Tips For Using A Full Service Gas Station

Full service gas stations aren't as common as they once were, but they are still out there. In some states, like Oregon and New Jersey, they are the only choice, while in other areas you may find stations that have full service lanes. If you are planning to travel to an area where full service stations are common, then you may be a little nervous about how they work. The following guide can ensure you are using the full service lane like a pro.

Don't get out of the car

Generally, you do not leave the car at a full service station, particularly if it is in a state that requires attendants to pump by law. Instead, you pull up to the pump with the gas tank on the same side as the pump. If you aren't sure which side of the car has the tank, look at your gas gauge, there is a small triangle that points to the tank side. Once at the pump, roll down your window, cut off the engine, and release the gas door, if applicable. Your attendant will then take your payment and find out what services you need. Just make sure to let them know if you aren't filling up completely and only want a small amount pumped.

Choose extra services

Services can vary from station to station, but, generally, full service means a little more than pumping the gas and running payment. Some stations may also include front windshield cleaning for every vehicle, while others will offer it upon request. Having fluids and tire air pressure checked, and even topped off for a small fee, is also a common service. You may notice that some stations even have a menu of optional services, along with their costs, hanging by the pump. This is more common at stations that offer both self service and full service lanes, along with those that are attached to a mechanic's garage.

Understand tipping customs

Tipping customs can vary across regions, but generally it is not customary to tip at gas stations in states where full service is mandated by law. The one exception is if you get an extra free service that is not normally performed at the station, such as a window wash or oil level check. At combination self and full service stations, it is customary to tip a small amount. There are no set rules on the amount of the tip, though. When service goes above and beyond your expectations, tip accordingly. Since tipping isn't a major component of the attendant's wage, even a token amount of a dollar can be acceptable.