Valvoline vs Pennzoil | Detailed Comparison With FAQs

There are two kinds of people – one who goes with the flow and trust their mechanics for an oil change and the other who is very specific about which brand of engine oil does duty in their vehicles. Frankly, I am of the second kind. I like to assess the strong and weak points of each brand of engine oil and accordingly use and recommend them to people.

Therefore, I decided to write this extensive analysis on the 2 popular brands of engine oil in the US market – Valvoline and Pennzoil.

If you are of the second kind, one who is very specific about which engine oil lubricates your engine, which of the 2 engine oils mentioned above should you use? We have all the answers you are looking for.

On one hand, Valvoline has a simple approach to oil engineering, taking refined base oil, and adding quality additives to obtain an engine oil that keeps the engine clean and the formation of sludge is minimal. Pennzoil , on the other hand, has innovated technology of converting natural gas to the base oil for minimum possible engine clogging impurities. This results in a smoother, and more fuel-efficient engine performance.

Suitable EnginesAll gasoline and diesel enginesAll gasoline and diesel engines
Exposure to high TemperaturesGoodGood
Engine PerformancesGoodExceptional
TechnologyDual Defense Additive TechnologyPure Plus Technology
Value for money9/108.5/10

: Valvoline, an American brand, is the oldest among the 3 engine oils and has a legacy of engineering reliable engine oils since 1866.. Originally, Pennzoil is an American company, but now, it is owned by a British conglomerate, Shell Inc. It is the newest in this group but offers a neck-to-neck performance with its competitors.


Similarities and Differences between Valvoline and Pennzoil

Valvoline and Pennzoil have mastered the engineering of engine oil. They provide top-notch engine performance and protection. Even then, all of them share a few similarities and have an edge over the other in a few aspects. Let us have a look at those pointers to understand better which engine oil suits the demands of our cars.




  • Exposure to High temperature: According to our research, for normal purposes, these 2 engine oils perform well but when put under high temperatures for longer durations, it was a close matchup but Valvoline proved to be marginally better.


  • Technology: There are many big brands that have cut-throat competition against each other and in order to gain an edge over the other, every brand continuously tries to innovate and engineer superior products to the others.

Valvoline has ‘Dual Defense Additive’ technology which helps it fight engine wear and deposits. Pennzoil has patented the ‘PurePlus’ technology which actually claims that they have derived their engine oil from natural gases which ensures minimum engine clogging impurity and hence makes the engine durable.


  • Engine Performance:-

1) Pennzoil:- Multiple tests have been conducted and it is evident that Pennzoil is generally the smoothest and thinnest as compared to Valvoline, therefore it provides a notch better lubrication than the others. Also, it came out to be the most fuel-efficient engine oil. It is a bit more expensive than the others but it is great value for money.


2) Valvoline is the oldest among the 3 and hence it has a good reputation for making reliable engine oils, along with asking the least price of these brands. It offers decent engine protection and high-temperature performance. It is a great choice for normal drivers having daily-driven cars or workhorse vehicles. For enthusiastic people, Valvoline has a racing engine oil division that makes VR1 racing oil specifically for race cars and supercars, but people with normal passenger cars can also use it.


Pro-Tip– The differences between all these engine oils are not much and daily drivers can choose any of these engine oil without a second thought.


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  • Suitable engines: Whether you have a daily workhorse such as a truck or a track machine supercar, or you have a gasoline or a diesel vehicle, these 2 Valvoline and Pennzoil engineer engine oils that suit all kinds of engines. In general, the performance of the 2 engine oils may differ by a whisker or two. You need not take the pain of changing the brand of engine oil if you have different vehicles.


  • Reliability: If there is one thing you can trust, it is the reliability factor of these 2 engine oils. Both of them are over a century old engine oil brands and you can trust them easily. Reliability and longevity are among the few features that every car owner desire and we are pretty sure that all these engine oil brands can provide enough and more in this aspect. High-mileage or low-mileage, daily-driver or high-performance, these oils cover all types of vehicles in your garage without breaking a sweat.


  • Engine oil types: Both the 3 engine oil brands have fully synthetic, semi-synthetic, and conventional engine oil types. Further, both of them have multiple viscosity grades of the oil in each type and also have engine oils for specific vehicles, for example- High-mileage engine oils and SUV engine oils.

Moreover, each of these engine oil brands manufactures oil for specific car companies separately, keeping in mind the distinct needs of various engines. For instance, each of Valvoline and Pennzoil has specific engine oils for European manufactured cars such as the German quartet (Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche) brands, French (Renault, Citroen, Peugeot) companies, etc. These are known as Euro engine oils.


Some important FAQs


Valvoline Advanced VS Pennzoil Platinum

Valvoline Advanced: It boasts of the following features-

  • This engine oil provides much better protection than the industry standard with advanced anti-wear additives.
  • It prevents oil breakdown 10X better with premium antioxidants that fight harmful increases in viscosity.
  • It offers 25% more defense against deposits with extra detergents that keep engine surfaces clean.

Bottom line: It keeps your engine clean.


Pennzoil Platinum: Some of the important features of Pennzoil are-

  • It offers unbeatable engine protection
  • It delivers outstanding Performance in Extreme Temperatures
  • It provides excellent fuel economy.
  • Pennzoil claims that its base oil is made from natural gas and not crude oil which ensures that it is 99.5% free from engine clogging impurities.

Bottom line: It lasts for much more miles than regular engine oil.


Valvoline VS Pennzoil High-Mileage


Valvoline with MaxLife Technology:

  • It provides 40% better wear protection than the industry standard with enhanced anti-wear additives, keeping critical engine components safe and preventing metal surfaces from making contact.
  • It reduces sludge, deposits, corrosion, and rust with added detergents and anti-corrosion additives, sustaining your engine’s performance and preventing higher emissions
  • It refreshes aging seals and prevents leaks both inside and outside your engine with premium seal conditioners


Pennzoil Platinum:

  • Full synthetic engine oil made from natural gas, not crude, using Pennzoil’s patented gas-to-liquid ‘PurePlus’ Technology which converts pure natural gas into high-quality, full-synthetic base oil that is crystal clear and contains fewer impurities than other traditional and synthetic motor oils
  • Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage keeps pistons up to 45% cleaner than the toughest industry standard.
  • This high mileage motor oil provides better protection from friction from its competitors.
  • Formulated to deliver less oil burn off than high mileage motor oils made from crude oil


Is Valvoline good for an instant oil change?

Valvoline Instant Oil Change has been the quick, easy, and trusted partner for an oil change and maintenance services for more than 2 decades now. Generally, customers have relished this instant oil change service from Valvoline as they say that it actually is a very quick and professional service with reasonable prices.

The stay-in-your-car service is a privilege that Valvoline offers so that customers can see the engine oil getting changed from the comfort of their cars It generally takes 15 minutes for this service.



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Valvoline Daily Protection semi-conventional VS Pennzoil Conventional Motor Oil


Valvoline Daily Protection Synthetic Blend Motor Oil:

  • Valvoline Daily Protection has been proven to minimize everyday wear on your engine by providing consistent lubrication.
  • It resists oil breakdown & sludge with added detergents to keep your engine clean.
  • Provides exceptional temperature protection that defends your engine in even the most severe weather.
  • It reduces costly repairs by protecting critical engine components.


Pennzoil Conventional Motor Oil:

  • Provides excellent wear protection.
  • It keeps the engine clean and responsive.
  • This mineral oil is known for its good fuel economy



It is widely accepted that Valvoline and Pennzoil are excellent engine oil brands and you will not regret using any of these engine oil. It actually boils down to personal preference and trust. Apart from that, prefer Valvoline if you want a decent engine performance and cleaning at a cheaper price, and Pennzoil if you want a smoother and quieter engine. These differences are not much but they do count in the long run.

Generally, people believe more expensive engine oil will perform better, it is a false concept. Valvoline engine oils are mostly a bit cheaper than Pennzoil, but it is no less. You just have to keep the manufacturer’s recommended specifications of the engine oil in check. Besides that, your engine will be always happy whichever of these engine oil brands you prefer.