My goal to learn something new every day
You may have seen this video doing the rounds on the internet over the last week or so. It comes from security footage at a petrol station in Leicester in the UK. The woman drives up in her 4×4, gets out, realises the fuel cap is on the wrong side, gets back in, drives around to the other side of the pump, gets back out only to realise she’s faced with the same problem. She then repeats this a further three times.
When I first saw the video, I thought perhaps it was a new car, or maybe she was borrowing it from a friend, or it could be a rental. Maybe, she’s not used to driving/filling up the car. Perhaps it’s something that her husband / boyfriend / wife / girlfriend / live-in partner /mum / dad / son / daughter (delete as appropriate) usually does. That still doesn’t excuse the fact that it took her five times to get it right, and to be honest, I wonder whether she would have just continued had the Beetle not pulled in and blocked her way.
But I can relate to her problem, as I’m sure can anyone else who’s ever driven a different car. If only there was some way to tell without having to get out of the car.
Well… as it turns out, there is. Until now, unbeknownst to me, all (almost all?) modern cars have a little triangle that is on the dashboard, next to the petrol pump symbol, that indicates the side of the fuel cap.
It’s something I must have seen thousands of times, but just never noticed. Actually, when I first came across this “secret” earlier today, I heard that the handle on the petrol pump icon would indicate the side of your fuel cap, i.e. if the handle is on the left, your fuel cap is on the left, and if the handle is on the right, your fuel cap is on the right. Cool, I thought. But as we all know, the internet can be a less than reputable place. It took me less than a minute of digging to find this on Snopes.com and this on hoax-slayer.com. However, both articles mention the presence of the little triangle.
Admittedly, it would have been a much better secret if the pump handle story had been true, but at least now, whenever I find myself driving an unfamiliar car, I’ll be able to tell which side the fuel cap is on. If only the woman in the video had known about this. But then again, I’m not sure it would have helped all that much :p.
For you car drivers out there, did you know about the little green triangle? Does your car have one?
 Petrol station is what us Brits call a gas station. In the UK, the two main types of fuel are petrol (=gas) and diesel, which is the same term in the US, I think? Please do correct me if I’m wrong.
 Leicester is pronounced /ˈlestə/, at least that’s how I pronounce it, in my non-rhotic accent. Some Americans, often have a hard time with this one, and want to say something like /ˈlaɪʧestər/
 Is fuel cap also used in the US? I’ve seen fuel door, which I don’t think Brits would use. I’d also use petrol cap, but I’m guessing that her car uses diesel, which is why I went for ‘fuel cap’.
 Also (more commonly?) known as a ‘dash’ in American English?
 =Gas pump