General Motor Oil FAQ


Motor Oil & Other Product FAQ

Whether you have questions pertaining to motor oil performance, synthetic oils or how to recycle your used oil, you can get the answers you’re looking for below. First, narrow the options down by choosing the closest-related category to your question.
Does motor oil expire? If not, how long does motor oil generally last?

Valvoline motor oils do not have documented expiration dates. When stored under optimal conditions, the product remains stable for an extended period of time. It can be used as long as the American Petroleum Institute (API) rating on the label continues to meet or exceed the requirements listed in your car’s owner’s manual. If the rating is still current, we advise you shake the container before use to blend any additives that may have settled.

Does motor oil ever wear out or does it just get dirty?
Yes, motor oil does break down. Oil additives are consumed and combustion byproducts build up in the oil. Changing your motor oil on a consistent basis removes combustion byproducts and replenishes the additives.
Does my vehicle’s oil filter need to be changed with every oil change?
Valvoline recommends you replace the oil filter with every oil change, as this will eliminate any risk of contaminants trapped in the oil filter (e.g., dirt) from re-entering the new oil. Always be sure to follow the oil change frequency recommendations in your vehicle’s owner’s manual and to use an oil filter meeting automotive manufacturers’ guidelines: e.g., USCAR.
Is the bulk oil that is put in my vehicle during an oil change at a Valvoline Instant Oil Change location different from bottled oil at an auto parts store?
No, they are the same. The bulk product put in your vehicle at a Valvoline Instant Oil Change location is the same product formulation Valvoline packages in other size containers.
Are conventional motor oils natural, unprocessed products?
The base oils used in conventional motor oils do come from petroleum, but they have gone through extensive refining processes. These base oils are compounded with various additives, which provide important properties such as antiwear, friction reduction and long life.
Which Valvoline motor oils meet GM standard dexos 1™?
The following Valvoline motor oils meet the GM standard dexos 1™:

SynPower 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30
Durablend 5W-20, 5W-30
MaxLife 5W-20, 5W-30
Full Synthetic High Mileage with MaxLife Technology 0W-20, 5W-20, 5W-30

Why do some motor oils carry the “API Certified – For Gasoline Engines” starburst symbol on the bottle while others do not?

The starburst symbol means that the oil meets the requirements of the International Lubricants Specification Advisory Committee (ILSAC) in addition to the requirements of API, as stated in the API starburst symbol on the back of the bottle. Only certain viscosity grades are eligible for the starburst symbol.

Which Valvoline motor oils help to conserve energy?
All Valvoline motor oils with the starburst symbol help to reduce fuel consumption.
How do I properly dispose of my used motor oil?
Usually, you can recycle your used motor oil at any auto parts store. Ensure you store your used motor oil in a tightly sealed bottle or container.

Valvoline Instant Oil ChangeSM locations cannot accept your used motor oil.

For more information about recycling your motor oil properly, visit our Oil Recycling page.