Every gear head knows that synthetic motor oils deliver a higher level of protection than conventional oils, but the high-tech slippery stuff has a downside when it comes to older engines. Quite simply, it’s just too slippery. A well-worn engine will burn more full synthetic oil due to leaks. That’s why the oil manufacturers initially used conventional oil or synthetic blends in high mileage products, including Quaker State Defy and Valvoline MaxLife Synthetic Blend.
There’s a trend underway to replace the blends with specially formulated full synthetic oils, like Mobil 1 High Mileage and Royal Purple HMX. Valvoline has entered the fray with their new Fuel Synthetic with MaxLife Technology.
We ran the original Valvoline MaxLife motor oil in our Jeep Wrangler for a good amount of time. The TJ’s straight six was quite leaky and ran happily on MaxLife. But I didn’t want to run a synthetic blend in my 1999 Honda Civic HX project car (a.k.a. Slambo), as efficiency took precedent over the risk of leaks.
Slambo rolled into the driveway with 122,000 miles on the drivetrain and a crankcase full of fresh conventional Valvoline oil. As luck would have it, a windshield decal showed that the previous owner had the car serviced at a Valvoline Oil Change shop. I switched to Valvoline’s full synthetic SynPower oil last summer and the car has run exceptionally well.
The engine seems relatively tight, given the mileage, and it’s not burning much oil (knock wood). But I will be switching to Valvoline Full Synthetic High Mileage with Maxlife oil once the weather warms up. One of the cornerstones of the build is to run with the latest and greatest technology. Full Synthetic High Mileage with Maxlife is formulated with stop leak additives engineered to reduce oil consumption, along with extra detergents that can “help with the cleaning of an older engine.” Valvoline claims that the new oil “provides 40 percent more anti-wear film than Mobil 1 Synthetic.” It’s all about dealing with heat, deposits and wear.
- Heat – Full Synthetic High Mileage with MaxLife Technology is formulated with full synthetic base oil and premium chemistry that stands–up to extreme temperatures. The lubricant flows when the engine is cool, and maintains its protection barrier as temperatures rise.
- Deposits – Extra detergents and dispersants help prevent harmful build-up of sludge, varnish and other deposits in your engine.
- Wear – With all the concern about lower zinc in motor oil, Valvoline responded with advanced, more durable anti-wear additives that stay in the oil longer for outstanding protection against friction and wear.
Synthetic motor oils are especially important in winter, when colder temperatures thicken oil. (It was -6 degrees here at Rancho Indebto this morning.) To make things more exciting, Slambo’s thermostat is currently stuck open – which is certainly better than being stuck shut – but the engine will not stay warm when driven at speed with temperatures as cold as they are. Needless to say, I’m happy to be running a full synthetic right now … and I’m looking forward to that spring day when I can get the thermostat fixed and the oil changed.
NASCAR champ Jimmie Johnson may not be a real scientist, but he plays one in this video …
– by Daniel Gray
Disclaimer: Although Valvoline is a sponsor of the Ain’t Fuelin’ video series pilot, I was not compensated for this post.