Are motor oil and engine oil the same thing?

I’ve seen and heard people talk about both engine oil and motor oil in the context of cars, but I don’t actually know what the distinction is, if there is one—are motor oil and engine oil the same thing?

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Answer provided by
Andrew (Andy) Biro
Answered on Apr 21, 2022
Keeping track of all these different terms can definitely be confusing! Fundamentally, however, motor oil and engine oil are the same thing—both labels are used to refer to the mixture of base oils and additives that helps keep your engine lubricated and running smoothly.
Manufacturers of these products use the names interchangeably and make no distinction between the two—motor oil and engine oil are one and the same and have the exact same function.
That said, there are different types of engine/motor oil, with slightly different functions and oil-to-additive ratios, so you should always consult your owner’s manual for the specific type of motor oil recommended by the manufacturer.
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