Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum: Key Differences
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Synthetic Oil, both motor oils have fewer impurities, cleaning additives, and can withstand higher temperature levels. But, which one is better? In this guide, I will compare these two types of oil in a detailed way to help you decide which one of these two synthetic oils suits your car better.
The main difference between Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum is that Ultra Platinum contains has stronger detergents to keep the engine cleaner. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum can keep the engine piston 65% cleaner while Pennzoil Platinum keeps the engine piston 40% cleaner than the latest industry standards. If you drive a high-performance and high-mileage vehicle, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum would be better. Thus, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is good for longer OCI due to its higher wear resistance and better cleaning action.
Let’s take a look at both regular Platinum and Ultra Platinum motor oils formulated by Pennzoil, and discuss how they are made, in what viscosity grades they are available and how they meet industry standards.
To learn how Pennzoil Platinum differs from other motor oils, you can read my guide on Pennzoil Platinum vs Castrol Edge.
Table of Contents
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Formulation
Both Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum are synthetic oils made from natural gas, using Pennzoil’s patented gas-to-liquid PurePlus Technology. The technology converts pure natural gas into high-quality full synthetic base oil. The end product is 99.5% free from impurities such as sulfur, nitrogen, and other saturated hydrocarbons that solidify at lower temperatures.
Since the base oil derived from natural gas has inherent performance characteristics over crude-derived base oil, the additives in the motor oil will enhance the performance of the base oil to a greater extent.
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Viscosity
If you pick the same viscosity grades of Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum, the latter one is slightly thicker at hotter temperatures. PQIA conducted a test for Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum.
The viscosity of 5w30 Pennzoil Ultra Platinum was 10.1 cSt at 100°C and the viscosity of 5w30 Pennzoil Platinum was 9.9 cSt at 100°C. This shows that when the engine heats up to its operating temperature, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is slightly thicker than Pennzoil Platinum.
So, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum will have slightly more oil pressure and lubricating ability in high-performance cars as compared to Pennzoil Platinum.
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Wear Protection
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum has more antiwear additives compared to Pennzoil Platinum. Both zinc and molybdenum are antiwear additives in motor oil. Zinc forms a coating on the top of all engine components that are under high pressure and molybdenum helps to reduce the deformation and spalling of the coating under high temperatures. Zinc combines with the phosphorus in the motor oil to form a strong oil film around the metal surfaces of the engine parts.
So, according to a test by PQIA (Petroleum Quality Institute of America), Pennzoil Ultra Platinum has 789ppm zinc, 708ppm phosphorus, and 86ppm molybdenum while Pennzoil Platinum has 715ppm zinc, 627ppm phosphorus and 81ppm molybdenum.
One person did a pressure test on 5w30 Pennzoil Platinum and 5w30 Ultra Platinum to check their wear protection ability. The person made it clear that his test equipment was NOT intended to duplicate an engine’s internal components. The load under which he tested both engine oils was significantly greater than the load that the most wicked flat-tappet race engine could exert on the oil film. The operating temperature for both Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum was set at 230°F.
The test results showed that 99,039 psi was the highest load that Ultra Platinum could bear and 87,241 psi was the highest load that Pennzoil Platinum could bear.
“The HIGHER the psi value, the BETTER the Wear Protection.”
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Industry Standards Compliance
Both Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum meet the same latest industry standards i.e. ACEA, API SP, and ILSAC for engine cleansing and protection requirements. These industry standards are designed for the protection of Gasoline Direct Injection engines against Low-Speed Pre Ignition issues.
One thing I would like to keep in mind is that in the past, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum did not meet API SP standards to deal with the LSPI issues. The older stock of Pennzoil Ultra Platinum only met API SN standard while Pennzoil Platinum previously met API SN+ and Dexos1 Gen 2 standards.
GM Dexos1 Gen 2 was the first engine oil specification introduced to deal with LSPI (Low-speed Pre-Ignition) issues in modern direct injection engines in 2015. So, when engine oil is API SP and ILSAC GF-6 certified, it basically moves closer to Dexos 1 Gen 2 requirements.
SN+ standard was introduced to deal with LSPI issues. After that, the latest industry standard for motor oils was introduced i.e. API SP, which exceeds the requirements of API SN+. So, now, both Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum meet API SP standard.
You might be thinking, why does Pennzoil Ultra Platinum not meet the Dexos1 Gen2 standard like Pennzoil Platinum? Well, the answer is that it was just a business decision made by Pennzoil. Maybe Pennzoil just didn’t bother to pay the extra expense to get Ultra Platinum Dexos certified. Some people say that the Dexos licensing program is just an attempt by GM to take a cut of profit off the top of motor oil sales.
One person used Pennzoil Ultra Platinum in his GM vehicle. This is what he said:
“In the GM 3.6DI engine, Pennzoil Ultra has done as well as any oil I’ve seen.”
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Cleaning Property
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is known for its better cleaning action that allows longer OCI intervals and is specifically suitable for vehicles over 100,000 miles. This is why two main detergent additives i.e. calcium and magnesium have higher concentrations in Pennzoil Ultra Platinum oil as compared to Pennzoil Platinum.
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum has 1164 ppm calcium and 753 ppm magnesium while Pennzoil Platinum has 1006 ppm calcium and 674 magnesium.
However, keep in mind that if you have a turbocharged direct injection gasoline engine, you should use Pennzoil Platinum instead of Ultra Platinum, especially if the engine is old. The higher concentration of calcium in engine oils increases the frequency of LSPI events.
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum vs Pennzoil Platinum Viscosity Grades
|Pennzoil Platinum||Pennzoil Ultra Platinum|
SAE 10W-60 in Pennzoil Platinum is only designed for racing cars.
Pennzoil Platinum vs Ultra Platinum Engine Compatibility
Both Pennzoil Platinum and Ultra Platinum are suitable for use in all cars, SUVs, light vans and truck gasoline engines; under all driving conditions. However, for modern turbocharged engines, Pennzoil Platinum performs slightly better compared to Ultra Platinum in turbocharged downsized gasoline engines as you won’t have to worry about premature combustion and low-speed pre-ignition issues that cause engine knocks.
Is Pennzoil Ultra better than platinum?
Pennzoil Ultra provides better anti-wear and cleaning protection with slightly higher viscosity at the engine’s operating temperature as compared to the Pennzoil Platinum. With only a $3 to $4 price difference, you can’t go wrong with the Pennzoil Ultra Platinum.
Is Pennzoil Ultra Platinum a true synthetic?
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is a true synthetic oil as it is made from natural gas by a hydrocracking process with which your vehicles your vehicle can experience complete engine protection including better fuel economy, cleaner piston, wear protection, better extreme high temperature and low-temperature performance.