5W 30 Oil – Why You Should Consider 0w 30 Oil Instead

by admin on April 8, 2010

For fun I asked a hand full of my friends what the 5w in 5w 30 oil stood for.  I received a multitude of answers basically all indicating a lack of knowledge of what the SAE rating system stands for.  The closest answer was the the “w” stands for winter weight…

The 5w is a viscosity rating at cold temperature and the 30 is a viscosity rating at a high temperature.  The second number represents the viscosity rating when the engine is running.

VI or viscosity improvers are used to create a split weight oil.  Basically the oil company takes a lighter weight oil and adds VI to get the oil to stay thicker when it gets hot…

There is a problem with this approach.  If the VI is low quality it is prone to shearing down in the engine.  Think of spaghetti getting cut up by scissors.  Thats what the engine is doing to the VIs in the oil.  If the VI breaks down too much you end up with thin oil when the engine is hot.  Thin oil can lead to engine damage and premature engine wear.

The good news is that modern synthetic oils can be engineered to have a good split viscosity rating without excessive amounts of VI additives.  In simple terms good oils can handle big splits without shear down.

If the oil base is good and high quality VIs are used you can go with a 0w 30 weight in lieu of a 5w 30 oil.  The 0w means the oil is thinner than the 5w rated oil when you first start your engine.  The thing is both oils are far more viscous than needed to protect your engine so the 0w doesn’t harm anything in fact it can provide better gas mileage if you do a lot of on again off again driving in town.  It does this by its ability to flow better cold then the 5w.

In the old days of crappy VI additives the bigger the gap between the low number and the high number the more risk you ran of oil VI breakdown causing too thin of oil in the engine at temperature.  Now with good basestocks and quality VI additives you can have your cake and eat it too.

Make sure your using good oil!  Compare the top brands side to side with the best motor oil secrets whitepaper.  To learn more about 5W 30 oil go here…

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