Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30 (2023)

• Categorized under Auto,Objects | Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30

The engine is undoubtedly the heart of your vehicle with hundreds of moving parts that require proper maintenance and lubrication time to time. While the engine runs on gasoline, it also takes in air from the outside. For every gallon of gasoline consumed, dust and dirt are brought in with the air that comes with the gasoline. And dirt contaminates the engine and is one of the biggest causes of engine failure. Know one thing; your engine gets dirty really fast which can degrade performance of your vehicle. While most of the dirt gets cleared, some dirt may still get by the air filter. This may lead to sludge formation at different parts of the engine which together with dirt and wear particles may result in engine failure. This is where the engine oil comes to the picture.

Engine oil is the thing that keeps your engine running day after day. It only lubricates the engine parts but also filters out contaminates and keeps the internal components clean. The main function of engine oil is to lubricate as hundreds of moving parts in the engine rub continuously against each other which creates friction which in turns reduce the engine longevity. Engine oil comes in different categories such as 5w30 and 10w30, along with many others. Although the function of the lubrication system has not changed much, engine oil has changed drastically over the years. One most important factor that affects the engine oil performance is viscosity. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) rates engine oil viscosity. Two of the most common viscosity ratings are 5w30 and 10w30. Engine oils with these ratings are called multi-grade oils.

Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30 (1)

What is 5w30?

It is a multi-grade viscosity engine oil used in automobiles. It’s one of the common viscosity ratings as specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to keep the engine running at a wide range of temperatures. The numbers refers to the viscosity of the oil and the ‘w’ stands for winter. The number 5 is the cold-temperature viscosity rating and the 30 is the high-temperature viscosity rating. They are thing enough to flow effectively at low temperatures meaning the oil will thicken less in cold climates to provide adequate engine lubrication.

What is 10w30?

It is also a multi-grade engine oil mostly used in vehicles with heavy-load engines because it’s able to withstand hot temperatures for a long period of time without compromising engine performance. 10w30 will flow effectively at high temperatures and it’s one of the most common oil grades recommended for commercial vehicles with older engines because they require a thicker oil for proper engine lubrication and engine longevity. The larger the first number, the thicker it gets when the engine is hot and the more resistant to flow effectively.

Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30 (2)

(Video) What does 10w30 mean? 'Engine Oil Explained'

Difference between 5w30 and 10w30

  1. Meaning

Both the ratings 5w30 and 10w30 represent the viscosity of the engine oil as specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The numbers in both the ratings refers to the viscosity of the oil and the ‘W’ stands for winter. Both are multi-grade oils which have been tested at various temperatures to ensure low temperature operability and better fuel economy. Both the oils have lower viscosity at temperatures which measure the oil’s resistance to flow. The difference lies in the thickness. The lower the first number, the thinner the oil gets at extreme low temperatures. 5w30 is a SAE 5 when cold and SAE 30 when warm. Same goes for 10w30 multi-grade oil.

  1. Performance of 5w30 Vs. 10w30

Both the SAE ratings have same base number meaning both the engine oils will perform the same at operating temperatures. The number 30 indicates the thickness of the oil when it reaches operating temperatures. Both the oils have similar viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius but 5w30 grade oil will thicken less than 10w30 grade oil in cold climate. This means 5w30 grade oil will flow effectively in low temperatures, whereas 10w30 oil will flow effectively in high temperatures because of the smaller temperature window. 5w30 oil gets thin enough when cold to provide adequate engine lubrication.

  1. Ideal Use of 5w30 Vs. 10w30

Location is a key factor when it comes to selecting engine oils because it’s equally important to factor in the location where you’ll be using your vehicle. Although multi-grade oils are designed to perform effectively in both warm and winter climates, 5w30 grade oil will be thin enough when you live in a location with extreme low temperatures so that the oil gets to all of the components, making your vehicle perform better in during winter times. On the contrary, 10w30 will flow effectively in high temperature locations or hot summers.

5w30 vs. 10w30: Comparison Chart

Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30 (3)

Summary of 5w30 Vs. 10w30

If you live in a location where the temperature stays low year round, then 5w30 is your best option as it performs better in cold climate and moves better during cold startups. On the other hand, if you live in an area where the temperature is consistently high year round, you’ll want to go with the 10w30 oil because it allows oil to flow more rapidly and lubricate parts effectively to enhance engine wear. Light oil is ideal for cold climates whereas heavier oils perform better in warm climates. The oil should be thin enough to get to all of the components when the engine is cold, but the oil should not be too thin when the engine is hot.

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Sagar Khillar

Sagar Khillar is a prolific content/article/blog writer working as a Senior Content Developer/Writer in a reputed client services firm based in India. He has that urge to research on versatile topics and develop high-quality content to make it the best read. Thanks to his passion for writing, he has over 7 years of professional experience in writing and editing services across a wide variety of print and electronic platforms.

Outside his professional life, Sagar loves to connect with people from different cultures and origin. You can say he is curious by nature. He believes everyone is a learning experience and it brings a certain excitement, kind of a curiosity to keep going. It may feel silly at first, but it loosens you up after a while and makes it easier for you to start conversations with total strangers – that’s what he said."

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    APA 7
    Khillar, S. (2022, November 16). Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30. Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects. http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-5w30-and-10w30/.
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    Khillar, Sagar. "Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30." Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects, 16 November, 2022, http://www.differencebetween.net/object/difference-between-5w30-and-10w30/.

    Written by : Sagar Khillar. and updated on 2022, November 16

    References :

    [0]Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/10542402@N06/8614143996

    [1]Image credit: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/b/b1/Motor_oil_refill_with_funnel.JPG/640px-Motor_oil_refill_with_funnel.JPG

    [2]Erjavec, Jack. Tech Manual for Erjavec's Automotive Technology. Boston: Cengage , 2009. Print

    [3]Srivastava, S.P. Developments in Lubricant Technology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Print

    (Video) Engine Oil Codes Explained, SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) numbers - Oil Viscosity Explained

    [4]Gray, Michael E. Auto Upkeep: Basic Car Care. Missouri: Rolling Hills Publishing, 2003. Print

    Articles on DifferenceBetween.net are general information, and are not intended to substitute for professional advice. The information is "AS IS", "WITH ALL FAULTS". User assumes all risk of use, damage, or injury. You agree that we have no liability for any damages.
    See more about : 10w30, 5w30


    Is it better to use 5w30 or 10w30? ›

    Suitable Vehicle Types. 5W-30 multi grade oil is ideal for private vehicles and light-duty petrol and diesel engines. It also provides a better cold temperature start than 10W-30 oil. On the other hand, the slightly thicker oil,10W-30, provides better lubrication for commercial vehicles and heavy-load engine cars.

    Is it okay to use 10w30 instead of 5w30? ›

    Yes, you can use 10w30 instead of 5w30 in most cases. However, it is crucial to check your vehicle's owner's manual to ensure that 10w30 is the correct weight for your car. In this blog post, we will clear up the confusion and explain the difference between these two motor oils.

    Is 10w30 or 5w30 better for winter? ›

    What Do Oil Viscosity Numbers Mean? The five and 10 digits refer to the viscosity at cooler temperatures. So, that means when you are comparing 5w30 vs. 10w30, the thinner 5w30 will circulate quicker, and flow through bearing tolerances better during an engine startup in the winter or colder climates.

    Can I use 10w30 instead of 5w30 in summer? ›

    Yes. 5w30 and 10w30 are both 30 weight oils and the exact same thickness in your engine when it is at operating temperature. The 5w30 is better because it thickens less when cool or cold.

    Is 10w30 good for hot weather? ›

    10W-30 motor oil is recommended for ambient temperatures not exceeding -30°C/-22°F in the winter or 35°C/95°F in the summer. This is a great motor oil to use if you live in Canada or cooler U.S. states. Colder regions would require 5W-20, while hotter regions may call for 10W-40.

    What happens if you put 10W oil in a 5W engine? ›

    Using 10W-30 instead of 5W-30, however, could make cold starts more difficult. It's helpful to think of the “W” as standing for “winter.” The lower the oil's “W” viscosity, the more readily it will flow when cold. In this case, 5W-30 will flow more easily at startup than 10W-30.

    Is 10w30 better for high mileage? ›

    10W-30 motor oil makes for a decent high-mileage oil. It gives a better fuel economy while reducing the oil consumption for older engines. Older engines with more than 75,000 miles on them require a thicker oil that will properly lubricate their critical engine parts and prevent oil leaks, sludge, and deposits.

    Should you put thicker oil in an older engine? ›

    Many older, high mileage engines might face issues with oil pressure due to age and wear and tear. In this case, a practical method to improve oil pressure is to use a thicker oil, since the thicker oils have heavier base weight oil, which can help protect worn engine bearings well.

    What happens if I put 10w30 oil in a 5w30 car? ›

    Therefore, there is no problem in mixing 10w30 and 5w30 since one will be topping up. Mixing the viscosity of oils will not have any effect on the engine. 5w30 and 10w30 engine oils have close viscosity, and thus there is no harm in mixing them.

    Is 5w30 OK in hot weather? ›

    When should I use 5w30 oil? You should always use the oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. However, 5w30 oil can function in temperatures as low as -30ºC and as high as 40ºC, making it an ideal choice if you drive your car in a place with relatively high seasonal temperature variations.

    Is 5w 30 for summer or winter? ›

    5w30 motor oil has a winter viscosity grade of five, meaning it's less viscous (less thick) at very low temperatures compared to, say, 10w30. It has a hot viscosity grade of 30, which means it is less viscous at high temperatures than an oil such as 5w50.

    Is 10w30 better for winter or summer? ›

    A 30 grade oil, thick enough to protect in the heat, was recommended for summer use. Then, multi-grade oils were formulated. A 10W-30 had the winter cold start flow properties of a 10W and the summer, high-temperature thickness of a 30 grade.

    Is 5W30 better for cold weather? ›

    The Bottom Line. A multi-viscosity 5W30 oil flows quicker in cold weather and is recommended for year-round protection, and a synthetic 5W30 multi-viscosity will provide the best protection you can get in both extremely cold weather and extremely hot engine temperatures.

    What is the best engine oil in high temperature? ›

    Mobil 1 advanced synthetic motor oil provides outstanding high-temperature performance and is proven to protect at engine temperatures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

    What is 5W 30 oil used for? ›

    5W-30 oil is the lead viscosity recommendation by automakers over the past four decades for use in many vehicle types - passenger cars, SUVs, light vans and trucks – including those with high-performance turbo-charged and supercharged engines.

    Will the wrong oil damage my engine? ›

    Cause damage to engine life

    The wrong engine oil can cause engine damage because it does not properly lubricate its components. This will lead to metal-on-metal contact since the moving parts are not being lubricated. Friction quickly follows, causing engine parts to wear.

    Is Thicker oil better for winter? ›

    The “W” in that number stands for “Winter”, and the number before it (the “10”, in this case) is the viscosity or thickness. When the cold weather comes, you want a lower number, meaning thinner oil, which will smoothly coat the insides of your engine even in the most frigid weather.

    Is it OK to use 10W40 instead of 5W30? ›

    What happens if you use the wrong engine oil? By mistake, we put 10W40 instead of 5W30. Nothing catastrophic, the engine won't explode the moment you turn the key. HOWEVER, with the oil being too thick the engine won't have adequate protection and it'll wear out faster (especially the bearings).

    Is 5w30 good for high mileage engine? ›

    High mileage protection

    Mobil Super™ High Mileage 5W-30 uses a combination of synthetic and conventional high quality base oils combined with modern performance additives to help provide long engine life and outstanding protection for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.

    How many miles is 10w30 good for? ›

    Protects for 10,000 miles between oil changes*

    Nothing outperforms Mobil 1 in overall performance, a motor oil which comes as standard equipment in many different vehicle models, including select high-performance vehicles.

    Is 5w30 good for old cars? ›

    Motor oils are graded based on their viscosity. 5w 20 and 5w 30 engine oils are commonly used in colder temperatures. However, they are recommended for older engines and light-duty use. This is because an oil with a higher rating indicates that it is thicker and suits well those engines which run hot easily.

    Does thicker oil affect gas mileage? ›

    The thicker that oil is, the more energy it takes to pump that oil, which uses fuel. Just like people may take blood thinner to make it easier on their heart to pump it, it's the same with engine oil.

    Will synthetic oil clean sludge? ›

    Conventional oil often formed sludge that plugged those gaps, but synthetic oil does a great job of cleaning engine sludge – and opening up those gaps. Modern synthetic oil products contain detergents that are less harsh on engine seals.

    What is considered high mileage? ›

    What is considered high-mileage? Typically, putting 13,000 to 14,000 miles on your car per year is viewed as “average.” A car that is driven more than that is considered high-mileage. With proper maintenance, cars can have a life expectancy of about 200,000 miles.

    How long will 5w30 last? ›

    Mobil 1 Extended Performance High Mileage 5W-30 advanced full synthetic motor oil is designed to protect critical engine parts for up to 20,000 miles between oil changes and help extend the life of vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.

    What does the W mean in 5w30? ›

    What does SAE 5W-30 mean? The short answer:The numbers represent the viscosity of the oil and the W stands for WINTER.

    Is 10w30 good for high mileage? ›

    Designed for high mileage vehicles

    Mobil 1 High Mileage 10W-30 motor oil is recommended by ExxonMobil for use in high mileage vehicles (even those that have used lower quality conventional oils), including: Cars. Trucks.

    Should I use thicker oil in an older engine? ›

    Many older, high mileage engines might face issues with oil pressure due to age and wear and tear. In this case, a practical method to improve oil pressure is to use a thicker oil, since the thicker oils have heavier base weight oil, which can help protect worn engine bearings well.

    Should I use 5W or 10W oil? ›

    Both oils are exactly the same at operating temperature. The 5W is "thinner"/less viscous than the 10W when its cold. Unless your engine's already on its way out switching to a 5W will improve starting in colder temperatures and help reduce engine wear at start up.

    Will thicker oil damage my engine? ›

    It's best to use the oil viscosity recommended in the owner's manual, but using a slightly thinner or thicker oil (lighter or heavier viscosity) generally poses no long-term harm.

    Is 5W30 good for high mileage engine? ›

    High mileage protection

    Mobil Super™ High Mileage 5W-30 uses a combination of synthetic and conventional high quality base oils combined with modern performance additives to help provide long engine life and outstanding protection for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.

    Can I mix 10w30 and 5W30? ›

    The answer is yes. It is absolutely fine for your vehicle as they have pretty much the same grade of viscosity in temperature, thereby making them blend well together.

    Which engine oil lasts the longest? ›

    Full synthetic oils will actually last well beyond 10,000 miles. The lifespan of synthetic oil depends, but it's not crazy to see oils still working at 15,000 miles or longer.

    Which is better high mileage oil or synthetic? ›

    As a rule of thumb, most new cars require synthetic oil. Older cars generally run well with conventional oil, unless your vehicle has more than 75,000 miles on it, in which case high-mileage oil is recommended.

    What oil will last the longest? ›

    Which cooking oils last the longest?
    • Hydrogenated oils (such as Crisco): 5 years.
    • Peanut: 3-4 years.
    • Olive: 3 years.
    • Palm: 2-3 years.
    • Safflower: 1-2 years.
    • Sunflower: 1-2 years.
    • Canola: 1-2 years.
    • Coconut oil: 1-2 years.

    Is 5W30 better for older cars? ›

    5w 20 and 5w 30 engine oils are commonly used in colder temperatures. However, they are recommended for older engines and light-duty use. This is because an oil with a higher rating indicates that it is thicker and suits well those engines which run hot easily.

    Do older engines burn more oil? ›

    Because of wear, vehicles are more likely to consume engine oil as they age. Burning oil is a common problem, but when it is ignored, it can do major damage to your car's engine.

    Is 5w30 thicker than 10w30? ›

    10w30 is thicker than 5w30 because it has a higher viscosity in low temperatures. The engine oil will flow slower than 5w30 during the cold season. Thicker or higher-viscosity metal oil has a better seal compared to low-viscosity oil. Thicker oil offers better lubrication of motor and engine parts.

    What happens if you put the wrong engine oil in your car? ›

    Using the wrong engine oil can cause the metal parts of your engine to shear, making additional noise, and leaving metal shavings in your engine oil. If the temperature has been very cold, you might also be in for some trouble.


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