Difference between 5W30 and 10W30 | 5W30 VS 10W30

Oil is a crucial component of your vehicle, playing a vital role in ensuring the smooth operation of the engine. Its primary function is to lubricate engine moving parts, preventing them from rubbing against each other and generating friction. Additionally, lubrication helps cool the moving components of the engine. The two most frequently used types of engine oil are 10W-30 and 5W-30. This article explains the difference between 5W30 and 10W30.

Both 10W30 and 5W0 are multi-grade oils that are also available as synthetic or conventional variants. These engines are utilized in different engines to minimize friction between rotating parts, thereby prolonging engine service life.

Difference between 5w30 and 10w30

The viscosity of the 10W30 oil is more than the 5W30 oil viscosity, making it slightly thicker. The lower viscosity of the 5W-30 enables it to work efficiently in cold weather conditions.

Viscosity refers to the resistance of the liquid flow. Liquids with low viscosity, such as water, flow easily and are considered thin. In contrast, thicker fluids, such as molasses, have high viscosity. Viscosity measures more than just thickness – it also indicates a fluid’s resistance to vary according to its molecular structure.

What is 5w30 Oil?

5W-30 oil is formulated to work effectively in both hot and cold temperatures. This engine oil ensures an efficient engine start in cold weather while still delivering exceptional protection in hotter conditions.

5w30 Oil

5W30 oil is usually recommended when your engine has reached its normal operating temperature or when the vehicle is being driven in high-temperature environments. Its higher viscosity offers overall protection and enhances the engine part’s efficiency.

In the 5W30, the number “5” preceding the “W” represents the winter viscosity grade, while the number “30” following the “W” signifies a 30-weight oil for use in hot climates.

What is 10w30?

10W30 oils are also multi-grade oils commonly used in cars with high-load engines, as they can endure high temperatures for extended periods without sacrificing engine efficiency.


10W30 maintains effective flow in hot climates and is best for commercial cars with older engines. These engines need thicker oil to lubricate the parts efficiently and promote engine life.

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Difference between 5W30 and 10W30

The main difference between the 5W30 and 10W30 is given below:

1) Meaning

Both 5W-30 and 10W-30 ratings indicate the oil viscosity. The “W” stands for winter, while the numbers in both ratings represent the oil’s viscosity. These multi-grade oils are already tested at different temperatures to ensure improved fuel economy and low-temperature operability.

Both 5W30 and 10W30 exhibit lower viscosity at a cold temperature, which measures the oil’s resistance to flow. The difference lies in their thickness at extremely low temperatures. The lower the initial number, the thinner the oil becomes in these conditions. 5W30 is SAE 30 when warm and SAE 5 when cold, and the same applies to 10W30.

2) Performance of 5w30 and 10w30

Both 5W30 and 10W30 share the same base number, meaning both engine oils will work similarly at functioning temperatures. The number 30 represents the thickness of the oil when it reaches to engine operating temperature. However, both oils have comparable viscosity at 100 degrees Celsius, while 5W-30 becomes less thick than 10W-30 in low temperatures.

As a result, 5W-30 oil flows efficiently in cold climates, providing adequate engine lubrication, while 10W-30 oil flows efficiently in hot climates due to the smaller temperature window. 

3) Ideal Use

Location plays a crucial role in selecting engine oils, as it is essential to consider where you are driving the car. However, multi-grade oil is considered to work efficiently in both high and low temperatures.

The 5W30 oil thins sufficiently in cold climates, ensuring that the oil reaches all parts and improves your vehicle’s performance during low temperatures. Conversely, 10W30 engine oil works effectively in hot climates or during high temperatures.

4) Best Vehicle Types

5W30 is well-suited for private vehicles and light-duty diesel and gasoline engines. It also offers improved cold-temperature starting compared to 10W-30 oil.

Conversely, the marginally thicker 10W-30 oil delivers superior lubrication for commercial automobiles with heavy-load engines. Although this engine oil can be utilized in colder temperatures, it is more appropriate for hot climates.

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5w30 Vs 10w30

10W30 has high viscosity in cold climates.It works better in hot climates. 
Its viscosity doesn’t reduce as quickly as 5W30 at high temperatures.In cold climates, it works efficiently.
Its viscosity reduces very quickly at high temperature.Its viscosity reduces very quickly at high temperatures.
In cold weather, its thickness is lower than the 10W30.In cold weather, the 10W30 thickness is more than the 5W30.
This engine oil is ideal for private vehicles.10W30 is best suitable for commercial cars with heavy-load engines.
It is ideal to use in colder climates.It is ideal to use in warmer climates.

When should I use 10W30 oil?

10W-30 is an ideal choice for high-mileage cars, particularly those with over 75,000 miles. These vehicles often require thinner oil to maintain smooth operation.

10W30 is an excellent option because it is thicker than 5W-30 but thinner than other alternatives while still providing sufficient lubrication for the engine parts.

Can I use 10w30 instead of 5w30?

It is possible to use 10W30 instead of 5W-30 oil because both oils conform to the SAE standard for viscosity at operating temperatures.

The difference in viscosity between these oils is generally minor. Nonetheless, it’s essential to recognize that in colder conditions, 10W30 oil flows less rapidly than 5W30 oil.

FAQ Section

What Is 5W-30 Oil Used For?

5W30 has low viscosity in cold climates; being thinner than 10W30. Therefore, it flows more effectively throughout the engine and provides better lubrication during cold climate.

When to Use 10W-30 Oil

For engines working particularly hard, heavy-duty hauling, or older engines requiring thicker oil for lubrication, use 10W30. The 10W30 engine oil may also be used in winter but is better suited for hot climate if temperatures frequently drop below freezing.

Can I mix 10w30 and 5w30?

Mixing 5W30 and 10W30 is possible. The hot viscosity, the 30 grade, remains unchanged when mixed. But the cold weather viscosity grade increases, making the 10W30 less suitable for cold climates than the 5W30 alone. Mixing 5W30 and 10W30 oils is unnecessary. You can safely add one to the other if you have one type in your engine and need to top up the oil before getting more of the same kind. However, it’s important to note that this practice is generally acceptable as long as the temperature remains above 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is 5w30 or 10w30 better for summer?

Both 5W30 and 10W30 can be used during summer, but some authorities endorse using 10W-30 for the added protection provided by the slightly thicker oil that can’t run off engine parts as quickly.

Is 5w30 or 10w30 better for winter?

5W30 motor oil is superior for use in winter conditions, particularly when temperatures plunge to freezing or beneath. This type of oil is capable of delivering quick, efficient lubrication down to roughly -22 degrees Fahrenheit. By contrast, a more viscous oil such as 10W30 may become too slow-moving in cold temperatures, hindering its ability to offer adequate protection.

Can I use 10W-30 instead of 5W-30?

The primary reason for selecting the 10W30 over the 5W30 might be the price. Otherwise, 5W30 is generally superior for vehicle engines. Opting for synthetic 10W30 is a better choice. You should only switch to mineral 10W30 if the lowest expected outdoor temperature is above -18°C (0°F). Always adhere to the engine manufacturer’s recommendations.

Is 10W-30 thicker than 5W-30?

Both 5W30 and 10W30 possess identical viscosity at 212°F, which corresponds to the typical operating temperature of an engine. However, when cool, the 10W30 exhibits a greater thickness or higher viscosity.

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