When I was 18, I bought my 2013 Mazda 2. My sweet, sweet Mazda 2. But as it neared the end of its first gas tank, I had a bit of a panic: I had no idea what side the gas tank was on. I readjusted my side mirrors to figure it out as I slowly entered the nearest gas station, then parked, wiping sweat from my brow, crisis averted.
Until that point, I’d never actually put gas into a car on my own, as strange as it sounds. My dad adamantly refused that I pump gas when I was driving my 1989 Grand Prix Turbo; he’d always take it and refill it when it was empty, I think because it was his way of making sure I wasn’t driving anywhere I wasn’t supposed to be. Every other time I’d driven, someone in the passenger seat told me which side the gas tank was on.
It wasn’t until I was 20 that someone finally told me. I was driving a friend’s car, it needed gas, and I asked her which side of the car the gas tank was on.
She was much older and gave me the world’s most withering look. “Bro, look at the little gas pump symbol on the gauge. That arrow points to the side of the car the tank is on.”
It was life changing. Suddenly, everything made sense. All those times my mom drove a rental car and seemed to just inherently know the tank side was clarified: she just knew that car designers had, y’know, thought about the fact that people may not know which side they’ve opted to put the tank on.
The day I learned, I felt exceptionally dumb. But I want to know the little car facts you were surprised to learn too late.