5w30 vs 10w30: Can You Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30 in Your Car?

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Have you ever thought to yourself “if you can use 10w30 instead of 5w30”? Well, in this post we are going to give direct answers to all the common question you might be asking yourself on motor oil. A question like; can I use 10w 40 instead of 5w 30 in your car and the difference between 5w30 and 10w30 oil to help give your car the best mileage

There are different blends of motor oils, and these oils come in different viscosity, thickness, and ability to withstand high temperatures.

Now, most vehicles are designed to use a particular motor oil specification. However, would the engine of your car or some other parts be affected if you use the wrong type of motor oil?

5w30 vs 10w30: Can You Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30 in Your Car?

This article compares the different type of motor oils, consequences of using the wrong type, and the type that is more effective to use in your car.

The different types of motor oils we shall be discussing in this article includes:

  • 10W30
  • 5W30
  • 5W20
  • 10W40
  • 5W40

You can check our previous article where we compared the differences between 5W30 and 5W40.

So here is the question we will be touching in this post.

  • Can I use 10w30 instead of 5w30
  • can I use 5w20 instead of 5w30
  • can I use 10w40 instead of 5w30
  • can I use 5w30 instead of 5w20 in my honda
  • can I use 5w30 instead of 5w20 in my ford

Let’s get started with the first one:

5w30 vs 10w30| Can You Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30 in Your Car?

Can I Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30?

The 10W30 and 5W30 both have different thicknesses in cold temperatures, and 10W30 is thicker than 5w30. So, it is best for vehicles running in cold climates to use the 5W30 since it is thinner than the 10w30.

The first number, 5 or 10 indicated on these oils stands for the viscosity, or how easily the oil pours at low temperatures. Low numbers indicate lower viscosity, meaning the oils are thinner. This would mean a 0 pours easier than a 5, a 5 easier than a 10. An oil with a lower viscosity will easily get to the internal parts of the engine, hence protecting the components faster than an oil with higher viscosity.

The Society of Automotive Engineers computed a statistical code for distinguishing between motor oils based on their viscosity characteristics, starting from low and going high: 0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 40, 50, and 60. Viscosity is a liquid’s resistance to travel.

The second number, 30 for both oils, specifies the thickness of the oil once it reaches operating temperatures. A high viscosity oil will adhere to mechanical components better when subjected to high pressure and stress and can resist higher temperatures before thinning out beyond its operational viscosity.


When to Use 10w30 vs 5w30

A 10w30 oil tends to move slower than a 5w30 oil during cold startups. This is perhaps the major difference between these two oils. Both oils have the same viscosity with is 30, at operating temperatures.

For people who reside in a tropical area where temperatures are constantly high, a higher starting viscosity oil like 15w40 can be used.

It is best to always use the weight of oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer to provide your engine with the best protection and maximum fuel economy.

Using an oil with an extremely high viscosity can lead to excessive oil temperatures and increased drag, while using oil with an extremely low viscosity can cause that oil to fly off of internal components when they’re in motion, leading to metal-to-metal contact that will fast-track wearing down of the engine parts.

Most automakers will state a range of oils that can be used in their motors, allowing you to choose the best viscosity to fit your driving conditions.

Can I Use 5w20 Instead of 5w30?

Your engine requires the right motor oil for it to keep running effectively. Most car owners take their vehicles to a mechanic for an oil change when they can easily do it themselves, simply by educating themselves about what goes on in the interior of your vehicle and have some information concerning the best motor oil for your car. This information is not trivial, and can always benefit you if you find yourself stranded without the services of a mechanic.

Changing oil as at when needed is a vital maintenance tasks for your vehicle. So, we shall be doing a meticulous comparison of 5w20 vs 5w30 comparison since those motor oils work best in both hot and cold temperatures.

Watery oils have a lower viscosity while thicker oils have a higher viscosity value. The numbers 0, 5, 10, 15 and 25 are apportioned with the alphabet W, which stands for “winter”, or low temperatures”.

Note The viscosity measurements of an engine oil changes when put under varying weather temperatures.

For kinematic viscosity, the numbers are consigned on the basis of the ability of the oil to travel through a regular opening, at regular temperatures. The longer it takes for the oil to flow through the opening or orifice, the higher the SAE numerical code is, meaning 5w30 has a higher viscosity than 5w20.

Related Post: 5w30 vs 5w40: Which Oil is the Best| Difference between 5w30 and 5w40

Difference between 5w30 and 10w30

What’s the Difference Between 5W20 Vs 5W30?

The key difference between 5W20 and 5W30 motor oil is that 5W20 oil is less viscous, this is because when pouring this oil into engine, 5W20 oil will create less friction because of its thinner viscosity, which means it results in less drag throughout the engine parts, such as pistons, valve train, and crankshaft. This provides a partial bump in fuel economy. The thinner nature of 5W20 oil also enables the oil pump to easily move it from the oil pan all the way to the rest of the engine. This makes 5w20 a better option for people who live in colder climates.

Conversely, 5w30 motor oil is suitable for hotter climates where thinner oils appear to break down under high temperatures. The more sticky motor oil is, the better it will be able to resist the heat and not break down. This makes 5w30 oil better in terms of overall engine protection than 5w20.

5w30 is a commonly used type of motor oils because it works well with different vehicles having different engine types. The 5W30 motor oil can also be used for different temperatures but is best for warmer temperatures.

Oil 5w30 vs 10w30: Which Oil Should I Use between 5w20 and 5w3?

As a vehicle owner, it is vital to consider certain factors when choosing the best motor oil for your vehicle. Even though there is not much difference in the levels of protection you derived from 5w20 and 5w30 motor oils, their viscosity differs slightly. For people living in a hot region, go for 5w30 motor oil since it operates better under high temperatures, thus providing better protection for your engine.

People residing in a colder climate should go for 5W20 since this oil is thinner and will heat up quickly. Car owners living in a region that don’t have extreme weather conditions can use any of the two motor oils.

Can I Use 10w40 Instead of 5w30?

The different types of engine oils available in the market today fall into two viscosity grades. Multigrade was initially used to avoid using a thinner oil in winter and a thicker oil in summer. It is best for a car owner to use the oil specified by the manufacturer.

If the manufacturer’s instruction is for you to use 5w30, but instead you use 10W40, then the viscosity of 10W40 used by you will be higher and oil thicker than what is indicated during winters. Likewise, the oil viscosity will be higher and oil thicker than listed during summers.

5W30 motor oil means that the oil has a thinner consistency in cold weather and will protect your engine at lower temperatures. Also, 10W30 means the oil will be a little thicker at same lower temperatures, and will then protect the engine the same as 5W30 at higher temperatures. ‘W’ means, useful for winter usage.

So, if the manual indicates that your car will operate in -22 degrees Fahrenheit or lower winter weather, use the recommended 5W30 oil. However, if you are in a year-round environment where cold winters are not a problem, and the temperature will not reach that low, you may need to make use of 10W30. Using 10W30 in very cold conditions may cause damage to your engine.

Can I Use 5w30 Instead of 5w20 in My Honda?

Your Honda engine is built to run on a specific grade of oil. If you put in 5W-30 oil instead of 5W-20 as directed by the car manufacturer, it can cause damage to internal parts of your engine. Furthermore, your engine may experience performance issues such as reduced fuel economy.

Oil Viscosity

The viscosity rating of motor oil is determined by the resistance to flow the oil displays under a given temperature. Higher viscosity ratings point to a thicker oil, which flows less easily. Low-viscosity oils are used in certain engines to reduce oil flow resistance and to take full advantage of performance in cold weather conditions, while high-viscosity oils provide high protection to the internal parts of the engine particularly under high temperatures.

Multi-Grade Oil

Many types of motor oil have two numbers in the viscosity rating, such as in the case of 5W-20 because of these types of oil exhibit two diverse viscosity ratings under different conditions of temperature. Multigrade oils have a mixture of polymers in the oily substance which increases in size with an increase in temperature, therefore increasing the viscosity of the oil.

so is 10w30 thicker than 5w30 or is is the opposite.

5W30 versus 5W20: Which oil is thicker 5w30 or 10w30

There are same winter rating for both 5W30 and 5W20 motor oil, meaning both grades exhibit the same viscosity under cold conditions. However, 5W30 has a slightly higher viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius than 5W20. Once the engine attains the standard operating temperature, 5W-30 motor oil will be thicker or more viscous than 5W-20. Owing to the high resistance of the thicker 5W-30 oil, your engine produces slightly lower fuel economy and horsepower output. Using 5W30 instead of 5w20 can damage the engine because the internal parts of the engine are designed to be used with 5W20 motor oil.

Should I Use 5w30 Instead of 5w20 In My Ford?

According to Ford specifications, only one viscosity rating of SAE 5W20 should be used for this vehicle. In the Owner’s Manual, Ford categorically stated that 5W-20 oil provides optimum fuel economy and durability performance meeting all needs for the engine of your vehicle.

This means that fuel economy will be degraded if you use the higher weight of 30 viscosity. The statement from Ford also indicates that using oil other than 5W-20, such as 5W-30, will reduce the durability of the engine. So, it is best to stick with the 5W-20. Synthetic oil is preferable.

Bottom line

You should check your owner’s manual for specific information regarding the motor oil suggested by the manufacturer of your vehicle and stick to that motor oil specification. This only includes the oil viscosity rating in most cases.

Frequently, car manufacturers also suggest a specific type of oil, such as one containing a special synthetic blend or rating.

Furthermore, your owner’s manual will state if any other oil grades are acceptable to be used on the vehicle other than the recommended ones. Some car manufacturers recommend a slightly lower viscosity rating for very cold climates.

Synthetic engine oils are flexible, meaning these oils function properly to protect the engine of your vehicle irrespective of the climate. However, if you still find yourself pondering which motor oil to choose, we recommend you go with 5w30.

The 5w30 motor oil has high film and shear strength and also works smoothly irrespective of the vehicle and the temperature.

Related Post: 5w30 vs 5w40: Which Oil is the Best| Difference between 5w30 and 5w40

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