What to Look For in a Motor Oil For Your Classic Car

No matter what kind of car you drive, regular oil changes are key to protecting the engine and its many moving parts. This, in turn, can prolong the life of your vehicle. However, if you own a classic car, then it’s not quite as simple as getting your oil changed frequently; it’s also about the type of oil that you use.

Why is Choosing Motor Oil For a Classic Difficult?

Simply put, motor oil has changed a lot since your classic car first hit the streets. Decades ago, motor oils were formulated with an ingredient known as zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP for short). Today, however, ZDDP has been removed from many motor oils as a means of protecting the environment.

This is problematic for classic cars because modern engine oil without ZDDP can result in more wear; in some cases, cam shaft damage and engine failure could even occur. Fortunately, there are still motor oil formulas that are designed with classic cars in mind; the key is to find the ones with the right additives and formulations, which isn’t always easy because classic cars can vary greatly in their needs.

Tips for Selecting the Right Motor Oil

The main thing to keep in mind when selecting a motor oil is to simply know your car. If you still have the owner’s manual to your classic car (or can find a copy of it online), take a look at the original oil recommendation. You may be able to do an online search to determine the formula. From there, you can begin your search for a motor oil that is as close as possible to the original recommended formula.

From there, you may also want to look into some motor oil additives to protect your classic car even further. If you can find an additive that is specifically designed for classic cars, do your research to determine whether it may be worth your while. It’s important to be careful with additives and to monitor your engine oil and vehicle performance after each oil change.

Specifically, be sure to check the oil in your classic car in between oil changes. If the oil appears dirty when your car isn’t due for an oil change, then it may be time to try a different brand or formula.

The Final Word on Classic Cars and Motor Oil

Overall, selecting the right motor oil for a classic car all boils down to the exact make and model you have, as well as driving conditions and other factors. By choosing the right motor oil, you can prolong the life and retain the value of your classic car for many years to come.

Still feeling lost when it comes to choosing an oil for your classic car’s engine? Reach out to David Consalvo, an authorized AMSOIL dealer serving Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. He’d be happy to make some recommendations and help you get the motor oil your car needs.