The 4 Best Bulk Motor Oils for Automotive Professionals - 2021

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Posted on Feb 15th 2021


If you’ve worked in the automotive industry for awhile, you know that wholesale motor oil is easier to find than ever before. With the power of the internet, you no longer need to leave the comfort of your home to buy motor oil. However, one thing you may not have known: today you can have 55 gallon drums of motor oil delivered to your doorstep.

For mechanics looking to save time and money, ordering motor oil in bulk may be too good of an offer to pass up. Below is our take on the best bulk motor oil available, and important things to keep in mind when shopping for wholesale oil.


Why buy wholesale motor oil?

The main benefits of buying in bulk: cost savings and/or convenience. In many cases, buying in bulk allows for considerable cost savings in the long run. Alternatively, some people simply prefer having to deal with less plastic waste than needing a new bottle of oil for every oil change. Finally, consider the time saved from only needing to make one large purchase of oil, rather than waiting for multiple orders from a supplier or making multiple trips to a physical store.

Our recommendations

Without fruther ado, here's a summary of our recommendations. All of recommendations meet or exceed the motor standards set by reputable organizations such as ILSAC and API.


Best Overall

Pennzoil Gold SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil - 55 Gallon Drum
Pennzoil Gold
Summary: Well-rounded, high performing motor oil at a middle-of-the-road pricepoint.
Buy from: Amazon / Keller-Heartt 

Best Heavy Duty

Shell Rotella T4 Triple Protection 15W-40 Heavy Duty Motor Oil - 55 Gallon Drum
Shell Rotella
Summary: Established choice for heavy duty performance with overwhelmingly positive reviews.
Buy from: Amazon / Keller-Heartt

Best Performance

Penzoil Platinum

Pennzoil Platinum
Summary: Premium performance oil derived from natural gas.
Buy from: Amazon

Best Value

Miles Milesyn
Summary: High value, workhorse motor oil.
Buy from: Amazon



Pennzoil Gold

Best Overall Bulk Motor Oil - Pennzoil Gold Synthetic Blend

Made by one of the leading oil makers in America, the Pennzoil Gold line has consistently held a top spot as one of the best overall motor oils for years. While some synthetic purists may disagree, Pennzoil Gold sythentic blend is our preferred recommendation for the majority of automotive applications. It’s simply hard to beat performance and cost-effectiveness that Pennzoil Gold provides.

According to the Pennzoil team, Pennzoil Gold cleans out 40%+ of engine sludge in the 1st oil change and keeps pistons up to 10% cleaner than standard oils. This motor oil is designed specifically for passenger cars, light-duty trucks, vans and sport utility vehicles that are fueled with gasoline (including E10 and E85 grades). Pennzoil gold meets or exceeds the standards and requirements of ILSAC and the latest API SN Service classifications, and is specially formulated for protection against the detrimental effects of stop-and-go driving and high and low-temperature engine operation.


An advanced proprietary synthetic blend formula with active cleansing agents.
More cost-effective than full synthetic lines of motor oils.

More expensive than conventional oils.

Buy fromAmazon / Keller-Heartt 




Best Heavy Duty Bulk Motor Oil: Shell Rotella

For heavy duty usages, look no further than Shell rotella, one of the most popular and best reviewed heavy duty motor oils. It’s designed specifically for on-highway fleets, general haul, construction, agriculture, public-transport operators, and virtually all modern low-emission heavy duty engines and older diesel engines.

The latest generation of Shell Rotella boasts a significantly improved resistance to oil breakdown under high temperatures, which resists oxidation up to 50% longer than the previous generations of the motor oil line. The end result for customers: Shell Rotella decreases wear and tear while keeping engines running longer and more efficiently.

Overwhelmingly positive reviews from an established brand.
Versatile applications for multiple heavy duty usages.

Some users have complained about delays in shipping & delivery times due to demand.

Buy from: Amazon / Keller-Heartt  



Pennzoil Platinum 

Best Performance Motor Oil - Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic 

Created for automotive professionals looking exclusively for the highest levels of performance, Pennzoil offers this full synthetic motor oil made from natural gas, rather than crude oil. Pennzoil’s proprietary PurePlus technology allows them to create a high performance product designed to extend engine life, boost fuel economy, and protect engines against the effects of temperature and degradation over time.

With benefits such as enhanced fuel economy, wear protection, and prevention of loss of power Pennzoil platinum may be right if you’re looking for performance above all else. Across the board, users of Pennzoil platinum reiterate the same points: better gas mileage, gains in compression and power, and smoother engine runs than with conventional oils. Additionally, Pennzoil claims that its Platinum line cleans ou out engine sludge better than conventional and synthetic blend oil.

Full synthetic motor oil from a reputable brand designed for highest levels of performance.
Proprietary technology used to create oil from natural gas.

Price per quart can be cost-prohibitive for smaller automotive organizations.

Buy from: Amazon 



Best Value: Miles Milesyn

For customers looking for outstanding bang for their buck, Miles Milesyn Sythentic Blend will be tough to match. While Miles does not have the same brand recognition as the other entries on our list, you may be surprised to know that Miles is a family-owned business that’s been around since 1937.

With an average cost of ~$2/quart, Milesyn is an economical choice for smaller automotive businesses. For a fair price, automototive professionals can receive a more-than-serviceable synthetic blend that meets or exceeds all relevant ILSAC and API specifications.

High value workhorse motor oil designed for multiple applications.

Less brand recognition than competitors.

Buy from: Amazon 

Who should buy motor oil in bulk?

Our advice: we recommend that only established automotive professionals order motor oil in bulk. If you own a new (less than a year old) auto repair business or are just an automotive enthusiast that does work in their home garage, then buying in bulk may be overkill at first. Bulk oil should be thought of as an investment, with higher upfront costs but more cost savings over time.


What type of bulk oil should I buy?

Just like buying non-wholesale motor oils, bulk motor oil comes in a variety of types. You’ll want to double-check the specific weight and viscosity you need before ordering. The last thing you’d want to do is accidentally order 55 gallons of the wrong oil! As always, if you’re ever unsure of the specific viscosity you need, check the owner’s manuals of the vehicle types that you’re working on.

A vehicle's owner's manual should always have the correct viscosity choice and specification grade of oil required. Note that viscosity recommendations sometimes allow a range of viscosities based on local temperatures. 


Storing bulk motor oil

One benefit of buying wholesale is that 55 gallon drums can be stored a number of ways. Depending on the size of your storage space, individual oil drums can be set up to be used either vertically or horizontally.

Vertical storage:
Alternatively, some automotive professionals prefer to store barrels upright. If you’d prefer to store oil drums vertically, keep in mind you’ll need to invest in an oil pump to retrieve the oil inside the barrel.

It’s strongly recommended that you store oil barrels indoors, in a cool, dry area. If stored outdoors, it’s possible that condensation and rainfall can cause water to seep into the oil drums. This is caused by the raising and lowering of temperatures. See the below image for an illustration. (Source)


Drum storage


Horizontal storage:
To lay an oil drum on its side and use oil drums, consider using a drum cradle. Think of a drum cradle like a hand truck made especially for bulk oil drums. Cradles allow you to easily roll a barrel and then tip it on its side to then drain the barrel using gravity.



Dispensing bulk motor oil

In order to access the motor oil from an upright 55 gallon drum, you’ll want to invest in an oil pump. Quality pumps attach to your oil drum and ensure that you’re maximizing the amount of oil you can retrieve. Keep in mind that no oil pump will be able to remove every single drop of oil from your 55 gallon drum, however, the better pumps will leave a negligible amount (< 1 gallon) of oil remaining in the drum. Above is an example of a manual pump, however, note that there are also a variety of automoted electric pumps as well.


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