Aug 3, 2023 - News

Time to pump your own gas, Portland

An image of a car next to a gas pump.

Fill 'er up. Photo: Meira Gebel/Axios

Drivers will finally be able to pump their own gas anywhere in Oregon after a 72-year ban on self-service is expected to end this week.

Why it matters: It's a game-changer for the state and for a swath of residents who have likely never lived here when self-service was allowed.

  • It also leaves New Jersey as the only state where pumping your own gas is banned.

What's happening: Earlier this summer, legislators approved a measure allowing Oregon gas stations to open up half of their pumping stations for self-service use. The measure is expected to go into effect when Gov. Tina Kotek signs it or by a Friday deadline — whichever comes first.

Flashback: When legislators first restricted self-service gas in 1951, they were concerned about fire safety and maintaining jobs for attendants.

Let's face it: Oregonians under the age of 72 may have never had to fill their own tank, or simply need a refresher.

Here's how to pump your own gas in five easy steps.

Step one: Pull up as close as you can to any available pump. Pop the cover and unscrew your gas cap.

Step two: To pay at the pump, tap or insert your credit card and follow the instructions on the screen. To pay inside, tell the gas station attendant how much gas you want to pay for and the pump number where you're parked.

  • Some gas stations have rewards memberships, so be sure to insert your membership card when prompted.
An image of a hand selecting a gasoline grade at a gas pump.
Select a gasoline grade. Photo: Meira Gebel/Axios

Step three: Time to fill up! Watch out — in some cases, pumps will have one hose for gasoline and one for diesel.

  • Remove the nozzle from the pump's holster and insert it into the gas tank.
  • Select regular, mid-grade or premium gasoline by pressing the button showing each octane grade.

Step four: Pull up on the nozzle handle to start the gasoline flow. You can usually flip down a lever that keeps the nozzle open even if you remove your hand.

  • All modern-day gas pumps have self-stopping devices that will cut off the flow of gasoline when the tank is full or you've reached the gallons you've paid for.
An image of a hand holding a gas nozzle.
Remove the gas nozzle and tighten the cap to finish. Photo: Meira Gebel/Axios

Step five: Once you've finished filling up your tank, remove the nozzle and put it back in the pump. Close your gas tank by tightening the cap until it clicks, then close the cover.

  • Accept or decline a receipt on the machine.

Pro tip: When filling up, don't add more gasoline once the pump has automatically stopped. Spilled gas and escaped vapors hurt the environment, and overfilling can damage to your car.

  • Try not to cry when you see the final cost. Don't worry — it's the same price if you decide to opt for attendant assistance instead.

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