Best Oil To Use By Car Brand

What Is the Best Oil to Use by Car Brand?

Engine oils are like religions. There’s about a thousand different kinds, blends, viscosities out there. Everyone has their own way of interpreting which one works or doesn’t.

That said, there are some basics to keep in mind when considering what oil to choose, specifically whether or not… it’s synthetic and what kinds of temperatures you’re looking to operate your vehicle in. On every bottle of motor oil there should be two numbers, with a “W” in between.

Commonly, the “W” is known as “weight,” which isn’t quite true. In fact those two numbers indicate viscosity, or, “thickness” ratings, with the “W” (for “Winter”) succeeding the oil’s optimal viscosity rating in lower temperatures. For example, if you live in a cold climate you’re going to want an oil that doesn’t take a long time to warm up and can operate best at low temperatures, so perhaps a 0W-20 is ideal, however, your owner’s manual is your best friend when it comes to recommendations.

We’ve picked some of the top selling car brands in America to focus on, starting with Ford.

Disclaimer: All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them. This article is meant to be purely informative.

Ford – Motorcraft® 5W30 and 10W30 Synthetic Blend

Disclaimer: Motorcraft® is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. 

Typically every oil nut under the sun swears by fully synthetic oils only. However, many motorists prefer the Motorcraft® brand by Ford which is a synthetic blend.

Fully synthetic oils, while more expensive, help to protect your engine’s internals from abnormal amounts of heat damage and corrosion. However the Motorcraft® brand seems to do a great job of doing this without having the added expense. Many people choose it because it appears to be a great value for a synthetic motor oil. It’s a protective synthetic blend motor oil with lots of additives that help to minimize wear and deposits. It is also inexpensive, and is made specifically for Ford engines and their specifications.

GM – ACDelco Dexos ™ Full Synthetic

Disclaimer: ACDelco Dexos ™ Full Synthetic is a registered trademark of GM.

Chevrolet is the third best selling car brand in the US. GM recommends the ACDelco Dexos ™ Full Synthetic for all GM engines. This is because it follows the Dexos 1™ specification, which is derived specifically for GM engines.

According to ACDelco, it operates well at low temperatures, helps with pre-ignition and turbocharger oxidation, and protects from deposits. It’s also dirt cheap, at around $3-4 per quart.

Toyota – Toyota Genuine Motor Oil

Disclaimer: Mobil1™ is a trademark of Mobil Oil Corporation

Toyota’s branded motor oil gets a lot of flak for coming in a Mobil1™ bottle that says “Toyota” on it. While it is made by Exxon/Mobil it caters to Toyota engines specifically, doing so via a “special additive package”. It’s recommended by Toyota, most likely based on this additive package.

While the formula for Toyota Genuine Motor Oil used to have more of what’s called Molybdenum, which helps to coat engine internals with a protective film, its formula is now similar to Mobil1™ and can be a bit cheaper. According to Toyota, the full synthetic version is only necessary if the car requires it.

Honda – Honda Genuine Motor Oil

Disclaimer: Honda Genuine HG is a trademark of Honda Motor Co.

Honda always recommends using the Honda Genuine Oil for their engines. What seems to be most important, however, is to choose an oil that displays the “starburst” icon . This indicates that it helps to prevent sludge buildup and deposits.

It’s not absolutely necessary to use, especially since you can only get it at a Honda dealership. Usually this means it will probably be more expensive than, say, the Motorcraft® synthetic blend (which is supposedly remarkably similar in formula). But it’s always best to go with the manufacturer’s recommendation, found in your owner’s manual.

BMW – BMW TwinPower Turbo

Disclaimer: BMW TwinPower Turbo Oil is a registered product of BMW Group

Being that BMW no longer makes any naturally aspirated engines, meaning every single engine made by BMW is now fitted with a turbocharger, you’ll need an oil that’s good for turbos. The TwinPower Turbo Synthetic oil is manufactured specifically for new BMW engines, and is not recommended for older engines because it does not offer enough protection for higher mileage engines. It’s a bit more expensive, roughly $9 per quart, but BMW is adamant that it’s the only recommended oil for their engines, which can be finicky enough without the wrong kind of oil.

Synthetic oil is generally the best way to go for all of its protection properties, but this isn’t set in stone. The Ford Motorcraft® oil is highly regarded by motorists with all kinds of different engines, but for some it might be too cheap to trust, or because it’s not “fully” synthetic it might not offer enough protection.

Regardless, do your own research, consider what your owner’s manual says before anything else, and make an informed decision.
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine, and improper maintenance can result in catastrophic consequences. To ensure proper maintenance, change your oil regularly and remember you can always choose your own oil.


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Tech Guy

Automotive enthusiast, passionate about Jeeps, hot-rods, turbos, performance, efficiency, diesels, fuels, high performance oils, additives and anything with an engine.

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