Last updated: August 11, 2021

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For a smooth ride with the moped or scooter, the 2-stroke oil is indispensable. The oil is responsible for a variety of functions so that the engine is well lubricated and can be driven without problems. 2-stroke oil can be used not only for mopeds, but also for chainsaws and lawnmowers.

With this guide, we want to help you make the right purchase decision and answer all your questions about 2-stroke oil. We also provide information on which 2-stroke oil is best suited for you and which buyers are currently on the market.




Summary

  • 2-stroke oil is an engine oil for two-stroke engines in mopeds, scooters, lawnmowers or other engine-powered garden tools. Engine oil is needed to keep the engine lubricated and running smoothly.
  • There are three different types: fully synthetic, semi-synthetic and mineral 2T oil. Which one is most suitable depends on the power level and the demands of the vehicle.
  • Driving without 2-stroke oil is not recommended because otherwise the cylinder and the piston are not lubricated and this can lead to damage to the vehicle.

The Best 2 Stroke Oil: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for 2-stroke oils

In the following section, we will give you important tips that you should consider before buying. 2-stroke oil has various properties that make it difficult to make the right purchase decision.

The criteria that you can use to compare 2-stroke oil include:

In the following paragraphs, we will explain what is important in the individual criteria.

Area of application

The most common use for 2-stroke oil is still for scooters and mopeds. Vehicles with a cylinder capacity of 50 cm³ require two-stroke oil for lubrication.

Most machines are two-stroke and can only be put into use with a 2-stroke oil.

However, 2-stroke oil can also be used for other purposes. It is often used for brushcutters, chainsaws and other forestry and gardening equipment. When using the 2-stroke oil in a chainsaw, a quantity of petrol is mixed with the oil and filled into the tank of the device.

Since the engines in these garden tools reach high speeds, an optimal mixture is essential. This plays an important role not only for the environment, but also for your own well-being.

It would be important to note that the mixture should not be stored for too long, as it could segregate over time. The mixture can be stored for up to half a year. However, it should be mixed well again before the next use.

2-stroke oil can also be used for lawn mowers. Just make sure that it is actually a 2-stroke engine and not a 4-stroke engine. Similar to the chainsaw, the oil is also mixed with petrol.

Mixing ratio

Mixing ratio is the proportion of oil to petrol in a vehicle. Compared to 4-stroke engines, 2-stroke vehicles do not need the fuel pure, but a mixture.

The amount of oil to petrol or diesel is determined by the manufacturer and can always be found in the operating instructions.

The common mixing ratio for engines with a normal load is about 1:50, which corresponds to about 1 part oil to 50 parts petrol or diesel. The oil content is then about 2 %.

Engines with a higher load require a ratio of 1:40. It is quite easy to calculate the ratio yourself. The litres that are still available are converted into millilitres. The millilitres are then divided by the second number of the given ratio.

Example: If the ratio is to be 1:40 and there are 7 litres of petrol in the tank. This is what the calculation looks like:

  • 7000 ml / 40 = 175 ml

175 ml of oil must be added to the petrol to achieve an optimum mixing ratio.

Flash point

The flash point provides information about the flammability of the oil when it is heated. In addition, vapours as well as additives (additives) are formed during heating. The more viscous the oil, the higher the flash point. The temperature at which the oil just flows is called the flash point.

Temperature in degrees Celsius type of vehicle
130 moped, Vespa, scooter
270 racing motorbike, motorbike

The flash point of 2-stroke oils is usually lower than that of normal engine oils. The flash point can be at different temperatures. The most common is about 130 °C, but it can also be higher. The slower the oil burns, the better it is for performance and the engine.

For racing motorbikes, a higher flash point is better because the oil burns more slowly. Here the flash point can be up to about 270 °C.

Content

Two-stroke oils generally have fewer ingredients than other engine oils. They consist of about 2 to 6 % additives and 94 to 98 % base oil.
The most common additives include:

  • Antioxidants
  • Detergents
  • Dispersants
  • Flow improvers

In addition, dyes are also added to make the oil appear either blue, red or yellow.

The composition of the base oil plays an essential role in 2-stroke oil. It must be determined relatively early on what it will later be used for.

If the aim is to serve high-performance engines, then maximum lubrication reliability is required. However, if it is a matter of service life, it is important to keep the engine as clean as possible.

Guide: Frequently asked questions about 2-stroke oils answered in detail

In the following guide, we want to answer all questions on the topic of 2-stroke oil. These are questions that users often ask and we have researched them for you and answered them briefly and precisely. This guide is intended to help you make the right purchase decision.

How often does 2-stroke oil need to be topped up?

Modern scooters and mopeds have an oil light that comes on when there is not enough oil. However, it would be important to top up oil before the light even comes on. This is to prevent damage to the engine if there is not enough oil in the tank.

The light may not always work or come on in time and this could cause significant damage.

Oil should be topped up before the oil light comes on.

Therefore, it is always better to check the oil level regularly. You can also check the oil level by looking inside the oil tank to see that there is enough oil. 2-stroke oil should be topped up at regular intervals. However, oil consumption varies from vehicle to vehicle.

Various factors play a role in oil consumption. It also depends on how much petrol is consumed and how often the scooter is used. Basically, it can be said that approximately 1 litre of oil is consumed per 1000 km.

How many litres are in a 2-stroke oil canister?

The filling quantity of each canister can be different. There is no standard size for 2-stroke oil canisters.

The smallest quantity available is the 100 millilitre 2-stroke oil bottles. They are very handy and small and ideal for a scooter tour where you want to be sure to always have enough oil with you.

2 Takt Öl-1

The size of the oil tank depends on the size of the vehicle and how powerful it is.
(Image source: unsplash/ Harley Davidson)

Standard canisters are around 1 to 5 litres. Of course, there are also larger canisters that have about 10 litres of oil. Buying smaller quantities of oil has the advantage that they are used up more quickly and you don't have to worry that the oil may have gone bad.

The disadvantage is that the smaller quantities are relatively more expensive compared to a 10 litre canister.

What types of 2-stroke oils are there and which one is right for me?

In the following section, the different compositions of 2-stroke oil are presented. In addition, the advantages as well as disadvantages of the respective oil are listed.

Mineral oils

Mineral oils

Mineral oils can be obtained from base oils that are produced directly during petroleum distillation. They are hardly treated and can be bottled immediately after distillation. The mineral oil belongs to the oldest respectively the most natural form.

Advantages
  • Inexpensive
  • Easy to produce
Disadvantages
  • Environmentally harmful
  • Only for older vehicles

It does not contain many additives, which is the reason for its lower lubricating performance. When the oil is burnt, a higher proportion of soot is produced, which is more harmful to the environment. From a price point of view, however, mineral oils are the cheapest because they are easy to produce.

However, the use of mineral oils is declining because they are not very durable. The oil is rather unsuitable for modern vehicles. Older vehicles, vintage cars and mopeds, on the other hand, can use mineral oils.

Semi-synthetic oils

Semi-synthetic oils

Semi-synthetic 2-stroke oil is a mixture of mineral and synthetic base oils. The oil contains certain additives to enhance the lubrication performance. Unlike the fully synthetic oil, which is suitable for heavy loads, the semi-synthetic oil is sufficient for normal loads.

Advantages
  • Clean combustion
  • Good lubricity
Disadvantages
  • Costly production
  • Not suitable for high-performance vehicles

Semi-synthetic oils have similar good properties for normal demands as fully synthetic oils. They are heat-resistant, have good lubricity and have low soot formation. They are also significantly cheaper than the fully synthetic oils.

Thanks to the composition of mineral and synthetic oils, the disadvantages that the purely mineral oils have can be compensated. A characteristic of semi-synthetic oils is that they have a clean and low-smoke combustion.

Fully synthetic oils

Fully synthetic oils

The fully synthetic two-stroke oil contains many additives. This makes it resilient for high demands.

Advantages
  • Low soot formation
  • Long shelf life
Disadvantages
  • Only suitable for high-performance vehicles
  • More expensive

This oil is generally used for engines that have high performance. For engines that reach high revs and high temperatures, the fully synthetic oil is ideal.

The oil is particularly long-lasting and even at high combustion heat only little soot is produced in relation. A fully synthetic oil is used for more powerful vehicles.

How much does 2-stroke oil cost?

The price of 2-stroke oil depends on the quantity and the brand. Another factor that has an impact on the price is where the oil is ultimately purchased.

Usually, the oil is cheaper in online shops than at a petrol station or in a specialised shop. This can also be due to the fact that many different prices can be compared quickly.

2-stroke oil in litres price
0.1 3 - 7 euros
1 - 5 5 - 55 euros
10 60 - 70 euros

The price also depends on the quality of the oil and whether it is a mineral, semi-synthetic or fully synthetic oil.

How long does 2-stroke oil last?

In principle, engine oil has an almost infinite shelf life. However, for this to be the case, certain factors must be present.

The factors are:

  • The oil must not have been opened yet.
  • The room temperature must be constant. It must not be too hot or too cold.
  • It must be stored in a dry and dark place.

Even if all these requirements are met, it is advisable not to store the oil for longer than 5 years.

Opened oil canisters should not be stored for more than 1 year.

If the oil canister has already been opened, it should be used within 1 to 2 years to prevent outdated or contaminated oil from reaching the engine.

It may be that 2-stroke oil has already been mixed with petrol. If this is the case, it will only have a shelf life of a few months.

A good test to make sure the oil is still usable is to smell it. If the oil is out of date, it will have a smell of its own. In addition, the consistency should also be checked before it is put into use.

What should I look for when changing the oil?

When the engine is put into operation, it produces abrasion. This has a negative effect on the engine oil as it becomes more and more contaminated. The more dirt particles there are in the oil, the more it becomes a paste.

To prevent the dirty oil from damaging the engine, the oil must be changed about every 4000 kilometres.

The most important thing to look for when changing the oil is that the correct oil is topped up. So for vehicles that have a 2-stroke engine, also top up with 2-stroke oil and not 4-stroke oil.

You can change the oil yourself. If you want to be on the safe side, have the oil changed at a workshop.

Can 2-stroke oil be mixed with another oil?

Basically, engine oils from different manufacturers can be mixed. If there is still some oil in the old container, then this can certainly be mixed with the new oil. So in order to use up leftovers and not waste anything, the oil can be mixed.

What must not happen is to mix a 2-stroke oil with a 4-stroke oil. This could cause considerable damage to the engine. This would be almost like pouring diesel into a petrol tank.

Oils intended for different engines should not be mixed. Oils from different manufacturers, but intended for the same engine, can be mixed.

What happens if I drive without 2-stroke oil?

Riding without 2-stroke oil is not recommended because cylinders and pistons are not properly lubricated without oil. If the parts are not lubricated, they rub against each other and scoring occurs. This causes a loss of compression and it is no longer possible to continue riding.

Driving without oil can cause considerable damage to the cylinder and engine.

This friction causes high temperatures and the parts in the scooter could weld together. In the worst case, the engine could simply run out while driving and bring the vehicle to a standstill. However, it is often possible to restart the scooter immediately. Therefore, it is usually not noticed that it has to do with the oil level.

2 Takt Öl-2

To guarantee a safe ride with the moped, the oil should be changed regularly.
(Image source: unsplash/ Kumpan Electric)

When metals rub against each other, high temperatures are created that weld the metals together. This is also called "seizing". Normally, the piston moves up and down in the cylinder. But when seizing occurs, the piston locks up and this can be extremely dangerous, especially in a curve.

Driving without oil has considerable damage on the vehicle and sooner or later it is completely unroadworthy.

What should I do after driving without oil?

If a sticking or seizure has occurred while driving without oil and you are not an expert yourself, it is best to visit a workshop. The workshop will then check the cylinders and pistons and see if they have sustained any damage.

If the piston is damaged, it is no longer possible to build up compression and the piston rings must be replaced.

If the oil tank is completely empty and there is not a drop of oil left in the tank, the oil pump must be completely bled before refilling.

Image source: Ryzhov / 123rf

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