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Can I Use Dexos Gen 3 Instead of Gen 2? The Ultimate Guide.

Published by Dustin Babich on

No, you cannot use dexos gen 3 instead of gen 2. dexos is a specification introduced by general motors for engine oil. The latest version of this specification is the gen 3, which offers improved performance and protection for modern engines.

However, gen 3 oils are not backwards compatible with gen 2 engines, as they have different requirements and formulations. Attempting to use gen 3 oils in gen 2 engines could result in damage and poor performance. It is essential to use the correct oil specification for your engine to ensure its longevity and optimal operation.

Always consult your vehicle’s user manual or a reputable mechanic for advice on the recommended oil for your engine.

Understanding Dexos

Dexos is a globally recognized engine oil specification that is designed to improve engine performance and fuel efficiency. Gen 2 dexos is a specification primarily designed to enhance fuel economy, engine protection, and performance while minimizing harmful emissions. Vehicles built after 2011 are recommended to use this specification.

On the other hand, gen 3 dexos is an upgraded specification designed to provide better wear protection, piston cleanliness, low speed pre-ignitions, and sludge control. It is recommended for vehicles manufactured after 2018. One significant difference between these specifications is that gen 3 focuses more on reducing engine wear and tear compared to gen 2.

However, it is crucial to note that you should always refer to the vehicle’s owner manual or consult with your mechanic before using any engine oil specification to avoid causing engine damage or invalidating warranties.

Compatibility Issues

Using the wrong specification oil can cause damage to your vehicle. Dexos gen 2 and gen 3 are not interchangeable but can sometimes be used in place of each other. However, there are compatibility issues and it is recommended to stick with the specification recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.

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Using the wrong oil can result in reduced fuel efficiency, wear and tear on engine parts, and potentially more severe engine damage. Be sure to always check the oil specifications your vehicle requires before making any changes or substitutions.

Advantages Of Using Dexos Gen 3

Dexos gen 3 is an improved version of gen 2 that offers many advantages. Engine protection is better, resulting in fewer breakdowns and reduced maintenance costs. Improved fuel efficiency means drivers can achieve greater mileage and save money on gas.

Dexos gen 3 also produces fewer emissions, contributing to a cleaner environment. Since dexos gen 3 is a newer version, it may be more difficult to find and predictably more expensive. However, the benefits may outweigh the cost for those who prioritize engine health and the environment.

Be sure to check if your vehicle is compatible with dexos gen 3 before making the switch.

How To Ensure You Use The Correct Dexos Specification

Using the correct dexos specification for your vehicle’s oil is important. Check your owner’s manual to see if it requires dexos gen 2 or gen 3. If you’re unsure, consult a mechanic. You can also identify the dexos labels on oil containers.

Ensure that you use the correct specification to keep your engine running smoothly and avoid any potential damage or costly repairs. Don’t risk using the wrong dexos specification – take the time to check and be sure.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can I Use Dexos Gen 3 Instead Of Gen 2

Can I Use Dexos Gen 3 Oil In A Car That Requires Gen 2?

Yes, according to general motors, dexos gen 3 oil is backward compatible with vehicles that require dexos gen 2. However, it’s always best to consult your vehicle’s owner manual first to ensure the appropriate oil is used.

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What Are The Differences Between Dexos Gen 3 And Gen 2?

Dexos gen 3 has been upgraded to provide better performance, improved fuel efficiency, and increased protection against low-speed pre-ignition, as well as more stringent requirements for viscosity, aeration, and oil volatilization.

Is Dexos Gen 3 More Expensive Than Gen 2?

While the price of oil varies based on brand, dexos gen 3 is often more expensive than dexos gen 2 because of its higher performance and improved formulations, which require more advanced additives and processing techniques, which ultimately increase the production costs.


As we can see, dexos gen 3 and gen 2 have their own set of specifications and requirements. They are specific in nature and should be utilized according to the standards set by general motors. While it is possible to use gen 3 instead of gen 2, it is not recommended to do so.

Using a dexos gen 3 oil in vehicles designed for gen 2 can, in some cases, lead to engine damage, causing a significant loss of performance and economy. Although dexos gen 3 oils offer an improved formulation, gen 2 oils are still widely available and meet the criteria set by general motors.

To ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your vehicle, it is best to stick to the recommended oil specifications set for your vehicle, such as dexos gen 2. By doing so, you can save money, time and prevent possible harm to your engine and road safety.

Dustin Babich

Dustin Babich

Dustin Babich

As the passionate author behind, Dustin Babich is a knowledgeable expert in all things automotive. With a deep understanding of car tools, equipment, engines, and troubleshooting techniques, Dustin Babich shares invaluable insights, practical tips, and effective solutions to empower readers in overcoming car-related challenges.


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