Time to change the oil in your car, lawnmower, generator, compressor, or well any engine that needs oil? Whether you are planning on doing it yourself or taking your vehicle to the nearest mechanic, understanding the differences between the kinds of motor oils out there is important. It is also essential to ask, “Is motor oil the same as engine oil?” Sure, it might seem like a silly question, but there is much more to it than you might think!

It is time to find out if there is any difference between motor oil and engine oil.

Is Motor Oil The Same as Engine Oil

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Is Motor Oil The Same as Engine Oil?

Many people use motor oil and engine oil interchangeably. While this practice isn’t wrong, it can lead to misconceptions and mistakes when changing the oil in your vehicle.

In basic terms, motor oil is a substance designed for vehicles to lubricate their internal components and reduce friction. Many additives are included alongside the base oil, such as detergents, dispersants, and antioxidants. Engine oils often contain the same thing, except the formula may be different. For example, you wouldn’t use the same kind of engine oil for your car as you would for your lawnmower.

Can I Put Motor Oil in my Engine?

Yes, you most definitely should put motor oil in your engine. Motor oil and engine oil, regardless of how they are labeled, are a necessity for keeping motorized vehicles working well.

It can be confusing to see bottles of oil labeled as either motor or engine oil, but they are more or less the same thing. You can use both engine oil and motor oil in your vehicle to preserve its longevity and functionality. Just make sure that you are checking which kind of oil is recommended by the vehicle manufacturer before changing the oil in your vehicle.

How Long Can Motor Oil Sit in an Engine?

Most motor oil has a 5-year shelf life (and an expiry date), but that isn’t the same when it is sitting in the engine of your car. Over time, the oil will start to get thinner and less viscous. This makes it difficult to properly lubricate the moving components of the engine and prevent friction.

If your car has been sitting for around 6 months without any activity, you may want to change the oil before driving it again. 6 months in the engine is long enough for the oil to thin out, but it depends on the condition of the oil when the vehicle was parked. However, most experts agree that oil that has sat for 1 year or longer is too old to use.

In order to be safe, take your car to an auto body shop before driving it again after 6 months or longer of downtime.


Is motor oil the same as engine oil? Generally, yes. Both motor oil and engine oil contain the same ingredients. They also come in many kinds, such as synthetic and high mileage. Be sure to change your engine oil regularly, especially if your car has been sitting for a while. It doesn’t matter if it says motor oil or engine oil on the bottle—use it to protect your car’s engine from damage!

Categories: Oil Guides


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