Driving can be a fun experience, especially when your car is in tip-top shape. Maintaining its engine can be a lot of work but keeping up with oil changes can make your vehicle run smoother without hitches.
This article will discuss two of the best car oil brands – Valvoline and Mobil 1. To be specific, we will look at the differences between Valvoline vs mobil 1, from their viscosity grades, additives, and their price ranges.
Check out this comparison table for a summary of Mobil 1 vs Valvoline.
|Viscosity Grades||SAE 0W16
|Mobil 1 5w20
Mobil 1 5w30
Mobil 1 10w30
Mobil 1 15w50
|Fuel Economy||Exceeds ILSAC GF-6 standards by 40%||Meets ILSAC GF-6 standards|
|Longevity||5000–7000 miles||10,000-15,000 miles|
Table of Contents
- What is Valvoline?
- What is Mobil 1?
- Valvoline vs Mobil1
- Pros and Cons
- Which is Better?
- How Does It Work—The Functions of Engine Oil
- Factors to Consider Before Buying Oil
- How to Know if My Engine Oil is Bad
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Valvoline?
Established in 1886, Valvoline is also known as “The Original Engine Oil.” Currently, it’s under its parent company Ashland Inc. Three popular Valvoline oil types are conventional, synthetic, and blend.
Valvoline offers solutions for all types of engine gear oil, including high mileage and heavy-duty vehicles, and is available in more than 80,000 sites worldwide.
What is Mobil 1?
Mobil 1 is an American company with over 40 years of experience in designing synthetic motorcycle oil, as well as lubricants for airplanes and other vehicles.
When it comes to engine oil, you can’t go wrong with Mobil 1. With innovations that meet stringent Japanese, European, and American standards, Mobil 1’s multi-layer and anti-wear technology provides your engine with extended protection.
Valvoline vs Mobil1
1. Viscosity grades
Viscosity refers to the thickness or consistency of the oil. High-viscosity oils are thicker and flow more slowly.
The right viscosity ensures proper lubrication and protection of engine components. Whether you choose Mobil 1 or Valvoline, both brands offer a good amount of options, as shown below.
|Valvoline Full Synthetic vs Mobil 1 Fully Synthetic viscosity grades|
|SAE 0W16||Mobil 1 5w20|
|SAE 0W20||Mobil 1 5w30|
|SAE 5W20||Mobil 1 10w30|
|SAE 5W30||Mobil 1 15w50|
2. Fuel economy
Mobil 1’s Advanced Fuel Economy 0W-20 full synthetic engine oil is designed to maximize fuel economy. It helps protect the engine for up to 10,000 miles and meets ILSAC GF-6 standards on wear protection.
Valvoline, on the other hand, exceeds the ILSAC GF-6 standard by around 40%. So, in terms of the fuel economy of Mobil vs Valvoline, the latter is a better option.
The Noack Volatility test is a method used to determine the evaporation characteristics of motor oils. Those with low volatility are designed to minimize evaporation, ensuring they maintain their protective and lubricating properties even in extreme heat.
According to the chart below, Valvoline Advanced has a lower score at 8%, while Mobil 1’s best is around 9.17%. This makes Valvoline oil quality the better option between the two.
Valvoline recommends different timeframes to change your oil depending on whether it’s Valvoline synthetic blend vs full synthetic. For the latter, changing is necessary after every 7000 miles or 12 months, whereas the former needs replacement every 500 miles.
In contrast, Mobil 1 can last for 10,000-15,000 miles. However, they still require changing after 1 year, just like Valvoline.
Between the two, Valvoline is more affordable—most of its products cost $39.99 to $89.99. Meanwhile, Mobil 1 oils will set you back $30 to $115.
Pros and Cons
In this section, we will have a brands comparison between the pros and cons of Valvoline oil vs Mobil 1.
- More options for viscosity grade
- Offers 40% higher than standard fuel efficiency
- Better oil volatility
- Cheaper option
- Average longevity
2. Mobil 1
- Several viscosity-grade options
- Average oil volatility
- Nearly double the longevity of most brands
- More expensive option
- Standard fuel efficiency
Which is Better?
Of the two products, Valvoline leads in almost all factors—it offers better performance, even at extreme temperatures, while being an affordable option. The one factor where Valvoline does not succeed is longevity, given how Mobil 1 can last almost twice as long.
How Does It Work—The Functions of Engine Oil
The insides of your vehicle’s engine are made of many moving parts, which can experience wear and tear over time from friction and high temperatures. This is where engine oil comes in, as it provides lubrication to reduce friction.
Below are a few ways engine oils benefit your cars and motorcycles:
Engine oil plays a crucial role in maintaining the cleanliness and performance of your car’s engine. It not only lubricates the engine’s moving parts but also acts as a cleaning agent.
Engine oil contains dispersant additives that help suspend and trap contaminants like dust and metal within the oil, preventing them from sticking to engine components.
The oil plays a crucial role in dissipating heat generated during operation by absorbing heat from the engine components and carrying it away to the oil cooler located outside the engine.
Your car’s engine oil creates a dynamic seal around piston rings. As the pistons move up and down the cylinder walls during the engine’s operation, the oil adheres to the cylinder walls, creating a thin lubricating film.
This film helps stops combustion gases from going out to the combustion chamber, ensuring maximum compression and output.
4. Shock absorber
Engine components are always moving and vibrating inside your car. When these components move rapidly, engine oil gets trapped within the gaps and spaces between moving parts, forming a thin lubricating film.
This film acts as a dampener, absorbing and cushioning the impact of vibrations. By creating a barrier between the metal surfaces, the oil helps to dissipate and dampen the vibrations, reducing the transmission of shock through the engine.
5. Rust protection
Corrosion or rust occurs when metal surfaces are exposed to wet surfaces and oxygen. Lubricants, such as engine oil, contain inhibitors that constitute a protective barrier on metal surfaces. It’s this barrier that stops water and air from coming into the exposed metal, reducing rust formation.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Oil
Here are some essential tips to guide you in selecting the appropriate motor oil:
1. Read your car manual
Your car’s manual contains information about the recommended motor oil specifications for your specific vehicle. The manual provides details such as the required viscosity, oil type, and any additional manufacturer recommendations.
Following these guidelines ensures you choose the right motor oil that aligns with your car’s requirements.
2. Determine your driving environment
Consider your driving environment, including the climate and weather conditions in which your vehicle primarily operates. Thinner oils, with lower viscosity ratings, are suitable for colder temperatures, ensuring easy engine startup and proper lubrication.
On the other hand, more viscous oils provide better protection and performance in high-temperature environments.
3. Know your oil types
Synthetic oils generally offer better oxidation resistance, improved temperature stability, and enhanced protection against wear and deposits. However, they can be more expensive than mineral oils.
Consider your budget and the specific needs of your vehicle to determine which type is most suitable. If budget allows, synthetic oil is always the better choice.
Look for oils that carry the appropriate accreditation from the American Petroleum Institute (API) in the US and the Automobile Association (ACAE) in Europe, as it indicates that the oil has met the required performance and quality criteria.
Checking for these standards ensures you choose a reliable and high-quality motor oil for your car.
5. Consider your driving habits and vehicle requirements
Evaluate your driving habits, including factors such as frequent stop-and-go traffic, long-distance highway driving, or towing heavy loads. This can help you select a motor oil that provides optimal protection and performance.
How to Know if My Engine Oil is Bad
Here are some key factors you need to look out for to determine if your engine oil is going bad:
- Oil Change Light
Your oil change light is your first and most obvious indication. When it starts to turn on, this means there is not enough in your engine.
Use your dipstick to determine your engine oil level. To test, pull the dipstick out of its housing and dip it all the way into the oil tank. If it’s below the ADD line, it’s time to refill the tank.
- Engine Noise
A creaking or rumbling noise coming from your engine can mean that there’s no lubrication to absorb the shocks coming from the system. Identifying this early can save you from a huge engine problem down the line.
- Oil has a dark color
Over the course of use, the engine oil will turn dark as it absorbs contaminants like dust and metal. Dark engine oil is a sign that it is past its lifespan and may not absorb more material.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is Valvoline expensive?
Crude oil, a base ingredient of Valvoline’s products, is expensive. Valvoline is also a premium oil brand, offering products that are high in quality. Research and production of top-of-the-line engine oil also contribute to its price.
Can synthetic motor oil improve my car’s fuel efficiency?
Synthetic oil like Valvoline Synpower offers lower viscosity grades which can easily flow through your car without any effort and increase your car’s fuel efficiency.
Does it really matter what engine oil brand I choose?
Yes, as it’s vital for the longevity and proper functioning of the engine. Finding the right engine oil is about finding the one your car needs. The best brands for your car might not be the best for others. Look for brands that offer good quality engine oils that fit your needs.
Is Mobil oil good?
Is Mobil 1 still the best engine oil product? Although it may not be as good as certain brands, it’s still one of the top-tier choices when it comes to premium synthetic engine oil. After all, Mobil 1 offers excellent performance and has a good track record in terms of long-lasting engine oil.
Is Mobil 1 better than Valvoline?
Both Mobil 1 and Valvoline have their strengths and weaknesses. That said, our comparison in this article has determined that Valvoline is better in most factors.
What oil is better than Mobil 1?
Amsoil and Castrol edge is a good alternative to Mobil 1 and offers slightly better protection and efficiency. And as pointed out, Valvoline is also a better choice, especially if you don’t mind the lower lifespan.
What is the best Mobil Oil for my car?
There are many factors to consider to answer this question. However, the best Mobil 1 synthetic oil for most newer vehicles is the Mobil 1 0W-40, which is known for its engine and fuel efficiency.
If you have ever found yourself in the grocery and asked yourself: Is Valvoline or Mobil 1 better for my car? Then no need to look elsewhere.
We’ve done a brand comparison between Valvoline vs Mobil 1 and have a unanimous winner: Valvoline.
Valvoline is a cheaper option that offers better viscosity grade options, fuel economy, and volatility. Mobil 1, on the other hand, still shines brightly as a close second with its far better mileage.
Working with Vernon and Ryley has been a great experience for me. Together with the rest of the team, I hope to create reliable and useful information for our readers, no matter where they are and their experience with car maintenance.