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Old 08-08-2008, 11:25 AM   #1
timandsusan
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Cheap Diesel or Gas in Mexico?? Just got Expensive

A local TV channel in San Antonio, Tx, reported last night a story about a couple from Eagle Pass, TX who regularly cross the Mexico border to partake of cheap diesel. So they took their new truck across the border and put 10 gallons in the fuel tank and 50 gallons in the auxilary tank. At the border crossing, the Mexican officials impounded the truck because of the 50 gallons in the auxilary tank. No real reason was given in the story. The couple refused to leave Mexico without their truck. I have not heard what the situation is today. The couple has crossed the border many times before and bought fuel without any problems--looks like something changed in Mexico. They did not say they were RVers but I am sure a number of MOCers go to the RGV or elsewhere on the Mexican border--so check before taking your truck across and getting fuel.
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Old 08-08-2008, 11:37 AM   #2
HamRad
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Too bad. Was the auxiliary tank hooked up to the fuel lines. Or was it simply a transport tank? If the latter there are some legal concerns. But I'd think it would be the US that would have the issue rather than the Mexicans.

I hope they are OK and that they get out soon with their truck.

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Old 08-08-2008, 01:32 PM   #3
timandsusan
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It sounded like the auxillary tank was hooked up to the truck fuel system--but it was not made clear. The wife was explaining the situation over the phone and they did not seem to understand why the Mexican Border Guards stopped them. They never got to the US side for a US Customs check of the truck on this trip. I will see if there is a followup in the local paper.
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Old 08-08-2008, 02:23 PM   #4
bigmurf
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Forgot to slip a few bucks to the guards.
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Old 08-08-2008, 03:00 PM   #5
RVWheels
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Before we start denigrating the Mexican border guards let's wait for the facts.

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Old 08-08-2008, 06:31 PM   #6
dsprik
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quote:Originally posted by HamRad

But I'd think it would be the US that would have the issue rather than the Mexicans.
Maybe not, Dennis. The Mexican govt is spending billions of $$ subsidizing fuel for their citizens. Starting to become a real burden to them and they are looking for ways to cut back without civil unrest resulting. Maybe they are starting to get a little irked at paying for half of the fuel Americans are coming across the border to buy. Isn't that ironic - Mexico subsidizing Americans... but I digress.

The US probably doesn't care too much as the loss of a few tax dollars is all that is at stake here and while there are some Americans doing this, I don't think the US is in any significant general road fund trouble from this specific practice - they (US Govt) managed to mess that up all by themselves...

(Sorry RV Wheels - hope that wasn't too political.)

The US is probably watching more for huge amounts of fuel coming across and Americans (or even Mexicans) trying to set up their own little "business". And then again, the potential loss of some income tax is what their main concern would be.

I second Dennis' hope that this couple is alright. I hope they are not someone that the Mexican govt will try to make an example of...
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:46 PM   #7
Carl n Susan
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Apparently this is not the first time a truck was confiscated, but it was the first time the owner refused to leave it. Here is part of the story
http://www.delrionewsherald.com/story.lasso?ewcd=30ed38fe78371e29

Also folks have been discussing loading up on Mexican Diesel and bringing it back over the border for some time at the "Diesel Truck Resource" site.
http://www.dieseltruckresource.com/dev/showthread.php?t=206346

As dsprik noted, the Mexicans (at least some of them) are not pleased with us taking advantage of the low (subsidized) price fuel
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Old 08-09-2008, 01:54 AM   #8
SlickWillie
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by HamRad

Too bad. Was the auxiliary tank hooked up to the fuel lines. Or was it simply a transport tank? If the latter there are some legal concerns. But I'd think it would be the US that would have the issue rather than the Mexicans.

I hope they are OK and that they get out soon with their truck.

HamRad
That definitely can be an issue. A friend of mine was stopped at the US side of Progreso and was given a hassle over his diesel tank. He has a 100 gallon auxiliary tank that is piped into his fuel system. After lots of questions and inspections, they let him proceed. He made some phone calls when he returned home, and was told the tank must be part of your fuel system. I'm not sure the cheap diesel is worth the risk of being tied up at the border. Those folks never seemed to have much of a sense of humor to me.
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Old 08-09-2008, 03:26 AM   #9
dsprik
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by SlickWillie

Quote:
quote:Originally posted by HamRad

Too bad. Was the auxiliary tank hooked up to the fuel lines. Or was it simply a transport tank? If the latter there are some legal concerns. But I'd think it would be the US that would have the issue rather than the Mexicans.

I hope they are OK and that they get out soon with their truck.

HamRad
That definitely can be an issue. A friend of mine was stopped at the US side of Progreso and was given a hassle over his diesel tank. He has a 100 gallon auxiliary tank that is piped into his fuel system. After lots of questions and inspections, they let him proceed. He made some phone calls when he returned home, and was told the tank must be part of your fuel system. I'm not sure the cheap diesel is worth the risk of being tied up at the border. Those folks never seemed to have much of a sense of humor to me.
My sense is that the problem is created by the Mexican govt. What you have is an essential product critical to daily life of almost every single person - gas and/or diesel, and then a country 5-10 miles away offers that commodity for half price as the world prices skyrockets. Lets get real here... what did they expect to happen?

Also, I believe that the US, Mexico, and Canada all scour their respective countries for citizens who, after running genetic tests and finding a lack of any humor genes whatsoever in them (you have met some of these people), give them a badge and a sidearm and make border guards out of them. Of course, with what they have to put up with everyday, one would probably have a hard time smiling about anything after a while. Not a job I would want.

My son was stationed at Minot AFB (Red Horse Unit), when he wasn't in the Gulf and Korea, and met his wife in Canada. He has made many border crossings. On a road trip that he and I took from Minot to Winnipeg once, he warned me several times not to try to joke with the guards at the border. I thought he was kidding as he was quite a jokester himself. I tried to resist, but I just made a small joke about the weather with the guard. The color drained out of my son's face as he sat staring straight ahead. I heard about that for the next 50 miles... Geeez.
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:36 AM   #10
timandsusan
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According to another website, the issue is the safety aspect of transporting fuel (diesel or gas) in unapproved containers--like an auxilary tank. So the Mexican Gov has taken a stand to stop it for those using auxilary tanks and don't have a Mexican fuel transportation permit. I doubt if many RVers will get a permit! If you are caught, the truck is usually detained about 4 days and you pay a fine (it did not say how much). As far as joking around with border guards--DON'T DO IT. I worked in the export and import of commercial items and items under the International Traffic in Arm Regulations (a US Gov't Reg)along with Dept. of State and Commerce staff on rules and regulation during my career and the Border Guards on both countries enforce their countries laws. If you mess around with the border guards either foreign or US, be prepared to spend alot of time in their facilities trying to explain that you are a comedian! It will not be fun.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:16 AM   #11
SlickWillie
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Safety? You got to be kiddin'? Sounds like a good excuse for the police chief to be driving a fairly new Duramax to me. I have a friend that did some work in Mexico. They had to pay ransom to get their equipment back across the border. Ended up, they lost one Suburban, and went back to find the chief of police in the town they were working was driving it. From the things I observed in Progreso, there is just no way it is a safety issue.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:33 AM   #12
Steve and Brenda
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Just curious, the Diesel in Mexico ULSD? Depending on your truck's model year and the Mexican blend of Diesel fuel, it may be hazardous to your engine's health.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:28 AM   #13
syplace
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According to the DelRio Hearld News. This happened at the Acuna Border and it was US Customs. The couple did get their new truck back at about 10:30 pm. They reside in Del Rio & are Texas citizens.
They went over for lunch & a little shopping & topped off the diesel.
It seems there is a law on the books about Auxillary tanks and has been in existance for some years. But as he waited he asked to see the law and if so then why is it not posted at gas stations in US & MEX. At any rate he won.
I guess one can not abide by the law if one does not know about it.
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Old 08-10-2008, 02:52 AM   #14
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This is from this morning's Houston Chronicle about the Mexico diesel.....

MEXICO CITY — Authorities in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Acuna have started a program to discourage Americans from crossing the border to fill up extra drum, tanks or barrels with subsidized Mexican diesel fuel.

The city government says it has fined Americans in four cases and would impound their vehicles until they pay the fines. Ciudad Acuna is located across the border from Del Rio, Texas.

The city also says it has started informing U.S. drivers that filling up the tanks of their own vehicles is fine, but carrying extra containers home with fuel is a violation of customs and export rules and in some cases is a safety violation.

The city said in a written report on Friday that the first fines were handed out this week. It said city officials would set up information stands to advise visitors about the policy.

The fines being levied were equivalent to 70 percent of the value of the diesel confiscated.

Mexico, a major oil producer, sells fuel at low subsidized prices for domestic consumption, but border filling stations in some cities have seen an uptick in the number of American drivers crossing over to fill up.

That has angered some truckers and drivers in Mexican communities who say the run on filling stations has sometimes caused temporary shortages or longer lines.


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Old 08-10-2008, 09:36 AM   #15
richfaa
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"ULTRA LOW SULFUR DIESEL IN MEXICO"

The states bordering the boundary with the USA have switched over to American refined ultra-low-sulfur-diesel exclusively. Outside of the border states only Mexican low-sulfur diesel can be found. Because of the complexity in getting rid of sulfur after it has been extracted from motor fuel, it is not expected that Pemex is going to expand the area of ultra-low-diesel for the next several years. If and when ultra-low-sulfur is displayed on Pemex signs it will have an annotation of "UBA".

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Old 09-05-2008, 08:24 AM   #16
Bob Pasternak
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They could look at the bright side, they didn't have to sit in a Mexican jail while the authorities decided what to do. I'm sure that will happen, some smart mouthed gringo will be smarter than the police and mouth off about it. If you're talking to the authorities in a FOREIGN country it might be a good idea to be nice.
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