Can You mix Engine Oil Brands?

Can You mix Engine Oil Brands?

When considering the blending of different oil brands, numerous conflicting viewpoints arise.

Questions like the safety of combining synthetic and conventional oils or the compatibility of mixing a 5w30 with a 20w50 often come to mind.

Today, we’ll dedicate our time to investigating whether it is permissible to mix oil brands in your vehicle and whether it poses a risk to the engine.

An image illustration if You can mix Engine Oil Brands
Can You mix Engine Oil Brands
Source: (rxmechanic)

Are all engine oils the same?

No, they’re not.

Engine oils differ in viscosity and additives that can impact engine performance.

There are four main types: conventional, synthetic, synthetic blend, and high mileage oils.

Choose the right one for your engine and follow the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Especially for specialized engines like turbocharged ones, which require specific oils to handle high pressure and heat.

Don’t use conventional oil for turbocharged engines to avoid varnish buildup, which can harm them.

Is It Safe to Mix Different Oil Brands?

The short answer is “No,” but the long answer is “Yes.”

Mixing oil brands can lead to an “additive clash” because each brand has its own unique formulation with varying additives.

While this won’t harm your engine, it might slightly reduce oil performance or lifespan.

For optimal engine performance and longevity, it’s best to stick with a trusted brand and avoid mixing different oils unless they have matching viscosities and API ratings.

An image illustration of Mixing Engine Oil Brands
Mixing Engine Oil Brands
Source: (zigcdn)

Factors to Consider When Selecting Engine Oils

To ensure the smooth operation and durability of your engine, it’s essential to choose the right lubricant.

When purchasing engine oil, you should focus on two key criteria:

  1. SAE Ratings: Engine oils, much like edible oils, exhibit viscosity changes with temperature. They thicken in colder temperatures and thin out as it gets hotter. The SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) assigns viscosity grades, such as SAE 30, 40, and 50, to represent this property.

    On every engine oil, you’ll find SAE ratings like SAE 5w-30 or 10w-40. Within the SAE index, two important parameters require attention:

    • The “W” stands for “Winter,” indicating cold-start performance.
    • The parameter following the “W” represents the thinness or viscosity of the oil.

    Viscosity is a crucial factor in choosing the right engine oil.

    Inadequately thin oil won’t provide sufficient lubrication as the engine heats up.

    Consider the climate of your area, as most modern engines use multigrade oils that meet SAE specifications for both low-temperature fluidity and high-temperature thickness.

  2. API Classification: API (American Petroleum Institute) standards classify the quality of gasoline and diesel engine oils. Gasoline engine quality levels range from SA, SB, SC, to the latest level, API SN. For diesel engines, the classifications go from CA, CB, CC, and so on, with API CK being the latest level. The last letter indicates the quality level, with higher levels represented by later letters (e.g., API SN is higher quality than SM, and CK is higher quality than CJ).

FAQs : Can You mix Engine Oil Brands?

  1. Can you blend different oil viscosities? Mixing various oil viscosities is not recommended, as it can create a new viscosity that doesn’t match the engine’s requirements, potentially affecting long-term engine life. It’s best to stick with one viscosity or consult your vehicle’s manual.
  2. Is it safe to mix conventional and synthetic oils? Mixing conventional and synthetic oils won’t harm your engine, but it can reduce the performance advantages of synthetic oil. Synthetic oils tend to have higher-quality components, so it’s best to use a single type for optimal results.
  3. Can you mix motor oils when topping up? While it’s possible to mix engine oils when topping up, it’s advisable to use the same oil your car already has. Mixing may not provide optimal performance, but it’s acceptable in a pinch if you don’t have the exact oil recommended by the manufacturer.

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