GM dexos info

So the first thing to know is that GM's dexos engine oils are easy to figure out...once you read this anyway.

We'll get started by saying this:  If you own a 2011 or newer GM vehicle, your owner's manual may state that you must use a motor oil that is licensed or meets GM's dexos specifications to maintain your vehicle's warranty.

  • This means you can use dexos licensed oils, or oils not licensed by dexos™ but still meet the dexos specifications.  

  • If you see the trademarked dexos logo (shown on this page), you know it is a licensed dexos oil.

  • If there is no dexos logo on the product label, be sure it meets GM's dexos specifications required for your vehicle (the oil may say "meets or exceeds" "suitable for" "also recommended for"...when in doubt, ask the manufacturer if it meets/exceeds the dexos specs)

  • Your warranty will remain intact as long as you follow your Owner's Manual/OEM requirements. This does not limit your choices to only "licensed" products or an approval list.

Now keep in mind, there is dexos1and dexos2and they are different!

Easy to remember...almost.  dexos1™ is GENERALLY for gasoline engines and dexos2™ is GENERALLY for diesel engines.


2017 and older:  Use either dexos1™ Gen 1 or dexos1™ Gen 2

2018 and newer: Use dexos1 Gen 2


**The current dexos1 spec is called dexos1 Gen 2.  And it's fully backwards compatible.  So if you have an older vehicle (pre-2018) you use EITHER dexos1 Gen 1 or dexos1 Gen 2.  If the oil is for 2018+ vehicles use dexos1 Gen 2.

dexos1 oil are typically low HTHS** and are found in 0W-20, 5w-20, and 0W-30, and 5W-30 versions. 

Note: dexos1 is usually found with oils carrying other approvals or specs, most commonly API SN PLUS, API SN, and ILSAC GF-5.


Generally dexos2oils are Top Tier lower SAPS* lubricants designed for high performance gasoline and light duty diesel engines with aftertreatment (like DPFs / diesel particulate filters) systems. These oils are typically of a high HTHS** specification and are generally 5W-30 and 5W-40.

Note: dexos2 is usually found with oils carrying other approvals or specs, most commonly ACEA C3, BMW Longlife-04, VW 505 00 / 505 01, Porsche C30 or A40 (5W-40 only).

*SAPS refers to Sulphated Ash, Phosphorus, and Sulfur - levels of these components are often limited in Low-SAPS applications/specifications. 

**HTHS refers to High Temperature High Shear viscosity of engine oils - a critical property relating to durability of a running engine and fuel economy.  HTHS is becoming more of a consideration in engine oil formulations due to FE (fuel economy) and GHG (greenhouse gas) considerations and legislations.