As a responsible car owner, you understand the importance of regular engine oil changes to keep your vehicle running smoothly. However, you may wonder if it's acceptable to mix different brands of engine oil. After all, situations arise where you may need to top up your oil level with a different brand while on the road. In this blog, we will explore the topic of mixing different brands of engine oil and help you make informed decisions about your car's maintenance.
The Basics of Engine Oil Composition
Before diving into whether it's safe to mix engine oil brands, let's briefly understand the basics of engine oil composition. Engine oil is a complex blend of base oils and additives designed to provide lubrication, cooling, and protection to the engine's moving parts. Manufacturers formulate engine oils to meet specific viscosity and performance standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) and the American Petroleum Institute (API).
Can You Mix Different Brands of Engine Oil?
The short answer is yes, you can mix different brands of engine oil. Engine oils are generally compatible with each other, and mixing them won't cause any immediate catastrophic damage to your engine. However, there are some important considerations to keep in mind.
1. Similar Viscosity Grades
When adding oil to your engine, it is crucial to choose an oil with a viscosity grade that matches your vehicle's requirements. If your car requires 5W-30 oil, for example, use another 5W-30 oil from a different brand. Mixing oils with different viscosity grades could lead to inconsistent lubrication, reduced engine performance, and potential engine damage.
2. Avoid Mixing Types
Refrain from mixing different types of engine oil, such as conventional and synthetic oils. Each type has unique additives and properties, and mixing them may alter their performance characteristics, compromising the engine's protection and efficiency.
3. Be Mindful of Additives
Some brands may include specific additives in their engine oils to enhance certain properties. While mixing oils with different additives might not cause immediate harm, it could reduce the overall effectiveness of the additives, impacting engine performance in the long run.
4. Stick to Quality Brands
It is always best to use engine oils from reputable and trusted brands. High-quality oils (like 49 North Lubricants) are more likely to have consistent formulations and meet the necessary industry standards, ensuring optimal engine protection.
5. Considerations for New Engines
If you have a new car under warranty, it's advisable to stick to the manufacturer's recommended engine oil to avoid any potential warranty-related issues.
In conclusion, while it's generally safe to mix different brands of engine oil, do so with caution. Stick to oils with similar viscosity grades and avoid mixing different types or using oils with conflicting additives. It's always best to follow the manufacturer's recommendations for engine oil and perform regular oil changes.
Proper engine oil maintenance is critical to ensure the longevity and performance of your car's engine. So it's worth taking the time to make informed decisions about the oil you use. When in doubt, consult your vehicle's owner's manual or call 1.800.463.0354 and speak to our Technical Specialist - Corey Foy.