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Motor oil

I have been doing my own oil changes for years on my cars and I would like to find out if there is one brand of motor oil which is considered to be the best or they are all the same. I have been using Castrol and Vavoline Maxlife.

I have used Castrol for many years both for racing and my own personal vehicles. I run my engines hard at times and never had an engine failure in 40 years of use (knock on wood). I don’t know if it’s the best but there are none that are any better. I don’t like Valvoline at all.

As long as the container has the API (American Petroleum Institute) and the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) symbols on it, oils are pretty much the same.


Oil is oil, as long as it has the API and SAE seals on the container. I have used all kinds of brands, including the cheap Motorcraft oil at Walmart and other off brands carried by auto parts stores. Brand makes no difference at all.

Some people will swear by (and swear off) certain brands because of problems some companies have had in the past, but those oils have been good for at least the last 20 years. There is no logical reason not to use them now.

There are only so many refineries. Many brands come from the same refinery.

I use the brand that costs least, as long as it meets the specs for my cars. I usually end up with store brand oil.

I’ve been doing this for more than 30 years with no oil-related problems.

My opinion use any oil that meets spec and weight for vehicle. is the minutiae of motor oil.

The API certifications mean that it meets API spec’s. There’s also the ILSAC GF4 or GF5.

Those certs do NOT mean that all oils that carry them are equal. For example, in the Sequence IIIG test it’s a PASS/FAIL. Some oils pass better than others.

As others point out, if the oil meets the API spec and is the right weight for your car, no problem. The frequency of changing it is far more important.

The Camry can use a wide variety of oil brands and live a long life. Stick to the maintenance manual for further details. If it mentions Toyota oil, igore that part; Toyota doesn’t make oil.

We have posters here who have driven 400,000 trouble free miles on cheap oil, but they took good regular care of their cars.

My old dad always said choose an oil and stick to it, dont mix brands, and dont mix weights. I follow that and it works for me.

My dad bought the newest car he had ever owned back in 1955. It was a 1954 Buick. A mechanic convinced him the that best oil to use was MacMillan “ring free” oil. He used that oil for years until the mechanic closed his shop. Nobody else in our region handled MacMillan oil, so he had to put in Quaker State. The Buick never noticed the difference, and in fact had 160,000 miles with no major engine work when I sold the car after buying from my father. Any oil that meets the specified viscosity for your car and meets API standards for your car will be fine. You can use any brand and even mix brands and the car won’t care.
I think a lot of myths got started about motor oil brands when we had competing service stations. Each proprietor was convinced that his oil was the best. We had great names for the oils–Shell Fire and Ice, Phillips 66 Tropartic, Marathon Milemaker, Standard Super Permalube, Gulf oil Single G (named after a famous harness racing horse) and many others that I have long since forgotten in addition to the Quaker State and Valvoline.

I have a 1978 Oldsmobile that I purchased new that now has 240,000 miles on it. I have used every brand of oil–whatever was on sale when I was ready to change the oil. The engine has had no major work and still runs well. Unfortunately, no brand of oil has prevented body rust-out.

Unfortunately, no brand of oil has prevented body rust-out.
I agree, if you put it in the crank case. But, if you put oil in a garden sprayer and spray into drain holes in doors and sills and fender liner joint seams, it does “wonders”. Viscosity or brand doesn’t matter. If you don’t feel confident in containing drippings, use environmental friendly boiled linseed oil.

I actually did pretty well controlling the rust for the first 25 years, but the rust has gotten ahead of me in the last 7 years.

Not a problem, help is here--
You can still arrest it up to a point. Now you know with the “bubbles” just where to saturate. Bro had a barely inspectable (mechanic said it was the last year he may get out of it), badly rusted F150. He came to me for a “treatment”. We arrested the rust for 5 more years. He finally dumped truck because of transmission failure…it still passed inspection. I live in the rust belt and have never had any sheet metal rust problem for over thirty years on cars more than 10-15 years old…and I’m real lazy about washing them (twice a year). The bodies are always solid and rust free and worth $$$$ more when traded or sold.
BTW our 4Runners are a pain getting to the rear quarters. It takes less time than an oil change and if you’re a fanatic about rust (like me) you can crawl under and “paint” red grease on frame members (and what ever) with a foam brush. Again, use boiled lindseed oil if you don’t feel you can control drippings.

Synthetic is better oil than ‘dino’ oil. There’s a reason that it’s factory fill in many performance cars and that racers swear by it. Some manufacturers won’t honor your warranty on a turbo vehicle unless you use synthetic.

I personally like Mobil-1. I will grudgingly admit that most people may never see the benefits of synthetic if they just use dino oil and change it on schedule. But I personally will never switch back to dino oil.

If you are using those two oils, you don’t have to wonder. Mobil 1 is the other.