What side is the gas tank on?

volvo
gas-tanks
gasoline
xc70

#1

Okay - this is actually about what the side for the filler neck and cap on vehicles. The boys said that the Germans put it on the right side so that you’d be out of traffic when filling it with a gas can in an emergency on the side of the highway, but I’d always heard that European manufacturers did it because of their dense cities. European cities and towns developed long before the car, and there wasn’t a lot of empty land to build new gas (petrol) stations with big forecourts where cars could turn around to accommodate a left or right side filler. Their gas stations were initially a storefront next to the sidewalk. Cars would pull up in front of the store, and a kid would walk out and fill up out of a can (when gasoline was shipped and distributed in metal cans). Later, they put pumps on the edge of the sidewalk. This setup meant that it was far more convenient for routine (not just emergency) fill-ups to have the filler on the curb side of the car (left in the UK, right in most of the rest of Europe), and these standards stayed in place on European cars. American gas stations (outside of the few really dense cities around 100 years ago) could build in areas with relatively cheap land, so they could afford to build relatively big forecourts, so American car designers were free to put the gas cap where ever they wanted.



BTW: my current Volvo (XC70) and last (850) have caps on the right. The Swedes drive on the right side of the road.



Sorry - that was long. Anyone else heard anything else?


#2

The theory you post is an interesting one, but the fill location seems to have no standard. Heck, some cars in the '60s had the filler behind the license plate! Vintage 'Vettes had it in the center in front of the trunk lid, as I seem to recall.


#3

who knows??? 56 t bird has it in front of the continental spare tire that must be tilted back wards to get to it. if i remember correctly 57 Chevy had to move the tail light on the left side. camaro had it behind the license plate. your guess is as good as any


#4

American cars didn’t have a standard, but European cars (German and Scandinavian, at least) certainly do (or did) have a standard: curb (passenger) side.


#5

My Sunbeam Imp filled the tank from under the front Bonnet. About 6 gallons total. I think it was a 1962 model and my first car.


#6

My Toyota Supra has the gas fill on the right (passenger side). My wife’s Toyota Celica has it on the left. My old Toyota pick-up had it on the right. Our Ford Explorer has it on the left.

No rhyme or reason. Just the way it is.


#7

I have two Chryslers and they have their fillers on different sides of the car. I’ve had cars that have had the filler in the back behind the license plate. (last was a '92 Chevy Caprice) The ones in the back were nice because you could pull up to any free pump and have it just as easy regardless of which side the pump was on.

I’d heard that the filler pipe is usually on the side furthest from the catalytic converter and other hot parts of the exhaust system on domestic cars, but I think this is not all that true these days.


#8
 Do you re-call when gas caps were NOT on the side?  They hid those suckers all over the place!  I remember a Crysler that hid it in a piece of bumper.  Early Corvettes were interesting, too.  BUT the worst were early VW's.  Who the heck wants 10 gallons of gas in front of them.  Love the show!  p.s.- Why wouldn't that white smoke be a bad injector?

#9

I’ve heard that BMW puts the filler on the right side to balance the weight of the driver. Given their focus on weight distribution and handling, this sounds reasonable to me.