Whether restoring an old classic or packing more power into a hot rod, one thing is certain: You need the best engine oil. After all, without it, your vehicle will quickly break down, and its performance will suffer. But with so many options on the market today, picking out the most reliable product for high-performance cars can be difficult. Don’t worry – I’ve got your back! Let’s check my top five picks and make the entire process easier.
The top best car oils I have tried are from the following brands: Mobi 1, Pennzoil Full Synthetic, Shell Rotella T6, Castrol GTX, and Valvoline Synthetic Blend. These brands have the utmost reputation for many years now, and their products have some of the highest-rating products on the market.
Engine oil, also known as motor oil, is a lubricant specifically designed for internal combustion engines. It is a crucial component in ensuring the smooth operation and longevity of an engine. Engine oil performs several vital functions, including lubricating moving parts to reduce friction and wear, cooling engine components, sealing gaps between parts, preventing corrosion and rust, and cleaning the engine by suspending contaminants and debris.
There are several types available, each formulated to meet specific requirements and conditions. Here are some common types:
- Conventional motor oil – Also known as mineral oil, it is derived from crude oil and undergoes refining processes. It provides basic engine protection and is suitable for regular driving conditions.
- Synthetic motor oil – Made through a complex chemical process, synthetic oil offers superior performance and protection. It is recommended for high-performance engines and extreme driving conditions.
- Synthetic blend motor oil – This type of oil combines both synthetic and conventional base oils. It is suitable for vehicles that require added performance but do not necessarily need full synthetic oil.
- High-mileage motor oil – Formulated specifically for older vehicles with high mileage, this oil contains additives that help reduce oil consumption, prevent leaks, and minimize engine wear. It is designed to address the needs of engines with worn seals and gaskets.
- Racing/performance motor oil – Engineered for high-performance and racing applications, these oils are formulated to handle extreme operating conditions, including high temperatures and heavy loads. They offer superior protection against heat and stress, ensuring optimal performance under demanding circumstances.
- Diesel engine oil – Diesel engines have specific requirements due to their design and operating conditions. Diesel engine oils are formulated to meet these needs, providing enhanced lubrication, soot control, and protection against wear and deposits.
The frequency of oil changes for your car can vary depending on several factors, such as the make and model of your vehicle, your driving habits, and the type of oil you use. As a general rule of thumb, it’s recommended to change oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles if you use conventional oil or every 7,500 to 10,000 miles if you use synthetic oil.
Mobil 1 Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30 Delivers Exceptional Performance and Protection
Mobil 1 Extended Performance full-synthetic motor oil 5W-30 is formulated with advanced synthetic base oils and a precise blend of additives. It provides outstanding lubrication and helps to keep engines running smoothly.
With its 5W-30 viscosity rating, Mobil 1 Synthetic Motor Oil flows easily in cold weather, ensuring quick engine start-ups and minimizing wear during initial start-up. It also maintains its stability under high temperatures, providing excellent protection against engine deposits, sludge, and varnish buildup.
Check out some of the key features that make this product one of the best engine oils on the market:
- Viscosity – 5W-30,
- Meets ILSAC GF-6A standards,
- Prevents and cleans buildup in engines.
- With oxidation-controlling additive,
- Protect up to 20,000 miles,
- Cost – $17 per fluid ounce.
Check out the table below for some pros and cons of this product.
|Helps improve fuel efficiency||Requires proper disposal|
|Resists high-temperature breakdown|
|Helps prevent sludge and deposit buildup|
Customer Reviews of Mobil 1 Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon with over 36,000 ratings is more than enough to show you how good this product is. Most comments point out the price and durability. However, some customers have mentioned that oil burned quickly.
Pennzoil full synthetic 5W-20 motor oil is among my best car engine oils. Formulated with PurePlus synthetic base oils, which are derived from natural gas instead of crude oil. This manufacturing process helps reduce the overall carbon footprint and environmental impact associated with traditional oil extraction and refining.
Add a proprietary blend of high-quality additives. It offers superior lubrication and helps to keep your engine running at its best. By reducing friction and wear on engine components, it helps optimize fuel consumption and reduce emissions.
Here are some of the key features of this product:
- Made with PurePlus Technology,
- Adds additional 550 miles per year,
- Carbon-neutral product,
- Improves fuel efficiency,
- Excellent cleaning power,
- Cost – $27 per fl. oz.
Check out the most important pros and cons of this Pennzoil oil.
|Meets or exceeds industry performance specifications||Some older vehicles may not require synthetic oil|
|Resists high-temperature breakdown|
|Prevents harmful sludge and deposit buildup|
Customer Reviews of Pennzoil Ultra Platinum
Again, 4.8 out of 5 stars is more than a good rating on Amazon. Many positive customer reviews tell us that this product meets or exceeds industry specifications, providing them with confidence in its performance.
Shell Rotella T6 excels in extreme temperatures, ensuring reliable cold starts and maintaining optimal viscosity even in high-temperature operations. It offers enhanced resistance against heat, oxidation, and deposits, allowing diesel engines to operate at their best.
This advanced synthetic engine oil offers exceptional protection, performance, and longevity for heavy-duty diesel engines. It is formulated with a combination of high-quality base oils and advanced additives, providing superior lubrication and minimizing wear under demanding conditions.
Here are some key features and specifications you need to know about this motor oil:
- Exceptional ability to protect and prolong the life of diesel engines,
- Effectively reduces engine wear,
- Extend oil drain intervals,
- Resists viscosity loss,
- Cost – $20 per fl. oz.
Check the pros and cons of this motor oil in the table below.
|Trusted brand with a strong reputation||Designed specifically for diesel engines|
|Improved fuel efficiency and potential cost savings|
|Enhanced resistance to high temperatures|
Customer Reviews of Shell Rotella T6 5W-40
Here, the overall rating score on Amazon is a bit lower – 4.2 out of 5 stars, but that doesn’t lower its efficiency. The brand’s reputation and trustworthiness in the automotive industry have been mentioned as significant factors in choosing this product. However, there are some comments about receiving leaking containers.
Castrol GTX 10W-30 Conventional Motor Oil is a reliable and affordable engine oil that offers excellent protection and performance for car engines, making it an ideal choice for those on a budget. It is specifically formulated to meet the needs of older and high-mileage engines.
With its 10W-30 viscosity rating, Castrol GTX flows smoothly in both cold and hot temperatures, ensuring quick engine start-ups and consistent lubrication. This helps reduce wear on engine components and prolong engine life.
Here are the specifications you need to know about this product:
- GTX 10W-30 provides effective protection against sludge, deposits, and engine buildup,
- 10W-30 viscosity rating ensures quick starts throughout various weather conditions,
- Suitable for older vehicle models,
- Provides a protective barrier against corrosion and rust,
- Cost – $15 per fl. oz.
Check all the pros and cons of this product in the table below.
|Effective engine wear protection||May require more frequent oil changes|
|The anti-sludge formula helps maintain engine cleanliness|
|Provides corrosion and rust protection|
Customer Reviews of Castrol GTX 10W-30
Customers generally appreciate the Castrol GTX 10W-30’s reliable engine protection and performance. Many have reported smooth engine operation, reduced wear, and improved overall engine health after using this motor oil. The oil’s ability to prevent sludge and deposits has been mentioned positively, with customers noting cleaner engines and reduced maintenance requirements. That’s why the Amazon ratings are 4.8 out of 5 stars.
Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife Technology 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is specifically designed for vehicles with high mileage. This motor oil combines synthetic and conventional base oils with Valvoline’s MaxLife Technology, providing superior protection and performance for aging engines.
With its 5W-30 viscosity rating, Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife Technology flows smoothly at both low and high temperatures, ensuring quick engine start-ups and consistent lubrication. It helps reduce friction and wear, combating the effects of engine aging and extending the life of vital engine components.
Check out the key features of this product:
- MaxLife technology offers excellent engine protection and increased resistance to oxidation,
- Suitable for high-mileage engines,
- Improved fuel efficiency,
- Prevent sludge with included detergents,
- Cost – $14 per fl. oz.
Make sure to check the pros and cons of Valvoline motor oil in the table below.
|Help rejuvenate seals and gaskets in high-mileage engines||The synthetic blend may not offer the same benefits as full synthetic oil|
|Suitable option for owners of older vehicles|
|Minimizes the formation of deposits and sludge|
Customer Reviews of Valvoline High Mileage Synthetic Blend
Like most products on my list, this also has 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The cleaning properties of Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife Technology have been praised by customers, with several noting cleaner engines and reduced deposits. This helps to maintain engine health and longevity. However, there are some comments where customers report they have received leaking bottles.
How to Choose the Best Engine Oil?
Narrow down your options and find the best product for your vehicle while following some important criteria. Here’s what you should consider:
Check your vehicle owner’s manual or consult with a professional to determine the recommended viscosity grade and oil specifications for your engine. Different engines have specific requirements that must be met to ensure optimal performance and protection.
Consider the typical driving conditions you encounter. If you are driving frequently in extreme temperatures, you may need oil with better heat resistance and added protection against wear. Alternatively, for regular commuting in moderate conditions, standard oil may suffice.
Decide between conventional, synthetic, or synthetic blend oils. Conventional oils are suitable for regular driving conditions, while synthetic oils offer superior performance, better resistance to temperature extremes, and improved engine protection. Synthetic blend oils strike a balance between performance and affordability.
Before buying engine oil for your car, consider the following tips to ensure you select the best product:
- Check your car’s owner manual – The owner manual provides specific recommendations for the type of engine oil suitable for your car. Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure compatibility and optimal performance.
- Look for quality certifications – Check for reputable quality certifications on the oil product, such as API (American Petroleum Institute) or ILSAC (International Lubricant Standardization and Approval Committee). These certifications ensure that the oil meets industry standards and requirements.
- Evaluate customer reviews and recommendations – Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from trusted sources, such as car enthusiasts or professionals, to gather insights about different brands and products. Real-world experiences can provide valuable information to make an informed decision.
By following these tips, you can make a more informed decision when choosing the best engine oil for your car, ensuring optimal performance, protection, and longevity for your engine.
Selecting the best engine oil for your vehicle is a crucial decision that can significantly impact its performance and longevity. With a multitude of options available, considering factors such as vehicle specifications, driving conditions, and oil type is essential to make an informed choice. Trust me, you’ll feel all the difference.