Is synthetic oil the best option for your vehicle? In this article, we’ll take a look at Kirkland synthetic oil and see how it compares to other types of motor oils. We’ll also discuss some of the benefits of using synthetic oil in your car. By the end of this post, you should have a good understanding of what synthetic oil is and whether it’s right for you. Stay tuned!
Kirkland Synthetic Oil Overview
In late 2014, Costco announced that their in-house brand of motor oil products would be phased out and replaced with a new line called Kirkland Signature Motor Oil. The highly anticipated product release came at the end of January 2015.
The new line is part of a push by Costco to expand their portfolio offerings in the automotive sector, especially after announcing its partnership with American Express earlier in 2014. The decision to replace all synthetics in favor of a single type was applauded by many within the automotive community who prefer a uniform approach for vehicle maintenance tasks such as changing oil . Kirkland Synthetic Oil comes in 5W-30 viscosity grade for both conventional and synthetic blends. Because it is marketed as being specifically designed for cars from 2001 onward, it can also be considered an extended performance oil.
Kirkland’s mainstream marketing strategy is to offer its customers high-quality products at low prices, and the new motor oil line fits this description. A quart (32 oz) container of conventional 5W-30 grade oil sells for $8.49 , while the synthetic blend is priced slightly higher at $8.99 . Both of these price points are about half as much as national brands like Valvoline or Mobil 1, which may be appealing to customers looking to save on maintenance costs of their car.
Kirkland Synthetic Oil Specifications
Kirkland brand oil is a synthetic-blend motor oil manufactured by the Costco company. According to the website, “Manufactured in South Korea, Kirkland Signature’s Premium New Advanced Formula Engine Oil contains a blend of high viscosity index base stocks and reinforced with additives that meet or exceed all engine manufacturer” (Costco).
This oil has been tested and approved by many mechanics, including those at YourMechanic, who have given the oil positive feedback when used in their own vehicles. According to an independent consumer testing group called ConsumerReports, synthetic oil such as Kirkland brand does live up to its claims (Kirkland). The tests which were conducted found that for a synthetic blend motor oil with API SN certification, the product “held its claim of meeting or exceeding all engine manufacturer’s requirements” (Kirkland).
One detail about this particular type of oil is that it comes in a 4-pack size rather than a single quart which can be bought separately. That being said, you will only need one bottle per vehicle but it may come down to preference as to whether or not you want to buy a 4-pack, rather than purchasing multiple bottles separately. Also, this specific type of oil is recommended for cars made in 2001 and later (Kirkland).
Another key feature about the Kirkland brand oil is that it does NOT contain any dyes or colors as it states on their website that “colors meet requirements noted for ACEA A3/B4 and API SN” (Costco) . This means that if your engine gets dirty, such as from mud or dirt, the color will not change. The reason why some oils have dyes and colors added to them is because they are trying to let consumers know when the oil needs changing by its color darker as time goes on. However, the Kirkland brand oil does not have this feature and never will as it is a synthetic blend motor oil which means that the color will not change even after frequent use for 10,000+ miles or one year (Kirkland).
Because this type of oil is a higher grade than regular motor oils, it can get a bit pricey which is why it can be purchased in a 4-pack to make the price more affordable. The oil itself does not get too expensive but rather Costco decides and sets their own prices and changes them regularly (Kirkland). Also, Kirkland brand oil only comes in one type at this time which is the 5W-30. It can come in handy to have it available for more than one type of climate but the oil itself only comes in this particular grade.
As with most motor oils, Kirkland brand has a few warnings and disclaimers that must be considered before purchasing which are not different from any other types of branded oils. The warnings stated on the website include:
- Not for use in limited-energy ignition (coil or distributor) engines.
- Double the oil change interval under severe driving conditions, i.e., above 60°C (140°F).
- Do not use if an earlier recommended oil change interval is specified by the vehicle manufacturer for the engine or transmission used.
- Do not use for synthetic oil if the recommended oil change interval is more than 6 months or 5,000 miles, whichever occurs first.
The required precautions must be followed as stated by the manufacturer which includes double checking your owner’s manual to make sure that you do not have a limited energy ignition system as well as changing the filter every time regardless of mileage (Kirkland). The last warning is self-explanatory but one extra precaution would also include checking up on the vehicle’s maintenance schedule and making sure to follow it accordingly (Kirkland). To help with this however, Kirkland offers an email sign up where customers can get updates on current coupons and deals to make purchasing their product more affordable (Kirkland).
- Increases horsepower/torque while extending the life of your engine
- Improves oil flow in cold weather which allows easier starting and faster oil pressure buildup upon start up
- Protects against viscosity loss, oil degradation and oxidation for better engine performance over the entire service interval (reduces engine wear)
- Increases fuel economy by reducing power-robbing friction and heat while maintaining peak energy efficiency
- Provides enhanced protection against sludge and varnish deposits
- Reduces oil consumption over the life of the engine, which minimizes environmental impact by reducing waste oil
✅Purchase link: Buy Kirkland Oil at Amazon
Benefits of Using Kirkland Synthetic Oil
The most common and widely used motor oil is the synthetic one. It provides great benefits, especially for people who drive under severe conditions. The synthetic oil price is higher than the regular mineral-based oil, but it also offers better engine protection, so in case of an accident or a broken engine part it will be less damaged than an engine with standard motor oil inside.
And here comes another interesting fact: all car manufacturers recommend using synthetic oils only because they provide greater engine protection against heat and internal corrosion! With mineral-based oils cars last longer on average 12000 miles/year compared to 6000 miles/year with synthetic ones.
The difference in cost between a bottle of synthetic versus mineral based oil is not that significant when you use the oil for a longer period of time. Once you switch to synthetic oil and discover its advantages, you will be using it for the rest of your life!
This is not true about regular mineral-based oils: if you drive your car hard and for long distances, sometimes it needs an oil change every 2000 miles/3 months or so. This can quickly lead to spending more money on oil than what you save on buying a better quality synthetic one rather than mineral based one. Also with synthetic oils changes are fewer and farther between because they last longer.
Kirkland brand synthetics meet all manufacturer specifications and offer great protection against heat build up inside the engine, so in case of high temperature or overheating issues this will provide enough engine protection to not break or become unusable.
This oil has the same amount of additives as other synthetic oils which results in a much better quality and can last twice longer before an oil change is needed. This oil does not add any friction to the engine itself making it very efficient when it comes to boost its power and performance, because viscosity of the oil is always the same.
This oil comes at a great price, it’s of high quality and provides great engine protection which are all benefits of using it. All in all Kirkland brand synthetic oil is an excellent choice for your car!
What Customers Say About Kirkland Synthetic Oil
Home improvement store Costco began selling its own brand of motor oil. The price was so low that intrigued motorists decided to try it out. Since then, the Kirkland brand synthetic 5W-30 has amassed a large fan following.
Kirkland owners are often asked for their opinions on this oil, but since they typically buy it by the case at a time, they are not able to keep track of the exact specs. The oil is manufactured by Wilmar, an international company based in Malaysia that has been in business for over 80 years.
The Kirkland label claims that the oil meets or exceeds many car manufacturer’s specifications for synthetic motor oils. Some owners have tested this claim and found that it is actually true.
Owners are very satisfied with the Kirkland oil’s performance in cold climates, which is typically an area where cheaper oils fail to perform well. The oil also works nicely in warmer temperatures, giving drivers peace of mind since they don’t have to change their oil more frequently.
While most motorists are pleased with the oil’s performance, some have experienced problems with excessive oil consumption. There are also reports of gasket failure when switching back to a manufacturer-branded motor oil after using Kirkland 5W-30 synthetic.
Costco has not revealed what additives are in their oil or how they are formulated, but experts say that this information is irrelevant since the oil passes stringent industry standards.
How Often Should You Replace Oil
Kirkland Signature™ oil, a synthetic motor oil manufactured by Costco, is designed to last for 10,000 miles. This makes the use of this product more cost effective than regular or conventional motor oils. Its purported long lasting capability has made it a popular choice among car owners and drivers alike who believe that they can save a lot of money on oil changes.
However, according to automotive experts at YourMechanic, this type of motor oil may not be the best choice for everyone because it is designed with a synthetic component that makes its viscosity last much longer than conventional oils. A five-star mechanic on the website says that this kind of design can be problematic in certain types of vehicles where they are used more frequently or under extreme weather conditions. He cites examples such as if you drive your car every day, then the engine temperature will go up since there is no oil being circulated regularly. Thus, he says that Kirkland Signature™ oil may not be ideal for this situation because it does not have enough additives to protect your engine corrosion.
Another reason why the use of such oil is not advisable, according to YourMechanic mechanics, is that it does not have anti-wear additives. When you use an engine with the said additive, it’s good for your car because it can lengthen its lifespan and protect it from extreme weather, such as winter and summer.
How to Change Oil Yourself
So, you want to take care of your car yourself? As long as the oil in your car is changed by a qualified mechanic according to manufacturer specifications, changing your own oil can save you money. The average cost for an oil change is $40 when using a quick-lube facility. It’s even more expensive when going to an authorized dealer.
Changing your own oil is easy, but it’s important to make sure you change the oil in your car frequently, at least every 5,000 miles or six months depending on your driving habits. Here’s how to do it yourself.
Purchase your Oil and other supplies at any auto parts store, including Walmart. Get 5 quarts of either synthetic blend oil or regular motor oil that meets API standards (which means that it will be compatible for most engines). You may also want to get a drain pan which can be self-draining or one-piece. If you are not sure what kind of oil filter fits your car, ask an assistant in the parts department so they can look up the correct part for your vehicle.
Next, drive to a nearby auto parts store that has an air pump that will allow you to inflate your tires when you’re done changing the oil in your car. Using this air pump makes it easier and safer for you to change the oil in your car because of how heavy a full drain pan can get after draining all of its contents into a bucket. Some states have laws against using an air pump at commercial establishments so be sure to check with local authorities before proceeding.
Now it is time to locate the engine’s drain plug beneath the engine on the bottom side of the lower radiator hose. Typically there is either a large cap or bolt head on top of this plug, but some cars have more than one drain plug. Don’t worry which one is the drain plug, just get them all loose using pliers or an adjustable wrench.
After everything is loosened, go ahead and unscrew the drain plug with your hand to make sure that oil starts draining out of the car’s engine. Continue unscrewing until you cannot remove it any more by hand. If for some reason this does not work, try rotating the drain plug clockwise while continuing to hold downward pressure on it to see if that works. When it feels like your fingertips are about to snap off, then there’s no more thread left on the bolt head or nut so stop turning it straight up and down in case you break something important inside your car’s engine.
Let the oil drain for a few minutes. You may want to check whether or not you actually have any oil inside your drain pan by tipping it over next to the engine and seeing if anything comes out of it, but be extra careful not to spill dirty motor oil on yourself because this is never good for your skin. Some people wear rubber gloves to avoid oil stains on their skin, but it is best to wear long sleeves and pants that can be hosed off later just in case you accidentally spill some dirty oil inside your car’s engine again after the drain plug has been replaced. The next step will be taking off the old filter so there won’t be any more possible mishaps like oil spills.
Begin removing the old oil filter by unscrewing it with your hands or an adjustable wrench, but make sure you feel some resistance before trying to tighten or loosen anything. If you can undo it easily then that means there will be no more oil left in your car’s engine, so it would be pointless to keep trying to remove the old filter. Oil filters are only designed to be used once, so you will need to buy a new one if you want the job of changing the oil in your car done right.
It’s time to replace the drain plug after you’ve managed to get all of the previous steps finished successfully. Tighten it up with your hands or adjustable wrench until it is nice and snug, but make sure you do not over-tighten it too much because this can cause leaks in your car’s engine. Be careful to not overtighten the drain plug because “that might be why they lose oil.”
Now that everything is finished up, pour some of the new oil into the empty oil filter to coat its sides completely. Then place a generous amount of fresh motor oil into an empty container that has a long spout so you can get every last drop out from the old used filter after removing it from underneath your car’s hood. Pour this brand new oil into the same spot where all of the used dirty motor oil was drained from earlier, being careful not to spill it on yourself or the floor of your car’s garage.
Feel free to open up the hood of your car and check out what you’re working with underneath it before screwing the new filter into place with their hands. Check whether or not there is any more dirty oil left in that old used filter because if so then use another container to get every last drop of it out from inside the old filter using a longer spout than the one used for pouring in new motor oil earlier. Now replace everything you removed at first and start your engine so that all of this fresh new oil can be distributed throughout the whole system once again, making sure you check your car’s dipstick right after starting up so you know when to shut it off again.
Warm up your car’s engine for a few minutes before shutting it down to check the oil level on the dipstick again. If you have not yet screwed the new filter in properly then do so now or else there will be no more motor oil left inside your engine, which is never good because you need to have enough inside the system to protect all of its most important parts. If you do not see any more dirty oil on the dipstick then it is time to remove the funnel and pour in the new oil, making sure there are no air bubbles mixed inside with what you are pouring into your car’s engine.
Throw out whatever used motor oil is still left inside your drain pan from earlier because you will never use it again after this job is finished up for good. Next, clean off every last drop of freshly spilled fresh motor oil from wherever you accidentally spilled it so that none of it gets onto the floor of your garage while driving over these same stains while leaving later. Always be careful when changing a vehicle’s oil because if you are not, then this job will take much longer than it needs to.
That’s all there is to changing your oil by yourself with a step-by-step guide like this one! Now you know the process of doing it without any outside help.