How To Pick A High Mileage Oil For Your Car

Male buyer chooses oil for car engine in store

When you have an old car with high mileage, you may observe some oil leaks on your garage floor. As car engines get older, they have the tendency to wear out. This causes the buildup of oil in the engine, which may shorten the life of your vehicle.  

Now, if you’re thinking of selling your car from the comfort of your home, you may want to check its engine first. If the engine has signs of wearing out, then you might have to change the oil to a high mileage one. This is a specialized product designed for older engines with higher mileage. 

When you’ve decided on shifting to a high mileage oil, picking the best one for your car can be a daunting task. There’s a wide array of options to choose from, but don’t fret. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to select the best oil for your vehicle:

Check Your Vehicle’s Mileage

The first thing to do when choosing the best oil for your car is to check its mileage. If your vehicle had run for more than 75,000 miles, it’s best to change your oil into a high mileage one.  

High mileage oils may give better lubrication to your engine. They could also help secure engine seals and block oil from building up. They may improve the performance of your car and extend its life. 

Study The Label Of The Oil

The next thing to do is examine the oil label and its content. High mileage oils have ingredients that are engineered to care for your old engine. These ingredients help maintain your engine’s good running condition. In choosing the right oil, you may want to check the label for these ingredients: 

  • Conditioners 
  • Seal Swells 
  • Antioxidants 
  • Additives 

Look For Viscosity 

While checking the label, look for the oil’s viscosity levels as well. Viscosity is an important factor in engine oils. It refers to the ability of the oil to flow through the engine even in high temperatures. Viscous oil is better in lubricating and sealing the motor in your engine. 

Viscosity classification is marked with ‘XW-XX,’ like 10W-30. In this instance, the number 10 denotes the flow of the oil at zero degrees Fahrenheit. The number 30 is the viscosity of the oil at 100 degrees Celsius. 

The lower the first number means the oil becomes less thick during the winter time, like 5W or 0W. You may choose to oil with a higher viscosity during the summer, and lower viscosity during the winter.  

Check For Additives

The last thing to look for are the additives. These refer to the protective qualities of the oil. These substances specifically target problems and prevent them from happening. The needs of your vehicle will determine the type of additive you’ll have to look for in the oil. 

The most common types of additives found in high mileage oil are the following: 


As the name connotes, this type of additive is used to clean your engine using two different substances, which are detergents and dispersants. The first one acts as a detergent, in a sense, to clean the oil buildup and prevent it from forming again, while the second one removes sludge buildup by breaking them up to protect your engine


This type of additive works to maintain the engine’s durability. It can help prevent the formation of rust and fight corrosion. This additive contains antioxidants that may prevent the oil to burn. Another substance included in this type is anti-wear agents. They work to fight the damaging effect of frequent metal-to-metal contact.   

No Oil Fits All 

To choose the best oil, you must first determine the issues and concerns of your vehicle. From there, you can narrow down your choices to the oil that targets those concerns. Keep in mind that the goal of using high mileage oil is to lubricate and maintain the vehicle’s durability.

Tom Brown
Tom Brown is an automotive market enthusiast living in the United States. He holds a diverse background in automotive marketing and enjoys utilizing that to produce insights into the inner workings of the industry.