0W20 vs 5W20 Oil: Which Is Best For Your Car

0W20 vs 5W20

Oil plays a crucial role in the operation of your engine. The engine would seize up within five minutes if it didn’t exist. Therefore, it is vital that you use the exact oil that the manufacturer recommends in the owner’s manual of your vehicle. In diesel and gasoline engines, 0W-20 and 5W-20 are popular multigrade oils because they offer several benefits.  

If you want to know more about OW20 and 5W20 and their differences, read the full article.


Car TypesPassenger cars, SUVs, light-duty vans, gasoline trucks, models with turbocharged enginesHybrid engines, gasoline engines, light vans/trucks, multi-valve fuel-injected engines
Fuel EconomyGood fuel economyGood fuel economy
PerformanceCommonly utilized and optimized in a low-temperature conditionVery effective for hard driving
Flash Point230°C (446°F)224°C (435.2°F)
Suitable weather condition-40°F to 68°F Cold weather-31°F to 68°F Slightly warmer weather

Differences between 0W20 and 5W20

0W20 vs 5W20 Oil

Here are the differences between these two oils are given below.

Car Types

Understanding the compatibility of 0W20 and 5W20 engine oils for particular vehicle types is essential. In particular, new hybrids and fuel-efficient cars like Toyota Highlander & Honda Accord benefit from 0W20 oil. It is a great option for colder locations because of its low viscosity at low temperatures, which guarantees quick lubrication during cold starts.

Conversely, 5W20 oil strikes a compromise between efficiency and protection, making it a popular choice for a variety of vehicles, including regular automobiles and SUVs like the Toyota Corolla & Chevrolet Equinox. This grade gives dependable performance while yet offering enough defense against engine wear in both moderate and hot climes. The choice between 0W20 and 5W20 ultimately comes down to the particular requirements of your car and the driving environment.

Fuel Economy

Fuel efficiency is one of the most vital factors to consider when choosing an oil. However, regarding mileage and fuel economy, both 0W-20 and 5W-20 oils perform similarly. Fuel economy and maximum fuel efficiency can be achieved with full synthetic motor oils 0W-20 and 5W-20.

While 0W-20 oil may be more fuel efficient and emit fewer carbon emissions because of its thinner oil flow and low viscosity. On the other hand, if you are using your vehicle in low-temperature conditions during the winter, then 5W20 grade is appropriate.

Furthermore, motor manufacturers and governments around the world prefer 5W20, particularly in Europe, Japan, and the U.S.


You will notice that they are almost similar in terms of their performance, and neither of them has a different operating temperature. A thin oil grade like 0W-20 and a thick oil grade like 5W-20 perform best in low-temperature, while on the other hand, 5W-20 is slightly more viscous and is more suitable for seasonal climates.

Furthermore, with 0W-20, you can expect smoother flow and faster oil circulation, and varnish deposits, engine wear, sludge buildup, and low oil pressure are also prevented by it. So 0W-20 oil grade is the best choice if you drive frequently in below-freezing temperatures and rarely in warmer temperatures. And if your car use is in normal temperature, then 5w20 can also be used.


Viscosity refers to the resistance of an oil to flow. As well it describes the thickness of oil at different temperatures. That’s why the viscosity of motor oil should be considered when you switch from one type to another.

Further talking about these oils in different weathers. In cold temperature settings, 0W-20 motor oil acts as SAE 0W oil; however, 5W-20 oil behaves like SAE 5W oil. Motor oil performs better at cold temperatures when its number before the ‘W’ is lower. In spite of being thinner and more stable than 5W-20 at cold temperatures, 0W20 flows smoothly through sensitive engine parts, especially at low temperatures.

Moreover, 5W-20 oil has a relatively thick viscosity and is more suitable for normal temperatures. Both oils will act like SAE 20-weight oil in warmer temperatures. Both will decently lubricate all the engine parts and provide better fuel economy.

In terms of their operating temperature range, they are both suitable for temperatures up to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Lastly, under high oil pressure and warmer temperatures, they have a lower tendency to burn oil and consume more oil.

Bonus Read: Pennzoil Platinum VS Ultra Platinum Comparison


Price considerations are essential when it comes to 0w20 and 5w20. The prices of these two multigrade engine oils are higher than those of most mono-grade oils. Although expensive, they offer the best value for your money, as you will see in their functionality.

Further, in most cases, depending on the supplier, you will find the 0w20 to be more expensive than the 5w20. Most likely, this is due to its excellent cold-weather performance. You can find the most affordable option for your car by consulting your mechanic.


Here are some of the frequently asked questions about these oils given below.

What is the effect of 0W20 on the engine?

As long as the engine is designed for 0W20 oil, it won’t harm it. In case an engine is built for a different oil, improper lubrication will occur and cause failure.

If I use 0W-20 instead of 5W20 in cold weather, what happens?

At low temperatures, 5w20 has a thickness grade of 5, while 0w20 has a thickness grade of 0. So an acceptable substitute for a 5W would be a 0W since it would flow more easily. It is, therefore, possible to replace SAE 5W-20 with SAE 0W-20.

When running on 0W-20 full synthetic, how long can you expect it to last?

Oil changes are commonly performed every 5,000 miles or every six months to ensure the best performance.

Synthetic oil vs. conventional oil 5w20: what’s the difference?

Synthetic oil’s life expectancy is greater than regular oil’s, and 5W-20 is also available in synthetic mix. Despite its lower cost, synthetic mix 5W-20 motor oil provides better protection and lasts longer than synthetic motor oil.

Is 5w20 suitable for high-mileage vehicles?

With 5W-20, you can expect long engine life and exceptional protection for cars with over 75,000 miles by combining synthetic and traditional high-quality base oils with contemporary performance additives.

Is it dangerous to use the wrong engine oil or viscosity?

Using the wrong oil can cause engine failure, which might lead to the manufacturer refusing your warranty. You may encounter oil leaks, noisy engines, cold-start problems, low mileage, and burnt oil problems.

Related Posts