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6 Differences Between Dexos 1 And Dexos 2

Dexos oils are completely synthetic, with a few carefully selected additives added to fit the needs of certain General Motors engines. These oils are designed to improve your vehicle’s mileage while still providing maximum engine protection.

If you have a GM vehicle, you might not have a choice when it comes to using Dexos oils or a similar synthetic oil that meets its specifications after your vehicle has passed a certain number of miles, as oil-related damage can void your warranty.

Dexos oils also help to extend the life of your engine, which is why they have made a name for themselves globally. These oils became so well-known and widely utilized over time that the brand created two unique formulations – Dexos 1 and Dexos 2.

Despite the oils belonging to the same brand, there are certain features that differentiate them, so let’s take a look at what they have to offer and what makes them different.

What Is Dexos 1?

Dexos 1 was first released in 2004 as a diesel engine fuel system lubricant. The fuel was required by automakers to be utilized in vehicles from 2004 onwards. The synthetic fuel had to include an additive that was required to pass American Petroleum Institute’s (API) CK-4 specification before car manufacturers could add the Dexos logo on any engines in their vehicles.

Dexos 1 is a high-performance fuel system oil that assists in preventing diesel engines from being damaged by the presence of Sulphur in fuel. It also aids in the cleaning and smooth operation of the engine.

However, Dexos 1 is designed purely for diesel engines and should not be used in gasoline engines.

What Is Dexos 2?

When Dexos 1 was introduced to the market, the additive had to meet the American Petroleum Institute’s (API) standard CJ-4 in order for a vehicle manufacturer to add the Dexos badge on their engines. However, this specification was updated in 2016 and renamed as the specification CJ-4+. As a result, “Dexos 2” emerged as a new product that complies with the updated API standard rather than being an updated version of Dexos 1.

Dexos 2 is a high-performance fuel system oil that is used to protect diesel engines from any sulfur-related damage. It also aids in the cleaning and smooth operation of the engine. While it shares some similarities with Dexos 1, the Dexos 2 is suitable for use in both diesel and gasoline engines.

Difference Between Dexos 1 And Dexos 2

Engine Compatibility

While both of these oils are worth a try in gasoline engines, Dexos 1 lubricants should never be used in diesel engines. Dexos 2, on the other hand, was designed specifically for such engines and performed superbly in all current gasoline and diesel engines.

If you’re searching for an engine oil that can handle all types of cars, Dexos 2 is a wonderful option, especially considering it also works well with gasoline engines.

API Specifications

Dexos 1 first entered the market in 2004 as a diesel engine fuel system lubricant that met the API standard CK-4. Dexos 2 was released as a fuel system lubricant for both diesel and gasoline engines that satisfy API standard CJ-4+.

These different specifications include different levels of trace substances and additives for improved engine performance.

Geographical Market

The different lubricants were designed to function optimally in different geographical locations. The different lubricants were created to work well in various geographical areas. The Dexos 1 was intended for engines that ran in countries in the Northern American and Asian continents, whereas the Dexos 2 was created for engines that primarily ran in European countries.

Temperature Effects

Dexos 1 outperforms Dexos 2 in terms of temperature suitability. The Dexos 1 is capable of preserving the engine from degrading at higher temperatures, but it also works well in lower temperatures to prevent the liquid from solidifying.

This is why the Dexos 1 is recommended for a wide range of locales, including North America and most Asian countries, with landscapes ranging from deserts to snowcapped areas.

Dexos 2, on the other hand, is superior when used solely in specified temperature ranges. It won’t stop the engine from damaging at a higher temperature. It can, however, readily maintain its fluid state in colder climates.  That’s why this oil is most commonly recommended for usage solely in Europe.

Car Model Compatibility

Dexos 1 oils are ideal for car models made after 2011, whilst Dexos 2 oils are likewise suitable for models created after 2011, but they may also be used on older models. Dexos 1 was also created with the intention of being used in General Motors vehicles.

Dexos 2, on the other hand, is not limited to GM cars and may be utilized in any diesel or gasoline engine.


Dexos 1 and Dexos 2 are both high-quality solutions that protect your car engines from sulfur-related damage. Dexos 2, on the other hand, was built expressly to fulfill the new API specification CJ-4+, making it suitable for being used in gasoline engines and enhancing the vehicle’s performance.

Final Thoughts

Dexos 1 and Dexos 2 are high-quality fuel system lubricants used to safeguard diesel and gasoline engines from sulfur-related damage. These lubricants cannot be easily interchanged as they possess different formulations and properties, which is why it is best to determine their use by going through the car’s user manual. 

If your vehicle’s owner’s guide doesn’t talk about Dexos 1 or Dexos 2 for lubrication, you may presume it doesn’t need them. However, if one or both of these items are listed, use the one that is advised for your vehicle, or reach out to the company to ascertain which oil would be the best for your car.