Generic oil for one third the price

I have a Kawasaki Jet Ski that uses 2 cycle oil.  Kawasaki "highly recommends" using their own brand of oil called KawaChem which is TC-W3 certified.  I even brought it in for service several times and they always ask if I am using the Kawasaki oil.  

The Kawasaki oil costs about $30 per gallon. Walmart sells their “house brand” which is also TC-W3 certified for $11. My question is, “Am I a fool for paying almost TRIPLE the price for the name brand oil?” I am no longer under warranty so that is not an issue, however, I don’t want to blow up the engine, either.

Anything that meets TCW-3 standards is “The Good Stuff” and can be used in almost ANY 2-stroke engine. But I bet a gallon of injector oil lasts a long time in a jet-ski, so why take a chance on bargain brands??

What does the owner’s manual say? Does (did) the warranty require the use of Kawasaki oil?

While I believe that it is nothing more than a scam to get you to by their stuff, I got to agree with Caddyman, why argue or worry.

BTW who makes the engine? What do they say?

I use generic 2-stroke snowmobile oil in my Arctic Cat instead of the Arctic Cat stuff.

Thanks for your input guys. Yes, the manual does require Kawasaki oil so I guess for the extra 20 bucks I’ll go with the recommendation. It just seems like a waste of money if the TCW-3 is the standard and the cheap stuff meets the standards. I find many “store brand” items are just as good as the name brands in many cases. However, I guess the consequences for it NOT working as well are far worse than getting stuck with lousy tasting ketchup!

Are you sure the owner’s manual has a requirement to use Kawasaki oil or does it says you must use TCW-3 oil and then strongly recommends Kawasaki oil?

Sounds like requiring you to buy Kawasaki oil violates the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act.

Many of the top quality oil brands make a TCW-3 oil. Something doesn’t sound right if you’re being forced to buy Kawasaki’s.

There is another ingredient which somehow stabilizes ethanol and prevents moisture damage. The additive is in some outdoor equipment 2-stroke oils. It is also available as a separate additive. It seems worth the added cost whichever way you get it. A local repair shop had it in the Briggs&Stratton brand.

An oil could be TC-W3 and still not be exactly the same as Kawasaki TC-W3. TC-W3 means the oil meets the standards for a marine water cooled engine. Kawasaki could use the same TC-W3 oil and just put it in one of their branded containers, or they could compound their own TC-W3 oil and make it specific for their engines. How would you know the difference? I used a Pennzoil Synthetic TC-W oil in an outboard that seized up on me. Supposedly the Pennzoil was the best outboard oil money could buy at the time, but still my outboard was toast. It’s up to you to choose your oil.