5W20 or 5W30 for Winter | Practical Recommendation for You

Based on the temperature and weather condition, the manufacturer composed different types of oil. For example, you will discover some of the oils for hot temperatures and some for winter to get a quick start and other advantages.

So, which one is better 5W20 or 5W30 for winter? In cold climates, 5W20 flows quickly on the engine and helps the engine to start quickly. Moreover, this oil is broken down slowly in winter. Overall, the oil is ready to protect the engine from friction. On the other hand, 5W30 is the ideal solution for high temperatures or the summer season. Though 5W30 is a good solution for high temperatures, some of the users thought that 5W30 is a good solution for both summer and winter.

These two oils have multiple differences. The core differences you will discover are viscosity, temperature, friction, protection, and so on. This article helps you to get a complete comparison so that you can make the right choice for your vehicle.

 Oil for Cold Weather

5W20 or 5W30 for Winter

5W20 and 5W30 have some visible differences from each other. However, both of the oils are popular among car owners who live in hot or winter places. However, from this section, you will discover individual differences between these two oils to select anyone easily.

5W20 Oil

If you live in a cold place and your car needs a quick start, you can go for 5W20. It is composed of cold temperatures. The less viscosity and thinner elements provide the cars with quick-start solutions.

There are plenty of specifications have of 5W20 oil. Check out the following specifications so that you can hassle-free compare with other oils.

  • This oil is best for cold temperature
  • Exceptional fuel efficiency
  • It provides super performance in lower temperature
  • Less viscous and flows quickly
  • Provides less friction

Its quick flow helps the quick engine start. In cold temperatures, it is a little bit tricky to start the engine because oils don’t want to flow quickly. You will fix this problem by using 5W20 oil without facing any troubles.

5W30 Oil

This oil is composed of high-temperature areas. Its more viscosity makes the oil suitable for high-temperature areas. The oil is not broken down easily; even the temperature becomes so high.

However, this oil also has lots of specifications that help the vehicle owner make the right decision. Let’s break down the following specifications and get a clear concept.

  • This oil is thicker
  • Less fuel efficiency
  • Comes with more viscosity
  • Flows slowly due to more friction
  • Provides low performance in cold temperature
  • Provides high performance in high temperature

It flows slowly, which is the main caused that the oil is not suitable for cold climate areas. The other elements of this oil are perfectly compatible for high-temperature.

A Comparison Chart Between 5W20 & 5W30 Oil

5W20 Oil5W30 Oil
Suitable for cold temperatureSuitable for high temperature
Provides less frictionProvides high friction
Due to less friction the oil flows quicklyDue to less friction, the oil flows quickly
Comes with less viscosityComes with high viscosity
It is used for heavy-duty applicationsDue to less friction, the oil flows quickly

Best Oil for Cold Weather

Synthetic motor oils are one of the best oil for cold weather. This type of oil is ready to provide quick-start performance for your vehicle engine. Typically, synthetic oil flows quickly, which helps the engine to start quickly.

Here, you will discover a simple list of the oils which are the best solution for cold weather. However, check out the following list of oils and choose any of them for your vehicle.

  • 0W20
  • 5W40
  • Synthetic oil

You can consider these oils for your vehicle when you want to run your vehicle in winter weather. On the other hand, fully synthetic motor oils are the best solution for cold weather. Among cold-weather oils, 0W20 oil is one of the best selections for vehicles.

5W30 or 10W30 for Winter

5W30 or 10W30 for Winter

5W30 oil is the best solution for high temperatures. On the other hand, 10W30 is a good solution for winter. 10W30 is thicker than 5W20 oil. 10W30 oil is suitable for 0-degree F temperature.

Though 10W30 is suitable for winter areas, some users thought 5W30 is also working much better for both winter and summer. 5W-30 used high viscosity, which is suitable for hot temperatures.

On the other hand, some users thought that W means winter. The elements of 5W30 are suitable for the normal winter season. Overall, 10W30 is a good solution for the winter season, but you can also use 5W30 as an alternative to 10W30 for the winter season.

General Queries

Can I Use 5W-30 Instead of 5W20 in Winter?

To use the oil for winter places, I suggest you choose a lighter viscosity oil in cold weather to improve quick start. Moreover, you should choose a type of oil that also helps the engine start-up protection.

However, you can use 5W30 instead of 5W20 in winter, but the performance you will get is similar. However, these two oils have viscosity gaps, friction issues, and oil flow differences.

5W20 oil flows quickly and helps the engine to start quickly in winter. On the contrary, it also uses less viscosity which is suitable for lower temperatures. Similarly, 5W30 oil is suitable for hot temperatures, but you will also use it for cold temperatures.

5W30 oil is not provided a better solution for cold temperatures. Why? Because of slow oil flow, friction issues, and high viscosity. Undoubtedly, you will get the best solution at a hot temperature by using 5W30 oil.

Who Should Use 5W20 Oil?

5W20 oil is a low-viscosity oil which mainly composed of cold temperatures. Moreover, this oil is suitable for cold temperatures because of its friction. The engine gets the oil flowing quickly, which helps the engine to start soon.

The oil is suitable for the person who lives in cold climate areas. This oil is popular among the Canadian people because they live in cold temperature areas.

Who Should Use 5W30 Oil?

5W30 oil is composed for vehicles that use it at high temperatures. The high viscosity and slow flows help the vehicle engine to run in hot temperatures. The elements of this oil are also compatible with hot temperatures.

Though this oil is suitable for hot temperatures, some users believe that the oil is also ideal for hot temperatures. It is true that the oil is suitable for cold temperatures, but 5W30 oil is not ready to provide high performance like 5W20 oil.

What happens if you use 5w30 instead of 5w20?

5W30 oil is a good solution for hot temperatures, while 5W20 oil is used for cold climates. When you use 5W30 instead of 5W20, the viscosity and oil flows don’t match properly. On the other hand, the engine encounters much more resistance which is not good enough for the vehicle’s engine.

Can a 5W20 oil be used in both winter and summer?

5W20 is a multi-grade oil that you can use for winter and summer. But, if you want to choose a type of ideal oil for your cold climate vehicle, you should consider 5W20 oil without thinking anymore. It may perform poorly in summer weather.

Can you mix 5w-20 and 5w-30?

You can mix 5W20 and 5W30 oil without damaging your car engines. But, it is not a good idea to combine them. When you mix them, the oil does not flow properly in cold weather. Similarly, you may not get full benefits when you mix these two oils.

So, What Should You Use?

5W20 and 5W30 are two different oils on the oil market. Basically, 5W20 oil is composed of cold climates, while 5W30 oil is composed of hot temperatures. But, some users believe that 5W30 oil is also a good solution for cold weather.

According to the manufacturer, 5W20 oil has less viscosity and quick oil flows, which helps the cold-temperature engine start quickly. On the contrary, 5W30 oil has a high viscosity and slow oil flow, which is a good sign for hot weather. Overall, you can go for 5W20 oil for winter without any doubts.

Read Also: Best Motor Oil For Hot Weather To Ensure Better Protection


I am Engr. Z Eusuf Lubricant Specialist, Mechanical Engineer & has been working with engine lubricants for a long time and knows what makes them work best. I can help you find the right oil for your needs, and I have tips on how to keep your engine running at its best.