Sometimes, cars need an extra boost from high mileage oil. With so many brands and options to choose from, it is tough to choose one. What is the best high mileage oil?
In no particular order, here are the 7 best high mileage oils for your car or truck:
- Valvoline 10W-30 MaxLife
- Castrol GTX
- Mobil 1
- Royal Purple HMX
Read on to learn more about the best motor oils for high mileage engines and what separates the good from the great.
Best High Mileage Oil [Top 7 Engine Oils]
1. Valvoline 10W-30 MaxLife
The first on the list is not just your run-in-the-mill motor oil. Valvoline MaxLife is a reliable classic specifically made to meet the needs of higher mileage vehicles.
What makes Valvoline 10W-30 oil incredible is that it goes above and beyond high mileage. It is also great for maximizing the longevity of your car. At present, Valvoline Maxlife is compatible with engines that have already racked up to 300,000 miles. This makes Valvoline a perfect match for older models.
This should come as no surprise. Its manufacturer, Valvoline Inc., has been in the premium lubricants and automotive services business since 1896.
Valvoline MaxLife also restores engine health. The secret? Blended additives. The synthetic motor oil contains antioxidants to maintain viscosity amidst temperature changes. Detergents and dispersants clean the engine. Lubrication is another welcomed bonus.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, enhanced anti-wear additives help prevent auto-engine breakdown. They also remove sludge and prevent sludge and deposit build-up. Valvoline MaxLife contains seal conditioners that refresh broken engine seals. These seal conditioners treat and prevent oil leaks.
Perhaps, the only potential drawback for Valvoline MaxLife is its exclusive use. This synthetic motor oil is not advisable to be used in newer engines. Unlike the rest, it is impossible to combine Valvoline MaxLife with other common oils.
Still, Valvoline MaxLife comes highly recommended among dealers and car enthusiasts. The best part? There are no major trade-offs. Unlike other motor oils available in the market, Valvoline Maxlife does not sacrifice performance and price. Take the additives into account, and you get a winner.
The show does go on, and so do Valvoline MaxLife powered engines.
2. Castrol GTX
Next on our list of the best oil for high mileage driving is Castrol GTX. Castrol has been in the automotive lubricant business since 1899. It is no wonder a brand known for expertise delivers one of the best high mileage synthetic oil in the industry. Castrol GTX 10W-30 is a guaranteed smash hit to cars over 75,000 miles.
Castrol GTX motor oil steals the spotlight as a reliable high mileage and performance oil. It contains superior oil burn-off protection and world-class detergency that prevents deposit build-up. Seal conditioners also reduce leaks. Advanced additives prevent engine wear. Above all, Castrol GTX exceeds ILSAC GF-5 and API SN standards.
Unlike Valvoline 10W-30, Castrol GTX isn’t the best for flushing sludge. Some drivers also reported burns. A heavy oil filter may be necessary for other instances.
However, Castrol GTX is not only limited to older models. As a matter of fact, you can use this product in other gasoline engines like lawnmowers. Talk about flexibility!
What makes Castrol GTX extra special is it reduces sound produced by noisy engines. This is made possible through its fluid titanium technology. By forming a film on top of the engine’s moving parts, Castrol GTX reduces friction between parts. The fluid titanium technology also helps achieve maximum engine performance.
With Castrol GTX, you’ll be enjoying smooth and silent long-hour drives for many miles to come.
3. Mobil 1
This high mileage synthetic oil has a loyal customer base – and for a good reason. Among the different high mileage oils in the market, Mobil 1 specializes in resilience.
Mobil 1 is more resistant to extreme weather conditions thanks to its high viscosity index. Car owners living in sub-zero temperatures 24/7 can finally rejoice! Thanks to Mobil 1, starting cars early in the freezing morning will no longer be an issue. The bitter cold often causes problems with engines. Mobil 1 synthetic motor oil fixes that.
Mobil 1 also addresses several issues that are par for the course with higher mileage vehicles. Through additives, this high mileage synthetic oil takes care of sludge buildup, rust, and oxidation. Mobil 1 also has top-notch seal conditioning. This comes in handy because most engines have rubber-made seals that shrink, get brittle, and eventually break apart.
Mobil 1 is certainly one of Mobil’s commercially successful oil and gas products. Founded in 1911 as the Standard Oil Company of New York, Mobil merged with Exxon in 1999 to form ExxonMobil. Mobil recommends shorter intervals of 3,000-5000 miles during the first two or three oil changes. Shorter intervals help reduce built-up sludge. This extends the vehicle’s lifespan to be around 15,000 miles between changes.
Mobil 1 leans more on the expensive side of the best high mileage oils. However, Mobil 1 oil is suitable for use in all vehicles. Add its excellent temperature resistance to the equation, and you get a high mileage superstar.
So the next time your high mileage vehicle hits the road in winter, do not fret. The cold never bothered Mobil 1 anyway.
4. Royal Purple HMX
Another excellent addition to our list of the best motor oil for high mileage engines is Royal Purple HMX. The aptly named Royal Purple HMX is a powerhouse among the best synthetic motor oils. Based in Texas, Royal Purple aims “to develop products that significantly outperform other synthetic and mineral-based oils.” True to its word, Royal Purple HMX minimizes wear and restores lost engine performance.
Royal Purple HMX is renowned among car enthusiasts for its minimal oil consumption. In other words, you can go longer in between oil changes. Royal Purple HMX gives exceptional oxidation stability. It also provides maximum protection against oil sludge buildup.
Like other top-tier high mileage oils, Royal Purple HMX is fortified with additives including zinc and phosphorus-based anti-wear. Royal Purple HMX also reduces engine deposits. Superior corrosion protection is guaranteed.
This high mileage synthetic oil may require you to pay a little extra compared to other brands. But what else can you expect from royalty? With Royal Purple HMX, your high mileage engine’s performance can reach beyond 75,000 miles.
Royal Purple HMX is a golden opportunity you cannot miss.
Pennzoil is another great option for high mileage oils. The Pennzoil oil company has been an industry leader for several years. Pennzoil’s greatest strength is its compatibility. Unlike other brands featured in this list, Pennzoil can be used for most engines.
Pennzoil has additives and active cleansing agents. Like Castrol GTX, Pennzoil is a synthetic blend formula that is as affordable as other conventional oils on the market. It is also specifically made for engines with 75,000 or more miles. Better protection without extra cost? Consider me Pennzoil sold!
If that was not enough, Pennzoil is fantastic for older engines. Most aged vehicles were manufactured to run on petroleum-based oil. While synthetic oil is great at removing deposits, this may not be the case with older engines. Synthetic oil may actually remove some parts that would help seal older engines. Pennzoil contains 100% petroleum-grade materials.
Pennzoil not only works wonders for older engines. With this high mileage oil, vehicles with turbocharged engines can be protected against Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI) too. Pennzoil contains additives to strengthen rubber seals and enhance engine performance. It is arguably the best high mileage synthetic oil for your car or truck.
Pennzoil, though compatible with most vehicles, is not API SN plus. This means Pennzoil may not fully protect your turbocharged engine from Low-Speed PreIgnition (LSPI). Pennzoil may also require you to shelve out a few extra bucks.
As long as your engine is not turbocharged, Pennzoil is worth considering. Pennzoil has thermal oxidation ability, which lubricates the motor. This does an excellent job of preventing leaks. Pennzoil also encourages you to save by lowering fuel consumption.
Next on our list of the best high mileage oil is Amsoil. Amsoil Synthetic Motor Oil is harder to find, and it is more expensive, all because it is a better oil.
So why is it considered one of the best motor oils for high mileage engines?
For one, Amsoil offers multi-functionality and wear protection. It works well for all engines. Amsoil, however, shines the brightest in higher mileage vehicles. Older high mileage vehicles also benefit from Amsoil’s additives.
Amsoil’s next strength lies in its formulation. It is specifically designed to be effective and reduce wear for longer periods of time. The intervals between oil changes are significantly longer than other brands. By resisting the buildup of slides and deposits, Amsoil ensures excellent performance. This ensures a cleaner, longer-lasting engine.
Above all, Amsoil’s higher viscosity ensures extra protection for veteran vehicles.
AmazonBasics is far from your average motor oil. Striking a great balance between price and performance, AmazonBasics places maintenance at the heart of its formula.
AmazonBasics’ patented formula is known to reduce friction, thus decreasing wear and tear. It is resistant to thermal breakdown as well. This makes AmazonBasics a dependable high mileage oil regardless of the temperature outside. It doesn’t hurt that AmazonBasics also has rust inhibitors and anti-wear agents.
AmazonBasics is great at improving fuel economy. However, it is not for cleaning out sludge. Hence, AmazonBasics do not have detergents and dispersants. It does not last long compared to other brands too. While its synthetic formula may not work well with older vehicles, AmazonBasics is an instant hit for newer, high mileage models post-1993.
In doubt of its quality? AmazonBasics is one of the highly-rated high mileage synthetic oils. AmazonBasics has received the API SN Plus, Dexos ILSAC, Gen 2, and GF-5. It is also available in several viscosity varieties.
So when it comes to the best oil for high mileage, AmazonBasics is a certified champion.
What Makes a High Mileage Oil Great
Check your High Mileage Oil container. Did you spot the “XW-XX” classification? If yes, then you just found the viscosity level.
Why does this matter?
Viscosity – believe it or not – can be a deal-breaker or a game-changer for your motor oil. See, the best high mileage motor oils have to withstand extreme temperatures, both high and low. At the same time, these motor oils have to maintain their viscosity or resistance to flow.
Since oil thins out when it gets hot and thickens when it gets cold, a higher viscosity is better. Higher viscosity levels mean the motor oil is better in sealing and lubricating the moving parts of your engine.
Let’s go back to the viscosity level you spotted, the “XXW-XX,” where x is a value. Let’s use 10W-30 as an example. The number 10 refers to the oil’s flow at zero degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, the number 30 refers to the oil’s viscosity at one hundred degrees Celsius.
The lower the first number, the less thick the oil becomes in cold weather. This is why you need to choose an oil that has a low first value or oil with low winter viscosity, such as 10W.
The opposite is true in summer. You want your viscosity to be higher than your second value when you want higher viscosity, like 30. To learn more about viscosity, see Can I Use 5W-30 Instead of 5W-20?
You have seen additives mentioned throughout the list. You may have even encountered it scrolling through Amazon or visiting your local car maintenance shop.
So what are additives?
Among the different components in a high mileage motor oil, additives are the driver’s best friend. Additives help you address specific problems. Sometimes, it even prevents them. Your vehicle’s needs dictate the kind of additives to look for. This means that not all of the best high mileage oils are the perfect fit for your car.
To understand more about additives, it is important to know the different types according to the purpose. The most common is for preserving, cleaning, and performance.
Preservation additives ensure your engine is up and running for a very long time. They can help your car by fighting corrosion, preventing rust, and using antioxidants that prevent the oil from burning. Antiwear agents also work to fight the adverse effects of repeated metal on metal contact.
All of the best high mileage motor oils have few if not all preservation additives.
Cleaning additives can be further divided into two, depending on how it cleans your engine. The two types of cleaning additives are detergents and dispersants
Detergents have soap-like qualities, though it is by no means soap in the strictest sense of the word. Detergents clean deposits and prevent them from happening.
Dispersants, on the other hand, clean your engine by breaking up and removing sludge deposits.
Not all high mileage motor oils have detergents and dispersants. If cleaning is a significant need for your vehicle, it is best to look into the best synthetic motor oils that contain these additives.
For Enhanced Performance
Performance-enhancing additives contain substances to help your engine reach its full potential. Some high-mileage motor oil brands have exclusive performance additives. Detergents and preservatives can also be considered performance enhancers.
Conclusion – Best Oil for High Mileage Engines
The 7 best high mileage oils are as follows:
- Valvoline 10W-30 MaxLife
- Castrol GTX
- Mobil 1
- Royal Purple HMX
Some brands specialize in performance, while others work best for older models. Understanding the role of viscosity and additives may help you decide. The best high mileage oil is one that works best for your car or truck, given the environment and how often it is used. Each of the oils in the above list is excellent for your vehicle.