What’s The Best Oil For A Chevy Malibu?

With an abundance of engine oil types, choosing the right one for your car is as important as choosing the right fuel grade. Engine oil protects critical engine parts and keeps the engine running like new. So we asked the field experts and professionals about specific oil types to help you choose the best one for your Chevy Malibu. See what we found out.

The best type of oil for the Chevy Malibu will vary depending on the engine configuration. A Malibu equipped with a 1.5L engine will require 4.2 quarts of a 0w-20 dexos1 full synthetic oil. While a Malibu equipped with a 2.0L engine will require 5 quarts of a 5w-30 dexos1 full synthetic oil. 

Now that you know the best type of oil for you Chevy Malibu. Let's discuss what those oil numbers mean and what other types of oil are there. For more on this and other vehicle care and maintenance information, continue on through the rest of the article.

A Chevy Malibu at a car show, What's The Best Oil For A Chevy Malibu?

Different Types Of Oil

Engine oil is classified into three common types, conventional, synthetic blend, and full synthetic oil. There is also a high-mileage oil that is highly recommended on older cars with 75,000 miles or more on their odometer.

Three different types of motor oil on a white background

All types of engine oil were made to do the same thing, protect and lubricate critical engine parts. However, every type of oil has a distinction that separates it from the other oil types.

Conventional Oil

Conventional oil is your standard engine oil. Derived directly from crude oil, it's the closest to natural oils compared to part synthetics or full synthetics. Important additives are then introduced to improve its viscosity and engine protective capabilities.

Due to the way its manufactured, conventional oils are extremely budget-friendly. However, the downside is greater than other types. They tend to be less refined which results in a lower degree of engine protection.

Full Synthetic Oil

Synthetic engine oil tends to be more consistent because it is entirely made up in a lab. The manufacturing processes are much more controlled, resulting in fewer impurities and better engine protection than conventional engine oils.

Most car manufacturers nowadays recommend fully synthetic oils due to longer intervals of oil changes. But the benefits and advantages of fully synthetic oils come at a cost. They tend to be more expensive than other engine oil types, with a general price difference of about $20 to $40.

Synthetic Blend Oil

Synthetic blend is a hybrid kind of oil. It's a mixture of conventional and synthetic oils. This is to provide the consistency of synthetic oils while also having the economic benefits of conventional oils.

The synthetic blend is the middle ground of the three oil types. It offers added engine protection similar to that of synthetic fuels, but it also doesn't break the bank when it comes to costs. 

High-Mileage Oil

High-mileage oil is specially formulated to protect engines of older car models or cars that have surpassed 75,000 miles on the road. Over time, sludge can build up in an engine that could potentially damage seals and cause leaks.

Composed of unique additives and formulations designed to combat sludge build-up, reduce oil burn-off, and prevent engine wear and tear. High-mileage oils can significantly increase the performance and engine lifespan of aging cars.

What Brand Of Oil Does GM recommend For A Chevy Malibu?

Not all oils are the same. And General Motors recommends that car owners only use engine oils with dexos1 specifications. Dexos approved engine oils meet the most stringent industry standards that will help your Malibu meet the latest emission standards and improve fuel economy.

GM also specifies that failure to use the recommended engine oil may cause engine damage and shorten the car's lifespan. Repairs resulting from these kinds of engine damage will not be covered by the warranty.

Here are some of the top brands of engine oil for your Chevy Malibu.

Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20

The Pennzoil Platinum is made from natural gas, not crude oil. Its patented gas-to-liquid PurePlus Technology provides great fuel economy with an average extra of 550 miles drive range per year.

Click here to see the Pennzoil Platinum on Amazon.

Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30

Mobil 1 Extended Performance engine oil is formulated to keep your engine running like new. It provides exceptional wear protection, engine cleaning power, and overall added performance for your vehicle.

Check out the Mobil 1 Extended Performance on Amazon.

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20

The Valvoline Advance is designed to protect today's sophisticated engines. Created with premium anti-wear additives, extra engine-cleaning detergents, and exceptional temperature protection. It's designed to minimize repairs and maximize engine life.

Click here to see the Valvoline Advanced on Amazon.

Royal Purple High Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30

The Royal Purple provides superior protection from corrosion while maximizing engine efficiency for a much longer ride. Its proprietary additive technology prevents sludge build-up from high concentration gasoline-ethanol blends.

Check out the Royal Purple High Performance on Amazon.

What If I Use The Wrong Type Of Oil?

car instrument panel with check engine light on

When you use the wrong type of oil, you run the risk of voiding your warranty. Not only that, but there is also a plethora of issues that could arise from using the wrong engine oil. These issues can cost a lot of money to repair.

Oil Burn-off

Oil burn-off happens when the oil seeps into the combustion chamber and is then burned. Because different engine oils have differing viscosities, using the wrong type may cause the oil to degrade faster and seep into engine parts where it shouldn't be.


This is especially true for engines that use conventional oils because different types of oil also have different flow characteristics. If you use synthetic oil on an engine that is designed to take conventional oil, it can squeeze into tight spaces and connections and cause oil leaks. Most of the time, this is not a permanent issue, but it will surely increase your visit to your mechanic.

Heating Issues

When you have an issue cold starting your car or if your engine gets too hot without noticeable reasons, it can be because you are using the wrong engine oil. This can be incredibly inconvenient and could potentially put your life at risk.

Overheating can cause engine parts to malfunction, and when you are driving on the road, this is nowhere near safe.

Lower Engine Efficiency

Your car was tuned to run on a specific type of oil because this will help in lubricating moving engine parts and also maintain the temperature of your engine to its optimal working level. Not using the recommended engine oil will affect your car's efficiency and will result in your engine working more while producing less power.

The earlier stated issues will inevitably cause the engine permanent damage and make the car run inefficiently. Not only that, the damage to your engine will cost you a lot of money.

How Much Is An Oil Change For A Chevy Malibu?

Car mechanic pouring new motor oil on the engine

The average cost of an oil change for the Chevy Malibu is around $110, with the cost of parts around $40 and the labor around $70. However, prices may vary depending on your location.

An oil change is a critical part of the care and maintenance portion of your vehicle. GM recommends that Chevy Malibu owners take their car to the mechanic and undergo an oil and filter change every 7,000 - 10,000 miles. Securing that your engine is properly lubricated and protected from general wear and tear.

If you frequently use your Malibu in severe driving conditions, however, you may need to do an oil change before the 7,000 - 10,000 mile range. Severe driving conditions can be driving in extremely hot or cold weather, driving on mountainous and rugged roads, extensive stop-and-go driving, or hauling heavy loads.

To Wrap Things Up

Engine oil is an essential component of your vehicle, after all, it is the fluid that keeps your engine as efficient as possible. Selecting the correct type can not only keep your car running smoothly, but you also get to save a lot of money in the long run.

Always remember that the real key to having a long-lasting car is tender loving care. Taking good care of your car boils down to taking the time and effort to keep the condition in its most optimal state.

Doing all the mundane but necessary steps, be it regular engine check-ups, oil and filter change, proper tire management, or frequent car washing. Your car will only benefit from this and last a long time on the road.

If you found this post insightful, you will also enjoy reading these other topics about car care and maintenance:

Can Low Oil Cause A Car To Shut Off Or Not Start?

Should A Car Be Running When Adding Oil?

How To Wash A Car Engine At The Carwash

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