Asked by: Vikki Zurinaga
business and finance gasoline prices

What does 5w20 mean?

Last Updated: 2nd March, 2020

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The main difference between 5W-30 and 5W-20 motor oil is that the latter is less viscous (or thick). When used in a vehicle's engine, 5W-20 oil creates less friction due to its thinner viscosity, meaning it causes less drag across engine parts like the crankshaft, valvetrain, and pistons.

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Also question is, is it OK to use 5w20 instead of 5w30?

5W20 oils generally (but not true in all cases) have a higher additive load and lower VII levels compared to 5W30. UOAs have bore this out, as 5W20 oils do not shear very much under normal operating conditions.

Also, is 5w20 better than 10w30? For example, the 5W20 is better suited to cold regions where the viscosity required of the oil must be enough to get the engine moving during very cold periods while the 10w30 is better suited to hot conditions where heat doesn't have a significant effect on the viscosity.

Regarding this, what does 5w20 mean in motor oil?

The key difference between 5W20 and 5W30 motor oil is that the former is thicker or less viscous. When you pour it into the engine, 5W20 oil will create less friction owing to its thinner viscosity, which means it results in less drag throughout the engine parts, such as pistons, valve train, and crankshaft.

Is it OK to use 10w30 instead of 5w20?

10W30 is thicker and protect older engine with its sealing capability. 5W20 is thinner multi-grade oil that is pertinent for quick starts in the lowest temperatures. In order to protect your car from internal damages, it is beneficial to use only specified engine oil by the manufacturers.

Related Question Answers

Iqbal Jeantet

Professional

What happens if you put 5w30 in a 5w20 engine?

If you put in 5W-30 oil instead of 5W-20 when the latter is the grade suggested by your vehicle's manufacturer, damage to internal engine parts can occur. Additionally, your engine may experience performance issues such as diminished fuel economy and horsepower.

Melecia Hoppstetter

Professional

Will the wrong oil damage my engine?

Motor oil slip-ups.
Use only what the owner's manual specifies. Using the wrong oil can lead to reduced lubrication and shorter engine life. Contrary to what some believe, adding synthetic oil to regular oil won't harm the engine, but there's also no benefit in doing so.

Francina Curieses

Professional

Can you mix 5w30 and 5w20 oil?

No harm; if that's all you can get, go for it. From the factory, Lexus calls for 5W30 for all years of IS350 and 2006-2010 IS250, 0W20 for 2011-13 IS250. I would not recommend mixing weights. While there is a minimal viscosity difference between 5W20 and 5W30, there is a difference.

Aymen Viguera

Explainer

Can you mix 5w20 and 5w30 synthetic oil?

Yes, you can. It is best if they are from the same brand and level of API service to be the same formulas, but they are certainly compatible, even if different formulas and brands. I once needed oil on a trip, and my car had 5W-20n ILSAC approved oil in it as recommended by the factory.

Mapenda Canatario

Explainer

Does motor oil get thicker when hot?

Oil weight, or viscosity, refers to how thick or thin the oil is. Your engine needs oil that is thin enough for cold starts, and thick enough when the engine is hot. Since oil gets thinner when heated, and thicker when cooled, most of us use what are called multi-grade, or multi-viscosity oils.

Eucaris Keighley

Explainer

Does engine oil get thicker or thinner with age?

If the car saw repeated high-temperatures it will thicken as well. A good oil will thin slightly then thicken slightly. poorer quality oils will usually thin out of grade then thicken to 2-3x the viscosity of the virgin oil. Like the guys said, it may shear thin a bit, then after long use thicken.

Yevdokiya Moosburger

Pundit

What is the difference between 5w 20 and 5w 30 oil?

The main difference between 5W-30 and 5W-20 motor oil is that the latter is less viscous (or thick). When used in a vehicle's engine, 5W-20 oil creates less friction due to its thinner viscosity, meaning it causes less drag across engine parts like the crankshaft, valvetrain, and pistons.

Lavonia Alianaki

Pundit

Is SAE 5w30 synthetic oil?

The petroleum base oil alone may have the properties of an SAE 5 grade oil. This means at extremely low temperatures, it may be thick, and at high temperatures, it's fairly thin. When it's brand new, a 5W-30 conventional motor oil acts exactly like a 5W-30 synthetic motor oil.

Margara Ilkenhans

Pundit

Does Ford recommend synthetic oil?

Help keep the engine in your Ford or Lincoln vehicle running at its best with a synthetic motor oil that comes recommended by Ford Motor Company. Synthetic oil is engineered to create more lubrication and better performance in the engine of your Ford or Lincoln vehicle.

Yamadou Babutsky

Pundit

Is high mileage oil worth?

If an engine isn't burning or leaking oil, or if it uses, say, less than a quart over 6,000 miles or so, switching to high-mileage oil may not be worth the extra cost for you. High-mileage motor oil doesn't hurt and it could prevent leaks from starting.

Louiza Lagoa

Pundit

Is 5w20 synthetic?

At least according to Al over at Pennzoil. Then there are synthetic 5W20 oils as well. All 5W-20's are, at minimum, a synthetic blend.

Simy Tabouret

Teacher

Should I use thicker oil in an older engine?

A: Yes. This is a practical method to improve oil pressure in an older, high-mileage engine. The slightly thicker oil film from the heavier base weight oil — 10W — can help protect worn engine bearings as well. The engine does not leak and I've never seen a whiff of blue smoke.

Hamdi Koessler

Teacher

Can you mix synthetic and regular oil?

The simple answer: Yes. There is no danger mixing synthetic and conventional motor oil; however, conventional oil will detract from the superior performance of synthetic oil and reduce its benefits. So, yes, you can safely mix synthetic and conventional oil.

Anastasiia Binda

Teacher

Is 5w20 good for winter?

5w20 can provide better protection in climates with lower temperatures as the lower viscosity will improve oil movement in freezing conditions.

Mallory Cuesto

Teacher

Is SAE 5w20 oil synthetic or regular?

Most carmakers are now suggesting 5W-20 or 5W-30. Conventional motor oil works very well and with regular changes there is no reason that an engine won't achieve 200,000 miles. Many carmakers are now calling for full synthetic oil in their high-tech engines.

Raghu Darsigov

Reviewer

What is SAE 0w20?

Honda and Toyota, among other auto manufacturers, often recommend 0W-20 low viscosity oils for their vehicles. These manufacturers have selected this low viscosity, full synthetic formulation to optimize fuel economy. Mobil™ 0W-20 motor oils can also be used where 5W-20 is recommended.

Rob Bielecki

Reviewer

What is the difference between 0w20 and 5w20?

Both 5w-20 and 0w-20 are IDENTICAL once the car is up to temperature. The difference is how thin those oils are when the car is cold. Neither the 0w or the 5w flow enough in the cold to properly lubricate your engine. However, the 0W is thinner and does LESS damage at start up than the 5W oil.

Patricio Beidermuhle

Reviewer

Can thick oil damage engine?

Higher parts temperatures, more wear. Too thick or too thin oils can both be bad for engines, but damage is neither immediate nor catastrophic; it just reduces overall engine life. Always use the oil recommended by the engine manufacturer.

Antonela Tedesco

Reviewer

Can you mix 5w20 and 10w30 synthetic oil?

You can mix 10W & 30W to get 20W or you can mix 5W20 & 10W40, but you do not want to mix 10w & 10W30. In other words, it's OK to mix straight weights or multigrades but not straight weights & multigrades.