In nthis article, we’ll explain why the engines of these vehicles are lubricated differently.

Maybe you have ever wondered if you can use the same motorcycle oil for your car as for your motorcycle. If you are the proud owner of a two and a four-wheeled vehicle, it is quite likely that you have raised doubts about maintaining both and whether you can use products from one of them for the other.

The first thing to keep in mind is that, indeed, a motorcycle and a car have points in common, including the need to perfectly lubricate its components to protect them from wear and friction. Despite this, the oils used in each are different, as each has specific lubrication needs. So, it will not always be possible to exchange lubricant from one vehicle to another.

Because they are different?

An example of these differences is that the design of a motorcycle engine is different from that of a car. It is true that they share the fact of having cylinders, pistons and other mechanical parts. However, the way in which they are arranged is different, which is why they require specialized lubricants. The main difference is that a motorcycle’s gearbox and clutch share lubricant with the engine.

This that we have just told you does not happen inside a car. In other words, the lubricant of a car engine does not bathe the clutch or gearbox discs. This translates into the fact that its lubricant has a number of additives that allow it to perfectly fulfill its specific function, such as those related to anti-friction action, antifoams, antioxidants, IV improvers or detergents, among others. So if we put a lubricant with these additive characteristics on a motorcycle, we would encounter problems in many cases.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle to the exchange of lubricants between cars and motorcycles is presented by the clutch: normally with a car oil, a motorcycle’s clutches tend to slip. This is because the materials they are made from are not compatible with these additives, specifically antifriction.

In addition, we could also find additional problems, such as that the lubricant additives attack the metals that make up the clutch. So we would ultimately cause a much bigger breakdown if we put car oil on the bike.

Another of the great differences between one and the other motors are the operating conditions that each one has and which are very different from each other you can check at Keep in mind that we can be talking about a four-cylinder, 1.5-liter, 100-hp engine that normally operates around 4,000 rpm, compared to another two-cylinder, 1.1-liter, 90-hp engine that could easily go up to 13,000 rpm.

At this extreme speed, the lubricant must maintain its properties to the maximum to guarantee the perfect maintenance of the engine. If we use an oil that has not been designed to withstand such severe conditions, we risk that it stops lubricating and causes seizures or major breakdowns.

If you own a car and a motorcycle, surely you have noticed that the change interval in both vehicles is different. This is because motorcycle lubricant is usually carried to the extreme more continuously, due to the type of conditions under which your engine works and which we have discussed a bit above. This deteriorates your lubricant much more and more quickly than that used in a car, so it must be replaced more often.

Another very interesting point comes: oils are usually common for the engine and gearbox. This passage through the pinions makes more differences because the temperature rises a lot and the oil must have additives that guarantee greater adherence to those parts, more protection to avoid foam and go through a filter, because the box is susceptible to producing metallic residues.

This does not stop there: the same oil is responsible for ‘lubricating’ the clutch when it is wet, as in most motorcycles. It turns out that here comes a task opposite to its principles, because if in the rest of the engine it must fulfill a function of avoiding friction between the parts, in the clutch the oil needs to do a precisely gripping work between the discs so that it does not skate.