Gas caps and radiators

Why do Ford engineers put the gas filler on the left side of some cars, and on the right side of others. We have one of each and quite often I pull up to the wrong side. The Mustang is the only one to get it right. Why do some trucks I see have a grill that opens and shuts like a venetian blind in front of the radiator if it didn’t act like a piece of cardboard to heat up the engine quickly.

The general convention that I have observed is that Most European cars have the filler on the right-hand side, and most US and Japanese makes have the filler on the left-hand side.

Right-hand side is best because most cars in the US have the filler on the left. That means that when you pull in to the busy self-serve gas station, most cars will line up on the right-hand side of the pumps, leaving nice short waiting lines on the left side of the pumps my Volvos and BMWs.

I can only speculate that Ford might use both sides because Ford designs some cars in Europe and some cars in the United States.

The only truck grills that I have noticed that looked like venetian blinds were on armored trucks, but trucks that travel where it is cold do generally use some sort of cover to limit the flow of air (and snow) through their radiators.

It might help to note that if you look at the little icon of a gas pump on the instrument panel, you will see a image of the filler hose on the side of the pump that has the filler on your car.

There is no standard convention for filler caps. Nobody knows why. We’ve had long threads on the subject.

Those venetian blinds are there to keep the diesel engines running hot in cooler weather. Diesels ignite from the heat in the cylinders rather than from a spark plug. They’re more efficient when kept hot.

Yes, it acts like a piece of cardboard only adjustable. When I lived in North Dakota we used to have to put cardboard or a piece of a blanket in front of the radiators in the winter to enable the engine to heat up.

Not all car makers use this method. There are several models whose fuel icons have the hose on the opposite side as the fuel door. My Civic is one of them.

My 74 Nova and 59 T-bird have the gas filler door behind the license plate, so right in the middle. You just have to remember to pull the car up far enough so the hose can reach.

My 58 Pontiac had it behind the left rear backup light which swung open.