Tag Archives: Pennzoil Platinum

Support Motorsport Sponsors?

This post is about motor oil and the holiday season shopping, shall we say- opportunities? Yes! It’s all about great deals on products from companies that support Motorsports through their sponsorship. I don’t know about others but when it comes to effectiveness of Motorsport advertising, I’m a sucker for buying things that are promoted on race cars. In this case it is Castrol EDGE motor oil for my Miata. I think I actually bought too much!

A little back story… I have been posting a lot of Miata.net about what oil is recommended for our MX-5’s. The answer is – surprising! People say it doesn’t really matter what you use in the car as long as it is changed regularly because most modern oils sold in the US right now are “good” and therefore no one is better than the other. That said many on the forums use Mobil 1 in their cars. And Mobil 1 sponsors quite a lot of Motorsport. So like sheep I went ahead and bought two 5QT jugs within the first year of ownership of my car and that is what I used. Until I became puzzled by the dark/black look of that oil when I changed it at 5,000 mile intervals. It did not seem right to me especially since Mobil 1 advertised the oil is good until up to 15,000 miles. Yikes!

The two Mobil 1 5QT’s that I bought were mysteriously priced low, at just $5 a jug… which is ridiculous. Normally the price is $25 at Walmart and $35 everywhere else from AutoZone to Advance Auto Parts. My alternative to Mobil in the second year of ownership turned out to be even cheaper to source. I decided to go with Pennzoil Platinum because again Pennzoil sponsored a lot of racing, some people on the forums swore by it (although there weren’t too many of those people, not nearly as much as Mobil 1 evangelists) and it was fairly cheap! Regularly priced at $25 to $30 from Walmart to the parts stores, but constantly on sale and with promotions from both Pennzoil and other sources that at some point cost me as low as $4 for a 5QT jug or in one case, I basically was paid to take the 5QT jug from the store after all the promos and rebates. (Pennzoil is famous for it’s $10 rebate or rather $2 per QT rebate up to $48 per calendar year, which is a lot of jugs). In 2016 I used Pennzoil Platinum exclusively. I liked it so much that I even got the Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF for my JWS-3309 Aisin Transmission. Mostly 5W-20 felt amazing during the spring, summer and fall months. But using 0W-20 in the winter made the engine sound louder, which really perplexed me. I bought another 5W-20 jug to use later but also started considering alternatives, and now decided to start sourcing Castrol EDGE to try next.

There is a post I made two years ago after my last Mobil 1 oil change that I was contemplating trying Pennzoil Platinum and Castrol EDGE, and sharing that plan in a post created a goal which I am now going to meet. In 2017 I will run Castrol EDGE exclusively in my car and I’ve already sourced enough oil for 3 oil changes which is basically the 15,000 miles I plan to do in the coming year. I decided to go with the 5W-20 weight standard black bottle and not the gold extended performance bottle since I am only daily driving the car and not tracking it or using it in any kind of extreme situations. I do plan to make several trips to Florida which will rack the mileage up quickly, but also probably won’t require me to make as frequent changes as short trips in New Jersey would require with stop and go traffic, cold weather, etc. I am very much looking forward to giving this oil a go, and seeing how I like it compared to Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum I already used. So far the standard has been set pretty high, but I have heard nothing but good things about Castrol and they are one of the big sponsors of the IMSA Mazda Prototype program which makes me feel like I’m supporting it directly now.

Price wise though I think the retailer is losing money selling me the oil because I’ve been taking advantage extensively of the Sears/Kmart ShopYourWay rewards program. Every time they sent me 5,000, 6,000 or 10,000 in points (where 1,000 points = $1) I immediately redeem them for another 1QT bottle or 5QT jug of the Castrol EDGE oil which they have in stock. Regular price for the 1QT bottle is $7.99+ tax. (Which seems ridiculous) Last one I bought with the 6,000 surprise point redemption only cost me $0.87 cents. Before that I redeemed 10,000 points and $5.50 for two bottles. The 5QT jugs which Kmart sells for $37 regular price I paid about $7 bux out of pocket after purchasing it in store on sale for $22.99+ tax, and redeeming some regular points and 4,000 surprise points. All in all an oil change will cost me under $10 for the oil and another $9 for the K&N HP-1002 filter which I sourced from Walmart. The good part about the four K&N filters I bought they were still Made in USA and not the newer style which are made in Korea (and for some reason people are complaining that their quality has dropped).

Now all I got to do is keep driving more so I can use up the oil quickly. 2017 is going to be an awesome year…

I should mention some of the other companies I support by using their products thanks to all the Motorsport advertising I’ve been exposed to:

  • BFGoodrich tires – I have two sets, one summer one winter
  • Sunoco Ultra 93 fuel – official fuel of NASCAR & IndyCar
  • BP 93 Ultimate – I know they sponsor loads of Rally racing
  • Mobil 1 lubricants in rear end, power steering, etc.
  • K&N oil and air filters, also official sponsor of NASCAR
  • Bilstein shocks – huge sponsor especially during Nurburgring 24h

I’m sure there’s more that I’ve used or will use in the future.

For those of you that support Motorsport sponsors in your shopping – kudos to that! If you don’t, and use the argument – why pay more when there are cheaper options? Well, as I’ve demonstrated above, it is possible to use brand name and pay less, way less. You just need to shop around… for me it’s a challenge that I enjoy! I especially like buying branded gift cards, like those from BP, ExxonMobil or Sunoco with 5% to 10% discount for each dollar spend, making my expensive Sunoco Ultra 93 fuel (which is typically more than a no name brand) a bit cheaper… considering fuel is about $2.60/gal at the moment, I’m paying 26 cents less a gallon, which brings the price right down to a low-cost option, and I’m buying a better product! That makes me feel good.

Support Motorsport Sponsors, please 🙂

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 and K&N Filter HP-1002

Update: (Feb 2017) I wasn’t sure what was causing the car to act weird after this maintenance session at Chris’s house. Now that some time and mileage have passed I think I figured it out. And the result is a few issues. 1). part of the problem was the fact we overfilled the transmission fluid during the flush. There was an issue we found with proper checking of the level (which required running the car to get it warm, and then opening the check valve). 2). my car doesn’t seem to like 0W20 weight oil. I posted a few times that I don’t like Mobil 1 and now I can add Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 to the list. Both Mobil 1 and Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 turned real dark at just about 5k miles which shouldn’t happen. This makes me believe I should totally stick to 5W20 from now on. I’ve changed out the Pennzoil from this post with Castrol EDGE 5W20 and car feels absolutely perfect!

I don’t think I’ve ever had an oil change party with friends until this weekend, where my buddy Chris with a 2008 Silver NC1 GT PRHT offered to help me flush most of the fluids on my car while performing the same service on a bunch of cars in his household.

The plan was to flush the power steering fluid and fill it fresh with Mobil 1 ATF. Flush the Automatic transmission fluid with Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF, and finally change my oil with Pennzoil Platinum 0W20 that I’ve had sitting at my home since about this time last year when I got the crazy deal from Advance Auto on two sets of oils (one 5W20 which I used up during spring, followed by two more Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 changes that I bought during the summer and now for the winter decided to go with thinner 0W20).

I’ll make separate posts for each maintenance item, so click on whatever interests you most:

I must admit that after doing all these fluid changes the car feels a bit weird and I can’t really pin point what the issue is. I’m sure it is fluid related because there’s a faint drone coming from either the engine or the transmission. Note to self: next time do one fluid flush at a time so if there is an issue like this it is easier to narrow down.

But back to the oil change party at Chris’s house.

The day started with a trip to the Subaru dealership to pick up an oil filter for his XV… then Chris changed his ’08 NC’s oil using Castrol Edge 5W20 Extended which I’d like to try in my car at some point in the future once Pennzoil stops being so cheap with all of their promos. While Chris’s brother Eric did an oil change on his Mazda RX-8 Rotary with Castrol Edge 10W30.

My car was last and oil was basically the last thing we did to it, but since it was the easiest job I’ll write about it first.

I was curious to see how Chris does his oil changes and for someone so meticulous as he is, he does it very differently than I do. He jacks the front, keeps the oil cap on, undoes the drain plug, the filter, and re-installs the drain plug with a new bolt that I picked up at a local Mazda dealer for $7.99 accompanied with a $1.65 crush washer. In all the oil changes I’ve done to my car to date I never changed the nut and the washer, but since Chris was doing my car for me, I had him do the same thing he does to his car, so mine also received the new bolt and crush washer. I typically jack the car up and put it on jack stands and when the fluid drains, I lower the passenger side so more of the dirty oil comes out. Chris doesn’t do that himself, which I found to be pretty interesting. Chris was surprised that his car took more Castrol Edge oil than it normally does using Mobil 1 oil which he has used in the past. Mine took the standard amount of Pennzoil that I typically use, which is just above 4.5 QT.

Some pix from the day:




My supplies, Pennzoil Platinum 0W20, new Mazda bolts and washers and a K&N HP-1002 filter.





Chris’s supplies Castrol Edge 5W20 Extended Performance oil with Mobil 1 M1-102 filter.


Eric’s choice: Castrol Edge 10W30 Extended Performance oil.



Seeing the RX-8 up close and personal made me appreciate that car a bit more, it’s surprising how massive it is compared to the Miata














Also pretty incredible how tiny yet thirsty the Rotary engine is.







It felt good to finish up the day with the easiest job of the evening, the oil change… (which happened around midnight… Yikes!)

Now if only I could figure out why is my engine running louder on 0W20 compared to 5W20 and why there’s this faint shimmy going on that I could feel at highway speed which seems to come from the front of the car, around the engine area. (or possible the trans).

Click here to read about the tranny fluid flush or here for power steering fluid flush.

Mazda MX-5: Transmission Fluid Flush at 55,000 miles with Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF

Update: (Feb 2017) I see a lot of traffic to this page so in the interest of fairness and sharing accurate information I should do a follow-up about this trans-flush. So my car is nearing 60k miles now, almost 5k since the trans flush. After the first 300 miles Chris and I went ahead and raised the car up, released the check cap and some fluid came out… like a bunch of it, 500mL or so. After that the tranny felt absolutely perfect. Precisely like it did on the original Mazda fluid except obviously on brand new Pennzoil Platinum. Since then I’ve driven the car on long road trip, going down to Daytona Beach, Florida and the car performed flawlessly. I thought that maybe synthetic fluid would make the tranny run cooler. I don’t know if it does. The tunnel between the seats still gets warm, especially on longer more spirited drives. But there’s no funny business happening with the shifting. It works perfectly. So I’m going to say that Pennzoil Platinum High Milage ATF JWS3309 works!

My 2007 NC1 GT PRHT has an Automatic Transmission that Mazda considers a sealed unit that does not require servicing. I wish I would have listened to that advice!

Obviously, I could not leave well enough alone. So I researched all the necessary instructions on how to go about the tranny fluid flush DIY and not spend several hundred dollars at the dealership or a Quickie Lube place (which I would never go to in the first place). Turns out the Automatic Transmission in our cars uses an Aisin-Werner unit that requires a special type of fluid called JWS-3309 which is different from other more readily available fluids out there. Plenty of cars use JWS-3309 fluid and yet it was surprisingly hard to find. Mobil 3309 was the likely contender and the cheapest I found was via eBay at $63 for a box of 12 QT shipped from somewhere in California. But that fluid isn’t synthetic ATF. Neither is Mazda JWS-3309 or Aisin branded JWS-3309 which is apparently made by ExxonMobil in the US. I kept searching and came across Pennzoil Platinum fully synthetic High Mileage ATF which has right on the face of the bottle JWS-3309 as a fluid type… great! I even found it available locally at Pep Boys… so I purchased a discounted gift card, went to Pep Boys and asked them to order a case of 12 for me since there were only a few on the shelf… they did, and I was ready to work on the trans paying $60 out the door with tax and all. I also picked up a bottle of Mobil 1 ATF for the power steering flush, but I’ll write about that separately.

The procedure for changing the trans fluid was also slightly complicated. In order to flush the old dirty fluid out we would need to drain as much as would come out of the pan, refill with new stuff, let it circulate through the system and drain again… Repeat the process two times and the fluid would be clean(er).

The reality though wasn’t so straightforward.

Draining the fluid was very easy. There’s a drain plug which comes undone quite easily, but from a 7.8QT capacity system only about 2.5QT drains. We put the plug back on, started the car, put it thru gears for under a minute spending about 2 seconds per shift, and another 0.5 to 1 QT came out… well short of the 4 QT that people were saying online while giving instructions.

What’s worse, we were afraid to overfill the transmission with new fluid. The instructions called for filling it with 4 QT of fresh fluid, running the car through the gears and draining, but we thought overfilling would be damaging so the idea was to put the exact amount that came out. This was not so easy. As soon as we started pumping fresh fluid in for the first time only about 1.6 QT went in before the fluid started gushing out of the “Check” plug. Not good! So our already long job working on the transmission was extended by us Googling to do research on what the proper procedure was to fill the damn fluid and get as close to the 4 QT that so many people recommended online. The only way it was possible it seems was to fill the cold level 1.5 QT until it started dripping out from Check plug, then turning the car on made the dripping stop, so we pumped more in until it started dripping again. And then Sakshik started going thru the gears while the dripping stopped and we pumped more in. In total I think we pumped no more than 3 to 3.5 QT’s in before the fluid started gushing out of the Check hole. We sealed it all, shut the engine off and went for the test drive while shifting the car automatically through every gear from 1 to 6 and then manually using the lever and then using the steering wheel paddles. We did this for acceleration and deceleration and everything seemed to work perfectly.

So we returned to the garage and gave it one more final flush. Drained the fluid. Ran the car, drained it again. Then refilled cold, refilled while the car was running, and then finally refilled while the car was being put thru gears.

In all we used 10 QT total, not the 12 QT that I bought based on recommendations. 1 QT I never opened, 1 QT we put back together by draining all the 11 other QT’s that had a few mL’s of fluid left in there that the siphon pump missed as we were pumping the fluid in.

This was not a fun project at all.

The whole garage smelled like ATF.

And on the drive home I noticed that it didn’t sound as good as the car sounded before the ATF flush. Which makes me wonder:

Did we fuck something up?

Car goes thru all the gears just fine. But there’s this faint dronning that wasn’t there before. I don’t know if the new synthetic trans fluid must break in over a period of time (someone mentioned 500 miles) and then it would normalize, or if I am damaging the tranny every time I drive it now.

I just don’t know.

I wish i didn’t touch it.

If the whole thing normalizes over the next few weeks though I’ll be happy that the car has clean fluid slushing around in the transmission. At 55,000 miles it wasn’t filthy but it was pretty dark.

We will see…

Some pix:


The Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage ATF full synthetic JWS3309


The tool needed to siphon the new fluid into the transmission through the fill plug on the top of the transmission fluid pan.



That’s a lot of fluid at $5.79+ tax a pop just to be put to waste to wash out the dirty fluid from the system. But still cheaper than doing the flush at the dealership.




Big props to Chris for taking on this job. And even bigger props for keeping the garage floor so clean. We had a few opportunities to splash the stinky ATF fluid all over the place but he was well prepared with a big tarp under the car and lots and lots and lots of paper towels. I owe him big time!


As the sticker on Eric’s RX-8 says… Never Give Up! (signed Mazda)

Read more about our Oil Change from the same evening here, or the Power Steering fluid flush here.

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 7,000 Miles with Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 and K&N Oil Filter HP-1002

Today was a good day to work on my car, so I did my fourth oil change, again going with Pennzoil Platinum 5W20 and K&N oil filter HP-1002. Based on a recommendation from a friend who uses this oil and filter he suggested changing the oil at 8,000 miles. But being I’m going away for a month and the car has been performing a little duller than usual over the past few days I decided to change mine at 7,000 miles.

The oil looked much better than the previous Mobil 1 I changed at only 5,000 miles. It felt more viscous to the touch and not as dark. But it was dark nonetheless so I’m happy I changed it. Car got it’s pep back as I took it for a test drive afterwards.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 6

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 7

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 3

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 4

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 1

I really like the quality of the K&N oil filter (HP-1002) they come individually sealed and looking inside seem to be a sturdy product. When I dumped the old oil out of it into the catch can it was thick and dirty, so the filter did it’s job well.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 2

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 5

One observation about the K&N oil filter though, there seemed to be some seepage from the top of it going down. There was a clear mark of oil around the rim, and some collected on the very bottom. Not particularly sure why this was. The filter was on tight!

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 8

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 9

To remove the filter I used a mod someone posted about on Miata.net cutting the top of a bottle and placing it over the filter to remove it off the car. However, my attempt didn’t go so well, the oil was going all around the bottle contraption, so next time I’ll just remove it like I’ve had in the past without using any aides, the results seem to be just as messy.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 10

mazda mx-5 miata oil change pennzoil platinum and k and n filter 11

Engine nice and clean, next oil change will probably be in the winter.

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change Deal! Pennzoil Platinum + K&N Filter $22.99

This post may be useful to a very small subset of readers, geographically located near an Advance Auto Parts store in the US with a requirement to purchase Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 or 5W-20 fully synthetic engine oil and a K&N HP-1002 oil filter for cheap.


Less than 100 miles since my last oil change I came across this nice deal from Pennzoil and Advance Auto Parts. While Walmart generally sells the same Pennzoil Platinum oil for $22.99 every day of the week, with this deal you get a $9.99-$13.99 K&N filter for free… of course you pay $32.99 upfront and get a $10 Pennzoil rebate in the mail. Walmart isn’t participating in the rebate or this deal would have been even sweeter. The regular price for this oil is $36.99 at Advance Auto and other auto stores like AutoZone or PepBoys. I’m looking forward to giving it a try sometime next year. This combo came highly recommended by Jason who says he changes Stevie’s oil every 8,000 miles. Sounds good to me! Certainly better than the 5,000 miles I got out of Mobil 1 fully synthetic and the M1-102 Mobil 1 oil filter.

hello stevie 8 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 10 mx-5 miata

hello stevie 11 mx-5 miata

PS. I got two sets of the oil and filters. One set Pennzoil Platinum 0W-20 which is the same weight that I currently use with Mobil 1, and one set Pennzoil Platinum 5W-20 which is what is listed on the oil cap of the car (this was changed to 0W-20 in newer model NC’s). I want to see if there’s any difference in using one oil over the other. All in due time of course.

Mazda MX-5: Oil Change at 5,000 miles with Mobil 1 Synthetic 0W-20 & M1-102 filter

File this one under the: “what have you done to your Miata today” category. I changed my oil. It was exactly 5,000 miles since the last service in April, at 37,297 miles which included several 400-500+ mile road trips Upstate New York to Watkins Glen and New England to Thompson Speedway. In fact my father and I changed the oil on both the old Ford Explorer SUV and the Miata, and I mention the Explorer for a reason, because I want to use a different oil the next time I do my service, one that doesn’t turn so dark so quickly.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 1

I got a hell of a deal December of last year when walking into a local AutoZone I found a 5-QT jug of Mobil 1 on sale for $5. I bought two. This is the second jug being used. I was reading all about Mobil 1 on Miata.net, and so many people swear by it, but I don’t see what the big deal is, especially when you consider paying the full price which is typically around $27 to $35 depending on the store. The oil turned dark at only 5k miles, about the same shade of dark as the Explorer’s standard Pennzoil 10W-40 at 4k miles, and it’s not synthetic. The feel is about the same on the Miata as on the Explorer. Maybe I had unreasonable expectations for the feel from the Mobil 1.

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 5

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 4

mazda mx-5 miata oil change mobil 1 synthetic 3
Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy “Recommended for most Hondas and Toyotas”

But at any rate I think I’ll try something else in the spring time to at least make a comparison for myself. I will stick with 0W-20 weight and full synthetic, but will change the brand.

The options are:

Pennzoil Platinum or Ultra Platinum

pennzoil platinum 0w-20 or ultra platinum 5w-20

Castrol EDGE or Castrol EDGE Extended Performance

castrol edge 0w-20 or castrol edge extended performance 5w-20

I’m also thinking of replacing the Mobil 1 M1-102 oil filter with a K&N version, which seems like it’d be easier to install and remove when the time comes with the wrench instead of trying to work in a tight space the way it is now. The nut seems like a great idea. The filter goes for around $10 to $15 apiece, available at Walmart but probably the most reasonably priced at Moss Miata – $9.95

K&N HP-1002 oil filter

mazda mx-5 miata K&N oil filter HP-1002 k-n

So if anyone has any personal experience with the products I’ve listed above or some other products that I haven’t considered, like for example the $37 a jug Royal Purple synthetic oil, do share your thoughts… please! I would especially be interested to hear from people with a NC Miata so I can base my decisions on something concrete. A real world experience, like I got from Jason for example, Stevie – his 2009 Miata gets Pennzoil Platinum + K&N filter changed on an 8,000 mile interval. That’s impressive!

hello stevie 1 mx-5 miata

Oh yes, besides the recommendations on facebook and Miata.net I am a sucker for Motorsport advertising, hence the BFGoodrich tires for my Miata just like the BFGoodrich sponsored MX-5 Cup series cars (tires might be different but whatever). So which cars use what oil in what series? Well, this Mazda comes to mind using Castrol:

lone star le mans 6 hr of the circuit of the americas 17

& this car in the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge using Total:

2015 petit le mans continental tire sports car challenge mx-5 miata