An engine oil’s purpose is to lubricate and protect the engine while providing an environment that’s conducive to engine health. Essentially, the oil provides a cushion between moving parts within the engine itself.
What are these parts? Mainly the piston rings and cylinder walls. The piston rings face extreme temperatures as they reciprocate up and down in their chambers, providing compression for ignition followed by forced exhaust out of the chamber during the power stroke.
With this intense heat, piston ring demise can occur if proper care isn’t taken with lubrication measures. The cylinder walls are subject to intense heat as well, though not necessarily from combustion gases like the piston rings are.
Instead, it is usually due to friction itself that creates high local temperature on cylinder walls over time, especially with higher performance engines under load or extremely sedate engines that run for long periods of time. This is why a proper engine oil is so critical to your engine’s health.
When it comes to automobiles, the variety of engine oils accessible can be quite perplexing. There may be a variety of bottles, all with their own claims and features, to make your decision even more difficult.
It may cause engine damage for a car owner who picks the incorrect lubricant. Furthermore, customers also need to consider if the oil type is compatible with their vehicle. That is why it’s always preferable to use the one that has been suggested by automobile manufacturers.
There are several other things to think about when comparing engine oils, such as price, weather, driving conditions, internal components, mileage, and others.
Let’s take a look at the main differences between these engine oils and see what makes them so distinct.
What is 0W-20 Oil?
0W-20 oil is a blend of conventional oil and synthetic 0W-20 oil. The conventional components make it easier for the engine starting in cold weather, while the synthetic components provide better protection under extreme heat.
It has a low viscosity rating, which means that it’s more fluid or thinner when compared to other engine oils with a higher viscosity rating. This makes it easier to circulate around the engine, reducing wear on parts due to friction against a normal operation.
Special features of this oil include being able to be used in all weather conditions, having a very good sealing ability, allowing for better fuel mileage while ensuring less engine wear.
0W-20 oil is used mostly in cars where there is a high-performance engine and when it comes to cost, it is more expensive than conventional oil.
Ideally you want use this oil in temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as it will provide protection against cold starts. However, once the engine reaches its normal temperature, 0W-20 oil is still optimal for performance and protection.
What is 5W30 Oil?
5W-30 oil is a blend of conventional oil and synthetic 5W-30 oil. The conventional components make it easier for the engine starting in cold weather, while the synthetic components provide better protection under extreme heat.
It has a medium viscosity rating, which means that it is thicker than 0w-20 oil but thinner when compared to other engine oils with a higher viscosity rating. This makes it slightly harder to circulate around the engine, but effective in reducing wear on parts due to friction against a normal operation.
Special features of this oil include being able to be used in all weather conditions, having a very good sealing ability, allowing for lower oil consumption and mileage while ensuring less engine wear.
5W-30 oil is used mostly in cars where there is a performance engine and when it comes to cost, it is more expensive than conventional oil but cheaper than 0W-20 oil.
When it comes to temperature compatibility, 5W-30 oil is optimal for use below 100 degrees Fahrenheit and will provide protection against cold starts. However, it can be used even in hotter weather as well even though, a lower grade than 5w-30 may not be advisable to use under extremely high heat conditions.
Common Between 0W-20 And 5W-30 Oils?
Some common features between 0W-20 and 5W-30 oil include having a low viscosity rating, which makes it easier for the engine to start even in cold weather. They also provide better oil mileage and protection against wear on parts due to friction.
Both are synthetic oils which makes them more expensive than conventional oil and are suitable for use in high-performance engines.
Differences Between 0W-20 And 5W-30 Motor Oils
The main differences between 0w-20 and 5W-30 oil include the viscosity rating, temperature compatibilities, and availability.
0W-20 oil has a lower viscosity rating when compared to 5W-30 and thus it is more fluid and flows better than other engine oils especially at lower temperatures thus more effective at increasing mileage.
5W-30 oil has a noticeably greater temperature range as compared to 0W-20 oil as it can be used down to -31°F to 104°F.
0W-20 is better for cold starts and 5W-30 oil is better for extreme heat but 0W-20 is more expensive than 5W-30 both of which are more expensive than conventional oil.
Things To Consider the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle
The following is a list of the most common factors people should consider when deciding which motor oil to use in their cars:
- Brand and quality of oil as well as the ability to stick to car’s requirement.
- Cost of oil, some oils are more expensive while others are cheaper.
- Finding out whether or not your car is suitable for low-grade oils like 0w20 and 5w30 motor oil.
- Finding out which category your engine falls under when using synthetic motor oil, i.e normal, turbo/supercharged, diesel, etc.
- For cold starts in areas with extreme weather conditions, what kind of motor oil is recommended? Which has better cold start protection? What about hot weather?
You should consider all these questions when choosing the right type of motor oil for your vehicle’s needs.
Which is Better: 0w20 or 5w30?
It really does come down a lot to specific factors and which one is better than the other will depend on them. The first factor is how you use your vehicle, whether in cold weather often or not if it’s in harsh conditions often whether hot or cold. Other factors would be your engine type (normal, turbo/supercharged diesel).
If you are trying to fulfill special niche requirements for colder climates and can afford to splurge on the more expensive kind of oils then 0w20 is better for you however if you are not in an extremely cold environment and just need the best motor oil to keep your car running smoothly then 5w30 is more than good enough especially as it’s cheaper than 0w20.
Choosing the right engine oil really does depend on several factors but if you want a simple explanation, 0w20 oil is better for cold starts and 5w30 oil is better in hot weather. Hope you find this article useful!