The next time you find yourself checking your car's gas gauge, notice the tiny arrow near the gas pump symbol on your dashboard. Ever wonder what that means?

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Staff Photo
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What does the arrow next to the gas pump symbol on your car's dashboard mean?

Most cars have an arrow. It' to tell you what side the gas cap and flap are on the car so that you know what side of the car you should place near the gas pumps when pulling into a gas station. If the arrow points left, you will need to put the driver's side of your car nearest the pumps. If the arrow points right, you will need to have the driver's side of the car nearest the gas pump.

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Staff Photo
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Why should you never top off your car's gas tank?

It is also important to never top off your vehicle's gasoline level. Once the pump shuts off, don't try to add any more gasoline to your car's tank.

Your vehicle is designed with a carbon filter/canister in the tank that is designed only to catch vapor. When you top off your gas tank the filter gets filled with gasoline and can't do its job. This process will also kill the life of the filter.

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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Why does fuel octane matter?

Make sure you use the right fuel octane level in your vehicle. This will give your engine what it needs for optimal performance and life. Check near the gas cap or owner's manual for the manufacture's recommendation. Octane levels are clearly printed on every gasoline pump so that you may make the proper selection.

Does speed play a role in gasoline consumption?

Of course, your speed plays a role in your vehicle's gasoline consumption, but your tires do as well. Check your tire's pressure periodically. Make sure they each have the manufacturer's recommended pressure (always check the pressure when tires are cold). You can find the suggested tire pressure for front and back tires by checking the label found in the door well of the driver's door or the car's owner's manual.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.