Owning a car comes with a list of responsibilities. Changing the oil is one of them. While there are many different oils from various brands on the market, you will keep coming across two names quite often – 5W30 and 5W20.
In this article, we shall talk about them at length and answer a few FAQs.
Why are 5W30 and 5W20 so common?
The biggest reason is that these oils are quite versatile. They are preferred and recommended by manufacturers because they work with multiple engines across a wide range of temperatures. So, in hot and cold climates, you won’t have to worry about the oil.
Difference between 5W20 and 5W30
The main difference between 5W30 and 5W20 is their viscosity. 5W20 is less viscous or thick. This causes less friction and the fuel efficiency is higher.
Another difference is that 5W20 is a better choice in colder climates and 5W30 a great option for very hot climate. 5W30 is stronger in that it does not break down even when the temperatures go up. So, this is an important consideration to make while selecting motor oil.
Can I use 5W30 instead of 5W20?
The short answer is yes. But, you will see a change in the efficiency of the vehicle. As aforementioned, 5W20 is more efficient because it is thinner. So, if you replace it with 5W30, you will notice a change in the ride quality. The efficiency will certainly be lower. If that’s not a concern for you, you can go ahead and use 5W30 instead of 5W20.
Having said that, we recommend that you not interchange motor oil. Going by the specifications recommended by the manufacturer is the safest bet. It will help avoid unnecessary complications.
Can I mix 5W30 and 5W20?
The answer is yes again. But, unless there’s absolutely no other option, you should refrain from doing so. Of course, it won’t coagulate or create complications but why would you want to mix the motor oils when they are priced the same and are easily available? Going against OEM specifications in never recommended even if it feels safe.
So, even though it is possible, experts recommend against such mixing.
What happens if you put 5W30 instead of 5W20?
Nothing, really. A slight difference in the efficiency is the only difference you will see.
Which oil should vehicle owners use?
Always go by the OEM specifications. If you want to change the oil and it is safe to make a switch, remember to take climate into account. For hot temperatures, you can move to 5W30 even if the original specification is of 5W20. If you live in cold climatic conditions or if the temperature drops significantly during winter, 5W20 is the way to go.
We hope we were able to answer all your questions about the most common motor oils. If you have any more concerns, please feel free to talk to us and we will be happy to help. We look forward to your comments.