When it comes to maintaining your vehicle, one of the most important tasks is regularly changing the oil. But with so many different types of oil on the market, it can be confusing to know which one is the best fit for your car. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the difference between 5W30 and 5W20 oil, and explore whether or not it’s safe to switch from one to the other.
What’s The Difference Between 5w30 And 5w20 Oil?
The numbers and letters in the oil’s name refer to its viscosity, or how well it flows at different temperatures. The first number, “5,” refers to the oil’s viscosity when the engine is cold, while the second number, “30” or “20,” refers to the oil’s viscosity when the engine is hot.
5W30 oil is thicker when cold and thinner when hot, while 5W20 oil is thinner in both cold and hot temperatures. This means that 5W20 oil will flow more easily through the engine when cold, but may not provide as much protection for the engine’s moving parts when hot.
What Does The Owner’s Manual Say?
The best place to start when trying to determine the right oil for your car is to consult the owner’s manual. The manufacturer will have specific recommendations for the type of oil that should be used, based on factors such as the vehicle’s age, mileage, and driving conditions. If you’re unsure of what type of oil is recommended for your car, check the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for more information.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Using 5w20 Oil?
One potential benefit of using a 5W20 oil is that it may help to improve fuel economy. Because the oil is thinner, it requires less energy to pump through the engine, which can lead to better gas mileage. Additionally, 5W20 oil is often recommended for newer cars, as it can help to reduce engine wear and extend the life of the engine.
However, there are also some potential downsides to using a 5W20 oil. One concern is that it may not provide as much protection for the engine’s moving parts at high temperatures. Additionally, 5W20 oil may not be suitable for older cars or those that are driven in extreme conditions, as it may not be able to withstand the added stress.
Can You Safely Switch From 5w30 To 5w20 Oil?
In general, it’s safe to switch from a 5W30 oil to a 5W20 oil as long as the oil meets the same API service rating and the manufacturer’s recommendations. However, it’s important to note that making the switch may not be the best choice for everyone.
If your car is newer, or if you primarily drive in mild conditions, switching to a 5W20 oil may be a good idea. However, if your car is older or if you frequently drive in extreme conditions, it may be better to stick with a 5W30 oil for added protection.
Choosing the right oil for your car can be a difficult task, but it’s important to take the time to make an informed decision. By considering factors such as the type of vehicle you have, your driving conditions, and the manufacturer’s recommendations, you can ensure that you’re using the oil that will best protect your engine.