A Short Midwest Road Trip in the Chevrolet Trax (And How to Open the Gas Tank!)

chevy trax road trip

My sweet ride for last month’s mini-road trip to downstate Illinois and western Indiana was a Chevrolet Trax. I was given access to the vehicle for a few days to test it out, and I was not disappointed.

The vehicle drove as smoothly as any I’ve ever seen. The potholes of Illinois were not a problem as the vehicle handled the roads just fine. The gas mileage was also fantastic (officially, it gets 34 mpg highway and 26 mpg city), and I appreciated the gauge that indicated precisely how many miles I had remaining before I needed a fill-up.

Read on to learn the details of my weekend road trip, as well as the secret to finding that pesky gas tank release on the Chevy Trax!

Driving the Trax to See the White Squirrels in Olney, Illinois

The Trax took me to the town of Olney, Illinois, which is known for its albino white squirrels. I got to watch one of the squirrels from the front seat:

chevrolet trax white squirrel

In terms of amenities, the thing I loved about the Trax was the in-car wifi hotspot. I could stream music, connect to Google Maps and keep up with social media without having to use my cellular data. I couldn’t get enough of the satellite radio, either.

I hope they didn’t have a hidden camera in this vehicle, or else I’m going to end up on Youtube belting out karaoke renditions of George Michael’s “Faith” and the Verve Pipe’s “The Freshmen.”

After Olney, I headed to another kooky town: Santa Claus, Indiana. As you might expect, everything here is all about Christmas. Here’s the Trax in front of the Santa Claus post office:

trax gas tank fuel gauge release

Santa Claus is a fun town in southern Indiana. They have tons of holiday-themed gift shops, and there’s even a theme park called Holiday World and Splashin’ Safari Water Park.

On the drive home, I passed through Indianapolis and Gary. The whole thing took only one weekend. Here’s the basic route of my modest Midwest route trip from Chicago to Olney and Santa Claus in the Chevy Trax:

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midwest road trip indiana

How to Open the Gas Tank on the Chevrolet Trax

The only challenge with the Trax? It took me 10 minutes to open the gas tank. I could not find a latch inside the vehicle to release the gas tank lid, and there was no latch on the tank itself. I even read through the user manual and was surprised to find no mention of how to open the gas tank.

Finally, after some Googling, I discovered that all I had to do was push on one corner of the gas tank lid, and it popped open. Womp womp. Is this typically how gas tanks open these days? Some of us aren’t used to driving brand new Chevys, so that detail may be worth including in the manual!

chevy trax gas tank front view

Aside from the issue with not knowing how to open the gas tank on the Chevrolet Trax, I enjoyed the vehicle a lot. The Trax is marketed as a city-smart small SUV, and I found it to be a perfect vehicle for navigating Chicago’s busy streets. Hopefully this will not be my last experience behind the wheel of a Trax.

I think the jaunt to Santa Claus and Olney is one of the best weekend road trips from Chicago if you want to see some quirky sights.

Have you ever taken a Midwest road trip or had issues with a gas tank like I did?

About Quirky Travel Guy

Scott Shetler is a Seattle-based freelance writer & fan of indie rock, road trips, ice cream, squirrels on power lines, runaway shopping carts, and six-way intersections. Some posts on this site contain affiliate links, which may earn me a commission (at no extra cost to you) if you make a purchase.

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  1. I have had my new Trax for a little over a week and went to fill up my tank today. I could not find it either, lol. Thank you for posting this. I am glad I am not the only one!!

    1. +1 from downunder, for a 2018 Trax ( badged by General Motors Holdens here )
      We got one to try this weekend, before maybe buying one…
      Note – there seems to be some nanny features also… engine, ignition, and i think accessory mode, must be completely off… otherwise appears locked

  2. Hahaha! I feel your pain about not being able to open the gas lid! I had the exact same thing happen to me when traveling in a rental car in Mexico. So embarrassing even though it is not your car. Sounds like the Trax is a cool little car though, it was not even on my radar before reading this.

  3. I think it’s somewhat funny how long it took you to figure out how to open the gas tank. Granted, I might not have figured out how to open it either, since I’m so used to using a latch to pop it open. Maybe more GM gas tanks are switching over to the type of lid you described, but I honestly have no idea. Thanks for sharing your experience!

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