QOTD: Missing Full Serve?

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

qotd missing full serve

We reported yesterday on how Oregon is finally allowing drivers to use self-serve gas pumps.

That got me thinking. When I was a kid, and even when I was a gangly teen getting my first driver's license, you could still find full-serve pumps. Most people used self-serve, but the option existed at gas stations. A fair amount, maybe even a lot, of gas stations, if memory serves.

Of course, over time, fewer and fewer stations offered the option, since few customers used it. I don't know, without looking it up, if this meant a reduction in gas-station attendant jobs, but common sense tells me that even if it didn't, it did allow attendants to focus on other tasks, such as manning the register for people buying coffee/soda/candy whatever.

As for me as a customer, I don't remember if I ever used full service (except one time in Oregon when I was required to) but as I said yesterday, there are some things about full service I would've liked. For example -- staying in the car when it's very cold out. Not getting my hands all grimy from the pump. Just letting someone else do the work.

I don't know why I didn't use full serve. I think it may have cost more -- enough so that I didn't want to pay more for the service. Even if I am remembering wrong and that wasn't the case, I suppose I just felt like I didn't need someone else to do this work for me. I'm an able-bodied adult and operating a self-service pump isn't difficult.

What about you? If full-serve is/was offered where you live -- as an option, and not a requirement -- would you prefer full-serve or self? Would it matter if there's an extra cost -- i.e. would you do full if the price was the same but not for more money?

I suppose NJ and Oregon residents can sit this one out since one state is still requiring full serve and the other one only just now changed things.

The rest of you can sound off below.

[Image: BCFC/Shutterstock.com]

Become a TTAC insider. Get the latest news, features, TTAC takes, and everything else that gets to the truth about cars first by subscribing to our newsletter.

Join the conversation
2 of 29 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jun 28, 2023

    The mostly guys here will say no, but once your mother/wives/girlfriends/sisters get on in years, they'll be using full service a LOT.

    When the last of the Main Street full service stations converted to self serve, one woman in her late 60s complained she had to drive six miles rather than six blocks to have her fill up, oil and tires checked, and windshield cleaned, and it wasn't the old friends who had given her car service for many years.

    Her complaint to the local paper brought a dozen other older women to echo her complaint. The youngest of the boomers are in their late 50s now, and there will be a market for full service for quite awhile longer, since women live longer and drive longer than their husbands.

  • Arthur Dailey Arthur Dailey on Jun 29, 2023

    Regarding the complaints about 'gas jockeys spilling gas on my car or chipping the paint'. Well back when full serve was the norm many domestic vehicles had their fuel filling outlet located behind their back license plate. Made it difficult to 'harm' the car, but also difficult for older or mobility diminished people to attempt to fuel their own car. There were exceptions, like the one year (1955?) that Cadillac had the fuel inlet located behind one of the rear lights.

    I remember when 'gas jockeys' wore uniforms which often consisted of a hat, tie and jacket. For a while Gulf had provided running shoes with the Gulf logo, for gas jockeys at their stations.

    We got a slight commission on every can of oil or wiper blade that we sold. But we cleaned the windshield for each customer, checked their oil and wiper fluid (if they asked or allowed us) and checked tire pressures when asked. A great many customers were grateful for those services.

  • Theflyersfan The two Louisville truck plants are still operating, but not sure for how much longer. I have a couple of friends who work at a manufacturing company in town that makes cooling systems for the trucks built here. And they are on pins and needles wondering if or when they get the call to not go back to work because there are no trucks being made. That's what drives me up the wall with these strikes. The auto workers still get a minimum amount of pay even while striking, but the massive support staff that builds components, staffs temp workers, runs the logistics, etc, ends up with nothing except the bare hope that the state's crippled unemployment system can help them keep afloat. In a city where shipping (UPS central hub and they almost went on strike on August 1) and heavy manufacturing (GE Appliance Park and the Ford plants) keeps tens of thousands of people employed, plus the support companies, any prolonged shutdown is a total disaster for the city as well. UAW members - you're not getting a 38% raise right away. That just doesn't happen. Start a little lower and end this. And then you can fight the good fight against the corner office staff who make millions for being in meetings all day.
  • Dusterdude The "fire them all" is looking a little less unreasonable the longer the union sticks to the totally ridiculous demands ( or maybe the members should fire theit leadership ! )
  • Thehyundaigarage Yes, Canadian market vehicles have had immobilizers mandated by transport Canada since around 2001.In the US market, some key start Toyotas and Nissans still don’t have immobilizers. The US doesn’t mandate immobilizers or daytime running lights, but they mandate TPMS, yet canada mandates both, but couldn’t care less about TPMS. You’d think we’d have universal standards in North America.
  • Alan I think this vehicle is aimed more at the dedicated offroad traveller. It costs around the same a 300 Series, so its quite an investment. It would be a waste to own as a daily driver, unless you want to be seen in a 'wank' vehicle like many Wrangler and Can Hardly Davidson types.The diesel would be the choice for off roading as its quite torquey down low and would return far superior mileage than a petrol vehicle.I would think this is more reliable than the Land Rovers, BMW make good engines. https://www.drive.com.au/reviews/2023-ineos-grenadier-review/
  • Lorenzo I'll go with Stellantis. Last into the folly, first to bail out. Their European business won't fly with the German market being squeezed on electricity. Anybody can see the loss of Russian natural gas and closing their nuclear plants means high cost electricity. They're now buying electrons from French nuclear plants, as are the British after shutting down their coal industry. As for the American market, the American grid isn't in great shape either, but the US has shale oil and natural gas. Stellantis has profits from ICE Ram trucks and Jeeps, and they won't give that up.