One of the most important aspects of owning a 300ZX (or any internal combustion engined car for that matter) is to change the oil and oil filter frequently. Both the VG and RB series engines fitted to the 300ZX (Z32 only used the VG) need regular oil changes to keep them in tip-top working condition.
We have put together a quick guide on what is the best engine oil and oil filter for a 300ZX. Additionally, we have including information on when the 300ZX’s lubrication intervals and when to change the oil filter. You might also like to read our Nissan 300ZX buyer’s guide for more information on maintaining your 300ZX to the best possible condition and standard.
What Engine Oil Should Be Used in a Nissan 300ZX
Different owners have different opinions on what is the best engine oil for their 300ZX, so it can be hard to find a straight answer. The engine oil needed can also depend on a number of environmental and condition related factors such as the ambient temperature of the environment the 300ZX is located in and whether or not it has any modifications.
For those unsure what the “XW-XX” oil classification system means the front number/letter combo indicates the oil’s viscosity at -17.8 degrees Celsius (0 degrees Fahrenheit). In simple terms this means that the lower the number, the less the oil thickens in lower temperatures.
The two numbers at the end (XX) indicate the viscosity of the oil at 100 degrees Celsius and represent the oil’s resistance to thinning at high temperatures.
If we compare a 5W-30 grade oil vs a 10W-30 grade we will find that the former thickens less in colder weather. However, a 5W-30 grade will thin out quicker at higher temperatures than say a 5W-40 grade.
What this means for your 300ZX is that an oil with a lower winter viscosity (XW) is usually better in cooler environments or months. For those in hotter environments an oil with a higher viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius may be a better option.
So, What Is the Best Engine Oil for a Nissan 300ZX?
It is generally recommended that you use a good 10W-30 engine oil for most driving environments. However, as we wrote above this recommendation can change with an increase or decrease in temperature. Below you can find a chart that will help you determine which oil weight is best for your 300ZX and local area:
|Temperature||Under -10°C (14°F)||-10 to 0°C (14 to 32°F)||0 to 40°C (32 to 104°F)||Over 40°C (104°F)|
|Oil Weight||5W-20, 5W-30||5W-30, 10W-30, 10W-40, 0W-40||10W-30, 10W-40, 10W-50, 0W-40||10W-40, 20W-40, 20W-50, 10W-50,|
Our Recommendations for the Best Engine Oil for a Nissan 300ZX
Below you can find our recommended engine oils for the Nissan 300ZX:
Lucas 10W-30 Engine Oil – Best for General Use
Lucas Oil Hot Rod and Classic motor oil is made with a quality paraffinic base oil and fortified with an additive package containing of zinc, molybdenum and phosphorus. This means that it will be perfect for your 300ZX as the high-zinc content provides wear protection in areas of increased friction. The 10W-30 weight is perfect for most general driving environments.
Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil – Best for Cold Starts & Environments
For those who live in cooler climates, Pennzoil’s Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil engine is an excellent option. It is not too expensive and will provide more than enough protection for your 300ZX’s engine.
Motul 300V Factory Line Synthetic 10W-40 – Best for Hotter Weather or Occasional Track use
If you need a slightly thicker engine oil for hotter environments or for occasional track use, Motul’s 300V Factory Line 10W-40 engine oil is an excellent option.
When Does the Oil Need to be Changed on a Nissan 300ZX?
With that out the way, let’s look at when you need to change the oil. It is typically recommended that you replace the engine oil every 5,000 km (3,000) miles. While synthetic engine oils can usually last longer than this, many owners like to change it at or before this point.
If you do not drive your 300ZX that much, oil changes should be every six to twelve months regardless of mileage. This is because old oil that sits at the bottom of a 300ZX’s crankcase can begin to break down overtime in the presence of contaminants.
If you want to find out if the oil in your 300ZX can go longer between changes (or if you have to change it sooner), you can send the oil to a laboratory who can assess its condition.
What is the Best Oil Filter for a Nissan 300ZX
There are a range of different oil filters available for the 300ZX, but the most recommended one is the Nissan OEM oil filter, with a part number of 15208-55Y0A (you can find it here). Another option is K&N’s HP-2008 Performance Gold Oil Filter, but overall the original Nissan OEM is the best.
It is important that you stay way from FRAM oil filters. FRAM filters are cheap and poor quality, so we do not recommend using them. There are many horror stories of FRAM filters breaking and the contaminants from them can wind up in your 300ZX’s engine. While the cheap price may be tempting, do not use them!
When Should the Oil Filter Be Changed?
The oil filter should be replaced every 10,000 km (6,000 miles). Some owners change it with every oil change, but every second one is perfectly fine.
How Much Oil is Needed?
The amount of oil needed for an oil change on a 300ZX depends on the model and whether or not you are replacing the filter.
|300ZX Z31 (All Engines)||4-litres (4 & 1/4 quarts) with filter and without filter|
|1990 300ZX Z32 NA||4.1-litres (4 & 3/8 quarts) with filter, 3.7-litres (3 & 7/8 quarts) without filter|
|1990 300ZX Z32 Twin-Turbo||4.4-litres (4 & 5/8 quarts) with filter, 4-litres (4 & 1/4 quarts) without filter|
|1991 Onwards 300ZX Z32 (Both Engines)||3.4-litres (3 & 5/8 quarts) with filter, 3-litres (3 & 1/8 quarts) without filter|
If you are interested in buying a Nissan 300ZX make sure you check out our buyer’s guide here.