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(Slate)   Most new cars now have a little arrow on one side of the gas pump icon on the fuel gauge. It actually means something--but what?   (slate.com) divider line 259
    More: Weird, gas pumps, fuel gauges, arrow, logos, cars  
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15479 clicks; posted to Geek » on 10 May 2012 at 3:11 PM (3 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-05-10 03:27:46 PM  
Isn't it obvious? It's an indicator of the car's political leanings! If it points to the left, that means you're driving a Communist car and it should be set on fire. A right-pointing arrow means a car that loves America, apple pie and Ronals Reagan.
 
2012-05-10 03:30:15 PM  
I've been driving my car for almost 2 years now, and I still pull up to the wrong side at the pump once or twice a month. This has more to do with me being a total idiot than anything else though.
 
2012-05-10 03:30:21 PM  
So what does that PRNDL stuff mean? I assume it's Pretty Fast, Really Fast, Not Fast, Damn Fast, Less Fast. I look forward to Slate's followup article.
 
2012-05-10 03:30:22 PM  

kingoomieiii: NFA: FTFA-"a) The arrow indicates the direction that the dots move from empty to full. Most gauges and dials-think your radio volume, for example-work in the opposite fashion: full/more is to the right, empty/less to the left. While F and E would seem sufficiently explanatory, car manufacturers further clarify the matter with an arrow, lest drivers get confused."


[t0.gstatic.com image 279x181]

Seriously, I think this might be the dumbest article ever published on Slate. Fo' real.


Seconded.

I wouldn't have been surprised if this had been on Yahoo!.
 
2012-05-10 03:31:45 PM  
Colleen McCormick, PR manager for Zipcar, calls the dashboard arrow "one of the best-kept secrets" in the automotive world.

I suppose that's true, considering the fraction of drivers who ever read the owner's manual for their car.

Next question for Slate to tackle: what's that dippy stick-looking thing in the engine compartment?
 
2012-05-10 03:31:54 PM  
I thought they were all on the left anyway, except for german cars.

The germans put it on the right side in case they run out of gas. They don't want to get side-swiped.
 
2012-05-10 03:33:45 PM  

Hack Patooey: There are people that 1) haven't seen this, and 2) don't know what it means?


*Raises hand.*

I've got Toyotas from 1993 and 2005, and to the best of my knowledge, neither one has this. Never noticed it when riding as a passenger in someone else's car, although I don't generally look at their gas gauge. I drive rental cars only occasionally, and never noticed an arrow on the gas gauge on any of them. So this was news to me.

/and I'm normally pretty observant. I spot bus stops in town not from signs but from the fact that they pour concrete pads for the buses to sit on while they load and unload because their weight warps the asphalt otherwise.
 
2012-05-10 03:34:34 PM  
well, I don't get out much... but this was new to me. I my years of farking, I think this was the first time I learned something useful here.
 
2012-05-10 03:34:36 PM  
The arrow is pointing to one or the other door. That way you know how to get out so you and you're hamster powered mind won't be driving on the streets and endangering others.
 
2012-05-10 03:35:10 PM  
"Well, duh," or some variation thereof.
 
2012-05-10 03:38:06 PM  
I gotta be honest, I had no idea what it meant until my wife finally pointed it out to me during our recent car shopping. I can distinctly remember wondering about it on at least the past 3 cars I owned, but never really put 2 and 2 together.
 
M-G
2012-05-10 03:39:05 PM  

Skyfrog: Speaking of which, why has that never been standardized? I think most cars do have it on the driver's side now. Remember back in the 80s when a lot of cars would hide it behind the licence plate?


I actually prefer that the filler be on the passenger side. That way, you can open your door into clear space, and not discover the hard way that there's a metal post there....

But any standard that references the location to the driver will be a problem, given that many cars are sold in both LHD and RHD markets. So then, not only do you need a different dash and underhood configuration for the steering and pedals, but you're also going to need to have a different fuel tank and different body panels for wherever the filler is.
 
2012-05-10 03:39:33 PM  

Uzzah: /and I'm normally pretty observant. I spot bus stops in town not from signs but from the fact that they pour concrete pads for the buses to sit on while they load and unload because their weight warps the asphalt otherwise.


Fun fact: they actually black-top the floors of large animal medical hospitals, because it's softer than concrete for injured hooved animals to walk on.
 
2012-05-10 03:39:59 PM  
And these people are running the world.

'Nighty night, sleep tight!
 
2012-05-10 03:40:08 PM  

brigid_fitch: And I live in NJ, so there is always an entire crew on hand there to witness any idiocy.


Can someone explain to me why it is a law in NJ to only have Full-Serve? I jumped out to do my gas and the guy was screaming at me in some derpistani language. Is it a safety issue? Because I can see that and would not trust Jerseyites with a hose filled with gasoline.
 
2012-05-10 03:40:50 PM  
Whenever my mom would give me her car to fill up I had this problem. I felt like that scene in Vacation where Clark couldnt find the gas tank.
 
2012-05-10 03:40:51 PM  
I thought the arrow indicated the direction to point my ass before farting? I've been crop-dusting Mrs. Henry for years from the misinformation!
 
2012-05-10 03:42:14 PM  
Okay, next time I get in my truck I'll have to look at the icon.

I honestly never heard this before. I'm just observant about vehicles I'm renting or borrowing.
 
2012-05-10 03:42:33 PM  

Splish: I don't think I've ever seen an intersection like that in my life. Are they common some places, enough to warrant a sign?


There's one around here. There's just a text sign underneath the stop that says "ONCOMING TRAFFIC DOES NOT STOP" or something.

IamSoSmart_S_M_R_T: A nearby town just adopted a flashing left turn signal. Apparently, they thought people were too stupid to realize that they could turn left on a green light (no arrow) after yielding, so they added a flashing yellow arrow to let people know they could turn, but only after yielding. It's caused quite a bit of confusion, I'm curious to see how many accidents occur as a result.


I can see how the yellow arrow would be confusing, especially when you have to make a snap decision. "Wait, is it yellow for yield, or caution? Is it ALWAYS blinking?"

I'm no traffic engineer (or whatever), but my suggestion would be painting a forward-and-left arrow on the road in front of that intersection, and replacing the light with a Yield sign.
 
2012-05-10 03:44:50 PM  
Really? People need such a fundamentally obvious item explained to them? REALLY?

Let's analyze this:
Gas pump icon = "gas pump"
Left pointing arrow = "on your left, dumbass"

Thus, gas pump icon + left pointing arrow = "pump your gas on the left side, dumbass."

I'm beginning to believe in the whole chem-trails conspiracy, because I think they're spraying the population with stupid gas.

/also, cars have had this for years
 
2012-05-10 03:45:24 PM  

Shostie:


Is that the lead singer from the Spin Doctors?
 
2012-05-10 03:45:25 PM  

Splish: ZAZ: The choice between (b) and (c) makes this a bad design.

In the 2000s the federal government wanted to standardize a supplemental sign for three way stop signs showing drivers that traffic from the fourth direction did not stop. The sign had an arrow. Engineers thought the arrow obviously meant "look in that direction for non-stopping traffic." Normal people thought the arrow meant "traffic moving in that direction does not stop." The rule was withdrawn.

I don't think I've ever seen an intersection like that in my life. Are they common some places, enough to warrant a sign?


We have one of these in our town. A railroad track passes just on the other side of the intersection making it dangerous to stop when driving west, so the other three stop, but westbound gets a free pass
 
2012-05-10 03:45:54 PM  
What if they put the gas cap underneath the license plate, like in an old Ford Monarch. What then smart guys...
 
2012-05-10 03:46:26 PM  

NewportBarGuy: brigid_fitch: And I live in NJ, so there is always an entire crew on hand there to witness any idiocy.

Can someone explain to me why it is a law in NJ to only have Full-Serve? I jumped out to do my gas and the guy was screaming at me in some derpistani language. Is it a safety issue? Because I can see that and would not trust Jerseyites with a hose filled with gasoline.


Oregon is the same way
 
2012-05-10 03:47:48 PM  

M-G: But any standard that references the location to the driver will be a problem, given that many cars are sold in both LHD and RHD markets. So then, not only do you need a different dash and underhood configuration for the steering and pedals, but you're also going to need to have a different fuel tank and different body panels for wherever the filler is.


Or they just install a separate dash display, which they likely already do anyway. You know, since that would be the easiest, cheapest, least complicated solution.
 
2012-05-10 03:47:48 PM  

Fubar: What if they put the gas cap underneath the license plate, like in an old Ford Monarch. What then smart guys...


Well, smart guy, then you'll die in a fiery explosion when you get into a fender-bender. That's what.
 
2012-05-10 03:48:24 PM  
Do electric cars have no arrows - or a smug face where the arrows should be?
 
2012-05-10 03:48:37 PM  
it means you're gay.

this is another gay thread, right?
 
2012-05-10 03:49:16 PM  

Uzzah: I've got Toyotas from 1993 and 2005, and to the best of my knowledge, neither one has this. Never noticed it when riding as a passenger in someone else's car, although I don't generally look at their gas gauge. I drive rental cars only occasionally, and never noticed an arrow on the gas gauge on any of them. So this was news to me.


Take a second look, Here's an image of an 05 Corolla, look under the fuel gauge (this is how my old 97 Ford Taurus did it)

upload.wikimedia.org

And a 2001 MR2

i801.photobucket.com

Though if you still have the cars on the older end of your spectrum (1993), I'd be interested on how far back this goes, if you could take a look for me
 
2012-05-10 03:50:25 PM  
imgs.xkcd.com

"Saying 'what kind of an idiot doesn't know about the Yellowstone supervolcano' is so much more boring than telling someone about the Yellowstone supervolcano for the first time."
 
2012-05-10 03:53:13 PM  

Fubar: What if they put the gas cap underneath the license plate, like in an old Ford Monarch. What then smart guys...


There'll be a cone in the middle of the driver's seat. It's kind of why those cars fell out of fashion.
 
2012-05-10 03:53:25 PM  

kingoomieiii: Fubar: What if they put the gas cap underneath the license plate, like in an old Ford Monarch. What then smart guys...

Well, smart guy, then you'll die in a fiery explosion when you get into a fender-bender. That's what.


A fair price to pay for all of the smugness though...
 
2012-05-10 03:55:06 PM  
The lines at gas station pumps would flow much more smoothly if every car company put their fuel doors on the same side.
That is all.
 
2012-05-10 03:55:15 PM  

kingoomieiii:

I can see how the yellow arrow would be confusing, especially when you have to make a snap decision. "Wait, is it yellow for yield, or caution? Is it ALWAYS blinking?"

I'm no traffic engineer (or whatever), but my suggestion would be painting a forward-and-left arrow on the road in front of that intersection, and replacing the light with a Yield sign.


They installed them at intersections that already had green left turn arrows, so what happens is:

1) RYG lights change to green, green turn arrow illuminates
2) RYG lights stay green, green turn arrow turns yellow
3) RYG lights stay green, green turn arrow goes off, SEPARATE yellow turn arrow starts flashing
4) RYG lights change to yellow, then red. Yellow turn arrow stops flashing

I was taught that left turn was ALWAYS a yield on a solid green light with no turn arrow, so seeing a flashing yellow arrow does EXACTLY what you'd suggested (i.e. "caution? School zone? WTF?"). I think the city just had extra funds and had to spend them on SOMETHING.
 
2012-05-10 03:55:24 PM  

unyon: the_rev: I was getting ready to fill up a rental on Monday to return it to DFW. As I pulled into a gas station I realized I had no idea which side of the pump to go to.

I was really happy with myself when I remembered I could look at the fuel guage for that little arrow. It saved my ass BIG TIME.

You and I define 'Big Time' quite differently.


3.bp.blogspot.com?
 
2012-05-10 03:58:43 PM  
This is so ubiquitous that 76 is using in their current slogan. "We're on the driver's side", with gas-pump-and-left-pointing-arrow.

/ Still getting used to a car with gas cap on the right
// It's only been two years now
 
2012-05-10 03:58:57 PM  
I still want to know what R+M/2 method means when calculating octane rating.Anybody?
 
2012-05-10 03:59:30 PM  
you can't be f-ing serious with this article ...it has to be a gag...
 
2012-05-10 04:00:04 PM  

Hack Patooey: There are people that 1) haven't seen this, and 2) don't know what it means?


I didn't know what it meant. Then again, I actually look at vehicles I drive, so I don't need an arrow to tell me which side the gas cap is on.
 
2012-05-10 04:00:24 PM  

IamSoSmart_S_M_R_T: 1) RYG lights change to green, green turn arrow illuminates
2) RYG lights stay green, green turn arrow turns yellow
3) RYG lights stay green, green turn arrow goes off, SEPARATE yellow turn arrow starts flashing
4) RYG lights change to yellow, then red. Yellow turn arrow stops flashing

I was taught that left turn was ALWAYS a yield on a solid green light with no turn arrow, so seeing a flashing yellow arrow does EXACTLY what you'd suggested (i.e. "caution? School zone? WTF?"). I think the city just had extra funds and had to spend them on SOMETHING.


No, that's stupid. The turn arrow needs four states. It should be:

1) RYG lights change to green, green turn arrow illuminates
2) RYG lights stay green, green turn arrow turns yellow
3) RYG lights stay green, green turn arrow goes off SEPARATE yellow turn arrow starts flashing
4) RYG lights change to yellow, then red. Turn arrow turns red.
 
2012-05-10 04:02:09 PM  

drew46n2: holy shiat I can't farking believe this crap made print. Next month: What does the "D" on that stick thingy between the seats actually stand for?


Holy crap! My car doesn't even have one of those!
 
2012-05-10 04:02:11 PM  

ArcadianRefugee: Hack Patooey: There are people that 1) haven't seen this, and 2) don't know what it means?

I didn't know what it meant. Then again, I actually look at vehicles I drive, so I don't need an arrow to tell me which side the gas cap is on.


Well look at you, blatantly flaunting your observation privilege. Bigot.
 
2012-05-10 04:03:27 PM  
Though if you still have the cars on the older end of your spectrum (1993), I'd be interested on how far back this goes, if you could take a look for me

I think it also has a make and model dependence.
1990 mustang - does not have an arrow
 
2012-05-10 04:03:33 PM  
E = i have enough to get me there
F =i found the money to buy a shiate load of gas
 
2012-05-10 04:06:04 PM  

the_sidewinder: Take a second look, Here's an image of an 05 Corolla, look under the fuel gauge (this is how my old 97 Ford Taurus did it) . . . Though if you still have the cars on the older end of your spectrum (1993), I'd be interested on how far back this goes, if you could take a look for me


The 2005 is a Prius. A little digging on the web seems to suggest that there was no arrow on the pre-2005 models, but mine apparently has one. I guess I never noticed it in 7 years of driving.

Pre-2005 dash:
www.mugwo.com

2005+ gauge:
www.cleanmpg.com

The 1993 is a Corolla. Mine doesn't have a tachometer like this one does, but the fuel indicator in this photo is similar to mine. No arrow.

i533.photobucket.com
 
2012-05-10 04:06:24 PM  

StrangeQ: The arrow indicates which side of the car the gas tank is on. This arrow points left, so the car's filler cap is on the left. (And, contrary to possibility (b), the car, if this is the case, should be parked to the right of the pump.)


This has to be satire. I refuse to believe there is anyone stupid enough to NOT know that the arrow points to the side of the car with the filler cap.

/have known since I was 16 and drove my first car


You have to tell marines to unwrap supposatories, especially if they're wrapped in aluminum.

/Never understimate how stupid someone can be.
 
2012-05-10 04:09:00 PM  

ocelot: I still want to know what R+M/2 method means when calculating octane rating.Anybody?


RON (Research Octane Number) is done running the fuel through various compressions under controlled conditions, and comparing that to a known standard. Usually done at 600 rpm, and everything is highly controlled, i.e., not very comparable to an actual engine out in the real world.

MON (Motor Octane Number) is similar, but pushed up to 900 rpm, and they add in "real engine" quirks like heated fuel mixtures and variable ignition timing.

(R+M)/2 is the dumb easy average between the two numbers.
 
2012-05-10 04:09:10 PM  

Splish: I don't think I've ever seen an intersection like that in my life. Are they common some places, enough to warrant a sign?


We have them around here. Yes, they confuse the shiat out of (dumb) people. They stop, then the stoppers who actually had to stop and did stop start, then the guy who stopped but didn't have to realizes he didn't have to stop and he starts, then everyone stops again because everyone started then I start trying to will people's gas tanks to explode....
 
2012-05-10 04:13:27 PM  

Uzzah: The 1993 is a Corolla. Mine doesn't have a tachometer like this one does, but the fuel indicator in this photo is similar to mine. No arrow.


Japanese cars often rely on the fuel pump handle on the diagram as the indication if it's on the right side.

My two Imprezas were that way, my Wife's '92 Tercel was on the passenger side and had the arrow. The '06 Hyundai also has an arrow, not that it prevents her from pulling up to the wrong side sometimes.
 
2012-05-10 04:13:31 PM  

pastorkius: So what does that PRNDL stuff mean? I assume it's Pretty Fast, Really Fast, Not Fast, Damn Fast, Less Fast. I look forward to Slate's followup article.


What's PRNDL? Mine says PRNOD21.
 
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