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How to Pump Gas – A Detailed Guide

  • Gas
  • Renee Martin
  • 4 minutes

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For some people out there, pumping gas at a fuel station could be a very alien concept – we’re looking at you, New Jersey, and Oregon! But for the rest of you, here’s everything you need to know about how to pump gas. Use this detailed guide and fill your tank without any hassle.   

Rising gas prices have paved the way for more self-service gas stations. Filling up your tank at a self-service gas station is not just faster, but you can even save a few dollars in the process. From how to pay for your gas to what’s the best way to operate the pump – we’re breaking down everything you need to know about pumping gas in this post. Keep reading to know more.  


How to pump your own gas – A step-by-step guide

Step 1   

Ensure your vehicle’s gas tank opening is facing and close to the fuel pump. If you’re not familiar with the location of your gas tank opening, refer to the owner’s manual or, in some vehicles, have an indicator on the dashboard.   

Step 2  

Once you have parked correctly, switch off the engine and get out of the vehicle. For safety reasons, do not smoke while you are near the pump. It’s best to leave your mobile phone inside the car before stepping out.   

How to pump your own gas

Step 3   

Now, choose a suitable payment option before operating the pump. You can pay using a credit or debit card directly at the pump or pay at the counter.   

Paying at the pump: If you’re paying at the pump, all you need to do is just swipe your card and follow the instructions on the screen. In most machines, you need to enter the amount you’ll be filling the fuel.   

Paying at the counter: Pay the attendant for the amount of gas you’ll be filing using a card or cash. The amount you pay will show up on the pump, and the fuel will stop once the fuel reaches the cut-off amount.   

Note: Some stations accept loyalty or membership cards. Talk with the attendant or the person in charge to know more about it. 

Step 4  

Depending on your vehicle and model, you need to press a button or simply open it with your fingers to open the gas tank. Next, unscrew the gas cap. If it’s not connected to a wire, keep it somewhere safe.   

Step 5    

You first need to remove the nozzle on most machines before selecting the gas type. So, take the nozzle out and place it inside the gas port and make sure the nozzle sits perfectly inside the port.   

Also, if you notice two nozzles at the pump, that means the pump supplies both diesel and gas. Ensure the correct fuel for your vehicle. Filling your vehicle with the wrong one can damage the engine.  

Step 6  

Select the appropriate grade of gas. Most stations have gasoline based on octane rating. Choose the one that suits your vehicle. Press the button to select the fuel grade you want to fill.   

Step 7  

You’ll find the start button on most gas pumps and turn it on to start the machine. Before pumping, check the zero on the pump’s dial. As you fill fuel, you’ll notice the zero changing.   

Step 8  

Now all you need to do is squeeze the trigger on the nozzle to allow the fuel to flow into the tank. You can lock the trigger in some pumps to make the process easier.   

The fuel will stop once the zero reaches the number you had entered or when the tank is full. Don’t worry about spilling gas because all modern pumps are equipped with self-stopping mechanisms.  

Step 9   

Finally, place the nozzle back and screw the gas cap. Turn it a few times till you hear a clicking sound, and then close the tank’s door.  

Fun fact: Most gas stations don’t just sell gas. They double up as convenience stores too. At most gas stations, you’ll also find a car wash nearby. Yes, it’s convenient to get your car washed after filing your fuel. But are you sure the location is trustworthy and safe? Don’t worry – you can find top-rated and award-winning car washes in your area using the Way.com app (available on iOS and Android) or website.

You don’t have to fumble for cash or a card at the location. Simply scan using the Way app and get your vehicle cleaned spotlessly. 

Save up to 85 cents on gas

Here’s more info on top-rated airport parkingthe best parking spots in your city, the most affordable insurance for your car, and top-rated car washes near you.

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