[Healeys] Valvoline VR1 20W-50 Redux Redux

John Spaur jmsdarch at sbcglobal.net
Wed May 10 23:53:52 MDT 2017

So... to add to the mystery! I purchased a case back in 2012 (check the
6/13/2016 label date) and another case when the issue of VR1 becoming
unavailable in California surfaced. The attached photo shows the older label
on the right and the newer one on the left with the "High Zinc" label
plastered over the original text. I haven't bought the new 20W-60 SJ oil Bob
mentions, however, I could have sworn I saw VR1 20W-50 at O'Reilly's a month

WTF? Has anyone contacted the company to ask what's up?


-----Original Message-----
From: Healeys [mailto:healeys-bounces at autox.team.net] On Behalf Of Bob
Sent: Wednesday, May 10, 2017 4:08 PM
To: Healeys <healeys at autox.team.net>
Subject: [Healeys] Valvoline VR1 20W-50 Redux Redux

I was at my favorite local parts house today and noticed, as reported by
others that VR1 is back on the shelf after mysteriously disappearing a year
or so ago.  Good deal, I think, then I noticed the label is slightly
different than the stock I bought a year or so ago; in particular, 'HIGH
ZINC' is shown prominently on the front label (my stash doesn't).  Also, the
'new' stuff is rated SAE SJ only, whereas my bottles say 'EXCEEDS API
SERVICE SGCD And All Pending API Gasoline Categories Exceeds API Services
SN/SM/SL'  The cam makers generally say that SN and SM are not suitable for
flat tappet engines (not enough zinc and phosphorous).  SN/SM--dunno about
SL--are supposedly OK for engines with catalytic converters, which implies
less zinc.

Anybody know for certain know what gives?  My theories are:

1) Valvoline pulled their stock and simply relabeled their product SJ to
make it clear it shouldn't be used in cars with cats

2) The old VR1 WAS acceptable for cars with cats, implying zinc content of
no more than 800PPM or so, and they have reformulated the oil with more
ZDDP, which required the relabeling.  I hope this isn't the case, as I
bought a boatload of it because it appeared to be an off-the-shelf oil with
decent zinc and phosphorous content.

The plot thickens (it's now 20W-60).


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