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Engine oil serves several purposes in an engine. It helps carry away heat that builds up, reduces friction inside, washes deposits from internal components, prevents wear on moving parts, and protects against corrosion.

In a high-mileage engine, the oil is even more important, and without the proper oil and oil changes you could be facing engine problems. Wear and tear has created space where there previously wasn’t any. Seals and bearings have some pitting and wear, and minor leaks are developing.

But with the right engine oil alone, many of the symptoms of a high mileage vehicle disappear. What is high mileage oil, and what is the best motor oil for high mileage engines?

What High Mileage Oil is All About

For most people, high mileage oil isn’t typically a concern. They’ll use whatever the quick lube shop has on hand. But it’s proven that you’ll get better performance, reduced wear, and longer engine life when you choose the best motor oil for well-used cars. When you’re choosing the best oil for older cars or high mileage engines, there are several criteria you can look at.

Best Motor Oil for High Mileage Engines

Engine Age

Engines can be considered high mileage at 75,000 miles and up. Or, if your car is 7 years old or more, it’s a good idea to look for an oil with the best viscosity for high mileage before your engine starts stalling.

Viscosity and Temperature

Look for an engine oil that tolerates high temperatures and maintains its viscosity – that is, its ability to protect at high temps.


For cold-weather climates, the first part of the oil rating is important. In most temperate climates, a 10W oil will suffice, but the best motor oil for high mileage engines in cold weather will start with 5W or even 0W.


Check for additives that clearly spell out the oil’s protective qualities. Many high mileage oils contain detergents, seal conditioners, friction modifiers, and antioxidants to keep everything neat and tidy inside.


You’ll find a wide range of high mileage oils on the market – synthetic, semi-synthetic, and conventional. Prices vary by brand and grade with synthetic being the most expensive.

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Best High Mileage Oil Options

Pennzoil High Mileage Conventional Motor Oil

Pennzoil High Mileage Conventional Motor Oil

A great solution on a budget is Pennzoil High Mileage. It’s a conventional motor oil to help keep within your budget, but with added properties to enhance protection and reduce wear. Formulated to help stop leaks in older engines, it’s probably the best conventional high-mileage motor oil for the price, which is a decent option to prevent engine failure and break down.

Castrol GTX Part-Synthetic High Mileage

A part-synthetic engine oil available in common grades, Castrol GTX High Mileage steps up protection for your old, tired engine. Detergents help fight sludge while seal swellers reduce the amount of oil that enters the combustion chamber. It’s touted as the best oil for high mileage cars to prevent catalytic converter and emissions system failure. It’s decent protection at a mid-level price.

Valvoline MaxLife High Mileage Synthetic Blend

Designed for engines with more than 75,000 miles, Valvoline MaxLife High Mileage oil is based on a semi-synthetic blend. Additives include seal conditioners to help stop and prevent leaks, friction modifiers to prevent future engine wear, and anti-oxidants to prevent oil breakdown. 

Mobil1 High Mileage Engine Oil

Mobil1 High Mileage is a synthetic-based high mileage oil that they claim protects up to 500,000 miles when changed regularly. The higher viscosity helps prevent oil leaks and offers high-temperature protection and it contains seal conditioners and anti-oxidants as well. From one of the most recognized brands in engine oils, many choose it as the best motor oil for high mileage engines.

Amsoil Premium Protection Motor Oil

Are you looking after your high-performance or classic car’s engine? If the car you’re maintaining is worth extra care and extra cost, Amsoil Premium Protection Motor Oil is pretty much the best you can get. It’s available in 10W-40 and 20W-50 and is a synthetic-based engine oil. No doubt, your oil changes will cost quite a bit extra but Amsoil will protect your engine like none other.

Selling a Car with High Mileage

Selling a Car with High Mileage

Choosing the best oil for older cars boils down to just a few options including these five. If you’re driving a high-mileage vehicle, you may be able to get extra months or years of service simply by switching up to one of the best high mileage oils you can find to prevent engine lock up which can be an expensive hassle. However, engine oil can’t reverse damage once it’s happened, no matter how much you pay. If your engine is trashed and you want to get rid of your car, CarBrain can help. Request an online quote for your car in as-is condition. We buy cars of all kinds in less-than-perfect condition, even those with very high mileage! Click below to get an instant cash-value offer.

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