Understanding The Arrow Symbol beside the Fuel Indicator
The arrow symbol beside the fuel indicator in your car is one of the best things that has happened to mankind since sliced bread. Back in the days, drivers inserted a dipstick inside their fuel tanks to determine how much fuel left in their cars. It may look very strange now but it was actually a way to know how much fuel left in your tank.
The Fuel Gauge
In the early decades of the twentieth century, automotive makers started introducing innovative gadgets such as speed-o-meters and fuel gauges. The first fuel gauges were fitted directly on fuel tanks. It wasn’t until 1914 that Studebaker manufactured the first car model with a fuel indicator mounted on the dashboard. At first, these were mainly mechanical instruments, but later electricity took over and we never looked back since.
Today, fuel gauges are common and necessary in all types of vehicles. The fuel indicator is probably the most carefully observed segment on the dashboard. Aside from the super famous “F”(full) and “E” (empty) marks, one more mark is commonly found on fuel indicators all around the world. The fuel dispenser mark, a graphical depiction of a fuel pumping machine used to supply our cars with fuel.
At first glance, this appears to be logical. The fuel dispenser mark is there to inform you that you should check all the relevant, fuel-related information by looking in its direction. Recently, the information that this was not the only function of the little symbol has interested the wider public.
The Mysterious Symbol
What happened is that car manufacturers started adding an arrow (or triangle) symbol next to the fuel dispenser mark. Many drivers did not notice such a small change but those who did start wondering about its purpose. It turned out that the tip of the arrow points out the side of the vehicle on which the fuel tank is located.
To some drivers, this did not come as a surprise. They already knew it or guessed it. What was even more surprising is that on older car models the position of the fuel dispenser’s hose or of the fuel dispenser mark itself (left or right) had the same purpose but was ineffective. So it was replaced with the more obvious arrow.
The real question remains, how useful this really is? Many people would ask themselves if it is possible that someone does not know where the fuel tank on their car is. In some cases, it is both useful and possible.
In certain circumstances, the little arrow can play a more important part. A mere look at the arrow tells you where the lid of your fuel tank is positioned and it also tells you the side of the fuel dispenser to park. It might be trivial information considering you can still jump down from your car and check these days, but who would want to run a bath using a bucket when there are shower caps and bathtubs? Just enjoy the modern add-ons in your car.