Valvoline motor oil

Not open for further replies.
Jan 18, 2004
Shelby, NC
OK, I have read a bunch of posts that knock Valvoline oils, from All Climate having no moly and weak additives, to Super Syn being a Group III+. What I want to know is what is the actual difference between Valvoline and others such as Castrol, Pennzoil, etc? I remember when I was younger than no one would use QS in this area because it was supposedly prone to gunk up motors. Now Pennz and QS are two of the supposedly better oils. Just trying to stay on the curve so to speak.
no one really knows much about qs as hardly anyone here uses it.
pennz seems to be a great oil from what i have seen but again, not many people using it.
valvoline is definitly "good enough" for most cars, most uoa's seem to be ok, but there are better oils. castrol, chevron, havoline, pennz, shell, mobil and others are probably a better choice if you want to split hairs, but again valvoline isnt a "bad" oil.
no modern SL rated oil is truely bad, not even supertech.
Additive package aside, I think the base oil might be quite good in fact. The somewhat weaker additive levels may be allright or even good for those changing oil regularily at 3K mi.

So, it has been an observation that Valvoline has a weaker additive package for most of their low end products.

However, one thing I found recently from browsing and searching some UOA/VOA on this board is that the Valvoline/Napa 15w40 grade oil is an exception to the weak Valvoline additive rule.

In fact, it looks great to me, and it probably explains why Napa charges 30 cents or so more a quart for their 15w-40 grade over all other grades. That's 30 cents well spent if you're going to push the oil past 3K.

[ January 26, 2004, 11:13 PM: Message edited by: giant_robo ]
I don't know about the Valvoline conventional oils (never used them), but Valvoline synpower 5w-40 and 10w-30 have delivered in both our cars, especially our Volvo. Even with 2% fuel diluation, our Volve 850 turbo had very low lead and very low iron. It was impressive and I doubt many oils could beat the numbers I got.

The wear numbers on my Passat were very impressive too (even from a cold weather run), but the 5w-40 sheared pretty badly so I've switched to GC.
I was using Valvoline when I discovered this web site, and after checking out the VOAs and UOAs here I decided to switch to Chevron.

Why was I using Valvoline? Well, I knew that at least in the past it was extremely popular in auto racing. Of course, what is good for a race car is not necessarily good for an ordinary car or truck. There was the advertising about Valvoline being extremely popular among mechanics. Now, that is advertising, but there really are a lot of mechanics who use Valvoline. I have met several. And if you walk into a NAPA or CarQuest store, their store brand oil is actually Valvoline, to the best of my knowledge.

But if you check out the VOAs and UOAs at this web site there is no getting around the fact that motor oils like Chevron, Pennzoil, and Castrol seem to do better. At least they do better in the VOAs and UOAs. You have to look at the information and make your decision based on what you think the facts are.

For 3000 mile oil changes, it may make no difference whatsoever, as long as you are using a brand name oil. But for me, I think I would just feel better if I knew that one brand might be better for more miles then another.

I want to like Valvoline. It is widely available-certainly more so then Chevron. But if Chevron is truly better then Valvoline, why not use Chevron?
I don't mean to sound like a smart a--, but I have run Valvoline oils for about 30 years now and I guess close to a million miles all in street or off-road vehicles. Mileage varied from a high of 300,000 miles in a small block Chevy, to low of only 14,000 miles on a Ford.
I have never had an engine problem due to oil. In over thirty years as a mechanic I still believe that most oils on the market will work real good for most of us, on most autos we drive, for as long as we own them.
One other thought I had was that synthetics are without any doubt is the best change in oil I have ever seen. The difference I have seen is reflected in both mileage & performance.

Originally posted by giant_robo:
However, ... Valvoline/Napa 15w40 grade oil is an exception to the weak Valvoline additive rule.

Valvoline's basic oil, All Climate, includes a 15w40 that is really like a heavy duty engine oil. Higher zinc and phosphorus, etc. Probably the same one as at NAPA. Not sure, but I think the Valvoline version is only avail in large quantity like supplied for fleet use.

I happen to be a Valvoline nut and have been running mostly Valvoline for the past several years. Durablend until last fall when I switched to Maxlife, which seems to be cleaning my engine better. I will say I am not impressed with All Climate (except as above noted) based on fairly poor flash points. Ditto Maxlife 5w30. Maxlife 10w40 has an exceptionally high flash point for a 10w40; likewise Durablend 5w30. Flash points, that is, as listed on the tech sheets at
As crypto said, there is nothing about valvoline, that is going to hurt your engine, but there are better oils on the market for the same price or less. Having said that, the company I work for uses Napa oil in most of our vehicles, and they seem to last quite a long time, under very very extreme abuse.
I think the bottom line is that any good quality name brand motor oil will be acceptable if you do 3000 mile oil changes. Stay away from motor oils that don't meet requirements and oddball brands you have never heard of.

As you can see from what people have said above, you can probably get good mileage from, or Pennzoil, or Castrol, or Chevron, or whatever. Synthetics are a good choice at least for the wintertime.

I still think though that we might as well make use of the VOAs and UOAs that have been shown at this site. Even if you are doing 3000 mile oil changes, if you know that a motor oil like Chevron has that little bit of extra quality so that you could probably go 5000 or even 6000 miles, why not use the oil with the little bit extra?
I really think that I've seen enough proof to say we put too much emphasis on oil alone. Engines don't fail due to oil related problems generally. I think in racing situations or just plain neglect they do. If you drive very hard, a good synthetic is added protection.
As others have stated, there is nothing "wrong" with Valvoline oils. They likely will serve just fine, especially if you are a die hard 3000 mile changer.

I used to be a 3000 mile changer and Valvoline user, but then I started doing UOA's and figured out that for the same amount of money, I could buy an oil that performed better and could last longer.

If you figure out that it does fine in your application (like VeeDub) there is nothing wrong with using their oils.
Not open for further replies.