Valvoline vs Mobil 1 – Which Engine Oil Should You Opt for?

Updated: | Author: Steve Freling | Affiliate links may be present.

We have a lot of options when it comes to motor oil! Valvoline motor oil and Mobil 1 motor oil are two of the most well-known names when it comes to the engine oil industry. While some people may have a personal preference, it may be helpful to research these two oil varieties to decide which option is the best for you.

Valvoline and Mobil 1 both offer fully synthetic engine oils. Both companies are considered industry leaders in technology and innovation. Synthetic oils allow for less wear and tear on the engine, and a longer time in between oil changes. Valvoline synthetic oil has a lower price point, and they offer rapid oil change locations. Mobil 1 has a 20,000 mile or one-year guarantee between oil changes.

What is the Purpose of Motor Oil?

Motor oil keeps the engine running smoothly and helps give it a long life. Oil has several different purposes as it circulates through the engine.

  • Oil helps keep all the parts moving smoothly together.
  • Oil flows through the engine and carries particles and residue to the oil filter so that the engine doesn’t get clogged.
  • Protection against corrosion – Acid is a product of combustion engines. This acid damages the metal parts in the engine. The oil helps slow the corrosion process.
  • The movement of oil helps the coolant keep the engine from overheating.
  • The oil helps seal small gaps between parts in the engine.

What is a Fully Synthetic Engine Oil?

Synthetic engine oil is made of chemically engineered molecules that are all exactly the same size and shape under a microscope. Traditional engine oil is made of crude oil, which has molecules of all shapes and sizes.

The main advantage of a synthetic oil is its lifespan! It doesn’t break down as easily as crude oil. Not only can you go longer in between oil changes, but it will maintain stable oil levels in your engine in between oil changes.

About Valvoline

Valvoline has been around for over 150 years! They are a large corporation that makes many products, including motor oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze, and gear grease.

Company History

Dr. John Ellis created the very first Valvoline lubricating oil for steam engines in 1866. The company kept refining their product through the years. In 1985, Valvoline opened their first quick oil change business.

In 1996, Valvoline created their first synthetic motor oil blend. Today, they offer several varieties of fully synthetic engine oil. The oil is sold across North America for DIY car maintenance. They also have over 1,200 of their rapid oil change businesses across the continent.

Valvoline Motor Oil Specifications

  • Viscosity – 10W-30
  • Precision pour spout
  • Anti-wear additives
  • Engine cleaning detergents
  • SynPower fully synthetic oil

Key Features

This fully synthetic engine oil fights engine stress. It has anti-wear additives that protect the engine, and last a long time. Its heat fighting formula keeps the engine temperature in the ideal range.

Valvoline Pros

  • Affordable price point.
  • Made from high-grade synthetic oils.
  • The engine cleaning additives use varnish protection and anti-sludge formulas.
  • Protects against high temperatures in extreme driving conditions.
  • Protects against cold temperatures with faster oil flow.
  • Compatible with all synthetic motor oils on the market.

Valvoline Cons

  • The manufacturing process may have negative environmental effects.
  • The slick consistency may cause an issue in cars with leaky engines.

Valvoline Review

Valvoline motor oil is very highly regarded in the DIY community. The quick-pour spout makes adding or changing the oil mess-free. It is also very competitively priced.

The quality of synthetic oil, plus high-quality additives make Valvoline synthetic engine oil a high-value product for a reasonable price. That, and their long-standing reputation as a trustworthy brand makes Valvoline a favorite for many car owners.

About Mobil 1

Mobil 1 holds the title of the world’s number one leading synthetic oil brand. The company has been around for over 50 years, and also manufactures transmission fluids, oil filters, gear oils, and greases.

Company History

Mobil 1 started in the 1960’s with a product used to keep the wheels on military planes from freezing. A few years later, they introduced a synthetic oil for oil drills in Alaska. In 1971, fully synthetic oil for automobiles was available.

Today, Mobil 1 is known for its extensive use in motorsports. Their logo can be seen at NASCAR races. For those of us who don’t drive race cars, their Mobil 1 annual protection synthetic oil can protect engines for up to a full year between oil changes.

Mobil 1 Motor Oil Specifications

  • Annual engine protection
  • Fully synthetic oil
  • Lubricant technology to extend the service life
  • Anti-friction technology

Key Features

Mobil 1 is an innovator in their field with their extended life oil. They are also considered to be an environmentally conscious company. The new formula has been extensively tested and it really does keep engines clean and running smoothly for up to one year.

Mobil 1 Pros

  • Superior fuel efficiency
  • Includes a 20,000 mile/one year guarantee
  • Additives to protect against sludge and deposits
  • Superior anti-aging technology
  • Resists oil breakdown
  • Minimal environmental impact
  • Minimal health and contact risks if handled properly

Mobil 1 Cons

  • HIgh price.
  • For best results, you also need to purchase a Mobil 1 Extended Performance Filter.

Mobil 1 Review

Initially, some drivers were wary about Mobil 1’s claims to have a one-year engine oil. However, it has proved its worth, plus it is backed by a money-back guarantee. It really does last for up to 20,000 miles in between oil changes, as long as optimum oil levels are maintained.

For some, the time saved makes Mobil 1 engine oil worth the extra cost. Plus, Mobil 1 has an outstanding reputation as an innovative, hardworking company that produces quality products.

How are Valvoline and Mobil 1 the Same?

Synthetic Oil Formula

The main similarity between Valvoline and Mobil 1 motor oils is that they are both fully synthetic oils with additives. The base for these oils is basically the same. They also both contain a cleaning agent to keep engines free of sludge.


Both synthetic oils have options for different vehicles, from diesel trucks to economy cars, to motorcycles. Always make sure you have the correct variety of oil for your vehicle.

How are Valvoline and Mobil 1 Different?


The most obvious difference between the two brands is price. If you are on a budget, Valvoline is the more affordable option.


Mobil 1 synthetic oil comes with a 20,000 miles, or 1-year guarantee. While Valvoline’s synthetic oil will allow you to go longer between oil changes, it does not have the same technology or guarantee.

Environmental Impact

Studies have shown Valvoline’s manufacturing processes have more of a negative impact on the environment than Mobil 1. However, they are working to improve their environmental impact score with the CDP.

Which Engine Oil is the Best?

In spite of the high price tag, Mobil 1 is often considered the best engine oil on the market. Their innovative technology allows for longer engine protection, no matter the conditions. However, both Valvoline and Mobil 1 offer fully synthetic formulas with high-quality, helpful additives.

Final Thoughts

Do your research before you choose an oil! Valvoline and Mobil 1 are two of the top brands of fully synthetic motor oils. They both offer high-quality additives to keep the engine clean and cool. Enjoy better fuel economy and reduce wear and tear on your engine by using a fully synthetic oil and changing the oil as needed.

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About Steve Freling

Steve has worked for more than 20 years as an automotive mechanic, and later run his own repair shop for both cars and motorcycles. He's a maintenance freak, and generally pretty good at troubleshooting!

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