Yes we can! No more rubber boots on gas pumps

Dailies -



In a shocking case of common sense overcoming bureaucracy, the Obama administration and the EPA have announced that the rubber boots on gas pumps will be phased out nation wide. You know, the little rubber flaps that you have to lift with your fingers every time you fill up your motorcycle, meaning you spill gas all over your tank three out of four times. Intended to reduce evaporative emissions, they’ve been rendered redundant by vapor-capturing devices in the majority of modern cars.

“We will remain vigilant when it comes to eliminating regulations that are not necessary or that impose unnecessary burdens on America’s families and businesses,” stated President Obama.

The spring-loaded flaps have been in place since 1994, predominantly in urban areas or other places impacted by smog. 31,000 gas stations currently use them nationwide, as they replace or renew pumps, they won’t need to equip them with said flaps. It’s unclear if some sort of spring mechanism will remain fitted.

The move is expected to save businesses $6 billion and motorcyclists countless minutes.

  • Aienan

    Ok, help the Canadian out here. I have no idea what these things are.

    Do you mean the lever that you could choose to flip down to keep it pumping without holding the handle?

    Edit: Do you mean the accordian thing?

    • NitroPye

      Yes the accordion thing. Not sure if you guys have them up in America’s hat but the pump won’t pump unless the rubber boot goes back far enough to ensure a seal (there might be a switch in there I don’t know). This also might be a California only thing?

      Since the pump is designed to be long for cars you have to push it back with your hands and hold it before gas will come out.

      Really pumped about these going away. (pun intended)

      • Aienan

        Strange. Well, good for you guys!

      • Corey

        Well that sucks for you guys.

        Ours are pretty simple

        • BigRooster

          I think that’s a splash guard and not a vapor recapture thingy.

      • duncanbojangles

        I’ve never come across a pump that required the rubber boot to be pulled back in order for the pump to operate. Maybe it isn’t required in the southern states I ride through?

        • Erik

          You weren’t in Atlanta then.

          • protomech

            I lived in Atlanta for four years (2000-2004) and don’t recall seeing them then.

            • protomech

              But maybe I’ve just blocked it out of my head.. not a fan of Atlanta. : )

        • The other Joe

          It’s more of a city thing.

        • doublet

          Me either :shrugs:

      • Campisi

        A lot of stations in the greater Seattle area have them. They’re a considerable pain.

    • nick

      NYC/State has them. Truly annoying.

  • RT Moto

    The only way you spill fuel on your tank is if you don’t shake it out prior to pulling the nozzle over the tank. Should be common practice if you stand while pissing. Those flaps do suck though.

    • DoctorNine

      “..Shake it more than three times, and you’re playing with it..”

      Frank Zappa

    • Dustin Bolander

      how the hell is it common practice…oh wait, never mind.

      Sitting is more comfortable

  • Zirq

    Hell yes.

  • caferacer

    Yes — no more giving a left handed reach-around to the ol’ Sunoco, only to be rewarded with a lingering foul odor and a $24.89 bill.

    • jp182

      damn how much is your gas or how big is your tank?

      • Mike

        Sunoco 100 octane race fuel – available at the -pump- in the SF Bay Area (at the foot of delicious Hwy 9 & the Santa Cruz Mtns) = $8/gallon.

  • Robert

    Six billion dollars. Right.

    • nick2ny

      +1. There are 100k gas stations in the USA, I think. That means this would save them $60000 each. I’d imagine it’d save each gas station less than $1k a year. (unless the 6 billion figure includes ridiculous regulatory expenses as well).

  • R.Sallee (Ninja 250)

    California has its own requirements, I imagine they’re still in place.


  • Gene

    Ah! the gas-pump foreskins! Fortunately for whatever reason, I’ve never seen them in Florida, except where they’ve already been shredded by some pissed-off redneck.

  • Coreyvwc

    Too bad we have the C.A.R.B. nazis here in CA. I don’t see those things disappearing any time soon…

    • Kevin

      I remember what the air was like in the 60s and 70s. You can take regulations too far, but try breathing that shitty air for a while before you pass judgment. I for one am glad they are around.

      • TuffGong

        Ah,Kevin,,,a voice of reason and sanity…..

  • BigRooster

    We have them some places in PA and not in others. BP stations have them but not Exxon or Sunoco. Those things do suck, glad to see them go. I didnt realize it was some sort of enviro thing. I assumed those things were there to keep people from topping off and then spilling. Sucked because, the pump wouldnt work unless you had that thing balls deep. The pump would click off early and prohibit completly filling unless you pulled the foreskin back. Not a big deal with a car to pull out early and miss a few drops, but on a motorcyle every little bit counts.

    BTW – The comments section of the linked article is classic. Stupid people arguing a non-issue is sadly entertaining.

  • noone1569

    I’ve never seen one of this. One thing Indiana has right. . .

  • Daniel

    Surprisingly, this is one stupid thing Florida doesn’t have. At least not in central Florida.

  • luxlamf

    I have been in CA for 20 years, recently went back to NYC for a visit and while filling up the rental car I was over come by the smell of fuel, looked all around until I realized that they have naked pumps there and it is normal.

  • Ben

    I remember the first time I saw these and the little thing that holds the trigger down for you ( we dont have ether in canada). I couldn’t figure out what the hell was with the pump. That didnt cause half the stir as later in the same trip when i nearly got arrested for pumping my own gas in Oregon!

    Now I live in Thailand and we have gasoline venting machines unattended in random locations. You put in some bills and just spray away! Take that EPA!

  • Derek

    I’ve lived in MI near OH my entire life and I’ve never once seen one of these flaps. Even while traveling.

  • Miles Prower [690 Duke, MTS 1200]

    The first time I encountered a pump that would switch on only when its “boot” was compressed, I thought the pump was broken. So I pushed my motorcycle to the next pump — but encountered the same problem again.

    It wasn’t until a nice guy pumping his own gas at a nearby pump explained the mechanism that I realized I had to pull the boot back manually.

    And I’d pumped gas into my truck at that same gas station many times — never realizing that there was a switch that turned on when the boot was compressed.

  • Endless Mike

    I’ve only ever seen these in CA, so I honestly thought they were a CARB thing. If they’re not, they will be, so don’t celebrate so quickly.

  • pplassm
    • Zirq

      That and the McCuff

      What a sham. I mean shame.

      • Sean MacDonald (the other Sean)

        well if paul sr endorses it…

  • mugget

    Thank goodness I have never seen a pump that used those nonsense things!