Does red diesel stain your fuel filter?

So, you loaded your gas tank with dyed diesel fuel. Now you’re thinking about if it can damage your new diesel motor. If you haven’t used dyed diesel, then you are gazing at that price, pondering why you can’t use it. Does red diesel stain your fuel filter? Is it an issue?

Is red (so-called dyed) diesel really the same as regular diesel? Dyed diesel is similar to regular diesel, per se. It is dyed red to show it has not been taxed, and it exists for off-road use. Utilizing dyed diesel in over-the-road vehicles is disciplined by a fine of $10 a gallon or 1000 per breach in most states.

The dye is put in diesel pointed for off-road applications, so an inspector can tell the difference with ease. Dyed or so-called red diesel is not taxed.

In this guide, you will see numerous words for dyed diesel. Dyed, off-road, non-taxed, as well as red diesel. We strongly hope that doesn’t generate any confusion.

More often than not, this is most evident in the fuel filter. The filter will evolve to be stained red after a sound amount of dyed fuel goes through it. That said, after you adjust your filter, there is not much else to stress about. Simply keep operating with regular fuel.

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Why have diesel just for off-road applications?

There is nothing more specific than taxes. The national highway governance has regulations for each state. The dyed fuel is for use in off-road applications such as farming, generators, building supplies, and things of that essence.

The tax-exempt fuel is there to facilitate the tax load on those working and using diesel supplies off the road. As the purpose of the tax is to help pay for highway supervision, the tax is lifted from cars and gear not using them.

The national government determined that farmers should not be paying taxes for highways they are not using. Mainly since the tractors and other gear rarely use the highways. So, after all that, off-road fuel was divided. Moreover, the tax was lifted from those utilizing it for that cause.

Not let’s discuss “fuel laundering.” This is a term set by the government for those purchasing big amounts of un-taxed gas and reselling it for a gain. This became a large enough concern that congress needed to get entangled. In 1994, the legislature passed 26 C.F.R. 48.4082-1 requiring the usage of red dyes for tax-exempt diesel fuels as well as kerosene.

They demanded that the dye needs to be highly concentrated to make it effortless for federal controllers to spot it in a review. Out of those judgments was created our present situation. We have dyed diesel open to use widely, but not for on-road applications. Thus, we must deal with this enticement for the long future.

Interesting: Do you know what really happens when you put gasoline in a plastic bag? You would be surprised to hear the answer!

Will red diesel dye the fuel tank?

So, does red diesel stain your fuel filter? What is the one thing so many individuals worry about? It is whether or not the enforcement agency can see dye even if you are no longer utilizing it. Is it essential to clean it? Is there anything you can do, in fact?

So, if you have run some off-road through your fuel system, there will be flicker left behind. Often, this is most evident in the fuel filter. The filter will evolve to be stained red after a sound amount of dyed fuel goes through it.

Thus, after you modify your filter, there is not much else to stress about. Only keep conducting regular fuel. After so many tanks, the flicker amounts of dye will be gone. Even if you have clear lines and see a little tint to them, don’t stress!

They are not searching for past use presence when you get checked. Notably, they are more curious about the existing tank and what is in it.

Try to avoid thinking you can split it. Don’t attempt to put a few gallons of dyed with your regularly to save a dollar. The dyed fuel is so robust it will show through the regular. Even if it is really diluted, it will always be visible.

The inspector will also often use a test strip that will show a tiny amount of dyed fuel. For instance, 1 gallon in a hundred-gallon tank. It’s not that much cash! More often than not, we just need to pay the taxes.

Note: There will be periods when it is absolutely necessary to carry a safe container of gasoline in the car or truck.

The fine for utilizing dyed diesel on the road

We already mentioned that employing dyed diesel in over-the-road cars is disciplined by a fine of $10 a gallon or 1000 per violation. However, this rule does not apply to Alaska. There are some particular laws in Alaska concerning dyed fuel.

If you are seen with 30 gallons of dyed diesel in your tank illegally, you will pay a penalty of $1,000. Also, if you have 2 tanks, that is double the fine. So, you will pay $2000 unless the amount of $10 a gallon overcomes $2,000.

If you keep repeating this offense, each repeated fine will rise by $1,000 compared to the last violation. The total amount of fines will rely on the total number of violations. 

An individual may be charged with a Class 6 felony for deliberately exploiting dyed diesel for taxable use. Unless the whole amount used is under 20 gallons, maybe they won’t enforce this. Yet, you shouldn’t push it! 

An individual who tries to change the strength or arrangement of any dye or dye marker may be charged with a Class 6 felony. Be serious about this! This exists to prevent those bothersome “fuel launderers.” 

Inspectors will usually be at weigh stations, security stations or truck stops. They will be at all those places where big amounts of commercial vehicles are seen.

There is more to this

Are you thinking of declining to be inspected? In that case, you will get an automatic $5,000 dollar fine. It would be more useful to take the standard fine if you have less than 500 gallons.

Bear this in mind if you are ever in this position. The bottom line, avoid using it unless you have a lawful reason. Lastly, never sell off-road for any cause! You could end up in jail, by all means. 

Tip: Notably, the best way to store gasoline long-term is in a well-ventilated space fully separated from the house.

Will using dyed fuel void my warranty?

This is not a short answer. The general recommendation is to not risk it. The dealer wants a way out of paying for your repair and if they can locate it, they will. Notably, it should not cancel your warranty. Above all, dyed or red diesel is to this day Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel (ULSD).

There once was an issue before 2006 when off-road diesel was mixed in meeting the criteria for ULSD, but that is no longer the case. Now, no matter whether you obtain regular or dyed fuel, it is ULSD.

Why it shouldn’t be an issue? Well, there are times, particularly in a crisis, when you might need to run off-road diesel. During windstorms, it is standard practice for the governor to let off-road be used due to a deficiency. A dealer would have a hard time debating that.

Note that the dealer does not always recall the ideas of the initial manufacturer. As the manufacturer is paying for the guaranteed repair, you might need to take it up with them if you are battling this fight.

The dealership is not your companion when you want something for free. So, because of that, be cautious. If you have a brand-new truck, avoid this risk. Stay far away from the red fuel.

What about someone who refuses to let an inspection or collection of a fuel sampling? They will be subject to a $5,000 fine for every denial.

Tip: It is extremely useful that you learn how to start a car with a bad fuel pump. This can be helpful in many situations!

Mixing red diesel with regular diesel?

As noted earlier in the guide, there is no chemical distinction between dyed and regular diesel fuel. Both can be blended and used just the same. Now, they are both ULSD. 

Keep in mind not to combine dyed fuel with your on-road diesel if the vehicle is planned for the highway. Why? Well, even a little amount of dyed fuel can be seen by inspection.

Tip: Many of us keep wondering what causes orange gasoline. Is the reason contamination, or is there something else?

How much more affordable is dyed diesel?

It differs by state. Dyed diesel is simply regular diesel with a dye. Notably, the cost is the only true distinction. Also, let’s not forget the eviction of tax. So, it truly leans on how much your state tax really is.

  • They vary from 12 cents to 67 cents.
  • The one steady will be the national 24 cents per gallon.

So, the cost will be whatever the existing market price is less these taxes. It can be bought at most big fueling pumps or at farm suppliers. If you have done the calculation, you will discover that with time this could be a large amount of money.

Yet, it is barely worth the fines and aggravation if caught. In case you are pondering, California is the state with a 67-cent tax. This truly goes without saying!