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Strange behaviour at gas stations

I agree, I don’t remember ever seeing someone pumping gas with the engine running. Isn’t that illegal?

I have. Pump in filler pipe, person in car with it running and air conditioner full blast texting away.

I’ve seen people do it. I’ve actually stations if I see it before I start to fill up. Risk is low, sure, but as it’s been noted several times, stupidity knows no bounds

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I will go off subject a little bit.My peeve is the gas station’s that have signs on the pump’s that state no one under the age of 18 may not operate it.I don’t know about other state’s but here you can get a learner’s permit at 15 & licence at 16 part of the learning process should be learning how to pump gas & check oil & other fluid’s.

Yeah in South Dakota I think you can get a license at 15 and a permit at 14. I might be a year off but it’s pretty scary. My BIL took his grandson out on the gravel road for a driving lesson and don’t remember if he was 14 or 15 but Dad says he’s not getting a license until he takes Driver’s Training. When I was a kid if I would have known that, I would have petitioned my dad daily to move, or at least get a second address.

Now maybe others want to know and I’m embarrassed to ask, but I have never fully understood why it is dangerous to leave the car running while pumping gas. It’s been drilled into me all my life but all I was ever told was that it was the fumes and the hot exhaust. I don’t think that’s correct so maybe someone can inform me.

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I’ve fill my tank hundreds if not thousands of times over the last 50 years. I can think of two or three times where something strange happened. Otherwise, the worst thing was not getting a printed receipt at the pump. I gave you an example that seemed to fit the thread, but it was a rare event.

I am like you I never had a good understanding either.

I never have left the engine running while filling up, Did not even have the warning stickers to turn of engine before filling in the 70’s. I have heard it can trigger a check engine light, remember one airline flight with onboard wifi, the attended wanted to make sure gps location was turned off in case somebody with a missile wanted to blow us up.

Not much trouble w/rude behavior from other drivers at the gas pumps here in San Jose, but about a year ago I had a little dust-up w/a rude station attendant. This guy was really on one for some reason. I pulled in & purchased $5 worth of 87 octane and handed the attendant a $5 bill. He’s a little grizzled looking, and definitely in a grumpy mood for some reason. He says to me “$5? That’s all? Why only $5 worth?”. Nobody has every asked me to explain my gas purchase before, so I’m a little confused. Finally I say

George: "What do you mean?"
Grumpy attendant: $5 worth is hardly worth stopping for gas, [yelling as if I’m hard of hearing] THAT’S WHY!!!
George: Ok, I see what you are getting at. Well, I noticed the price of gas is a little less down the road.
Grumpy: Why didn’t you buy your gas there then?

At this point I should have just left, but I decided the conversation was getting interesting, so I continued …

George: I didn’t have enough gas in my tank to get there. I had to buy a little here first.
Grumpy: Gas is lower priced there? Where is that station? It couldn’t be less expensive than here!
George: It’s the so-and-so station 2 1/2 miles west. Here the price is $2.89, there I noticed it is $2.79.
Grumpy: $2.79?? That’s Bulls*****!!!

Picture it: Arizona, 1994. I have a friend that had a mid 70’s Ford pickup.

Under some good 'ole boy type advice from his father, he would pull up just short of the gas pump, get out (leaving the truck running,) place two short 4x4’s in front of the tires, get back in, and slowly, and carefully, pull his truck up on top of the 4x4’s. He would then shut the truck off and fuel up.

When he was done fueling, and topping off as much as possible, he would get back in, drive forward, hop out (with the truck running,) and retrieve his 4x4’s and drive on about his business. The whole process added 5 or so minutes to his fueling regiment, and the gain was minimal. But his dad had taught him that way, and that’s the way it was going to be done!


That’s a classic out in the country gas pump story @eddo … LOL …

It reminds me of my spring break trip from friendly “fill your tank first, then pay up” Colorado to the less friendly “pay first, then pump” Las Vegas back in the 1970’s. The station attendant therein Las Vegas must have indeed thought I was a country bumpkin. For the life of me I couldn’t comprehend how I could fill my tank up to the brim… lol … I think it took him 5 minutes of explaining before I finally understood how to do it.

I remember when you’d drive over the “ding” hose and a gas station employee would come running out to your car, put the gas in for you, check your oil, wash your windshield, and if it was a fillup he’d give you a free drinking glass! Times sure have changed.


Fortunately, such incidents are pretty rare. If a total stranger kills you on the streets, it will likely be with his car and will likely be an accident.
It’s easy to let our sensationalist news media make us afraid of our own shadows, that’s why I often turn off the TV when some of those “crisis in America” programs come on. The problem is that “gunman kills driver” makes headlines all over the nation, but “car crash kills man” is buried in section B of the newspaper and gets a 15 second mention on the local TV news and is ignored completely in the next city.

Similar things happen at truck stop fuel islands. The morbidly obese (mostly) in their jogging pants and flip flops park like theyre fueling but in reality they are just refilling their coffee. God forbid they park in a spot and walk a few steps. Ive spent a lot of time waiting and watching them. They act like they are the only person on earth.

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While these specific details are rare, it’s also true that road rage violence resulting in death is becoming less and less rare. And it’s sad. The roads are, I believe, truly becoming more dangerous.

In 1975 around Ft. Bragg I stopped for gas and it was a pay first place. That was the first time I ever encountered that. I’m from Minnesota and never had them here. So I asked how do I know how much it will take? I guess the idea was no one filled their tanks, just $5, $10, or whatever they had. I thought it was pretty silly for adults.

Going back to the 4x4 though, when a station doesn’t have a level concrete pad by the pumps, I will try to point the car downhill to make sure it’s filled. Seems like you can lose a gallon or two if you are pointed uphill.

A lot of places have done this for many years[quote=“BillRussell, post:12, topic:105546”]
The “lock” (or latch) on the nozzle has been removed so you have to keep your hand on it to keep it flowing.

. Unfortunately, people trying to fill their tanks and drive away became far more common than it ever was in my youth.

BillRussell’s post about the stations in his area having had the nozzle modified describes something becoming more common as well. Some people late at night in urban areas are putting the nozzle in the hole, putting the retainer on, and then driving away… nozzle and all… without paying when the handle clicks. The stations’ solution is to not allow the nozzle to run unless the operator stands there and holds the handle. It provides more response time and discourages these thieves. No preventative action is 100% effective, but I’m sure modifying the nozzle helps.

I had a 72 ford pickup bought from a farm neighbor, bought eggs from my neighbor, Bob Evans, and he told me if you see a dark spot on the yolk, it means the egg has been fertilized. Now I used to go watch him candle the eggs before selling them, and asked him when you break an egg to look at the yolk for a dark spot to see if it had been fertilized, how do you know in case the spot is at the bottom? Now he gave me the you have stumped me on that one boy look.

Same look I have trying to figure out what in gal darn tarnation why anyone would do what the heck you are talking about with gas and 4x4’s

In case you are curious about candling an egg, speed read but this looks ok

Just about every gas station where I live is “pay first” or pay at the pump with a credit card. That also seems to solve the drive off problem.

Well, in my state, there are signs stating that it is illegal for one to pump his own gas–regardless of age.
I have ignored those signs for the past 50 years, and I have never been arrested, detained, or even chastised for pumping my own gas. In fact, most gas attendants thank me from afar for doing it myself.

Do people really think that “the gasoline police” are suddenly going to materialize if somebody violates the state regulations regarding the dispensing of gas?

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