You can say what you want about Honda, but you can’t deny that they are the number one naturally aspirated internal combustion engine manufacturer in the world – at least as far as reliability, price, and power-to-weight ratio is concerned.
The H22A7 “Red Top” with the legendary and aggressive VTEC, found in the sixth-generation Accord Type-R put Honda on the map as a performance brand. The H22A7 was very powerful and extremely reliable even though it could reach 8,800 RPMs – a lot of modern sportbikes don’t even rev up that high.
This, however, was just the start for Honda. The seventh-generation Accord came with the even more legendary K-series engines that are still used in Hondas’ to this day. And it’s easy to see why – they’re very powerful for being non-turbocharged, incredibly reliable and very cheap to maintain.
Now, because Honda makes exceptionally reliable naturally aspirated engines – they aren’t THAT picky on engine oil, however, this certainly doesn’t mean that you could get away with using the cheapest engine oil possible.
According to the owner’s manuals of most Accords, Honda recommends using 0W-20 engine oil that is API certified for gasoline engines. Synthetic is not necessary but highly recommended in all cases.
Now, there are dozens of 0W-20 oils to choose from, making it difficult to pick out the best, but worry not – we’ve done the research for you. Here are the five best oils for Honda Accord, reviewed.
Please note: make sure to always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual first for the right engine oil recommendation.
The 5 Best Oils for Honda Accord
|1. Castrol EDGE 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic||Check Price On Amazon|
|2. Mobil 1 Extended Performance 0W-20||Check Price On Amazon|
|3. Royal Purple 0W-20 High Performance Synthetic||Check Price On Amazon|
|4. Honda Genuine 0W-20 Full Synthetic Oil Change Kit||Check Price On Amazon|
|5. Valvoline 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic||Check Price On Amazon|
1. Castrol EDGE 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic – Best Overall
The Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is our top pick for Honda Accord for a few reasons – it’s a group IV full synthetic oil that is API certified for gasoline engines and approved for GM dexos1 Gen 2. However, the best part is that Castrol EDGE is the least expensive oil on this list.
Lubrication & Protection
Viscosity loss (thinning, to put it simply) through shear is one of the main challenges that oil manufacturers have to face when designing engine oil. That’s why the engineers at Castrol decided to do something drastic – they infused the EDGE 0W-20 with Fluid Titanium.
Now, at first glance, this might seem like yet another gimmick, but that’s not the case. The engineers at Castrol did x-ray tests on the highly pressurized engine oil and have found that the Titanium molecules strengthened their bond under high pressure. Because Titanium molecules stiffen their bond under pressure, the oil gets thicker and provides a cushioning effect, therefore effectively resisting viscosity loss through shear.
If all the technical talk bored you, here’s the main takeaway – Castrol EDGE with Fluid Titanium was shown to improve oil film strength by 30% when compared to oil without Fluid Titanium. This is especially important because the 0W-20 is already one of the “thinnest” engine oil grades available.
Yet another added benefit is that Castrol EDGE with Fluid Titanium was shown to reduce friction by 20% when compared to oils without Fluid Titanium. And it does make sense – the Fluid Titanium infused oil thickens in high-pressure lubrication points, such as between valves and camshaft lobes, and then reverts back to its free-flowing state once the pressure subsides.
The Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is API certified for gasoline engines, which is a major requirement by Honda for use in the Accord. In addition to that, Castrol EDGE 0W-20 meets or exceeds the industry standards of API SN PLUS/SN, ILSAC GF-5, ACEA A1/B1, and is GM dexos1 Gen 2 licensed (very important for turbocharged engines).
In conclusion, we only have good things to say about the Castrol EDGE 0W-20. It’s an actual group IV full synthetic engine oil (which is pretty rare to find), that is approved for the most recent GM dexos1 Gen 2, meaning that it provides outstanding high-temperature resistance.
And surprisingly, it’s very affordable too. You don’t need to spend lots of cash to keep your Honda Accord in top shape – the K-series engines (which is most likely under your Honda’s hood) are not picky and are extremely reliable. To that end, Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is our top pick.
2. Mobil 1 Extended Performance 0W-20 Full Synthetic – Increases MPGs
There really isn’t much to say about Mobil that hasn’t been said before – they’re an absolute giant in the oil industry and have been researching and manufacturing synthetic oils since the 60s. Countless oil analysis tests we’re done since then by buyers and car enthusiasts, and they have only reinforced the fact that Mobil 1 family lubricants outperform most competitors.
Lubrication & Protection
Mobil 1 0W-20 was made with a proprietary blend of high-performance synthetic base stocks and a balanced additive package that meets or exceeds the requirements for the toughest and most recent API Service Categories for gasoline engines at the time of writing this.
The oil meets the requirements of the most recent API SN PLUS Resource Conserving, meaning that the 0W-20 Extended Performance provides better fuel economy, reduced emissions, improved turbocharger protection, and is compatible with ethanol fuels up to E85.
That sounds great, but I’m sure you’d rather have the numbers to do the talking, so here you go – Mobil 1 0W-20 Extended Performance protects the engine for up to 20,000 miles between oil changes.
Mobil 1 0W-20 is recommended by ExxonMobil for use in modern high-performance gasoline engines with turbochargers and superchargers. Now, unless your Honda Accord was manufactured in 2018 or up, your Accord does not have a turbocharger or a supercharger, however, this does not mean that you shouldn’t use this engine oil in your Accord.
Turbochargers reach extremely hot temperatures and therefore require high-performance full synthetic engine oils that can “take the heat”. This added extreme heat stability is not necessary for a naturally aspirated engine that most Accords feature, but it’s certainly recommended and it’s one of the main reasons why Mobil 1 we’re capable of extending the oil drain interval up to 20,000 miles.
Mobil 1 0W-20 Extended Performance is API certified for gasoline engines, which is one of the things that Honda requires for use in their Accord. Apart from that, the oil meets or exceeds the requirements for the most recent API SJ, API SL, API SM, API SN, API SN PLUS, API SN PLUS Resource Conserving, and older.
Just like the Castrol EDGE above, it’s GM dexos1 Gen2 licensed, which proves its outstanding extreme-heat stability.
Unsurprisingly, Mobil 1’s 0W-20 Extended Performance is one of the best engine oils for the Honda Accord on the market.
Now, the reason why Mobil 1 0W-20 Extended Performance is #2 on your list is because it’s a bit pricier than the Castrol EDGE above. Other than that, it’s a great choice for an Accord.
3. Royal Purple 0W-20 High Performance Synthetic – True Group V Synthetic
It’s extremely difficult to gain a foothold in the oil industry, but Royal Purple is going strong and have finally accumulated a sizable following because buyers just couldn’t ignore the outstanding quality of their lubricants.
Royal Purple SAE 0W-20 is a group V synthetic base stock engine oil – a true, highest quality fully synthetic oil. That’s the reason why it takes #3 on our list of the best oils for Honda Accord.
Lubrication & Protection
In May 2020, a completely new ILSAC performance standard called GF-6 was introduced. In order to meet the GF-6 requirements, oil manufacturers had to improve their lubricant formulas to further reduce engine wear (in order to pass the new timing chain wear test), provide better protection against LSPI (Low-Speed Pre-Ignition), which mainly affects small-displacement high-power turbocharged engines like the L15B7 and K20C4 in the tenth-generation Accord, and further improve fuel economy.
Now, exceeding the toughest industry standards is the name of the game at Royal Purple, and it’s the reason why they are successful in the extremely tough oil industry. To that end, Royal Purple High Performance engine oils have already been GF-6 certified for well over a year.
Royal Purple High Performance line engine oils are filled with their own proprietary blend of additives, called Synerlec, which is one of the reasons why Royal Purple synthetic oils outperform other lubricants. The Synerlec additive technology exceeds the requirements of GM dexos1 Gen 2 and the previous ILSAC GF-5 as well.
Similar to Mobil 1 above, Royal Purple 0W-20 High Performance is compatible with fuels containing ethanol, effectively preventing sludge formation and lubrication starvation.
The 0W-20 High Performance is fully compatible with other synthetic oils and even mineral oils that you might have been using before in your Honda Accord. Keep in mind that waiting until the manufacturer’s first scheduled oil change before switching to Royal Purple is highly recommended.
Just like the other synthetic oils above, Royal Purple is API SN licensed and API certified for gasoline engines, and is GM dexos1 Gen 2 approved.
Royal Purple 0W-20 High Performance is outstanding in all aspects. It has exceptional oxidation stability thanks to group V synthetic base stocks, allowing longer oil drain intervals which save you time and money.
It might be an overkill for a naturally aspirated 2.0L Honda Accord, but if you’ve got the new turbocharged VTEC beast under the hood of your Accord, then Royal Purple is the clear winner.
4. Honda Genuine 0W-20 Full Synthetic Oil Change Kit – Best Value
Car engines are made for engine oil; the materials, the tolerances between moving parts – everything is designed for a specific grade and type engine oil. And because of that, nobody knows what’s better for your Honda Accord than the engineers that actually designed and built the engine.
Lubrication & Protection
There’s not a lot to say about Honda’s own full synthetic oil. There are no “in your face” marketing tricks, and it’s just that – full synthetic oil, specifically designed for Honda engines.
And frankly, Honda doesn’t need fancy words to convince you to buy their oil – they let the certifications and approvals to do the talking.
Honda’s genuine SAE 0W-20 Full Synthetic engine oil is formulated with top-quality synthetic base stocks, which provide all the lubrication and protection that your Accord will ever need. It meets the requirements to be certified for API SERVICE SN Resource Conserving, which means that Honda’s Genuine 0W-20 Full Synthetic engine oil provides better fuel economy, reduced emissions, better turbocharger protection, and compatibility with ethanol, when compared to oils with the previous “Energy Conserving” designation.
This all-in-one Honda oil change kit includes 5 quarts of full synthetic oil, a genuine Honda 15400-PLM-A02 that fits all Honda models except the S2000 and the older Passport (just in case, be sure to check your owner’s manual or Honda dealer to make sure that the oil filter will fit your vehicle), a genuine Honda drain plug washer, a pair of gloves, one oil dry pad, and a sheet of paper towel.
In other words, this kit includes everything that you need to do an oil change on your Honda Accord, apart from the tools required.
Going with the Genuine Honda 0W-20 Full Synthetic oil that your Accord comes filled from the factory will always be a good idea. It’s a great quality full synthetic engine oil and it’s specifically recommended by Honda for most of their engines.
While the oil in this kit lacks GM dexos1 Gen 2 or the new GF-6A certifications that the other oils in this list have, it comes with everything you need to do an oil change.
And frankly, your Honda Accord will do just fine with the Genuine Honda 0W-20 Full Synthetic oil, therefore other higher performance oils might be an overkill.
5. Valvoline 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic – Protects Turbochargers
I’m sure you were expecting to see Valvoline on our list as there is a good reason for it to be here – the 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic is a premium full synthetic oil that is rightfully API SP and ILSAC GF-6A licensed. And, just like the Castrol EDGE, it’s very affordable and might even be cheaper depending on the time of year.
Lubrication & Protection
There are a few key points that separate Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 from the other full synthetic oils in this list – anti-wear additives and detergents.
The oil is API SP licensed, which means it protects against Low-Speed Pre-Ignition (LSPI), has improved timing chain wear protection (a big plus since the 2.0L and 2.4L Honda engines use timing chains), improved extreme temperature deposit protection for pistons and turbochargers and a better varnish and sludge control.
Now, since it’s API SP and API Resource Conserving licensed, the 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic is also approved for the most recent ILSAC GF-6A that was introduced earlier this year. In order to get the GF-6A approval, full synthetic engine oils had to pass the Industry Sequence X Chain Wear Test (Timing Chain test in short) and Valvoline absolutely aced it. Valvoline’s 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic shown 40% more wear protection than industry standards.
As for detergents, the 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic has shown a 25% better deposit control than the industry standards during the GM Oxidation and Deposit engine test. Considering that, it’s unsurprising that the oil is GM dexos1 Gen2 licensed.
Just like all full synthetic oils on this list, Valvoline’s 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic is API approved for gasoline engines – one of the major requirements by Honda for the Accord.
Because it’s API SP approved, 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic is compatible with ethanol-containing fuels up to E85, and also fully compatible with all other conventional and full synthetic engine oils.
For the price, Valvoline’s 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic is very tough to beat. It’s got all of the most recent API approvals, which proves that it’s one of the best full synthetic SAE 0W-20 grade engine oils available.
It’s a bit overkill for an Accord but considering that it’s so affordable, there is no reason not to give your Japanese beauty a treat.
What to Look for When Buying the Best Oil for Honda Accord
Conventional vs Synthetic Engine Oil
Conventional oil (also known as mineral oil) has been around for decades and has been lubricating the first internal combustion engines for a long time. Obliviously, it does its job well but the main benefit of conventional oil right now is its low price.
Conventional oil is pumped out of the ground as crude oil and later refined for use as an engine lubricant. Because the whole process is relatively short and simple, conventional oil is cheap to manufacture and therefore low priced. And, as far as pros go – price is only one you should worry about.
The main drawback of conventional oil is that it’s not as chemically stable as synthetic oil. Being processed from crude oil, conventional oil has some leftover impurities such as sulfur. It oxidizes relatively fast in extremely hot temperatures and acidifies faster than its synthetic counterpart.
Now, a real full synthetic engine oil (meaning group IV and V base stock) is far superior to conventional engine oil in pretty much every way, and it’s one of the reasons why it’s becoming more difficult to find conventional oils as time goes on.
Unlike conventional engine oils, fully synthetic oil is a pure chemical, synthesized in a chemical plant, hence the name. Because it’s made in a lab, the chemical composition and performance of synthetic base oils are close to perfection. This results in synthetic oil having 10 times better high-temperature oxidation stability and significantly better wear protection.
The only real drawback of synthetic oil is its price. In this case, the process of manufacturing synthetic oil is much more difficult, therefore it’s reflected in the higher price of the finished product.
Should You Use Synthetic Oil in Your Honda Accord?
In most cases, the most Honda Accord owner’s manuals don’t specifically require you to use synthetic engine oil. However, Honda does recommend using their own Genuine Honda oil which is full synthetic, therefore using good quality API certified full synthetic engine oil would be a great idea.
Please note: you should always consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual for the recommended engine oil first.
Oil API Standards
One of the major requirements by Honda for engine oil to be used in the Accord is API licensing. API – short for American Petroleum Institute, are the ones who classify engine oils and other chemicals for safer and easier use.
Honda specifically requires the engine oil of your choice to have an API certification seal that reads “For Gasoline Engines”. Don’t worry – all engine oils on our top 5 list on best oil for Honda Accord feature this API certification seal.
Apart from that, API service categories are a great way to judge the quality and performance of engine oil. Here’s an example:
The premium Royal Purple 0W-20 High Performance is API SP and API ILSAC GF-6A certified. API SP the most recent service category introduced in May 2020, and it’s given to engine oils that provide protection against low-speed pre-ignition, timing chain protection, improved high-temperature deposit protection, and more.
High Mileage Oil
Engines have a lot of moving parts, which wear eventually wear down due to friction. Worn parts lose their mass, therefore the tolerances between them increase. A great example would be lifter noise – a bigger gap between the valve stem and the rocker arm makes that distinct and annoying tapping noise.
Moving parts aren’t the only ones that wear over time – rubber seals and gaskets also take a beating due to the constant heating and cooling cycles. These temperature cycles shrink rubber seals and gaskets, making them harder and more brittle over time. Worn rubber seals and gaskets will no longer make a perfect seal and will eventually start causing oil leaks.
And that’s where high mileage engine oil comes into play. High mileage engine oil contains seal conditioners that can swell up rubber seals and gaskets, stopping oil leaks if you’re lucky. Therefore, if your engine is really starting to show wear and getting it fixed is not an option – give high mileage oil a try.
But What is Considered High Mileage?
It depends on the conditions the car was subjected and there is no universal range at which all cars would be considered as high mileage.
For example, highway miles are considered less taxing than city miles. Driving on highways means few stops, even engine load, and even engine temperature. Because of that, the engine is able to reach its operating temperature sooner and stay there longer and more consistently.
On the other hand, city miles cause the most engine wear. While driving in the city, you’re going on a short trip most of the time, meaning that the engine will take a long time to reach its operating temperature, or never at all. The problem is that most engine wear occurs when the engine is cold and short trips with stop-and-go traffic certainly don’t help.
But if you really need to have a baseline number of miles that would probably categorize your Honda Accord as high mileage then 150,000 – 200,000 miles might be a pretty safe bet. The fact is – all Hondas are extremely reliable.
No Additives Required
Oil additives is something that we personally dislike and strongly advise against as technicians, and so does Honda.
In the Accord owner’s manuals, Honda specifically states that engine oil additives are not required for their engines and may even negatively affect the performance and longevity of the engine. And we completely agree with Honda – oil additives are mostly marketing gimmicks.
They do more harm than good and if you’re buying API certified engine oil, then it’s already got all the additives it needs. By using additives you’ll just mess up the additive ratio and cause problems.
Eddie is the co-founder of CarCareCamp.com, and the site’s primary contributor.
Under his belt, Eddie has a bachelor’s degree in Automotive Electronics Engineering and almost a decade of experience working as a semi-truck technician (specializing in electrics).