Rant: Got Gas?

A few days back I accidentally came across an article that discussed a thing so common that most folks – and knuckle-draggers like me in particular – never really stop to think about. It’s right there in front of you every time you go somewhere, mainly, if you’re an average American. The topic in question was your gas gauge.

You may wonder exactly how in the hell I could possibly rant poetic about my gas gauge. Well, it’s possible, and honestly I’m not really thinking the Rants Army is surprised at this one. But, totally and completely possible nonetheless. The article I mentioned explained that the very configuration of the float structure – their very physical characteristics alone – in the gas tank causes your gas gauge to lie to you consistently. Okay, now how pissed off are you? No?

Okay, but I was astounded by this revelation. Even worse, your gas gauge lies at the worst possible time, which of course would be when you’re shit-out of gas and running on fumes. Technically speaking, this lying is also going on at the “full” end of the spectrum as well, but then who the fuck cares? At that point, you just topped off so you know damn well you have at least an hour or so to relax.

As someone who’s pushed a ’68 Mustang to a gas pump because of a defective gauge, this asses me up. As someone who’s realized he cannot possibly push a half-ton truck uphill to gas because of a worn-out float, this asses me up. Let’s face it: running out of gas is just fucking embarrassing. People look at you funny, because you’re all grown up and shit and ought to know better, right? Right.

However, I cannot look at this in any other way than as an evil conspiracy. In my devious mind – separate from the ranting part – I suspect some unholy alliance between Big Oil and Detroit. I am not a conspiracy nut, but I picture shady backroom deals and payoffs, keeping the gas-float and sending unit technology firmly rooted in the 1970’s so that we will continue to buy gas when we don’t need it. Evil, and perhaps connected to the reasons certain pipelines were shot down, who knows? Why else is a full eighth of the gauge painted that day-glo orange?

Call me crazy. Call me paranoid. Just don’t call me late for dinner. Seriously, though, when you look around at the various different cool tech toys people use every day, don’t you suppose that by now someone would have come up with a foolproof and accurate gas gauge and fuel tank float system? We can send men to the Moon and back (and that feat 43 years ago!), talk to a spacecraft now well beyond the heliopause, and download every single genre of pornography from the internet, but we seriously cannot improve the way we figure out how much fucking gas we have? Really?

Or better yet: You mean we still are using gasoline? Hmm.


34 Responses to “Rant: Got Gas?”

  1. At least people aren’t drilling holes in your car trying to steal your gas. You can look at it that way. As for me, I’m off to work in my flying Jetsons car.

  2. My bf explained the gas gauge thing to me a few weeks back and I was pretty unimpressed too. Our cars run off of computers and have been doing so for at least 10 years now but we they can’t figure out how to make a gauge read acurately? I’m with you on the conspiracy theory…

  3. We’ve got cup-holders down solid, though.

  4. Crazy !

  5. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    You have a devious mind? I find that hard to believe. I’m sure it’s a nasty conspiracy. Very poetic post.

  6. I learned long ago that “quarter tank = empty” and I never wait. It’s a conspiracy. I agree.

  7. My senior year of college, I ran out of gas on the way to my geology final. Fortunately my roommate was driving by and picked me up. I went back to get my car after the final and it was towed. I went to the lot and they released my car to me AFTER a fax from my dad who was in a meeting several towns away saying that it was my car, but registered in his name. Then they told me to get my car and go to which I said “UM Hello! I ran out of gas! I can’t go anywhere.” I still hate them.

  8. Yup, just plain-ass embarrassing. Sure felt like a massive tool when that happened to me at a busy intersection.
    Stupid Ford Tempo.
    Your last point, about us all still using gasoline, speaks volumes. Just a few more years, it’ll all be gone, and then we get to watch as the fat bastards at the top scramble for a new way to stay on top.

  9. Hate defective gas gauges. Noticed ours was broken ‘way out in the middle of west TX near absolutely nothing. The anxiety. It’s not a complicated deal….easy to make work…did they just take the lowest equipment bid? Oh, yeah, it was a Ford, too.

  10. What I hate more than anything is when gas prices jump 6 cents per litre as soon as my car hits 1/4 tank! (1/4 tank is my signal to me to fill up because it drops precipitously from there)!

  11. I think anything that has to deal with automobiles is in kahootz.. Car dealers, big oil, insurance companies, mechanics, gas stations, AAA, tow companies.. they are all an evil, intertwined mass hell-bent on bending us over…

    Oh yeah, get me at the conspiracy round table.. we’ll talk.

  12. Our gas gauge was below empty outside Nola and trust me we were sweating bullets. Nothing for miles. Ahem. I mean Katherine was sweating bullets.

  13. And this is why I start hyperventilating when gauge gets close to 1/4 of a tank. I refuse to run out of gas. Ever.

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