Do High Mileage Oils Really Offer the Benefits as Advertised

Published: 09th December 2009
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There are a significant number of commercials of on T.V. that would leave one to believe that after your car reaches 75,000 miles it needs a special oil. The obvious question to ask is; what was wrong with to oil I was using before?

High mileage motor oil is generally a synthetic blend with additional additives to "recondition" your seals. If your seals need reconditioned like the commercial says they do then what put them in this condition to begin with? Could it possibly be the oil they sold you when your car was new. If they are adding special additives that prohibit the oil from burning off then why not just add this additive to there regular oils.

How Do These Additives Work?

That is a very good question. Unfortunately, there is no readily available answer. No one really knows what exactly goes into high mileage oils that make them so much better. Are the extra additives really worth the extra ten bucks for every oil change. It's not even clear exactly what it is they are adding to the motor oils to perform these tasks.

How Does One Know If Their Car Needs High Mileage Oil?

According to the oil manufacturers, it is generally suggested that you use high mileage oil in any car with an engine that has over 75,000 miles on it. This claim is intriguing for several reasons. For one thing, it's an oddly concrete number considering car manufacturers vary widely on how often you should change your engine's oil. If you look at the directions on the bottles of the few manufacturer's that say how often you should change your oil, they almost always tell you to refer to the owner's manual. Excellent idea. Remeber, car manufacturer's simply give you the minimum spec of oil to use in your car and that's why we are being sucked into changing our oil so often. You should never be using anything less than that, anyway. Most owner's manual assume you won't drive your vehicle past 200,000 miles and after this point who is really referring to their owner's manual. So, at what point does your owner's manual say to begin using "high mileage" oil. I'm betting it doesn't.


The consumer is faced with making a decision using very little facts. The oil companies don't tell us why they figure a high mileage engine needs different oil, and they don't tell us how it does what it does so that we can draw our own conclusions. All we have to go off of is that they say to use high mileage oil after 75,000 miles. However, that flies in the face of their recommendations to change the oil at the intervals suggested by the manufacturers. So what is wrong with the manufacturer's schedule that the oil companies feel is not adequate? Why are the commercials telling you to switch oils at 75,000 miles? Perhaps the oil companies want to make you think this is normal (it's not) when in fact a high quality synthetic oil can be used for the life of your car and your seals will never go bad.


Author-Steve Tarini has been testing motor oils for over 14 years both petroleum and synthetics. With all the hype surrounding High Mileage Oils we felt it was improtant to set the record straight. We have a special page set up for questions on this topic and another great article on High Mileage Oils.

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