8 Bad Motor Oil Brands to Avoid + Alternatives in 2024

A quality motor oil brand must help the smooth running of your car and deliver decent greasing to the car machinery.

There are also many features that a quality oil offers, but you must be aware of basic facts.

So it would be better to get a little idea about the oil brands available in the market. There is a wide range of oil brands you may choose from, but some must be avoided.

We will describe some of the Motor oil brands to avoid one by one, followed by their alternatives.

Motor Oil Brands to Avoid

How to identify a Bad Motor Oil Brand?

Many people have asked about how to identify a bad motor oil brand, and the answer is simple – you can’t.

There are certain criteria you need to look at before buying any brand of motor oil.

These include the type of engine, the number of miles the engine has traveled, the year of manufacture, and the temperature at which it was manufactured.

You may be tempted to get low-cost motor oil for your vehicle, but it may damage your engine.

Many cheap oils contain high levels of additives, which may damage your engine.

It is better to go for a higher-quality oil that doesn’t have additives.

If you are unsure about the brand or model, you can always consult with a professional to determine if the motor oil you’re using is effective or not.

Well, you don’t need to go anywhere as we will tell you which brands to avoid and which brands to buy instead. 

Motor Oil Brands to Avoid

As per our team’s research, based on poor viscosity and low quality, the motor oil brands to avoid are Liberty, Petrol, Questron, Bullseye, Xcel, and Q10-40.

Check out the reasons why.

1. Liberty Motor oil

One of the main reasons to avoid this brand is that the company is not even true to its words.

Liberty oil has many benefits and features, but it cannot give an average-quality product.

The percentage of additives is also not enough to include the motor oil’s basic requirement. Viscosity level and volatility are other major flaws of this brand.

The brand itself claims a good proportion of the viscosity level, but you get a level of only below 70%, which just seems unacceptable.

Adding more, Liberty oil has a higher volatility rate and evaporates quickly. Eventually, it fails to deliver in the long run.

So, based on all the above-mentioned facts, you must be aware of this brand’s offerings.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Low viscosity and high volatility level
  • Below average quality

Speaking of volatility, it’s crucial also to be mindful of the components that go into your oil filter, as poor-quality oil filters can exacerbate issues. This is particularly relevant for those looking to avoid problematic oil filter brands.

Worst Engine Oil

2. Quaker State Q

Having failed to give some of the basic benefits of motor oil, Quaker State Q stands second among the worst motor oil brand names.

First of all, this brand has a high price tag but remains inadequate regarding the product’s quality.

While like the Liberty Oils, Quaker State Q also claims many benefits, but most of the labeling on the body proved fake.

Adding more, Quaker lacks some of the essential additives for lubrication to keep your car’s motion smooth.

High volatility is also a major reason to avoid this brand. It diffuses quickly and may seriously harm the engine in the long run.

Quaker also claims multi-viscosity, but it is again a false claim. So, if you want to keep your car’s engine at its optimum, it would be better to look at other alternative options available in the market.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Little expensive
  • High volatility

3. Petrol Motor oil

Like other brands, Petrol Motor Oil misleads its users with wrong information and guidance. So, it comes to classifying bad motor oil brands to avoid.

The mentioned viscosity level on the packaging is just not real. They provide an unacceptable level that might be alarming for the engine.

SAE specification they promise to give is also fake and leaves you unsatisfied with the quality.

Quality motor oil also positively contributes to the environment, but Petrol Motor oil is just the opposite. This brand leads you to high fuel consumption, inducing environmental issues.

Moreover, this brand has failed in advancement and failed to match the standards of the new market.

So there are many things to consider this option before deciding and avoiding this might be the best.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Specifically not good for new models
  • Low viscosity level

Petrol Motor Oil’s low viscosity level is a significant concern, especially for new models. This issue is reminiscent of problems found in bad tire brands, where quality and performance can be equally variable and impact the overall efficiency of your vehicle.

4. Xpress Lube Pro

In this modern age of car models, SAE and viscosity grading are among the most important labels on motor oil brands, but Xpress Lube Pro avoids this.

So with this major defect and many other reasons as well, this brand has a place in the worst brand of motor oil. Grading is just improper and not right at all.

Going ahead, it seems that Xpress has tried a lot in its oil production. Still, many non-essential impurities contribute nothing but only to the poor quality of the oil.

Adding more, the functioning of this brand is not enough for modern models. We don’t recommend this for old models to avoid some big trouble.

At last, Xpress Lube Pro also includes fake labeling and fails to serve what it promises.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Improper SAE grading classification
  • Additional impurities

5. Questron

Questron is another name that you should avoid while deciding on the motor oil brand. The premium quality label on this brand proved hypocritical after just the first use.

There are also many other features and benefits they promise to give, but most are just fake labeling.

There is nothing special about this brand that is even unable to give the average outcome.

It comes with high volatility and undefined viscosity. There are also negative reviews about giving an irritating noise to the engine.

With lots of impurities and poor lubrication, this brand might create serious problems for a new model.

So it would be much helpful to be careful with such brands in the market and try to look for the one, that meets the modern technology demands.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Unassured viscosity grade
  • Make the engine noisy
  • Insufficient lubrication
Bad Motor Oil Brands

6. Bullseye Motor Oil

We have seen a long list of customers who seem clearly disappointed with their purchase from the Bullseye.

The company has put a lot of effort into the design and stylish packaging of bottles but has a poor-quality product to offer.

The oil is really thin and delivers cheap lubrication. There is also false information and claims on its label.

Getting deeper, the viscosity of this brand is fearfully low, and the product is also non-resistive, failing to give smooth running to the engine.

Moreover, it also has relatively low additives to give the basic insulation to the engine.

Knowing all of the above facts and figures, it seems beneficial to avoid this brand from the modern models as well.

The main reasons to avoid

Really thin product
Lacks the essential additives
Poor lubrication

7. Xcel Motor oil

Xcel also fails to meet the innovative requirements of modern vehicles. The standard of the product doesn’t include even in the moderate range.

So, this brand may seriously affect your engine and can also lead to damage. Xcel motor oil lacks some of the basic additives, leaving the product a poor-quality lubricant.

It also doesn’t seem beneficial for the smooth running of the vehicle should be the basic benefit of motor oil.

The viscosity proportion is also insufficient and does not offer much resistance to friction.

Besides these major reasons to avoid the brands, Xcel is also deceptive to the users.

An affordable price tag with fake claims attracts users, but this brand is nothing special.

So, avoiding this brand might be beneficial for your engine.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Poor viscosity index
  • Lacks additives

8. Q10-40 Motor Oil

And the final worst engine oil brand to avoid on our list is Q10-40. My experience with this brand was far from satisfactory.

The oil’s poor viscosity index means it becomes dirty at high temperatures, increasing friction and engine corrosion.

Additionally, the lack of essential additives and detergents in Q10-40 Motor Oil fails to offer the protection your engine desperately needs.

The main reasons to avoid

  • Poor Viscosity
  • Lack of Additives

Most Reliable Motor Oil Brands

After the bad brands of motor oil you should avoid, we have made another list of alternative options that you may consider for your next purchase.

So before further delay, let’s go through.

Top Motor Oil Brands

1. Castrol

Castrol is one of the best motor oil brands you may find in the market. It has the standard to go with the innovation and covers all of the requirements of modern models.

Being perfectly resistant to friction, this brand positively affects your engine’s health. It improves fuel consumption and can help you save some money.

Castrol oil holds long intervals from a range of 4000 miles to 5000 miles.

There are also different options with different viscosity grades, providing you with a maximum number of options to choose from.

Adding more, Castrol performs equally well even in severe weather conditions and helps the long, smooth run with quality lubrication.

Its price tag is another major reason for this brand to be the best in the market. Depending upon your choice, it has affordable options and ranges from about $5 to $25.

The main reasons to pick

  • Quality performance overall
  • Environment friendly
  • High mileage
  • Amazing engine protection for a long interval

2. Mobil

Mobil is another reliable brand that has earned much reputation for being one of your engine’s best options.

The quality supply of the product keeps your engine running smoothly by giving enough resistance to friction.

All of the additives and viscosity index come in the perfect proportion, depending on what you need.

There are also specific advanced lubricant features for modern models to give an outstanding outcome.

We have mentioned many brands claiming false features and benefits, but Mobil, which has had its production since 1911, is true to its word.

All of the SAE gradings are justified for different models, and there is no fake labeling to make a deceptive move.

Last but not least, this brand comes in an affordable price range of around $8 to $50, based on your selection. So Mobil might be another best alternative for your engine’s health.

The main reasons to pick

  • Wide range of options for different selection
  • Perfect SEA viscosity grading
  • Budget-friendly

3. Valvoline

The next best alternative you may choose is Valvoline. Like Mobil, this brand also has a wide range of options for selection depending upon the specifications of engines.

The Valvoline oil offers a high mileage by maximizing the engine’s health and can run up to 10000 miles.

The company has adapted innovation by giving fully synthetic and advanced oil for your engine’s maximum efficiency to stay in the competition.

There are also many perfect combinations of SAE gradings to help the high mileage of engines.

Going ahead, Valvoline includes all of the necessary additives to give smooth running even in severe conditions.

The price range of this brand varies from 6$ to 25$ doesn’t seem costly, seeing all the features this brand offers.

The main reasons to pick

  • Affordable
  • Maximize the mileage
  • Perfect quality

Is Synthetic Oil Better Than Conventional?

Conventional oil contains a lot of impurities, which is why it’s more difficult to maintain.

On the other hand, synthetic oil contains fewer impurities and is easier to maintain.

Hence, if you’re using synthetic oil, it will be easier to clean the engine regularly.

If you’re using conventional oil, then it may not be easy to clean the engine as often since it contains a lot of contaminants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Happens If You Use The Wrong Motor Oil In Your Engine?

The wrong motor oil will most likely damage the engine. It could either cause it to overheat or lead to the engine overheating and seizing. It’s advisable to get your engine checked by a professional to avoid any unexpected problems.

How Do You Know When Motor Oil Is Bad?

You can tell when the motor oil is bad by simply looking at it. The color and consistency will change – if it’s dark or thick, then it’s probably bad, and you should get your car’s motor checked out.


Many other brands of motor oil are better than the ones mentioned above, but you should make the best decision after considering all the points. 

As the quality of the product plays a major role in the performance of your engine, you should choose the best quality motor oil for your engine. 

It is also advisable to get your engine checked by a professional, as they are trained to spot any damage that may occur to your engine.

We have tried our best and delivered you both the worst brands and their alternatives. Don’t forget to consider your engine’s specifications before the final decision.

Steven Settles Author

Steven Settles is an ISCET-certified master in appliance repair. He has aced the National Appliance Service Technician Certification Exam, showcasing his exceptional diagnostic and repair skills. With an in-depth understanding of the latest repair technologies and a keen eye on evolving industry standards, Steven is a go-to expert for any appliance issue.

3 thoughts on “8 Bad Motor Oil Brands to Avoid + Alternatives in 2024”

  1. Oil quality largely depends on the additive package.
    “Synthetic” has devolved into simply a marketing term, as it can be produced from both Group lV (polyalphaolefin or polyol ester, like Redline or Amsoil) or Group lll (hydrocracked, like Castrol Syntec or Mobil 1) base stock. Currently, the best performing oil is arguably Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic; it has a robust additive package and is produced from natural gas, not crude oil.

  2. In regards to your thoughts on Quaker State motor oil I have to disagree I have used it for years in my vehicles and have not had any issues so I would do a little bit more research before you go passing judgment

    • It’s hard to admit what you have been using for years is not what you thought it was. But most adults can see past their ego and open their mind to maybe i am wrong. If the labeling is fake then you should look into the claims by the manufacturer.
      You have used Quaker Q for years and never had an issue. My neighbor who smokes cigarettes, was told by his doctor to quit, he said; my grandmother smoked cigarettes until she was 75 yrs. old. Get the point?


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