Valvoline vs Mobil 1 Synthetic Oil

Both the contenders are synthetic motor oils delivering outstanding performance to advanced turbocharged gasoline engines. Both contenders offer an excellent range of temperature protection, which ensures your engine provides maximum performance in harsh weather conditions.

Valvoline has a lower viscosity index ensuring optimum performance and high fuel efficiency.

With extra detergents and more contribution of cleansing additives, it has a very reliable cleaning ability.

It is specially designed to protect the advanced machinery of the engine from wear and corrosion. It resists oil breakdown to the fullest potential with its superior antioxidants.

Furthermore, it has an extended drainage interval.

Made with Mobil’s signature Triple Action Formula, it also offers extraordinary protection to engines in extreme weather conditions.

It has a lower concentration of zinc and phosphorus which makes it more well-matched with catalytic converter.

Its oil drainage interval is also quite impressive and offers engine protection up to 10,000 miles.

In contrast to Mobil, Valvoline has an improved cleaning ability and an extended oil drainage interval. It is more adaptive to environmental change and also very protective against wear. On the other hand, Mobil offers exceptional performance in extreme temperatures. When discussing price and warranties, Valvoline has a higher price per liter and both the contenders offer the same warranty.

A quick assessment from a spec table:

SpecificationsValvolineMobil 1
Oil TypeFull SyntheticFull Synthetic
Engine Type based on FuelGasolineGasoline
Formulated TechnologyInnovation Additive TechnologyExxonMobil Cutting-Edge Technology
ApplicationCars / TrucksCars / Light Trucks
Viscosity Grades0W – 16, 0W – 20, 10W – 30, 5W – 20, 20W – 50,5W – 30 5W – 20, 5W – 30, 15W – 50, 10W – 30
API StandardSPSN
Warranty30 Days30 Days
Cost (5W – 20)29.5 $ (5 liters)24.5 $ (5 liters)

What does viscosity tell us about both oils?

Kinematic viscosity can be defined as the oil’s resistance to flow and shear due to gravity.

It directly influences the fuel atomization quality and size of the fuel droplet in the spray. It defines how easily an engine oil would circulate inside engines.

Another important property is the viscosity index. It measures the change in oil’s viscosity value due to temperature change.

It is important for a better comparison of the viscosity behavior of different oils based on temperature change.

Oil temperature and Kinematic viscosity are inversely proportional to each other. The higher the value of the viscosity index, the lesser will be the change in kinematic viscosity due to temperature change.

After analyzing the table below, we can see that Valvoline has a lower viscosity index than its competitor.

This shows that it would experience more change in its kinematic viscosity than its competitor.

Mobil on the other hand will have an inferior environmental adaptation ability due to a higher viscosity index.

This makes Valvoline superior to its competitor in this category.

Also, at both temperatures, the viscosity values of Valvoline are relatively lower. This suggests that it would flow relatively better in the engine than its competitor and hence would offer better fuel efficiency.

ParameterValvoline Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 30)Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 30)
Viscosity Index158167
Kinematic Viscosity at +40 °C60.1 mm²/s64 mm²/s
Kinematic Viscosity at +100 °C10.2 mm²/s11.1 mm²/s

Which will better survive in extreme temperature conditions?

The engine oil loses its ability to flow at specific temperature values known as the pour and flash point.The flash point is the boundary at higher temperatures while the pour point is the boundary at lower temperatures where the engine oil will start to burn or freeze respectively.

In both the hot and cold climate conditions, Mobil offers better performance than its competitor as it has a higher and lower flash point and pour point values respectively.

This means that Mobil would survive better than its competitor in a resilient environment.

ParameterValvoline Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 30)Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 30)
Pour Point-36 °C-45 °C
Flash Point199 °C230 °C

Which has a better engine cleaning capability?

Oxidation and contamination introduce moisture and high heat in the engine oil.

This further reduces the effectiveness of the oil which also causes the formation of sludge and deposits.

When comparing the two contenders in terms of their cleaning ability, we have to analyze which oil has more contribution of cleansing additives.

Calcium, magnesium, and sodium are some major cleansing agents in engine oils.

With more quantity of cleansing additives and antioxidants than its competitor, Valvoline will be considered superior in this category.

DetergentValvoline Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 20)Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 20)
Calcium, ppm14261125
Magnesium, ppm496709
Sodium, ppm55

The Oil Drainage Factor:

Oxidation and contamination cause the formation of acids in the engine oil due to which the oil becomes degraded and that increases the likely chance of component failure.

It is very important to neutralize (7 pH) the acid to prevent these issues.

So, alkaline-based additives are added to the engine oil to neutralize the acid but this is not the ultimate solution as after some time the engine oil will start to become acidic again.

TBN helps in determining the remaining oil life. It simply helps you to know about the remaining amount of alkaline-based additives in engine oil.

Oil drainage interval is directly proportional to the TBN value which means that the higher the TBN value the longer the acid will be neutralized. As Valvoline has a higher TBN value than its competitor, it will be considered superior in terms of oil drainage interval.

ParameterValvoline Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 30)Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic (5W – 30)
Total Base Number, mg KOH/g9.39

Anti-wear Protection

Engines can fail due to many reasons such as oxidation, poor compression of both fuel and air, oil deficiency, etc. Zinc, phosphorus, boron, and molybdenum are nutrients used in engine oils as sacrificial and very effective anti-wear agents.

They offer extra protection for flat-tappet cams, lifters, and other components during break-ins.

These anti-wear additives are added to the engine oils to prevent wear.

The more the quantity of anti-wear additives, the more it will be resistive against wear.

After examining the table below, we can conclude that Valvoline will be more protective against wear than its competitor.

This is because of having relatively more quantities of anti-wear agents in it.

AdditiveValvoline (5W-20)Mobil 1 (5W-20)
Zinc850 ppm796 ppm
Phosphorous745 ppm737 ppm
Boron119 ppm102 ppm
Molybdenum294 ppm78 ppm

Effect on Catalytic Converter

The catalyst gets blocked by carbon, silica, phosphorus, and zinc due to which the converter fails to work.

Zinc and phosphorus especially reduce the catalytic converter efficiency due to the ash formed by the oil when it is burned.

The engine oil also gets evaporated due to the addition of additives as excessive amounts of vapors get carried into the combustion chamber where they mix with the fuel.

After getting burnt along with the fuel, the formation of zinc and phosphorous ash occurs which settles down on the catalytic converter.

As you can see in the above table that Valvoline has a higher concentration of zinc and phosphorous than its competitor.

This means that it will produce more ash which will later settle down on the catalytic converter and would affect its efficiency.

This makes Mobil 1 less dangerous for the catalytic converter with a lower concentration of zinc.

Hence, Mobil would be more well-suited for catalytic converters.

Summary

Valvoline;

  • has a longer drainage interval.
  • has a better cleaning ability
  • provides superior anti-wear protection
  • meets the latest API SP standard.
  • is relatively more adaptive to environmental change.
  • Is relatively more fuel-efficient.

Mobil;

  • is more compatible with the catalytic converters.
  • Deals better with extreme temperatures.
  • offers a lower price.