High-Mileage Oil -- does it work?

Last , oh what was it June?, I needed to do an oil change.

Went to the local discount/drug/department store and “regular” oil was

going for something like $2.85 to $3.29 a quart. YIKES!

But they had some “high-mileage” Quaker State or Pennzoil or Valvoline, honestly don’t remember, but it was one of the big names – on sale for something like $1.85 a quart.

The rig is an '87 Corolla with something like 280K on it. It had been using about a quart or so every 1.5 to two months. So, went with the hi-mile stuff, purely on price.

Well, drained that out in the fall and replaced with regular Havoline.

The Havoline was replaced with regular Quaker State the first of January.

The point is that the car is not using oil anymore…Never really believed in that hi-mile stuff…and still would not pay a great premium for it, but if the price is comparable, I’ll buy it again.

As I said, I only used it once in three oil changes and it seems to have done the job for me.

That’s what I call a tested product. Thank you for the info and the prices. Quaker State and Pennzoil get bad references here for sludge or waxy buildup.

That’s funny, because I have the opposite experience w/ hi-mileage oil.

A couple oil changes back, I accidentally bought Valvoline fully synthetic high mileage oil. Usually, I use their “race-formulated” synthetic, but the hi-mileage oil was in a similarly designed container, and I was half asleep (it was early), so I accidentally grabbed that stuff instead.
Usually, my car doesn’t use any oil within the 2.5k period btwn changes, but with the hi-mileage oil, it lost just over a quart. Since then I’ve switched back to my usual formula, and haven’t lost any more oil.

Now, granted, my car is pretty old (1988) but it’s not really THAT high mileage (90k on the odo), plus it’s turbocharged, so maybe that was part of the problem. I don’t know.

Sure it works- almost exactly the same as its regular brethren. Getting it cheaper than the regular stuff would be the only good reason to buy it. YMMV.

Well, don’t argue with success or look a gift horse in the mouth. I had a Ford Maverick years ago that was using about a quart of oil every 1000 miles. I was using Sunoco oil at the time. I saw Valvoline oil of the same viscosity that I was using on sale for 50 cents a quart. I had been paying about a dollar a quart for the Sunoco. I decided at the price, I could afford to add a quart of oil if the consumption went up. It dropped to a quart every 1300 miles. Different brands of oil may be formulated differently, although they are all supposed to be compatible with each other. Perhaps your Corolla had an oil control ring that was stuck and the high mileage oil freed it up.

Some years back, Consumer Reports did a controlled test on motor oils CR installed rebuilt Chevrolet V-6 engines in a New York City cab fleet of Chevrolets and tested the oils. When the engines were torn down at the end of the experiment, there was no measurable difference in wear on the engines no matter what oil was used. I do remember, though, that some oils were better at maintaining their viscosity than other oils. Maybe that explains the difference in oil consumption rates.

Agree! Viscosity consistency has been much improved; when Consumer Reports tested oils in the 80s, many oils did not stay within the viscosity range. Subsequent tests, the ones you refer to, showed much better consistencey. The ASTM testing procedures have been tightened up considerably. Synthetic oil is best at maintaining its viscosity, and does well in extreme heat.

Unfortunately, New York taxi service is very easy on oil, the engines are warm most of the time, they don’t go fast, and at the severe drain interval, there is no depletion of additives. And the engines were rebuilt, so no blow by or coolant contamination.

Regarding Synthethic Hi-mile oil…never seen it. But have heard stories, who knows if true, that synthethic oil should never be put in old cars that have run dino all their lives as the Syn oil will run right through…

Don’t know how true the “story” is and don’t want to go off-thread, but thought I would mention it…