5w30 vs. 10w30: Top Engine Oils You Need To Know

5w30 vs 10w30

Engine oil is every motor’s source of life, and you will never be able to go on adventures or explore the scenic nature and great outdoors without it. And I’m sure this is the reason why you’re here right now, you’re trying to decide which is the right motor oil that can deliver the best results and reliable engine performance, am I right?


Well, you’re doing the right thing, we are all aware that not every type of oil will fit your vehicle, and it might even affect the way your engine works. However, it can be very overwhelming to see hundreds of options to choose from as you make a quick stroll down an oil aisle at the auto shop near you.

So to help you out, I’m going to help you resolve the differences between 5w30 vs. 10w30 oil, which will be the two of the most common oils you will come across. Please keep on reading below.

There are several types of engine oil, and they were all based on viscosity grades. But what does viscosity mean? Well, viscosity is actually the oil’s thickness that will allow you to determine its ability to flow thoroughly down the engine.

The SAE or Society of Automotive Engineers has then assigned distinct statistical codes to various motor oils, so there’s a way to easily know the viscosity of the oil, these are 5w30 and 10w30.

SAE assigned lower viscosity number to thin liquids or the ones which have a consistency like water. Thick liquids or the ones as thick as honey, on the other hand, has been assigned with higher number. So this means the higher the value, the thicker the motor oil is. For this case, we can already see how well the oil will flow down the engine just by looking at the number ‘5’ in 5w30 and ‘10’ in 10w30. 5w30 is definitely much thinner, so it travels quicker and more smoothly than 10w30.

Now, what does the letter ‘W’ means? A lot of people think it means ‘weight’, but it actually means ‘winter’. While the second number, ‘30’, indicates how thick the oil can get when it gets to its high operating temperature.

SAE has identified the viscosity number by testing the oil at 0-degree Fahrenheit and 212-degree Fahrenheit which is almost the same heat of the operating temperatures of an engine. In other words, 10w30 oil will take 10 seconds to flow through the tub when it is cold and 30 seconds in hot temperature.

5w30 vs. 10w30: Which One Should You Choose?

5w30 vs. 10w30: Which One Should You Choose?

Before you grab your camping gears, coffee thermos and whatever you need for your road trip, make sure you are using the best engine oil for your car.

But which one should you choose? Well, let’s consider some factors so you can decide which is more suitable for your needs.

1. Temperature in your area

First of all, you need to consider the type of weather in the area you live. If you’re living in an area with surrounding temperatures that can reach as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit, like in the northern part of The United States, it would be best if you opt for 5w30 oil. This is because the motor oil will be likely to get thick in a colder type of weather, this means 10w30 motor oil will flow much slower than the 5w30.

Though 5w30 oil also works great in warmer climates that can be as hot as 35 degrees Fahrenheit. What’s great with 5w30 oil is that it works really well in both hot and cold climates. On the other hand, 10w30 has lesser temperature window. It works best at temperatures more than -18 degree Fahrenheit but not more than 30 degrees Fahrenheit. In this temperature range, you will need to save the oil from thinning out.

2. Where you want to use it

If you are planning to be driving around areas that have colder climates, it’s recommended to choose 5w30 type as it can deliver better protection to the engine and has better flow even in the cold environment.

However, when you’re operating in hotter climates or when you’re frequently drive around the city, it’s best if you choose 10w30 type of oil.

3. Recommendation of your vehicle’s manufacturer

Make sure you checkout the recommended engine oil weight of your car’s manufacturer too, after all they are the ones who know best. You will absolutely be able to give your engine the optimum protection by following what they recommend.

For instance, if you use a 10w30 oil type on an engine designed for 5w30, there will only be extreme temperatures and greater drag because of the high viscosity input that can be damaging to your engine. This is why most automakers will really specify the range of oil that will be compatible with your motor; in this way, you will be able to successfully pick the best engine oil that will be suitable for your driving situations.


Engine oil is definitely the lifeline of your vehicle and this is something that you should never take for granted, it’s actually one way you can maximize the lifespan of your automobile.

Most trucks and cars you will encounter in the road nowadays are using multi-grade oil, these include 5w30 and 10w30, because it can perform on both temperatures, normal operation and cold starting, without compromising its performance.

Well, I hope this ends the battle of 5w30 vs. 10w30 on your mind and you finally know which one is suitable for your needs so you’ll have the best road trip of your life; the RV life is waiting for you! And oh, don’t forget to bring an outdoor TV antenna which guarantees you will never have boring nights in the wild.

Anyway, if you still have any more question, please don’t hesitate to drop it in the comment section below and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

5/5 - (5 votes)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here