Choosing outboard motor oil? In this article, we will tell you how to choose outboard motor oil.
A 2T boat engine, unlike a car engine, is forced to operate at peak load. Water is denser than air, so the environmental load on the engine is much higher. Also the humid environment has an aggressive effect on the boat engine. Therefore, it is extremely important to use a specific oil as otherwise the engine will fail quickly.
Modern vessels, regardless of size, are equipped with propulsion systems. And sailing ships have auxiliary engines to facilitate maneuvering. The design features influence the choice of propulsion system.
In most cases, the choice of owners of small boats and launches stops at the outboard engines using gasoline as fuel. Yachts and launches of a higher class are equipped with stationary engines. In this case, it can be petrol or diesel engines. On the basis of having automotive roots. And any engine requires regular maintenance and timely replacement of engine oil.
Before buying engine or transmission oil, it is necessary to study recommendations of the engine manufacturer. The recommendations specify oil change intervals, quality class and viscosity characteristics.
How to Choose the Best Outboard Motor Oil
Your marine engine is the engine that powers your adventure on the water, so it is important for safety and peace of mind on the water that it is well maintained to ensure you get maximum enjoyment. Using the best outboard motor oil is crucial for both performance and durability.
To get the best outboard engine oil, you need to know the characteristics of your engine. For example, there are two categories of outboard engines, two-stroke, and four-stroke, with different lubricant requirements, so you need to choose the right lubricant for each. In addition, a car engine should not be used on a vessel, as vessels have very specific wear protection requirements that cannot be met by car oil.
It is important that you buy oil formulated by the original manufacturer, as the oil has been specially formulated to maximize the efficiency and performance of that particular engine. You will find so many stores online that sell the same products, but note that not all of them sell genuine products. To get the right product, go to the manufacturer’s website and get the correct name log and description of the product. The oil is available on the online market. Simply place an order and it will be delivered to you.
- Two-stroke oil (TC-W3): Although not many two-stroke marine engines are produced today, many older boats on the water still rely on them and the requirements for oil are unique. Unlike modern engines, two-stroke engines require oil mixed with fuel. The oil for two-stroke marine engines is called TC-W3.
- Four-stroke oil (FC-W): Modern four-stroke engines are designed to run cleaner. Marine oil for four-stroke engines works in a similar way to the oil in your car or truck. There is a separate reservoir for the oil, and it is pumped from and returned to an oil pan, lubricating and cooling your engine.
- Four Stroke Oil (FC-W Catalyst Compatible): Adding to the confusion is the fact that some four-stroke engines are equipped with an exhaust after-treatment system and these require a slightly different type of oil called FC-W Catalyst Compatible to properly protect and lubricate the engine.
The good news is that your boat manual will tell you exactly what type of oil you need. When buying oil, be sure to look for the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) specifications on the bottle. The NMMA tests and certifies oils to ensure that they provide the protection required for your boat’s engine.
Best 2 stroke outboard oil: Comparison 2021
1. Pennzoil Marine Premium Plus 2-Cycle Oil
2. Valvoline Marine 2-Stroke Outboard Motor Oil
3. Quicksilver Synthetic Blend 2-Cycle Outboard Oil
4. LubriMatic 2-Cycle Engine Outboard Oil
5. Evinrude Johnson 2-Stroke Premium Outboard Oil
6. Star brite Super Premium 2-Cycle Engine Oil
7. Lucas Oil Products Synthetic Blend 2 Cycle Marine Oil
8. Quicksilver Premium Plus 2-Stroke Marine Engine Oil
9. Star Brite Premium 2-Cycle Engine Oil
10. Mercury Premuim 2-Cycle Outboard Oil
Synthetic 2 stroke outboard oil
Top rated 2 stroke outboard oil
Best rated 2 stroke outboard oil
Despite the fact that the outboard industry is moving towards the four-stroke technology of the future, the vast majority of outboards on the water today and probably for many years to come will be two-stroke. With all these two-stroke engines, the issue of two-stroke outboard oil inevitably comes up with the fishermen. There are disputes in port and lively debates in Internet forums about which marine oil is the right choice to protect this investment hanging at the transom. In addition, what an investment it is! As outboard prices have risen considerably in recent years, the question is how best to maintain your engine.
Best 2 stroke outboard oil
Buy Pennzoil Marine Premium Plus 2-Cycle Oil
Pennzoil is a popular 2-stroke oil brand in the marine industry for good reason. Its “Premium Plus” synthetic blend formula provides extra engine protection and ensures that your outboard engine runs clean.
The marine two-stroke oil is compatible with most outboard brands such as Johnson, Evinrude, Mercury Marine, Yamaha, Suzuki, Nissan, Force/US Marine, Mariner and Sears.
Overall, it is the best 2-stroke outboard oil that can be used within a range of outboards and is excellent for reducing smoke during take-off. Although it is a premium oil, it still offers excellent value for money.
- NMMA TC-W3 rated
- Suitable for a wide range of outboard motor brands
- Fulfills or exceeds the engine warranties
- Can be used as multipurpose gear oil
- Protection against engine deposits and piston wear
- Keeps exhaust ports and spark plugs clean
- Price is slightly too high
Buy Valvoline Marine 2-Stroke Outboard Motor Oil
Valvoline 2-stroke outboard marine oil is a high quality two-stroke lubricant specially developed for water-cooled, high revving engines with premix or injection systems.
Valvoline Outboard 2-Cycle Marine Engine Oil is a premium quality, ashless, two-stroke lubricant that is NMMA certified. High quality raw materials are blended with an advanced ashless detergent additive package to ensure maximum performance from outboard engines. It is pre-diluted for easy mixing with petrol and can also be used in direct injection systems. This product is recommended for all leading outboard engines, including the latest direct fuel injection models for high performance engines. Valvoline marine 2-stroke outboard engine oil also provides excellent performance in two-stroke engines of motorcycles, off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and watercraft. It can be used at the manufacturer’s recommended fuel/oil ratios of 11:1 to 100:1.
- Minimizes wear, deposits in the combustion chamber, sticking of rings, piston combustion, blocking of openings and contamination of spark plugs
- Improves engine performance
- Extends the life of the motor
- Meets and exceeds the requirements of all leading engine manufacturers for which NMMA/(BIA)-certified TC-W3 or earlier specification is recommended
- The lot of smoke is produced while using this oil
Buy Quicksilver Synthetic Blend 2-Cycle Outboard Oil
This Quicksilver 2-stroke oil meets or exceeds the requirements of the manufacturers of outboards or watercraft. Quicksilver 2-cycle outboard oil is made from a synthetic blend formulated to extend the life of the engine. This certified Quicksilver Premium Plus 2-stroke oil is formulated to burn cleanly and maximize performance, maintain the engine’s peak performance in demanding conditions and provide excellent lubrication. The Quicksilver brand has been a leader in supplying uncompromising engine oils, parts, and accessories to the marine industry for over 65 years. The company has built a loyal following by supplying the highest quality products, tested through some of the most rigorous environments and test procedures. No aftermarket company can match the level of research and design that Quicksilver has achieved; buying Quicksilver means buying performance, protection, and peace of mind.
- Provides excellent lubrication for extreme operating conditions at sea.
- The advanced synthetic compound provides excellent wear and corrosion protection that extends engine life.
- Minimize performance losses due to carbon deposits
- Maintain peak motor performance and reliability in demanding conditions
- Difficult to find in the store
Buy LubriMatic 2-Cycle Engine Outboard Oil
The Lubrimatics family of TC-WIII 2-cycle oils offers incredible benefits at an incredible price. They offer guaranteed protection against piston seizure, spark plug contamination, pre-ignition and rust. Lubrimatic 2-cycle oils are approved for use in all 2-cycle oil injection systems. All Lubrimatic oils meet or exceed the specified requirements of all foreign and domestic engine manufacturers. Maintain your engine warranty in full; use only NMMA-approved Lubrimatic TCWIII in your outboard!
- Provides superior protection against piston wear, bearing wear, spark plug contamination, pre-ignition and rust
- Meets or exceeds the warranty requirements of all engine manufacturers
- NMMA certified
- Meets the specified requirements of all foreign and domestic manufacturers of 2-cycle outboard engines
- Difficult to find in the store
Buy Evinrude Johnson 2-Stroke Premium Outboard Oil
Evinrude Johnson Two-Cycle Marine Oil is designed to keep your marine engine clean. It features a strong mineral formula that promotes engine longevity. Evinrude Two-Cycle Marine Oil helps your engine to meet or exceed OEM performance levels.
The Evinrude Johnson claims to burn cleaner than other competitors, providing a smoke, ash and odor free engine.
- Provides a 25% higher deterrent effect than the minimum requirements of TC-W3
- Minimizes carbon deposits and keeps the engine cleaner for better performance and longer life
- Formulated to meet the original warranty requirements of EVINRUDE and Johnson outboard engines with carburetors
- Exceeds NMMA specifications TC-W, TC-WII and TC-W3 and TC-W3RL
- Difficult to find in the store
Buy Star brite Super Premium 2-Cycle Engine Oil
Super Premium TC-W3 combines an extremely high-quality synthetic base material with a tailor-made additive package. The result is the best available TC-W3 synthetic blending oil that meets or exceeds all OEM oils. It does not invalidate the engine warranty, meets or exceeds all engine manufacturers’ specifications and offers superior performance and protection at an affordable price. Super Premium TC-W3 contains a higher concentration of the additives contained in Premium TC-W3. It is ideal for use in high performance engines including FICHT, E-TEC, Optimax and HPDI outboard engines. It is ideal for use in all 2-stroke engines, including water scooters, premixes and direct injection.
- Exceeds performance specifications for E-Tec, FICHT, Optimax and HPDI engines
- Contains a PIB viscosity modifier to significantly improve lubricity and reduce smoking.
- The highly effective detergent formula removes deposits from the fuel supply system.
- The ashless formula of the synthetic compound minimizes piston ring sticking and protects against pre-ignition problems.
- Environmentally friendly, reduces emissions
Buy Lucas Oil Products Synthetic Blend 2 Cycle Marine Oil
Lucas Synthetic Blend 2-Cycle Marine Oil is specifically designed to meet the performance requirements of water-cooled 2-cycle outboards and personal watercraft. This product is enriched with Lucas’ unique additive chemistry and an ashless detergent inhibitor package to minimize spark plug contamination, pre-ignition and ring sticking. The mixing ratio is 50:1 and is recommended for use in premix or direct injection systems.
The company aims to provide everyone with the best household products for all needs at home, with the emphasis on reliability, customer satisfaction and high quality. They offer modern products of high quality, which many customers can enjoy.
- Minimizes the contamination of spark plugs
- Enriched with unique Lucas additives
- Specially formulated for water-cooled 2-cycle outboard engines and water scooters
Buy Quicksilver Premium Plus 2-Stroke Marine Engine Oil
Quicksilver Marine Oil has a superior lubrication formula that claims to be the cleanest burning oil on the market. Quicksilver 27Q01 oil provides warranty protection for Mercury, Mariner, Force and Sport Jet and M2 Jet Drive 2-stroke engines, so you can sit back and relax.
The advanced synthetic 2-stroke formula is designed for high performance outboard engines. Therefore, the higher concentration of additives provides the additional lubrication and solubility to ensure optimum operation on all 2-stroke engines.
- TC-W3 certified
- Full synthetic blend
- Meets all manufacturer recommendations for outboard engines
- Mixed with high-quality ashless dispersants
- Reduces carbon deposition in the exhaust system
- Increases lubrication and reduces corrosion
- Too pricey
Buy Star Brite Premium 2-Cycle Engine Oil
Premium TC-W3 combines an extremely high-quality synthetic blend base oil with a tailor-made additive package that meets or exceeds all OEM oils. The result is superior performance and protection at an affordable price. It is ideal for use in all 2-stroke engines, including water scooters, premixes and direct injection. It meets or exceeds all engine manufacturers’ specifications and does not invalidate any engine warranty.
- The ashless formula made from a synthetic mixture minimizes piston ring sticking and protects against pre-ignition problems
- Environmentally friendly, clean-burning oil that reduces emissions
- Designed for operation under extreme conditions
- For use in oil-injection, 2-stroke and premix engines
Buy Mercury Premuim 2-Cycle Outboard Oil
Specially formulated with a marine additive package to meet the requirements of low to medium power outboard engines operating under general marine conditions. Exceeds TC-W3 standards. Reduces rust and corrosion of internal components. Meets all recommendations of outboard and personal watercraft manufacturers for the use of TC-W2 and TC-W3 oils in premixes or oil-injected 2-stroke applications Provides warranty protection for Mercury, Mariner, Force and Sport Jet 2-stroke engines.
- Reduction of corrosion of internal components
- Help keep engine performance and fuel consumption at the highest level
- Contains ashless dispersants
- Meets all recommendations of the manufacturers of outboards and watercraft for use
- Difficult to find in the store
Since a 2-stroke power comes from the crankcase, 2-stroke oil must be mixed with petrol for lubrication. This means that oil is also burned, which increases exhaust emissions, so 2-stroke oil requires completely different oil than 4-stroke outboard oil.
The 2-stroke outboard differs from the 4-stroke outboard in that there are only two movements that go up and down instead of four. The 2-stroke engine generates its power with two movements of the piston during one crankshaft revolution. A four-stroke engine needs four movements to generate power.
2-stroke oil is designed to mix with the oil and burns, so it is not advisable to use another oil such as 4-stroke or engine oil. When buying two-stroke oil, make sure that the oil is class TC-W3.
This is a marine industry standard (NNMA) which certifies that the oil provides adequate lubrication and engine protection. On the containers of the 2-stroke oil you will see a distinctive TC-W3 logo.
Due to emissions, you cannot buy a two-stroke engine from a new one anymore. Therefore, it is all the more important to use the right oil in your current two-stroke engines in order to increase their service life.
Below you will find a list of the best 2-stroke outboard oils to extend the life of your engine.
What is the difference between two strokes and four strokes?
A “stroke” refers to how many stages (cylinder/crankshaft movements) an internal combustion engine must pass through to complete a “power (working) stroke”.
In two-stroke engines (two-stroke), you have to mix the oil with the gas in precise quantities so that the oil acts as a lubricant for the crankcase, whereas four-stroke engines take oil and gas separately.
In a two-stroke engine, it takes one full revolution (2 stages) to complete one power stroke.
A four-stroke engine requires two revolutions (4 stages) to complete one power stroke.
2-cycle and 4-cycle oil
Since 2-stroke oil burns with the fuel, it should be processed more than 4-stroke oil. Also, 2-stroke oil should contain a number of additives. These include detergents to clean varnish and carbon deposits from combustion holes, anti-wear agents to protect moving parts, biodegradable components, and antioxidants. Oil for four-stroke engines also contains additives, but the oil is not designed for combustion, so the additives are of a different quality. In special cases, you may want to start a two-stroke engine by adding gas to the 4-stroke engine oil. But by no means do this. This will damage the engine and greatly reduce its service life. Also, do not use 2-stroke oil in a 4-stroke engine, as it is too thin and can cause permanent engine damage.
What brand of oil should you use in your 2-stroke boat?
Our first choice for the best two-stroke oil is the semi-synthetic 2-cycle oil from Lucas Oil. It is available in a variety of different sizes and works well in a range of different two-stroke engines. If you are looking for our most economical choice, take a look at Pennzoil Marine XLF 2-stroke oil.
Specifications and approvals for 2 stroke outboard oil
One of the main objectives of a two-stroke engine is to reduce emissions with the burned and unburned oil that has passed through the engine. And the development of quality oil that reduces the mixture-to-fuel ratio, which extends the life of the engine
Most current two-stroke outboard oils have a TC-W3 certification. This rating is an industry certification managed by the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), which operates most boat shows across the country. The TC-W3 rating replaced the former TC-WII rating sometime in the early 1990s, but the ratings were created in the 1980s when lead was phased out of our gasoline engines.
The industry has developed a test procedure to certify a basic and uniform level of lubrication and engine protection, and TC-W3 is the latest link in this development. The TC-W3 oils were specifically designed to ensure the cleanliness of the piston rings, and the lubricity was significantly improved compared to TC-WII oils.
Oils that are tested for certification by NMMA must pass a series of grueling tests to obtain TC-W3 certification. The NMMA testing procedures are carried out with four engines: a 40 hp and a 70 hp Evinrude, a 15 hp Mercury and a 50 hp Yamaha. The oils are subjected to specific tests in each engine. For example, the 40 hp outboard engine is used to test ring bonding, while the 70 hp outboard engine is used to test piston deposits. Each engine is tested for a different aspect of oil performance.
The design of marine gasoline engines, both two-stroke, and four-stroke, has progressed so far that engines with higher power output place high demands on the engine lubricant. Similarly, concerns about environmental pollution have increased the fuel/oil ratio, which in turn increases the demands on the lubricant. To help boaters identify lubricants that will give long life to engines developed by marine engine manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) has developed a program to certify these high quality lubricants.
The entire NMMA Marine Oil Certification Program consists of two parts, a certification program for oil additive packages and a registration program for oil brands that use certified oils.
Registration for marine oil brands is conducted annually. The TC-W3 symbol represents a marine oil designed for two-stroke marine engines, the FC-W symbol represents a marine oil designed for four-stroke marine engines, and the FC-W (CAT) symbol represents a marine oil suitable for four-stroke marine engines with exhaust aftertreatment catalysts.
If a 2-stroke marine oil meets or exceeds a certain number of criteria in each of the tests, it is given a TC-W3 rating and the containers in which the oil is subsequently sold may bear a TC-W3 emblem indicating that the marine oil has passed the tests. So is that all you need to know? Is it enough to buy a TC-W3 oil? That depends on who you ask.
API oil classification for 2-stroke engines
TA Obsolete Proposed classification for two-stroke engine oils required for extremely small engines, typically below 50 cc. Engine tests for this classification were in preparation when the Coordinating European Council (CEC) withdrew support for this category.
TB Obsolete Proposed classification for two-stroke engine oils required for scooter engines and other heavy-duty small engines, typically between 50 and 200 cc The test sponsor no longer needs this category and the classification has been withdrawn.
TC Current Designed for various high performance engines, typically between 200 and 500 cc, such as motorcycles and snowmobiles and chainsaws with high fuel oil content – but not for outboard engines. Two-stroke engine oils developed for API classification TC address problems with ring closure, pre-ignition and cylinder wear.
TD Obsolete Developed for water-cooled outboard engines, this classification uses the identical engine test as the one in the TC-W category of the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). API TD has been replaced and is no longer accepted by the NMMA, which now recommends oils that meet TC-W3 requirements for water-cooled outboard engines.
Popular models of boats with outboard engine
There are, however, certain brands that undoubtedly stand out from the crowd. In addition, while there is a good argument for any number of boat brands that deserve a presence on this list, if we look at the reports on consumer satisfaction, average resale value, total sales and search popularity, these boat brands are at the top.
Boston Whaler 420 Outrage
Centre consoles are popular because they do so many things really, really well. Bowriders are popular because of their versatile seating and family-friendly design. So what do you get when you combine the two? Something like the fantastic 420 Outrage by Boston Whaler, which, like a luxury SU, offers a balance of performance, luxury and versatility.
Formula 400 SSC
The formula is no stranger to offshore performance yachts – they invented it when the company switched from building championship-racing boats to more luxurious boats many years ago.
Monterey 385 SE
With its innovative cockpit layout, solid bow seating, main deck galley and luxurious amenities, Monterey’s 385 SE stands out from the best outboard cruisers available. The Triple Mercury or Yamaha with 300 or 350 hp outboards will take this big boy well over 50 miles per hour to match its racy appearance.
Pursuit OS 385 Offshore
Almost 40 feet long and powered by up to three Yamaha F350 V8s, the Pursuit OS 385 Offshore is equipped with so many standard features that there is not much left for the list of options. Bow thruster? Check it out. Air conditioning? Yes. Large LED TV? Yes, of course. There is also a full galley, a spacious head with shower, a comfortable bed for the night and a glass screen like those found on the latest fighter jets. Numerous rod holders, fish boxes, rod cabinets and a great stereo system allow you to spend the day fishing for tuna before stocking up for a gourmet meal and a good night’s rest. Who could not get used to this?
Regal 33 XO
Would you like to have your cake and eat it too? The all-new 33 XO from Regal is a new outboard version of the company’s long-popular 33 Express, offering shoppers the best of both worlds. However, the switch to outboard on the XO model frees up a ton of cockpit space, allowing a huge sun pad with multiple positions in the stern and a huge hospital on deck to be used for storage, while the original’s bathing platform and large bed remain available. With a killer fusion stereo system, a complete galley, an electric head, and even a 32-inch LED TV, you have a boat that everyone can love. With the two Yamaha F300s, the big shelf does not waste time getting from A to B.
How to mix two-stroke oil?
The ratio of the amount of oil for a boat motor to gasoline is determined by the intensity of engine operation. At high speeds, it is necessary to use the maximum ratio of 1:100, and fans of quiet walks can be limited to the concentration of 1:50.
Experienced owners recommend for ordinary fishing, walks to prepare a fuel mixture at a rate of about 1:70. Such a ratio will allow and unhurriedly move at idle speed, and, if necessary, to pass a certain area at maximum speed. Indeed, it’s not very convenient to carry two fuel cans of different compositions in the boat.
Two-stroke motor oil has the following composition: mineral oily base – 60%, solvent – 15-20%, clarified oil – 5-17%. The remainder consists, depending on the type of motor oil, of additional specific additives affecting the characteristics of the oil:
- improving the solubility of the 2-stroke oil
- protection of engine parts against corrosion
- effective removal of soot, soot
- reduction of fuel mixture smokiness
- optimal lubrication characteristics
As a rule, each manufacturer of boat engine oils has these or those additional components in different proportions, usually, the emphasis is on 2-3 components. Therefore, certain brands are used for different types of boat engines.
- Suzuki – for outboard boat engines, water ingress into the combustion chamber is critical. That is why the share of anticorrosive additives is considerably increased.
- Motul is the best oil for forced boat engines, due to which the fuel mixture ash content is reduced.
- Nissan, Tonatsu – a cheaper synthetic oil base is used, which is not inferior to the mineral base in terms of technical characteristics.
- Mercury – the main objective of effective additives is a significant reduction of smoke, providing optimum lubrication of moving parts and components of the gasoline two-stroke engine.
- Yamaha – the composition is focused on a significant reduction of smoke. Thanks to the increased ratio of clarified residual oils in the boat engine oils, the exhaust system rationally removes residual soot.
- Bombardier – synthetic components are used to bind soot particles, ash, and expel them to the outside.
The boat owners are free to choose a particular type of oil for the boat motor according to the type and characteristics of the 2-stroke engine. According to reviews, Parsun, Yamalube, Quicksilver 2-cycle oils have proven to be quite good. For the record, in many countries, the use of 2-stroke engines is prohibited due to non-compliance with environmental regulations.