Pumping gas with the handle upside down

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6,430
Location
San Francisco Bay Area
I've seen a few people pump with the handle sideways or even upside down. At Costco, all the pumps have a diagram with the handle pointed the correct way. The signs warn that the auto shutoff sensor works properly in this position. So why the heck are people pumping that way? I could tell that it was intentional, like they think it helps somehow. I've heard some claims that maybe you could get more fuel in that way, but it seems like a recipe for possibly spraying fuel if it overfills or maybe leaving no room for thermal expansion.
 
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3,870
Location
NEUS
I recall someone calling Car Talk a few years back to ask about this because they thought it would allow more fuel in. Hilarity ensued.
 
Messages
43,670
Location
'Stralia
It's supposed to stop the bubbler thing from detecting a full tank and tripping. I've had a car that trick was useful, a wagon with a big flat tank under the floor, that burped and [censored] for the last 5 gallons...the trick worked, and as the filler was on an overhanging (past vertical) plane, it was more comfortable too.
 
Messages
28,123
Location
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
I've only done it on a couple vehicles. A couple were just painful to fill in a normal orientation, where the shut off would kick in when there was hardly any fuel even in the tank. A couple pumps were sensitive with that when I had the Audi, so I either had to squeeze a lot less while filling to reduce the flow, or stick the nozzle in at a weird angle.
 
Messages
7,514
Location
North America
Same here for me, one vehicle would take FOREVER to fill in the "normal" position, but you could go full open on the valve when putting the handle upside down. The shutoff always worked normally for me.
 
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Messages
121
Location
South Jersey
Ford Mustangs are notorious for the shutting off every few seconds and turning it up side down actually stops it. I have to do it with some overly sensitive pumps at stations
 
Messages
1,459
Location
NY
That's the "go-to" trick the attendants use at the gas station I typically frequent. A couple of times I've been there to fill up and the pump has clicked off within ~$1 multiple times, upside down seems to work every time.
 
Messages
2,008
Location
grande prairie AB
Originally Posted By: eljefino
The shutoff disabling is a good reason but I do it to look "gangsta". laugh
ha ha ha ha sounds like something I would say. I do it on flat deck pickups just cause it doesn't fall out of the filler neck with it like that.
 
Messages
6,388
Location
Washington St.
If the fill pipe causes the gas to bubble back and make the nozzle shut off, sometimes aiming the gas down the side of the fill pipe (or maybe the back side as upsidedown might do) helps reduce the bother.
 
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