Can I use gasoline engine oil in a diesel powered engine?
Diesel rated oil still has a full dose of zinc and other heavy metal additives to give extreme pressure protection in steel against steel contact points. These additives have been reduced in “gasoline engine oil” to protect the catalytic converter from damage. Flat tappet cams have been replaced with roller tappets and rockers which can operate without the zinc additives.
Older flat tappet gasoline engines may benefit from using oils that still contain high levels of these additives…(diesel and 4-stroke motorcycle oil) or using an additive that contains them…
You can use it to top-off the oil in an emergency, but for an oil change, I wouldn’t.
It is not a matter of gasoline oil vs diesel oil. It is quite possible that the same oil can be safely used in both engines. The question is does the oil meet the specifications for your specific engine and driving conditions.
Check your owner’s manual and don’t use any oil that does not meet or exceed the specifications listed in the owner’s manual.
Many oils work well in both kinds of engines, but not all gasoline or all diesel engines.
Hint, on the bottle you likely will see letters and numbers listed. The ones that start with S are for gasoline engines (Spark) and the ones that start with a C are for diesel engines (compression). The ones that start with a 7 (like 701.05 are likely VW specifications.
Newer cars tend to be more picky about what oil they need.
Thanks for the information
Thanks for your interest and information
I have an older VW diesel. I use one quart of an SL oil, two quarts of some old CC-CD 10W-40 that I bought in the early 1990s plus two quarts of 15W-40 farm rated diesel engine oil; three brands in all. My engine burns a small amount of oil but not enough to require added oil between 3333 mile changes. I have been mixing for several years.
I have a pretty large stash of oil but our two other cars require synthetic oil so I am slowly using up the gasoline engine oil stash in my old diesel, a quart at a time. When the SL is gone, I have some SJ.
Yes, you can use a little gasoline oil in an older VW diesel but I would not attempt this with a newer VW diesel as they are very demanding of engine oil.
If you have another brand of diesel, I can’t comment but a quart at a time is probably OK especially if your crankcase holds more than 5 quarts.