Not only is it OK, gas hose nozzles are long exactly for that reason.
Imagine you’re three cars away from pulling into a gas pump at Costco when you notice your car is on the wrong side.
You’d pull out and get into the correct line, except there’s a line already formed behind you.
On top of that, you’re already running on fumes and can’t afford to wait much longer.
Is it OK to pull into the “wrong” side of a gas pump if that means stretching the gas hose across your vehicle?
Yes, and here’s why.
There’s a reason I chose Costco as an example, as their gas pump hoses are known for being extra long.
Here’s a shot of this Costco member going for that extra stretch to reach his gas filler.
Gas pump hoses come in all sorts of lengths to accommodate the range of vehicles that fill up.
On top of that, extra long hoses means customers can fill up regardless of which side their filler door is.
Modern gas pump nozzle and the hoses they’re attached to have safeguards in place to make sure that, as long as an adequate seal forms around a gas filler or there’s enough nozzle length penetrating the filler neck, dispensing fuel will not result in spillage or excess vapors from escaping.
In other words, if it reaches and starts dispensing, it’s fair game.
“But if your car is narrow enough, and you park close enough to a pump that you can reach the hose across your trunk and fit it comfortably in the filler neck, you have our blessing, and the blessing of the petroleum industrial complex” Car Talk concluded, answering a similar question.
Gas stations, like the ones at Costco, rely on volume sales, and that means accommodating as much traffic as possible with the least amount of incidents.
If Costco, or any other high-traffic gas station, did not have long hoses, eventually, someone will arrive at a pump and realize too late they can’t reach their filler hole.
That problem creates frustration and added confusion as that customer either exits or maneuvers their car to make that regular length of hose reach.
So, the next time you realize you’ve arrived at the wrong side of the pump, don’t fret, more often than not your gas pump hose will reach the other side.
And, if it doesn’t or the hose is too short, tough luck because it’s to the back of the line for you.