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Use Amazon Basics Engine Oil In Your Toyota Prius

When it comes to engine oil, most people have zero clue on what is okay to use. People often get scared by "house brand" engine oil and think it is not good enough for their car. Amazon, a massive company now has an engine oil that claims it can be used in Toyota Prius, but is it good enough?

Oil companies spend gobs of money on two things. Research and marketing. They will do anything to get you to use their oil. They are so good at it, that people have raging debates all the time about what is the best engine oil is, but no one can actually say why. It is comical to me to watch the question get asked and then see the responses.

So, what is the truth about engine oil and how can you know if what you are buying is okay for you to use in your Prius? I wrote an article earlier about how to choose the right engine oil for your Prius, give it a read for some back story information. What I want to explore here today is if Amazon's engine oil is good to use in your Prius or not.

Does Amazon Basics Engine Oil Work In My Prius?

The short answer is yes. The better answer though, is why it works. Engine oil is not just crude oil that has been put in bottles and shoved on a shelf. Engine oil has standards and also has a huge process it goes through to be a quality product that can endure all the stress of modern engines.

vintage texaco oil canVintage Texaco oil can for Toyota Prius

The process it goes through cleans the oil, gets out the impurities and adds a bunch of additives that turn it into Mobil 1, Valvoline, Castrol, or even Amazon Basics. All of these engine oils are literally different flavors of the same thing. We are not going to get into the difference between synthetics and conventional at this juncture, but rest assured I will cover it for you at some point.

So yes, it will work because it has undergone some of the exact same processes as the other major brands, to ensure it will protect your engine just as well as the others.

What Makes Amazon Basics Oil Different?

I stated earlier that all engine oils are pretty much the same, just different flavors. They all have a base oil that they are built from. The reason they are different has to do with the additive packages that are pumped into them. Mobil 1 will market their oil claiming it is better that Valvoline Synpower. What they do not tell you is that while this may be true, it could only be better by a small percent and in one area of testing.

classic vintage oil cansClassic vintage oil cans for Toyota Prius

The fact is this. Amazon Basics, Mobil 1, Valvoline Synpower, and the list goes on are all doing this. They build a 5w30 or a 0w20 synthetic engine oil that has an API rating SN. That rating is all you really need to know if you are looking to save money. A jug of 0w20 Amazon Basics service SN plus (the current rating for your newest Prius model) is $19.54. Valvoline right now is $29.99. That is $10 more for nearly the exact same product.


Here is the deal, you have been marketed to. The reason people keep buying the same overpriced engine oil is because they do not take the time to research and figure out for themselves what will work just as well, but for a fraction of the cost.

Take advantage of this information today and on your next change, make the switch. Guess what? With all the money you will save on the oil, you can refuel your Prius. Boom. Just saved you tons of money without switching your car insurance.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Amazon Basics engine oil and how it can save you money. Be sure to check out my favorite 3rd gen accessory right now which is the Nimbus Phone Mount, found on Amazon.

Check out my other story Why the first generation Prius is better than either generation Nissan Leaf.

See you in the next story where I am discussing why Carista is the best $20 tool for your Toyota Prius.

Also Watch New tech means more MPG from your Toyota Prius and Click to Subscribe to Torque News Youtube Channel for Daily Toyota Prius and Automotive News.

Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He is an automotive technology instructor at Columbia Basin College. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Adjunct Instructor of automotive technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter.


Jeff (not verified)    September 11, 2019 - 5:59AM

You really didn't tell us anything... What does SN mean? Why does SN plus matter? What is the difference between the brands of oil? How much commission do you get when we click your link and buy oil from Amazon? You've raised more questions than you've answer. Grade: D -

David Skinner (not verified)    November 22, 2020 - 6:07PM

Change your oil at minimum manufactures recommended intervals, don't go another week or month or 2,000miles, the additive package is what goes away, and that's what protects your engine. Use the brand of oil you're comfortable with who cares if it costs another 10.00 a jug it's peace of mind, use the correct oil for your car, and CHANGE IT when you should remember oil is cheap engines aren't