What Weight of Oil for a High-Mileage Nissan Maxima?

Choosing a Weight of Motor Oil that is Best for a High-Mileage Maxima

Question: What Motor Oil Weight Should I Use for My High-Mileage Nissan Maxima? 

I have a Nissan Maxima with 200,000 miles on the odometer for the original engine. It doesn't use oil. But I am sure that it gets blowby.  I have read several experts opinion on oil. Should I use 20W-50 or 10W-30?   It seems the wear should require a heavy oil, but I have been told the lesser weight still lubes better?

Answer: Motor Oil Weight for High-Mileage Cars

If this were my car, I would go with the 10W-30 motor oil. But a lot depends on the oil consumption. If it uses one quart of 10W-30 per 3,500 miles and the engine sounds good, stay with it. If it uses more oil than that or sounds rattly, then try the heavier oil.

Check the owner's manual to see what the recommended weight was for the engine when it was new. Although an older engine may run better with a different weight, it is wise to read the original instructions.

You may also want to email or call a local dealership or Nissan-certified repair shop to see what their mechanics recommend. You'll have the chance to discuss your specific vehicle and ask they for their reasons for making the recommendation. Then you will have a little more confidence in the answer and can apply it to your Maxima.

More on Motor Oil

How to Check Your Oil Level: Whether you are an old hand with the dipstick or just venturing into checking it yourself, here's how to do it right.

Even if you've been doing it for years, you may be making some mistakes.

How and When to Add a Quart of Motor Oil: How to check your engine oil level and add a quart when it is getting low. You can be a master of the dipstick and always keep your engine well-lubed.

Are You Burning Oil? How to troubleshoot engine oil consumption.

These tips can help you diagnose the problem and know when it's time to take it to the repair shop. Learn about what the symptoms mean when there is smoke in the exhaust or not, or if there are oil leaks. If you need a repair, you will be able to discuss it better with the mechanic and understand what he or she is telling you.

What Does It Mean When the Check Oil Light Comes On? Don't ignore the oil warning light on your dashboard. It means there is low oil pressure that could be due to oil pump failure or blockage.  You need to stop immediately to prevent engine damage. Here is what you need to do when it lights up.

What Oil Leaks Mean for Your Car: When you spot oil leaks on the garage floor or in the driveway, it's a sign that all is not right for your engine. Here is how to address this symptom.