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Old 9th March 2013, 18:49   #1
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Default Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Since ages, the fuel filler caps of cars have been placed either to the left or right side of the car's body.
We know of very little deviations for each particular brand, be it a Left Hand (LHD) or a Right Hand Drive (RHD) model.
The fuel filler cap remains at the same side (either left or right depending on the car maker) for both their LHD and the RHD versions.
I feel the most preferable placement should be at the side where the steering is located i.e. right side for the Indian market.
The logic behind locating the fuel filler caps either to the right or left is not very clear.
A look at the cars since the Vintage Era will reveal the placements:

Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?-dsc09592.jpg

Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?-dsc09793.jpg

A 1932 Rolls Royce Phantom II- the Rolls filler caps are located to the left till date. A 1991 Rolls Silver Spirit fuel filler cap is also seen in a picture.

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Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?-vw-vento_.jpg

( VW and BMW website pictures. The Opel Olympia and Mercedes S Class pictures are from my album)

A 1940's Opel Olympia at the top- German cars continue to have fuel filler caps to their right. The cars in Germany are LHD.

Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?-img_1778.jpg

An Austin 10 from the U.K., now in India, with the cap to its left - a RHD market.

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An LHD old Willys jeep- the fuel filler caps were conventionally to the left for the LHD models. The RHD models came but the fuel tank and the glove box (below the right seat) configurations remained the same. Mahindra has till date kept the same configuration for the Scorpio and Xylo.The XUV too follows the Willys gene with its left placed fuel filler cap.

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The Landmaster, Ambassador and a new Ambassador DSL1500 BS III show the filler cap to the right.

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(teambhp classifieds picture)

The Fiats and Padminis had their fuel filler caps located to the left, as these were originally LHD models for the Italian market.

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The Renault Fluence has its fuel filler cap to the right, but again the French market is LHD.

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(pictures from the Hyundai website)

The Hyundais have these located to the left since their entry in India with the Santro.

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Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?-wallpaper05_800.jpg

(Swift picture from Maruti website)

The Maruti cars since ages, have these located again to their left.
The Japanese and S.Korean have such a commonality. Toyotas like the other Japanese and S. Korean cars prefer a left side location.

(all pictures from my album but for some VW, Mercedes, Skoda, Hyundai, Maruti Swift from the new car websites and the Padmini from teambhp classifieds)

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 9th March 2013 at 19:18.
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Old 9th March 2013, 19:13   #2
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Don't know the reasons for different placements for the fuel cap but I guess its more to do with the design of the car probably. Overall it doesn't make much difference. But having experienced it on both left and right sides, I would personally prefer it to be on the right side, that is the side of the steering wheel. This way I am closer to the fuel dispensing machine and need not get down from the vehicle to check the whole process. If its on the other side then I have to either get down or keep a constant look on the ORVM on that side which still leaves some doubt in mind on one getting duped.
So my vote is for it to be placed on the driver's side.
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Old 9th March 2013, 19:28   #3
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Theoretically, I would say that in a RHD market like India, they should be on the left, and vice versa.

The reason is that when you pull up at a gas station, (which I'm assuming is on the left side of the road and you're not pulling any maneuvers) you would end up with the gas tanks on the left. This is unless you make it a point to go to the other side of the tanks - which you might if your fuel filler cap is on the right. The idea is that the fuel filler caps should be as close to the tanks as possible and that getting in/out of a gas station should be as simple and short as possible. I will concede the point that the meters are easier to keep track of if the fuel filler cap is on the right though, but then, you should get out and make sure anyway.

Here's a similar but OT point on wiper stalks. In a RHD car, your left hand is typically shifting between changing gears, messing with AC, music system and other controls, adjusting inside rear view mirror and resting on the steering wheel. The most your right hand will ever do is roll up/down windows or adjust ORVMs. It seems obvious to me that the lights stalk, which houses important and often used functions like blinkers and indicators should be on the right so that you have access to them even if your left hand is not on the steering, which it often isn't.

This whole thing happens from manufacturers cutting costs by standardizing as much as possible across markets - volkswagen being a prime example of this.
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Old 9th March 2013, 19:31   #4
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Don't know whether my logic stands good.

Since we drive on the left in our country, don't we prefer to fill fuel from a bunk on the left side of the road than on the right? A bunk on the right means crossing the road. And I have felt it easy to park in front of the fuel dispenser than going around it and parking behind it. So left side tank it is for me.

Moreover, to see the reading on the fuel dispenser, I have to strain my neck more when the fuel tank lid is on the driver side than on the left side; this is when I prefer to stay inside the car while fueling.

EDIT: @nukeblitz, you beat me to the points

Last edited by thoma : 9th March 2013 at 19:33.
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Old 9th March 2013, 20:04   #5
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

I prefer the fuel lid on the right side . The reason is that when fuel is being filled I always leave my seat to watch the entire process . So it will be easy for me to move to right side rather moving towards left . Many fuel pumps employ people who take little care other than filling the fuel . I know instances where the employees have caused dent with the nozzle . And some women prefer to slant against the vehicle with their bangles causing scratches .
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Old 9th March 2013, 20:05   #6
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

We had an old thread discussing the same topic. Thread link. (find out fuel lid placement by seeing odometer?)

I had made an observation regarding fuel lid placement:

Quote:
One thing I personally observed is that the fuel lid is always on the opposite side of the location of your exhaust tip.

Last edited by moralfibre : 10th March 2013 at 09:18.
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Old 9th March 2013, 20:53   #7
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

By law (also by design these days), there should be a minimum of 35 mm gap between the fuel tank and any part of the exhaust system in its vicinity.

I think, this positioning of fuel lids has more to do with standardization and packaging of components, rather than anything else.

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Old 9th March 2013, 21:15   #8
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Found fuel filler caps on both sides of Volvo B9R. So thoughtful & convenient.
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Old 9th March 2013, 21:31   #9
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
We had an old thread discussing the same topic. Thread link. (find out fuel lid placement by seeing odometer?)

I had made an observation regarding fuel lid placement:

Quote:
One thing I personally observed is that the fuel lid is always on the opposite side of the location of your exhaust tip.
That is true if you have exhaust tip on only one side . Nowadays, more so for style, the exhaust tips are going to both sides of the car. It looks nice and symmetrical. My two Japanese made cars have the fuel filler lids on the right side, like German and American cars. I think when they flip the steering in Japan over to the left side, they do the same for the fuel lid - makes it market specific.

Last edited by moralfibre : 10th March 2013 at 09:18.
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Old 9th March 2013, 22:00   #10
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

One simple rule(or rather hypothesis) that i have only found one exception to:

All Asian orgin(or intended to be mainly sold in Asia) are made with Fuel caps on Left side, since it is easier to fill fuel this way, as we drive on the left side of the road(most parts of Asia).

But all Euro and American cars have it on the right side.

(This is usually similar to the Indicator-Stalk orientation)

P.S. The Exception to the hypothesis is the Mitsubishi Lancer(that was sold in India)
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Old 9th March 2013, 22:54   #11
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nukeblitz View Post
Here's a similar but OT point on wiper stalks. In a RHD car, your left hand is typically shifting between changing gears, messing with AC, music system and other controls, adjusting inside rear view mirror and resting on the steering wheel. The most your right hand will ever do is roll up/down windows or adjust ORVMs. It seems obvious to me that the lights stalk, which houses important and often used functions like blinkers and indicators should be on the right so that you have access to them even if your left hand is not on the steering, which it often isn't.

This whole thing happens from manufacturers cutting costs by standardizing as much as possible across markets - volkswagen being a prime example of this.
It's an oft debated topic in here, and it's pity that some TBHPians actually speak in favour of LHD control stalks. In the Germans and Fords it's not a thing you grow upon, it's actually an irritant. Control stalks should be RHD oriented.

Coming back to topic, though some Asian market cars do have fuel tank lid on the right side, for RHD cars ideally it should be on the left side.
Simply put, on the opposite side to the driver.
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Old 10th March 2013, 23:11   #12
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Default re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

Daewoo cars and now Chevrolet (Daewoo based neo-Chevrolets ) too follow the right located fuel filler caps/ lids.

Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?-dsc00956.jpg
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Old 11th March 2013, 16:16   #13
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Default Re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

If I am not wrong, The cars originally designed for the LHD market have their fuel lids on the right side, and the reverse for the RHD market. Thus most European and American market conceived designs have them on the right and the Japanese have them on the left.
For example a Rolls is designed in UK which follows a RHD system, so it has its fuel lid on the left side.
There are exceptions and I stand to correction.
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Old 11th March 2013, 22:00   #14
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Default Re: Fuel Filler Caps - Left Side or Right?

I think that initially there was only one pump in a station, hence when you drove to fill fuel it would be on the side opposite to the driver. Hence original RHD cars had cap on the left and LHD cars on the right,

As cars started getting exported from RDH country to LHD and vise versa designers began shifting the filler to the side where the demand was maximum (maximum Rolls Royce sales are in LHD market), hence the cap was shifted.

In today's market with multiple pumps at each station (so you have a pump at left and at right) the old rational is no longer valid, hence manufacturer puts the filler point where it suits the design most.
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Old 11th March 2013, 22:18   #15
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Btw on American cars the fuel gauge has a small arrow indicating the location of the fuel filling cap. I have not observed if this is true for Indian cars too.
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