The Facebook post above by Imran Suhaimi, comparing the intensity of the colour of petrol from different brands, was originally posted over a year ago. However, the post has seen an uptick in shares recently, leading people to believe that certain fuels were of a lower quality than others.

We’ve reported on this issue before – around the same time last year, a video comparing the colours of RON 97 fuel from two different stations (and the alleged difference in fuel consumption between the two fuels) went viral, prompting a spokesperson from a major oil company to say that the dye it injected into its fuels does not affect the quality of its products.

The spokesperson told The Star that the natural colour of petrol and diesel is a very light yellow. “As mandated by authorities, fuel dyes are added for visual identification of different grades and types of fuel,” they said. “RON 97 is mandated as red in Malaysia and RON 95 is yellow. The fuel dyes do not have any impact on fuel quality and engine performance.”


The view was echoed by an industry expert, who said that the difference in hue between different RON 97 fuels could simply come down to differing amounts of dye, which can range between five parts per million (ppm) and 18 ppm.

The method of injecting the dye – be it automated or through bulk mixing – could also account for the difference in shade, he said, adding that the difference in colour could simply be due to the fuels being supplied from differing terminals. At the end of the day, he said, the dye has no impact on fuel quality.

Finally, deputy president of the Petrol Dealers Association of Malaysia (PDAM) Datuk Zulkifli Mokti said that if anyone feels there is a difference in the performance of fuel, they should send a sample to a chemical lab for it to be checked.

RON_95_vs_RON_97_Fuel_Test_Malaysia_ 018

“Take a sample of it and send it for chemical check and make a report to Sirim, then they will look at it,” he said. “It is very hard to say it is good or no good, whether it is mixed or tampered or not. You got to send it to a lab to check it out if there is any problem,”

So, there you are, the definitive expert’s verdict on the differing colours of fuel in Malaysia. What are your thoughts on the matter? Sound off in the comments section after the jump.