Oil type/ Grade?

Im about to change my oil and am considering Valvoline VR 1 oil…has high zink levels which seems desirable…so which grade.? .the 10-30 is much cheaper than say 30 wt and 20-50 is in the middle…cost is not really a factor but is multi grade better in some way…?

Been using VR-1 20-50 in my E for about 12 years now.
Happy and would recommend it.

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I use Mobil 1 15W-50 synthetic. It has more than enough zinc for your engine. The cost difference is nominal compared to non-synthetic oil. And I just looked and i seems to be on sale for $25 a jug at Walmart just now.

Someone will pipe up and state just about any quality motor oil will work for you and they will be right. Use what you feel most comfortable pouring into your car’s engine.

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Just my experience; 20w50 is best not only because the factory recommended it but because it doesn’t leak out as much, if you’re comfortable with the resulting oil pressure any oil will work, more zinc can’t hurt. 10w30 sounds awfully thin and multigrades are generally better. It’s not as thick when cold and not as thin when hot.

John Mobil 1 has consistency reduced the zinc in their oil for many years now. Zinc fouls catalytic converters in the new models so Mobil has followed the manufactures lead and reduced it to zip for use in those new models. Now we see consistent cylinder scoring throughout the manufacturers that had recommend using it (Mercedes, BMW, etc). In fact now BMW will not warranty an engine that does not use their own BMW oil (called twin power oil) Vs Mobil 1. Its a real thing. I don’t use Mobil 1 in any older car any longer. And I see 5000 cars a year. Its fine for late models, or IF you add a zinc additive.

If Mobil 1 is scoring cylinders, it’s not because of the zinc levels. Mobil 1 has been analyzed many, many times and the zinc levels are not abnormally lower compared to other oils of the same vintage.

Any oil with a modern API/JASO/ACEA rating will have lower zinc content than an oil certified 30 years ago. It has nothing to do with Mobil 1. Any current high zinc oils are not certified. Modern certified oils cannot have the same zinc levels of the old days.

Frankly, if Mobil 1 was scoring cylinders someone would have filed a class-action lawsuit against them. From my understanding zinc has no real anti-wear impact on the cylinder walls anyway - if zinc is really needed it almost always manifests itself in the cam shaft and valve operating mechanism.


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[Beware: my cynicism is showing…]
Does the BMW oil reduce the incidence of cylinder scoring? No; but the profits they make from selling it offset the warranty claims they get when the cylinders still get scored because of poor design/manufacturing…


Hey its simple… I don’t mind what oil anyone uses, but the Mobil 1 that is on the shelves today has reduced zinc to satisfy the manufacturers needs. And the twin power oil? Since BMW asked us to use it we have not seen any oil related failure like we have with Mobil 1. But don’t get me started on BMW’s, as like Range Rovers we see them as weak.

Good oil for a vintage Jag? Redline. Second choice? Rotella. (edit. That Val VR is good too) Or you are welcome to just take guesses at it.

Hi Michael. Mobil 1’s latest product guide, dated October 2019, says their 15W-50 has 1200 ppm of phosphorus and 1300 ppm of zinc. That’s plenty for a vintage XK engine.


I don’t think you’re being cynical, I think you’re being pragmatic, because manufacturers will find ANY reason other than their own bad design for things that go wrong to customers cars.

I don’t believe the oil would cause cylinder scoring. Not in 1 million years.

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2019… Alright.

Again, feel free to use what you want. But from someone with time on the job… I even switched my 2007 Dodge Ram Hemi tow rig off of the factory recommended Mobil 1 (5/20 - as it has cylinder deactivation that requires the consistency of hydraulic oil) to a Redline 5/20 product. Because of what I have seen, not guessed about.

And Paul, for you to think that oil quality wont effect cylinder wall scoring is simply bizarre.

I doubt anyone here puts enough miles on their e-type to ever notice any wear they would care about. But let me be the 1st to tell you I told you so.

Apparently people who are buying millions of gallons of Mobil 1 year after year, just in North America alone, are blissfully unaware that their cylinder bores are being scored.

Like me. Strange because after 100,000+ miles I would have thought I would see some sign that my cylinders were being ruined…


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No, what is bizarre is your assumption that I said oil quality; let me be more precise: in our old crates, any good oil on the market, with regular changes of both oil and filter, will not cause cylinder scoring.

I’ll take that one to the bank.

Anyone who gnashes their teeth at the thought that their bores would be scored by modern oil are the ones thinking bizarre thoughts.

Now, that said, on much more modern cars, there may or may not be an effect on the bores by the oil used. I haven’t seen or heard any data that supports that: all I’ve seen is your opinion.

If this cylinder scoring was as large problem as some assert, simply by using different oil, we all would be hearing a lot more about it.


I too am cynical about BMW “specifications” that seem to be profitable

Oh boy… Another thread on the correct oil to use. How exciting!


Do you have a cite for that?

My understanding is any oil that is a BMW LL-01 (or LL-04) rated oil is acceptable. There are several alternative oils on the market that meet BMW ratings

I just bought WalMart’s house brand today for $21 for 5 quarts!

That’s what excites me… sales prices!



Just ordered VR1 20/50 High Zinc from Amazon for $29 for 6 Qts with free shipping :upside_down_face:

Saved me a trip to the store!

I would guess that the cheapest Walmart brand of oil would be superior to the original oil used 50 to 60 years ago in our Jags? I have been using Castrol 20w50 for as long as I can remember with no problems. I did try a full synthetic once and found more leaks with it.

Precisely my point: anything on the market today is very likely better than anything that was supplied to our cars back then.