How to pump gas

Have you ever pumped gas before? Maybe you are wondering how to pump gas. Believe it or not there are still people who have never filled up before. Although it’s possible that they’ve never owner a vehicle.

On the other hand there are states like Oregon where it used to be illegal to pump your own gas. If you are a new driver or one who has never pumped fuel into your vehicle follow along with our easy steps below and you’ll never have to wonder how to pump gas again!

Find a Gas Station

The first step on how to pump gas is finding a gas station. Typically you can search Google maps and get information on your nearest station. Although not all gas stations are the same.

Some gas stations only carry certain types of fuel. You should check your car’s manual to see what fuel type your car requires. There are three main fuel types. There is gasoline, diesel and ethanol. Gasoline is used for most cars with a few exceptions. Diesel fuel is more common in trucks and semis. While ethanol, which is sometimes noted by a marking like e85, can be used in flex fuel vehicles.

If you car requires gasoline you should see a number like 89, 91 or even 98. This is the octane rating that your engine requires to operate properly. After you find a gas station which has your fuel you can head over to fill up.

Figure out which side your gas cap is on

For the longest time we didn’t know about this trick to finding which side your fuel cap is on. If you look at your fuel gauge in the car there is a gas station icon. In most cases there will be an arrow on the left or right of the icon.

When you find which side the arrow is pointing that is the side where your gas cap is. For instance if the arrow is pointing to the right odds are your gas cap is on the right and vice versa.

Figure out what side your gas cap is on and pull up to an open gas pump accordingly.

Park and turn off your vehicle

After you pull up to the gas pump place your vehicle in park and turn off the engine. Why should you turn off the engine when you fill up? Well electricity and fuel aren’t the best together. A spark can ignite the fuel and at that point everything could be set ablaze.

When your key is in the on position your fuel pump is energized. In other words your fuel pump is fired up an ready to start pumping fuel. If for some reason there was a spark or ignition source a fire could start easily. If you are pumping you are likely to try to yank the gas nozzle out of the car. At that point everything would be covered in gas and that could help the fire grow.

Therefore you should always make sure that your keys are in the off position and that your car is in park. Better safe than sorry. At the end of the article we have shared some dos and don’ts when filling up.

Remove your gas cap

The next step is to remove your gas cap. Simply turn the gas cap to the left to remove it. Some gas caps will require your to push and twist. On the other hand some newer vehicles come with capless systems. This means when you open the access door there will just be a place for you to insert the gas nozzle.

Determine which type of fuel your vehicle needs

This is similar to the first step where you had to find out what fuel your vehicle needs. With the different types of fuel you want to avoid a costly mistake. If you were to put diesel fuel in a gasoline powered car you would have the take your car to a mechanic shop to have the car drained.

In addition your mechanic may have to replace multiple parts which can add up. By double checking your fuel type you could save yourself thousands in repairs. Make sure you use the correct nozzle. Diesel and gasoline nozzles are usually different sizes. Typically the diesel nozzle is made that it won’t fit in gasoline cars. Although it doesn’t hurt to double check.

Pay for the gas

Most gas stations require you to either pay for the gas in advance or use a card at the pump. If you want to prepay with cash find out which gas pump you are at. There should be a number up above that you will use to buy your gas.

Go to the window or enter the gas station and let them know what pump you’re at and how much fuel you’d like. An example would be telling the attendant that you need $20 worth of gas on pump 6. They will have you pay then you can go back outside and start pumping.

If you prefer to pay at the pump your can use your debit or credit card. Just follow the prompts on the keypad then it will allow your to choose your fuel type.

Pump the gas

Next is pumping your gas. Place the correct nozzle into your car and squeeze the trigger. You should start to hear the gas pump doing it’s thing. There are auto lock features on some nozzles that will allow the nozzle to automatically shut off.

If you pre payed inside the nozzle will stop pumping fuel when you’ve reached the dollar amount you payed. Although if you manually squeeze nozzle you’ll want to make sure you don’t overfill the tank. You’ll make a mess and it can sometimes mess with your car’s evap system. You should never top off your fuel tank for the risk of a fire or for the two reasons stated above.

Replace the nozzle

After you are done filling make sure that the nozzle is off. You can then place the nozzle back on the pump and follow the prompts on the screen if there are any.

Tighten your fuel cap

Believe it or not this happens quite often. People get side tract and forget to put there fuel cap back on. Sometimes it will just hang on for dear life when they are driving. On the other hand you could just lose your fuel cap and have to purchase a new one.

Make sure that you tighten your gas cap until you hear a few clicks. You might get a check engine light if your gas cap is loose. It won’t cause any performance issues but you’ll probably get a check engine light. If your engine light does come on after you fill up then retighten the gas cap and the light should reset after three trips.

How to pump gas – Closing

We hope that his guide has shown you how to pump gas. While it may seem intimidating your first time you can follow these steps and get back on the road. After a few times you should get the hang of it and have no problems. If this guide helped you please let us know in the comments below.

How to pump gas – The Dos

Cleaning your windows.

There are plenty of gas stations that provide window cleaner and paper towels to clean your windows. It’s important to have visibility while driving. Why not take this time to clean your windows.

Check your fluids

This is a perfect time to check your fluids. Things like oil, power steering and antifreeze are a few things you can check while you are filling up. Making sure that everything is in tip-top shape will make sure you’re safe on the road when you’re done fueling.

How to pump gas – The Dont’s


Never smoke while you are filling up on fuel. The combination of the flame and the gasoline pose a huge fire risk. Just one drop of gasoling coming in contact with some ash or your cigarette which are the perfect ingredients for a fire.

Keeping the car running

You should never run your car while you are filling up. The fuel pump is energized and in some cases can pose a fire risk. Also if your car is running you might forget that you are hooked up to the gas pump and may end up driving off. Trust me it has happened before.

Getting in your car while the gas is pumping

Another fire risk is static electricity. When you get back in your car you can create some static electricity. If you get out and mess with the gas nozzle you may end up sparking which could ignite the fuel. If the static isn’t discharged on some metal it may end up in a disaster. Just stand by the pump until you’re done filling.

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