Differences Between Diesel and Natural Gas Engine Oil

Differences Between Diesel and Natural Gas Engine Oil

With the right oil, diesel, and gas engines can perform efficiently and last longer. The differences between diesel and natural gas engine oil are reflected in their operating conditions, combustion processes, and emission profiles. Here are the differences between the two lubricants:


Diesel engine oils have higher viscosity to provide better protection under the high-temperature, high-pressure conditions found in diesel engines. The enhanced viscosity of diesel engine oil creates a thicker oil film between the engine’s moving parts. This thicker film provides enhanced load-carrying capability and wear protection for diesel engines with large parts.

Natural gas engine oil has a lower viscosity to improve fuel efficiency and reduce friction in engines functioning at lower temperatures. Lower-viscosity oils can offer better lubrication during the initial startup of natural gas engines. Using an oil with the wrong viscosity can lead to poor engine performance, excessive wear, and reduced fuel efficiency.


Engine oils for diesel and natural gas engines have distinct additives and formulations. Diesel engine oils have detergents that help clean and prevent the buildup of deposits on engine components like cylinder walls and pistons. They also have anti-wear additives to protect engine components under high-pressure conditions.

Oils for natural gas engines contain oxidation stability additives that help prevent the oil from breaking down and thickening due to heat and exposure to oxygen. It can also have anti-foaming agents to prevent foam formation in the oil, which hinders proper lubrication. Natural gas engine lubricant has additives that protect against corrosion caused by acidic byproducts of natural gas combustion.

Combustion Features

Diesel combustion produces soot, which consists of tiny carbon particles. The soot can build up in the engine and exhaust system, leading to carbon deposits and potentially decreasing engine efficiency and emissions performance. Diesel combustion also generates higher temperatures due to the high compression ratio, forming nitrogen oxides.

Natural gas combustion produces fewer carbon particulates than diesel combustion because the gas is more complete and produces fewer carbon byproducts. This type of combustion occurs at lower temperatures, reducing nitrogen oxide formation. Gas combustion produces lower temperatures and pressure, leading to less extreme operating conditions and reduced wear.

Maintenance Intervals

Diesel engine oil requires more frequent changes due to the harsh operating conditions and emissions control systems in diesel engines. This type of engines produce higher levels of soot and contaminants due to combustion. The diesel oil contains additives to manage these contaminants, but over time, they can accumulate and require oil changes to prevent engine deterioration.

Natural gas is a cleaner-burning fuel compared to diesel, resulting in lower levels of soot and contaminants in the engine oil. This cleaner combustion contributes to longer oil change intervals and reduced maintenance requirements. Regular oil sampling and analysis can help monitor the condition of the engine oil, assess wear levels, and identify any potential issues.


Diesel engine oil is used in various modes of transportation, including trucks, buses, trains, ships, and some passenger cars. These engines are known for their durability and efficiency, making them a good choice for long-haul transportation.

Natural gas engines are used in power generation applications, such as stationary generators at hospitals, data centers, and industrial facilities. Oil for natural gas engines can offer reliable operation of these generators during power outages or peak demand periods.

Get Natural Gas Engine Oil

Natural gas engine oil can contribute to lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce environmental impact. These oils have low emissions, boosting compliance with emissions regulations. You can get quality oil from reputed fueling companies that offer bulk fuel deliveries and on-site fueling solutions. Reach out to a trusted company to discuss pricing and quantity needs.

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