What is high mileage oil? You might’ve asked this question at some point. We all know how important oil is in our cars to keep them properly lubricated, cooled, and to prevent premature damage. But with all the types of engine oil to choose from, it can be very confusing to know which provides what. You’ve probably heard about this high mileage oil, so you ask, “what is high mileage oil”. High mileage oil is a type of oil that is specifically designed and formulated for high mileage engines, with a mileage of 75,000 miles or more.
What is high mileage oil and what makes it special? High mileage oil can help high mileage engines since it has additives and seal enhancers or conditioners that reduce leaks on both internal and external. It can lead the gaskets, seals, and o-rings to swell to prevent leaks. All these and more can be provided by high mileage oil. With this comprehensive guide, we will go through each of the frequently asked questions to help us better understand what high mileage oil is.
What is High Mileage Oil? – What is the Difference Between Regular Oil and High Mileage Oil?
Engine oil plays a very important role in the overall operation of the engine. It is responsible for lubricating many engine parts to reduce friction as well as prevent unwanted reactions on the engine surface parts such as corrosion. The engine needs to be properly lubricated for it to be able to burn fuel more effectively and efficiently. This translates to a better performance. Plus, it also minimizes unnecessary power loss and can prevent premature wear and damage. A good engine oil can provide all of these benefits and more.
There is no one-size-fits-all engine oil today that can work for all modern engines. Some will need a lighter viscosity or thinner oil while some needs thicker ones. Some engines need more protection than the other ones. If you use the wrong oil, many problems can occur such as engine drivability issues that can only be corrected by replacing the oil with the right one. That is why it is important to use the right oil when you go for an oil change.
Many car owners might ask, what is the difference between regular oil and high mileage oil? They have probably asked this question since it can really be confusing to know what type of oil you should use for your car, especially if there are various types of oil being sold in the market today. People usually ask this question when their cars have reached tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of miles. While high mileage oil is good for older cars, regular oil is still good for newer vehicles and when you say regular oil, it is the type of oil that is commonly used on regular vehicles. It may be conventional oil, synthetic oil, or synthetic blend.
- High mileage oil
To know the difference between regular oil and high mileage oil, you need to understand, what is high mileage oil? High mileage oil is a type of motor oil that is specially formulated to deal with specific problems that happen to high mileage vehicles. When they say high mileage vehicles, it usually means vehicles with more than 75,000 miles. This type of oil can help lessen smoke, oil consumption, and emissions from the older vehicles. It also helps prevent leaks and oil seepage.
High mileage oil has more specific additives such as seal swells, conditioners, detergents, antioxidants, and many more. These additives help protect the old engine and help prevent engine wear and tear. Although you can use high mileage oil in a somewhat newer car without causing harm to it, the problems that can be addressed by high mileage oil don’t usually occur in cars with less than 75,000 miles. Since high mileage oil is a bit more expensive than the regular ones, you will just be wasting your money if you are using it in your younger car.
- Conventional oil
A conventional oil is an oil derived from petroleum. Conventional oil is usually still recommended to be used on most vehicles, especially the brand new cars with less than 5,000 miles which is considered as the break in period for cars straight off the factory. It is said that conventional oil is used during this period since it will be too early to introduce synthetic oil to the system since it may reduce the performance of the car.
- Synthetic oil
Synthetic oil is also derived from petroleum but it has been highly processed, removing its impurities. It is known to have its own advantages and benefits. This type of oil is capable of reducing friction and wear on engine components. It has high performance fluids that produce a unique chemical formula that can increase the resistance to viscosity breakdown.
What is the difference?
If all the oils have their benefits and advantages, what is high mileage oil and what makes it special? High mileage oil contains additives and these additives are what make it special. Like mentioned earlier, it has antioxidants and detergents that can clean your engine as well as conditioners to keep the seals from leaking.
High mileage oil is also considered as what is referred to as high viscosity, which means it is very thick. This is needed so your engine seals will be protected. Although there are some similar features and mixtures in regular and synthetic oils, it is not as much as the ones in high mileage oils.
What is High Mileage Oil? – Is High Mileage Oil Safe?
Now that we have answered the question, “what is high mileage oil?”, maybe some people are wondering if using high mileage oil on their old cars is really safe. It is safe to use on your older vehicles. In fact, high mileage oil is capable of addressing specific engine weaknesses due to old age. It can also provide benefits such as:
- The ability to clean the engine.
High mileage oil contains extra detergents that can help make sure that the older engines are always running clean. When the engine gets old or has reached a certain mileage, it can create sludge faster than the newer engines. Older engines also tend to collect or accumulate sludge behind by other engine oils. High mileage oil can get rid of the sludge since it has antioxidant additives. It is capable of breaking this sludge up and dissolving them. This process can also prevent viscosity breakdown.
- The ability to stop leaks and oil seepage.
When the engine ages, its seals and other parts may become brittle due to normal wear and tear which can lead to leaking. When this happens, your car will burn off more oil compared to the younger cars. Using high mileage oil can prevent this from occurring since it has seal conditioners that recondition the seals that have weakened. It also has a seal sweller that is effective in helping reduce leaks, improve engine performance, and eliminate smoking. With the high mileage oil getting rid of the leaks, the oil consumption and burnoff of your old car will be reduced.
- The ability to protect the engine.
As the car ages, problems will start to show up and general wear and tear may occur over time. This makes the high mileage cars suffer more issues than the younger ones. That is why using high mileage oil will be very beneficial to older cars since it has anti-wear agents and other additives that can help prevent future wear since it can help prevent metal to metal contact. This goes to show that high mileage oil can help prevent and protect your entire engine.
What is High Mileage Oil? – What Happens if I Don't Use High Mileage Oil?
You now understand, “what is high mileage oil?” and why it is important. But, what happens if you don’t use high mileage oil? Experts are recommending that you use high mileage oil when your car hits 75,000 miles and above. If you don’t use high mileage oil, your engine and its components will likely suffer wear problems which can lead to leaks, oil seepage, and other damage.
Using high mileage oil can help your older engine since its components will wear and loosen over time. Even though you are following the recommended oil change intervals set by your car manufacturer, due to normal wear and tear and mileage, the tight tolerances in an engine tend to loosen up.
The piston rings, the crankshaft, and the connecting rod bearing will all eventually develop some slop. When this happens and piston rings and the valve seals become worn, it will result in increased oil consumption and poor compression. Plus, the cylinder bores can also wear down. Then there are components such as the valves, valve guides, and seals that can cause compression issues and blowbies when they have worn out.
If you have been neglecting oil changes or you already have poor crankcase ventilation, it can lead to sludge and carbon build ups on the rotating components. Another thing that could happen when your engine ages is that its gaskets and seals may dry up, shrink, or degrade which can lead to leaks.
Bear in mind that these said components may wear out at different rates due to the fact that some engine parts may be made with cast irons and others are made of aluminum or alloy. In addition, the way you drive may also have a significant impact on the longevity of your engine. If you have bad driving habits such as heavy hauling or frequent hard acceleration, then it is likely that your engine will wear out much faster.
Since these problems can happen when your engine becomes older or has hit higher mileage, it will be beneficial for it to have a high mileage oil change. This is because high mileage oils have been formulated with additives and are specifically made for engines with more than 75,000 miles on it. It has seal conditioners that can swell and restore seals and gaskets back to their normal size and shape which can get rid of engine leaks.
High mileage oil also has viscosity modifiers that can maintain the thickness of the oil throughout its service cycle, friction modifiers that can help make up for the loosened internal tolerances between moving components, detergents that can fight, clean, and dissolve sludge and carbon build up on the engine’s internal parts, and anti-corrosion agents.
So if you ask, what is high mileage oil? High mileage oil is a type of oil that helps maintain an older vehicle and allows it to keep on running down the road for many years. It helps extend the life of your old engine and its components.
What is High Mileage Oil? – When Should I Start Using High Mileage Oil?
Now that you have an idea what high mileage oil is, you might wonder if you should start using high mileage oil now. If your car’s odometer has less than 75,000 on it, or if your car has no signs of problems such as burning or leaking oil, and you are already using a certain type of oil that works well for your car’s engine, then you should not use a high mileage oil yet.
However, if your car has reached 75,000 to 100,000 miles or more, you notice oil smoke, sludge, engine blowby, and other signs of excessive oil consumption, or you notice unusual sounds such as rattling noises while driving, then it is probably time that you consider using high mileage oil on your car. If you are still having doubts on whether you should use high mileage oil or not, you can consult your owner’s manual. It can tell you what type of oil your car needs.
When a car gets older, it will need some “supplements” to maintain it and help extend its life. So if you ask, “what is high mileage oil?”, know that these “supplements” are the additives which can be found in this type of oil. But aside from using this oil, other things you can do to make sure that your engine is always at its top condition is by topping all fluids, inspecting all its filters, belts, and hoses, and checking all its fluid levels including the coolant level. Of course, you should never forget the routine tune ups.