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Can Car Engine Oil Be Used in Motorcycle? (Find the Answer Here)


You already know that every machinery that works on mechanical principles uses some kind of lubricant for proper functioning. In the motor vehicles industry, it’s the oil that’s used in almost every car and motorcycle. But, can car engine oil be used in motorcycle?

Yes, you can use car engine oil in motorcycles but never make it a routine task. Plus, if you have accidentally filled your motorcycle with car engine oil, there is no need to worry. That’s not going to harm your motorcycle. However, if you consistently fill your motorcycle with car engine oil, you might need to know the repercussions of that.

Therefore, this post will reveal how different oil works for your car and motorcycle.

Car Engine Oil For Motorcycle

There are some instances when people accidentally pour their motorcycle with the car engine oil. Even you can be a victim of this blunder by picking up the wrong bottle. Besides, it’s difficult to differentiate between the car engine and motorcycle oils just by looking at the two bottles.

bottle of lubricant or engine oil with the bottom of the car engine

While pouring the car engine oil into your motorcycle, you suddenly realize that it’s the wrong bottle you picked up, but now it’s too late.

Other instances might also occur in which you don’t have any other option to fill the oil in your motorcycle except the car engine oil.

Therefore, both cases are deemed suitable because some kind of oil is better than no oil at all.

Normally, the car engine oil works fine for your motorcycle because it serves the same purpose, which is lubrication. However, there’s a difference that we’ll cover later in this post.

But if you are talking about the similarities, the car engine oil can be an alternative to the motorcycle under several conditions.

Function of Engine Oil

You will get the point if you focus on why we use engine oil in our vehicles.

The main reason is that the mechanical parts of the vehicle’s engine move very fast while we drive a car or a motorcycle. These parts are made of metal. When the engine starts running, every part begins to move either in circular or to-and-fro motion.

Now, if you don’t lubricate these parts inside the vehicle’s or motorcycle’s engine using any fluid, they will first become intensely hot due to continuous friction. You might feel the heat while driving or riding.

If you ignore the situation, those metallic parts will wear out and break due to a lack of lubrication.

Engine Oil in Car

When you turn on the car, the oil pump sucks the oil from the oil reservoir. Then, the pump delivers the oil to the oil filter for the cleaning process. Once the car engine is cleaned, the oil is then distributed to the engine’s critical parts, including pistons, valves, and bearings.

The delivery of the engine oil is done through different channels made in the engine.

Have a look at the Valvoline Full Synthetic Motor Oil.

Engine Oil in Motorcycle

The engine oil in motorcycles follows the same process as in cars:

  1. You put the oil in the motorcycle’s oil reservoir.
  2. It will go for the cleaning process.
  3. The oil distribution.

In motorcycles, the oil is delivered to the engine as well as to the transmission. It’s because the engine and transmission are actually one unit combined.

As you have seen, the engine oil works almost similarly in cars and motorcycles. Therefore, there’s no danger in using the car engine oil temporarily for your motorcycle.

However, if you keep doing this in the longer run, your motorcycle might face bigger problems.

Now, let’s discuss the difference between car and motorcycle engine oil.

How is Car Engine Oil Different From Motorcycle Oil?

If you keep using the car engine oil in your motorcycle, it will soon start breaking down. It’s because of the differences between the two oils.

Moreover, some of the vital parts of the motorcycle’s engine might also wear sooner than you expect.

First of all, the oil difference will start affecting the motorcycle’s transmission. Of course, the car’s engine and transmission are encapsulated together. The main purpose of the engine is to convert and transfer energy to the transmission. So there’s a direct link between the two components.

However, the engine and transmission of a car are treated separately. That means both parts use different types of lubrication.

You can’t use car engine oil for the transmission and vice versa.

Now, you have already learned that the engine and transmission of a motorcycle are one unit. Therefore, they use the same lubricant, i.e., motorcycle oil.

The transmission of a motorcycle needs more lubrication than any other part. For this reason, motorcycle oil has more additives than ordinary car engine oil.

Since the car engine oil doesn’t provide additional lubrication properties, the motorcycle’s transmission will not get enough lubrication through car engine oil, and as a result, it will start to break down in the longer run.

Risks If You Use Too Much Car Engine Oil In Motorcycle

The biggest risk associated with using too much car engine oil for your motorcycle is the gearing system will wear down sooner than its average life expectancy.


Your motorcycle’s transmission might stop working or break down while you are riding on the road. In addition to that, a lack of lubrication will create friction in the motorcycle’s gearing system.

Since the engine and transmission are connected, severe metallic friction will also affect the engine.

That’s quite dangerous for the engine as it can cause heavy damage to your motorcycle. Therefore, if you have accidentally poured car engine oil into your motorcycle, spare some time and replace that oil with Maxima Motorcycle Engine Oil.

It’s not wise riding your motorcycle for a long time while it still has car engine oil.

Final Words

No doubt, you can use car engine oil for your motorcycle under a few conditions. But that option is not recommended for long runs. Since motorcycles are easily available, you can buy and replace oil as soon as you get the time.

Moreover, do your research before buying the engine oil for your motorcycle to experience the best performance.

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