Fuel in Mexico
What to look for and be aware of
The pumps are color coded; Magna is green, premium is red and diesel is black. Diesel is not rare but is often not available at urban stations.
There are not as many gas stations in Mexico as there are in Canada or the US however that is rapidly changing. Fill up when you are half full and you should be fine. If you are traveling through some very isolated territory, then fill up more often: The Baja through the Cataviña desert is an example.
Note the red and green pump handles – indicating regular (Magna) for the green handle and Premium, for the red.
If you go to an out of the way place like Bahía de los Ángeles, research ahead if possible to determine if they have a Pemex. Often in isolated areas you will see gasoline sales from the back of a truck. Beware. The prices are exorbitant and the quality of product is dubious.
Diesel seems to have lots of water. Drain it regularly. Take oil and air filters and small replacement items for your vehicle. Try to fuel up at stations that have a lot of truck traffic. With all the moisture in the jungle areas, this is important. Fueling with the truckers has the added bonus that the station turns their fuel over quickly so it’s likely to be fresher and less likely to have water.
Every Pemex station can be identified from a distance with a station number clearly marked on every station. These numbers are great for coordinating directions or identifying where you are. We use these numbers extensively in our Road Logs.
There is often lots of confusion when you enter a Pemex. Do not become distracted and follow a routine. Deal first with the kids that may want to wash your window. Secondly get out of the rig and ensure the meter is zeroed. Then unlock your gas tank.
There are many stories about gas station rip-offs. You are strongly encouraged to have a locking gas cap on your vehicle. This ensures that the attendant starts pumping gas once you have verified that the meter is zeroed. You will only be paying for your gas.
Give an attendant a peso tip as well as the person who cleaned your windows.