The Key Differences Between Valvoline and Mobil 1 motor oil

Valvoline vs mobil 1 oil1

With the frequency of oil changes, it’s important to know what type of motor oil is best so you can protect the engine. Two of the top brands include Valvoline and Mobil 1. To the untrained eye, it can be difficult to see the differences between the two. As professionals, we can offer a lot more insight into the Valvoline vs. Mobil 1 comparison. 

In this guide, we give you a brief history of both companies, plus we discuss the pros and cons of each. There’s also a head-to-head comparison of the brands and a list of FAQs that finally get an answer. 

Valvoline Vs. Mobil 1 – Which Is Better?

According to statistics, Valvoline sells far more motor oil than Mobil 1, but that doesn’t mean it’s a better brand. Both offer a variety of motor oils for any automotive need and they have reasonable prices. It’s fair to say that Valvoline is more OEM focused, while Mobil 1 caters to racing applications.

Still, it’s important to evaluate both brands, looking at what the formulas contain and what each does better. Because they aren’t the same, it’s difficult to determine which one fits every need. That’s a decision only you can make. 


valvoline engine oil

Dr. John Ellis created the Valvoline Company in 1866. It was founded on the discovery of crude oil’s lubrication capacity. As soon as the Model T became a mass-produced vehicle, Valvoline became the only brand recommended by Ford, making it an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) product. 

During the 1940s and 50s, Valvoline released its first single-grade oil, followed by an all-climate oil, which is probably a multi-grade option. Today, the company remains one of the most known for high-mileage, synthetic and high-performance oils, only following after Pennzoil. 

Valvoline Pros

Why do so many consumers like Valvoline? There are many things the company does right. Here are a few pros to consider.

  • High-quality and consistent standard
  • Protects against oil leaks
  • Guarantees 40% additional wear protection versus other oils
  • Wide selection of formulas to choose from
  • Maintains integrity even under extreme temperatures and conditions

Valvoline Cons

It’s difficult to find negative things to say about Valvoline, but a search online reveals a few customer complaints. 

  • Specialty oils can be expensive, such as diesel or motorcycle formulas
  • Doesn’t offer the longest mileage intervals
  • Products can leak during shipment

Mobil 1

Mobil 1 oil

Mobil 1 hasn’t been around as long as Valvoline has, but the company has made a name for itself. Originally introduced during the 1960s, synthetic oils were produced for diesel motors in the harsh climate of Alaska. Since then, the company has continued making oils that would stand up to extremes.

Today, Mobil 1 may be most known for its participation in motorsports. The company sponsors F1 and Grand Prix teams, proving that the oil can be used in a variety of applications.

Mobil 1 Pros

The list of Mobil 1 pros is just about the same length as that of Valvoline, but the benefits are different. Here are a few to consider.

  • Works well in freezing temperatures
  • Protects against sludge
  • Consistent flow in any climate
  • Lasts longer
  • Performs well in older engines
  • Boosts fuel economy and engine performance

Mobil 1 Cons

Again, the list of complaints against Mobil 1 is minimal. If we had to pick some disadvantages, they would be these two. 

  • Expensive
  • Not recommended for some foreign brands

What’s the Difference Between Valvoline and Mobil 1 Oil?

Both Valvoline and Mobil 1 are top brands of motor oil, so what makes them different from one another? We look at the cost, viscosity grades, performance, longevity and engine compatibility. 

1. Cost

Both the Mobil 1 and Valvoline brand are considered some of the best. For this reason, you can expect to spend a premium price for either option. 

Most often, Valvoline can be purchased for a slightly lower price than Mobil 1. Yet, with both, you are going to pay substantially more for specialty oils, such as those for motorcycles or diesel motors. 

2. Viscosity Grades

oil viscosity

Viscosity grades are determined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). It’s a rating of engine oils that shows how well it flows. The first number of the rating ends with a W, indicating its winter rating. The second number shows how the oil flows when it’s at the normal engine temperature.

Both Valvoline and Mobil 1 have a variety of engine oil viscosity grades to fit any need. You can get an appropriate grade for cold winter weather and warm, hot summers. 

RELATED: 0w20 vs. 5w20 vs. 5w30 – Oil Viscosity Explained

3. Performance

Both Mobil 1 and Valvoline perform well, but for different reasons. For example, Mobil 1 reduces oxidation in the engine and leaves the motor with fewer deposits. It also removes deposits that might have built up before using it. Additionally, Mobil 1 reduces friction and enhances combustibility, which is helpful with cold start-ups.

So, what does Valvoline do well? The synthetic and Maxlife formulations have added antioxidants designed to control friction levels. These antioxidants also keep the lubricating properties from breaking down prematurely. We especially like the Valvoline High Mileage oil with Maxlife to increase the lifespan of the motor. 

4. Longevity

Conventional motor oils are typically only rated for 3,500 to 5,000 miles. However, synthetic oils have special additives that increase the life. These additives can boost performance, allowing you to go longer between oil changes.

While each formulation is different, Valvoline has some that allow 12,000 miles between oil changes. If that’s not long enough, Mobil 1 offers some 18,000-mile formulations. You must remember to have a longer life oil filter at the same time, or you will be changing the oil anyway. 

5. Engine Compatibility

For the most part, both Valvoline and Mobil 1 have oils for a variety of engine types. While the majority are for standard gasoline engines, there are special formulations for diesels, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and more. 

Valvoline has been an OEM brand trusted by many auto manufacturers. On the other hand, there are some brands that advise against Mobil 1. 

How to Choose Motor Oil 

Once you’ve determined what brand you want, it’s time to consider what oil is going to be best. Most brands have several types of oil to choose from, so consider these factors.

  • Types: Conventional oil is the traditional type made from crude oil. There’s also synthetic that’s made from special ingredients designed in a lab. Synthetic oil lasts the longest but is also the most expensive. There’s also a synthetic blend option that pairs the best of both worlds.
  • Age of Vehicle: Once your car hits 75,000 miles, it may be wise to go with high-mileage oil. These oils provide more protection for the aging motor.
  • Driving Style: If you don’t push your car to extremes, you can go with a standard oil. On the other hand, if you tow often or push your vehicle hard, choose something on the higher end. 
  • Viscosity: It’s always best to choose the motor oil viscosity that matches what’s outlined in your owner’s manual. If you choose to use something contrary to what’s recommended, you could void the car warranty. 

Always check your owner’s manual to choose an approved oil with the right specifications for your vehicle.

RELATED: Conventional vs. Synthetic Blend vs. Full Synthetic Oil

Does it really matter what brand of oil you choose?

When it comes to groceries, you can easily choose the generic formula without noticing any difference, but that’s not true with motor oil. Off-brand engine oil can have harmful fillers that can damage your motor in the long run. Spend a little more for better motor oil. 

Is Valvoline a high-quality oil?

Valvoline is the second most popular motor oil, followed only behind Pennzoil. It’s become a popular brand because of the high-quality additives and formulation that’s used. It can provide protection for the engine, ensuring a longer motor life. 

Is Valvoline full synthetic oil any good?

The fully synthetic formula by Valvoline is trusted by experts because of how well it protects the engine. With the unique additives, it’s meant to lubricate and protect for many miles. It will last longer than standard conventional oil, so you won’t need to change the oil as frequently. 

Is Mobil 1 the best motor oil?

Some people swear by Mobil 1 motor oil, especially in the motorsports arena. However, it’s not the only brand worth considering. Valvoline is also a top brand and it sells far more each year than Mobil 1. For that reason, it’s important to look at the benefits of both oils before deciding. 

Who makes the highest quality oil?

There are several brands that make a high-quality oil. Among some of the top sellers, you have Pennzoil, Valvoline and Mobil 1 to consider. To determine which one is better for you, it’s important to look at the different formulations and pick the one that hits the points that matter the most to you. 

As we work on different vehicles, we see a lot of different brands of motor oil used. Every driver seems to have a preference, so it’s difficult to tell which one suits your needs the best. You can talk to friends and family, but you’ll probably get a lot of different answers. For that reason, it’s best to do your own research.

Start looking at the properties included with each oil type. You can also read online reviews to see what others think. The only way to know for sure what’s best is to start trying them out. Perform some of your own analysis to determine which ones perform the way you desire. Soon enough, you’ll also have a favorite oil brand.

Learn more:

Categories: Engine Oil, Reviews

Related Posts