0W20 Vs 5W20 Synthetic Motor Oil

Winter-grade motor oils, such as 0W20 and 5W20, are made specifically for cold climates. They maximize your engine’s performance and are very similar in contrast. So you may be curious to know what the difference is between them. What is the difference between SAE 0W-20 and SAE 5W-20 oil?

In terms of their structure and minimum circulating temperature, both oils are very similar. Both are low temperature motor oils, with 0W20 being preferable in very cold climates.

This article will describe the viscosity grades and give advice on how to use each oil correctly under specific conditions. It will also discuss oil blends and provide answers to frequently asked questions. Read on to learn how to differentiate between 0W20 and 5W20.

0w20 vs 5w20 Comparison Table

0w20 Oil5w20 Oil
Viscosity Index 160Viscosity Index 173
Viscosity in 100ºC (212ºF) is 49.8Viscosity in 100ºC (212ºF) is 44.8
Flash Point 230ºCFlash Point 224ºC
Suited Temperature Moderate Winter and SummerExtreme Winter and Moderate Summer is good for this oil
Use in SUVs and VansUse in Toyota Corolla, hybrid engines and gasoline engines
Good Fuel EconomyBest in the market
This engine oil is a standard one that can be used for everyday engine use in a subtle temperature.This engine oil with additives added always works extra for your rough driving.

Definition of oil viscosity

The resistance to flow of a liquid at a given temperature is called viscosity. Thin oils are easier to leak at low temperatures than heavier, higher viscosity oils. Thin oils are usually winter grade, so they can reduce engine friction and help the engine start quickly at low temperatures. Heavy oil, also known as summer oil, can retain greater oil film strength and pressure under high temperatures and loads, as well as seal better.

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) developed a computer coding scheme (SAE J300) in 1911 to distinguish oils based on their viscosity characteristics. Since oil producers had to start with a heavy oil to achieve the correct thickness at operating temperature, engine oils were initially of a single grade. Eventually, additive technology allows the oil to thin more slowly, making it possible to choose the thinnest oil from the film thickness decision. The viscosity specification is in the format XW-XX, where X is the cold working viscosity, W is the winter viscosity and XX is the hot working viscosity of the crude.

Single grade oil vs. multi-grade oil

Viscosity grades are classified into two types: single grade and multigrade. There are 11 viscosity classes for single grade motor oil: 0W, 5W, 10W, 15W, 15W, 20W, 25W and high temperature grades of 20, 30, 40, 40, 50 and 60.

This type of viscosity modifier is ineffective and is often referred to as straight-weight oils. On the other hand, unique polymers are applied to multigrade engine oil, allowing it to be used over a wide temperature range. When cold, this form of viscosity is basic, and when wet, it is secondary. SAE 5W20 gasoline, for example, would perform similar to SAE 5 at low temperatures (5W in winter) and similar to SAE 20 at 100°C (212°F).

0W 20 Oil vs 5W20 Explained

0W20 oil is a low-temperature grade that was applied to the SAE J300 EOVC method after 1952. It is a liquid engineering design that can flow smoothly as SAE 0 at sub-zero temperatures, but can only perform as SAE 20 at the same time. This type of oil can also start flowing in the engine oil passage at -35°C / -31°F. This oil lubricates the main engine parts, which facilitates cold starting of the engine in winter.

0W20 vs 5W20 Fuel Economy

Another low-temperature grade that is generally recommended for winter use is 5W20 motor oil, and 10W-30 will complement higher temperatures. This oil is widely used because it offers the highest fuel efficiency, lowers fuel demand and reduces exhaust emissions. Around the world, automakers and legislators, led by Japan, Europe and the U.S., are betting on 5W20.

Both 0W20 and 5W20 are synthetic-grade materials with low viscosity and good efficiency that can significantly improve fuel economy. When used in sunlight, their properties are identical. Similarly, there is virtually no disparity between the two models when used in cold conditions.

Differences between 0w20 and 5w20 oils


The tendency of a fluid to move at a given temperature is called viscosity in oil. Because of its low viscosity and ease of pouring, heavy oil is more suitable for high temperatures, while thin oil is more suitable for low temperatures. The letter “W” represents the weight at low temperatures; therefore, the lower the amount, the lower the viscosity. As 5 is thicker than 0, this ensures that 0w20 is thinner than 5w20.


Detergents are used by manufacturers as additives to increase motor performance during exercise. When deposits form on key engine parts during movement, they are often used to clean the engine. Detergents are important to reduce corrosion and rust formation in the engine. 5w20 incorporates both synthetic and natural oil, while 0w20 contains only synthetic oil.

Fuel Economy

The 5w20 is good, and the 0w20 is the most powerful and the best on the market. 0w20 is considered the most powerful because it works best at high temperatures, while 5w20 is ineffective at low temperatures. The effectiveness of the oil is determined by the type of engine, the existence of the engine, and the ability of the oil to perform effectively at different temperatures (Tormos, 2019).

Temperature range

The 5w20 is ideal for extreme winters and summers, while the 0w20 is better for mild winters and summers.

The role of climate and weather on engine oil type

The quantity preceding the “w” determines the viscosity of the oil. The higher the quantity, the thicker the oil and thus the viscosity. Ow20 performs well in both severe cold and extreme heat. It has a thinner oil than 5w20, which means that when exposed to excessively high temperatures, the oil breaks down; as a result, the oils can be ineffective in extreme summer.

Mixing 0W20 with 5W20

If you ask enthusiasts and oil specialists if it is possible, you will get different answers. Most professional mechanics and vehicle owners are very careful. They are wary of combining 0W20 and 5W20 oils. SAE 0 oil is fully synthetic, while 5W20 can be partially synthetic or conventional. And if the 0W20 and 5W20 versions are 100% synthetic, you have to worry about warranties and fuel usage.

Not to mention that 0W20 is extremely lightweight, is designed for new engines (manufactured within the last ten years) and has tight tolerances to increase performance. Check the consistency of the ingredients you want to mix and check the owner’s manual to find out what grades of oil are allowed.

Unless it is the only oil and emergency oil you have on hand, it is best to stop mixing or even combining the two versions. Since the SAE J300 specification specifies the overall viscosity, the 0W20 oil will still meet the 5W20 standard. However, if they are combined, the mixture will almost certainly fail the -35°C inspection.

Even if this is not the case, 0W20 and 5W20 produce different additives, and these additives release some long-lasting contaminants that ordinary motor oil can leave in the engine. When this happens, it is very likely to fall into trouble.


Is 5w20 full synthetic?

The engine oil is therefore fully synthetic. It is specifically manufactured to preserve the engine and, at the same time, keep it safe and tidy. The engine oil increases engine cleanliness and greatly improves efficiency.

To improve production, the oil is distilled from a high quality synthetic oil and uses a very specific method of additivation of the parts. The product meets and even exceeds industry production expectations.

How many miles is 5w20 oil good for?

The oil does not fatigue easily due to its advanced synthetic formula. And if the temperature is low, it will continue to perform and have excellent engine safety. If we consider stability and mileage, the advantages of full synthesis become obvious. Excellent oxidation and stability ensure vehicle safety for at least 10,000 miles until the oil needs to be adjusted.

What car use 5w20 oil?

This substance is recommended for any car with a gasoline engine. When using it, it can be found in SUVs, light trucks, buses, commercial cars, and high-performance turbocharged engines. Before using motor oil, it is necessary to know whether the engine has viscosity. However, as indicated by the manufacturer, it cannot be used in two-wheeled vehicles or in engines intended for flying airplanes.

What happens if I put 5w20 instead of 5w30?

Each form of oil has a particular viscosity. The higher the amount in the brand, the thicker the label. Fluctuations in the price of fuel can lead to increased consumption. The acceptable weight (per temperature) is specified in the car’s owner’s manual. However, if you detect a valve fluttering sound, return to the recommended valve. Unless you are driving in very hot or cold weather, you should drive in the lane.

Is 0W20 harmful to the engine?

It would increase fuel economy in a 5W20 engine because it has less crankshaft resistance and has improved cold temperature starting stability. However, if used as a supplement to 5W-30, it is detrimental to the engine.

Is it possible to use 5W30 instead of 0W20?

Although 5W-30 is an excellent combination of high mileage and fully synthetic motor oil, if your vehicle’s specification is 0W20, it is best to follow this advice.

Can a 0W20 engine be damaged by 5W20?

If the outside temperature drops below -30°C, the 0W20 engine may be affected. In addition, as 5W20 is a synthetic blend, it may include additives that are toxic or incompatible with 0W20 oil.

What happens if I use the incorrect engine oil or viscosity?

Oil leaks, declining mileage, noisy generators, cold start problems and oil burning are all possibilities. You don’t want the dealer to deny your warranty because you used the wrong gas, causing your engine to go bad.

Is it okay if I change oil brands?

Of course you can. However, choose a brand of oil that has the same API grade as you have used before. Also, be aware of the API category and viscosity instructions in your owner’s manual.

For Honda vehicles, can I use 5W20 instead of 0W20?

It is determined by the type of Honda engine you have. For example, if you have a Civic Hybrid, the manufacturer recommends 0W20 gasoline, and if 0W20 is not available, you should use 5W20. However, if you have a 2011 Honda Accord, 5W20 is always suggested.

Why does Toyota suggest using 0W20 in your engine?

It states that lubrication, engine reliability and safety, and emissions are the key reasons for Toyota’s recommendation of 0W20. Although ineffective at low temperatures, 0W20 has an ideal cold-start viscosity and can help the engine reach operating temperature as quickly as possible. It optimizes fuel consumption while reducing start-up wear and unfinished emissions. It also assures Toyota that the oil you are using is capable of withstanding the manufacturer’s prescribed oil change intervals.

For a Toyota Camry, can I use 0W20 or 5W20?

Since the manufacturer knows the engine specifications more than any engineer, stick to the contents of the manufacturer’s manual. If you have a 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid, for example, the owner’s manual might suggest using 0W20 as the primary lubricant and 5W20 as a substitute.


To prevent wear, the oil helps maintain engine performance during service. The vehicle owner plays a key role in deciding the engine reliability of the type of oil used. Before choosing which oil to use, different forms of oils, compatibility and additives should be considered. Currently, 0w20 and 5w20 lubricants are suitable for cars in hot and cold environments. Their disparity influences the optimal performance of their work at incredibly high temperatures.