5w30 and 5w20 are both known to be the effective viscosity for most of the engine oils.
But even though these are the best-known viscosity grade, there are some differences in the properties. Often, many users unknowingly assume these two as the same. But what’s the truth?
Can you Use 5w30 Instead of 5w20? In short, no, you can’t do that. Different manufacturers suggest using each of these for specific vehicles. As these two viscosity grades are created with different properties, it’s obvious to create harm if you use 5w30 Instead of 5w20 for an engine. If you use even the slightest amount of 5w30 Instead of 5w20, your engine’s inner components can face potential damage.
So, today I will share the differences, probable usage, and compatibility of these two oils. Also, I will let you know if you can use the 5w30 as a substitute for 5w20 or not. Let’s get started!
Can you Use 5W30 Instead of 5W20?
Before using any oil on a specific engine, the manufacturers put the engine through a lot of compatibility tests.
One engine model cannot run efficiently or adequately with a non-compatible oil with a different viscosity grade.
5w20 oils are specified for a particular type of engine that requires lower viscosity and thinner oil at higher temperatures.
At the same time, 5w30 oils provide thick feedback on higher temperatures with high mileage but sticky oil flow.
Other than these, there is also a difference in the properties of these two oils.
So, no matter if these two oils serve the same amount of mileage, as the viscosity rate is different, you should never use 5w30 as a substitution of 5w20.
Sometimes, you may face situations where you must use the 5w30 oil as a substitution, but we never suggest you do that.
Because even the slightest usage of 5w30 instead of 5w20 can cause components damage to the engine.
Also, it can drastically decrease the performance of your engine, leaving it damaged from the inside.
The Differences Between 5w30 vs 5w20
The main difference between these two oils remains on the viscosity grade. The 5w30 has a thick viscosity than the 5w20 oil.
As a result, when you pour the 5w30 engine oil inside your engine, your engine will occur more friction and more dram inside the inner components.
On the contrary, the 5w20 oil is thinner compared to the 5w30, so it creates less friction while pouring into the engine.
Moreover, the performance of the 5w30 oil is better in hot temperatures as it tends to break less.
So, during high temperatures, the 5w30 engine oil is more compatible. It works better on increasing heat than 5w20 engine oil because of the raised viscosity grade.
Also, the 5w30 is compatible with most of the vehicles because of its diversity. But no matter how diverse it is, you can’t use even the single drop of 5w30 if your engine is not compatible with it.
Will 5w30 Hurt a 5w20 Engine?
Using the engine oil that the manufacturer company suggested will help you run smoother and better and give you better longevity.
If you don’t take care of your engine better, it won’t give you better longevity and break down much sooner.
So you need to use the engine oil that your car manufacturer suggested.
If you use different engine oil than the one which the manufacturer suggested, it will damage your engine’s internal components, making your vehicle less predictable.
So you need to use the exact engine oil that you are supposed to use. So if you use 5W30 instead of 5W20 it will damage your engine’s internal components.
5W30 is thicker engine oil compare to 5W20. 5W20 is used for the engine, which better performance and fuel economy at a higher temperature.
5W30 and 5W20 both have the same winter rating, meaning their thickness will be the same in cold temperatures.
But once you start the engine your engine will get hotter.
When you are driving a car, your engine will get hotter, and in high-temperature, 5W30 will stay much thicker than 5W20.
So in the high temperature, you will run with thinner engine oil, making your engine’s components move smoothly.
So you will get less friction, more fuel economy, and better performance. So if you use 5W30 in an engine that requires 5W20, it will hurt your engine.
Is it Ok to Put 5w30 in a 5w20?
Every vehicle is built to run on a specific type of oil. So if you put different oil, then you may face various issues like low fuel economy, high temperature, and even damage to internal engine parts.
Every engine is different because they are made for different types of engines and for various reasons.
5W30 and 5W20 are viscosity indications. They are determined by the flow of oil given temperature and their resistance.
Higher the viscosity, the higher the oil thickness. Meaning a higher viscosity rating oil will flow less smoothly.
They are used in an engine that needs high protection of the engine’s internal components, especially in high temperatures.
5W20 is low viscosity engine oil, meaning they are thinner. They are used in specific engines to maximize performance in cold weather and minimize flow resistance.
Even though they have the same winter rating meaning, they have the same thickness under cold temperature.
However, they are very different at high temperatures. Once the engine reaches a high temperature, the 5W20 will be thinner than the 5W30, so you will get better oil flow and better performance at a higher temperature.
So you will face internal components damage if you use 5W30 in an engine that is made explicitly for 5W20.
Can You Mix 5w30 and 5w20?
Yes, if your engine shows compatibility with the mixture of these two oils, you can mix these together for a better viscosity grade.
But most of the engine experts suggest to avoid doing this because some of the car engines can behave unexpectedly if you pour the mixture into the engine.
Sometimes, mixing these two oils can give you a good result as these are blendable. You may get an increase in mileage, performance, and overall engine feedback.
But do not forget to notice for a couple of few days if your engine is behaving better or not. Cause sometimes, it can also create damages to some of the car engines.
It’s always better if you take the suggestions from any engine expert before pouring this mixture into your engine.
This will decrease the risk of potential damages, and also it will save you from wandering on what went wrong.
But here’s a few things that you need to consider before you mix these two oils together:
- Make sure that they belong to the same oil brand.
- Make sure that your engine each compatible with the changes.
- Calculate the combined viscosity curve and check the compatibility with your engine.
- Check if these oils belong to the same API classification or not.
“Tips: do not forget to follow the OEM recommendations before you use the mixture of 5w20 and 5w30.”
Is 5w20 Thicker Than 5w30?
No, the viscosity grade of 5w20 oil is lower than the 5w30 oil. As the viscosity defines the thickness of the oil, the 5w20 is a thin oil than 5w30.
So, if you are looking for a thicker oil for better protection, you should get the 5w30, but of course, check the compatibility first.
Being a thin oil, the 5w20 oil doesn’t provide enough protection against engine wear and high temperature.
As a result, though engines that are compatible with only 5w20 oil can run smoothly, other engines can face hazards if you use 5w20 oil in there.
It’s always better to put 5w30 oil as it works out better with engine protection and also the performance, but again, do not use it instead of 5w20.
We hope that you got the answers to can you use 5w30 Instead of 5w20 or not.
To conclude, it’s not a good idea to use any of the oils as a substitution for another unless you check your engine’s compatibility.
So, you cannot use the 5w30 oil instead of 5w20 because the engine’s compatibility matters a lot.
And if you want to use a mixture of these two oils, you should check for compatibility and performance beforehand.
In order to have a better idea specifically for your engine, you have to contact your local engine expert or the manufacturer.
Most of the time, the compatibility list remains on the engine’s user guide, so you can check there as well.
Hopefully, we have created this critical issue the easiest for you. Enjoy your ride!