Cadillac takes the dirt and grime out of self-serve gas stations with capless design


April 25, 2012

The capless fuel system is another small convenience that Cadillac brings to the 2013 XTS (Photo: General Motors)

The capless fuel system is another small convenience that Cadillac brings to the 2013 XTS (Photo: General Motors)

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The 2013 Cadillac XTS, which will hit dealerships in a few weeks, is a hotbed of new technology and features for GM. The car is the launch vessel for everything from the CUE infotainment system to vibrating alert seats. This week, Cadillac has detailed a smaller but perhaps equally useful feature.

Instead of the traditional fuel door and fuel cap, the XTS uses a capless fuel filler system that provides a cleaner, more seamless fill up. The system has two internal fuel doors, each with its own rubber seal, ensuring that everything is airtight and leak free. When it's time to refuel, you open the outer door and insert the nozzle directly through the two internal doors, which automatically open to accommodate the nozzle. Because the inner fuel compartment doesn't need to fit a hand to loosen the cap manually, it's smaller and sleeker than the average.

"Some capless systems on the market have just a single door, making them vulnerable to leaks,” explains John Hamilton, Cadillac's fuel systems design engineer. "Unlike competitors, Cadillac’s system also has no internal drain, something that can also lead to inadvertent dripping."

As someone that's moved from a full-service state, where gas station attendants fill your gas, to a self-service state, I can appreciate this small, subtle convenience. While I've gotten used to the speed of pumping my own gas, I still don't like getting the grime and smell of gas on my hands, especially if the pit stop includes grabbing a bite to eat after filling up. With the Cadillac system, you don't have to manhandle the filler cap, so you should stay gas and grit free.

Within the past week, I've also seen about four or five cars with dangling gas caps that drivers forgot to screw in before leaving the gas station. It's humorous to an onlooker, but threatens to leak fuel, damage paint and fire the "check engine" light for the driver in question. Cadillac's system eliminates that little human error.

Source: GM

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work. All articles by C.C. Weiss

Ford has had capless technology on its cars for years...What's the hype?

Tim Triplett

nice for siphoning too.

Max Kennedy

what a waste of time, they should be focusing on eliminating gasoline altogether.


Well-proven the most unhealthy thing to touch at a service station is the handle of the pump.


@tim - true @max - also true

@eideard - I actually think your cell phone is likely to have more germs ... just saying.

All in all its more to break, more difficult to repair, and more prone to failure. Alas, that is the life of "luxury". Personally I like KISS with my 88 jeep with very early fuel injection, simple, reliable, easy to repair, cheap parts. My jeep also doesn't care if I leave the cap off and will never throw a check engine light as it has none. Its survived 375k miles I expect it to last me another 200k

Bryant Drake

@Max: I would suppose it's still a locked outer door that requires an internal opening. So "False" for siphoning worries.

@Tim: I don't think Ford's system is double-doored to prevent leaks and drips... ? Have you read it was? Is it standard equipment?

@Bryant: the Cadillac crowd is a different demographic than the Jeep crowd. Jeep folks thrive on KISS, while a lot of the Cadillac crowd would rather not get the least bit grimey. "Different rides for different hides." Choice makes it all good.

Matt Rings

Did they forget that in many parts of the US we now have vapor capturing nozzles? The pictured design is totally incompatible with those nozzles. Caddy FTW, not! Why didn't the government just let GM go under? Then some real car guys could have bought their assets for fractions of pennies on the dollar, and we'd have a car company to be proud of for a change. Sheesh!

Randolph Lee

@Randolph Lee: +1

Charles Bosse

good and just in time too. its not like the electric car and hydrogen will ever replace petrol and clean .... diesel.

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