Know Which is The Best Engine Oil For Your Vehicle: 5W30 vs 10W30
Engine oil is also more commonly known as motor oil. This is the oil that is responsible for lubricating your vehicle’s engine throughout its operation. That means it’s an essential item that everyone must have an idea of.
What some car owners fail to understand is it comes with different types depending on the universal motor oil index. This index labels engine oils into specific codes such as 5W30, 5W20, 10W30, and so on. Today, let’s focus on the battle between the 5W30 vs 10W30. Stay tuned to find out!
Origin of Motor Oil Codes
Earlier, we talked about the existence of a universal index that labels and categorizes engine oil. This index is the Society of Automotive Engineers index, which is established by the organization of the same name.
The SAE index might seem complicated because it combines letters and numbers. Thus, the labels “5W30 and 10W30” might seem like high school algebra to some car enthusiasts. However, it’s pretty simple as long as you’re aware of the nature of viscosity.
This is because the SAE index makes use of viscous contents to label the engine oil. In fact, it’s the major feature that determines where the oil will be categorized. Before we explain how viscosity works with this index, it’s important to tackle two kinds of oil grades first.
These two types are the single and multi-grade oils. Before getting into the index and codes, knowing what these two terms mean is essential. Consider this as a prerequisite in your brief engine oil crash course.
What’s the “W” in Engine Oil Codes?
You might be wondering, what do those numbers stand for? Before the numbers, let’s start with the letter “W” that we constantly see. The letter W is a symbol for cold temperature. You can say W is denoted from the word “winter”, which is the toughest season for motor oils.
The W sign is paired with numbers from 0 to 25. Note that this coding only uses sets of five, so there’s no such thing 4W for instance. The number signifies the temperature that the motor oil can pass through. The lower the number, the lower the temperature it can pass.
This is very important because during the winter, the wrong kind of engine oil can freeze. That’s because it doesn’t have the right viscosity for the job. Thus, the lowest code, which is 0W, can pass through the lowest temperatures. That’s around -35 degrees Celsius!
The Second Digits
Now, we can finally explain the last number after the “W” code. While the first number indicates viscosity during cold temperatures, the second tackles temperature fluctuation. This means that whenever the cold temperature rises, it modifies the oil to meet the standard.
The lower the number on the right, the thinner it can pass through higher temperatures. That means that a 5W20 can pass faster in hotter temperatures compared to a 5W30. Remember, the thinner the oil is, the better it will move in a hotter environment.
It’s important to keep in mind that SAE makes use of 100 degrees Celsius as the basis for the second number’s movement.
5W30 vs 10W30: How to Know Which is Best for Your Vehicle
While this article might sound like a match, there’s really no winner when it comes to motor oil classifications. That’s because each oil is designed to meet specific situations, environments, and models of cars.
Now that we’re aware of how the classification is constructed, it’s easier to assess the two engine oils. With that said, the only difference between a 5W30 and a 10W30 is its movement under cold temperatures.
5W30 moves far better than a 10W30 in cold temperatures. The former can move at temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius. On the other hand, the latter moves at -25 degrees Celsius.
Meanwhile, when the temperatures fluctuate, both have the same capacity to thin out as fast as the other. Thus, we can conclude here that the best distinguishable factor here is when the oils are used in colder temperatures.
How Motor Oils Lead to Fuel Efficiency
Choosing between these two engine oils is a matter of where you’re using your vehicle. Again, the entire coding system is based on the temperature of where the oil passes through. With that said, the temperature of your car is heavily affected by the environment that it is in.
For instance, your car can easily overheat if the temperature is high like that in tropical countries. Likewise, your engine is extremely cool when it’s situated in areas with high altitude.
Obviously, if you’re in a cold place where you think the engine temperature can drop below, 5W30 is your choice. Though you have to remember, it doesn’t need to be super cold. Generally speaking, as long as it’s winter weather, the 5W30 will work better.
This is because since the first can move faster, fuel efficiency is a lot more possible since your engine takes less time to do work. The work of the engine is lessened thanks in large part to the viscosity of the oil.
In a Nutshell…
Engine oil codes can be tricky at first. However, those combination of letters and numbers aren’t really complicated algebra. If you take time to research further, you’ll get a good grasp with how all of the other oils can benefit you.
This does not only make you more aware in engine oil purchase, but it also helps you save money through fuel efficiency. So, did your knowledge on engine oils widen after this article? If yes, then feel free to share this to your fellow car enthusiasts!
Also, don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below! Good luck!