What Color is Gasoline? (Solved & Explained)

It’s no secret that most automotive enthusiasts use gasoline in their vehicles. If you haven’t, you must have heard the word gasoline mentioned quite often or from time to time. Sadly, the vast majority don’t even know its properties, including color and other features. So, what color is gasoline?

And does the color of gasoline matter? Well, it’s in this post that you’ll get the real answer to these begged questions. In addition to understanding what gasoline looks like, we’ll look at different types of gasoline and every relevant information related to it.

Without further ado, let’s get started! 

What is Gasoline?

Although a huge chunk of people has come across the term gasoline, most can’t tell exactly what it is. It’s a kind of liquid that comes (extracted) from crude oil via fractional distillation – a very complex process that occurs in oil refineries. We usually use it in the combustion of many engines.

As we all know, combustion involves the burning of a substance like gasoline, thus facilitating the running of engines. This results in the movement of vehicles or machines.

Gasoline is the most used fuel that helps in running your car’s engine. It should be the first fuel for any large investment car as it keeps it in good condition. Again, it makes you van to function all the way through.



What Color is Unleaded Gasoline?

As mentioned earlier, gasoline comes from crude oil, which isn’t strictly black. Although dark brown and black are the favorite colors of original crude oil, you’ll get green and red oil, depending on the source location.

Original gasoline is somewhat clear (colorless in appearance), just like water or nearly yellowish in color. The color of gasoline may vary because of its many variations, usages, and ratings. Notably, the manufacturers may use any sort of dye for easier identification, labeling, and differentiation by octane ratings.

The gasoline you buy for your vehicle is supposed to be less transparent and white like water. And while the color varies, the liquid you choose should be of great quality to ensure your machine functions well. 

Types of Gasoline

According to fueleconomy.gov, gasoline is divided into three different types depending on their octane ratings, and each comes with its own color. 

But what does octane rating mean? It refers to the amount of compression the gas can hold out against before combustion. That is, it’s resistance to pre-ignition.

If the rating is low, combustion is likely to occur at the wrong time. Here are the three broad categories of gasoline:

  • Regular (87 Octane Rating)
  • Midgrade or Plus (89-90 Octane Rating)
  • Premium (90+ Octane Rating)

Let’s examine all 3 types and how they can affect your car:

1. Regular (87 Octane Rating)

Regular gasoline is the most common and cheapest type to get in the market. Its octane level ranges between 87 and 88. Many car dealers recommend that this regular, unleaded gasoline is a go-to option.

Although it’s a by-product of crude oil, this type contains no lead traces. Along with that, it contains additives just like other higher octane gases. 

With regular gasoline, your car will run pretty fine. Some vehicles don’t need higher octane levels to perform better. Other models will require high octane levels to run smoothly, and that’s where mid-grade and premium gasoline comes in handy.

  • Mistimed combustion is higher with this type
  • Offers high performance for specific cars 
  • It’s budget-friendly
  • Gets your card from one point to another


2. Mid-Grade (89 -90 Octane Rating)

Mid-Grade is a type of gasoline whose octane rating ranges from 89 to 90. Around 8 percent of drivers use this type of gasoline to run their vehicles. If your vehicle’s engine is designed on high octane levels, then it’s wise to consider filling up your tank with it.


Experts echo the importance of double-checking the right type of gasoline your car needs before even you make a purchase. 

  • Relatively expensive than regular
  • The reliability of combustion is high


3. Premium (90+ Octane Rating)

If your vehicle’s engine has turbochargers or high compression ratios, then premium gasoline is an ideal choice. The manufacturers recommend it as it boasts high performance and helps improve fuel efficiency.

Its octane rating is 90 and above. A luxury and sports car requires premium gasoline since a lower octane gas could diminish its overall performance and damage the engine. 

One drawback of investing in 90+ Octane Ratings is its cost. It’s more expensive than the others. 

Filling the tank with the wrong gasoline is a waste of money. Only use the type of gasoline that your vehicle’s instruction or manufacturer recommends. 

  • Provides optimal performance (better outcome)
  • Highly efficient

Why Different Gasoline Types Have Different Colors

Now that we know the original color of gasoline is colorless, people wonder why different gasoline types have different colors. The answer is simple.

Aforementioned, oil manufacturers add colors or dyes to this crystal-like liquid. This makes it easier for them to separate gasoline into different grades. 

With this color addition, they’ll prevent unwanted mishaps in various applications, consumers, and sellers.

They also claim that this habit eases any test for water contamination. Individuals will find it challenging to test unwanted water contamination if all types look colorless like water. 

The pure form of gasoline would be virtually impossible; hence you won’t differentiate gas or water. Adding dyes will allow the water to stand out on its own.

Colors of Different Types of Gasoline 

As you may be expecting, dyes colors are used to differentiate types of gasoline. As the buyer, you’ll be able to identify the one for your car.

Each grade features its characteristics too. Below are the colors:

  • Regular – The gasoline is bluish and sometimes comes with a greenish tint to it.
  • Midgrade – It’s yellowish in color. It may appear transparent but with yellow shades.
  • Premium – With the highest octane rating, this gasoline has a pink tint to it.

The colors aren’t fixed, though. They can vary depending on the concentration of additives in them and the manufacturer’s choice. 

Some dealers opt to add additives and stabilizers for certain purposes. 

  Does the Color of Gasoline Really matter?

Having different-colored types raises many questions, one being ‘does color really matter? We can use different perspectives to answer this question.

Keep this in mind – the color won’t matter if the gasoline is freshly pumped from the gas station. So, the color doesn’t have any effect irrespective of the color the manufacturer adds. 

However, if you store gasoline, it will change color from clear like water to brownish and yellowish, simply due to oxidation. So, you need to pay attention to it as time passes by. 

In this case, oxidation is the process by which gasoline combines with air (oxygen). As it gets older, gasoline changes from one color to another.

Another property that changes is the smell. You’ll realize that as you continue storing gasoline, it will develop a certain scent. You’ll smell its strong odor at the station, but it turns to smell like rotten fruits after a short while.

It’s important to consider some critical things in stored gasoline. Don’t add dark-colored gasoline to your car’s tank. The oxidation affects the octane rating, causing problems such as:

  • Poor ignition of your car 
  • Your vehicle may have poor acceleration, 
  • Long-term use can engine damage and 
  • Can result in Diminished overall performance

If you’re planning to invest in gasoline, use either a regular or premium one. Octane rating is the only primary difference between the two. In the United States, we call it Anti-Knock Index (AKI), while in other countries, it’s expressed as Research Octane Number (RON).

Why it’s Important to Choose the Right Gasoline for Your Car


As of now, you’ve various colors in mind, but have you ever asked yourself why it is important to choose the right gasoline for your campervan? Probably you’re not alone on this one. 


The buck stops with you! Choosing the right octane level will guarantee optimal performance. Start by checking your car’s manual to figure out which type of gasoline fits your car. 


Also, the manufacturer could have informed you about the best octane. Either way, gasoline that appears colorless in appearance is the best bet.

When you know the best fuel for your car, you’ll enjoy these benefits;

    • Your car’s performance will be optimal at all time
  • The right type of fuel keeps the engine functional and safe
  • You’ll save some bucks as you’ll be paying what you need rather than expensive gasoline type


For any motorist, it’s easy to choose the right gasoline to use. All that you need to do is to adhere to and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations every time. 

By doing so, you’ll be taking care of your motor vehicle and boost its lifespan.

Should you’ve any other questions regarding the engine, just your mechanics as they’ll explain such topics clearly. 

What Color Is Gasoline Mixed With Oil?

Of all other things, this is one question that arises every so often. It all depends on the composition of oil in the mixture. Some of us get confused when it comes to colors. 

Nonetheless, oil is dark brown or black, so you’d expect gasoline to appear darker as compared to the original gas. 

We can pinpoint that the mixture will be bolder and darker in appearance than the real gasoline color, which should be colorless.

At times, you’ll notice a green or solid blue color in the new, tempered mixture. The intense bold color is a signal that gasoline has been mixed with oil.

Other ways and tricks to determine whether gasoline-oil mixture:


  • Scent – For instance, the smell of the gasoline-oil mixture isn’t the same as the original liquid. Take two containers, one with regular gas and the other one with a mixture sample. Compare their scent, and you’ll find out the difference.


  • Use a white sheet of paper – Pour both the mixture sample and regular gas on a white sheet of paper. The original fuel will evaporate at ease, leaving no strains. On the other hand, the oil will evaporate in a couple of minutes, but oil traces will remain on the paper.


  • Use transparent containers – Finally, leave the mixture in a transparent can for a while. The end result is that oil will sink in the can and accumulate gradually.

What Color Is Bad Gasoline?

Is there bad gasoline? And what color is bad gasoline? Look at the color of gasoline keenly; if you notice an orange color, then the high chances are that your gas is bad.


The orange gasoline is probably old. If applied, it can be risky not only to your car’s engine functionality but also its performance. You’ll need to replace it with new gasoline. 


If your gasoline is at least one year old, you should abandon it by disposing of it. You can buy an extra container of gasoline at your nearest gas station – compare its color with the one you’ve been storing.


Use this tip to compare the color before putting it into the tank. Otherwise, its impact will force you to dump the tank or even the engine.


How Does Gasoline Go Bad?


There are two factors that contribute to gasoline going bad. These include;

  • Oxidation. 


Gasoline will break down over time due to oxidation. That’s why all gasoline bottles come with a cap that seals and prevents air from entering or exiting the gas container.


As gasoline grows older, it breaks down from oxidation. Eventually, your engine will no longer burn it off effectively. Drivers who put old gas in their car tank should be aware of this. Your engine will definitely stall and develop an irritating sound.


  • Water contamination

This is another severe problem in the automobile industry. Water contamination will take place in gas tanks after some time. Keeping your gas tank full is a challenge to many so expect some air in the tank.


After a while, the air will form droplets as it condenses into water. These drops will fall into the original fuel and will contaminate it. 


For beginners, water is dangerous to your engine. It makes it to hydro lock (lock up). Again, it can cause the internal parts of your engine to break. The reason being – water is incompressible. It is not combustible, too. 

What Should You Do With Bad Gasoline? 

It’s simple! Just dispose of the bad gasoline but in an eco-friendly way. If the fuel is in the tank, the best option will be to siphon it out of the tank. Use a handheld pump or a tube to pump it your way. 


The other to-go option is to use an additive. You can add additives to the fuel as it will increase the octane rating. Buy a quality fuel additive that will neutralize bad gasoline. Don’t take any chances!

How to Store Gasoline Properly

You want your gasoline to serve you for a long time, right? You need to focus on how to store it. First off, remove any gallon of gasoline from your fuel tank.


Alternatively, you can run the engine until it burns the entire gasoline. It’s advisable to keep your car or lawnmower gasoline-free.

If those two methods fail, then the best choice is to fill up your fuel tank with gasoline. This will prevent air from getting in the tank. It works well for large vehicles that we normally use for camping.

You can also buy a fuel stabilizer. Use it to prevent gasoline from breaking down during the winter season.

What is Better: Diesel Fuel vs. Gasoline?

Whether you own a car or think about buying a new car, you might be wondering, “What is better between diesel fuel and gasoline?” 


Many foreign-owned companies are offering diesel fuel in North America. For example, Audi, Volkswagen, and Subaru currently sell cars featuring diesel engines. 


Gas cars are favorite in the U.S, while diesel engines are more popular in Europe. U.S consumers think that diesel fuel isn’t an eco-friendly option as most of them believe in a green lifestyle.

Surprisingly, most consumers do prefer diesel fuel to gasoline. Diesel is better than gasoline. Here are the reasons:


  • Mileage. Diesel is more thermal efficient on the highway because it packs more energy than gas
  • Performance. Small trucks and cars with diesel engines perform better than gas-powered engines
  • Reliability. Diesel fuel is more reliable. Cars that run diesel engines run at slower ‘revolution per minute’ (RPM) requires minimal maintenance
  • Usability. Diesel fuel can be used in vehicles, equipment, power generators, and more. 
  • Economic considerations. Occasionally, diesel fuel cost is lower in the sense that it offers better mileage than gasoline.

What Color Is Diesel?

Diesel is the top-selling fuel. Most trucks, campervans, ships, and heavy machinery use diesel fuel. It’s available in different colors. Most dyed diesel sold is brown in color with a greenish tint. You’ll also get a red-colored diesel. 

Most people use brownish diesel in their cars, while red-colored diesel is used in agricultural vehicles like tractors. 

Bottom Line

At this point, you can confidently confirm that the color of gasoline is transparent or colorless, nearly like water. But manufacturers will always add different dye colors to gasoline, making it exhibit different colors. 

We’ve also highlighted different types of gasoline that include regular, midgrade, and premium. All these gasoline types come in different colors and octane ratings. 

With this guide, you can choose the grade that fits your car. 

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