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Which Full Synthetic Oil - Valvolize, Penzoil ...?

Acura Integra 1999 90k

I have been chaining oil every 5k - except for this time, every time at the tail end of 5k, it become a bit sluggish. This time when I asked the mechanic, he told me that “it is not bad at all - I can see through it”, as he was draining the engine oil. Should I go for longer miles before a change? How many?

I forgot what oil I used last time. I typically use Valvoline. But I had some Penzoil or Mobil 1 from a friend.

Any recommendation as to which brand Full synthetic oil?

How many miles before drain if you are driving in town?

Secondly, when it hit 100k, should I use Valvoline High Mileage oil?

Some people have preferred brands, but I’ve never seen a single piece of actual evidence that any particular brand will perform any of oil’s functions anyt better than any other. In short, use what you like, as long as it has the ASE and API seals on the bottle.

Oh, and do not buy it at a flea market. There’s stories of some counterfeit stuff out there, and some of it is apparently not something you’d want in your engine.

Typically my car had become a bit sluggish at the tail end of the 5k. Likely its Valvaline - but could be Syn blend.

You mean the car’s performance is sluggish? I can’t imagine that oil, after 5k miles, would have any impact on a car’s performance.

“This time when I asked the mechanic, he told me that “it is not bad at all - I can see through it”, as he was draining the engine oil.”

I’m not sure who your mechanic is or whether he/she was serious or just humoring you. However, looking at oil and deciding how easily one can see through it is not a good way to gauge oil life.

You can send a sample to Blackstone labs and have the engine wear and oil analyzed for $25 (I recently had them do my wife’s car’s oil. You can pay an additional fee and they will test for oil life and tell you how long you can go.

What you should do is run for 5,000 on whatever oil and send a sample. Then run a synthetic (I use Mobil-1 Extended Performance) for 5,000 miles and send it in. Compare results.


Honda recommends that you change the oil every 7500 miles for normal driving and every 3750 miles for severe conditions.

Severe driving conditions:
Drive less than 5 miles per trip or less than 10 miles in freezing weather.
Drive when over 90F
Extensive idling or long periods of stop and go driving
Trailer towing, driving with a car top carrier, or driving in mountainous conditions
Driving on muddy, dusty, or de-iced roads
Note: If you occasionally driving in these conditions, use the normal maintenance schedule

You can up the interval to 7500 miles as long as the oil has enough additives to prevent breakdown of the oil. Typically, oils are fine for 7500 miles. You would not need Mobil 1 Extended Performance oil if you change at 7500 miles.

I suggest that you follow the recommendations listed in your Owner’s Manual. Anything beyond that is likely to cost you a little more with little if any benefit.

Back when I was a kid, changing oil was something you did every 3,000 miles. Today with better oils and cars, you don’t really need change it as often.

He must have said sludgy. Like with sludge, sort of.

Personally I think 5000 is a little long for a 99. I’d be more like 3-4000 for that vintage. The Acura dealer here uses Mobil or Honda oil, dino or syn. I’ve changed oil on mine when it had only a couple hundred miles and still looked dark.

I do 5000 on my 98 Buick, and actually pulled the pan a few months back to try and fix a leak. The Pan was like new on the inside, clean and shinny. Tells me I’m ok.

In the absence of a manual, I would change oil when the dash indicator says you have 50% of the oil life left. And, of course use the oil spec in the manual.

You could go to “” and listen to people battle it out on which brand is best. I’ve used Mobil-1, Valvoline Synpower, and Amsoil. All seem fine and I have no worries that my engine is being protected very well. I’ve been using Mobil-1 in my old car for over a decade. The inside of the valvecovers are spotless and the engine has over 260K on it. My newer vehicle seems subjectively smoother and quieter on Valvoline, and uses no oil compared to Mobil-1, on which it uses about ½ qt. between oil changes. I have Amsoil in it right now because it was on sale, and it has not used a drop so far.

It may be subjective, but to me the Valvoline feels kind of ‘used up’ at about 5,000 miles. I do not have an oil analysis to bear this out. I truly think I can feel the difference when fresh oil is put in my engine. It just feels smoother and more responsive to me. I also think different brands “agree” more with different cars in terms of smoothness and oil consumption.