Best Motor Oils for Older Vehicles

Best Motor Oils for Older Vehicles

The average age of vehicles on American roads today is almost 12 years. This could be due to one of two reasons—owners are keeping their cars for longer or more people are buying pre-owned cars. Since you are here, it won’t be wrong to assume that you own one of these older vehicles, cars that have been around for a decade or longer. 

Unless you use it only for special occasions or as a secondary means of transport, the car you own has probably completed plenty of miles. If that is the case, then there is only one way to ensure the longevity of your vehicle—regular maintenance. A key part of this exercise is choosing the right motor oil for your vehicle. 

The 4 Best Engine Oils for Older Vehicles

The importance of oil for the smooth functioning of an engine is never under doubt. This is because the oil lubricates virtually every moving component in the engine, minimizes wear and friction inside it, and allows the entire unit to cool down on a long, hard day of work. And that is not all. Many automobile mechanics believe that a vehicle can run without fuel but not without engine oil. 

Their theory is that if you run out of gas, you simply refill the tank and you’re got to do. But, if the oil in your vehicle runs dry, don’t attempt to take the car out on the road.  If you do that, your car’s engine will get destroyed. Surely, you’re not willing to take that risk. One of the best ways to ensure that car does not run out of engine oil out of the blue is buying engine oil formulated for older or high-mileage vehicles. To make this easier for you, I have come up with a list of engine oil brands that I believe are the best motor oils for older vehicles. The following are the 4 best engine oils for older vehicles available today.


  • Mobil 1 High-Mileage Oil


The next motor oil on my list of the best motor oils for older vehicles is the Mobil 1 high-mileage oil. Synthetic motor oil, Mobil 1 high-mileage oil, is designed to ensure the longevity of high mileage engines. A product of a highly reputed and globally-recognized motor oil manufacturer, Mobil 1 high-mileage oil lowers the risk of oil leaks and is extremely resistant to high temperatures. Some people believe it to be the best synthetic oil for older cars

A 5W viscosity index is one of the most notable things about this oil; this indicates that it is thicker than the other engine oils for older vehicles.  Additionally, the impressive sealing ability of the Mobil 1 high-mileage oil makes it ideal for engines that have run hundreds of thousands of miles.

Rubber seals are present in most engines to stop the leakage of oil. However, over time, these seals decrease in size, weaken, and finally break apart. The seal conditioners in Mobil 1 high-mileage oil are specifically formulated to make sure this does not happen. So, if you have a vehicle that has completed a million miles, then this is the oil you need to get. 


  • Minimizes sludge in the engine
  • Ensures great engine lubrication
  • Specifically formulated seal conditioners prevent oil leakage in older vehicles
  • Protects important parts of the engine
  • 5W viscosity


  • Does not have great cleaning agents
  • More expensive than other high-mileage engine oils


  • Valvoline High-Mileage Motor Oil


Although there is no agreement about what defines a high-mileage car, several motor oils have been specifically formulated for engines that have run for 75,000 miles or more. The Valvoline high-mileage motor oil is one of them.  Available as a synthetic blend and full synthetic oil, this motor oil features cleaning agents that help to maintain the hygiene of the engine and remove more sediment and contaminants than conventional oil.  

As engine gaskets weaken with time, older vehicles become more vulnerable to oil leakage. As it features seal conditioners, the Valvoline high-mileage motor oil can help to prevent and stop the engines of older cars from leaking oil. While not every older car requires it, a seal conditioner in motor oil would benefit people with vehicles that continually leak engine oil. 

Most of the reviews about this engine oil from users are extremely positive.  Many of them claim that the Valvoline high-mileage motor oil has helped to eliminate problems such as burning oil, and oil leakage in their cars.


  • Affordable
  • Specifically formulated for engines that have completed 75,000 miles or more
  • Several SAE grades
  • Anti-oxidation and anti-wear additives that ensure engine longevity
  • Available in two versions—a synthetic blend and full-synthetic
  • Seal conditioners


  • May not lubricate high performance as well as required



  • Pennzoil High-Mileage Oil


Pennzoil high-mileage oil is highly recommended for older vehicles or vehicles that have run for 75,000 miles or more. What is so great about this motor oil? It keeps the rubber seals in the engine tight to ensure that they stay flexible and do not weaken. This is achieved with the help of additives that also boost the engine’s performance.

Besides, to keep your vehicle’s engine flexible and performing well, the Pennzoil high-mileage oil stops leakage, seals cracks, and minimizes wear, all of which helps to ensure the engine’s longevity. Lastly, this motor oil is an excellent engine cleaner and has longer intervals than most of the other oils in its category. Despite all these benefits, the Pennzoil high-mileage oil might not be the ideal option for some vehicle owners as it is more expensive than most of the other high-mileage engine oils.


  • Compatible with older engines
  • Excellent seal conditioners 
  • 10w30 viscosity


  • More expensive than most of the other high-mileage engine oils 


  • Castrol High-Mileage Oil


The fourth and final motor oil for older vehicles on my list is the Castrol high-mileage engine oil. Since it features a lot of powerful additives, the Castrol high-mileage oil is considered by many as the best synthetic oil for older cars available today.

This engine oil is a mixture of standard engine oil and a set of powerful additives specifically formulated for high-mileage engines. This helps the oil not only to liquefy the engine and its mechanical components appropriately and safely but also to preserve the seals and minimize leakage. In addition to this, the Castrol high-mileage engine oil prevents sediment build-up in your vehicle’s engine to keep it clean and performing optimally.

Many people have been in situations where their vehicle’s engines have weakened to a level where taking out the car on the road becomes risky. The Castrol high-mileage oil helps to avoid this by minimizing the build-up of sludge, preventing oil leakage, and lowering the chance of oil burns. When this happens, both the performance and the longevity of your vehicle’s engine are improved.


  • Prevents oil leakage
  • Specifically designed to ensure engine longevity
  • Thermal protection against high temperatures


  • Works with specific types of oil filters
  • Does not perform well in cold temperatures

Final Word

Choosing engine oil for an older vehicle is not the same as choosing oil for a new car. There are so many factors to consider before you choose a motor oil brand for an old car engine. You need to make sure that the oil prevents oil leakage, minimizes oil burns, and comes with seal conditioners. The good news is that most of the hard work has already been done for you, and you just need to choose the best fit your car from the list of the motor oils for older cars provided above.