First of all, I'm used to filling my car on the driver's side, and it occurred to me just as I was pulling up to the pump that I didn't know how I should orient the car, so I parked the way I usually do, discovered (not to my surprise) that I was on the wrong side, and drove up to another pump. Some of you will remember that last time I had a loaner car, the switch to open the gas compartment was inside the glove compartment. Not so in this case. The switch was on the floor where I expected it. It just didn't work.
I pulled the switch, got out of the car, found the compartment closed. I got back in, tried again, heard it click and got out, but no dice. I tried a third time while looking through the mirror on the passenger side only to discover that the compartment door was obscured by the wheel well. Okay, fine. I went into the glove compartment, retrieved the owner's manual, and discovered a manual release cord in the trunk. Perhaps this is common knowledge, but I've never owned a car where the gas compartment didn't open from the outside, so I didn't know.
The manual release didn't work either, but I eventually got it open by yanking the cord while prying at the door with a key. This is probably the reason the fuel tank was so close to empty when I picked it up. Yay perseverance.
Anyway, otherwise the repair went smoothly. The measly $2.18 I put into the Taurus means that it probably returned to the shop with more gas than it had when it left -- needle still on E.