Review: Motul’s Modern Classic Oil Keeps This Honda S2000 Running Smooth

It’s hard to believe that the Honda S2000 is technically a classic car, but according to Motul, it is. Considering the French lubricant manufacturer has been making oil since the 60s, I’ll trust its judgment. I also decided to trust its new Modern Classic Oil line by changing out the off-the-shelf swill that was sitting in my 2008 Honda S2000’s crankcase for it. Here’s how the process went.

2008 Honda S2000 on a lift. It's about to be lifted for the oil change.
The 2008 Honda S2000 on the lift. Yes, the car is very dirty. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

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Changing the oil in a Honda S2000 for Motul’s Modern Classic Oil

A can of Motul Modern Classic oil sitting on the engine of a Honda S2000
A can of Motul Modern Classic oil sitting on the engine of a Honda S2000. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

In order to feel the full effects of Motul’s new line of Classic Oil, I had to conduct a routine oil change. Since I didn’t have the workspace or tools to conduct the simple task, I was fortunate enough to find an auto shop where I had access to a car lift and tools. The place was aptly named “DIY Auto Repair” in Denver, Colo. And while I will happily give them a shout-out to support a small business, I was surprised to learn that they were actually closing for good and I was their last customer.

I was fully honored to drive my little blue roadster in and hoist it up on their lift for one last go, even if it was for just a simple oil change. In case you’re unaware of the steps for such a procedure, here they are:

  • Lift the car up using a hoist or a floor jack and jack stands
  • Unscrew the oil cap
  • Position an oil drip pan underneath the car’s oil pan to catch the oil
  • Loosen the oil drain plug using a 17mm wrench and carefully unscrew it
  • The oil will then drain into the pan
  • Replace the crush washer on the drain plug
  • Place the drain plug back on the oil pan and tighten it with the 17mm wrench
  • Loosen the oil filter and remove it by turning it counterclockwise
  • Replace the oil filter using an OEM-branded unit (don’t forget to lube the gasket on it first)
  • Lower the car to the ground
  • Fill the car’s engine up with Motul Modern Classic Oil (5.9 quarts for the S2000)
  • Turn the car on then off and check the car’s oil level on the dipstick
  • Check for any leaks while the car is on

Once the oil is topped off and there aren’t any leaks in sight, you’re good to go. One important recommendation is to use the original OEM filter from the manufacturer. For the car’s previous oil change, I went to an independent shop and they installed an aftermarket filter that was too small for the engine. Lesson learned.

Motul’s Classic Nineties oil provides a long-lasting semi-synthetic lubrication

An OEM Honda oil filter sitting next to a generic one.
An OEM Honda oil filter sitting next to a smaller generic one. Always use an OEM filter. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

To be specific, the Motul Modern Classic oil that I used was the “Classic Nineties” 10W-30 oil. There are two different types of oil in the Modern Classic line – Classic Eighties (10W-40) and Classic Nineties (10W-30). According to Motul, “these semi-synthetic formulas feature a high-Zinc (ZDDP) content for protection and Molybdenum for performance.” The unique formula allegedly protects the engine during start-up cycles and during periods of long-term storage.

That’s perfect, considering I park my S2000 most of the time and only drive it on weekends, whenever possible. I also like that the oil comes in two-quart metal cans with easy-pour spouts. It made me feel like I was changing my car’s oil with something uniquely special.

How does the car run with the new Motul oil?

Dirty oil draining from a Honda S2000 oil pan.
Dirty oil draining from a Honda S2000 oil pan. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

As you can imagine, the Honda S2000 runs super smooth after changing its oil with the Motul Modern Classic oil. To be honest, it’s hard to tell a massive difference right away, but I don’t doubt that the oil will do its job in protecting my car’s engine during the time it’s in it. It may be hard to believe that my car is considered a classic, but I’m sure this new oil will keep it properly lubed and running smoothly until it’s time to change it out.

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