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High-mileage motor oil ??

j_zimj_zim Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in Toyota
I drive an older toyota and the last time I took it in for an oil change they recommended a new oil called maxlife (Valoline). Not sure if it was a synthetic but the technician said it was recommended for all cars with over 75k miles. I went ahead and bought it after the guy told me it could help my car run better, condition seals and some other stuff I cant remember. My question is, is anyone else using this oil and does older cars have different needs regarding engine oil?



  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Mentioned several times there.
    Many people use it and it seems to work for the AARP engines
  • if your car was having an oil consumption problem through burn off and such then that would have been ok. if not, there was no reason to change over. like they say, if it aint boke, don't fix it.

    max life is not a bad oil but it is not an api certified oil due to the fact they load up higher levels of antiwear additives and such. i would not recommend going over 3 to 4,000 miles on this oil for oil change intervals.

    this oil will not hurt your engine and you might even find it to perform a little better due to the higher levels of barrier lubricant that they use.

    bob in jville.

    Lubricant Specialist

  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    You can also add about 1/3 to 1/2 bottle of STP to the oil you have been using all along,,,just don't use it with extended oil change intervals.
    I have a 89 Nissan with just under 190k on it now,
    I have always used 10w40, but for the last couple years I add STP now, No change in gas mileage but cranks better and sounds better
    Lots of folks don't approve of STP (VI increaser and ZDDP) so be prepared, and remember it does have limitations.
    Good luck
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    The only thing I use STP for is to mix it with oil in a container and dip new bearings in it when I am rebuilding an engine. I myself would not want that sticky junk in large quantities in my engine, but it is great for that one particular function I mentioned. (I flush it out after running the new engine 1/2 hour). I've taken engines apart that have had LARGE doses of STP in them and it wasn't pretty.

    Can't say it is harmful, but my own opinion is that it is relatively useless.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I have talked to lots of engine re-builders, alot of them like to use it for "assembly glue" so to speak, I agree, large doses is not a good thing, and extended drain interval is also not a good thing, I have not had any issues with adding about 8 oz (1/2 container) to 4 quart of oil though, on my 89 Nissan truck I use full container in place of 1/2 qt of 10w40 oil,,,I'm at almost 190k now and so far running great and never has burned oil...I change every 3k miles/3 months religiously too..I'm sure that has made a difference ...if I wanted to use synthetic to extend those intervals, of course I would not recommend it...
    see ya
  • kinleykinley Posts: 854
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    You mean "masked" a loud tappet for 100 miles by drowning it in goo, right? Actually, I recant some of my previous opinion. If you need a substance to clog something up, STP is okay! Certainly a weak hydraulic lifter would bleed down slower with heavy goo in it, so really , not a bad temporary solution in the Corvair case. I stand corrected. But it burns off and you get the ticker back again. No free lunch.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Far as I know burning off is the LAST thing it does, if anything it varnishes (did you mean varnishing as burning off?) and granted it will do that if you overheat it or let it stay in too long (and this only if you have too much in there in the first place)
    I agree it is not needed (or desired) in low mileage engines, but once that motor has some time and miles, oh yeah, it hits the spot. It does hold up the viscosity end of the deal just fine, it is thick when you look at it in the can by itself, but when it is mixed with the oil (in the right proportion mind you) it just keeps it from thinning too much when heated..
    I have compared used 10w30 and used 10w40/stp in 2 mayo jars after changing oil and you can't tell a difference at room temp, they both thicken right up (both the same consistency)when I put them in the freezer , I did not check them however when hot so I can't compare them while hot in that mayo jar anyway...
    Use it properly it will be your friend, use it wrong and you are correct, it will mess you up.
    Just remember if you want the motor to last as long as possible, you will have to thicken up when it starts aging a little...when that motor gets some worn areas you cannot un-wear them , that's true, but you can work with it to get some more time out of it,
    see ya
    We all getting ready for the game?
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    "burns off" was a poor term, sorry. I mean, it just gets as hot as the oil and thins out. You don't want "thick" oil in an engine.

    See, the "science" of STP just doesn't make any sense to me.

    If it's thick enough to "cling" to the engine after shut off, then it's too thick to flow in a hot engine. If it magically gets thin to flow in a hot engine, then it's too thin to supposedly "fill in" the clearances on worn engines.

    It's thick when it should be thin (cold engine), and thin when it should be thick (hot engine).

    Besides, no oil is going to fill in gaps in piston clearance for very long once it warms up.

    And since it is so thick, I presume that STP wants you to think tha the thickness is really doing something. What? Who the hell knows? Not me.
  • VI improvers and high levels of zddp antiwear additive. it increases the viscosity of the oil which makes the oil slow down in flow which means it doesn't sqeeze out as fast and with higher levels of barrier lube, when it does squeeze out it protects better. this does work but as previously said... to much of a good thing is also bad.
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright Sonoma, CaliforniaPosts: 64,482
    Thank you for the good explanation but I'm not buying it. There is something terribly wrong with STP logic but I haven't put my finger on it yet. Needs more thought.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I can see you doin the "serenity now..." thing.
    My position on motor oil is obviously different than some posters on here, that's ok. I just have priorities that are different than some other folks. My goal for motor oil leans a little to the metal protection side, some folks lean to the better gas mileage side. I understand that to do things my way includes certain restrictions and I follow them, I also intend to keep vehicles for a long time when I buy them. Some people lease vehicles or at least replace them every few years, and would have a different incentive...fewer oil changes and better mileage suits them better. Just depends on your priorities...
    The government priority is for the CAFE to increase and for the manufacturers to achieve that they have to go the lightweight oil way, the manufacturer could care less what happens to me after warranty is up though and particularly could care less after my truck hits 100k...but I do care. SO that's what pushes me to use the heavier oil, I could care less about the .2 mpg I may save myself using light oil.
    See y'all
    Good morning
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    I really dislike STP. As bobisthelubedude said, it is polymer viscosity improver with a dose of extreme pressure anti-wear additives like ZDDP and a copper agent (Bob probably knows the proper name of this stuff). Since STP is made from long-chain polymer molecules, it is very susceptible to shear stress and will decompose rapidly at high temperature and under a lot of stress ... as in a gear box.

    I found a case of this stuff in our garage a decade ago and used it in just about every internal combustion engine we had, especially the older vehicles that burned oil. The most damning anectdotal evidence I have is from using it in our ATC200E 3-wheeler. This was an air-cooled, single cylinder engine that shares a sump with the gearbox and it didn't take too much time before this stuff to become as thin as water when at operating temperature. It and the oil (20W50? straight 30?) were a golden color (like new) but it dripped off my dipstick like warm 5W30. Thanks, but no thanks. I'd only use this goo in a basket case that I was just trying to keep going a few more months.

    --- Bror Jace
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    I got over 200,000 uses some oil...all synthetic, but for the past 2 oil changes I used 3-parts synthetic to 2 parts Max-Life (I have a 5 qrt crankcase). Instead a quart every 3000 miles (still acceptable) it does barely a half a quart every 5000 miles. I did it this past winter with no problems whatsoever.

    NOw some will say don't mix synthetic with regular, yadda, yadda, yadda.

    Over time the oil seals do tend to dry up it bit and loose their flexibility and sealing. THe Max-Life adds a larger amount of seal conditioner to the oil mix, and a slightly more detergents to the base oil.

    Max-life doesn't come exactly cheap, about $2 a quart. So just try some half regular oil (I assume you use conventional) and half Max-Life, and maintain you usual interval, or change it a bit earlier.
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Take your normal oil,
    add CD-2 detergent
    add STP
    add Bar's stop leak
    then you would have any brand of maxlife you want.

    Wouldn't Maxlife oil just be the same as adding your own additives on top of your normal oil (in the right proportions)
    Not being a smart aleck here , really, just asking, I know I take a lot of heat for adding STP to oil for older engines, but isn't maxlife doing the same thing?
  • blending your oil stuff from? real sad to think 2.00 a qt is expensive and have to resort to mixing a little here and a little there.

    why not just use a good blend to start with. no guess work involved.
  • csandstecsandste Posts: 1,866
    I too must admit to dumping a can of STP into old loose engines now and again. Although I've heard few if any people say anything good about it, there's been millions and millions of bottles of this stuff sold. First time I ever used it was back in mid 60's when I had an old flat head Ford that had 10 weight in it. Spring came to South Dakota early that year and the engine sounded like it was about to fall apart when it was idleing. A can of STP quieted things right down.

    I'm sure all that zinc isn't the best for cat. converters, but I'm also sure that theres a lot of old beaters out there that do just fine on the stuff. If it squeezes out another 10,000 on some old clunker with 180K on the odo. what's wrong with that?
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    I originally thought that Valvoline Max-Life was merely a decent oil with a strengthened additive package in it but have been told by people who've called their 800 number that it is actually made from Group III hydrocracked stocks ... same as Castrol Syntec. This is why they tout its lower pour point and greater thermal stability in addition to its ability to work with older seals. For $2 per quart, it's a great value.

    My friend used to use synthetics in his cars (like I do) but he has switched his whole fleet over to Valvoline Max-Life. He loves the stuff. It doesn't hurt that we purchased several 5-quart jugs of this stuff for $5 each. >;^) he uses it in a bunch of Hondas while I use it in my dad's 4.6L V8 Ford ... which is known to have valve seal problems.

    STP is just goo. It is very unstable and should only be used as a band-aid for basket-case engines.

    Blending can be fun but I reserve it for really old junkers and/or single-cylinder lawn & garden equipment. Besides, add up the cost of all those additives and it probably exceeds the cost of Max-Life oil ... even when it's not on sale.

    --- Bror Jace
  • spokanespokane Posts: 514
    Thirty years ago, we used SAE 30 oil dosed with about 20% STP in the foam air filters for off-road motorcycles. The word was that John Penton endorsed this recipe and we thought it worked great.
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Anyone here spend some quality time with a chainsaw lately?

    Chain & bar lube seems to be a 50/50 mix of STP and 20 weight oil. REALLY sticky stuff.

    spokane, that sounds like it would work great. I just use K&N oil. What little I bought will last several lifetimes.

    --- Bror Jace
  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    I have started using Havoline lately, seems to be cleaning up my engines after years of using CastrolGTX (getting dark quicker than the GTX used to). Havoline bottle says it uses Group II stocks, and the Valvoline Maxlife is using Group III stocks, what is the difference?
    Is the Group III the same as the CASTROL SYNTEC but Maxlife is just charging the correct price for it? If that is true, once the word gets around, Castrol Syntec would have to drop price to compete with it wouldn't they?
    BROR, the last jug of bar/chain oil I had was vegetable based oil according to the label, it was real sticky too!
    Good Morning
  • brorjacebrorjace Posts: 588
    Rando, I used Castrol for most of the '90s. I remember marveling at how clean it stayed. Now I understand it is because their additive package is not detergent heavy. This seems to be their company lubrication philosophy. For some cars I'm sure it's OK, especially in the short run, but the makes and engines which are prone to sludging might not do well on Castrol. Your Havoline is probably just cleaning up the sludge and varnish deposits which Castrol left behind.

    I understand the different base stock oils to be as follows:

    Group I stocks - traditional dino (mineral) oil.
    Group II & III stocks - hydrocracked?isodewaxed/isomerized mineral stocks known as UHVI - Ultra High Viscosity Index.

    (I think the difference between these two groups is the degree to which they are processed.)

    Group IV - PAO
    Group V - Esters: polyol (& dibasic?)

    I'm sure this is overly simplistic but it's a start to understanding the 'big picture'. Perhaps others have comments as well.

    There is more technical info on hydrocracking and base oils on Chevron's website ( if memory serves).

    As for Castrol lowering their price, I wouldn't hold your breath. Think of the average DIYer that might consider buying synthetic oil in a discount store like Wal-Mart/K-mart. I doubt they know the difference. The stuff is at least decent so unless they are like us and like to talk cars, racing and maintenenace on-line, how will they ever find out? Especially since Castrol spends so much on advertising saying how they are the best, yada, yada, yada ... Hype is king.

    --- Bror Jace
  • bnosytbnosyt Posts: 23
    I have noticed that both of you have said that because the oil is turning darker, it must be cleaning up what the other oil (Castrol) has left behind. How do you know that is the case? Wouldn't an oil that doesn't get dark as quickly leave less 'dark' residue in the engine? I thought an oil that gets darker more quickly is breaking down faster. Just curious. Thanks

  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    Your hands are greasy and you try washing with water, you rub your hands together and then rinse off...the runoff water is clear because it did NOT dissolve the grease.
    That was the Castrol example...
    Havoline example would be, now you wash with detergent water, suds start getting darker/greasy/filthy looking, then you rinse off with detergent water,,,,,the runoff now is dirty soapy water....
    It seems that like BROR said, Castrol has less emphasis on the detergent aspect of motor oil, at least with my engine it seems like the Havoline is cleaning up old deposits left over from before.
    All I know is I'd rather give money to the Havoline folks than the Castrol folks, CastrolGTX was king of the 70's, and reputation carried them futher than that, but now, they seem to be living on left over reputation from back then. Just my personal thing...
    see ya,
    Thanks Bror
  • bnosytbnosyt Posts: 23
    I understand your example, but how do you know that the dark color from the Havoline oil is the result from it picking up deposits, or from the oil breaking down faster?

  • zr2randozr2rando Posts: 391
    It could be that too, I have been told by others that Castrol does not have as much detergent action as other oils is why I attribute the havoline getting darker to the detergent action, but I have never had it analyzed to check it.
    Maybe someone on here knows if the color could be due to breakdown...HMMMM,,,, I think I see a test coming up........campfire with a grill grate....
    aluminum foil with 2 dimples with 2 samples of oil.....
    Castrol vs Havoline......hhmmmmm....sounds like a drinking event to me...
    anybody know the answer here???
    see ya
  • mrdetailermrdetailer Posts: 1,118
    There are several higher mileage oils out there. Valvoline Maxlife, Castrol High Mileage Engine Oil, Quaker State Oil for Higher Mileage Engines. I've done research and got the spec sheets on the Valvoline, and QState. the information sent by Valvoline was the most comprehensive. These hydrocracked oils are very impressive when it comes to flash and fire points. Similar to synthetic, and excellent in wear tests. The average was about 20% less wear. Oil consumption is greatly reduced. Sludging tests are impressive. Where a conventional oil would be 250% thicker after 75 hours, this oil is only 50% thicker. Hardened seals were shown by Valvoline to soften about 5%. Should be better on new ones.

    The down side is that they don't have the superior cold weather starts like synthetic. But in my area it doesn't get that cold.

    I spent a couple of weeks researching this and am convinced enough to currently have in 3 quarts of Maxlife, and 1 quart of Synpower. I still like the increased wear reduction of a synthetic. I'm going to go on a vacation in May then get the oil analyzed. Will let people know then.

    Gotta go see the passing of the Torch. Happy Olympics, and God Bless America. We need it.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Why would anyone switch to the MaxLife oils if the engine is running fine and shows no sign of using more oil then it has in the past? SImply based on mileage makes no sense. I have a 92 Camry with 141,000 miles and used a synthetic 10W30 since 1000 miles changed eevry 7,500. It has consumed about 25-28 ounces of oil between changes for several years now, very reasonable I feel. Unless that consumption increases dramatically why would I even consider going to a 10W40 synthetic or a MaxLife type of oil???
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I have seen information in the past (don't remember where so this could be a worthless statement) that switching between mineral oil and syns- back and forth and changing syn types can cause seals to leak because of different swell rates. Thats why I deceided to stay with Mobil 1 for my new Sentra. And I changed to syn at 30 miles, I should be OK. Unless they change the formula. BTW I have yet to have a seal leak, in the 8 years/8 cars with syn.(Amsoil/Mobil 1)
    Armtdm- Is Amsoil ATF a PAO?? I'm thinking of going to it because Mobil 1 is not. Guess I'll have to become a dealer again. I can pick up the stuff 20 miles away. How much to be a dealer?? Used to be $25.
  • You probably shouldn't switch as it is just what you feel comfortable with and what is readily available at a reasonable price.

    However, Ashland Oil Co. has some rather convincing testimonials on their web site as to the value of this oil. They even say that you can use it in new or rebuilt engines. The seal expansion of only 5% additional material is only a small part of the additive package. They have additional anti wear additives that are not permitted by the newest oil specifications. And I just assume SL and GF-3 spec.

    All I know is what I've read on this site and from what I understand these additional additives may have an adverse effect on the sulfuric acid generator, i.e. catalytic convertor.
  • adc100adc100 Posts: 1,521
    I called Mobil one level higher on the food chain (not the 1-800-ask-Mobil) the product engineer assured me the ATF is a PAO.
  • armtdmarmtdm Posts: 2,057
    Not sure which it is. I use it in all my cars with auto trannies, Izusu, Buick, Mercury, Toyota, and in the past a Chev & Nissan as well. I do use RedLine gear oil though in my 6 spd..
    Current annual fee for me is $20 I believe and, as my local jobber has inventory, plus Richmond airport is a distribution center, I can pick oil up for $4.35/quart plus tax. ATF is big bucks though, like $7/quart, don't remember, now comes in 2 1/2 gal container. My containers of Amsoil sitting in my garage are the most valuable things in my garage right now as I only make the trek to the jobber once or twice a year so with five cars I maintain I usually drop $100 at every visit.
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