As a technology leader in lubricants, Castrol formulates engine oils that can be used in 4 cycle engines and 2 cycle engines. But how are 2 and 4 cycle engines different? Essentially the numbers 2 and 4 refer to the number of piston strokes the engine takes to cover the complete fuel combustion and exhaust process.
A 4- cycle engine operates through 4 distinct strokes or cycles of the piston Below are the 4 stages of a 4 cycle engine:
A 2- cycle engine goes through the same process of induction, compression, power and exhaust but does so with the piston undertaking 2 strokes (up and then down).
Here induction and compression occur in one piston stroke and ignition (power) and exhaust occurs in the second piston stroke. In addition, the fuel is combined with the oil and together burned during the ignition stage.
Today 4 stroke engines are the preferred design for passenger cars and trucks. They are also used in motorcycles, lawn mowers and in recent time outboard engines.
2 stroke engines are common on small devices such a garden equipment but also are used on motorcycles and outboards. 2 strokes have the advantage of a high power to weight ratio (high power from a small engine) making them ideal for handheld equipment.
Engine oil formulations and specifications are very different for 4 cycle and 2 cycle engines.
A 4-stroke engine oil should never be used in a 2- stroke engine and a 2 Stroke engine oil should never be used in a 4-stroke engine. Always follow your manufacturers recommendation for proper oil specification and grade