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Racing Oil FAQ

What are the benefits of using racing oil versus regular passenger car oil?

The Valvoline VR1 Racing and other racing oils not intended for passenger vehicles contain additional additives for increased horsepower and reduced friction on metal parts, provide extra wear protection for high compression/higher horsepower engines, and include fewer detergents than regular conventional motor oils.

What is motor oil with zinc?

The anti-wear additive simply referred to as zinc by most car enthusiasts is actually short for Zinc Dialkyl Dithiophosphates or ZDDP. Its primary role is to prevent metal-to-metal contact between engine parts by forming a protective film. Despite being referred to as zinc, ZDDP also contains phosphorus, which helps to perform the anti-wear function in the motor oil.

Why are zinc/phosphorus levels in motor oil lower in today’s motor oils?

With ever increasing limits on emissions, automobile manufacturers have tightened emission control systems on newer vehicles. This is one of several factors considered when the American Petroleum Institute (API) sets standards for motor oil with zinc. The current API standard is SN, which replaced the previous SM classification. Because phosphorus can poison a vehicle's emission system, the level of zinc is lower for current motor oil. Valvoline uses a new type of zinc/phosphorus that maintains the prior level of wear protection of the engine while reducing the impact on the emission system.

What is the controversy surrounding the amount of zinc in motor oil?

The controversy exists as a result of many hands-on car enthusiasts and engine experts belief that lower levels of zinc in API SN and SM motor oils can cause excessive wear in older style push-rod and flat-tappet engines. They hold this belief despite the fact that all new motor oil classifications are intended to be backward compatible.

What solutions does Valvoline offer to the zinc issue?

Valvoline offers two solutions to the zinc issue:

  • Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil: Contains 75% higher zinc than SN or SM motor oil with a balanced additive package designed to work in both racing and traditional applications. Valvoline provides this product in both multi and mono viscosity grades: 20w50, straight 50, 10w30, straight 30, straight 40 and straight 60.
  • Longer-Lasting Zinc/Phosphorus: Valvoline uses an advanced zinc/phosphorus additive that keeps higher levels of phosphorus in the motor oil where it protects the engine instead of poisoning the catalytic converter.

Which oil has more zinc/ZDDP: VR1 or Not Street Legal racing oil?

Valvoline VR1 Racing Oil contains .13 percent zinc and .12 percent phosphorus compared to the Valvoline "Not Street Legal" Racing Oil, which contains .14 percent zinc and .13 percent phosphorus.

Will an additive boost the zinc level?

Keep in mind that zinc additives are corrosive above certain levels and can harm your engine. Valvoline doesn’t recommend using third-party additives to boost the zinc level. If higher zinc levels are required for your engine, we recommend using Valvoline VR-1, and always remember to consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Is VR1 conventional oil synthetic or a blend?

Valvoline VR1 racing oil is conventional, non-synthetic racing oil.