What Is Cylinder Oil: Cylinder Oil Vs Engine Oil?

Cylinder oil and engine oil are two different types of oils. These two oils have different goals, ingredients, and others. For this reason, these two oils have plenty of differences. So, what is the difference between these two oils?

Cylinder oil Vs engine oil is a common debate when people want to consider any of them. However, Cylinder oil is fully designed for marine or steam engines. On the other hand, engine oil is designed for road types of vehicle engines.

What Is Cylinder Oil?

Cylinder oil is a heavy-duty mineral lubricating oil. This oil is used for steam engines or marine engines. Cylinder oil protects the marine engine from corrosion and cleans the combustion chamber and components.

On the contrary, this type of oil is also designed for lubricant piston rings to reduce friction between the liners and rings and also provide a robust seal between these two elements. Overall, oil is a good solution for marine engines and makes the engine long-lasting.

Cylinder Oil Vs Engine Oil

Properties of Cylinder Lubricating Oil

Cylinder lubricating oil has so many properties which make this oil strong and effective for the marine engine. But what are the actual properties of Cylinder lubricating oil?

  • Good detergency
  • High TBN and TBN retention capability
  • A good amount of anti-wear property
  • Thermal stability and high oxidation
  • Should burn the fluid without forming residues

These are the core properties of Cylinder lubricating oil. The properties make the engine stronger and a long-time runner

What Is Engine Oil?

Engine oil typically uses two basic ingredients: base oil and additives. The base oil constitutes 70-90% of the total. On the other hand, additives come with 10-30% of various things. The engine oil is used to reduce friction and minimize unnecessary loss of power.

Quality engine oil burns the fuel more effectively so that your vehicle engine produces better performance. Moreover, engine oil is ready to keep the engine cool and protect the engine from wear, corrosion, and rust.

Cylinder Oil Vs Engine Oil

Now, you have individual information about these two oils. But what are the basic differences between these two oils?


Engine oil comes with basic oil and additives formula. This formula protects the engine from rust, wear, and corrosion and keeps the engine cool to use for a long time. Similarly, Cylinder oil comes with slightly refined petroleum oil.


Engine oil is used for any vehicles engine without a marine engine. This oil is used to protect and keep the vehicle engine cool. It is not only good enough for vehicle engine protection, but also you can apply the oil to reduce the loss of power.

On the contrary, Cylinder oil is only designed for marine engines or steam engines. This type of oil is ready to protect the marine engine from corrosion and rust. And added that the oil makes the engines longer life to use.


Both of these two oils are popular. Engine oil is much more popular on the vehicle’s engine; of course, it is only among road vehicles. Similarly, Cylinder oil is much popular on marine engines. This oil is widely used on the marine engine because of making the engine longer life.

A Comparison Chart of Cylinder Oil & Engine Oil

Cylinder OilEngine Oil
Cylinder oil is designed for marine engines or steam enginesEngine oil is designed for road-type vehicle engines
It is manufactured with slightly refined petroleum oilEngine oils have two parts such as basic oil, and another one is additive
Cylinder oil comes with high-performance, high viscosityThe manufacturer applied lower viscosity on the engine oil
Reduce friction and allows the engine to run in cold weatherIt is also ready to reduce friction from the engine but not like Cylinder oil

Types of Marine Lubricants

In the discussion of cylinder oil, there another type of oil comes into the topic automatically; that is marine engine oil. There are 4-different types of marine lubricants on the market. Here is detailed information about the following 4 marine lubricants.

1. Hydrodynamic Lubrications

This type of marine lubricant creates a thick film. It has two metal surfaces that move and create films relative to each other.

2. Hydrostatic Lubrication

This lubrication is designed to prevent the film’s creation from moving part. The lubrication also depends on the intel pressure of the oil.

3. Boundary Lubrications

Boundary lubrication is used when the creation is not fully-fluid films possible. Boundless lubrications are widely used when the speed is very low or the load extremely high.

4. Elastohydrodynamic Lubrications

This oil changes the shape and thickness of the lubricant film in the contact. It often contacts rolling and sliding surfaces.

FAQs (Frequently Ask Questions)

Q: What is steam cylinder oil?

Answer: Steam cylinder oil is a type of oil used on a marine engine. It is a lighter-grade compounded oil formula for the steam cylinder.

Q: What oil should I use for steam?

Answer: There are different types of oil on the market for steam. You can use cylinder oil to get better performance. On the other hand, you will also use Eucalyptus oil to get better performance.

Q: What is the purpose of cylinder oil?

Answer: The main purpose of cylinder oil is to seal the interface between the piston ring and the liner. On the other hand, it is also used for protecting the engines against corrosion, wear, and other harmful things.

Q: Is crankcase oil the same as engine oil?

Answer: The crankcase oil’s other name is engine or motor oil. Crankcase oil is used in a motor vehicle when the oil is changed.


Cylinder oil is a type of lubricant oil. Engine oil is used for road types of vehicle engines to protect the engine from corrosion, rust, and wear. Moreover, Cylinder oil is basically for marine engine and keep the engine coolant. On the other hand, motor oil is used to protect the engine from wear, high pressure, and corrosion, making the engine long-life.


Emon is Lubricants specialist who studied on Petroleum Engineering in UAE. He have more than 10 years experience on different kinds of lubrication including automobile troubleshooting.