Best Conventional Oil

Non-synthetic oil (also referred to as dino or conventional oil) is extremely cheap and performs very well as long as you change your oil every 3,000 miles. In fact, if you don’t mind the added cost and hassle of short oil change intervals, it can be difficult to justify the cost of much more expensive synthetic oils.

Typically, any dino oil that has an API SM or SL rating will do well in most applications, but our top picks were chosen because they’re cheap compared to synthetic oils, and are widely available at major retailers. They also all offer consistent performance as rated by users over the course of many years, meaning with proper maintenance your vehicle will run smoothly and reliably.

Pennzoil Conventional Motor Oil

Pennzoil's yellow bottle convention oil is one of the most popular dino oils on the market, and for good reason. This oil performs strongly in testing, and includes additives that effectively keep the engine clean and running smoothly. Read Full Review

Why it's best:

Pennzoil conventional oil in the yellow bottle is extremely cheap and easy to find in most major retailers. As one of the most popular conventional oils on the market, this oil is a safe bet. It has a strong additive package which is resistant to sludge, maintains performance, and also holds up well in used oil analysis reports. As with any conventional oil, it’s important to stick to regular oil changes every 3,000-5,000 miles. For the money, you can't go wrong with Pennzoil's Conventional oil.

Pennzoil Conventional Motor Oil

Mobil Super Synthetic Motor Oil

Mobil Super conventional motor oil has replaced the now-discontinued Mobil Clean 5000, and carries over very similar performance. This oil is one of the top dino oils available on the market, with good cleaning and anti-wear additives to extend engine life. Read Full Review

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    Why it's best:

    Mobil 1 has for many years been one of the most popular synthetic oils on the market, but Mobil's non-synthetic Super also works very well. Mobil's popular "clean" oils have been replaced with Mobile Super, reflecting some changes to the formula and additives.

    This oil claims to include more cleaning additives than others, with added friction-reducing additives as well. This is meant to extend engine life by protecting against wear and sludge. However, as with any conventional motor oil, it’s important to stick to regular interval oil changes of 3,000-5,000 miles.

    Mobil Super Synthetic Motor Oil

    Valvoline Premium Conventional Motor Oil

    Many users swear by Valvoline oil, and their Premium Conventional Motor Oil does indeed work very well. This conventional oil is easy to find pretty much anywhere, and holds up for intervals of 3,000-5,000 miles. Read Full Review

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      Why it's best:

      Valvoline has been making quality oils for a very long time, and can be trusted to put out good products. Valvoline's Premium Conventional Motor Oil offers excellent anti-wear protection for your engine, exceeding the minimum requirements set forth by various international standards. In lower viscosity grades, the formula has been developed to increase overall fuel economy. As with any conventional oil, change intervals should be every 3,000-5,000 miles to keep the engine clean and resist sludge buildup.

      Valvoline Premium Conventional Motor Oil

      Castrol GTX High Mileage 20W-50

      Castrol GTX is a great conventional oil, developed to resist sludge and protect your engine over time. Just be sure to keep up with regular oil changes within the 3,000-5,000 mile intervals. Read Full Review

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        Why it's best:

        Castrol is a very popular choice for synthetic oils, being well-known for their good quality overall. Castrol GTX, a conventional oil, rates well and was developed to resist sludge and protect your engine. Their additive blend includes Castrol's TriShield technology, which attracts and traps particles that cause damage, preventing sludge from building up. This oil holds up for intervals of 3,000-5,000 miles, and is capable of helping to improve fuel economy. Although Castrol GTX has a reputation for being somewhat overpriced, it depends on your region.

        Castrol GTX High Mileage 20W-50

        Quaker State Advanced Durability Motor Oil

        For affordable reliability, Quaker State's Advanced Durability conventional oil is a great choice. This oil is easy to find, and has been designed to prevent excessive wear. Read Full Review

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          Why it's best:

          Quaker State Advanced Durability Motor Oil is a solid overall conventional oil that’s both affordable and easy to find at most major retailers. The naming scheme can be a bit confusing, with Advanced Durability being the conventional oil, Enhanced Durability being a blend, and Ultimate Durability being a full synthetic.

          The Advanced Durability motor oil is good all-around, but focuses heavy on anti-wear, even exceeding wear standards. The additive blend prioritizes minimizing friction and preventing wear, even after heavy use. Be sure to change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles, as with any conventional oil.

          Quaker State Advanced Durability Motor Oil
          Leave a Question or Comment
          3 comments
          • patrick patrick

          the best oil by far should be valvoline not pennzoil.

          Posted on 12/12/2010 8:02 pm | Reply
          • autopro autopro

          ever since shell purchased pennzoil it is definitly the best conventional oil on the market. makes me laugh when i hear people say it has "wax" in it , when in fact all conventional oils contain parafins . i started using this oil instead of the mobil clean 5000 a few years ago and have been very pleased with results. i challenge all you skeptics to try it on your next oil change and see for yourself .

          Posted on 11/6/2010 1:03 am | Reply
          • AJ AJ

          Ironic to see PZ listed as a "best" product, when it is in fact that. It's the pet oil of guys who actually know something about it. I see the trolls are out in force for the first two posts. Too bad there isn't such a thing as a bad oil, except maybe PittPenn! Search PQI oil test for some basic data on a lot of brands. AJ

          Posted on 10/4/2010 1:24 pm | Reply