You may not think about the motor oil that goes into your 350z very often, but it can make a real difference in the way your car performs – today and long into the future.
With the right oil in your Z, your VQ engine will be nicely lubricated and run smoothly.
Quality oil keeps engine heat down, the engine clean, and running it’s best. In many cases, you’ll also see a improvement in fuel efficiency.
If you have old or bad oil in your Z car, from leaving it too long between changes, you’ll run into a heap of problems. Dirt will accumulate in your engine and clog areas that are designed to let clean oil through. Your engine will wear quicker, and engine component failures will happen more often.
If you’re trying to keep your Nissan 350z in tip-top condition, you should run the correct kind of oil, change it when needed, and treat your car better than Nissan intended.
This guide will touch on the correct 350z oil types (depending on climate and what kind of driving you’re doing), and then we’ll show you some of the best oil for your Nissan 350z.
Nissan’s Recommended 350z Oil Types
The Nissan 350z owner’s manual recommends using 5W-30 or 10W-30 motor oil. If the weather is hot, Nissan suggest using 10W-30, if it’s cold, you don’t want to go beyond 5W-30 weight oil.
The first number, “5W”, refers to cold weather viscosity (the “W” stands for winter). A lower number like 5W is less viscous (thinner) at low temps, so the oil flows better at colder temperatures.
The second number, “30”, is hot weather viscosity. It determines how fluid the oil is at high temperatures: the higher the number, the thicker the oil at a specified temperature.
Off Nissan’s Script: Alternate Oils to Suit Your Needs
It’s important to know that few people leave their Nissan 350z standard, instead choosing to modify their car. These modifications make your engine work harder, meaning you need to also upgrade your engine oil.
Extensive UOA (Used Oil Analysis) tests have been done to find out the level of impurities and condition of different motor oils.
Which Oil Weight is Best for a Nissan 350z?
Many 350z experts and enthusiasts believe the best 350z engine oil is not the weight Nissan recommends (5W-30 to 10W-30).
Some Z car owners use these range of oil weights:
- Cold weather viscosity as low as 0W and as high as 15W.
- Hot weather viscosity as low as 20 and as high as 50.
While 0W is appropriate, a hot viscosity of 50 is generally considered to be too high, so we will only look at those in the 30 and 40 range.
Synthetic or Traditional Oil for a Nissan 350z?
Synthetic oil is better on your engine and has fewer impurities, so it can last longer than conventional or synthetic blend oils.
Unlike older engines and turbocharged cars, which might still require an oil change every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, synthetic oil change intervals range between 10,000 to 15,000 miles (whichever comes first).
That doesn’t mean you should wait that long. General consensus is that around 7,500 miles between a synthetic oil change is safe.
Synthetic oils are also better for harder driving. If you’re planning on racing, chances are your mechanic will point you to the synthetic oils in this guide.
Best Winter Oil for a Nissan 350z
0W oil is only a “thinner” oil when it’s cold (when it’s beneficial), so when your 350z is at operating temperature, it’s the same weight as a 5W or 10W.
Therefore, 0W oils are great for year-round use in any climate, since they flow better in cold temps but become thick as other similar grade oils when hot.
Best Oil for Nissan 350z
All of the motor oils listed below are full synthetic oils, because those are the strongest and last the longest.
They differ in winter and hot weather viscosity, but stay within the 0W-10W and 30-40 ranges.
Royal Purple High Performance Street
Royal Purple is a favorite for 350z enthusiasts, both in racing and daily driving situations. Its Synerlec additive is extremely slippery, reduces friction and significantly reduces wear.
Being a synthetic, you might choose to change this oil every 7,500 miles (or up to 10,000).
Many owners claim that with RP40 oil, on the racetrack your oil pressure will hardly rise at all, even when you’re revving hard. That means the oil is resistant and its viscosity is working as intended at higher temperatures.
Purple Royal 10W-40 will help your engine run a lot smoother on idle, and your revving will be much freer.
Mobil 1 European Car Formula
Don’t let the name fool you! Mobil 1’s European Car Formula is one of the most frequently recommended and best oils for Nissan 350z drivers. It’s great in cold weather because of its 0W reading, but also in all climates.
Though it’s synthetic, it uses a different oil formulation to deal with shear and flow: it contains thickeners that resist viscosity shear down in high performance engines by helping it retain its thickening capacity.
If this is hard to understand, just know: it’s a good thing.
The main benefits of this oil are the instant lubrication you’ll get on startup, excellent fuel economy, a quieter and smoother running engine, and a longer change interval.
That and the assurance of quality from a legendary top grade synthetic oil. Mobil 1 0W-40 is used by Porche’s racing team, so if it’s good enough for Porsche, surely it’s good enough for your car.
Redline High Performance
Another one of the most popular and best oil for Nissan 350z is Redline’s 5W-30, a full synthetic that is praised by the community.
Redline will help reduce your engine temperature, and some claim that 350z engines burned more with competitive oils like Mobil 1 and Pennzoil than they did with Redline.
Redline’s High Performance oil has been known to work well with high mileage and older cars. Even the youngest Nissan 350z is over a decade old now, while a quality oil may cost you a little extra in the short term, it can save you a lot in the long run.
People who run Redline High Performance swear by it, with many considering it the best 350z engine oil that money can buy.
Motul 300v Competition Synthetic
Motul’s 300v Competition Synthetic is one of the most popular oils among motorcyclists, but many 350z owners use it for one simple reason; this oil will make your engine noticeably smoother on both acceleration and idle.
Something to be aware of when switching to this oil is, it’s been known to clean a lot of junk out of your engine. Don’t be surprised if it looks dirty and in need of a change only 1-2 thousand miles after adding it.
300v is known for improving throttle response, and after a second change you you might even see a small bump in performance thanks to a cleaner engine.
Oil Weight: 5W-30
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Castrol’s Edge is their most advanced motor oil, and one of the top choices for the Nissan VQ engine found in your 350z.
This oil sticks to the surface of your engine on shutdown so that even on a cold Tuesday morning drive, oil will already be coating your engine on startup.
This is oil makes Nissan engines run extremely well – possibly smoother than any other oil on this list. An independent UOA test found that Castrol-brand oils by and large had less impurities in the used oil than most other company’s oil.
Oil Weight: 5W-30
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Pennzoil Platinum is the most frequently used 350z engine oils. You can’t go wrong with a classic. It’ll give you greater fuel economy, with a claimed average of 550 extra miles per year, compared to a dirty engine.
Pennzoil’s oil provides an overall cleaner engine, and is designed to even keep turbocharged engines up to speed, which makes it great for many 350z cars.
Many Pennzoil Platinum users say that Pennzoil is terrible at marketing their product (they make finding the specifications of the oil difficult), but it’s still praise it for being one of the best motor oils on the market.
With this oil, your engine will be running smoothly even after 200,000 miles!
Schaeffer’s Supreme 9000
Manufacturer: Schaeffer Manufacturing Co
Oil Weight: 5W-30
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The Supreme 9000 by Schaeffer is some of the best oil for Nissan 350z for keeping your car reliable, but without negatively affecting fuel economy.
It has additives to keep your engine clean and prevent build-up. The oil can go up to 15,000 miles before a change, though it’s not something we’d recommend.
Many people who use this oil claim that it beats the “generic” name brands by a long shot. We’re not so sure. It’s definitely a quality oil, and Schaeffer does produce reliable products – but the generic brands have definitely caught up to these speciality brands.
What is the Best Oil for a Nissan 350z?
Before you decide which oil is best for your car, you need to decide if your Z is for daily driving, racing and how often you’ll be driving in cold weather.
Generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with any of the oils we’ve mentioned.
As long as you stay with a synthetic and in the 0W-10W and 30-40 range, you’ll have a decent oil that is better than OEM and should help to extend the life of your Nissan VQ engine.
Here are our favorite oils for each scenario:
Daily Driven: Redline High Performance
One of the most highly lauded oils on the market by 350z owners, it is great for VQ35DE and VQ35HR, low and high mileage engines, and works well in all climates.
High Performance: Royal Purple High Performance Street
One of the strongest motor oils out there, it helps lower oil pressure and keeps your engine extremely well lubricated during aggressive driving. One of the hardest working and popular oils for the 350z.
Cold Weather: Mobil 1 European Car Formula
Though it’s acceptable to use during all seasons, Mobil 1’s 0W-40 really shines in cold weather because of its low winter viscosity. Even in hotter temps though, it’s neck and neck with the other two listed above.
What are some of your favorite Nissan 350z motor oils? Let us know below.