All about oil for street and autocross use

David S.
By David S. Wallens
Dec 15, 2023 | Oil | Posted in Drivetrain | From the May 2019 issue | Never miss an article

Choosing an engine oil for your car isn’t always as simple as referring to the owner’s manual. What if you’re dealing with an unusual situation, or a daily driver that sees autocross use? What if you still have questions (because, we admit, it’s a complicated subject)?

We have answers. More specifically, we know oil experts who have answers. So, we peppered …

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Comments
Jerry From LA
Jerry From LA SuperDork
4/10/19 6:05 p.m.

Nice.  Is there a one-stop shop where I can find a comparison of the various brand specs?

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
4/10/19 6:55 p.m.

Great.  Buy the correct oil.  So where do you find the correct oil for old British cars that I don’t have to order.   Castrol makes a Classic oil, but they do not appear to import it.  

Javelin
Javelin GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
4/10/19 7:37 p.m.
spitfirebill said:

Great.  Buy the correct oil.  So where do you find the correct oil for old British cars that I don’t have to order.   Castrol makes a Classic oil, but they do not appear to import it.  

Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil has the high-zinc additive package you require. Can usually be found at any FLAPS.

te72
te72 Reader
4/10/19 7:46 p.m.

In reply to spitfirebill :

Put a pan under the car wherever you park, then pour it back in the top before you go for a drive. *rimshot*

 

Just kidding Bill. Unfortunately we don't have access to Castrol's full catalog here in the US, so what I'd suggest is finding a reputable retailer for old British cars. I believe Moss Motorsports and British Victoria are a couple of them. Having never owned anything from BMC or the like, I can't really help more than that. Good luck!

meldog21
meldog21 New Reader
4/11/19 12:55 a.m.
Jerry From LA said:

Nice.  Is there a one-stop shop where I can find a comparison of the various brand specs?

http://www.mtwhitneyquest.com

As far as I know there is no "one-stop shop" to find a comparison that is 100% reliable.  There is always controversy when it comes to opinions on oil (and opinions on snake oil).    Articles like this one are good because they get people thinking and interested in knowing more so they can make good decisions based on their particular needs.

You can read a bunch of stuff here :  https://www.bobistheoilguy.com/   , including a section in the forums by 540 RAT.   540 RAT has his own website, but of course it requires more reading there too.   He does provide an extremely comprehensive list of oils rated 1-226.  That's a lot of oil compared.   You can find it here :  https://540ratblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/20/motor-oil-wear-test-ranking/     It is a very long document and "the list" starts about a fifth of the way down the page.

Please don't just pick the top oil on the list.  Do some reading, determine your application needs, and then use the list as a guide.

 

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
4/12/19 8:03 p.m.
Javelin said:
spitfirebill said:

Great.  Buy the correct oil.  So where do you find the correct oil for old British cars that I don’t have to order.   Castrol makes a Classic oil, but they do not appear to import it.  

Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil has the high-zinc additive package you require. Can usually be found at any FLAPS.

That’s what is in the car now, but in the article it said not to use racing oil in a street car.   

spitfirebill
spitfirebill MegaDork
4/12/19 8:05 p.m.
te72 said:

In reply to spitfirebill :

Put a pan under the car wherever you park, then pour it back in the top before you go for a drive.

*rimshot*

There is a well saturated double layer of cardboard under the car.  I guess I could squeeze it he oil out of it and pour back in.  

snailmont5oh
snailmont5oh Dork
4/13/19 10:11 a.m.
spitfirebill said:
Javelin said:
spitfirebill said:

Great.  Buy the correct oil.  So where do you find the correct oil for old British cars that I don’t have to order.   Castrol makes a Classic oil, but they do not appear to import it.  

Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil has the high-zinc additive package you require. Can usually be found at any FLAPS.

That’s what is in the car now, but in the article it said not to use racing oil in a street car.   

 

The article also talks of things like cats, fuel mileage, and longer drain intervals. If you don't have a cat, are prioritizing engine protection over fuel mileage, and changing your oil at less than the maximum drain interval, maybe you'll be okay. 

_
_ Reader
4/14/19 11:09 a.m.

Fantastic automotive journalism here! No conjecture or hearsay, and unbiased opinions are quoted. (with the exception that we know they are all quoting on the safe side, but c’mon, that safe  side is our side too!) thank you for this article!

StuntmanMike
StuntmanMike New Reader
4/15/19 10:20 a.m.

Great info! Also +1 for bob's the oil guy forum, more than enough oil details to cure insomnia. Also used oil analysis tells what exactly is going on in the engine and how it likes the oil. I've been using Blackstone labs for my track car and daily drivers for years. I've dialed in the oil type and change intervals perfectly to maximize. $38 bucks a pop will payoff in the long run for longer intervals, and is a lot cheaper than a new engine for my track car! 

 

I always point people there with the plethora of "what oil is best" that comes up every single day on every car forum in the world. And I always like the response "i use 12.5w-73 synthetic Austrailian blend* for 70's diesel engines because it has X ingredient and it works great" How can you say it works great, it didn't blow up your engine in the first couple of changes!? 

*not a real oil

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