Motor oils



My question name brands vs walmart brand oils. Are they the same oil.

This is my second request maybe no one knows this answer. Joe


The oil itself is likely the exact same as multiple brands out there. However the additives may differ. That being said the oil for your vehicle must meet or exceed a given spec. The Walmart oil has all the current specs for modern cars.

I used the cheapo oil changes($13.95)(SuperTech/Fram) for the last 50k of my last Civic’s life’s and had no issue. Both (225k, 190k) were sold perfectly running.


Well, it is real oil and it is made buy someone (don’t know who). I’m sure it meets whatever minimum requirements it’s certified to, and it’s probably the cheapest oil they can find that does meet those requirements.

Is the met in my McDonalds burger the same as the store?


As long as the oil meets the car’s manufacturer’s sspecifications (Usually SAE S* where * is a alpha letter or in the case of diesels the “S” is replaced with a C.) then getting “better” oil is really not worth it.

You may get an extra 100 miles out of the engine if you car does not end up in a recycle yard before the engine dies and most do.


For years, Wally-Oil was made by Valvoline. It was just packaged in different containers.

Generally, Wal-Mart buys from the lowest priced supplier, and they will use multiple suppliers to save on shipping costs, so it’s almost impossible to say for sure who made the product sold in YOUR location. But since all their oil meets SAE specifications, you can use it without worry.

Like Joe said, engine failure is NOT what sends most cars to the shredder.


Consumer Reports did extensive testing of motor oils some time back. As I remember, they used a New York taxicab fleet. They installed new Chevrolet V-6 engines in the cabs, let the drivers run the cabs and then disassembled the engines and measured the wear. As I remember, there were no discernable differences among the wear of the engines and no engine failure due to oil. What I also remember is that the same brand of oil seemed to have different formulations depending on what part of the country it was purchased. My guess is that the same refinery may bottle the oils under several different labels in a particular part of the country. I have a friend who always uses Castrol–changes the oil every 3000 miles and is very meticulous on the maintenance. He runs his cars over 250,000 miles with no problems. He claims it is the Castrol that protects his engine. I think the long life for his cars is more his maintenance than the brand of oil he uses. If you follow the manufacturer’s specifications for the oil to be used in your car, any brand should give the engine adeqauate protection if you change the oil in a reasonable time interval.

I’ve heard that certain oils form sludge in engines. I read one post where apparently Pennzoil really sludged up his lawnmower engine. I immediately filled my lawnmower crankcase with Pennzoil. Unfortunately, the mower works just fine and I still have to mow the yard. Many years ago, a mechanic convinced my Dad that he should use only McMillan oil in his recently acquired 1 year old Buick. My Dad used this oil exclusively until this mechanic closed his shop. When Dad switched to another garage, they put in Quaker State. The Buick never knew the difference. I think the car ran over 200,000 miles and this was back in the 1955-1965 era. The Buick never had its head or pan off. The mechanic may have been right about the quality of McMillan oil, but apparently other oils were just as good. IMHO, if you use oil that meets the specifications for your engine, and change oil as per the severe maintenance schedule, the brand doesn’t make any difference.


The type of to use depends on your car and your driving environment. I have run cars to over 200,000 miles on store brand oil without having any loss of compression or internal engine work. In fact, the last time I overhauled an engine was the summer of 1964 and that was a flathead '57 Plymouth.

Some pertinent facts about’motor oil:

  1. Quality control is much better now than in the past; even cheap oils are within spec. This is why Consumer Reports encountered such good performance from these oils.

  2. Most cars, like your 89 Mercury, do not have highly stressed engines, so an average oil is very adequate.

  3. If you live in a moderate climate, and park inside, you do not need the special qualities of synthetic oil such as resistance to heat and good flow characteristics at very low temperatures.

  4. Modern oils, even cheap ones, have much better addtive packages than previous specifications. So your 89 car will enjoy an oil several grades better than was specified in the owner’s manual.

  5. Using the right grade (weight) of oil, as recommnded in the owner’s manual, is far more important that buying expensive oil. If you live in Northern Minnesota, park outside overnight, and put 20W50 oil in your car, you will quickly ruin your engine during these cold starts when oil takes 15 minutes to reach the valve gear. A 5W30 Wallmart oil, on the other hand, will work just fine.

  6. Some high performance cars, such as BMW, and cars such as Volkswagen use special oils; stick to their requirements to avoid loss of warranty.

  7. If you live in an extremely hot or cold climate go with a synthetic because of its superior viscosity index ( ability to resist thinning & thickening). I have one car wich is used little and only gets one oil change per year. It has Mobil 1 3W30, which is good all year round.

  8. Change oil and filter as recommended in the owner’s manual, and remember, most stop & go driving is “Severe Service” and calls for the shoter interval.

Hope his throwa some light on what is important in purchasing oil.


There is an independent laboratory in Indiana, named Blackstone, that specializes in oil analysis. Check their web site for some interesting opinions.


Docnick: Those are eight great bullets - very well stated.

I would add one more. Most people don’t keep their cars to 200,000+ miles like the regulars on this board do. For the many car owners who plan to trade their cars in before reaching 100,000 miles, and therefore consciously let much of their maintenance slide, who can argue with them? While the lax maintenance isn’t doing the car any good, it’s their vehicle, they know what they’re doing, and most of them do fine.

I’m not endorsing the above approach. But I do believe it’s a reality for many people. I know when my old clunkers get to the point where it’s not worth my time fixing them any more and I drive them into the ground before junking them, I usually stop maintaining them.



I would put oil with same spec akin to bottled drinking water. They all perform the same task with slightly differing flavors.


That’s a pretty good analogy, the difference is that I’m willing to drink cheap bottled water.


Thanks to all of you oil heads I fell better now.


My wife worked for many years for WalMart (accounting) and her employee status entitled us to an additional 10% off store prices.
So I got in the habit of using WM oil, and most filters, on not only our cars but our family members cars that I also maintain.

Never an engine problem in spite of tough conditions and many miles. Here are some mileage examples with the first 2 vehicles being sold but still running fine when sold. The last set is still owned and driven.



My opinion is that WM oil will run them forever and I’ve been using it almost exclusively for about 20 years now.
Most engine problems are self-inflicted (lack of oil, failure to change it on a regular basis, overheating and continuing to operate the car, etc.)