Sitting at the finishing line at the Formula One Championship must be an immense feeling. It was one actor Paul Newman knew well. The Bullit star was a noted fan of the race, and would often be seen walking the streets of Montreal in the summer when it was held there.
You don’t have to be a racecar driver to fully appreciate the experience of fast driving. That comes almost naturally with appreciating cars. What good is an automobile if you’re not going to feel that power behind the wheel that you so crave? You don’t need to be a racecar driver, but it helps.
And if you’re ever looking to take your place at the starting line, you certainly need to start with a fast engine. And that engine needs oil that will further boost its speed.
That’s why so many fast car enthusiasts have turned to motor oil with zinc in it. There’s plenty of oil on the market that says it has the zinc necessary to provide that extra boost, but which one really gives you the power you’re looking for? Here are the best, premium zinc racing oils on the market.
List of the best racing oil with zinc
- Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil
If you’re looking for a racing oil that works with both modern and classic vehicles, then Valvoline is the correct option.The high zinc contained in the oil not only helps with speed, it protects your engine from wear – a significant factor if you’re going to be using your vehicle for racing.
Formulated to increase your engine’s horsepower, Valvoline also contains an anti-foaming system that helps your vehicle run even in extremely stressful conditions.
Valvoline is high in zinc, meaning it’s perfect for racing or just on the highway. The idea behind the chemistry is to help lower the amount of friction that occurs as well as increase the speed of your vehicle.
Customers have often spoken of how well the zinc makes their vehicles run, particularly when dealing with older engines. It should be noted, however, that the product is not meant to be used in Harley Davidson bikes, as one customer reported severe problems after filling his.
Probably the best selling point is the extra protection the oil gives from wear.
- Brad Penn Partially Synthetic Racing Oil
Recommended for flat tappet camshaft engines, Brad Penn is specifically designed to enhance your engine’s overall performance.
Brad Penn is majorly popular amongst driving enthusiasts who like to take long road trips, as the additives in the oil help fight off the wear that comes with a long haul. During periods of high stress to your engine, the zinc goes to work to keep your engine running smooth and fresh.
The oil itself also stays fresh for a longer period of time thanks to a detergent additive. Though it’s labeled partially synthetic, the brand is also available as a straight blend.
Brad Penn also comes highly recommended if you have an old, traditional muscle car. But as is often the case, customers have never complained about its performance, just its price. Brad Penn is not one of the cheaper racing oils, and even the most positive reviews tend to make mention of the price.
- Lucas Racing Oil With Zinc
Racing oil is often judged on how well it seals the rings. This is because it can be the deciding factor in a race. In such times, an oil that seals rings quickly is precisely what you need.
For this, Lucas oil is highly recommended. The high zinc levels ensure a faster seal, meaning more power behind the wheel.
The zinc and phosphorus also helps protect from wear. What’s particularly useful about Lucas oil is the fact that you don’t need to use further additives with the zinc oil. It offers protection and fast seals for the entire valve train.
Lucas is the best oil used for when you’re on the track, and it’s compatible with high-octane race gas, Methanol and Ethanol.
Lucas does use a higher zinc level than most, so it’s specifically designed for racing cars. You probably wouldn’t want to use this in a family vehicle.
Again, as with a lot of high-quality motor oils, this is one racing oil in which you get what you pay for, and that is an unfortunately high price. But the speed you get out of it is well worth the cost.
- Schaeffer Supreme 7000
Schaeffer uses scientifically blended POA synthetic oils – only the best. As a result, it’s much better at dealing with extremely warm temperatures, which you can encounter when racing. It’s ideal for keeping your car running smoothly without too much evaporation.
It also functions just as well in cold weather, offering superior stability. But it’s best feature is the additive that helps improve the viscosity index of the oil. Particularly during racing, you need a high viscosity to stick to your engine’s parts and keep it running smoothly throughout.
Overall, this is an excellent racing oil at a reasonable price. Few customers have had any issues using it, and they’ve often spoken highly of its affordability.
- Lucas Hot Rod Motor Oil
Few oils offer the same high levels of zinc as well as high-quality as Lucas Hot Rod does. Lucas Hot Rod is available as a full synthetic and non-synthetic.
What makes it so high-quality is the paraffinic base that includes a unique package of additives. It contains high levels of not only zinc, but also phosphorus and molybdenum. These additives make the oil a little thicker, protecting the engine in the most stressful circumstances.
Some customers have reported that, after switching to Lucas Hot Rod, their classic cars have never made less noise. It’s the best oil to work with when dealing with classic cars.
But, like most things that come with classic cars, the cost is exorbitant.
- Amsoil: The Best Oil Overall
It’s not easy to judge a motor oil objectively. First, you would need to use the product yourself over a long period of time, making your selection biased from the start. But there are some tests that can be viewed that make the decision slightly easier, even though you’re never going to accurately judge without the experience.
Some oils are good at one particular thing, while not being particularly useful elsewhere. Despite a lot of debate online and in mechanic shops about what the best motor oil is, there appears to be a general agreement among most that Amsoil beats them all.
The Amsoil signature series is particularly a favourite among customers, and independent tests seem to confirm it’s far more effective than the other brands on the market.
The anti-wear additive in Amsoil is said to be 75 percent more effective than other leading brands. Better still, Amsoil offers more mileage before refilling, up to 25,000 miles.
It’s no surprise that the very first to pass the API’s strict guidelines still holds such a reputation, and they appear to be living up to it to this day.
- Pennzoil Ultra Platinum: The Best For Cleaning
If the oil’s cleaning capabilities are primarily what you’re looking for, then Pennzoil is your best option. This is due to their patented PurePlus technology, which converts natural gas into synthetic gas.
It’s a bit scientific, however this technology allows the additives in the oil to perform their jobs better than in other oils. And tests have confirmed, Pennzoil gets your engine 25 percent cleaner than Mobil 1 and 35 percent cleaner than Valvoline.
The results are a fantastic fuel economy, better performance and less energy loss. One of the other benefits of Pennzoil is that the company offers a warranty that covers you for 500,000 miles or the first 15 years of use, whichever comes first.
It’s Pennzoil’s fealty to purity that must be appreciated. Not only is it going to save you a lot of money down the line, you can expect an extra 550 miles per year with Pennzoil as opposed to a dirtier engine.
- Mobil 1 – The Best For Budget
Though Mobil 1 may not be as flashy or high-performing as its two competitors, that doesn’t mean it’s not a high-quality oil. On the contrary, Mobil 1 offers 15,000 miles per application, which isn’t bad when you also factor in the price of the oil.
Mobil 1 is going to be significantly less expensive than other oils, while still offering a lot of the same benefits. It’s a reliable oil that will reliably start your engine in any temperature.
Moreover, whatever grade of viscosity you’re looking for, Mobil 1 will have it. They have a larger selection of viscosity grades, from 0W-20 to 10W-30 and beyond.
Royal Purple: The Best For High Performance Vehicles
A lot of oils have difficulty keeping shape in high stress situations. Things like increased engine speeds, load and temperature can add stress to your engine.
Royal Purple manages this with Synerlec, an additive that works at the molecular level to keep the ionic bonds of the oil intact. This is why it’s so popular in high-performance vehicles, it can handle the pressure.
To make matters easier, it’s also compatible with blended, conventional and other synthetics. You won’t have to worry about draining the last batch of oil before applying Royal Purple.
Castrol Edge: The Best for High Engine Temperature
Castrol Edge is another brand that manages to keep its shape in high stress, this time thanks to a “titanium” technology that also helps protect from friction and heat.
Tests have also confirmed that Castrol Edge has the ability to clean deposits of acids 42 percent better than other synthetic oils.
Like Mobil 1, Castrol also offers oils at various viscosity grades.
Valvoline Maxlife: For Older Engines
Valvoline Maxlife is there for keeping your older engine running like the day you bought it. The secret ingredients that make it possible are the additives, which feature:
- Antioxidants that stop oil breakdown
- Extra detergents for a more powerful clean
- Extra wear protection that prevents wear down the line
- Seal conditions that help seals that have weakened over the years
Working together, these additives fight the four main causes of engine breakdown. Valvoline recommends using the product after your car has passed the 75,000 mile mark. Like many others on this list, there are multiple viscosity grades available.
Liqui Moly: For Prolonging Engine Life
Nothing lubricates a car’s engine quite like Liqui Moly. The primary reason for this is the German company’s reliance on molybdenum disulphide. This additive works to reduce metal friction, particularly in the pistons.
As a result, you can expect a longer engine life. It doesn’t have to be applied very often, only every 15,000 miles, so while it’s one of the more expensive products (an import, after all), it’s well worth the cost.
Shell Rotella T6: For Motorcycles
It’s amazing that we’ve come this far talking about racing and we’ve yet to address motorcycles. Of course there’s a motor oil that complements these speed demons well. Shell Rotella is the choice among motorcyclists because it’s viscosity grade.
5W-40 performs exceptionally well both at high and cool temperatures, and the additives are incredibly beneficial as well. Shell cleans dirt, soot and other particles that build up in engines over time. It also features a low-ash additive that gives your engine lower emissions and gives you a better fuel economy.
Racing Oil Buyer’s Guide
The Benefits of Zinc in Racing Oil
Many drivers are aware that zinc is an important factor in racing oil, but they aren’t necessarily sure why. For those of you who may not understand the importance of zinc, here are some of the advantages it offers.
- Reduces Cold Starting Instances
Most engines don’t start on the first try, particularly in cold weather. Your car may also have trouble starting if it’s filled with an oil of low-quality.
Zinc can help reduce the frequency of engine failure.
- Lessens Friction
Friction between the moving parts of your engine will eventually wear them down. Standard motor oil does not offer the same kind of protection against friction as oil with zinc.
- No Harmful Emissions
Especially recently, the automotive industry has been concerned with making cars less harmful to the environment. In the past, engines commonly emitted harmful gasses and compounds that damaged the earth’s atmosphere.
But racing oil with zinc has additives that remove any harmful emissions.
- Enhance Performance
This is the primary reason for getting motor oil with zinc. We rely on such oil to keep our vehicles performing as well as the day they were purchased, and compared to regular oils, zinc offers superior speed and lubrication.
Furthermore, zinc has the added benefit of offering superior protection for your vehicle’s engine than regular oil.
- Prevents Wear
With new advancements in oil technology happening all the time, zinc oil can give your engine the protection it needs from wear. The additives in zinc oil protect your engine from all kinds of damage and, furthermore, they make it run far more efficiently.
Factors To Consider
Here are some factors to take into account when shopping for racing oil.
This refers to the thickness of your oil and its resistance to flow. This is especially important, as you want a certain amount of thickness in your oil. It will help it stick to the parts of your engine, lubricating them and protecting from wear.
Synthetic oils have the viscosity number right on the bottle, but they may be confusing to the untrained eye. For example, it may read, “10W-40.” The ten is the viscosity at 0 degrees fahrenheit and W is for winter. The second part, 40, is the viscosity at 212 degrees fahrenheit.
Motor oil gets thick when it’s cold and thins when hot. When the first number is low, this means the oil is more resistant to thickening in the cold. When the second number is high, this means the oil is more resistant to thinning in heat.
It’s the job of the company to find the correct balance between the two. Too thin and the oil won’t protect your engine correctly, too thick and it will make your engine work harder.
These substances are put in the oil to make it better in some way, either by adding cleaning properties or improving the viscosity.
- Cost and Mileage
These two things should always be factored in together, as the more oil you have to use over a certain set number of miles, the faster you’ll run out. That may not be much of an issue if the oil is inexpensive, but it may be a budgeting problem if it’s a pricier oil.
Ultimately, the oil you choose should be one that you feel works well, is affordable and has the additives that offer what you want out of the product. If you’re looking for an oil that performs specific services, that makes your search even easier.
What Motor Oil is High in Zinc?
Motor oil with high zinc levels uses the zinc additive to reduce friction in your engine. For the best protection of your vehicle’s engine, any of the motor oils listed above contain high levels of zinc and will offer the protection you’re looking for, particularly in high-stress situations.
Is Zinc Good In Motor Oil?
Yes. Zinc’s primary function in motor oil is to reduce the friction between the moving metallic parts of your engine. This is especially important in high performance vehicles, where the engines are often at their highest stress levels.
Race car drivers often use motor oil with a high zinc content such as Royal Purple, Castrol Edge, Mobil 1, Valvoline or Amsoil.
What is the Best Motor Oil For Racing?
Professional race car drivers recognize Amsoil as the top contender for motor oil with a high zinc content. They have said it’s the best and most effective on the market. Numerous events and cars are also sponsored by Amsoil.
What Motor Oil Has the Highest ZDDP?
Mobil 1 FS 0W-40 is said to have the highest ZDDP, at 1,000 ppm.
Knowing which oil to get for your vehicle, particularly if it’s a high-performance car, isn’t hard, though you do need to know a few car facts to shop properly.
There are plenty of racing oils with zinc that will help your vehicle perform that much better on the track or on the highway, and now that you know them you’ll be sure to get that extra thrust of power from behind the wheel. You may, perhaps, even have your eyes set on the Formula One racing track.
These oils will be your first step there. We can’t promise you’ll get much further, but the benefits and advantages of racing oil with zinc go well beyond just a race track. Your car will be sure to enjoy a much longer life using oil with zinc.