post says. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to join the "it's a coincidence" party, but the image of the gas pump in my Honda Civic does not correspond with the side of the car at which you fill the tank.