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Any Problem Running Motorcycle Oil in an Older European Race Car?
 
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Question:
Any Problem Running Motorcycle Oil in an Older European Race Car?
My older sports car came with 20W-50 from the factory. My mechanic recommends using 20W-50 Mobil 1 (V-Twin Motorcycle Oil) over the 15W-50 Mobil 1. Since this is a pre-catalytic converter era car he prefers the slightly higher levels of zinc diphosphate contained in the 20W-50. Since the car was designed to run at high rpms and will be primarily used in the summer he has indicated that it's his preferred choice over your 15W-50 Mobil 1 and Castrol's 20W-50 "Classic" formulation. Any problem in running a motorcycle oil in an older European race car such as this? Thanks for your help.
-- John Bauer, Utica, MI
Answer:
The most important difference between a motorcycle formulation and an automotive formulation is that the automotive oils contain friction modifiers for improved fuel economy. Frankly, you are using 50 grade oil, you are probably not looking for fuel economy. So as you can see using the motorcycle oil in your vehicle is not an issue. Comparing the two oils, the main point of differentiation, beyond the motorcycle needs, is the level of ZDDP antiwear additive. Either product offers a robust level of antiwear with 15W-50 @ 1200 ppm phosphorus compared to the 20W-50 @ 1600 ppm.
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