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One way to protect your engine from damage is by using the right type of engine oil. Choosing the wrong type of motor oil can affect the performance of your car engine. There are different types of motor oils in the market, and they differ in thickness, viscosity, and ability to withstand high temperatures. Most vehicles have a specific type of oil recommended for them. However, what harm would it cause the use of motor oil in your car?

What is 5w30?

5w30 is a multi-grade viscosity used in automobile engines. This type of engine oil has a viscosity grade of 5 at low temperatures, while 30 is the viscosity grade of the oil in high temperatures, or at operating temperature.

Here’s an example of a 5w30 motor oil readily available on Amazon!

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5w30 Major Specifications

5w30 meets all the requirements of API SN and an ACEA, which differs depending on the oil brand. API SN is an engine category introduced by the American Petroleum Institute.

It was also approved 5w30 by MB (Mercedes Benz’s). This refers to their specifications that allocate a specific grade to the motor oil.

5w30 MB grade will vary depending on the brand of oil you use. They also contain Volkswagen (VW) approval, Porsche oil specifications, and Ford oil specifications.

5w30 Benefits

5w30 has a variety of different features, which makes the oil outstanding among other motor oils. This engine oil forms a continuous layer over the engine parts to help reduce the friction between them. It can also reduce the wear and tear of the engine and will protect the engine parts from rusting.

5w30 also increases the life of your car engine while having a much superior thermal stability. This allows for the oil’s properties to remain the same, even when the temperature of it varies.

The 5w30 motor oil is designed in a way that minimizes the consumption of oil. This is generally due to the fact that only a small amount of engine oil is needed to lubricate the engine.

5w30 engine oil is typically only suitable for automotive gasoline engines, light-duty petrol engines, and light-duty diesel engines. The oil provides an excellent flow in low temperatures, and so, it is the appropriate choice for use within cold climates/environments.

Related: 5W30 vs 5W40 Engine Oil – What’s the Difference?

What is 10w30?

10w30 is multi-grade engine oil. Its ability to withstand hot temperatures for a long time without compromising the performance of the engine makes it ideal for heavy-load engines.

This engine oil has a viscosity grade of 10 in low temperatures and 30 in high temperatures, or operating temperatures. Given that 10w30 engine oil has a low viscosity at low temperatures, it results in it being thinner when at these low temperatures.

Here’s an example of a 10w30 motor oil readily available on Amazon!

10w30 Major Specifications

Some of the things you need to look for in the 10w30 motor oils are ACEA, API SN rating, and its grade of viscosity. This motor oil meets all the requirements of the API SN.

10w30 motor oil should have an ACEA A3/B4 or A3/B3 rating, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association. This association is responsible for assigning oil sequences for various specifications of engine oils dependent on a number of factors.

The API SN generally will state that the engine should be able to protect the piston on the engine from any deposits, which could be caused when combustion occurs.

10w30 oil has improved sludge control, meaning that this motor oil does not form any undesirable sludge or gels when at high temperatures. 10w30 motor oil is also compatible with after treatment and seal which is often seen as a benefit.

10w30 Benefits

10w30 has a number of unique features and benefits. Just like the 5w30 motor oil, this motor oil forms a continuous layer over all the parts of the engine so as to reduce friction between them.

It can also reduce the wear and tear of the engine during the stop/start operation while remaining to keep the engine cool which is very important.

10w30 motor oil protects parts of the engine from rust while also extending the lifespan of your engine. It can provide the user with noiseless and smooth gear and clutch operations. 10w30 just like 5w30 engine oil is capable of maintaining its viscosity even under high temperatures.

The 10w30 motor oil is suitable for engines using advanced fuels such as biofuel and biodiesel. Although 10w30 can be used in cold weather, it is far more suited for use in hotter weather/environments.

What is the Difference Between 10w30 and 5w30?

Both 5w30 and 10w30 engine oils are similar, but there is a difference between 10w 30 and 5w 30 brought about by their viscosity. Both of these motor oils are multi-grade, meaning that they work well in both high and low temperatures.

But, one must be better than the other right? Let’s take a look at some of the key points that may separate these two engine oils!

Difference in Meaning

Both of the  5w30 vs 10w30 ratings represent the viscosity of the motor oil as specified by the Society of Automotive engineers. The ”w” in the two oils stands for winter. Both of these motor oils have lower viscosity at temperatures which measure the resistance of the oil to flow.

However, 5w30 is much thinner compared to 10w30. 5w30 engine oils will, therefore, be able to protect the inner components of the engine faster than the 10w30 due to its lower viscosity. While the 10w30 is the thicker oil of the two.

Oil Performance

Both 5w30 and 10w30 engine oils have a similar SAE grading. This means that both the motor oils will perform the same at high or operating temperatures. The digits 30 indicate the viscosity of the oils when at this high or operating temperature.

10w30, however, will become a thicker oil when in a colder climate. Leading to 5w30 being the far more suitable option during the cold season.

Ideal Use

Before selecting an engine oil, it is important to understand the location of where you will be using the car. Although both 5w30 and 10w30 are multi-grade, the latter of the two isn’t thin enough when in an area with extremely low temperatures.

5w30, however, performs much better during the winter season than 10w30 because it is thinner. In warmer climates, 10w30, on the other hand, will flow more effectively.

Related: Can You Mix 5w30 and 10w30?

Lubrication

When comparing the lubrication of the two motor oils, 5w30 provides better lubrication compared to 10w30. 5w30 is best suited for private vehicles and light-duty diesel and petrol engines, while 10w30 is more suitable for commercial vehicles and other cars with heavier load engines.

Can I Use 10W30 Instead of 5W30?

So can you put 10w30 in a 5w30 engine? The 5W30 and 10W30 oils have different thicknesses in cold temperatures, with the 10W30 being thicker than the 5W30. Therefore, when in cold environments, the 5W30 is better for running vehicles as it is thinner.

The first number (5 or 10) on these oils represents the viscosity of the oil, in other words, how easily the oil will pour at lower temperatures. Low numbers indicate lower viscosity, meaning that the oil is thinner.

An oil with a lower viscosity will be able to get to the internal parts of the engine with more ease, therefore protecting the components quicker than an oil with a higher viscosity.

Both oils include the second number 30, which specifies the thickness of the oil once it reaches operating temperature.

So in fact, the only real difference between the two is the initial thickness of the oil as it’s poured into a cold engine. A 10W30 oil tends to move slower than a 5W30 oil during cold startup.

As anticipated, it is quite recommendable to choose 5w30 if you live in a cold region or it gets really cold around your area in winter.

Using 10w30 in such situations could result in really hard conditions when starting up the engine and could even cause unwanted damage to the vehicle’s engine. But, 5w30 would work fine even in quite cold conditions as it would be easier to flow at a lower temperature.

A high viscosity will adhere to mechanical components better when subjected to high pressure and stress and will resist higher temperatures before it thins out beyond its operational viscosity.

So the answer to the question, can you put 10w30 in a 5w30 engine, is that you can yes, as they’re not too different from one another.

However, it’s not just about getting the oil that has the most viscosity, or as people say, thickness. The requirements are different for each kind of vehicle, and not every vehicle needs the same weight of oil to operate normally when compared to the other.

It is always best to use the weight of oil recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer to provide your engine with the best protection and maximum fuel economy.

Most car manufacturers will probably state that you can use either 5W30 or 10W30 oil for your vehicle. You will find this information in the owner’s manual, or if you can find this, contact the manufacturer directly!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Is it OK to use 10w30 instead of 5w30?

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.

Is there a big difference between 5W-30 and 10W-30?

There’s not so much a “big” difference between 5W30 and 10W30 motor oil but there is a difference. 5w30 is much thinner compared to 10w30. 5w30 engine oils will, therefore, be able to protect the inner components of the engine faster than the 10w30 due to its lower viscosity.


Please comment below if you have any questions regarding using 10W30 car oil instead of 5W30!

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