I am wondering if I could put some blue or pink coloring in some engine oil.

We have a 95 Toyota Estima (Leeward) that has a bit of an abandonment disorder. To be fair, we are his 3rd set of parents and we’ve been using him less and less ever since my partner got an electric bike.

We recently found out we are expecting another child and unfortunately Leeward overheard this exciting news before we had the chance to tell him in a more sensitive way. Since then, he has been acting up more than usual. Last week he set his alarm off for 10 minutes straight in traffic.

To make it up to him, we’d like to do something special for the gender reveal. Hence the question. We could also put the die in his petrol if needed.

Before you ask, we already tried the ol’ ‘bring them a gift from the baby’ trick - I bought him new batteries for the alarm.

enter image description here

  • I wonder if this would be a better fit for Chemistry.SE – Zaid Oct 22 '18 at 7:04
  • 1
    This isn't funny at all. You really should find something better to do with your time. Voting to close. – Cloud Oct 22 '18 at 10:26
  • I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because this is clearly a joke. – Bob Cross Oct 22 '18 at 12:50

I would not consider adding food coloring to either the oil OR the gas...

How it would behave under temperature / pressure is not known. It could easily "gum up" parts of the fuel delivery system etc.

I would get benign things like seat covers etc to make this member of the family feel included...

Oh and best of luck!! nappy time is here again!!


If you want to be nice to Leeward make sure there's a cloth under their car seat when your child is a toddler so a diaper leak doesn't get to the seat underneath, he'll thank you.

Fuels are sometimes dyed to separate them, Avgas (leaded piston aviation fuel) is dyed a very light blue, in the UK low-tax farm diesel is colored red. RC model fuels are generally dyed so you don't pour methanol into your car tank by accident. These dyes are known as solvent dyes, they are chemically different than food colorings. Leeward will not thank you if you use food coloring and it messes up a sensor or clogs an injector.

Solvent dyes are available though, if you really want to just order one online.

  • "UK un-taxed farm deisel" really, it has a lower tax rating but not zero... – Solar Mike Oct 22 '18 at 8:08
  • What are you, a lawyer @SolarMike? Seriously though, you're right, the EU doesn't allow 0 tax on fuels by law, it's the lowest it can be, just like Avgas. I've edited to correct. – GdD Oct 22 '18 at 8:16
  • No, not a lawyer, but grew up around farms, worked as an agricultural contractor and know, very clearly, the differences between "road diesel", "farm diesel" and "heating diesel".... – Solar Mike Oct 22 '18 at 8:18
  • 2
    We don't know what country the OP is in, but beware that in the UK the dye used for "red diesel" is very persistent, to improve detection of fraud through using it in non-farm vehicles. Just flushing your tank and refilling with "road diesel" won't get rid of it. So make sure Leeward really likes your chosen colour, before you use it! – alephzero Oct 22 '18 at 8:42
  • This is an excellent point @alephzero. If you dyed your tank red in the UK and were caught it would be a steep fine, the police would be unlikely to believe your story. Of course unless you live in farm country it would be unlikely to happen. – GdD Oct 22 '18 at 8:51

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.