Old engine oil as chain lube?

Some people say you can, some people say you can’t (or shouldn’t). Thoughts?

Tried some today but ended up with a ridiculous amount of tyre fling which wasn’t fun.

Was just trying to find a use for old engine oil.

You could boil it up and use it against attacking forces at the gates .

Back in the 70s my sister’s boyfriend convinced me that he had read that painting engine oil on the bottom of a car was a good alternative to the aftermarket underseal available then. I can still smell the old engine oil as I type! I have no idea what it did for his wreck of a car, but I learned an important lesson about the consequences of lying under a car with a brush and a can of engine oil!

Poor idea as the bits of metal that wear off from your engine internals, bits of gearbox and whatnot, will be in your used engine oil - the filter won’t get everything. Putting this on your chain should create a nice grinding paste with lots of metal in it to wear the rubber O rings in your chain out. Plus old engine oil is pretty toxic and harmful to the environment - it should be disposed of properly rather than thrown out over your chain and tyre, and onto the road and down the drains.

I’m still using car engine oil I bought in about 1997 on my chain. The stuff never seems to run out. I use it to top up the ‘bottle with pointy nozzle’ I use to oil then inner run of O rings whilst turning the back wheel when ever it looks dry. I was getting 30,000 miles from my Varadero chains using this method.

Please don’t take this the wrong way but a can of proper chain wax that a company has spent hundreds of thousands of pounds developing to do the correct job is under a fiver, so why would you use something that is not only potentially dangerous but not meant for that use???

that alone should be enough to consider it a bad idea.

Burn it.

Take it to your local recycling centre

Old engine oil contains blow by gasses which are corrosive :w00t:

If its no longer fit to lubricating your engine why would you think it fit to lubricate your chain :ermm:

Good replacement for olive oil for salads :smiley:

Because they’re quite different? Engines are relatively clean, high-speed, low-tolerance, complex systems with a bunch of meshing gears and little chains and stuff that both obviously require good and consistent lubrication and are probably prone to destroying the polymer chains that make the oil work, and drive chains are crude heavily-loaded pins-and-plates things with comparably little actual movement hanging around in the tyre spray.

With all that said, i still wouldn’t use it when you can get the proper stuff for a fiver! If i had to start looking at ways to save a fiver by recycling something to use in a way it wasn’t designed to be used then i would have to seriously think that i couldn’t realistically afford to run my Bike. Also, chain maintenance is so important, to just squirt some 18 year old used engine oil on it “whenever it looks dry” is crazy, what about cleaning it? any chain can last 30,000 miles, but that doesn’t mean it is in proper working condition. i bet a chain that is cleaned and waxed religously is in much better condition after 15,000 miles than one that is topped up with old oil when it looks dry and is only 5,000 miles old!! it is crazy to cut corners with the part of your bike that will kill you if it fails at speed!!

I use new engine oil, there’s usually plenty left over from a service. I put it into an empty ‘fruit shoot’ bottle which I keep under the seat. After all, lubing the chain with engine oil is what the service manual recommends.

Really :w00t:

i’d be so worried about it flinging onto my back tyre and throwing me off! i think i’ll stick to cleaning and wax out of an aerosole can. i know getting wax on the tyre can be dangerous but i put a cloth behind the chain and spray onto the chain so all overspray hits the cloth, then spin the wheel to do the next section until the whole chain is done, i then leave it over night to dry so there is no fling from wet wax, i’m pretty sure engine oil won’t dry to a sticky enough substance to avoid flinging off into the path of the tyre

Just need to run some tubing from fruit shoot bottle, fit some form of restriction to drip drip the oil onto the chain and we’ve invented the Scott Oiler :Whistling:

Exactamundo :smiley:

Haynes manual states not to use any “Drive chain oil” as it might damage O rings and suggests to use heavy motor oil.

Yeah, but this wouldn’t be motorcycling without a bunch of contradictory manuals and inherited superstition.

I suspect, though, that in that caption haynes mean you shouldn’t use stuff designed for industrial drive chains (which tend to be indoors and so not have very much rubber), not that you shouldn’t use stuff sold as being for motorbike chains.

Well if it works then stick to it, but personally i will be sticking to the spray can of wax. it’s what i feel safe with and what i’ve used since i started riding bikes so i’m stuck in my ways :smiley:

Might be, just wanted to share this bizarre statement :smiley: Anyway according to manual it is fine to use motor oil (just not used one maybe).

Absolutely, as do I. I don’t smother the chain in the stuff, just enough for lubrication. I don’t get much fling off at all. If it’s dripping off the chain then it’s too much. Latest chain around 20k with no tight spots and hardly any adjustment required in that time. I have a can of chain wax to hand but I rarely use it.