5W20 and 5W30 engine oil may have the same cold start properties but they are different in terms of viscosity, fluidity and usage. But, what if your vehicle’s engine oil light turns on and you have some 5W30 and 5W20 engine oil? Can you mix 5W20 and 5W30 and top off the engine?
Yes, you can mix 5W20 and 5W30 engine oil as it won’t hurt the engine immediately. In the long run, a mixture of 5W20 and 5W30 engine oil can restrict oil movement, make the engine hotter, increase moving parts friction and reduce overall fuel economy. So if you mixed 5W20 and 5W30 engine oil or accidentally used 5w30 instead of 5w20, replace it with the right grade during the next engine oil change.
- Can you Mix 5W20 and 5W30?
- Vehicle’s Requirement
- Oil Brand
- Consequences of Using a Mix of 5W20 and 5W30 Oil in the Engine
- Restriction of Oil Movement
- Effect the Viscosity
- Void the Warranty
- Decreased Fuel Economy
- Irritating Noise
- Can you Use 5w30 Instead Of 5w20?
- Difference between 5w-30 and 5w-20 Oil
- Flow Rate
- Is 5W20 or 5W30 better for high mileage?
- Can you use 5W30 instead of 5W20 in your Ford?
- Can you mix 5W30 oil with 10W30 oil?
- Final Words
Can you Mix 5W20 and 5W30?
The 5W30 and 5W20 engine oil have different additive, so you shouldn’t mix them. The possibility of mixing 5W30 and 5W20 oil depends on lots of things including the mixing ratio, your vehicle’s requirement, the area you live, the oil brand, and more.
If your vehicle needs 5W30 engine oil and you top off the engine with some 5W20, it won’t hurt your vehicle.
But if your vehicle requires 5W20 oil and you use a mixture where 5W30 is more than a quart, it can hurt the engine, particularly in cold weather. If you already put in a little of the wrong type of oil, refill the engine with a quart of the right weight and grade of engine oil so it can run smoothly.
In terms of the area, if you live in a hot area and use a mix of 5W30 and 5W20 engine oil, prolonged driving won’t be good for your engine. It can put extra pressure on the engine, particularly during towing a trailer or a boat. However, if you live in a temperate summer, you can use a mix of 5W30 and 5W20.
When it comes to the brand, mixing two different brand’s engine oil can put your car’s engine into deep trouble as they are made of different additives. So if you need to mix 5W30 and 5W20 in an urgent situation, take the same brand of engine oil.
Consequences of Using a Mix of 5W20 and 5W30 Oil in the Engine
If you mix 5W20 and 5W30 engine oil for emergency requirements, it won’t show any immediate problem. But you may start experiencing these side effects gradually:
Restriction of Oil Movement
Modern engines usually have small oil ports. If you use thicker engine oil than recommended, it can restrict oil movement and damage the engine. However, thicker oil has more viscosity which is beneficial for lubing the engine parts, particularly at high-speed driving.
Effect the Viscosity
The viscosity rating varies from model to model and the manufacturer recommends different viscosity for different climates. If you mix 5W30 engine oil with 5W20, the oil will become thinner and won’t give the engine the desired friction protection in the warmer climate. If you want to improve lubrication, stick to the recommended grade.
But if you use 5W30 instead of 5W20, drive your car without any worry. Even this change will make the engine more secure and help it run more smoothly in very hot temperatures. In a cold northern climate, you should go back to the 5W20 before starting the severe cold weather. Sometimes car may shake after engine oil change.
Void the Warranty
Another concern is that using a mix of oil instead of being stick to the recommended grade can cause you to lose the factory warranty. If you have engine trouble and the manufacturer discovers the wrong oil in the engine, they’ll void your warranty.
If your car engine already exceeds the warranty, still this change can give you less gas mileage. However, it’ll protect your engine better in the hot weather.
Decreased Fuel Economy
If you use a mix of 5W20 and 5W30 oil in your engine, it won’t lubricate the moving parts properly. So the engine may become hotter. If your engine gets the wrong grade of oil, it won’t provide the desired performance which will affect the fuel economy. So you’ll have fewer miles per gallon due to the engine’s harder work.
If the engine’s parts don’t get enough lubrication, they’ll start grinding with each other. Hence you’ll hear irritating noise during driving the car. The moving parts may also wear out quickly due to the excessive grinding.
Can you Use 5w30 Instead Of 5w20?
It isn’t beneficial to use 5w30 engine oil instead of 5w20 as they have different viscosity. If an engine calls for 5w20 engine oil, it needs this grade of oil to be operated smoothly. After reaching 212 degrees operating temperature, the engine’s components that contact with oil need certain viscosity.
If you use the right grade of engine oil, it’ll flow more smoothly with the least resistance. But if you use 5w30 oil in an engine that is rated for 5w20, the engine oil will flow with more resistance. As a result, it’ll reduce the engine efficiency and put the endurance at risk.
Using thicker oil than the recommendation will also increase the friction inside the engine. Hence you can experience several problems like engine deposits, oil leaks, and slush buildup. Since the 5w30 has more resistance than the 5w20, it’ll force the engine to work harder during running.
Difference between 5w-30 and 5w-20 Oil
Let’s start with the basic. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) set a numerical code system to grade motor oil depending on its viscosity characteristics. The number before W refers to the engine oil’s viscosity at low temperatures. The lower the number, the thinner the oil and better for cold temperatures. The number after the W indicates the thickness of the oil at the normal operating temperature of the engine.
Since both grades of oil have 5W, they have the same cold start properties. The 30 and 20 are the thickness of the oil during operating temperature (80 to 90 degrees Celsius). So the 5W30 oil is thicker than the 5W20 engine oil.
Key differences between 5w20 engine oil and 5w30 engine oil:
|Features||5w20 Engine Oil||5w30 Engine Oil|
|Viscosity||Less viscosity||More viscosity|
|Weather||Ideal for cold climates||Ideal for high temperature|
|Performance||Exceptional fuel efficiency||Less fuel efficiency|
|Function||Flows quickly with less friction||Flows slowly due to more friction.|
The key difference between the 5W30 and 5W20 oil is in the viscosity of the oil at normal operating temperature. The 5W30 engine oil has higher viscosity compared to the 5W20 oil in a hot engine and it remains slightly thicker at operating temperature.
It can be beneficial in high mileage or driving a vehicle during high-temperature climates. However, they have the same viscosities in a cold engine.
At engine temperature (212°F), 5W30 flows faster than 5W20 oil. However both oils are 5W grade, so they will flow easily in very cold climates or during starting a vehicle in the middle of the cold winter.
Both 5W30 and 5W20 engine oil start with a base stock of 5W oil. These also contain long-chain polymer to reduce thinning at higher temperatures. In comparison, 5W30 has more polymers than 5W20.
5W20 engine oil is preferable for the winter season as it causes less friction and helps lubricate the engine faster. So if you need to lubricate the engine in winter, go for 5W20 oil. In contrast, 5W30 oil is ideal for the summer season as it is extremely efficient during hot climates. This oil is thicker than its counterpart and keeps the engine cool during hot weather more effectively.
Is 5W20 or 5W30 better for high mileage?
5W20 oil is better for high-mileage motors particularly if the engine suits it. Otherwise, you can use considerably thicker engine oil like 5W30 for high mileage. It’ll protect your car’s engine and won’t put excessive strain during the long run.
Can you use 5W30 instead of 5W20 in your Ford?
Yes, you can put 5W30 oil in your Ford engine instead of 5W20. Many mechanics believe that using multi-grade oil is beneficial for an engine with 5W specifications. But keep climate change and engine temperature in mind.
Can you mix 5W30 oil with 10W30 oil?
Yes, you can mix 5W30 oil with 10W30 oil as both oils act similarly in hot climates. Even both of the engine oil has same viscosity at the engine’s operating temperature. So if you have a 10W30 engine, you can put some 5W30 oil on it.
In the end, you can mix 5W20 and 5W30 for emergencies. But the car’s engine isn’t a good option for experiments and frequently using a blend of 5W20 and 5W30 oil can damage the engine in several ways. So follow the recommendation of your car’s manufacturer and enjoy the safest and best driving experience in any climate.
Yes, you can mix them. They will mix perfectly. In warm climates, they will act very similarly. Both are the same viscosity at operating temperatures.Can you interchange 5w20 and 5W-30? ›
The answer to this question is no. You cannot use 5w30 instead of 5w20. You should always use the type of oil that your car manufacturer recommends. 5w30 is a type of motor oil that is made for cold weather.Is it OK to mix two engine oil? ›
Mixing them will not improve the performance or efficiency of your engine in any way. Nor will mixing improve the oil performance, either.What happens if you put two different types of oil in your car? ›
Yes, it is perfectly safe for you to mix 5W-30 and 10W-30 engine oils. Thanks to their close viscosity, mixing the two oils will have no damaging effect on the engine. It's worth remembering that 10W-30 has more density than 5W-30, so make sure you pour an appropriate amount when mixing.Can I use 5W-30 instead of 5w20 for high mileage car? ›
This is an important question to ask! In general, it's not recommended to use 5W-30 oil (or any other motor oil weight) in place of 5W-20 oil, as the difference in viscosity has the potential to damage your engine.Will thicker oil damage my engine? ›
It's best to use the oil viscosity recommended in the owner's manual, but using a slightly thinner or thicker oil (lighter or heavier viscosity) generally poses no long-term harm.Will the wrong oil damage my engine? ›
Your engine could still be susceptible to damage, and it's a good idea to have it looked at by a mechanic. Using the wrong engine oil can cause the metal parts of your engine to shear, making additional noise, and leaving metal shavings in your engine oil.
Pennzoil High Mileage SAE 5W-30 Motor Oil is engineered for cars that have accumulated more than 75,000 miles, particularly those that are experiencing oil leaks and oil burn off.What cars use 5W-20 oil? ›
Applications. Mobil 1™ 5W-20 is recommended by ExxonMobil for all types of modern gasoline-powered vehicles, including high-performance turbocharged, supercharged, multi-valve fuel injected engines found in passenger cars, SUVs, light vans and light trucks.Can you mix engine oil when topping up? ›
You can add any engine oil as long as it has the right specifications — preferably with an official approval of the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer). Not the brand, but the specification and viscosity indicated in your car's manual are your reference for using the right oil.
If the oil level is a little above the full mark, that shouldn't cause problems. If it's overfilled by half a quart or more, or foam shows on the dipstick, the best fix is to have the oil drained and refilled to the proper level.What happens if you mix wrong oil? ›
Using the wrong oil can lead to reduced lubrication and shorter engine life. If the manual says to use synthetic oil, do so. Contrary to what some believe, adding synthetic oil to regular oil won't harm the engine, but there's also no benefit in doing so.Can you top up engine oil without draining? ›
Adding oil instead of an oil change at this point could cause engine issues. This used oil needs to be removed to allow new oil to lubricate your engine's parts. PRO TIP Drop a drop of the used oil on the surface of water. New oil will bead up due to interfacial tension.Why can't you go back to regular oil after synthetic? ›
Once you go to synthetic oil, there is no turning back. By nature, synthetic oil is far slick than regular oil, which means that it can result in leaks in a conventional engine (which are dangerous and expensive).Is it OK to add oil between oil changes? ›
A: The dealer and manufacturer are correct that adding some oil between oil changes in a modern engine is normal, especially considering the oil is very thin — 5w-20 weight oil — and the longer 6,000-mile oil change interval.Is 5w20 better than 5W-30 in hot weather? ›
Main Differences Between 5w20 and 5w30 in Points
Because of its viscosity, 5w20 is always suggested for use in cold environments or during the winter. 5w30, on the other hand, is better suitable for use in hot climates or throughout the summer. It also operates in typical operating settings, i.e. in a normal climate.
When the engine has heated to normal operating temperatures or the vehicle is driven in hotter environments, the 5w30 is a preferred engine oil type. This is due to its thickness which gives the overall protection to engine parts and a better performance. Its counterpart 5w20 would breakdown in summer temperatures.Is 5w20 good for high mileage? ›
High mileage protection
Mobil Super™ High Mileage 5W-20 uses a combination of synthetic and conventional high quality base oils combined with modern performance additives to help provide long engine life and outstanding protection for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles.
Monograde oils are still widely available, primarily because they're used in very hot climates, or in heavy-duty applications such as mining or construction equipment. These single-grade oils can be used in 1950s and older cars – generally SAE 30 to SAE 50 – but most owners use multi-grade.Which oil is thicker 5w20 or 5W-30? ›
The 5W-20 will remain a little thinner at operating temperature, as indicated by its lower “20” number, while 5W-30 will provide a slightly thicker lubricating film.
Insert the dipstick into the tube slowly and push it all the way down. Now withdraw it and look closely at the tip, which should have oil on it. If the level of the oil is between the two lines, your vehicle has enough oil. If it's at the low mark or below, it's time to add a quart.What happens if you use synthetic blend instead of full synthetic? ›
Full synthetic oil offers longer oil change intervals and prevents sludge formation in your engine. However, synthetic blend oil is more affordable, can withstand extreme temperatures, and works well for heavy-duty use. Therefore, it's often recommended if you're driving a Hyundai SUV or perform frequent tow jobs.Can cheap oil damage your engine? ›
The risks of using cheap oil- Using low-quality oils can result in costly engine repairs and increased fuel consumption. - Oils that do not meet required specs could ultimately void your vehicle's engine warranty because of engine damage.How many miles is 5W-30 oil good for? ›
Answer: If your car uses conventional motor oil, such as 5W30 or 10W30, we recommend changing the oil every 3,000 miles or 3 months. If your car uses synthetic oil, we recommend an oil change every 5,000 miles or 6 months. You can push that to 6,000 or 6,500 miles if you almost always drive on the highway.At what mileage should you start using high mileage oil? ›
Who needs high mileage oil? Cars with more than 75,000 on their odometer can usually benefit from high mileage oil. Older vehicles with fewer miles can benefit too, as engine seals can erode over time regardless of mileage. Degraded seals mean leaking oil, and leaking oil means your engine isn't working at its best.At what point should I start using high mileage oil? ›
It all depends on how the vehicle has been driven and maintained. Some people might consider switching to a high mileage oil at 200,000 miles, while others may want to change to a high mileage oil at 80,000 miles. For the average driver, anything over 100,000 miles could safely be considered a high mileage vehicle.How long does 5W-20 oil last? ›
Vehicles in which 0w-20 is an option to 5w-20 mineral oil, (or 5w-30), will continue to require 5,000-mile/6-month oil change intervals, even if 0w-20 oil is used.What's the difference between 5W-30 and 5w20? ›
Oils having a higher viscosity resist motion, while those having lower viscosity are runnier. Between 5w20 oil and 5w30 oil, the higher the number, the thicker the oil is. 5w30 oil is thicker and more viscous compared to 5w20 oil.What is 5W-20 best for? ›
What is 5W-20 Oil Good For? As 5W-20 is a low viscosity oil, it's best suited for cars that frequently drive in low temperature environments and colder climates. It's ideally recommended for light-duty petrol and gasoline engines and can help with engine deposits and wear and tear problems.How do I know if I put the wrong oil in my car? ›
Common signs that the wrong oil was used
These will range from anything between the smell of burning oil, unfamiliar engine noises, oil leaks, and even a slight loss of power and efficiency. Much like any other part of your vehicle, your engine oil also has a definite lifespan.
Too much oil in the engine can also cause the pressure on the crankshaft to increase, causing oil to enter the exhaust pipe from the crankshaft into the combustion chamber, blocking the combustion chamber hole with oil and eventually clogging the engine. Wet spark plug; excess oil will also flood the spark plug well.Should you check your oil hot or cold? ›
With most cars, it's recommended that drivers check their oil when the engine is cold. However, some automakers recommend checking when the engine is warm for certain vehicles. To determine for sure which one applies to your car, check your Owner's Manual.How long can I drive my car with overfilled oil? ›
A conventional car can last for 200,000 miles. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. The average passenger car age is currently around 12 years in the United States. Choosing a well-built make and model can help extend your car's longevity.Is mixing old and new oil bad? ›
The practice of topping off your oil is essentially just like it sounds — you're adding fresh oil on top of existing oil. However, the trouble with mixing new and old oil is the new oil can become contaminated in the process or allow impurities to continue building in your engine.How long should you wait to start your car after putting oil in it? ›
Once you have your oil, make sure your car is again parked on level ground. Your engine should be cool, and you should wait at least 20 minutes to give the oil time to drain fully back into the sump. 4.Should you warm up engine before draining oil? ›
The five-minute rule is a good one. You warm up the oil so it's less viscous and it flows better. That way, less of the old oil remains inside the engine — stuck to the walls of the oil pan and other engine parts.What is the disadvantage of synthetic oil? ›
A few disadvantages of synthetic oil to be aware of include: Probably the most glaring downside of synthetic oil is the cost. The price of synthetic oil is around two to four times the price of conventional oil. Synthetics may be more prone to additives precipitation during cold storage conditions.Should I use synthetic oil in my high mileage car? ›
High mileage oil is designed for vehicles with more than 75,000 miles. Such oil features additives that help protect seals. This leads to less leakage and oil burn-off, which can be common in older cars. If your vehicle is high-mileage and high performance, it's suggested that you go with this type of synthetic oil.How long does it take for full synthetic oil to break down? ›
In extreme environments, those engine components can wear down. Your motor oil is the only thing providing a protective element between those moving parts. Unlike synthetic blends or conventional oils, fully synthetic oils won't break down and will protect your engine for longer—sometimes as much as 250,000 miles.What happens if you just add oil instead of changing it? ›
In short, your oil becomes contaminated and eventually, becomes a thick black sludge that can't do its job, which is to cool and lubricate your car's engine. Instead, it can gunk up the works, break things, and cause engine failure in the end.
It used to be normal to change the oil every 3,000 miles, but with modern lubricants most engines today have recommended oil change intervals of 5,000 to 7,500 miles. Moreover, if your car's engine requires full-synthetic motor oil, it might go as far as 15,000 miles between services!Can you change your oil right after driving? ›
The oil will warm up to about 100 degrees, which is not hot enough to burn you, but warm enough that it will flow easily. If the vehicle has been driven, open the hood to let air circulate and let the car sit for 20-30 minutes before draining the oil.What is the difference between 5w 20 and 5W-30 oil? ›
Oils having a higher viscosity resist motion, while those having lower viscosity are runnier. Between 5w20 oil and 5w30 oil, the higher the number, the thicker the oil is. 5w30 oil is thicker and more viscous compared to 5w20 oil.Can you mix full synthetic oil with synthetic blend? ›
The short answer is yes. There is no danger or risk of combustion, and mixing the two types of oil won't harm your engine.Is mixing 5W-30 and 5w 40 bad? ›
This is a common question that many people have. The answer is yes, you can mix 5w30 engine oil with 5w40 engine oil as long as the weight of the 5w30 engine oil is greater than the weight of the 5w40 engine oil.Can I mix 5w20 and 5W-30 reddit? ›
Engineered fluids are very complex and there is no guarantee that the oils and additives will be completely miscible. Its perfectly fine to mix the two.What vehicles use 5W-20 oil? ›
Applications. Mobil 1™ 5W-20 is recommended by ExxonMobil for all types of modern gasoline-powered vehicles, including high-performance turbocharged, supercharged, multi-valve fuel injected engines found in passenger cars, SUVs, light vans and light trucks.Why is 5W-30 oil so popular? ›
Why is 5w30 oil so common? 5w30 oil is one of the most commonly used motor oils because it is suitable for a wide variety of vehicles and engine types. 5w30's viscosity range means it can lubricate, seal, and protect an engine's internal components in a range of climate conditions.What are the disadvantages of synthetic oil? ›
A few disadvantages of synthetic oil to be aware of include: Probably the most glaring downside of synthetic oil is the cost. The price of synthetic oil is around two to four times the price of conventional oil. Synthetics may be more prone to additives precipitation during cold storage conditions.Does full synthetic oil last longer than synthetic blend? ›
Full synthetic oil offers longer oil change intervals and prevents sludge formation in your engine. However, synthetic blend oil is more affordable, can withstand extreme temperatures, and works well for heavy-duty use. Therefore, it's often recommended if you're driving a Hyundai SUV or perform frequent tow jobs.
Typically, it is not a good idea to mix oils, though you may be able to get away with it if the grades are fairly similar (such as using a 30 grade when a 40 grade is recommended). You should never mix conventional oil with synthetic oil.Can you mix 2 different brands of 5W-30? ›
THE ANSWER IS NO!
Even if two different brands of oil have the same viscosity, you still should not be mixing them together.
You can use 10w30 instead of 5w30 oil since both meet the SAE standard for viscosity at operating temperatures. Generally, the viscosity difference between the two is neglectable. However, it's important to note that a 10w30 oil will move slower than a 5w30 oil in cold environments.What happens if you accidentally mix oil? ›
What happens when you add a thicker oil to a thinner oil (or vice versa)? Again, if you accidentally mix thicker motor oil with thinner motor oil, it will not damage your car's engine (not for that one time you “accidentally” do it, at least).