High mileage engines are particularly vulnerable to wear and tear, which is why using the right type of oil is crucial. One way to help your high mileage vehicle run efficiently for a long time is to use high mileage oil.
So what’s high mileage oil?
High mileage oil contains various add-ons that give high mileage engines the extra protection they need to run smoothly.
This Article Contains
- What Is High Mileage Oil?
- When Do You Use High Mileage Oil?
- How Often Should You Change High Mileage Oil?
- 3 Reasons Why You Should Use High Mileage Oil
- 4 FAQs about High Mileage Oil
Let’s get started.
What Is High Mileage Oil?
High mileage motor oil is a blend of base oils, seal enhancers, and additives designed to address the unique needs of a high mileage engine.
As it’s specially formulated, high mileage oil combats reduced oil consumption, engine wear and tear, and oil leaks — which a high mileage vehicle engine experience over time.
But how is it different from regular oil?
While both high mileage and regular oil are similar, high mileage motor oil can protect engine seals better and has beneficial antioxidants, detergents, and anti wear additives.
High mileage oils also have unique viscosity modifiers that are durable and won’t decrease over time. This durability helps the motor oil remain thicker longer than regular motor oil — protecting your engine parts for an extended period of time.
So when should you start using high mileage engine oil?
Let’s find out.
When Do You Use High Mileage Oil?
High mileage motor oil suits a vehicle that has passed 75000 miles.
Once your vehicle hits 75000 miles, it experiences additional wear on its engine parts and needs better lubrication. The high viscosity in high mileage motor oil helps reduce the possibility of oil leaks and engine sludge build-up.
Other vehicles that may benefit from high mileage engine oil are:
- An older vehicle (over 7-8 years old) as it experiences engine deterioration
- A vehicle that carries heavy loads or travels in extreme weather conditions — as deposits may develop inside the cars engine, affecting engine performance
- A vehicle that doesn’t follow the recommended oil change intervals
- Classic cars that aren’t driven frequently benefit from the oil additives in high mileage oil
Next, let’s explore how often you may need a high mileage oil change.
How Often Should You Change High Mileage Oil?
Ideally, the preferred oil change interval for high mileage engines is around every 5,000 to 7,500 miles, depending on driving conditions and the vehicle’s maintenance history.
But the exact frequency of high mileage oil changes is hotly debated among experts.
Some suggest that a high mileage oil change should occur more frequently as a car racks up more mileage. That’s because the more frequent the oil change is, the better the oil can help prevent engine sludge build-up.
While others claim that a high mileage oil change should occur less frequently as vehicle mileage increases. This is because some experts believe engine wear and increased oil consumption are inevitable in older vehicles.
If you want more accurate oil change intervals, you can contact a mechanic for a simple blotter spot or engine oil analysis tests.
What are those tests?
The blotter spot test can detect if there is fuel dilution or coolant in your motor oil that may cause engine failure or shorten engine life.
The engine oil analysis test is slightly more complicated. Your motor oil is sent to a lab for several tests to identify dirt, fuel coolant, or dilution. Based on the lab report, your mechanic may make suitable recommendations for future oil changes.
Next, let’s learn the benefits of switching to high mileage oil.
3 Reasons Why You Should Use High Mileage Oil
Switching from conventional oil to high mileage oil can boost the engine performance of your older car.
Here are some other benefits of using high mileage oil:
- Reduced Oil Leaks: Over time, engine seals deteriorate, leading to an oil leak, which degrades engine performance. High mileage oils include a seal conditioner that increases the flexibility of engine seals and restores seal shape to prevent future leaks.
- Improved Fuel Efficiency: A high mileage vehicle is susceptible to increased engine wear. Switching to high mileage motor oil can help clean sludge and deposits, increasing fuel efficiency.
- Minimal Engine Wear and Tear: High mileage oils have higher viscosities than conventional oil and include anti wear additives. These additives reduce the risk of metal-to-metal contact, increase engine protection against corrosion, and reduce sludge buildup.
While the upsides of high mileage oil are clear, let’s get a better understanding by exploring some common queries about this modified base oil.
4 FAQs about High Mileage Oil
Here are some valuable answers to common questions regarding high mileage motor oil:
1. How to Identify High-Quality High Mileage Oil?
One of the most crucial things to look out for when shopping for oils is the American Petroleum Institute (API) “donut” symbol. The symbol indicates that the oil meets the latest International Lubricant Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC) standards.
Depending on their physical and chemical properties, the API categorizes a new inventory of oil based on:
- Base oil groups (Group I, Group II, Group III, etc.)
- Service level categories (API SN, API SP, etc.)
High mileage oils are abundant in the market, but finding the right one for you may take some know-how.
Here are a few top-performing high mileage oils:
- High Mileage Synthetic Motor Oil: Castrol GTX High Mileage Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- High Mileage Synthetic Blend Motor Oil: Valvoline High Mileage With MaxLife Technology
- High Mileage Conventional Motor Oil: Pennzoil High Mileage
- Best Value Motor Oil: Castrol Edge High Mileage
- Best High-Performance Motor Oil: Royal Purple High Mileage
2. How Much Does High Mileage Motor Oil Cost?
High mileage motor oil is more expensive than regular engine oil due to the additional seal enhancers and engine wear additives. The cost of high mileage oil is also affected by its base oil group, service level category, and base oil type.
The cost of Group III, high mileage oil, is higher than Group I and II because they are derived directly from the refining of crude oil.
High mileage engine oil with the API SN service classification is more costly than an API SP classification as it’s more compatible with newer vehicle models.
High mileage synthetic oil is more expensive than high mileage conventional oil due to the high-quality base that makes it more stable and allows it to oxidize and acidify at slower rates.
To give you a clearer picture of the cost, here are some prices for popular oil brands:
- Pennzoil High Mileage Conventional Oil: $20-$35
- Castrol GTX High Mileage Synthetic Blend Motor Oil: $20-$40
- Valvoline High Mileage Full Synthetic Oil: $25-$45
- Castrol Edge High Mileage Oil: $30-$40
3. How Does High Mileage Oil Improve an Older Engine?
High mileage engine oil has anti wear additives tailored for an older engine.
Two specific additives improve the performance of a high mileage vehicle:
- Burn-off inhibitor: Prevents the motor oil from burning off if it mistakenly passes the rubber seals in the engine and travels into the combustion chamber.
- Seal conditioner: Soaks into an engine’s seals, such as head and rocker cover gaskets, and enables them to expand. Expanding the rubber seals minimizes the impact of an oil leak, maintaining engine performance.
4. Can You Mix High Mileage Oil and Regular Oil?
While not recommended, you can mix high mileage oil with a new inventory of conventional motor oil, synthetic oil, or synthetic blend motor oil in an emergency. But mixing regular and high mileage motor oil means you’ll lose some oil additives that can benefit an older car.
There’s no denying that high mileage oils can provide extra protection to your vehicle. Its oil additives can reduce oil leaks, improve oil consumption and minimize engine wear and tear.
If your vehicle has passed 75000 miles, you should consider switching to high mileage oil.
Contact a mechanic to help you pick the right high mileage oil and establish new oil change intervals and maintenance schedules.
Looking for reliable car repair and maintenance?
AutoNation Mobile Service is a mobile car repair service offering competitive and upfront pricing and stellar customer service. Our expert mechanics can work on your high mileage vehicle right in your driveway.
Fill out this form to enquire about quick oil change services now!