Looking to change the motor oil for your car?
But confused about which one to choose. We understand it’s a hard decision to make, after all, it’s about your car.
We are here to clear your confusion. We have researched and found the 8 best synthetic oils to help you choose the perfect motor oil for your vehicle.
Our Top Recommendation
The Mobil 1 120874 Synthetic Motor Oil is our pick. It uses an advanced patented formula that prevents wear and tear of the various engine components, delivers oxidation and thermal stability, and also returns better gas mileage. It ensures excellent lubrication on all the moving parts. The decrease in engine deposit gives more power and functionality to the engine, which in return actually increase the performance.
Best Synthetic Oils (2019 Comparison)
Products Weight(pounds) Feature Check Price Mobil 1 120764 Best 5W-30 11.99 Outstanding Wear Protection Buy Now Valvoline SynPower 0W-20 9.25 Helps Maintain Fuel Efficiency Buy Now Pennzoil Platinum 5 quart 5W-20 1.76 Unsurpassed Wear Protection Buy Now Shell Rotella T6 1.23 Better Fuel Economy Buy Now Royal Purple 51520 5W-20 8 Superior Corrosion Protection Buy Now
1. Mobil 1 120764 Best 5W-30 – Best For High Performance
Mobil 1 is one of the oldest brands on the market today and generally used by many of the top car brands. It prides itself on giving you extended oil change intervals and this means you might only need to change your oil every 15,000-miles. SuperSyn Technology is one of their patented features and this will keep the oil from wearing when it is used under high-pressure situations. While it is a high-performance oil, it is not really recommended for aviation engines as of yet.
It seems to be a little expensive but as compared to the value it provides, it is cheaper. We definitely recommend this oil for high-performance situations.
- High-performance oil
- Approved for Nascar use
- Longer oil change intervals
- Reduce friction
- Also a little expensive
2. Pennzoil 550046122 Platinum 5 quart 5W-20 – Best For Cleaning
Known for the effective cleaning and lubrication properties, the Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full is a fully synthetic motor oil that will generally leave your car in the best possible state. Since it is 99.5% pure base oil, you don’t need to worry about any additional additives that could potentially lead to problems for your car.
The PurePlus Technology is one of the industries leading brand when it comes to removing hazardous additives from the oil. With all of these features, it definitely reduces any friction on metal and includes sludge protection that could cause bad build up in your vehicle. It is considered one of the closest cleans to the standard factory clean from your manufacturer.
The low-temperature oil flow is what should help you when you are on the road for longer miles on end. This formulation will keep the engine from overheating and ensure it is at peak performance at all time. It has also been approved for use in SRT engines and in cars that are competing in the IndyCar racing championship each year.
Unfortunately, it does bear a somewhat sizeable price tag compared to some of the other brands. However, Pennzoil is so confident that you will have a 500,000-mile or 15-year warranty to keep you protected. It is not only one of the best warranties we have seen, but we also recommend it for cars that travel long distance on end.
- Massive warranty
- PurePlus technology
- Cleans and lubricates effectively
- Low-temperature oil flow reduce heat
- A little expensive
3. Shell Rotella T6 T6 Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil
The Rotella T6 Synthetic Diesel Motor Oil 5W-40 CJ-4 is a synthetic oil from one of the top companies in the motor industry. Shell has been heavily developing products and this specific oil is one of the best for motorcyclists. According to Shell, the use of this oil can actually improve the fuel consumption of your motor vehicle by 1.5%.
Since this is also a blended oil, it includes multiple additives that have been known to increase the performance of your engine. The low-ash additive has been widely known for its ability to also reduce the emissions of your motor vehicle quite significantly. Lastly, it can resist viscosity and actually help to keep your engine running smoothly for longer.
Unfortunately, Shell is one of the big players in the motor oil industry and this has given them the ability to set prices as they desire. This oil is one of the more expensive options on the market today, giving you decent value for your money. Most people will definitely recommend it for motorcyclists, but we have seen it work really effective on most motor vehicles as well.
- Long-lasting formula
- Includes cleaning additives
- Lowers fuel consumption
- Great for motorcycles
- Quite expensive
4. Royal Purple 51520 5W-20 – Best For Harsh Conditions
The Royal Purple 32530 HPS 5W-30 Performance Street Synthetic Motor Oil is not one of the synthetic oils that you see commonly. However, it contains Synerlec and this is an additive that creates strength at an ionic level and keeps the vehicle from overheating, which could actually change the fuel consumption if not kept in check.
Another key feature is the fact that you don’t need to have a professional mechanic actually drain and clean the car when converting. This oil is compatible with most other synthetic oils and also blended oils for that matter. The only downside is that you need to wait for at least 2,000-miles on your new cat before you are making the oil change.
Since you will receive a massive pack of 12, you should be sorted for a couple of months when you choose it. However, it might be a little expensive to buy at first for some of the people just buying a brand new car. We recommend it for those living in harsh conditions and looking to reduce the wear and tear on the engine due to these conditions.
- Trusted brand
- Reasonably priced
- Easy oil changeover
- Great for bad conditions
- You need to wait for at least 2000-miles before changing
5. Liqui Moly 2041 Premium 5W-40 – Best For Prolonged Engine Life
Once again, we turn the German engineering to help us when it comes to keeping cars in the best possible condition. What makes this oil so special is that is designed to smooth out virtually any friction points on your engine. It is also one of the top options when it comes to compatibility and works with most fuel type engines on the market today.
The secret ingredient can be traced back to 1957 with the introduction of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). This chemical compound works for much longer and keeps the engine fully functional when running. According to tests, we have found that you should be able to get at least 15,000-miles from one application to save you a couple of bucks.
Per Jug, it is slightly more expensive than some of the other brands, but not really by much and should not keep you away. Since it is German Engineered and also imported, you can expect this price increase. We have noted it to be effective with most vehicles and should work well when you need to have a fast oil change.
- Compatible with most vehicles
- German Engineered
- 15,000-mile oil change intervals
- Includes molybdenum disulfide (MoS2)
- A little expensive
6. Valvoline High Mileage 5W-30 – Best For Older Engines
Valvoline is also one of the trusted brands we have on this list. The Valvoline High Mileage 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is a blended synthetic oil with extra detergents added to ensure your engine is actually cleaned efficiently. Since it does have a couple of additives, it is mostly recommended for some of the older engines that you need lubricated.
Seal conditioners are included to help reduce the wear of the engine and this could help you as you are saving on the maintenance of the car. With additional anti-oxidants, you won’t have as much oil breakdown and this will eventually lead to longer lasting oil. The only downside is that Valvoline only recommends using this oil if your car has done more than 75,000-miles.
When looking at this oil, you will also find that it is one of the cheapest options on the market today. Since you don’t really have to do too much, you will be saving on all the maintenance that most people need to go through with their vehicles. We definitely recommend this oil as one of the best for most older vehicles on the market and road today.
- Really cheap
- Blended oil formula
- Works well under pressure
- Recommended specifically for older engines
- Not ideal for newer model cars
7. AmazonBasics High Mileage Motor Oil – Best Budget Oil
Being one of the newer entries in the oil industry, the AmazonBasics High Mileage Motor Oil is not really well known. However, it does not have a blended formula and this full synthetic oil is designed to help increase the mileage on your vehicle. However, it is mostly designed for motor vehicles with a mileage already over 75,000.
Volatile burn off deposits should drop significantly when using this oil and many people have also seen fewer emissions. While we have not really seen any changes in fuel economy, it should help you with this as well. Nevertheless, the best p[art is the protection of your engine and the reduction of wear that helps it run for much longer.
Since it is also one of the cheaper options on the market today, you can virtually buy it for next to nothing. The oil has been specially formulated for most older vehicles and tested to work with them as well. It is worth noting that you can also find the blended version if you are not yet ready to move to the full synthetic oil version.
- Full synthetic
- Really affordable
- Helps lower fuel consumption
- Ideal for older vehicles
- It is only recommended for motors with a mileage of more than 75,000
Castrol is one of the largest and leading corporations in the motor industry. The Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil is one of their top productions and it features titanium engineered technology that helps it work much more efficiently when under higher pressure and when your vehicle is running at higher speeds.
Being up to 3X stronger against viscosity breakdown, the engine will run much more efficiently for longer periods of time. The change interval is anywhere between 5000-75000 miles, helping you save a lot of money as well. Since this is one of the strongest oils, it does effectively help to reduce friction between metal parts and the motor will have less maintenance.
Unfortunately, the 5 Qt bottle is not always sufficient for a full oil change on most vehicles and this means that people need to buy another bottle for this. However, it has been tested to be efficient by top brands like Ford and even Honda when it comes to working for their motor vehicles. You should also keep in mind that Castrol recommends using Bosch filters.
One of the common trends you will notice is the motor oil is not that expensive and you can actually do it all yourself if you know how. However, the expensive part might be asking a professional to assist you. This is something we highly recommend when it comes to actually replace your motor oil if you don’t have the experience.
- Titanium Engineered Technology
- Works for most top brands
- Oil changes only after 5000 miles
- Reduces metal friction
- The 5 Qt bottle is not always enough
Is Synthetic Oil Better for your Car?
Types of Synthetic Motor Oils
Today, synthetic oil has almost completely replaced conventional oil. It’s no surprise especially given the fact that they last longer, lubricate better and work well in varying climates.
They are made from compounds that are made artificially by breaking down and rebuilding petroleum molecules. They are tailored to provide optimal lubrication properties.
There are two types of synthetic oils that you should know about.
Synthetic Blend Oil
The synthetic blend oil, as the name suggests, is a mix of conventional motor oil with synthetic base stocks. Since it uses synthetic base stock in the conventional motor oil, you will get more protection and added performance. It is when you compare it to the use of conventional oil.
However, when you compare it to the full synthetic oil, it lacks behind in terms of performance and doesn’t last as long. On the bright side, you can usually get it at a lower price.
Full Synthetic Motor Oil
Just like the synthetic blend oil, It uses a synthetic base stock. But instead of using conventional oil, it uses different sets of additives that boost the performance of the oil. They are made from complex refining processes and have higher quality and purity. They are tailored to meet the demands of newer turbo-charged engines.
However, you will need to keep in mind that not all full synthetic oils are created equal. Different manufacturers use different additives in their oil resulting in varying performance and protection level.
They are usually more expensive than conventional oil and synthetic blend oil. But the extra price is easily justifiable and if you are using an automobile that is made later than 2012, we recommend nothing but full synthetic oil.
A Few Factors To Consider When Buying Synthetic Oil For Your Motor Vehicle:
If you are not yet familiar to the industry and you have limited knowledge when it comes to these oils, this should help you to actually find the right oil. We have chosen the top factors recommended to us by professionals when it comes to synthetic oils. Now, you can also choose the perfect synthetic oil for your motor vehicle:
This might not be one of those terms that you hear too often, but the viscosity refers to the oil’s resistance to flow under pressure. Basically, it will tell you more about the flow of the oil. It is generally indicated in the form of 10W – 40. Since oil will thicken as it gets colder, you will notice that the first number should be as low as possible and will tell you how resistant the oil is to thickening at cold temperatures.
On the other hand, the second number refers to the temperature level the oil needs to be before thinning out. You will need to find the perfect balance as no one wants the oil to thicken or thin out. If the oil is too thin at high temperatures, it won’t be as effective at protecting your car when driving at faster speeds. You might also need to choose a different oil for constant longer trips.
Many brands will add a few of these additives to help enhance the product. However, it does not always bode well for your car. Having more additives might keep the engine cleaner or even running much smoother for longer, but could spell high emissions. Once again, you need to look for the perfect balance to keep your motor vehicle lubricated and reduce emissions. You can even look to potentially reducing the fuel consumption.
Unfortunately, the oil does need to be replaced from time to time. However, this is always indicated by the manufacturer. Spending less time changing the oil is great for your budget and you could even save a couple of bucks. When looking at the change interval, we look for around 7000+ miles to ensure it is an effective product worth the money.
Also, note that when actually introducing the new oil, you need to find out how to drain the oil that is currently in the engine. While this can be done by a professional at a fee, you might also find some oils that work well with other oils. This can save you a lot and help you to slowly but surely change to a new and even better oil type.
Lastly, you need to factor in compatibility and check if the car will be compatible with the oil you have selected. Many brands only design oil for older models to keep them running for a few more miles. You can easily insert the name and model of you care to find out when you actually purchase the product. This is what we recommend doing as well.
FAQ on Synthetic Oils
Q1. Who makes the Best Motor Oil?
Ans: Mobil 1, Valvoline, Shell, and Castrol all are great options. Be sure to check out how long the oil lasts before making your purchase. You can’t go wrong with any of the aforementioned brands.
Q2. Is it okay to switch brands of Synthetic Oil?
Ans: It is okay to switch brands as long as the specifications between the oils are the same.
If you really need to (in case of an emergency), you can go as far as topping up an engine loaded with 5W-30 a 5W-40 oil and you will still have no problem. Minor viscosity differences are acceptable. Just make sure that the API under the engine oil specification matches that of the engine oil.
Q3. Which oil is thicker 5w30 or 10w30?
Ans: ‘5w30’ and ‘10w30’ are the viscosity grades which tells how the engine oil performs within the range of average and cold temperatures.
The first number in the viscosity grade represents the low temperature (i.e. 5 or 10), ‘w’ stands for winter and the second number represents the high-temperature rating.
Between the 5w30 and the 10w30, the 10w30 will be thicker during the cold climate. While choosing between the two, you will need to keep the climate you live in into consideration. For places that reach as low as -30°C, it’s a safer bet to choose the 5w30 engine oil.
Harvey is a content marketer, traveler, fitness enthusiast with many other things. When it comes to outdoor and technology, Harvey is our go-to guy.