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What is the difference between gas engine oil and diesel engine oil?

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Engine oil is the lifeblood that keeps the key mechanical system of multiple vehicles in peak condition. It ensures engine components are well-lubricated so they can move freely without causing abrasion and wear, while maintaining good engine health by sealing parts and cleaning unwanted dirt and debris away harmlessly to the sump. Engine oil also prevents contamination from rust and other corrosives.

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at two types of engine oil – gas and diesel – to determine what makes them different. Gas and diesel engine oils are both made by combining a base oil with additives to achieve a specific performance level. However, when exploring the performance necessary from an oil for each type of engine, the differences begin to emerge. Read on to find out more.


When selecting an engine oil, viscosity is often the first concern, as it is among the most critical characteristics of any lubricant. As a result, choosing the correct viscosity is of ultimate importance when picking a lubricant.

As a rule, diesel engine oil possesses a much lower temperature pumpability and far higher viscosity in comparison to gas engine oil. As a result, if diesel was used in a gas engine, numerous issues may arise, such as premature wear leading and excessive heat generation leading to damage.

Additive packages

As we mentioned earlier, an essential element of most modern engine oils are the additives included in them. Additive packages either supress or enhance properties of the base oil to suit different applications. As such, every engine oil uses a different level of additives per volume and a variety of components.

For instance, diesel engine oil typically has more additives to make it cope with greater engine pressure. If a gas engine oil was imbued with these additives, it would impact vehicle performance with efficiency and compression loss.

Catalytic Converters

Diesel engine oils always have a much higher anti-wear level. Catalytic converters within diesel systems are specially designed to cope with this feature, while a gas system is not. As a result, diesel engine oil should only be used in diesel engines and never in a gas engine.

Oil change intervals

Finally, to keep oil fresh and effective, it needs changing periodically. Different engine oil types available today have a wide range of different recommended lifespans, but typically because of the high additive content of diesel oil, it will last far longer and needs less frequent changes.

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