CarTalk.com Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

High Mileage oil

I have a 1995 Ford Probe with just over 105k miles that is in fairly decent condition.

Every time I have the oil changed, the mechanic recommends using “high mileage” oil. Needless to say, it’s more expensive. About half the time I take the suggestion, and then the other times, I use the “regular” oil. To be honest, I don’t know that I can tell a difference in how the car runs when I use the high mileage oil.

Any thoughts on this? Is there any benefit to using the high mileage oil, or is it just draining my wallet?

Thanks!
LaKa

It’s ok if you have minor leaks or if you’re using some oil between changes. How many miles between adding a quart?

That oil slightly swells seals, reducing leaks and oil loss at the valve seals. If you’re not using much oil between changes there’s no need for it.

I do tend to add a quart or 2 of oil between changes (I change it every 6months, I don’t drive much). And I do think I may have a slow oil leak because the oil gauge tends to lean towards the “low end” at times.

In light of this, using the high mileage grade might be a good idea…?

Thanks so much for your reply, texases!
Laka

Your ‘oil gauge’ is an oil pressure gauge, not an oil level gauge, I bet, so if it’s reading ‘low’, that not a good thing, you’ll want to check the oil level ASAP. About how many miles between changes?

And it does sound like it might be worth the expense. How much extra do they charge?

I think it’s about $10 or so extra for the high mileage oil. Fortunately, the mechanic has not alerted me to any issues regarding the oil the last few times I’ve had it changed. However, I keep an eye on the gauge, the dipstick level, and listen to how the car runs. (Let me clarify, even though the gauge tends to read on the “low end,” it’s the low end of the mostly “normal range.”)

Thanks for your thoughts, this is very helpful and feel free to add anything else on your mind. I want this car to last a few more years. :slight_smile: I may splurge for the high mileage more often; right now I do it about every other oil change (every 6months).

I buy a new car of one that’s 1-2 years old…and drive it for several hundred thousands of miles…NEVER EVER have I used the high-mileage oil. Don’t see a need. The oil I used to get my vehicles past 300k miles is just fine.

High Mileage oil is for (slightly) leaky cars at oil seals. It helps somewhat with this problem as you clearly are burning or leaking some engine oil.

Great, thanks so much for the input, it helps!

My '88 Ford Escort has 518,700 mile and I don’t use high mileage oil.

I’d suggest you use the high-mileage oil a few times consecutively and see if it reduces the amount you have to add. If the car needs less oil added between changes, it may be worth the extra cost to use the high-mileage oil for the convenience, even if it costs more in total. If it doesn’t reduce the amount you have to add, I wouldn’t use it. Regardless of what you do, check the oil often.

On a car as old as yours that uses or leaks oil, I would go ahead and use high mileage oil.