How is Car Engine Oil Different from Bike Engine Oil?

Have you ever tried using bike engine oil in your car’s engine or car engine oil in a bike’s engine? If yes, then you need to know exactly why you can’t do that

It would be so much easier if there was only one oil for all engine types. But, as we all know, not all engines and engine oils are created equal. This is especially true for car and bike engine oils. If you are still wondering why can’t you just pour car engine oil in your motorcycle, after all, a car engine is generally more powerful than a bike engine, here we have tried to settle the confusion by comparing the characteristics of car vs. bike engine oil.

Characteristics of Car Engine Oil

Here are some functions of a car engine oil that are different from that of a bike engine oil:

  • Car engines use different oils for different parts: engine oil for the engine parts and gear oil for the gearbox.
  • High-quality car engine oils are added with detergents whose ash content is very high. If such additives are used in motorcycle engines, it could result in deposit formation on the piston crown and valve train. Also, as detergents are the main reason for pressure build-up in the engine, using this oil in bike engines will cause burning and perforation on the engine components.
  • Car engine oils incorporate viscosity modifiers that help maintain the flow of the oil at both cold and hot temperatures.
  • Car oils are added with significant amounts of friction modifiers. This is done to minimise friction between moving parts of the engine and thus enhance the engine’s performance and fuel economy.

Characteristic of Bike Engine Oil

Bike engine oil is available for both 2 stroke and 4 stroke engines. Most modern bike models utilise 4 stroke engine oil. This is how a bike’s engine oil is different from a car engine oil:

  • Motorcycles use the same oil for both the engine and the gearbox. Bike engine oil is uniquely formulated to provide optimum lubrication to all the parts of the engine.
  • Many motorbike models utilize a wet clutch system in which all the parts- the engine, transmission and clutch share the same lubricant oil. Viscosity modifiers used in car engine oils can damage or even destroy a wet clutch. The gears in a bike transmission can shear apart the car engine oil that incorporates viscosity modifiers as these compounds can become fragile when hot. Motorcycle engine oils, on the other hand, are specifically engineered to be utilised in wet clutch systems.
  • As compared to car engines, a bike engine oil requires a balance of friction characteristics. This is because the bike engine oil needs to lubricate the wet clutch, which transfers the engine power to the drivetrain. If the engine’s friction levels are too low, the clutch will be unable to engage and this will cause slippage.


So, now you know exactly why you can’t put your bike’s engine oil into your car’s engine only to save a few bucks. The best way to figure out the right type of oil for your automobile is to refer to your vehicle’s user manual. There you will find the best recommendations by your vehicle’s manufacturer. It is always recommended to stick to your manufacturer’s recommendation when it comes to lubricants for your automobile.

If you are looking for some high quality lubricants for your vehicle at affordable prices, then you must check This particular website presents a grand variety of premium auto parts and accessories, including high quality car and bike engine oil, from the most renowned and globally leading brands. Hope you enjoyed reading through this article and found it helpful. Have a wonderful day ahead.