Mixing Different Brands of Motor Oil – Is This Safe?

QuestionsCategory: Ask An ExpertMixing Different Brands of Motor Oil – Is This Safe?
Henry Harper Taylor asked 5 months ago
I've heard various opinions on mixing motor oil brands and I'm looking for some clarity. Specifically, I'm interested in whether it's safe to mix oils of the same weight and type but different brands. Concerns have been raised about the different additives in each brand and their potential impact on the engine. Can mixing brands like adding 5 quarts of one brand with 1 quart of another, or topping off with a different brand, have adverse effects? I've encountered conflicting views, ranging from potential engine damage over time to having no significant impact at all. What's the real deal here - can you help?
1 Answers
Zack Norman Staff answered 5 months ago
Hi there, Henry! Great question! The topic of mixing motor oil brands is indeed surrounded by various opinions, but here's what you need to know:
  1. Same Grade and Certifications: It's generally safe to mix motor oils if they are of the same viscosity grade and meet the same API certifications. Different brands might have different additive packages, but as long as they are compatible (which they usually are if they meet the same specifications), there shouldn't be a problem.
  2. Viscosity Considerations: While it's ideal to use the same viscosity, there are instances where people have mixed slightly different viscosities without issues. However, always aim to follow your vehicle manufacturer's recommendations.
  3. Additive Compatibility: Different brands may use varied additive packages, but these are typically designed to be compatible with other API-certified oils. This means that while the ideal is to use the same brand and type, mixing different brands isn't likely to cause immediate harm.
  4. Practical Usage: Many people have mixed oils without observing any negative impact on their engines. This includes both topping off and mixing larger quantities. However, it's always best to consult your vehicle's manual and stick to the manufacturer's recommendations where possible.
  5. Myth-Busting: There's a lot of myths about oil mixing causing significant engine damage. While it's not the ideal practice, for most modern engines, using different brands of the same type and grade of oil won't cause immediate or significant harm.
  6. Long-Term Effects: While mixing brands might not have an immediate negative effect, the long-term impact on engine wear and oil performance is less clear. Consistency in oil use might benefit long-term engine health.
In Summary: It's not ideal, but mixing motor oil brands of the same type and grade is generally safe for short-term solutions. For long-term engine health, consistency in the brand and type of oil is recommended. Zack - Motor Verso Mechanics Team