What's the difference between 5w30 and 5w20 oil?

I’ve been using 5w30 oil for the last 7 years, but I just noticed the manual recommends 5w20. What’s the difference between them?


The difference between 5w30 and 5w20 oil lies in their viscosity ratings. Both the oils have the same “W” rating, which thus indicates their performance in hot and cold temperatures, but they also differ in their viscosity at operating temperatures, in other words 5W-20 oil is thinner at operating temperatures and may provide better fuel economy, while 5W-30 oil is thicker and can offer better protection under higher temperatures and loads. Choosing the right oil depends on your vehicle’s specifications, your driving conditions, and the climate you operate in.

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The 5W-20 oil will stay slightly thinner at operating temperature due to its lower “20” rating, while the 5W-30 oil will create a somewhat thicker lubricating layer. Comparing 5W-30 to 10W-30, both have the same viscosity when at operating temperature, as shown by their identical “30” ratings.

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I like how you have given out the differences between the two

The 5W-20 oil maintains a slightly thinner consistency at operating temperature due to its lower “20” rating, while the 5W-30 oil offers a slightly thicker lubricating film. When comparing 5W-30 to 10W-30, both oils provide the same viscosity at operating temperature, indicated by their identical “30” ratings.