Can You Use 10w40 Instead Of 5w20? What Should You Do?

Can you use 10w40 instead of 5w20? This is one of the most frequently asked questions by drivers.

It might be challenging to select the proper oil for your car’s engine. The manual that comes with most cars specifies the kind of oil that is best for each engine.

Motor oil comes in four different varieties: synthetic, synthetic blend, high-mileage, and conventional. The composition of the engine and the ambient temperature dictate the criteria for these lubricants.

The viscosities of multigrade oils 5w20 and 10w40 vary depending on the temperature. Therefore, 10w40 can be used when the engine is running and during the summer, while 5w20 can be used for cold starts and the winter.

So are these two interchangeable? How do they have different functions? Find out more information in the article below.

What Is Multigrade Oil? 

10w40 and 5w20 are multi-grade motor oil. The qualities of Multi-Grade Motor Oil are enhanced to reduce its viscosity at low temperatures. As a result, when compared to monograde oil, a multi-grade oil is less fluid at low temperatures and thicker at higher degrees.

The Society of Automotive Engineers created a rating system to categorize motor oils according to viscosity. The viscosity of a fluid is its resistance to flow. While thick liquids have a high viscosity, thin liquids have a low viscosity. The viscosity of motor oil also changes when it is heated and cooled.

Oils with multiple viscosity grades can function in a variety of temperatures. Additionally, it has a certain number that represents how well it can pump and flow at lower temperatures. It will be preferable if this number is lower.

Oils with multiple viscosity grades can function in a variety of temperatures. Additionally, it has a certain number that represents how well it can pump and flow at lower temperatures. The better it will function in cold temperatures, the lower this number should be.

Do You Know About 10w40 And 5w20?

There is some basic information about these two multigrade oils that we summarize through the short excerpt below.

What Is 5W20?

As you know, the number before the “W” represents oil viscosity at 0°F, while the number following the “W” represents oil viscosity at 212°F.

So, for instance, 5W20 oil has a viscosity of 5W at 0°F and 20 at 212°F. Additionally, 5W20 oil produces less drag, which lowers fuel efficiency.

You may use this engine oil in different situations and on different automobiles. The oil may be utilized in cold conditions, especially in the winter, and is thinner than any other oil. 

In addition, 5W20 has a low viscosity and won’t freeze in cold weather. In the winter, this improves lubrication and engine performance.

What Is 10W40?

A 10W40 oil, on the other hand, typically has a viscosity of 10W at 0°F and 40 at 212°F. It weighs 10 pounds per gallon at 40 °F.

Your car’s fuel efficiency can be increased by using a 10W40 oil. Additionally, it can lower emissions and safeguard your engine from deterioration. This oil is also thicker than all other oils, including 5W20. Since it is thicker than other oils, it works better in hot temperatures.

Additionally, it applies to vehicles with a lot of miles. It is renowned in particular for providing exceptional performance in any car’s engine. However, using the oil in extremely cold weather or low temperatures is not recommended.

Read more: Switching To Synthetic Oil In Higher Mileage Vehicles Is The Best?

Can You Use 10w40 Instead Of 5w20? 

Yes! But keep in mind to wait until it has cooled sufficiently to prevent burning yourself. The closer you can get it to the heat, the better, but too much heat can ruin it. Additionally, a 0W20 oil can be used in a 5W20 engine.

The viscosity of 5W20, which is considered to be very low, is 5W. In comparison to other oils, this one is thinner. But it is employed in chilly climates, particularly in the winter. 

As was already mentioned, 5W20’s low viscosity and resistance to freezing in cold temperatures make it ideal for winter engine performance and lubrication. 10W40 has a high viscosity and is thicker than many other engine oils like 5W20.

A synthetic multi-grade motor oil with a high viscosity and density is called 10W40. Including 5W20, this oil is substantially thicker than any other oil. 

Since it has a high density and does not become lighter in warm weather, it performs better in hot temperatures. It is also utilized for vehicles with high mileage and is particularly renowned for providing greater engine performance in all types of vehicles. 

The only issue is that it cannot be utilized in really cold weather or in chilly weather. After that, we must transfer to another engine oil that operates correctly at chilly temperatures.

In conclusion, 10W40 should not be used in vehicles that are driven in cold weather, especially during the winter, since it may cause engine parts to become stuck and the vehicle to malfunction. 

However, 5W20 can work well in that situation. These recommendations state that a person should choose the best oil for their cars based on the environment and how the engine is used. 10W40 is superior to 5W20 for better mileage and performance.

Vehicles That Can Use 5W20 and 10W40

Due to their low viscosity, 5w20 engine oils are perfect for gasoline engines, light-duty vehicles, and passenger cars.

For instance, 5w20 specifications are available on Toyota, Mercury, Chrysler, Acura, Dodge, Lincoln, Honda, Mitsubishi, Ford, Mazda, and Jeep vehicles.

Additionally, engines compatible with 5w20 lubricants are also produced by BMW, Volvo, Jaguar, Saturn, Chevrolet, Nissan, Buick, Lexus, Pontiac, Subaru, Cadillac, and GMC.

On the other hand, motorcycles, older engines, medium- to heavy-duty gasoline engines, and cars with high mileage tend to do better with 10w40 oil.

What Does the Manufacturer Recommend?

In some cases, drivers may have powered their engines with heavier oils. For instance, if the space between engine parts has shrunk or gotten sloppy, a viscous oil may be advantageous. 

A better lubrication layer between moving parts is provided by thicker oil. In order to stop oil seepage from a leaky engine, some people have also utilized heavier oil.

However, when more viscous oil has a higher viscosity than what the manufacturer advises, it is hazardous for your engine. 

Your engine is also constructed with certain tolerances and gaps between moving parts. As a result, the advice to use a specific oil grade is deliberate.

The oil also needs to be able to cover these surfaces. However, it must also fit into the small, light engines of today and have stricter tolerances. 

In conclusion, follow the manufacturer’s advice because it’s typically the best oil for your engine.

Read more: Does Carmax Change Oil Before Selling?

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Is 10w40 better than 5w30?

The viscosity of any substance varies depending on temperature. At low temperatures, the 5w30 oil will flow more easily than the 10w40 oil. This means that at low temperatures, typically when the engine is first starting or during weather conditions like winter, the 5w30 oil will preserve the engine better.

Q: Can you use 10w40 instead of 5w20?

You can wait until it has cooled off sufficiently to avoid getting burned. Although it works best when kept close to heat. Additionally, a 10W40 would void your warranty, as you are aware. the 5W20 engine. Ford would approve of using a 0W20 oil in cold weather.

Q: What other oil may I use in place of 5W20?

The pumpability at cold temperatures is shown by the 0W or 5W. Consequently, a 0W would flow more freely than a 5W and might be a suitable replacement. As a result, an SAE 0W20 can be used in place of an SAE 5W20 application. provides improved fuel economy while simultaneously providing faster flow and the same level of protection as 5W.

Final Thoughts

We may conclude that different oils are manufactured and utilized for different purposes after looking at the characteristics and various types of oils according to temperature. Oils must be utilized in accordance with the demands of a vehicle’s engine. We hope this post will help you more!

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