0w20 vs 5w30: Comparison of Two Popular Motor Oils

0w20 vs 5w30 comparison can be tough. Even though motor oil comes in different brands, types, and prices, choosing the best fit for your vehicle doesn’t have to be an arduous task.

Motor Oils Comparisons 0w20 vs 5w30

You can check online reviews or the owner’s manual for this purpose. However, when narrowed to only a few options, it becomes tricky.

Let’s learn more about the differences between 0w20 and 5w30 motor oil and decide which is best for your vehicle. 

Features 0w20 5w30
Density Thinner Thicker
Flowing rate High Low
Viscosity Low High (1.7 times)
Fuel economy Low High
Flashpoint 230°C 224°C
Hot temperature limit 30°C 35°C

What Are the Known Differences Between 0w20 and 5w30

The main difference between 0w20 and 5w30 is their viscosity, with 0w20 having a lower viscosity in comparison to 5w30. This makes the 5w30 a better option for warmer weather and driving long periods, especially in traffic jams. 

0w20 lower oil viscosity allows it to offer more motor efficiency than 5w30. Also, at high temperatures and with high mileage of more than 50,000 miles, 0w20 provides a thinner protective oil film which is not the case with 5w30. This thinner oil film can be dangerous, especially when the combustion engine operates under heavy load and at high speeds. The reduced viscosity in 0w20 also increases the motor efficiency by 10 to 12%

5w30 oil is mostly used for petrol and diesel engines in small sedans and light cars. The operating temperature range for 0w20 is lower than that for 5w30. It’s this feature that determines the feasibility of use in temperate latitudes. 

0w20 offers lower friction, which allows it to reduce high temperatures at the cylinder walls, and other vital parts. This is vital for the engine to stay clean

Specifications and Characteristics of 0w20 Motor Oils

0w20 oils are known for low engine oil viscosity, and it’s among the most common oil on the market because it offers the best performance. The oil flows well at colder temperatures and with the same viscosity. 0w20 is considered the best oil because it reduces environmental waste oil disposal. 

A primary thing to note is that the 0 before e on the label represents the oil’s viscosity in cold temperatures, while w refers to winter. 20 at also represents the oil’s viscosity, but at higher temperatures, as stated by the Society of Automotive Engineers. In general, lower numbers offer thinner viscosities. 

0w20 oils are also called multi-viscosity oil because they contain some additives that give them different viscosities in cold temperatures. Some climate and temperature conditions can affect the use of 0w20 oil. For example, the viscosity becomes higher during summer and lower in winter. This makes it the preferred option in the summer seasons. 

– Benefits of 0w20 Engine Oil 

Most cars manufactured today use the 0w20 synthetic oil because of the enhanced engine performance and improved environmental conditions it offers. It’s considered the best oil when it comes to reducing pollution. The low viscoosity of the oil brings about minimal losses, especially when it’s cold. 

Key Features of 0w20 Motor Oil

The 0w20 oil is usually expensive but spending the extra case for your vehicle lifespan is a worthwhile investment.

Other benefits of 0w20 engine oils include the following: 

  • The oil has anti-wear, anti-corrosion, and anti-foam properties. 
  • Cold starting properties
  • The oil grades provide great thermal and oxidative stability
  • A low viscosity rating means better fuel economy
  • The oil offers extra energy to vehicles
  • Long lifespan, without needing a regular oil change
  • It possesses anti-friction properties
  • Synthetic properties that offer additional protection to vehicular parts

Specifications and Characteristics of 5w30 Motor Oils

Another good and highly efficient motor oil is the 5w30. The oil is mostly known for its ability to function in extreme heat and cold environments. 5w30 motor oils also guarantee good low-temperature protection and start-up. 

Every character in 5w30 represents a vital property that shows the quality of the oil. Five stands for the viscosity rating of the oil at 5 degrees Celsius. Higher numbers are generally better for cold start temperatures as the motor oil is mostly thinner. W represents winter, while 30 stands for the thickness of the oil at the operating temperature of the vehicle’s engine. 

Most car users prefer the 5w30 motor oils to the 0w20 motor oils because they can function in freezing and hot temperatures. 5w30 oils are also considered to be multi-grade motor oils, implying that they have two viscosity grades. 

One of the reasons why people prefer 5w30 motor oils is because of their ready availability and ability to function in places with warm winters. You can easily find the 5w30 motor oil in most lubrication stores, unlike the 0w20 motor oil. Despite that, the 0w20 motor oils are always at the top of the chain, especially in terms of efficiency. It’s the option that most manufacturers recommend. 

However, the 5w30 oil is currently gaining momentum due to its ability to function under different weather conditions. 

– Benefits of 5w30 Engine Oil

The main benefit of 5w30 oil is that it’s an excellent oil for high summer temperatures and low start temperatures. In addition, it’s a high-fuel economy oil, and it creates less drag on moving parts. 

Key Properties of 5w30 Oil

5w30 is designed for use on vehicles in areas with temperatures below -22 degrees F. The oil offers little or no friction to the engine, further increasing fuel economy. 

Here’s an overview of the benefits of the 5w30 motor oil:

  • Good thermal stability in extreme temperature conditions
  • The oil reduces friction
  • Wear and tear are reduced during start and stop
  • Reduced oil consumption
  • The oil products moving parts from rusting

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I Use 0w20 Instead of 5w30?

Yes, you can use 0w20 motor oils as base oil instead of 5w30. 0w20 motor oil is mainly considered to be the perfect alternative for 5w30. Both motor oils are 20-weight oils at operating temperatures. 

However, it’s not advisable to use the 0w20 instead of 5w30 if the vehicle is still under warranty. This is because most dealers don’t provide coverage when a different motor oil viscosity is used. People mostly prefer switching from 5w30 to 0w20 to increase cold-start protection. 

2. When Comparing 0w20 vs 5w30 Which One Does Mazda Recommend? 

When comparing 0w20 vs 5w30 Mazda recommends using Mazda Genuine Oil which is its brand of synthetic motor oil. The Mazda Genuine 0w20 and Mazda Genuine 5w20 oils are ideal for optimum fuel economy. Only use other options when you cannot find Mazda oil. 

3. What Type of Oil Does Nissan Recommend?

Between 0w20 vs 5w30 Nissan manual, service techs and dealers all advise users to use 0w20 motor oil for gas mileage reasons. This is also because it’s a full synthetic oil designed for fuel-efficient vehicles like the Altimas. You should also check the Valvoline and Mobil 1 synthetic oils.

4. What Oil Should BMW Owners Use?

0w20 vs 5w30 BMW: BMW 5w30 motor oil is the manufacturer-approved oil for all BMW engines other than some M3, M5, M6 engines, and BMW diesel engines. 

5. What Type of Oil to Choose for Subaru?

When choosing between 0w20 vs 5w30 Subaru offers 0w20 motor oil, which is ideal for non-turbo engines and offers improved fuel economy, and the 5w30 motor oil, which is designed for turbos and is suitable for hotter temperatures. 

6. Which Oil Is the Best for Your Vehicle

Fuel economy and use in various weather conditions are two factors determining which option is best for your vehicle. For 0w20 vs 5w30 fuel economy, the 5w30 motor oil offers higher fuel economy. 5w30 oil is also the better option for 0w20 vs 5w30 hot weather. However, 0w20 has impressive cold-starting properties. 

Which Motor Oil is Recommended for Resetting Oil Life on a Jeep Cherokee?

When it comes to resetting oil life on Jeep Cherokee models, it is recommended to use the motor oil that complies with the manufacturer’s specifications. Using the right oil not only ensures optimum performance but also helps to maintain the longevity of your vehicle’s engine. Therefore, always refer to the owner’s manual or consult a professional to select the appropriate motor oil for resetting oil life on your Jeep Cherokee.


The engine oil you choose for your car is highly essential and vital for optimum performance and avoiding oil leaks. Choosing between both oil changes can be tricky, but this 0w20 vs 5w30 review contains the differences between both oil to help you decide the best option for your car. As shown above, the main difference between 0w20 and 5w30 is their viscosity, with 0w20 having a lower viscosity in comparison to 5w30.

You can opt for 5w30 motor oil if you are after fuel economy and use it in extreme weather conditions. However, the 0w20 is also a great option to consider because it’s environmentally friendly, especially regarding disposal, and also offers great efficiency at cold temperatures. 

5/5 - (12 votes)
Ran When Parked