What Really Grinds My Gears: Gas Pumps Without A Locking Feature

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

I have no idea when someone somewhere decided that there was some kind of safety problem with gas pumps offering a locking clip at the end of the nozzle. You know, the little metal doo-hickey that lets you take your hand off the pump while the car fills with gas, then kicks back to let you know it’s done. I suppose someone somewhere experienced a clip failure. I imagine gas poured onto the ground. I have a hard time believing that the result was a lethal conflagration, but a million monkeys and all that. Perhaps it was the idea of an inferno that led to their ban; the relevant bureaucrat having seen Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” as a kid. Meanwhile, here in the Ocean State, we have to physically squeeze the trigger on the nozzle until the tank’s full. As fellow SUV owners will attest, that can be a long time. Anyone who doesn’t live in the desert or the Deep South will also tell you that pumping gas in sub-zero weather is painful enough to make an Antarctic explorer nostalgic. Tall people have to stoop. Weak people have to strain. Nervous people have to stand still. All for the lack of a single piece of metal. If we can put a man on the moon (and I know you and I were deeply involved in that venture), why can’t we (and now I’m talking about you rather than me) design a gas pump that doesn’t require so much human effort?

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • Stephan Wilkinson Stephan Wilkinson on Nov 09, 2009

    "No motorcycle helmet – no problems – individual choice, essentially no effect on anyone else." So who do you think pays for these guys who end up on ventilators for the rest of their lives because they're vegetables? We do, in the passed-along cost via increased health-insurance premiums and increased hospital costs for everybody else, since the hospital ends up eating the expense of maintaining an artificial life. Not many Warren Buffetts out there riding sickles without helmets.

  • PeteMoran PeteMoran on Nov 09, 2009

    @ Stephan Wilkinson It's OK. I agree with you. See the other parts of my comment.

  • Rpn453 Rpn453 on Nov 10, 2009

    In Saskatchewan, some have the locking feature, some don't. I only regularly buy gas at places that do. Superstore is usually good.

  • Gas-gadget Gas-gadget on Dec 12, 2009

    Please look at my solution...just don't tell "the man" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyPvon8G8Rg