Why special oils can extend the life of your engine when it reaches 75,000 miles & beyond

Submitted by Steve Temple, Reprinted from www.valvoline.com
Published November 2004 

When the odometer on your vehicle hits  the 75,000-mile mark, it’s time to start  using a different type of motor oil. If you  want to keep your car, truck or SUV running  smoothly for another 75,000 miles and  more, switching to special motor oil now  can help slow the aging process and extend  the performance of your older vehicle. Here  are several reasons why.  

Normal Wear and Tear  

 As your engine reaches 75,000 miles  and more it begins to age, which requires  some additional protection. Some indicators  of engine wear and tear are increased  oil consumption between oil changes,  an engine that is slow to start on a cold  morning or runs hotter on warmer days,  a decrease in throttle response and gas  mileage, and minor leaks. By taking a  proactive approach toward your engine’s  maintenance, you can help inhibit its aging  process and extend the life and efficiency  of your automobile.  

As a vehicle ages, and its mechanical  performance decreases, a greater toll is  taken on its engine’s oil viscosity. The  demands of an older engine break down  the oil more quickly, rendering it less able  to lubricate. The end result is an engine that  no longer functions at its peak performance.  Also, as the engine wears, oil consumption,  oil leakage, or lower-cylinder compression  may occur. These problems can lead to  spark plug failure, excessive deposits and  a loss of power.  

Further, seals become brittle, rings wear  and valves may not seal as tightly. Deposits  can build up on fuel injectors, valves or  piston rings, so they don’t operate as smoothly. Diminished ring sealing allows  more than the usual amount of combustion  gas to contaminate the oil. This results in  more rapid oil oxidation, which causes the  oil to thicken and age prematurely and may  ultimately explain why your engine takes  longer to turn over on cold mornings.  

Time in a Bottle  

 Before you ponder any expensive or  unnecessary repairs, consider that the  solution may be as simple as switching to  an oil made for engines with over 75,000  miles. These oils are designed to provide  specialized protection for your vehicle’s  engine by containing anti-wear additives,  seal conditioners, extra cleaning agents  and friction modifiers. These elements are  designed to work together to condition  engine seals, prevent leaks, minimize oil  consumption, provide easier cold starts,  improve power output and resist thermal  breakdown – all of which will help maximize  the life and sustain the performance of an  older engine. These oils don’t evaporate  as easily at normal operating temperatures  so ultimately less oil is consumed. The  additives in oils made for engines with  over 75,000 miles increase its resistance  toward thickening thereby providing easier  and faster cold-starts. Cleaning agents  help reduce deposit formation and prevent  horsepower loss, plus special friction reducing components help maximize fuel  economy and power output.  

What if your vehicle has less than  75,000 miles? Are there any advantages  to using this oil in a car with fewer miles  on it? Actually, you could start earlier with  these oils to prevent aging effects and  to help further preserve the life of your  vehicle’s engine. Once you switch to an oil  

formulated for engines over 75,000 miles,  you should continue to use it in order to get  the maximum benefits. Alternating between  this oil and all-climate oils won’t harm your  engine, but you won’t get the full benefits.  


 According to R.L. Polk & Co., the longest standing curator of automotive records in  the United States, consumers are keeping  their vehicles longer for the first time since  the mid-1990s. The median car age recorded  in 2002 was 8.4 years, “the highest median  age since we began tracking the statistic in  1970,” said Mike Gingell, vice president of  Polk’s aftermarket division.  

That median age means that more cars  could soon be facing many of the problems  associated with higher-mileage engines  – and may benefit from the use of a high 

mileage oil. The specific advantages of using  a high-mileage oil in your higher-mileage  vehicle are: conditioned engine seals (helps  prevent oil leaks and deposit formation),  cleaner engine/Reduced formation of  deposits (helps prevent horsepower loss),  reduced oil consumption (helps provide  faster and easier cold starts), extra wear  protection (helps increase fuel economy  and extend engine life.) 


Special thanks to Mid Atlantic Fiero Owners Association for contributing this article from their archives. 



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