Can You Mix Motor Oil Brands? (Explained!)

Drivers are sometimes caught up in a situation where they are thinking of mixing two motor oil brands. Is the action safe and recommended? Let us find that out.

So can you mix motor oil brands? You can; however, it does not mean that you should.  If you mix up two motor oil brands, it might not have severe damage to your vehicle, but you should not do it on the safe side.

This question is very common since an oil change is a critical task that you should do in your vehicle constantly. This is why drivers would find themselves in a situation to consider two motor oil with different brands. It was mentioned above, this is a very common question, and right now, the questions will stop. 

We’ll be discussing everything you should know of mixing two motor oil that has different brands. This is a situation where every driver can experience. You might have to top your oil, but there is no available motor oil with the same brand as you have in your oil tank. 

Therefore, you might have no choice but to go and mix your existing motor oil with a different brand with motor oil. Now, you want to know the effects of it and if it is safe with your engine. Let us enlighten you, then.

Can You Mix Motor Oil Brands

Can You Mix Different Brands Of Synthetic Motor Oil?

This question must be answered already because many drivers are confused about whether they can mix two synthetic motor oil brands and have no severe harm on their vehicle and its engine, or it can be risky. So to answer this question, yes, you can mix two brands of synthetic motor oil. But you should remember that it does not mean that you should. 

First, let us talk about the viscosity level of each motor oil. Even if two motor oil that has different brands have the same viscosity, it is never advisable that you should mix them up together. Some people have mentioned that the idea should never be considered. 

The first important thing you should do is always look for your owner’s manual. Then, find the recommended and suitable grade of motor oil that must be used for your vehicle. If you mix two motor oil with different brands, you might be at risk of something. 

Let us explain it clearer for you. First, every brand of motor oil has a different formulation. This is because motor oil has additives in them, and every manufacturer has a different formulation for that. 

If you are a driver, you cannot know the chemistry of these engine oils. The manufacturers are the only ones who know what they have in their chemistry and how they formulate their additives and other ingredients in their motor oil. Therefore, there is no way that we will know how one motor oil with a specific brand can ruin or affect the other motor oil with another different brand.

 We do not know the chemistry of these motor oils. So to conclude, you can mix both motor oils with different brands, but you should not.

What Happens If You Mix Different Brands Of Motor Oil?

You should only use the oil that is recommended and suitable for your vehicle. You can find this in your owner’s manual. Now, mixing two motor oils can be or cannot be dangerous for your vehicle. 

So what happens if you mix two different brands of motor oil? It can be harmful to your vehicle’s engine if you use two motor oil with two different brands and different API markings. On the other hand, if you mix two motor oil with two brands but with the same level of API, you might not have any severe damage to your vehicle. 

You have to remember the rule of thumb. If you can avoid mixing two motor oil with different brands, then you must. Manufacturers of these motor oils must meet the industry’s minimum standard to maintain the compatibility and performance of the mark of the API. 

With all this, your owner’s manual always decides to find the correct oil grade, viscosity, and API category. So always follow what was in your owner’s manual and what is your current brand at the moment.

Can You Mix Different Brands Of 5w30 Oil?

Yes, you can mix 5w30 oil with different brands, but it is not recommended. The act is discouraged. But let us talk first about API or the American petroleum institute. 

Every API motor oil is mandated to be compatible. When we say compatible, all the motor oils must have a base and additives. The additives will form the oil base. It will also form the specific qualities of specific engine oil. 

So you might be thinking that there can still be a chance that the motor oils of the API can be incompatible with each other. Still, every oil manufacturer has unique and different technologies for producing their bases. As a result, they may even have different physical properties. 

However, they can be interchanged as long as the API guidelines are followed in the production. So different motor oils with different brands have their technologies and formulation in making a motor oil with specific viscosity. So in terms of the anti-wear and antioxidants combinations and the detergents that have been used in the different formulations made by different brands, they can be interchanged.

And every motor oil brand will have different formulations. These companies can even change their formulation for about a year or two or more than that. 

And as long as the formulation, even old or new, will meet the specification, the changes will be okay and not considered a big deal. So, as a rule of thumb, it is always best to avoid mixing two motor oil with different brands so that you can ensure no harm is done, even just the slightest bit in your vehicle and its engine.

Topping Off Oil With Different Brands – Is That Ok?

This is a circumstance that you might have to find yourself in on a few occasions. Unfortunately, it will also leave you no choice, and you have to top off your existing oil with a different brand. If it leaves you no choice, you must top off your existing motor oil with another brand. 

However, there are risks that you have to consider. The risks might not be very harmful and severe, but it does no good for your vehicle. Each brand has its different machines, formulations, and many other things to consider. 

So it is best to always stick to one brand. Drain the entire oil if you will change your existing oil. This is because you do not know how these oils would react to each other. 

You do not know the incompatibility they have. The chemistry of each oil and the production of each manufacturer are on two opposite sides. 

You have to be on the safe side. So you should avoid mixing two motor oil brands and stick to one only.


In summary, motor oil is a critical thing that your vehicle needs. Therefore, it would be best if you will do a constant motor oil change to sustain the excellent performance of your vehicle.

 With that, if it leaves you no choice, you might have to mix two motor oil with two different brands. With that, it can be mixed, but it is not advisable.



Image credits – Canva

Share on:

My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more