If you have a car, you have definitely heard the word “gasoline” many times. And even if your vehicle does not use it, you might still be wondering what gasoline is.
And in addition, there is often a question that many of us are curious about: what is the real color of car gasoline?
If you feel a desire to find the answer to the “What color is gasoline for cars?” question as well, this article is exactly what you need.
After you read it, you will learn plenty of interesting information about this fuel.
We will tell you what color gasoline has, what types of gasoline are used at the gas sations, why fuel tanks are of distinct colors, and how to define that gasoline is bad and should not be used.
What Color Is Gasoline Fuel?
Generally speaking, the real color of gasoline is transparent.
Yes, it actually has no color a all! See, once gasoline is extracted, all you can see is a clear, transparent liquid that looks pretty much like plain water.
All right, you may say, but here is another question then: why are there different colored gasoline types at the gas stations?
The reason for this is simple, in fact. There are two major reasons why gasoline can be colored with different pigments. Here they are:
- Many petroleum manufacturers usually add dyes colors to the clear gasoline liquid. This helps to differentiate the distinct grades of gasoline. Like that, any flaws and mishaps in some applications can easily be prevented.
- Another reason is that colored gasoline makes it easier for people to test it for water contamination. As you understand, testing for water would be pretty hard to do if all types looked clear.
This is why, since both gasoline and water would look the same, manufacturers of this fuel decided to add colorants to it to make the drivers’ lives easier.
Colors According to the Types of Gasoline
There are several types of gasoline, and different pigment colors are used in each one of the gasoline types.
This makes it easier to differentiate them. Below, we have listed the colors of each gasoline type for you:
- Regular – regular gasoline is usually greenish or slightly bluish in color.
- Midgrade – midgrade gasoline is usually yellowish in color.
- Premium – premium, the one with high octane ratings, is usually pink in color.
Like this, you won’t confuse one type of gasoline with another.
What Color Is Bad Gasoline?
You might think that gasoline is the type of liquid that is able to last almost forever.
Nevertheless, you will be surprised to learn that you are wrong! In fact, gasoline has a surprisingly short shelf life of up to half a year!
However, the lifespan of the fuel can be significantly extended if you add a variety of fuel stabilizers.
But still, once gasoline goes bad, it should not be used in any application since it can be dangerous!
Gasoline degrades over time because of oxidization and evaporation.
If you observe it for a while, you will notice that the smell of gasoline gets much weaker with time, and one day it gets so weak that you can even breathe normally around it!
Of course, you should still be careful and avoid doing that!
However, it is not only the smell that degrades. The color of gasoline will also go through changes over time.
The original clear color (sometimes with a slight yellow hue) will lose clarity after a while.
And finally, as the degradation keeps on going, it will eventually darken.
You will also notice sediment at the bottom of the container as the color changes to a dark red and brown.
Is it possible to use bad gasoline?
Definitely not! Don’t you even think of pouring it down the drain or doing anything else like that!
This liquid is highly flammable. In addition, gasoline is harmful for the environment.
This is why just bring the old gasoline leftovers that are degraded to your local recycling facility and let them do their job.
As for the chance to use old and bad gasoline for your car, it is definitely not recommended!
See, as the liquid has already lost most of its energy, it’s not fit for internal combustion.
If you use it, chances are that it can contaminate the fuel tank, fuel line, injectors, and other components.
Like that, you know more about the real color of gasoline now. And also, you have learned why there is gasoline of different colors as well.
Does It Matter What Color Your Gasoline Is?
Since there are different-colored types of gasoline, some of you might have the reasonable and obvious question: does color really matter?
In order to give you the answer to this question, we need to observe this issue from two different perspectives first.
So here is the first one of these perspectives. See, when you are pumping fresh gasoline from the gas station, the color of gasoline does not matter at all as long as it is fresh.
However, there might be the other scenario when you need to keep your gasoline for a while instead of filling a car’s tank with it at once.
In this case, when you are storing gasoline, you need to pay close attention to the gasoline color as time goes by.
When you store gasoline long term, regardless of the dye used in it, it will have a transparent-like nature.
Now, this is the best kind of gasoline to use. However, as time goes by, the color of the liquid fuel will change.
This is usually caused by simple oxidation. When oxidation happens, a substance (which is gasoline in our case) gets combined with oxygen.
So, as gasoline gets older, it will change its initial translucent color to a brownish color instead.
By the way, color is not the only thing that changes about gasoline when you store it for a certain period of time.
As gasoline gets older, you will notice one day that the scent of it changes as well.
Just for you to know: old gasoline typically has an easily recognizable sour scent.
In comparison, fresh fuel has a strong smell.
So why is it important to look out for such things when you have stored gasoline, some of you may be wondering?
See, when you store gasoline for quite a long period of time, and it starts undergoing certain changes, such as smell and color, it is recommended not to use it in your car.
The reason is that it will cause a wide range of problems to the engine. Some of these problems that may arise following the use of such gasoline include:
- Your car may start having ignition problems.
- You will start to notice that your car has poor acceleration,
- With time, it could significantly damage your car engine.
This is why we can say that color, as well as smell of gasoline matters for being able to recognize when the fuel has to be recycled.
What Types Of Gasoline Are Usually Used In Cars?
As you probably know, gasoline is divided into three main types. This classification is based on their octane rating.
What is an octane rating? See, octane rating is the amount of compression a gas can withstand before combustion.
Obviously, the lower the octane rating, the more likely combustion occurs at the wrong time.
You can take a closer look at this phenomenon by checking out these three types of gasoline:
87 Octane-Rating (Regular)
Regular gasoline is gasoline whose octane rating is 87.
In this case, chances are pretty high for the combustion to take place at the wrong time.
89 Octane Rating (Midgrade)
The rating of this type of gasoline is 89.
That means the octane rating is in the mid ranges.
Basically, it is neither high nor low.
90+ Octane Rating (Premium)
Here the octane rating is usually 90 and above.
Because of such a high octane rating, it is more less likely for combustion to take place at the wrong time.
Meaning Of Different Colors Of Gasoline Cans
Have you ever noticed that the cans we usually store gasoline in also have distinct colors? We bet you have.
And for sure, some of you might ask themselves why this is like that. Well, folks, below you will finally get the answer.
As we have already explained above, gasoline typically comes in three different categories.
Each of these types has a different color so that people can differentiate them somehow.
This is why, the cans that are used to store each of these fuel types also come in different colors! That’s an easy math, right?
When you know what type of gasoline comes in what can, it helps you differentiate the types of fuel that is placed in each of these cans.
Below you can check out and compare some of these colored cans and the type of fuel to be placed in each one of them.
Green Containers are exclusively used for storing oils.
Red Containers are used for storing gasoline and flammable liquids only.
Yellow containers are used for storing diesel fluids only.
Blue containers are exclusively used for storing kerosene.
So now you know why gasoline containers can come in distinct colors, and that it is not done in order to simply make them look more colorful and attractive for you!
What Color is Diesel Fuel?
Diesel is one of the most popular fuels nowadays. Its popularity is based on the wide range of vehicles that use it.
Diesel is used by trucks, heavy machinery, agriculture, ships, military as well many diesel engine cars!
As for is color, diesel fuel is brown with a slight greenish tint.
However, there is also a red colored diesel that is available on the market.
The red diesel is used in tractors and other agricultural machines. So next time you see red diesel, you know what it is used for.
And here is an interesting fact for you: red diesel is usually cheaper! This is why some people will put this fuel in their cars.
However, you should know that red diesel is prohibited by law to be used in cars! It should only be used in agricultural vehicles.
So, if you decide to take a risk and fill your car’s tank with red diesel, you are now aware of what it may mean to you if you are get caught!
What Is the Color Of Bio Diesel?
Bio diesel is a variety of diesel fuel. However, it differs in erms of color.
Bio diesel has a color that typically varies from golden to dark brown color, depending on the method of this fuel production.
You might not be aware of this, but bio diesel is made of animal fats, soybean oil or used vegetable oil through a complex chemical process.
This is why it is actually called “bio”.
Bio diesel is not as popular as a regular diesel though, because its production cost is pretty high, compared to regular diesel.
So, now we hope that it has become a bit clearer for you what color gasoline has, as well as what the colors of other most popular types of fuel are.
Now you know why gasoline cans have distinct colors and what makes regular diesel different from a bio diesel.
With all that in mind, we guess that you will be able to figure out what fuel you need next time you drive to the gas station!
Frequently Asked Questions
⭐What is the color of petrol?
Petrol is the British English version of gasoline, so therefore petrol is a clear, transparent liquid, just like gasoline.
⭐What color is crude oil?
The color of crude oil can vary depending on its composition. In most cases, crude oil is dark brown or black, however it can also be yellow, red or even green.
⭐Is there red gasoline?
No, it’s diesel fuel that is read. But it’s illegal to use it in cars.