Nothing wrong with Valvoline

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Jan 27, 2003
Pac NW
Sorry to disappoint you, but no flaming from me!

I am of the belief that motor oil, in general, is SO much better than in previous years that almost any oil, if changed regularly, will probably do its job very sucessfully.

Some are better than others. Or, a better VALUE.

Some don't actually live up to their advertising.

Some are more expensive and justly so.

Some are just more expensive.

Kinda' like the cars and trucks we use to carry them around in... So, GO VALVOLINE!

I am not trying to bash any brand of motor oil. This web site is the only web site I am aware of on the internet where a person can find out how well various brands of motor oil do in actual virgin oil and used oil testing at labs. If a person is changing motor oil every 3000 miles, it probably does not matter a great deal what brand of motor oil you use. Bur perhaps there is some difference in motor oil quality. If we find out through the oil testing that Brand X is superior to Brand Y, and Brand X costs the same or perhaps even less than Brand Y, which brand are you going to use? I don't know about you, but I am going to use Brand X. How great the difference in quality is between brands is a difficult question to answer. Maybe the difference is very slight, or maybe it is great enough so that a person could potentially get thousands of extra miles of service out of cars and trucks by using the better quality oil. I dropped brand loyalty a long time ago. Many, many years ago I was a FRAM man and I always used Pennzoil oil. I saw men arguing about whether Chevy or Ford trucks were the best. Today, I try to buy the best brand, not the brand I have always bought. When it comes to extended oil changes, I think that a person definitely is going to have to choose a high quality oil and high quality oil filters. This web site can help a lot. If several people at this web site get good results by using Brand Z for extended oil changes, and Brand Z shows good test results, I am going to be inclined to use Brand Z. Why would I use Brand T for extended oil changes if several people at this web site reported problems and if the test results were not good? If I decide to continue with 3000 mile oil changes, I want to use the best conventional oil that I can, for the most reasonable price. If Valvoline turns out to be that oil, I will use Valvoline. If QS, then I will use QS. If Pennzoil, then Pennzoil. I no longer have brand loyalty. Another thing to consider is that everything may change over time. Brand S may tend to be the best right now, but five years from now Brand S may display poor test results, and Brand J might appear to be the best.
Mr. Mystic, friendly suggestion:

Write shorter paragraphs. Your posts are difficult to read.

Hard returns are free.

I looked again in the Virgin Oil Samples and Used Oil Analysis-Gas Engines sections just to make sure my memory is correct. Just one example from the Virgin Oil Samples-'5W30 SJ/SL Retail.' Valvoline did not seem to fare well. And we are talking conventional oil, not MaxLife or synthetic oil. I had been using Valvoline and when I noticed some negative comments about it, I checked the oil analysis sections. I was stunned. I decided to start using Chevron. My memory seems to be correct about what I discovered concerning Valvoline in the oil analysis sections. Anybody can go to these sections and check for themselves.
Just one more thing. I was using Valvoline oil before I switched to Chevron. I had heard that Valvoline and Castrol were good motor oils and I decided to use Valvoline CONVENTIONAL motor oil. We are not comparing Valvoline synthetic oil or MaxLife here to Chevron or Castrol oil. We are comparing conventional to conventional. When I heard some negative remarks about Valvoline, I checked the oil analysis sections. There are a few examples. Check them all. Just one example is '5W30 SJ/SL Retail' in the Virgin Oil Samples section. A test comparing Valvoline synthetic to Chevron conventional would be unfair. I also checked to see how Castrol and Chevron oils had done. There seemed to be general agreement that these two brands were good. However, some people said that the Castrol did not have as good of a pour point compared to Chevron. I was using conventional oil in my car with 3000 mile oil changes, so I started to use the Chevron oil, which seemed to have good test results. Anybody can check out the oil analysis sections.
In the "How well do mechanics recommend oil?" thread there is plenty of Valvoline bashing. So I did a search in the new and used OA sections to find out. Well, there’s nothing wrong with it. In most cases it does just fine for a ‘one buck dino’.

Testimonials like "Valovoline is yucky" may have some merit based in fact but' without data to back it up, its only a testimonial and not much else.

Flame away!
Please do not interpret my references to Valvoline in that thread as "bashing". My 1970's experiences have nothing to do with today's products, and that was my point.

The reference I made about the BMW dealer was not about Valvoline, but about the dealer using 20W-50 dino in modern cars.

After a decade or so with Pennzoil, I used Valvoline racing, mainly for the higher ZDDP content. I now use Chevron Delo.
There is a post in the used oil analysis section about synthetic Valvoline being used for about 4800 miles in a vehicle. Remember, this is synthetic, not conventional. Although people said that it looked alright, there were statements like the oil had come to the end of its useful life, recommendations about using Mobil 1, etc. Now, this synthetic oil had gone only about 4800 miles. Some people at this web site use Mobil 1, Schaeffer's Oil, Redline, and Amsoil for 8000 miles! If somebody wants to maintain loyalty to a given brand, like Valvoline, that is fine with me. But I would use the Mobil 1, Schaeffer's Oil, Redline, or Amsoil myself. In the one post I mentioned earlier about conventional Valvoline in the virgin oil sample section, there were statements to the effect that the oil would be good for only about 2000 miles. I don't know about you, but I go 3000 miles with conventional oil (like Chevron). From what I have been able to find out at this web site, conventional Chevron should be acceptable for 4000-5000 miles. A person should be able to go 5000 or more miles easily with Schaeffer's Oil, and the partly synthetic Schaeffer's Oil is about 3 bucks, compared to 4 or 5 bucks a quart for Mobil 1 and Valvoline synthetic.
Geez Mystic, I can see you don’t want to let go of this.

I can dig up UOAs of Redline that have high lead and low TBN. I can also show you analysis of Redline with zero lead and TBN of 11. So is Redline good or is it bad? In my opinion the correct answer is maybe.

Low cost oil analysis gives you rough idea on how an oil performed. Some people look at one analysis and make judgment. There is way to much uncertainty in the accuracy and precision to make an intelligent statement about an oil with just a few data points.

On top of that you have different cars running in different conditions which further cloud the ability to same something useful about the oil performing for someone else.

When someone takes the time to run a controlled test like 3 Mad Ponchos, he’ll be able to say if one oil performed better with some certainty, especially in cars like his. But how about an S2000?

There’s very few people on this forum who can look at few analysis and say "Yep, I’ve seen before, that oil isn’t the best choice" with any authority. The reason being they have seen hundreds of UOA and have the experience to intelligently say that. Most of us don't, we just play CLS on the internet.
Sorry, Satterfi. I guess I felt really let down after using Valvoline oil and finding out that maybe it is not so good. It made me feel really bad. Heck, I had switched from Pennzoil to Valvoline and I guess I would have been better off staying with Pennzoil. I am just trying to use the best for my car. I have always had an interest in car and truck maintenance-my father was a mechanic. I am not really sure which of two roads I am going to take-stay with 3000 mile oil changes and the best conventional oil I can find, or go to extended oil changes with some really excellent motor oil. For sure, I am going to give Schaeffer's Oil a try-everybody at this web site seems to agree that it is great. But it has been ingrained in me to change oil every 3000 miles or less, and it will be very hard to change. I guess after I start using the Schaeffer's Oil, I will also occasionally get my oil tested.
Don't feel bad. I was desperately waiting for Maxlife to arrive here in Oz but then Valuelessline reformulated it without moly and it appears to be a nothing oil now. Life's like that sometimes. Hey I ran 25W70 in my turbo for several years before discovering this forum. How stupid do I feel now you reckon??
Sprintman, I tried Valvoline MaxLife and I actually kind of liked it. It seemed to run good in my car. In comparison, I tried Valvoline synthetic and it was terrible! I wish I had never used it! I think Valvoline conventional oil is better. I don't know if MaxLife is really worth the extra buck or so over conventional Valvoline. Like you say, no Moly but also my pan gasket had been leaking a little and MaxLife really didn't seem to do much-Auto-RX fixed the leak. I kind of think that MaxLife is advertising hype more than anything else, but people who have tested it here at this web site say it is pretty decent. Thing is, you can guy Castrol GTX or Chevron for less than MaxLife and those two oils, with maybe a little Auto-RX added, are probably just as good.
In the aformentioned topic,I stated that "Valvoline stinks".Maybe I shouldn't have been so harsh,but in my cars,when using Valvoline,my mechanical oil pressure gauge was reading 10lbs lower.I switched back to Quaker State,readings were back to normal.Since I bought a case of the Valvoline,I decided maybe it was a fluke,so I used the rest of the case,and still had lower readings.

Disclamer..My opinion only,not to be taken as scientific evedence.

[ May 02, 2003, 11:59 AM: Message edited by: Chris 2421 ]

I am such a neophyte. I've just been buying the least expensive brand name dino oil of the appropriate viscosity when I go to change. Is there something wrong with this strategy?
I guess I should post here. Like Mystic, I felt let down by Valvoline. it's NOT a sucky oil ... just not particularly good ... and by that I mean compared to other brands available on store shelves as well as the specialty stuff available form Amsoil dealers, Red Line dealers and (of course) Schaeffer.

I had talked a couple times with their techs (800 Team Val) and knew others who had done so and got INCORRECT information ... I felt they out and out lied to me. Saying that Max-life was a Group III, That Synpower was a Group IV ("100% PAO" the tech said), etc ... and others got the same answers.

And, My Civic which never consumed a drop of oil in its life, began using oil when I tried their Synpower. It took a year of running Red Line to get the consumption back to zero.

My favorite Valvoline oil was Max-Life ... and only the original formula with lots of moly ... although I don't know if we ever settle what form of moly that was.

Unlike Widman and others who live in some less affluent areas of the world, we usually couldn't find a 'bad' (damaging) oil if we tried. Valvoline is an over-hyped but merely competent oil.

--- Bror Jace

Originally posted by SCL:

I am such a neophyte. I've just been buying the least expensive brand name dino oil of the appropriate viscosity when I go to change. Is there something wrong with this strategy?

The oil analyses have shown some significant differences in the oil's ability to offer engine protection, especially after 3000 miles, in some brands of lower priced oils vs. other brands. For the about same price you can get Chevron, Pennz, Mobil, or sometimes a bit more for Castrol, and get better engine protection. I occasionally see Chevron or Pennz for 69¢ or 89¢ per quart. My suggestion...pick one top brand, stick with it, and when it's on sale stock up.

I've been using maxlife since it first came out about three years ago and for the past 35k miles on my car only on maxlife. I sent out my first 3100 mile oil analysis to OA a week ago. Will post results when I get them. I'm kinda anxious as I too have read bad things about Valvoline oil in general that I switched over to Exxon superflo on the oil change. But it will be interesting to see my results as when maxlife first came out I stocked up on the oil maxlife formulation with the moly for the first year and a half. The rest was the new formulation. If I didn't find this board six months ago, I would still be using maxlife right now.

[ May 04, 2003, 12:08 PM: Message edited by: Cutehumor ]
Well, FWIW, my brother's 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse GT had Valvoline 5W-30 dino oil in it, and after 3,000 miles on this oil it developed a loud, nasty valve clack at idle which wouldn't go away, even when the engine was fully warm! The engine had only 30k on it.

So I drained the Valvoline and refilled the car with Mobil 1 0W-40.. noise gone!

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