0W20 vs 5W30 Oil: Which Is The Best Oil?

Both 0w20 and 5w30 engine oils are hassle-free in nature and are favourite choices among auto enthusiasts. If you’re new in this field, ‘0w20 vs 5w30; which one to choose?’ is a useful question for you.

0w20 engine oil is a more popular option for working excessively great at cold temperatures whereas 5w30 works stronger at hotter times. 0w20 is thinner oil that offers easier flow and better fuel economy. On the other hand, the 5w30 is thicker and it keeps the engine compartments more protected.

Still, don’t judge the two types based on those few lines, please! Read the whole article to know the full story about the oils and decide which one is more suitable according to your needs.

What Does Oil Viscosity Mean?

Before we get started, let’s get introduced to the term ‘viscosity’ as we’ll be using it throughout the article. Viscosity refers to the resistance of the liquid to flow at a certain temperature.

So, the thinner the oil is, the more easily it moves from the pump to the engine. On the other hand, the thicker oil maintains higher viscosity and provides better protection for the internal engine compartments.

Engine oil naturally thins down when heated and thickens when cools down. And, thinner oil offers easier lubricant flows (allows your car to start easier at colder temperatures) with better fuel economy.

0w20 Vs 5w30 Oil- Quick Comparison

There are so many things that we can discuss here but some key points should get the most priority in this discussion. Here the main features of these two types of oil are given in the below table based on the comparison.

Best ForCold WeatherMedium Temp. Weather
Temperature -40 to 10 ‘C-30 to 30 ‘C
Popular oilsLiquimoly 2208Castrol 03057
Flowing rateHighLow
Fuel EconomyBetterNot great
PriceMore expensiveLess expensive

Besides these, some more differences are there that you need to know to get a better idea about these two oil types. For a better understanding of 0w20 vs 5w30, let’s start with their definition.

0W20 vs 5W30 Oil infographic

What Is 0w20 Motor Oil?

0w20 oils are called low-viscosity or multi-viscosity oils. Low viscosity because the number ‘0’ means that the viscosity of the oil is 0 when the motor is cold.

On the contrary, the viscosity of the same oil will become 20 when the engine reaches its normal operating temperature. So, this is what the numbers in ‘0w20’ means. And, the ‘W’ here refers to winter.

If things are a bit complicated for you, just remember that the smaller the number, the lower the viscosity of the oil.

However, the reason why 0w20 oil is called multi-viscosity oil is that it contains several special additives that create different viscosity levels in cold conditions.

The most common uses of 0w20 oil are seen in SUVs, lorries, and high-mileage trucks. This oil is widely used and highly recommended for use on cold-weather days.

Some Key Features of 0w20 Oil

  • This oil supplies your car with extra energy
  • It requires long intervals for the need for an oil change
  • It conserves gasoline for the low friction feature
  • The low synthetic viscosity increases fuel efficiency
  • Since it’s synthetic, 0w20 oil protects the moving parts of your car.

What Is 5w30 Motor Oil?

5w30 is highly recommended for areas with hot summers and mild winters. Also, if you use the vehicle for frequent towing and hauling, 5w30 should be your pick.

5 means the viscosity of the oil at low temperatures, the W indicates winter and the number 30 refers to how thick the oil will be at normal temperatures.

The oil is not only helpful while starting the engine at a cold temperature, but it also works great during summer days too. But, for being thicker than 0w20 oil, it’s less fuel-efficient.

Key Features of 5w30 Oil

  • This oil has superior thermal stability even when the temperature isn’t predictable
  • It saves the engine parts from rusting
  • It can reduce friction between the moving components
  • This oil is versatile; it runs both low temperatures and runs very strongly at high temperatures.

Difference Between 0w20 And 5w30 Oil

This section can be said to be the heart of this discussion because here, you will get the main element of 0w20 Vs 5w30. These differences are a must to know to understand why these two types are created and which type of oil will be best for your vehicle.

  • The 0w20 is a synthetic blend of oil while 5w30 is a semi-synthetic oil. Though both work in the same way the working temperature is different.
  • The viscosity is the main point of difference between these two types of oil. 0w20 has a lower viscosity, making it easier to work with and control; however, 5w30 offers better protection against corrosion and dirt buildup.
  • The 0w20 can work at lower temperatures. And it can keep glow plugs active even if the weather is -40 degrees celsius. On the other hand, 5w30 had a wide working temperature. It can keep transmission smooth from the temperature of -30 to 30 degrees Celsius.
  • 0w20 is a lightweight oil that can be used in cold weather conditions while 5w30 is a heavier-grade oil designed for use in warmer climates.
  • 5w30 is general-purpose engine oil that is used in many different types of engines. On the other hand, 0w20 is a synthetic motor oil that is designed for high-performance engines.
  • 5w30 is a light oil that helps reduce heat build-up in the engine and provides better fuel economy. But 0w20 is better protection against wear and tear and extreme weather conditions.

Some more minor differences are there but they are not worth mentioning. Most of them are talked about here. Besides knowing the differences, we should know the similarities between these two types of oil. It is also important. Let’s see them in the following section of the discussion.

Similarities Between 0w20 Vs 5w30 Oil

The similarities are more than you expected. Because some common issues are drawn here to provide pinpointed detailed picture of similarities. Let’s have a look at what these are.

  • 0w20 and 5w30, both are quality oils that can be used in various engines.
  • To improve engine performance by reducing friction and helping in the lubrication of moving parts, both are experts.
  • Both also prevent metal-to-metal contact, which can result in wear and tear.
  • They are also non-toxic and have low toxicity levels.
  • Both oils are synthetic and heat up quickly in an engine.
  • They can help in reducing engine noise.
  • They both have a low smoke point, so they should not be used in high-performance engines.
  • They both have a smart viscosity index that resists shear and lowers the friction factor in the engine.

Though these are the similarity between these two types of oil, the differences between them are main and you need to know them.


Q: Is 0w20 Better Than 5w30?

Ans: Both have their own good sides. 0w20 is good in its own weather in the same way, 5w30 works best in middle-temperature weather. Thinking of the working temperature range, 5w30 can be called better.

Q: Can I Use 0w20 Oil Instead Of 5w30?

Ans: If you drive your vehicle in a cold area then you can use 0w20 instead of 5w30. But 5w30 will work in hot areas for its viscosity.

Q: Does 0w20 Damage The Engine?

Ans: No, both save the engine from friction and make the transmission smooth. The people who say 0w20 damages the engine are wrong.


While there are many types of motor oils available on the market that may be better suited for your vehicle, 0w20 and 5w30 are often considered the best choice overall due to their versatility and high-performance features. But they have their own features that make them different.

So if you’re looking for the best performance from oil, consider your weather and then select one. Thanks for reading the 0W20 Vs 5W30 Oil discussion, we hope this helped you a lot.

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William Baldwin

This Is William Baldwin, The Founder & Managing Editor of this website. Me and my team share automotive tips, tricks, and news

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Talha Atta

Talha Atta, a Mechanical Engineer and experienced technical content writer and editor at Autoglobes.com with a passion for the automotive industry.