Is Engine Oil And Motor Oil The Same? (Explained!)

Many people would use engine oil and motor oil interchangeably. But does engine oil and motor oil mean the same thing? Let us find out.

So is engine oil and motor oil the same? The answer is yes. Motor oil and engine oil mean the same thing.

Research confirmed that so many people have no idea if the engine oil and motor oil are the same or different. People would think that engine oil and motor are the same. However, a lot of people would also think that engine oil and motor are different.

Some people do not even know which one to use, so some people use both and sometimes alternate using them, but they do not know the difference and the similarities. So now, we will talk all about motor oil and engine oil. 

You will know if there are differences between the two and if there are similarities between the two. So without further ado, let us start.

Is Engine Oil And Motor Oil The Same

Is Motor Oil Engine Oil?

Yes, motor oil and engine oil mean the same thing. However, a few people reported that motor oil is made for a rotary motor, and engine oil is made for a larger engine. There is also a discussion about the molecular structure and chemical composition of engine oil. 

They would say that engine oil is more complex than motor oil. So it can also be considered that the engine oil is for engines, and the motor oil is for motors. However, it is also proven and confirmed that motor oil and engine oil are the same. 

Motor oil and engine oil are used interchangeably. If someone will talk about a substance with a base oil and gas additives like the viscosity improvers and antiwear additives. Detergents and dispersants are also included. 

Some people are content alternately using engine oil and motor oil. In addition, people are also alternately using motors and engines. But the vital thing you should know is that motor oil and engine oil are the same products you can find on the market. 

So in a technical sense and a practical sense, motor oil and engine oil are just the same products. They mean the same products. So there is just the issue of the people and even manufacturers that they use these terms interchangeably. 

People have trouble deciding which term to use. Some people would settle in using engine oil, and some people would settle in motor oil. And some people do not take sides and would even use both. 

But you can now use both terms with wisdom because you already know that engine oil and motor oil mean the same thing. You just have to use the correct and suitable engine oil or motor oil for your car, one that is accepted and approved by your car manufacturer. If we also talk about the influences of a place, there can also be differences. 

If you are in the United Kingdom, a motor is referring to an automobile. If you are in the United states of America, they refer to an engine as a power source of automobiles. 

So in England, they would use the term motor oil. In America, they would use engine oil. But basically speaking, motor oil and engine oil are the same.

Are Engine And Motor The Same Thing?

As much as the engine oil and motor oil are used interchangeably, the motor and engine are also used in an alternate matter. But what is the difference between the both of them? So in definition, the motor is running on electricity. 

On the other hand, the engines are running on combustion. In the engine, it transforms different forms of fuels and turns them into a mechanical force. On the other hand, the motor will convert electrical energy and make it into mechanical energy. 

To further understand, let us define each of them. Before defining what a motor is, let us first talk about how electric cars are working. An electric car needs a battery. 

A battery is the vehicle’s energy source, and it moves the vehicle and the energy that is going through a controller. This controller is the one that is regulating the voltage that is coming from the motor. The motor will then give power to the wheels, and it is the one making the car move forward and run. 

Now, let us define what an engine is. An engine vehicle requires a fuel tank. This fuel tank will send energy to your vehicle’s engine. 

The engine will then be transmitting the power into the transmission. From the transmission, it will then go to the wheels. The engine will typically go through a process that is more complicated to reach the wheels. 

This is different from what electric motors do. However, it does not require motors or even a controller in terms of the internal combustion system. So with that, you can save weight.

In comparing an electric motor and internal combustion engine, there is a higher energy density to the combustion density of the fuel. This also means that there is a higher energy output per fuel density. The electric motor also requires more time to refuel than the combustion engine. 

If you are in a gas station, it might take at least five minutes to refuel. These are the benefits of an internal combustion engine. However, the internal combustion engine also has its disadvantages. 

The first is that it releases toxic emissions. These toxic emissions include carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is very harmful to the environment. 

The combustion engines are also less efficient if you compare them to an electric motor. With this, it means that it will use more energy for the car to be driven.

Why Do People Use Two Different Words For The Same Thing?

Well, people do not have the drive to learn about something so simple and small. If a person wants to know the difference, they would learn about the issue at hand. But in this matter, engine oil and motor oil are not a big deal. 

Using both of them still gets the work done, and there will not be any significant issues in interchanging them because they are the same thing. There is just a matter of places. In some places, they will mean the same thing, but they use different words. 

Like in England and America, many words mean the same thing, but they have different words. So, what is essential is that you know the meaning of the words you are using. 

That alone is good enough. It gives you what you need, and it gets the job done.


In summary, engine oil and motor oil are used alternately. Some people settle for engine oil, and some settle for motor oil. You can just use these two terms whatever you want because they mean the same thing. 

Manufacturers just used both terms, and it confuses the people. But not to worry because now, you already know that the two terms mean the same thing.

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Image credits – Canva

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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