0w20 vs. 5w20: What's the Difference?

Engine oil is an essential part of a vehicle's diet to keep it moving. From here, we can deduce that its most popular usage is to provide lubrication for components that move. Other less popular engine oil uses are to clean, regulate produced heat, and protect the engine from corrosion.

There are two types of engine oils: synthetic oils and mineral oils. Synthetic oils are artificially manufactured, while mineral oils are obtained from organic sources. The more popular choice is synthetic oil due to its ability to work at extreme temperatures. And today, we will discuss 0w20 vs. 5w20, two of the most popular synthetic oils loved by mechanics and car fanatics.

0w20 and 5w20 have seen quite heated discussions, and many people want to find the best among these 2. If you have also been bugged with this question, today is your lucky day because we will provide you with an answer after comparing various attributes.

Let's get started.

0w20 vs. 5w20 Explained

To get to the heart of the debate, we must first understand the terms 0w20 and 5w20. The 'W' in their names is for winter, which means that both oils are for cold temperatures. The number at the start represents its viscosity at cold temperature while the one, at last, represents viscosity at operating temperature.

0w20 vs. 5w20 Viscosity

When selecting an engine, oil viscosity is an aspect you should pay the most attention to. By viscosity, we mean the thickness of oil at different temperatures. The thinner the oil at high temperatures, the better it will perform more efficiently, like protecting the components from friction.

Both the oils work great at low temperatures (not extreme temperatures), but 0w20 will work better at cold temperatures because it has a thickness grade of 0, meaning it's very thin. However, a grade of 5 is also relatively light, but it's still more than 0, so that's why 0w20 will work better in colder temperatures.

0w20 vs. 5w 20 Grade

What are the grades? When talking about grades in engine oil, it means the viscosity grades. It provides information on how well a lubricant will perform at various temperatures. From 0w to 25w and 20 to 60, there are 11 grades. From the names 0w20 and 5w20, we know both are great for low temperatures, but if you live in an area with low-temperature 0w20 will work better for you.

0w20 vs. 5w20 Performance

You must have realized until now that both the oils are very similar. It's only at cold temperatures that 0w20 performs a little better. The operating temperature is the same for both. They can also work at higher temperatures, but there is a limit, and they perform their best at lower temperatures.

0w20 vs. 5w20 Fuel Economy

There is not a massive difference between them regarding fuel economy. You can say 0w20 has a slight edge, but it's not discernable, and we can say that both provide the same fuel economy. Both are very thin and reach every part of the engine smoothly.

0w20 vs. 5w20 Price

Price is the deciding factor for many people when buying things. In engine oils, 0w20 is a little more expensive than 5w20 because it performs better at low temperatures. But one thing to notice is that these oils are more costly than the standard mono-grade oils. Despite the expensive price, you will value these quality engine oils for your money.