Is High Mileage Oil Really Better?

A surefire way to get years of reliable transportation out of your car or truck is to follow a regular maintenance schedule. Coolant flushes, brakes service, alignments, and oil changes will keep your vehicle running strong as the miles rack up. Over time, age-related issues will inevitably creep up. Many engine oil manufacturers offer oils branded as “high mileage” which claim to benefit aged engines and keep them running stronger for longer.

For the average person, it can be hard to sift through the strong advertising and marketing for these products and determine if they provide any real benefit. This article will answer whether high mileage oil is better than regular engine oil on engines that have racked up the miles.

What Makes Engine Oil “High Mileage”?

Other than the differences between conventional, synthetic, and synthetic blends, engine oil is engine oil, right? Not exactly. There is a difference between standard motor oils and those engineered for high mileage engines.

Seal Conditioners

High mileage oils contain seal conditioners, which cause gaskets and seals on mating surfaces to swell. Swollen seals help reduce internal and external leaking.


Detergents are touted as an additive that manufacturers claim removes sludge and other buildups. These additives can also assist in improving lubrication between components inside the motor.

Benefits of High Mileage Oil

Using high mileage oil can have several legitimate benefits for your engine.

Cleaner Engine 

The additives in high mileage oil can reduce or remove buildup in your motor, allowing it to run better.

Less Oil Consumption

Older engines frequently consume oil. An engine running with low oil puts excess wear and tear on components. Low oil can also lead to engine failure. Reduced leaking from seals refreshed by conditioner additives can help lower oil consumption.

Better Lubrication 

High mileage oil will provide better lubrication to the rotating parts in your engine. Additives in the oil fill in grooves and divots invisible to the eye, reducing friction and heat. Ultimately, high mileage oil can help protect your engine from age-related wear and tear.

What’s Considered a High Mileage Car?

Oil manufacturers target high mileage oil to vehicles with over 75,000 miles. It’s true that many of the issues these oils attempt to mitigate occur around this mileage, but other factors impact the wear and tear on an engine. It’s important to take into consideration the maintenance history of your vehicle and your driving style.

City and Highway Driving

Generally, highway driving is less abusive on engines than city driving. Driving on the highway lets the engine get up to temperature and operate most efficiently and involves far less starting and stopping.

Service History

Another factor that contributes to engine wear is how well it’s been taken care of. A vehicle that has regular services like oil changes and coolant flushes done at regular intervals will hold up better to years of driving.

Vehicle Age

We are not talking about mileage here. Some cars spend a lot of their lives sitting and get very few miles put on them every year. Even without the wear and tear of regular operation, a sitting engine can begin to leak and have other age-related issues.

Should I Use High Mileage Oil?

Making the transition to high mileage oil can have some positive effects on your vehicle. Most high mileage oils are aimed at vehicles with over 75000 miles. Many of the issues high mileage oil helps to address do not become present in lower mileage cars.

The 75,000-mile mark is not set in stone. As we discussed above, other factors can impact an engine. If you start and stop a lot when you drive, switching to high mileage oil earlier could be beneficial. On the flip side, if your daily commute is mostly on the freeway and you’re a stickler for maintenance, you may not need to switch until far beyond 75,000 miles.

High Mileage Oil Won’t Fix Actual Mechanical Problems

High mileage oils are not fix-all’s. If you have serious mechanical issues with your car, switching to a different type of oil will not solve the problem. Think of it as a preventative measure, like taking a vitamin. Using high mileage oil will slow the progression of age-related issues, which can aid in preventing more serious problems. If your car has any serious issues, bringing it to a trusted repair shop is the only way to get it fixed properly.

Get Your Oil Changes at Scott’s U-Save!

Switching to a high mileage oil can help protect your older engine and keep it running well. No matter the age or mileage of your vehicle, regular oil changes are essential to keeping your engine healthy. If it’s time for your next oil change, schedule an appointment at Scott’s U-Save! We have three locations in Schererville IN, Steger, and New Lenox IL. Give us a call or schedule an appointment online today!


Schedule An Appointment

Whether you're shopping for tires, looking to lift your truck, or need auto repair, Scott's U-Save is here to serve you! Schedule an appointment online or call today!

Get In Touch