0w20 synthetic oil

0W20 Vs 5W20 – Which Synthetic Motor Oil Should You Choose?

When it comes to winter-grade synthetic motor oils, 0W20 and 5W20 are the two most popular choices. No matter how cold it is outside, these oils allow your vehicle’s engine to perform efficiently. These oils are quite similar, but that doesn’t mean there are no significant differences between them.

This article will discuss how one oil differentiates from the other. 0W20 is thinner than 5W20, which means it can flow more easily through tight spaces in your engine.

This makes it less likely to break down during cold weather or when used with turbocharged engines. However, 0W20 doesn’t provide as much protection against wear and tear on your engine as 5W20 does because of its thinness.

Let’s have an in-depth comparison between 0W20 and 5W20 motor oils to understand each better.

0w20 synthetic oil

What do these motor oil numbers mean?

0W20 vs. 5W20

The “0” in the number stands for the viscosity of the oil. A lower number means a thinner, less viscous oil that will flow more easily and provide better engine protection at high temperatures. It is best suited for cold weather conditions. It has an SAE viscosity rating of 10 and meets API SM/CF specifications.

The first digit in the 5W20 rating measures how well the oil resists viscosity loss at high temperatures. This means that it will maintain its thickness and flow better under higher engine operating temperature conditions.

The second digit measures how much the oil can tolerate soot or sludge before it becomes too thick to circulate properly. A 20 indicates that this type of oil has been designed for use in engines with normal amounts of soot accumulation, while an 05 would be more appropriate for engines with excessive amounts of soot buildup.

The third digit measures the degree to which an oil can resist corrosion caused by water and other contaminants, such as acids from battery acid leaks or coolant leaks from air conditioning systems.

Lastly, there’s a fourth letter (the W) that stands for winter-grade oils that have been explicitly formulated to provide extra protection during cold weather driving conditions compared to standard summer grades.

What is the difference between 0W20 and 5W20 motor oil?

Viscosity Grade

The viscosity of the oil is a measure of its resistance to flow. It’s measured in units called centistokes (CST). A lower number indicates a higher viscosity or thicker oil. In general, oils with a low number are better for cold weather because they provide more lubrication at low temperatures.

Oils with high numbers are better for warm weather because they flow more easily at high temperatures. 0w20 vs. 5w20- which one do you think has better viscosity?  To answer this question, let’s take a look at what each type does differently.

A lower number means that the oil will have better flow at low temperatures, while higher numbers mean that it will be more viscous at high temperatures.  So if you live in an area with hot summers or cold winters, then 5w20 would be best for your needs because it won’t thin out as much as 0w20 when exposed to extreme heat or cold, respectively.

But if you only experience milder climates like those found on the west coast, then 0w20 may work just fine for your needs since its flow properties remain consistent regardless of temperature changes (though there is still some risk).

royal purple 0w20

Fuel Economy

Talking about fuel economy, both these oils are similar. There is just a slight difference between the two. Since 0w20 oils have a lower viscosity than 5w20, they flow better at cold temperatures and are less likely to get stuck on engine parts. This means that your car will use less fuel when running on 0w20 oil instead of 5w20.


If you want to keep your car running this winter season smoothly, use a synthetic oil with a lower viscosity rating such as 0w- 20 instead of 5 w – 20 so that it flows better at low temperatures and provides maximum protection against high temperatures too! A car with 0w- 20 oil is easy to start and operate no matter how cold the weather conditions are outside.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Does 0W motor oil help reduce oil leaks?

Ans: Have you ever had an oil leak? If so, then you know the frustration of having to check your car for leaks constantly. It can be a hassle, and it’s not something that anyone wants to deal with. 0W motor oil may help reduce oil leaks in cars by reducing friction between moving parts. This means less wear and tear on engine components which could lead to fewer leaks.

Q2. Can you substitute 0W20 for 5W20 motor oil? 

Ans: If you have a car that requires 5W-20, then the answer is no. The viscosity of these two oils is different and, therefore, cannot be substituted. However, if your car only needs 0W-30 or 10w-30, then yes! You can use either one in place of the other.

Q3. Is 5W20 motor oil good for winters?

Ans: The answer to this question depends on the type of engine your car has and what climate zone it lives in. For example, if your vehicle is an older model with a newer synthetic-blend or high-tech additives, then 5W20 will work well during the colder months because it’s designed to flow at low temperatures.

However, live in a warmer region like Florida or California, where winters are milder. There may not be much need for such an oil since it won’t provide any additional benefits over other oils.

The Final Verdict- Which Synthetic Motor to choose? 

Synthetic oils are made from a blend of petroleum-based hydrocarbons, which can be processed to make them more effective in cold temperatures. The two most common types of synthetic motor oils are 5w-30 and 0w-20.

Both have their benefits, but there is one clear winner regarding performance in cold weather conditions. If you live in an area with extreme winter weather or drive long distances on highways that don’t allow for frequent stops, go with 0w-20 synthetic motor oil.

It provides excellent protection against wear even at low temperatures while also providing maximum fuel economy by reducing friction inside the engine.