See that left-pointing arrow next come the gas pump symbol? recognize what it means? (Photo Credit: CC BY-SA/Tennen-Gas/Wikipedia)

If you own a newer vehicle, here’s something girlfriend may have noticed however been totally baffled by. Take it a look at the gas gauge top top the dashboard, and notification a directional note next come the tiny gas pump prize located above or below the arc the spans the distance in between “F” and “E.” It’s a little arrow that points come the left, and not everyone knows what the arrow means, notes Slate.

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Decoding the secret of the mark

Depending upon that you ask, you’ll obtain a selection of various answers regarding what the arrow indicates. One theory is that the arrow is merely referring to the direction the dots top top the gas gauge move, from north to full. Think in regards to a radio volume dial. Turn the dial clockwise and the volume increases, and counterclockwise attenuates the volume. Because that those auto owners who space mystified by what “F” and “E” mean, the theory is that automakers clarify that the gas gauge needle will relocate in the direction together fuel is depleted. It might not it is in a great explanation, psychic you.

Where come park to pump

If the last theory seemed favor confusing hogwash come you, this one actually gets warm. Some speculate the the left-pointing arrow indicates whereby you should park your vehicle in relationship to the gas pump. Thus, a left-pointing arrow method you should park on the left next of the pump in order to dispense fuel.

Rental company cop

Try this one on for size, conspiracy theorists. Also if the reality is that through this explanation, you’re obtaining colder. Some have said the the arrowhead actually lamp up when the car has driven a details distance since it to be last refueled. This allegedly allows rental auto companies to capture customers who shot to return a vehicle without filling it. On many mid-sized vehicles, the arrow reportedly lamp up 9.3 miles after critical fill-up, i m sorry is supposedly a obstacle past i beg your pardon a customer can be penalized with too much prejudice.

Where’s the gas cap?

The concept that customer Reports senior engineer Tom Mutchler confirmed is that the arrow indicates which side of the auto the filler cap for the gas tank is located. If the points left, the cap is top top the left side, which means that the auto should be parked come the right of the gas pump at fueling time.

According to Mutchler, the “vast majority” of brand-new cars have this gas tank arrow. Toyota engineer Maurice Durand explained that in older, arrow-less vehicles, the ar of the water tap on the gas pump prize on the dashboard sometimes indicates the next of the auto on i beg your pardon the filler lid is located. Today, all Toyota vehicles have actually the arrow.

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Duh, it’s a secret

While the left-arrow explanation might seem obvious, various informal polls conducted by Slate and also other media outlets have found that many people had no idea. Colleen McCormick, PR manager for Zipcar, dubbed the left-arrow prize “one of the best-kept secrets in the automotive world.” currently you know.