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Oil & Fluids

0W30 vs 5W30 Oil: What’s Best for Your Engine?

Last Updated on Aug 16, 2023 By Paul Lucas

With a wider ambient temperature range, bigger number of additives, and better fuel economy,

The 0W30 has a slight advantage over the 5W30 engine oil. The 5W30 oil, on the other hand, is cheaper. They both perform equally at higher temperatures.

Let’s have a deeper look at the key differences between these two synthetic engine oils.

What’s 0W30?

What is 0W30

0W30 is a multigrade, synthetic blend engine oil that is designed specially to combat colder temperatures. Compared to other motor oils, this oil has a fewer number of lubricating agents and as a result, it is less likely to gum up during winter seasons.

Nowadays, many SUVs, compact vans, and pick-up trucks use this type of engine oil. The thinnest at low temperatures, it works as a SAE30 grade engine oil in hotter temperatures.

What’s 5W30?

What is 5W30

5W30 is also an SAE multigrade oil designed to be used in gasoline-based engines that require

unleaded fuel. This synthetic blend engine oil is made from base oil, some mineral oil, and a bunch of additives.

The formula of the 5W30 has been developed to provide better performance at lower temperatures. This oil can’t perform well in hot weather and is a bit thicker than the 0W30.

Both the 0W30 and the 5W30 perform similarly at higher temperatures.

 Key Differences Between 0W30 and 5W30 Engine Oils

1. Viscosity


The 0W30 is comparatively thinner. In fact, It is one of the few engine oils that has the thinnest consistency in lower temperatures. The oil is also considered “The best motor engine oil” in terms of fuel efficiency. It has a viscosity grade of 167, which is really helpful in cold weather.

The oil also has a similar SAE rating to 0w30, 5w30, and 10w30 motor oils at higher temperatures. 0W30 isn’t very good at working in hotter weather.


The 5w30 is a bit thicker in lower temperatures than the 0W30. Compared to the temperature range of the 0W30 engine oil, the 5W30 has limited capabilities. It can only work at temps ranging from -35°C to +35°C, whereas the 5W30 can work between -40°C to 30°C.

With a slightly wider range of ambient temperatures, the 0W30 takes the lead in terms of apparent viscosity.

This is what the difference between the 0W30 and the 5W30 looks like visually:

2. Additives


Any modern-day engine oil is equipped with a bunch of additives to increase its performance. These additives mainly contain antifreeze agents, anti-bubble agents, anti-corrosion agents, viscosity enhancers, and detergents.


The 5W30 also has a number of additives within, but the number of additives is comparatively fewer than the 0W30. This gives the 0W30 a distinctive edge over its competition.

3. Fuel economy


According to some independent studies and consumer reviews, the thinner an engine oil is, the better the fuel economy will become and you’ll end up saving more money. The 0W30 is one of the, if not the thinnest engine oil available out there and wins this round as well.


With a relatively higher viscosity, the 5W30 lags behind the competition. However, that doesn’t mean that the 5W30 won’t increase your fuel efficiency. It just means that the increment in your fuel efficiency might be smaller than the 0W30 users.

4. Price


The 0W30 is priced slightly higher than the 5W30. The number of additives is mostly responsible for that. You can get your hands on a 5 Quart bottle of 0W30 for about $25-40.


The 5W30 engine oil is slightly cheaper than the 0W30 engine oil. A 5 Quart bottle of 5W30 will set you back around $20-30.

0W30 vs 5W30 oil: Which one to choose?

The 0W30 engine oils can work within a wider temperature spectrum and provide better fuel efficiency. It is the thinnest engine oil available today. People who have smaller private cars will be very content with 0W30’s performance. However, the oil is a bit expensive.

On the other hand, the 5W30 is compatible with bigger SUVs, compact vans, and pickup vehicles. It provides decent performance and protects your engine well. If you are looking for a cheaper solution, this can be your go-to engine oil.

However, we strongly recommend that you stink to the engine oil mentioned in your car’s user manual. If the manual is inaccessible, take expert opinion in dividing the best engine oil for your car.

Also, you can mix engine oils from the same manufacturer but never do cross-brand mixes.


1. What Is Synthetic oil?

Ans: Synthetic oils are artificially created lubricants that are used as a substitute for petroleum-based lubricants. They are more powerful than regular/natural oils and contain a lot more additives, resulting in better performance.

2. Can I Use 5w30 Instead of 0w30?

Ans: You probably shouldn’t. If your car is instructed to use the 0w30, using the 5W30 will result in a reduction in performance and may end up damaging the inner components. Always stick to the guideline your car manufacturer provided via the user manual.

About the author

Paul Lucas

I grew up in a classic car-oriented family, and was taught how to differentiate between a Ford and a Chevy by my dad when I was just five years old! With special feelings for anything Italian, I enjoy driving and restoring old cars.

Over the years, I became tired of those cookie-cutter auto blogs that copy content from each other and decided to take matters into my own hands! So, I am here to bring you the latest auto industry news, tech innovations, the hottest cars and their specs, reviews, test drives, tuning, and more.

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