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Oil Change Question

My Sienna is due for a oil change and i have been using SAE 5w30 Pennzoil for almost service. that said,my local Sears currently has a special using Valvoline at a price below what i can buy oil and filter for self-maintenance. Would there be any harm using the Valvoline providing the manufacturer’s recommended oil spec is installed?


If the oil has the API and SAE certifications on the bottle, you can use whatever brand of oil you want.



No problem at all, just as long as the correct viscosity is used

A word of caution, though . . . ask the shop to use a new drain plug washer. They’re plastic or nylon on many Toyotas, and they really shouldn’t be reused

I had a 1971 Ford Maverick with a 250 cubic inch 6 cylinder engine. I used Sunoco 10W-40 oil and after I had the valve stem seals replaced, I got about 1000 miles per quart of oil. One day, I saw Valvoline on sale for 25 cents a quart in the 10W-40 viscosity. I couldn’t resist, and gave the Valvoline a shot. The oil consumption dropped to a quart every 1250 miles. I bought an Oldsmobile Cutlass with a 260 V-8 brand new in 1978. In the 33 years and 240,000 miles I owned the car, I probably used every brand of 10W-30 oil in the car. It never used a drop between changes. I found Citgo oil on sale once and with the mail-in rebate, the oil was 0 cents per quart (free motor oil)
I now have a 2011 Toyota Sienna. The dealer’s service department used Valvoline so with the free oil changes I had for two years after the purchase, Valvoline went into the crankcase. Now that my independent shop services the Sienna, it still gets Valvoline. In the case of my Sienna, the oil required is synthetic 0W-20.
I learned that the brand of oil doesn’t matter from a U-Haul dealer where I rented a truck. At each gas stop, the oil was to be checked. I was told what viscosity to use. When I asked about the brand, the dealer said that oils have to be compatible if the oil refiners want to sell oil to the government which they all do. The important thing is to not let the engine get low on oil. I was told to keep the receipt for any oil that was added and it would be taken off the bill. That was a good thing. I rented the truck on a return basis and drove 125 miles to our apartment when we went to graduate school. We unloaded the truck and proceeded to a cut rate gas station to fill the tank. When the oil was checked, it was 2 quarts low, so I had 2 quarts put in the truck. When I returned the truck, the U-Haul dealer filled the tank and checked the oil again. It was 2 quarts low. I gave him my receipt for the oil which he honored, and then looked at me and grinned and said, “The truck uses a little oil”.

No problem whatsoever, as long as your Sears is trustworthy.
In my area, sears is shutting down their automotive service centers. I guess they’re not doing so nationwide.

Why would the brand matter?

If it’s not part of clearing out all of their automotive stuff on the way to shutting down, assume that after the oil change they will give you a list of 27 things that need to be replaced or repaired. The budget oil change is never there so they can make money. It’s there so they can sell you other stuff when you come in - and make the money that way

I have had good luck with Valvoline freeing stuck rings in used cars I have bought. I believe frequency of change is much more important than brand.

@oldtimer_11–I concentrated on switching from Pennzoil to Valvoline and didn’t think much about going to Sears. Sears used to feature oil under its own brand name–I think it was called Sears Spectrum oil. I don’t care for the Sears service department in my community and I had a bad experience with an alignment done by Sears in another town where I was a graduate student that soured me on ever going to Sears.
I agree with you about the frequency of oil changes is more important than the brand. There have been negative comments on this board about Pennzoil and one poster said that he wouldn’t even use Pennzoil in a lawnmower. I tested Pennzoil in my lawnmower engine hoping that I could get out of mowing the lawn, but I had no such luck. The mower ran just as well on Pennzoil as it did with the Valvoline I had been using.

I have used Valvoline off and on over the years on fleet vehicles and found that their product was good. Havoline, Castrol, Valvoline, Chevron, Mobil, et al, are all excellant and changing brands will never be a problem if the proper specification is used.

Maybe Im crazy, but Havoline always seemed to make my engine run quieter, especially against something like castrol which made the internal mechanics sound slightly noisier. Anyone else would say Im crazy but it sounded smoother to me always. I also used a can of lucas oil treatment. Engine ran like butter.

@Femder1325 I agree, maybe you are crazy …;=) You’re now officially a club memeber ! Welcome.

Oldtimer, you should try reading the OP’s post… that’s who I was responding to.

Haha thanks!

I know others have no problem with Pennzoil but I will no longer use it in anything including my lawn mower. I have never had an engine apart using it that wasn’t all crusted up. My BIL used to chastise me for using it and I finally saw the light. I switched to Mobil and Shell Rotella in my diesel and my engines are clean inside.

Edit: Just to clarify, I’m sure a lawn mower would run just fine on Pennz as mine did, BUT if you take it apart, the inside will be coated, the lifters, the rod, crankshaft, and essentially anything that is oiled will be coated and crusty. In comparison, with Mobil, the internals will be clean as they came from the factory.

What about Quaker State . . . ?

I’ve met a lot of guys who wouldn’t use it if it were free . . .

Havoline was my prefered brand for many years but all the major name brands seemed quite similar. The specifications on the label really do seem to be an accurate indication of the quality of the oils. But it seems that people who have a strong preference for a particular brand also make it a habit to take care of their cars and enjoy more trouble free miles than those who aren’t quite as particular… so it seems.

What about Quaker State . . . ?

I’ve met a lot of guys who wouldn’t use it if it were free . . .

I was working as a mechanic when Unleaded gas was becoming the standard in many vehicles. And Quaker State had a major problem of sludging with in the new unleaded engines…Engines running unleaded gas were running a lot hotter. Our shop wasn’t the only one seeing this. And some of these vehicles we did all the maintenance. We used nothing but Quaker State. The owner was very worried…and he started to do some digging. We then switched to Castrol…and the problems started to go away.

I know Quaker State has changed their formula since then…and is probably a very good oil.

Sounds OK, but be prepared to have Sears find all sorts of phony things wrong with your car and push other unneeded services.

My experience with Sears is that you check the oil level immediately after they change it and also let the car run for a while while parked to see if there are any leaks.

In other words, Sears about a reliable as Walmart.

lots of biased opinions here about sears and walmart. that is fine.
correct oil weight with the right specifications are really all that matter

lots of biased opinions here about sears and walmart. that is fine.

It’s not biased opinions. Sears has been sued (more then once) and LOST for selling bogus services.