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Why didn’t I think of that? Ford’s fuel filler system a real forehead-slapper

Published February 12, 2013

Have you driven a Ford lately?

No, I’m not thinking back to their old marketing slogan.

But have you driven one since they introduced this fuel filler cap-less system back in 2008?

Makes you want to slap your forehead and say, “Geez; why didn’t I think of that?”

More from Jim Kenzie:

This Toronto road is a cyclist death trap

Jim Kenzie’s white knuckle ride in the Nissan Leaf

The one in this photo is on a Raptor F-Series pick-up, but it has become a feature on most if not all new Fords.

A few other non-Fords have added it too, including the (Oshawa-built!) Cadillac XTS, the Chrysler 300C, and the new Acura RLX.

Certainly at first blush, this seems like a terrific idea. No more gas cap to worry about – or forget, if the tether strap (a forehead-slapper in its own day) is broken.

And your hands don’t have to come in contact with that dirty old cap.

Women apparently are particularly receptive to this device, for among other reasons, a concern that whoever fuelled the car last might have wrenched the cap on so tight they can’t remove it.

According to Ford, a stick or an improper nozzle won’t release the valve, so it’s more-or-less tamper-proof.

What if you want to put in some sort of gasoline additive? Or maybe fuel from a portable gas can when you run out?

Ford’s got that covered; the tool kit on thus-equipped Fords contains a specially-designed funnel that opens the valve and allows input of whatever you want.

Concerned that someone might use such a funnel to put dirt or whatever in your tank? (What, are you paranoid? Or do you really travel in such a neighbourhood?)

Either way, that’s no more of a problem than with any fuel filler system. Yes, you’d be better off in either case if your fuel filler door has a remote release inside the car; not all capless Fords do.

But if you want to protect against that, you can buy a locking plug from Ford, although it removes a lot of the handiness of the system.

Not earth-shaking maybe.

But I think it’s pretty cool.

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