Do Older Cars Need Different Oil?

A stock photo of oil being poured into an engine.

Does Your Car Need High-Mileage Oil?

There might be nothing more important to a car, truck, or SUV than fresh motor oil. This seemingly simple fluid performs so many functions inside an internal combustion engine. Motor oil lubricates the engine’s components to make sure they move freely. Oil also helps dissipate the heat produced by those same components. Engine lubricants have come a long way in the past several years, making it possible for the owners of many vehicles to go longer between oil changes. However, it’s important to note that the oil still needs to be changed. A vehicle’s maintenance needs to adapt as it gets older. So, does your car need high-mileage oil? We asked our service technicians this very question. Let’s take a look at what we learned.

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What is High-Mileage Oil?

As an engine ages, additional kilometers accumulate on the odometer, it’s not uncommon for changes in performance to happen. It might start to burn a little oil or small leaks could occur. If either of these things happen, it means that there will eventually be too little oil in the engine. The average automotive engine will start to experience these problems around the 120,000 km (75,000-mile) mark. By and large, high-mileage oil more commonly is becoming synonymous with synthetic oil, which comes with a whole slate of advantages over conventional oil. Some of the reasons a lot of vehicles come with synthetic oil from the factory include:

  • Better protection across a wider range of temperatures
  • It can eliminate engine sludge
  • Improves the oil change interval

How Does High-Mileage Oil Work?

Oil leaks and other issues experienced by aging engines can have a myriad of causes. But, leaky seals and gaskets are the base symptom that must be treated. High-mileage synthetic oil does this as a matter of course. The detergents and other additives found in synthetic oil will dislodge contaminants and recondition seals and gaskets that can actually help some engines perform better than ever. There is a pervasive and outdated myth out there that says synthetic oil causes oil leaks. This might have been true at one time. But the synthetic oil formulas have been updated, solving this issue. 

Signs You May Need High-Mileage Oil

  • Noticeable oil leaks, stains under the vehicle
  • Oil stains/streaks on lower engine components
  • Increased engine sounds, rattling noises

If you have questions about the best way to take care of your vehicle, make an appointment with the Fifth Avenue Volkswagen Service Department today.