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Oil & Fluids

Top 5 Best 0W-20 Synthetic Oils Reviewed by Car Enthusiasts

Most motorists go through a certain phase when they struggle to choose engine oil for their vehicles. That is of course until they find the one that fits like a glove to their engine. However, if you make the wrong choice, the results could be catastrophic. Engine oils with different viscosity grades are made for different weather conditions. 0W-20 indicates great resistance in extreme weather (both hot and cold).

Even if you know the exact specification of the motor oil recommended for your engine, choosing the best one isn’t easy. There are hundreds of options available for 0w-20 synthetic oils and while some may have your preferred viscosity grade, they may not have the level of performance you’d expect from such top-quality engine oil.

Here, we’ll share our experience with the top OW-20 oils so you can easily find the best option for your car.

A Quick View of Our Favorites 0W-20 Synthetic Oils

Thumbnail Product Name Price
AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil Check Price
Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 Motor Oil Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 Motor Oil Check Price
Castrol 03124 Edge 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil Castrol 03124 Edge 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil Check Price
Castrol 03585 Edge Bio-Synthetic 0W-20 Castrol 03585 Edge Bio-Synthetic 0W-20 Check Price
Pennzoil – 550045193 Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil Pennzoil – 550045193 Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil Check Price

Our Top 5 Best 0W-20 Synthetic Oil – Reviews

01 AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil – 0W-20

AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil - 0W-20 - 5 Quart

Why It Stands Out to Us

The full synthetic motor oil from Amazon Basic is one of the best engine oils you’ll find on the market. For starters, it offers fantastic lubrication to the engine and saves it from any kind of internal damages.

With an all-synthetic formation, the oil runs through the engine easily to transfer heat with perfection. This makes it suitable for extremely cold or hot weather conditions. You also get longer intervals between the refueling, which helps cut down the cost efficiently.

Coming at an easily affordable price, this engine oil does everything right. If you’re looking for top-notch performance at a lower price point, you should go for our top pick.

Our Experience With the AmazonBasics Full Synthetic Motor Oil

  • The oil came in a simple-looking bottle. The bottle had all the important information written on it along with the API certification indicator. The handle was nicely placed and we had no difficulties pouring it into the engine.
  • We were satisfied with the efficiency of the Amazon Basic Motor oil. Depending on the vehicle and engine types, we got 7000-10000 miles before we had to change it.
  • For how easily affordable it is, we didn’t expect much of a top-end performance from the engines. However, the oil surprised us by boosting the performance by a great margin. Every engine we tried it on performed smoothly.
  • With fantastic lubricating features, the Amazon Basic Full Synthetic Oil protected the engine from excessive heat and internal wear. It kept the friction in check and kept the engine neat and clean throughout the time.
  • Though it wasn’t the thinnest engine oil we used, we didn’t notice any issues regarding the thickness.
  • After testing on several vehicle types including SUVs, cars, and trucks, we can confirm that the Amazon Basic suits a variety of engines. Performance in generators was satisfactory as well.
  • Like the viscosity grade suggests, it worked great in cold weather. We could start the engine accurately every time without any hiccups and the engine didn’t overheat during long drives as well.

What We Didn’t Like

  • We weren’t impressed with the packaging and the quality of the materials used in the container.
  • It was thicker than most other engine oils with similar specs.

What Could Be Improved

  • The packaging could be improved a lot. The manufacturers could have used better quality material in the bottle.

Our Recommendations

  • Though you can extend the time between oil changes, we recommend you change the engine oil after 5000 miles.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 7.75x 4.25x 12.5 inches
  • Viscosity: 0W-20
  • Oil Type: Full-synthetic
  • Available Sizes: 3
  • Certifications: API

Pros

  • Offers extra mileage
  • Protects engine from internal damages
  • Keeps the engine clean
  • Enhances performance
  • Great temperature management
  • Great pricing

Cons

  • Packaging needs improvement

02 Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 Motor Oil

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 0W-20 Motor Oil 5 QT

Why It Stands Out to Us

The Valvoline Advanced from Valvoline is one of those motor oils that suit a wide range of engine types. Being fully synthetic, it boosts the performance of an engine to its max. This oil is adored among motorists for the exceptional temperature management it offers.

With an extraordinary lubricating feature, the Valvoline Advanced eliminates any friction in the engine and keeps it safe from internal damages. The oil increases the interval between refueling by a great margin, which will surely save you a few bucks if you use it. Regardless of the type of vehicle, you drive,  you can go for this one any day of the week.

Our Experience With the Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

  • The product came with minimal packaging. There was all the information you’d need on the bottle. We found the bottle very easy to hold and to pour oil from.
  • In terms of lubrication, it worked like magic. The Valvoline Advanced kept our engine safe from internal damages and wear throughout the time.
  • Heat management seemed like one of the strong sides of the oil. After numerous tests in different weather conditions, we were more than satisfied with the Valvoline Advanced.
  • In low temperatures, the performance was outstanding. We compared them with other oils with the same viscosity grade and they stood out exceptionally well. To get a clear picture,  we took a cup of different engine oils and put them into the refrigerator. Surprisingly, the Valvoline Advanced stayed fluid while the others turned thicker.
  • Performance was satisfactory in hot weather as well. We put them in different vehicles and went for long drives on several occasions and the engines didn’t overheat even once.
  • We were very impressed with the versatility of the oil. We used it in turbocharged and supercharged cars, SUVs, trucks, and so on. It was just as much efficient in the cars as it was in the heavier vehicles.
  • It was extremely light even compared to most of the 0w-20 full synthetic oils. This enables the Valvoline Advanced to move easily throughout the engine and keep it lubricated and clean all the time.
  • We got between 8000-16000 miles from a jar full of oil depending on the vehicles. We can confirm that if you’re mostly using highways, you’ll most assuredly get at least 12000 miles between refueling.
  • Regarding the startups, we were very satisfied. No matter which vehicles we tried it in, the engine started almost immediately.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The oil wasn’t suitable for aviation engines and bikes.
  • For the viscosity grade, we couldn’t test it in diesel engines.

What Could Be Improved

  • The oil Canister could be better in quality.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 8.22x 4.6x 12.66 inches
  • Oil Type: Full Synthetic
  • Viscosity: 0w-20
  • Available Sizes: 5
  • Certifications: API

Pros

  • Exceptional heat management
  • Fantastic lubrication
  • Ensures smooth operation
  • Prevents friction
  • Recyclable
  • Boosts fuel efficiency

Cons

  • Not suitable for diesel engines

03 Castrol 03124 Edge 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Castrol 03124 Edge 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart

Why It Stands Out to Us

Coming from one of the most renowned brands in the industry, the Castrol 0312 Edge offers all the features and functionalities that you’d expect from any top-quality engine oil. This oil lubricates and cleans the engine at the same time. It keeps the temperature in check by reducing friction and taking the heat out of the engine.

The Edge enhances the performance of any vehicle by keeping the engine in a good shape. This goes a long way and improves the longevity of the engine. Another great fact about the oil is that it doesn’t fall too heavy on the wallet. Overall, it’s a great product that you can go for without any doubt.

Our Experience With the Castrol 03124 Edge

  • The engine oil came with a premium-looking container. The bottle was very easy to hold and use. There was every bit of information a user might need. We could see a certification indicator on the bottle as well.
  • We were very happy with the performance boost it offered. We noticed a significant amount of improvement in any vehicle we tested the oil in.
  • The Castrol 03124 Edge provided great lubrication to the engine. Keeping the friction to a minimum level, the oil saved the engine from any internal wear.
  • During our time with the motor oil, we didn’t notice any sign of sludge or oxidation. After refueling, we tested the used oil and compared it to other full-synthetic oil in the same condition. Even after 5000-6000 miles of use, the Edge looked cleaner than all the other motor oils.
  • We compared the Castrol Edge to other similar oils that cost at least twice as much. Surprisingly, the Edge outperformed most of them.
  • We were getting 5000-9000 miles before we had to change the oil. Though the numbers depend highly on the vehicle you’re using, it was still a decent amount of mileage for engine oil that’s not too expensive.
  • Performance was flawless in a wide range of vehicle types. We tried the oil in cars, trucks, SUVs, and bikes. Also, it worked great in a portable generator as well.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The container is colored black and is made of thick materials, which makes it difficult to measure the amount you’re pouring into the engine.
  • It’s not suitable for cold start engines.

What Could Be Better

  • Thinner materials could be used to make the container. This would make it a lot easier to measure the oil.

Our Recommendations

  • Pour the oil into a transparent container before putting it into the engine.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.9x 9.5x 4.4 inches
  • Package-Type: Bottle
  • Vehicle Type: Car
  • Available Sizes: 9
  • Certifications: API SN

Pros

  • Amazing cleaning properties
  • Fuel efficient
  • Enhanced engine performance
  • Suits a wide range of engines
  • Offers great lubrication
  • Easily affordable

Cons

  • Container needs improvement

04 Castrol 03585 Edge Bio-Synthetic 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil

Castrol 03585 Edge Bio-Synthetic 0W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart, 3 Pack

Why It Stands Out to Us

Castrol is one of the very few brands that have brought eco-friendly engine oils into the market. The 03585 Edge is a fantastic engine oil that’s made out of renewable materials. This bio-synthetic oil offers extraordinary lubrication to the engine, keeping it wear-free. By decreasing the deposit formation in the engine, the Edge maximizes engine response as well. The oil increases the period between oil changes by a lot.

Being lightweight, it moves throughout the engine easily and keeps the temperature in check. If you’re looking for engine oil that is powerful and eco-friendly at the same time, the Castrol 03585 Edge is the one to go for.

Our Experience With the Castrol 03585 Edge

  • The oil arrived with premium packaging and all the information written on the container. We found the bottle very easy to hold. It looked and felt like a top-end product.
  • With advanced biotechnology, the oil enhanced the performance by a great degree. When compared to the full synthetic oils, the 03585 Edge outperformed most of them.
  • Though the oil was made out of 25% renewable materials, we didn’t notice any lack in the overall performance and functionalities compared to the full-synthetic Edge.
  • Lubrication seemed like one of the strongest sides of the Edge. It kept the engine safe from wear and other damages. The oil suppressed the friction to a great margin. This reduced the heat generated by the engine and kept it clean at the same time.
  • We found out that the oil was lighter than most synthetic oils, which allowed it to move throughout the engine and transfer the heat out of the system.
  • Performance in different weather situations was very satisfactory. The oil worked like magic in low temperatures. We didn’t face any problem regarding the startup in subzero temperatures. Performance in hot weather was praiseworthy as well. The engine never overheated even during long drives in the desert.
  • In terms of fuel efficiency, we were more than happy with the engine oil. We got an average of 7000 miles before we had to change the oil.

What We Didn’t Like

  • The oil more expensive than the full synthetic engine oils
  • We didn’t find any extra features compared to the regular Castrol Edge

What Could Be Improved

  • The price could be a little lower

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 11.9x 9.5x 4.4 inches
  • Package-Type: Bottle
  • Vehicle Type: Car
  • Available Sizes: 9
  • Certifications: API SN

Pros

  • Exceptional wear and sludge protection
  • Enhanced performance
  • Eco-friendly
  • Amazing lubrication
  • Fuel efficient

Cons

  • Expensive

05 Pennzoil – 550045193 Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil

Pennzoil - 550045193 Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil - 5-Quart

Why It Stands Out to Us

Though all 0w-20 motor oils are engineered to work flawlessly in extreme weather conditions, some of them don’t hold up as perfectly when the temperature fluctuates. Our final pick is just the kind of product you’d need in this type of situation.

The Pennzoil 550045193 provides exceptional lubrication to keep the friction in the engine in check. It manages the temperature like an expert. Your engine won’t overheat in the hottest of weather. Similarly, in cold weather conditions, it helps start the engine in no time.

There aren’t a lot of synthetic oils on the market that provide better cleanliness than the  Pennzoil Ultra Platinum. If you’re one of those motorists that want to enjoy a ride in the toughest of weathers, this engine oil is for you.

Our Experience With the Pennzoil 550045193 Ultra Platinum

  • We received the product with great packaging. The container was well-designed. We loved the idea of putting two handles in the bottle. There was every information a user might need on the container.
  • Regarding the lubrication, we were more than satisfied. The oil kept the friction in check and didn’t let the engine overheat.
  • Temperature management was out of this world. We tested the oil in different weather conditions and found out that it’s suitable for both cold and hot weather. In sub-zero temperatures, the oil didn’t struggle to get the engine to start. We also didn’t face any overheating issues even during long drives in the desert.
  • In terms of mileage, the oil performed very well. We were getting 6000-7000 miles on average depending on the vehicle and engine type.
  • The oil kept the engine neat and clean. We tested the engine after using the oil for 5000 miles. We noticed that the engine was very close to being “factory clean”.
  • We tried the oil in different types of vehicles and it performed nicely in all of them. We also fueled an industrial generator with it. No matter what engine we put it in, the performance was amazing.

What We Didn’t Like

  • It can’t be poured into the engine directly from the container.
  • Mileage not the best.

What Could Be Improved

  • Though the container has a great design, it still needs to be improved.
  • For a full-synthetic oil, the mileage could be enhanced a little.

Our Recommendations

  • For getting the best out of your engine, make sure to change the motor oil after 3000-4000 miles (especially if you drive in the city)

Specifications

  • Viscosity: 0w-20
  • Package-Type: Jug
  • Vehicle Type: Car
  • Available Sizes: 3

Pros

  • Enhanced performance
  • Carbon neutral
  • Great lubricating features
  • Amazing temperature management
  • Outstanding wear protection
  • Keeps the engine clean

Cons

  • Can’t be poured directly into the engine
  • Mileage not the best

Different Types of Engine Oils

1. Traditional Oil

Traditional oils are made for cars with more lucid engine designs. They’re suitable for most late-model vehicles. Though more advanced oils have been introduced to the market for years, traditional oil is still the most common kind.

2. Synthetic Blends

This oil is famous for its duality. Having the combination of both conventional and synthetic oils, it offers features identical to a full-synthetic oil. These oils function well in low temperatures and have a good resistance against oxidation.

The synthetic blends come at a lower price than the full synthetic oil. That’s why many drivers lean towards the synthetic blends over the full synthetic oils. For people who want maximum performance at an easily affordable price point, this type is a great pick.

3. High Mileage Oil

Just like the name suggests, this type is designed for reducing oil leaks and consumption. Typically, vehicles with a mileage of around 75k are best suited for the high mileage oils. Other features include minimizing emissions and smoke. A wide range of motorists prefers high mileage oils over the other types because of their cost-effective nature.

4. Full Synthetic Oil

Full-synthetic engine oils are artificially created for enhancing engine performance. It offers increased viscosity grades, oxidation resistance, and thermal breakdown. Cars that demand an extra bit of lubrication are most suitable for this engine oil. With impressive fuel efficiency and increased horsepower, this oil works like magic.

Though full synthetic oils are more expensive, they’re still the best choice in extremely hot or cold temperatures. Car owners across the world who want their engine to be in tip-top condition all the time opt for the full synthetic engine oil.

Best 0w-20 Synthetic Oil: A Comprehensive Buying Guide

1. Check Your Car’s Recommended Oil

There might be a thousand available options in terms of engine oils but out of them, very few will fit your car. Every car comes with some kind of user manual, which contains all the information the owner needs to know including the preferred oil type. So, go through the car’s manual first.

The manufacturer’s manual will give you an idea about the oil weight that’ll suit your vehicle. It will also explain why that particular weight will be perfect for your car depending on the weather of your area. If the manual recommends engine oils with a viscosity grade of  0w-20, you can go for one. However, make sure to go for only those oils that have been tested by an authorized organization like the API.

2. Viscosity

Viscosity is simply the resistance of fluids to flow. The viscosity grades in engine oils depend on the kind of temperature they’re exposed to. Typically, the viscosity of motor oil is rated at 0 °F.

A viscosity grade of 0w-20 resembles the oil’s resistance against extreme temperatures (either cold or hot). The ‘W’ resembles winter, while the ‘0’ indicates the oil’s performance in cold weather (low temperatures). Similarly, the ‘20’ denotes the oil’s performance in hot weather. As the number on either side of the ‘W’ gets smaller, the resistance gets stronger.

3. Additives

a) Antioxidants: These substances make sure that the oil doesn’t prematurely degrade in quality.

b) Anti-wear agents: These agents slow down any metal degradation and extend the longevity of the engine.

c) Corrosion and rust inhibitors: Protects the metal parts of the engine from rust and other similar materials.

d) Detergents: They serve the purpose of removing debris from the engine.

e) Dispersants: Removes blockages occurred by dirt and sludge. These elements also help improve the engine’s fuel efficiency and performance.

f) Foam inhibitors: They neutralize the bubbles in the oil to increase the performance and lifespan of the oil.

g) Friction modifiers: Their job is to reduce the friction among the metal components and prevent the engine from overheating

h) Pour-point depressants: These elements make sure that the wax particles don’t harden the oil in cold weather conditions.

i) Softeners: Stops oil leaks in older engines with seals.

j) Viscosity-index improvers: Keeps the oil stable when the temperature fluctuates.

4. Applications

The application of the 0w-20 synthetic oils is very straightforward. As the viscosity grade indicates, these oils are engineered to perform great in tough and extreme weather conditions. No matter if you’re driving in sub-zero temperatures or the desert, OW-20 keeps your engine at its best. Even if the temperature fluctuates a lot, the oil won’t let the performance level degrade.

5. Price

The market value of engine oil keeps fluctuating all the time. Generally, a jar of motor oil can cost from 5-20 dollars. However, synthetic oils with a good amount of resistance to different weather conditions cost more than other types of engine oils.

FAQs

Q. 1: What is the difference between synthetic oil and traditional oil?

Ans: While traditional engine oil is made from crude oil, synthetic oils are tailor-made with substances that bring out the best features in the oil. Synthetic engine oils contain only the elements that help improve the performance and longevity of the engine.

Q. 2: Is 0w 20 oil always synthetic?

Ans: 0w-20 oils are engineered to work in extreme temperatures (cold and hot), in which other types of motor oils cannot function. Engine oils with a viscosity rating of 0w-20 have to be synthetic.

Q. 3: What can you use instead of 0W-20?

Ans: If 0w-20 oil isn’t available, you can use 5w-20 conventional oil as a substitute. However, make sure you replace it with 0w-20 synthetic engine oil when you refuel next time.

Q. 4: Why is synthetic oil so expensive?

Ans: Unlike traditional oil, synthetic engine oil is made artificially with higher production costs. Besides, synthetic oils offer far better performance and protection compared to the other oils.

Q. 5: How often do you need an oil change with synthetic oils?

Ans: Depending on the quality of your synthetic motor oil, you can go for 3000-10000 miles without having to refuel.

About the author

Nick Steiner

Nick has been a car nut for his whole life as far as he can remember. His father was a car dealer who used to change and repair his cars himself. As a result, Nick had the opportunity to get around all sorts of cars and learned to get his hands dirty repairing vehicles from an early age.

Nick is a great fan of Japanese quality and German preciosity. His deep passion lies in older models that he believes have a flair that takes him back to his childhood. He also loves their durability and reliability when compared to the modern models.

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