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Oil plays a vital role in the proper running of the motorcycle engine.
Experienced riders and mechanics advise new riders to stick to the recommended motorcycle oil and oil change schedules.
Doing this can improve the health and lifespan of your engine.
But, what if you are in an emergency where you have no alternative but to mix different brands of oil and use it on your motorcycle? Can you do it?
The simple answer is, yes, you can do it and it will not harm your motorcycle engine immediately. However, this should only be done occasionally or in an emergency, and you should replace the mixed oil with the recommended oil at the earliest opportunity.
Can You Mix Different Brands of Oil?
You can mix different brands of oil in a motorcycle if you’re in a pinch, and it will not harm your motorcycle immediately.
However, this should not be done regularly, and the mixed oil in the motorcycle should be drained and replaced with a single type of oil as soon as you’re able.
Even though the grade and viscosity of oil of different brands can be the same, there a still differences between them.
Different brands of motorcycle oil have identical properties like viscosity, but each has its own formulation and blend of additives to achieve the necessary results of the oil. The details of the formulation are not declared explicitly by each manufacturer.
Since the additives of one brand of motorcycle oil may not be compatible with another brand of motorcycle oil, the result can be reduced performance of the oil and reduced life.
In most cases, you’ll probably be OK, but it is best not to risk it.
The cost of the oil is cheaper than the cost of major service to your motorcycle. So, why take an unnecessary risk?
The oil used in your motorcycle has to perform multiple functions including lubricating the motorcycle parts to minimize friction and reduce wear, keeping the parts of the engine cool and clean, protecting the internal parts from corrosion, etc.
Motorcycle oil can do all these things efficiently when you stick to the recommended grade and avoid mixing different brands of oil.
The performance and protective qualities of a mix of different brands of oil will generally be inferior. This can negatively affect the parts of the engine in the long run.
The advice of experienced motorcycle mechanics is to use the recommended grade of motorcycle oil and not to change the brand if you need to top up or refill.
When you drain the old oil from your motorcycle engine, only 90 to 95% of the oil gets drained and 5 to 10% of oil is retained inside.
So if you change the brand of the oil at every refilling, the oil will become a mix of two or more brands. Since the mixing level is limited to 5 to 10%, it may not affect the functioning of the motorcycle engine seriously, but, not changing the oil brand is usually the best bet.
Why You Shouldn’t Mix Oil in Your Engine
The reason is quite simple.
Each brand of oil has its formulations.
One brand of motorcycle oil is equivalent to another brand of motorcycle oil in terms of viscosity, and you can use either of them for your motorcycle.
However, when you mix them, the additives in one brand of oil may not be compatible with the additives of another brand of oil.
The result of this can be worsened performance, reduced oil life, increased wear, and improper operating temperatures.
Mixing different brands of oil in a motorcycle is not advised. If you have done it in an emergency, the mix of oil should be replaced with the brand and type you usually use as soon as you can.
Car Oil vs. Motorcycle Oil
The additives used in the car engine oil are different than the additives used in motorcycle engine oil and they are not compatible.
A mix of car engine oil and motorcycle oil is not suitable for a motorcycle engine.
If you have used it for your motorcycle, drain out the oil at the earliest opportunity and replace it with the recommended motorcycle oil.
The additives in the car engine oil aim to reduce the friction between the moving parts to a minimum level to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.
On the other hand, motorcycle oil is designed with a friction coefficient that suits the wet clutches of high-performance motorcycles. It is not advisable to use car engine oil for the motorcycle. Some of the additives in car engine oil may be harmful to a motorcycle engine.
Drain out the car engine oil immediately and replace it with the recommended motorcycle oil.
Can you mix conventional oil and synthetic oil?
Synthetic oil contains distilled crude oil, chemical compounds, and additives, and all of these are suitable to take care of modern motorcycles that have high rpm engines and high operating temperatures.
On the other hand, conventional oil is simple petroleum oils that are generally best with low rpm and low-powered motorcycle engines.
Like mixing different brands, you can usually mix synthetic and conventional oil in emergencies, and it will not damage the motorcycle engine immediately.
However, the mixed oil will be of lower performance and wear down faster.
It should be replaced with the recommended oil for your motorcycle at the earliest opportunity.
Motorcycle oil plays an important role in your engine, be sure to refer to your motorcycle service manual to make sure you are using the right type and changing it enough.