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Oil Change

I have a 1994 Ford F150 with 250K plus miles. I have always used Havoline 5W30. I can’t find this oil anymore. I’ve checked several automotive stores and they have all quit carrying it. I don’t want to change oil brand with this many miles on the truck, any suggestions of what oil I should change to? Thanks for your help.

Any brand of oil of the same weight that has the API (American Petroleum Institute) and SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) symbol on it will be fine.


You can change oil brands to Valvoline, Castrol or NAPA’s house brand. Texaco will forgive you.

I agree with the others–changing to another brand won’t make a difference. In fact, I think that the same refinery may bottle its oil and put it out under several brand names. Consumer Reports did a study some time back on motor oils and found that the same brand of oil had a different formulation depending on what part of the country the oil was purchased.

My Dad purchased a 1954 Buick in 1955. His mechanic recommended that he use MacMillan oil in the car. About the time the car had 75,000 miles the mechanic retired and no one else carried the MacMillan oil. We put Quaker State in the car of the same weight and it worked just the same–no oil consumption. At 150,000 miles, we sold the car and it had never had a wrench on the engine. The car was still on the streets several years later. Many years later, I had a Ford Maverick and I traded with a Sunoco station. The car used a quart of oil about every 1200 miles. When the station closed and I went back to doing my own work, it wss too expensive to buy the Sunoco oil. I found Valvoline on sale for 29 cents a quart. I decided at that price if it used a little more oil, I was still money ahead. The Maverick used only a quart after every 1500 miles with the Valvoline. I have a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass that I have owned since it was a new car. It has had about every brand of oil in the crankcase and after 240,000 miles it still doesn’t use oil.

I think this myth about staying with the same brand of oil was hatched when we had real service stations handling different petroleum products and were in competition with each other. I saw Citgo 5W-30 on sale at a farm store chain the day for 79 cents a quart. Use the correct weight of oil that you can get at the best price–your Ford won’t care.

Most brand name oils are created equal. I usually use Prestone or Valvoline high mileage oil in my cars, and I usually use Castrol or Mobil motorcycle oil in my bikes. I just buy whichever brand name is cheapest and available in the variety I want. Most stores only carry one brand of high mileage oil and one brand of motorcycle oil, so sometimes the store chooses the brand for me.

I’m sure they appreciate your brand loyalty, but there’s nothing special about Havoline. Any brand of 5W30 oil will work just as well.

As long as the API and SAE numbers match what your truck needs, you can use any brand you choose. I usually buy whatever is least expensive, including store brand oil. It’s all the same.

I was in a Rural King farm store this morning. This is a chain of farm supply stores in the Midwest. Rural King had Havoline 5W-30 for $2.79 a quart and Citgo 5W-30 for $1.99 a quart. Havoline is still available, although I would save the 80 cents on each quart and buy the Citgo.

You can swap brands to your heart’s delight. Your car will never notice. has a good primer on oils. I recommend a visit.

Thanks for the information and opinons.I guess im old school i hate to change brands on a vehicle with that many miles.They use to say some oils were high detergent oils,and you didnt want to mix them.Back in the early 70s i worked as a mechanic,i tore down engines that ran quaker state oil.That were some nasty gunk.

The same used to be said about Pennzoil. Then we have the Champion plug stories