If you own a vehicle that drinks 5W20 oil, you might have a question: Can you use 5W30 instead of 5W20? In this article, we will compare 5w30 oil to 5w20 oil to clear up any confusion or doubts you may have. 

You will also learn more about 5w20 and 5w30 oil, as well as the benefits of each. This will assist you in selecting the best oil for your vehicle. Let’s start with whether you can use 5w30 oil instead of 5w20 oil.

Can I use 5w30 Instead of 5w20?

Well, you may wonder which oil is superior, or “can 5w30 oil replace 5w20 oil?”. On paper, 5w30 is more efficient and can benefit your engine. But, you should use it only if the 5w20 version is unavailable at the time. In the long run, it is not recommended as there are implications with using a wrong viscosity oil in your vehicle.

What Can Go Wrong if I Use 5W30 instead of 5W20?

Using improper oil for your vehicle can significantly impact its performance and is dangerous. 

What can go wrong if you use the wrong engine oil –

  1. Poor performance
  2. Reduced engine life
  3. Poor fuel economy
  4. Excessive heat

There are numerous aspects to consider when selecting the best engine oil for your car. You should consult your car manufacturer about which oil to use because they are familiar with the configurations of your vehicle and can make the best recommendations. You can also consult a mechanic or expert who can advise you on which oil to use. If you want to choose your engine oil, keep the following points in mind.

Here is a list of factors to consider before using motor engine oil –

                    5w20                    5w30
TemperatureRecommended for Low TemperatureRecommended for High Temperature
PerformanceUsed in low-performance vehicles.Recommended for high-performance vehicles.
Fuel economyBetter fuel economyfuel economy is usually less than 5w20
Driving experience1. Less friction
2. Enhanced engine life
1. Higher internal friction
2. Suitable for long rides
OverheatLess chance of overheatingSlight chance of overheating
Vehicles1. Light vans
2. Light trucks
3. Gasoline-powered engines
4. Passenger cars
1. High mileage cars
2. High mileage SUVs 
3. Diesel engines 
4. Mid-performance trucks 
Popular1. Ford WSS-M2C945-A
2. GM 6094M
3. Fiat Chrysler Automotive
4. MS-6395
1. Endurox xld
2. GoMechanic Speed 
3. Castrol magnatec
4. Stop-Start 

What is 5w20 Oil?

The SAE standard classifies 5w20 oil as the low viscosity oil and recommends it for cold weather. The number before ‘W’ represents the viscosity of the oil at cold temperatures; the lower the number, the better the viscosity at cold temperatures. The number after ‘W’ represents the thickness of the oil at high temperatures; the higher the number, the better the vehicle’s performance in high temperatures. 5w20 is not recommended at high temperatures because of its low viscosity.

Advantages of Using 5w20 Oil

  1. Because this oil is thinner than other oils, it can provide less friction, resulting in better fuel efficiency and energy savings.
  2. 5w20 oil is the best in cold environments, providing excellent lubrication and performance.
  3. This oil is best suited for gasoline engines or passenger vehicles such as small buses, taxis and trucks because it improves range and increases motor life.

What is 5w30 oil?

Because of its temperature compatibility, 5w30 is the most commonly used oil in the automobile industry. 5w30 motor oil is a fully synthetic multi-grade oil suitable for all seasons. Its viscosity can decrease at low temperatures and increase at high temperatures.

It is essentially an upgraded version of 5w20 with a viscosity increase of 30 from 20, making it more useful in high temperatures. However, this does not mean it does not work in low temperatures. Due to its wide temperature range of -30 degrees Celsius to 35 degrees Celsius, this oil is effective in both cold and hot environments.

Advantages of using 5w30 oil

  1. Because it can effectively handle the heat, 5w30 is an excellent choice for lengthy trips requiring higher fuel consumption and more exposure to heat.
  2. 5w30 oil improves engine dependability, efficiency, and life span while providing superior lubrication in cold conditions.
  3. It Is good for a wide variety of temperatures since the viscosity of this oil varies with temperature.


To summarise, 5w30 oil is more than adequate in nearly all circumstances. 5w20 oil may be more beneficial in particular circumstances, such as a low-performance diesel vehicle or a cooler area, but still, 5w30 is better in almost every aspect. So if you’re wondering if 5w30 oil can replace 5w20 oil, the answer is yes.

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