What Oil Should You Use for Your Classic Car?

Classic cars need special care to keep them running like new. Discover easy tips for choosing the best oil for your classic car.

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How to choose oil for your classic carPhoto: ShutterStock

How to Choose the Right Oil for Your Classic Car

Whether you take your classic car to shows or you just love tooling around town with the top down, you want to take care of the your investment and make it last as long as possible. After all, your classic car has already been around for decades, and making it last decades longer is your job.

Oil is the lifeblood of any engine, so choosing the right oil for your classic car is essential. Here are three tips to help you make an informed decision.

1. Know Your Car

The more you know about your car and the era in which it was built, the easier it will be to choose the right oil. Formulations have changed a great deal over the years, and the oil manufactured today is much different than what was available when your car was first made.

Even so, you should be able to find an oil that is reasonably close to what your classic car used when it was young. Look at the owner's manual that came with the car, read the service manual and talk to other owners, then look for an oil that matches the original formulation as closely as possible.

Psst—here's what you should know about high-mileage motor oil!

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Classic car additivesPhoto: ShutterStock

2. Choose Your Additives Carefully

There are plenty of additives on the market, and some of them can be very useful to classic cars. These additives are designed to put back some of the elements that have been removed from oil over the years, including many of the minerals that older cars relied on to run properly and keep their engines in great shape.

When choosing additives, look for ones that have been specifically formulated for classic cars. Older cars have specialized needs when it comes to oil and additives, and choosing one to match your vehicle is very important.

You asked, our experts answered: "Which additives are worth the money?"
 

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Monitor your classic car's engine oilPhoto: ShutterStock

3. Monitor Your Engine Oil

The easiest way to make sure the oil you put in your classic car is doing its job is to monitor it carefully. Hopefully you are already changing the oil at the recommended intervals, but you should check the condition of the oil between changes as well.

Does the oil look clean and clear a month after the last oil change, or are there dissolved particles and pieces of dirt? If the oil is not staying clean between oil changes, you need to look for a better brand. High quality engine oil is essential no matter what your drive—and your classic car deserves the best.

Can't get enough classics? Check out this amazing 1931 Model A Ford restoration!