Which Motor Oil Brands to Avoid and Why? Explained

It seems like every day there is a new Motor Oil commercial on TV. With all of the choices, which one should you choose for your car, truck or SUV? You don’t want to end up with an inferior product that could damage your vehicle engine!

But how can you be sure which brands to avoid? Here’s a list of some Motor Oil brands you should definitely stay away from.

Does It Matter What Brand of Motor Oil You Use?

The answer is both yes and no. Many oil companies use basic stocks for their oil. So the brand may not always matter. Some users will opine otherwise. Because brand may seem important when it comes to performance.

But many other factors matter when it comes to the selection of motor oils. For example the API, ILSAC/ACEA specifications, or the quality and consistency made by brands.

Moreover, oils of the same grade often deliver different performances based on brands. Small but important problems like engine heating or vibrations get reduced to different levels by different oil brands.

Here are the things that matter more than brands: frequency of changing the oil, viscosity, friction modifiers, detergent vs. non-detergent oil. The last two of these make the most difference between the brands.

But be careful to avoid brands with specifications such as SA, SB etc. They have no additives or detergents. Moreover, they tend to break-in oil. Usually, cheaper oils tend to have these specifications.

Besides, choose SN plus specifications for gasoline-powered vehicles and CK specifications for Diesel.

Which Motor Oil Brands to Avoid?

After extensive research, I have compiled the brands of motor oil to avoid. I will be stating the reasons to avoid them as well. Here is what not to buy:

  1. Any Departmental Store House Brands: These do not have a reliable production system. They should only be used in absolute emergencies.
  2. STP Motor Oil: Scientifically Treated Petroleum or STP are motor oils that the Dollar Tree stores. So it is clear the quality it possesses. You don’t want something that cheap and unreliable in your vehicle.
  3. Liberty Motor Oil: This contains a viscosity of less than 70%. It will never help run your vehicle smoothly. Additionally, Liberty motor oil contains an unrecommended amount of volatile compounds. They are also too preachy about their oil. Which rarely delivers what it promises. This one’s an easy pass.
  4. Quaker State Q: They are plain liars. Neither their specification nor product information is correct. These oils have high volatility and low quality. Which enables them to diffuse too quickly. They are expensive as well. Moreover, they have more weight which is not good for engine health. And obviously, they are not a multi-viscosity oil as they claim.
  5. Petrola Motor Oil: Unreal viscosity marketing, another case of misleading information. They also do not deliver the promised SAE specification. The oil seems to be suited for cars back in 1930 and not after. Their packaging is also unsatisfactory. Your engine might be at risk if you use this oil. It goes the same for the environment, with more than normal carbon emissions.
  6. Xpress Lube Pro: Their SAE grading is missing. The present grading is unorganized and falsified. Which is why, it is difficult to choose the proper oil for your car. Their oil also lacks quality and safe ingredients. They too are mostly suited for the older cars. Moreover, they claim falsified things.
  7. Questron: Their claim of having premium-grade motor oil is false. Their viscosity is undefined. They can easily damage your engine with their poor quality and lubrication. They are overall, a waste of money.
  8. Bullseye Motor Oil: Don’t be fooled by their beautiful bottles. They are practically useless with false specifications smeared all over the bottle. Among all the brands mentioned above, this one is the worst!

These are the motor oil brands that you should avoid.

Best Alternatives to the Avoidable Motor Oil Brands

Here are the best alternatives of motor oils you should decide on purchasing. These are made according to some specifications necessary for the engine:

  1. High Quality, High Price – Lucas, Amsoil, Royal Purple Oil: They are the best oils out there. Especially if you are into racing. They are high quality and deliver the perfect viscosity. Their SAE ratings are reliable as well. Although they fall in the expensive category, they are still 10 dollars a quart. The most inexpensive is the Amsoil oil. These oils deliver even in high temperatures. It reduces the chances of gunk production as well.
  2. High Quality, Low Price – Mobil 1 and Castrol: These are both synthetic oils. They provide a range of models or varieties for different types of car models. They are affordable. But they have good quality ingredients in them. But be careful about misleading information about them. These provide good mileage, protection against wear and tear.
  3. High Quality, Widespread Misinformation – Pennzoil/Quaker State, Valvoline, Eurospec, Turbo: Most of these oils are made via unique technologies. For example, Valvoline. These maintain engine health, increase protection against wear. Delivers optimum performance while delivering high mileage. They also provide thermal protection and deliver cold-compatible performance. Usually, the synthetic motor oils from these brands are the best!
  4. House Brands – Napa, Wix: The brands made by these companies are usually more reliable. For example, they strike contracts with different brands a different seasons. For example, Pennzoil, Valvoline, Mobil 1, etc.

Which One is the Best?

The best oil comes undoubtedly from Wix. They produce good air filters as they produce good quality, high-performing motor oil.

Synthetic vs. Regular Motor Oil – Which is for You?

It is recommended to use synthetic motor oils for most modern vehicles. Not only does it have a higher viscosity, but it is also cleaner. Because, unlike regular oils, it is not refined from crude oil. It is artificially produced with the best component consistencies.

When Should You Change the Motor Oil in Your Engine?

You should change the motor oil every 3,000 miles. But as discussed before, if you use a bad quality house brand as an emergency, change it right after usage. As soon as you can.

Final Words

Motor oils matter in saving your engine from damage. It also determines the longevity of the engine and definitely the performance. So choose the brands suggested in this article. And always avoid the ones I suggested against.

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