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Levers to inside the car to open the gas tank

I never understood what purpose this feature serves but my car has it…I have a 2010 Nissan Versa Hatch back and to open the little door that covers the gas tank, I have to pull lever inside my car that’s right next to the lever that I have to pull to open the hood. Why do manufacturers put this feature on certain cars? I had the same feature on my 1992 Plymouth laser and over the years, the cable broke and I couldn’t open the gas tank unless I used to flathead screwdriver! I eventually got that little problem fixed and I don’t have problems with the lever or cable on my Versa but I’m just curious why that feature is there? I didn’t have that on my 1999 Chevy Malibu. Now sometimes I’ll accidentally pull the lever to pop the hood without realizing it until I go to open the gas tank to put gas in my car and then I have to close the hood and go back inside the car to pull the correct lever. Yes I can be doofus like that sometimes.

I suppose that there is an inside control to open the gasoline filler door so that when you park and lock the car, it is difficult to open the gas filler door for someone who wants to siphon gasoline or to put something into your tank that doesn’t belong there.
However, it does surprise me that a mechanical system is used with a cable. An option on the 1949 Nash was a gasoline cap that had an electrical release. On a Nash that had this feature, you pushed a button in the car whcih actuated a solenoid that let the spring loaded gasoline cap flip open. With everything going electronic these days, it surprises me that a mechanical system is used. My 2011 Toyota Sienna has the same feature as your 2010 Nissan Versa for opening the gasoline filler door. The 2006 Chevrolet Uplander that owned before the Sienna did not have this feature.

It’s purpose is to create a false sense of security in the owners mind that his precious gasoline is under lock and key and tamper-proof…Usually, the second lever opens the trunk, not the hood…

If the cable breaks, you should be able to open the gas tank cover from inside the trunk. Kind of standard on most Asian cars.

It all started when gas prices went up to $1 and everyone was buying locking gas caps to prevent theft. Sometimes what it did was just get thieves to punch a hole in the tank instead so you lost a couple hundred bucks instead of fifty for the gas. A couple of my cars have it but my Pontiac doesn’t. They’ve usually got an emergency release in the trunk or should have.

When gas prices went up during the Arab oil embargo in '73, and stations were running out of gas and everyone was waiting in long lines to get gas from stations that were able to get supplies…and then sometimes the stations would run out before one’s turn would come, stealong of gas by siphoning became rampant in some areas. We all went out and bought locking gas caps. Manufactureres then began designing in remote releases to prevent siphoning.

This was a very real and serious problem in 1973. Siphoning was going on everywhere. Google “Oil Embargo of 1973” and you’ll get lots of good information.

Caddyman wrote:
It’s purpose is to create a false sense of security in the owners mind that his precious gasoline is under lock and key and tamper-proof.

If my car’s filler flap is locked and the filler flap of the car parked next to me isn’t, chances are they’ll go for that car. I’d rather have that security than none at all.

Some cars (such as BMW) have an electrically actuated fuel door lock like Triedaq describes. In the case of BMW, the fuel door locks/unlocks automatically with the passenger doors. The actuator engages a pin, like a small deadbolt, that locks the fuel door shut. And yes, I believe there is an emergency release inside the trunk.

This was a very real and serious problem in 1973. Siphoning was going on everywhere. Google “Oil Embargo of 1973” and you’ll get lots of good information.

And gas was only $0.35/gallon.

In our state they went to odd-even days based on the last digit of your license plate.

“This was a very real and serious problem in 1973. Siphoning was going on everywhere”.
Much of this siphoning was due to the contrived shortage of gasoline as opposed to the price. However, back in 1962, my gas mileage kept going down on my old 1947 Pontiac. I had to buy a locking gas cap to stop the theft. I think it was the students that lived in the next house. Direct distance telephone dialing had just come in, but with the system we had in the college town, you had to give a telephone number to which the call had to be charged just after you dialed the exchange. This was General Telephone, by the way. You would dial and before the call went through an operator would ask for the number. I had several long distance calls that I never would have made, so I took the bill to the telephone office. They looked up the town where the calls had been placed and it was the hometown of my next door neighbors. The telephone company took the charges off and added them to the number that had been dialed. At any rate, the locking gas cap and the visit to the telephone office solved the problem.

The whole “shortage” was contrived.

All the drivers who would have normally put in 5 gallons every week suddenly came out and put in 15 gallons all at once. That week I’ll bet tripled revenues…without taking from future revenues.

The production dipped, the price went up. So, production costs dropped, and revenues rose.

Combined, these twoe events created what was probably a banner year for the Arabs. And then there was the educational piece…they learned to what extent they could control prices by manipulating supply.

Any screwdriver will open any fender mounted fuel filler flap/cover…That’s not it…Car owners just like toys to play with and that’s one of the toys…For $30K, car makers feel compelled to make the consumer feel they love you and really care about you…Give them buttons and knobs and levers to move and adjust and a dashboard full of lights and they will be happy…

I like a car to have plenty of buttons and knobs and levers to move and adjust and a dashboard full of lights. They make me very happy.

SteveF–I’m just the opposite. The fewer the buttons and knobs, the happier I am. My 1965 Rambler Classic 550 (bottom of the line) was the almost perfect car that I once owned. The perfect car in my opinion was the Austin-Healey Sprite–the bug-eyed model. Side curtains instead of roll up windows–only functional buttons and switches on the dashboard.

Well, we’re soon going to give up driving at all, when the gas price hits $5 or above. You won’t afford $5 gas to go to the store to buy $6 bread ot milk/

"You won’t afford $5 gas to go to the store to buy $6 bread ot milk/ "

Just to make you happy, they would increase the price on that bread and milk to $12, then it would be worth the $5 gas I guess.

Siphoning is much more difficult these days with rollover valves and such. There are far easier and faster ways to extract gas from the tank and are way more expensive to repair…

Caddyman, is it safe to assume that you weren’t driving in '73? Is it safe to assume that you didn’t go through the era of siphoning with many of us?

I don’t have a lever to open the trunk. My car doesn’t have a trunk just an open space behind the back seats. I liked the Hatchback Version of the Versas better…gives it a little more sporty look and a little more leg room inside the car itself. My Versa is a tad smaller than my old Chevy Malibu. But even the new Malibus that are out are smaller than my old Malibu. Not in the interior but the exterior and the trunks are smaller. I’m assuming to make the new Malibus more streamlined and efficient they redesigned the body style and to keep the leg room inside the vehicle they made the trunk smaller. My old Malibu was a pain in the neck to keep running but sometimes I miss that car. When it ran good and I didn’t have problems with it, it was a powerful car, had a ton of room in it, and the gas mileage on it wasn’t bad at all. When I first bought the Malibu in 2002, it cost me $25-30 to fill it up but by 2010, it cost me about $40 to fill it up. Now I have the Versa and it only costs me $25 to fill it up and a full tank of gas in that thing will last me about 2 weeks.

Mt tC is a hatchback too.