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The 5 Best Engine Oil Brands

No matter what you drive, it is important to use the best possible engine oil. Though you may know when or how your car’s oil needs to be changed, that is not the same thing as knowing what needs to go in it.

Premium oil is essential because it is one of the best ways to ensure your car stays running and healthy for as long as possible.

As a result, it is always important to do your research before lubricating your engine. It may seem like a good idea to grab the first brand you find, or even go with the first name you recognize, but such methods often lead to lackluster results.

It is not that such options will lead to problems (though they can), but rather that such options will not give you the same results as other, more refined brands.

Best Engine Oil: A Comparison Table

oil gauge meter level

A Rating Guide to the Best Engine Oil

Every oil in the following guide was tested for performance, price, and lasting results. When taking such factors into account, numerous reviews were also analyzed to check mileage and general quality.

In addition, many small variables, such as viscosity and versatility, were also looked at to give a much more thorough and complete picture of each item.

All of those steps help ensure that every option on this list meets the high-quality criteria a brand needs to be considered the best engine oil on the market.

Mobile 1 Extended Performance

Mobil 1 (120766) Extended Performance 5W-30 Motor Oil - 5 Quart
  • For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
  • Advanced full synthetic formula; helps prevent deposits and sludge build-up to enable long engine life;Helps to maintain...
  • Excellent overall lubrication and wear protection performance under many operating conditions; precise balance of...

The first entry on this best engine oil list is Mobile 1 Extended Performance. Mobile 1 is one of the most trusted names in automotive care, and that high mark continues with this brand.

You want your oil to be multi-functional. While there is nothing wrong with doing one thing well, that doesn’t quite cut it for your engine. Rather, you want a little bit of everything, and that is where this brand shines.

Extended Performance is full synthetic, which means it only contains additives specially made to increase engine life and keep your car at its peak performance.

In addition, it prevents deposits, maintains stable oil viscosity, and stops sludge build up as a way to increase overall engine life. Such benefits mean you’re always getting the most out of, and for, your engine. However, Extended Performance doesn’t stop there.

As you would expect from any substance considered to be the best engine oil, it also promotes excellent lubrication and creates wear protection performance that works under all different operating conditions.

Such level of performance is only possible because of the product's ability to exert incredible control over oil breakdown. That attribute protects your engine and keeps your car in tip-top shape no matter where or how you drive.

You also get incredible thermal and oxidation stability, and it even enables quick cold weather start-up for fast protection.

That versatility makes it an excellent choice for all car makes and models. Sometimes, it can be easy to shy away from an oil brand for fear that it won’t work with your car's engine, but there is nothing Mobile 1 Extended Performance cannot handle.

If you want something that actively protects your engine no matter the condition, this is the best way to go.

Verdict

Royal Purple HMX

Royal Purple 11748 HMX SAE 5W-30 High Mileage Synthetic Motor Oil - 5...
  • Minimizes wear and restores lost engine performance
  • Increased protection against LSPI
  • Fortified with Zinc/Phosphorus anti-wear additive

Another top-of-the-line brand, Royal Purple has been a big name in the auto industry for years. They make many high-quality products, and that fact is reflected through the excellent HMX.

This is considered by many to be the best engine oil because of how well it preserves engine life for broken-in cars. Though many oil options work on all vehicles, sometimes you want a formula perfectly tailored to your vehicle.

HMX fills that role because it is specially engineered to restore lost performance in engines that have gone to or over 75,000 miles.

Cars break down over time. Though many of the best engine oil brands help stall that process in one way or another, none of them fight against for used cars like HMX.

That extra strength restoration comes from the brand’s unique additive technology, which actively works alongside zinc and phosphorus anti-wear compounds to promote better protection for key parts of your engine.

Those then mix with other chemicals to revitalize and fortify hardened seals, as well as reduce the oil consumption seen in many high-mileage engines.

If you want a way to help an older car or protect one that has seen a lot of roads, there is no better option than this.

The company also ensures that their product will reduce oxidation within the engine block. It is those features that help HMX restore your engine to its past strength.

A final noteworthy aspect of this brand is that it provides ionic attraction, which makes the oil cling to different surfaces in your engine. That not only makes the substance work more effectively, but it also reduces friction from metal-to-metal contact.

That is a particularly useful feature because it helps maintain and promote peak engine performance at all times. Many oils simply give your engine a boost, HMX greatly surpasses that.

Verdict

Pennzoil Platinum

Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil (SN) 5W-20, 5 Quart - Pack...
  • Full synthetic 5W-20 engine oil made from made from natural gas, not crude, using Pennzoil's patented gas-to-liquid...
  • Provides better fuel economy—drive on average an extra 550 miles per year (versus a dirty engine)
  • Pennzoil Platinum 5W-20 keeps pistons up to 45% cleaner than the toughest industry standard (Based on Sequence IIIH...

Another full synthetic option worth talking about, Pennzoil Platinum, comes from a name you can trust.

Pennzoil, much like Mobile 1, is a well-known brand name that is almost synonymous with quality. Though they make many great products, Platinum is the one that hits this list because of its cutting-edge characteristics.

First and foremost is the unique PurePlus Technology. Every best engine oil brings something special to the table, but where Pennzoil shines is through their unmatched innovation.

PurePlus, which works through Pennzoil’s ability to convert natural gas into full synthetic base oil, is a top-of-the-line attribute that offers incredible engine protection alongside great performance-enhancing characteristics.

By employing and utilizing natural gas over other materials, the technology leads to a cleaner, much more efficient engine.

That then combines with advanced sludge-removing detergents to create a powerful formula optimized to aid any engine. In fact, the oil works to eliminate sludge better than similar oil blends and offers more advanced wear protection over longer periods of time.

Another reason to choose this oil over similar brands is that it works extremely well under hazardous driving conditions.

Many brands offer protection or enhanced performance, but only during calm or serene conditions. Pennzoil makes it so that their product helps your car run and work no matter how severe the conditions outside get.

In that vein, the oil also excels in extreme temperatures, all while working to make your engine 40 percent cleaner.

Those perks then come at one of the most affordable prices on the market. It is rare to get extremely high quality oil at such a great deal, but Pennzoil offers one of the best cost-to-results ratios on the current market.

Verdict

Castrol GTX Magnatec

Castrol 03060 GTX MAGNATEC 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil, Green, 5...
  • -Dramatically reduce engine wear
  • -Leave critical engine parts 4X smoother* * As tested in the industry Sequence IVA wear test
  • -Superior wear protection on critical engine parts

Next up on the list is GTX Magnatec. This ranks among the best engine oil options for various reasons, but its largest pull is that it is multi-functional. Where many oil options only help part of your engine, Magnatec is an all-around formula that will keep your car at its full potential for years to come.

The reason for that is the special Magnatec technology that helps oil stick and clings to the key parts of your engine.

That may not sound like a big deal, but nearly all engine wear occurs within the first 10 or 20 minutes of the car being turned on. That is when the oil lubricates the critical components and when it needs to work its hardest.

By clinging to crucial areas, Magnatec stays in place rather than draining down to central locations like other popular brands. This small change makes all of the difference, enabling the oil to effectively work where it needs to at all times.

Beyond that, Magnatec also gets high praise for how well it preserves the engine and reduces long-term wear.

No matter how careful you are with your car, your engine will break down over time. Though it is impossible to stop that process, it is always nice when your oil takes care of your car for you.

Castrol’s special formula leaves key parts of your engine running four times smoother than they normally would, and it provides unmatched protection against viscosity breakdown.

The brand also employs a special full synthetic technology that actively fights against harmful sludge build-up.

As you would expect from something considered to be the best engine oil, this also promotes a high fuel economy. Saving your gas means more money in your pocket down the line, making it a great investment in more ways than one.

Verdict

Valvoline Daily Protection

Valvoline - 881159 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor...
  • Extra wear protection designed to help keep automotive engine parts like new
  • Added detergents help protect against sludge and deposits
  • High quality additives resist motor oil breakdown in tough conditions

Previously known as Valvoline Premium Conventional Motor Oil, Daily Protection is the same brand many have enjoyed for years but in a new easy-to-pour bottle. This wraps up our list because its wide-reaching formula goes above and beyond in several ways.

Not only does the oil protect against all different types of deposits, but it actively works at every temperature to ensure you always get the best possible protection.

This choice, which has benefits for both turbocharged and non-turbo engines, also comes with special anti-wear additives. These stay in the oil for extended periods of time as a way to improve engine protection, resist thickening, and enhance oxidation.

That feature range shows why so many people pick this oil. It is trusted, works for a long time, and keeps your car in the best possible shape. You don’t just get one bonus here, you get a formula that works for your vehicle on many different levels.

The oil comes with some of the best anti-wear protection on the market, surpassing wear tests for all different engines in many different countries.

It also has multi-viscosity grades to ensure it protects your engine in all different climate types. That extra bonus, mixed with the above properties, reveal how this oil completely protects your engine at all times.

If you want strong year-round protection, regardless of where you drive or the environment in which you live, few brands can match Valvoline Daily Protection.

Verdict

Buying the Best for Your Car

Picking out the best engine oil is not an easy process. Not only are there a lot to choose from, but not every brand fits every vehicle.

If the above five oils don’t fit your particular situation for one reason or another, you always have the choice to go and find your own. However, when doing so, it is important to keep a few aspects in mind.

First, take note if you want a synthetic or non-synthetic formula. Then, account for price, performance, brand, and quality. It is also important to check for any special features, such as extra protection, or new technologies like Magnatec.

Once you’ve narrowed it down, the last factor to pay attention to is how long an oil lasts and works for your engine.

Some options might give excellent results for a short period of time, but it is always a better deal to get long-lasting protection. So, do your best to pick the brands that keep on giving.

hand tinkering car engine

A Smooth Engine, A Smooth Ride

There are few things more critical to a car than high-quality engine oil. It is extremely easy to skimp when it comes to oil brands, but you never want to cut corners with that decision.

Rather than worrying about not giving your car what it deserves, choose a hard-working oil from a trusted brand. Every option may seem similar in a vacuum, and they may work fine, but that is not what you’re looking for.

As mentioned, the goal when choosing engine oil is to find the best possible formula for your vehicle.

The above five choices are the best engine oil options in today’s world, which means they all give fantastic results. While they each provide different benefits, at least one will be right for you.

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