5w20 vs 10w30 | 4 Factors You Remember

5w20 vs 10w30

When selecting an engine oil for lubricating all the parts of the engine, you must consider several factors, and the viscosity of the oil is a significant one. Since 5w20 and 10w30 are two popular options of oil viscosity, consumers may often be confused about which one to pick.

You have to be aware of all the ratings of the oils of a specific viscosity, and their operating temperature which can get difficult Hence, we will be explaining all the differences and more in our comparison between 5w20 vs 10w30.

Overview of 5w20

Overview of 5w20

Before we get into discussing the differences between the two viscosities of engine oil, let’s look at them separately, so you have a clearer idea of them.

The numbers on the viscosity ratings refer to viscosity grades at low and high temperatures. When the temperature falls the viscosity grade of 5w20 engine oils drop to a viscosity grade of 5. Meanwhile, when the weather becomes warm and the temperature rises, the viscosity grade becomes 20.

Overall, the 5w20 motor oil is thinner than most motor oils, and it does a great job at coating all the engine components. Since it has a lower viscosity it can reach more parts of the engine more quickly, and protect it from friction damage. Like most oils, the 5w20 is thinner at a high temperature, and the viscosity increases as the temperature rises.

The thermal stability of oils of this viscosity is also phenomenal. Because it flows easily even in low temperatures, it is widely popular for colder places. Its approval from MB, VW, Ford, and Porsche only solidify our claim on how great this motor oil viscosity is.

Overview of 10w30

Overview of 10w30

If you’re looking for an engine oil for a heavy-duty engine then the 10w30 would be a splendid choice. It has great resistance to high temperatures, having a viscosity of grade 30 when the climate gets hot. Due to this, it is highly suitable for vehicles driven in warmer climates. It also doesn’t form any sludge or gels when the temperature reaches its peak. It also ticks off the criteria of API SN.

As suggested by the numbers in the name, the viscosity of 10w30 engine oils drops to grade 10 as temperature decreases, and when the temperature rises it has a viscosity grade of 30. Since this oil is already thicker it takes a bit more time to coat all the parts but is very effective in reducing wear and tear during the engine’s operation.

Furthermore, 10w30 also seals the engine parts and protects them from rusting, which increases the lifespan of the engine. Another advantage of using a 10w30 motor oil is that it actually reduces any noises that are made from the engine, which improves the riding experience.

5w20 vs 10w30 : The Differences

5w20 vs 10w30 The Differences

To determine which viscosity of engine oil would be better for you, you must consider all of their aspects, and this comparison should give you a good grasp of them.

1) Breakdown of the Name

The numbers on the viscosity ratings are basically grades for different temperature, and the ‘w’ in the names mean winter. In winter 10w30 has a viscosity grade of 10, and as it becomes hotter the grade climbs up to 30. For 5w20, the viscosity grade is 5 in a cold climate, and in summer it has a viscosity grade of 20. There are more info on this in https://roadweekly.com/.

2) When to Use Motor Oils of Each Viscosity?

Both the types of engine oil are multi-grade, but their effectiveness will vary depending on the climate you will be driving in. From the numbers, you can tell that 10w30 oils are thicker than 5w20 oils. 10w30 indicates that it has a viscosity grade of 30 in low temperatures which is a bit too thick.

On the other hand, 5w20 is thinner at lower temperatures and can flow and coat the engine completely in the cold as well. As a result, 5w20 is a better option for vehicles that are driven in colder areas.

During the summer when it gets very hot, 10w30 starts to flow very smoothly and so does the 5w20. However, the 10w30 has better resistance to higher temperatures, and it also has great sludge control.

The working temperature of the 5w20 ranges from -30 degrees to 35 degrees Celsius. Meanwhile, the range for 10w30 is from -18 degrees to 30 degrees Celsius.

3) Which One is the Better Lubricant?

Since 5w20 runs quicker, and more effectively than 10w30 in most cases it does a better job at reaching all the parts of the engine. Thus, it works better as a lubricant. However, by saying that we must also mention that 10w30 engine oils also do a decent job at lubricating the engine, and work almost the same as 5w20 oils.

Although both oils are good at resisting corrosion, the 10w30 has a stellar sealing action. This makes the oil even more effective in preventing any moisture from coming into contact with the engine.

4) Suitability with Types of Engines

As we have mentioned before, the 10w30 is the better choice for heavy-duty engines. Its superior sludge control and resistance to higher temperatures make it perfect for vehicles that need to haul very heavy loads.

On the contrary, 5w20 is more suitable for vehicles for regular use. Because it gives better lubrication and flows smoothly, it is a better fit for light-duty petrol and diesel engines.


Regardless of which viscosity of oil you may pick, you will be fine. However, reading all the details of this 5w20 vs 10w30 comparison will greatly assist you in getting the best option for you.

When making your purchase, there are two primary factors you need to consider: i) the type of engine in your vehicle and ii) the temperature of the area you will be driving in. Consider these factors, and you’ll easily be able to pick between 10w30 and 5w20!

5w20 vs 10w30 | 4 Factors You Remember

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