0W-20 on cars calling for a 30 weight oil.

Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
67
Location
Greece
What is the experience of 0W-20 oils on engines calling for 0W-30 or 5W-30? Are there any reports of engine damage or things that could go bad to look for? PS. I do know not following manufacturers recommendations is unwise.
 
Joined
Nov 20, 2006
Messages
27,016
Location
MA, Mittelfranken.de
Given your location and high ambient temperatures i would even contemplate running it. Running a little thicker is no problem but much thinner like this could be risky.
 

CT8

Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
15,387
Location
Idaho
What are you expecting to gain other than a .01 mpg is perfect conditions? Use the recommended viscosity. Usually the engineers are better equipped to pick the proper oil over internet posters. That being said ,,,,,,
 

nickolas84

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 4, 2012
Messages
67
Location
Greece
In my case (Opel Corsa C MY2004) it is officially OK to run Dexos 1 0W-20 in Israel, but most of Europe is limited to Dexos 2 that only goes down to 0W-30. This could be for real reasons or marketing stuff (there is no Dexos 1 in Greece). I am looking for experiences, not opinions. So far I have not found a single case of engine damage due to using a 0W-20 oil on a 30 weight designed engine. Are there any reports of engine damage?
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
14,008
Location
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: spasm3
I would only do it in sub zero temps and short trips.
Originally Posted By: Tabor
Use 0w-30 and be done with it.
Maybe at best mix 2 quarts of 0w20 and 2 quarts of 0w30, I still would not do this in hot weater. But in the 80's most 30w oils probably sheared down to something like the above mix.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: Trav
Given your location and high ambient temperatures i would even contemplate running it. Running a little thicker is no problem but much thinner like this could be risky.
Agreed. Because of climate I don't think there is really anything to gain by going thinner. Maybe if the climate was very cold,sub freezing,it is possible that the oil may not get as hot and therefore not as thin at operating temp however that's not the case here.
Originally Posted By: nickolas84
In my case (Opel Corsa C MY2004) it is officially OK to run Dexos 1 0W-20 in Israel, but most of Europe is limited to Dexos 2 that only goes down to 0W-30. This could be for real reasons or marketing stuff (there is no Dexos 1 in Greece). I am looking for experiences, not opinions. So far I have not found a single case of engine damage due to using a 0W-20 oil on a 30 weight designed engine. Are there any reports of engine damage?
Just to clarify engines aren't built for a specific grade of oil. They are built with specific clearances that consider metallurgy and how the engine will be operated. For example a racing engine that is built for high rpm operation will have larger clearances. This is because the engines internals will get hotter and therefore expand more during operation. They also require a thicker oil again because oil temps will be higher and therefore the oil will be more hot and thinner. The engineers who designed the powertrain know that the engine will operate within a range of temps,so they consider the highest temp the engine will achieve during hard operation then consider the minimum film thickness required to keep the moving parts separated during this hard operation. So if you are certain you'll never get the engine as hot as the designers anticipate then sure,go a grade thinner,however if even once you exceed those temps anticipated by the powertrain engineers you can rest assured you've accelerated wear. Now just to be clear it's very likely that absolutely no harm will come from going a grade thinner. Many oem's back spec'd their engines for 20 grade lubricants in engines that originally called for a 30 grade,but there were some specific engines that they refused to back spec which means they weren't comfortable using a thinner grade oil in those engines. So let's consider that General Motors has gotten on board using 20 grade engine oils,yet on this engine they weren't comfortable using a 20 grade which then begs the question why. And that's a question you should be asking yourself. In this brave new world of 20 grades,and soon 16 grade lubricants the oem did not feel this engine was a candidate for the thinner lubricant. If you're set on doing this I suggest being informed so you should get a uoa done on the oil in the sump,and run 1 more interval using the specified grade. Once you've gotten a baseline using the correct lubricant only then should you run an interval of the thinner lube. Pull a few samples,every 2000 miles or so and have the oil tested and compare those results against your trended data and against the universal averages for your engine. Not that I believe in wear metals in the oil actually means wear however it's all we have to go by so it's better than nothing. Then you can at least make an informed decision. If the values seen in the uoa of the thinner oil are comparable and similar to the values using the correct grade then you can assume your not doing any harm. Edit: I missed the part where the oem did specify a 20 grade in a different market,and considering that market is Israel which I'm going to assume is hot most of the time then I don't see any reason why a 20 grade can't be used in a climate which isn't as hot. I'm going to guess that they specify a 30 grade because of the ability to operate on motorways where speed limits don't exist. That and likely acquiring 20 grades out there might be more difficult. Just spitballing.
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
5,217
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
I use Mobil I 0w-20 in my 04 Camry V6 in the winter here in Nebraska where ambient can get to well below 0 F. My engine was speced for 5W-30, but I have used 0W-30 in the summer since it became available.But then, Toyota has back speced my V6 for 0W-20 oil. I can't tell any difference. I doubt you would experience engine damage using 0W-20 unless you run your engine very hard. For sustained high speed driving, I would use 0W-30. Regards.
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
<span style="font-family: 'Verdana'">Will 0W-20 lubricate better than a 30 weight? If so, a 0W-10 would lubricate even better. What they need to come out with is a 0W-00, that stuff would fly off the shelves.</span>
 
Joined
Nov 11, 2010
Messages
9,783
Location
Saskatoon canada
Originally Posted By: Ram01
Heavier is better
K. Wanna qualify that statement. So should we be using a 20w-50 since heavier is better or can you elaborate. An explanation would be nice. Blanket statements such as yours need to be expanded on. Not that I disagree however how is it better. Why is it better. Better for what. Catch my drift.
 
Joined
Dec 12, 2002
Messages
43,672
Location
'Stralia
Originally Posted By: nickolas84
I am looking for experiences, not opinions. So far I have not found a single case of engine damage due to using a 0W-20 oil on a 30 weight designed engine. Are there any reports of engine damage?
Everything that's on BITOG is opinion...however the number of people (data points) doing what you suggest is small, so the number of people that have had a failure as a result is smaller still. Needle in a haystack. Only way to avoid opinion is it to either find, or create a data point. Please do create a data point, and report back your findings.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
8,017
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Merkava_4
Will 0W-20 lubricate better than a 30 weight? If so, a 0W-10 would lubricate even better. What they need to come out with is a 0W-00, that stuff would fly off the shelves.
So what your implying is that a Xw30 would lubricate better than a Xw20? If so, then a Xw40 is better than a Xw30, and a Xw50 is better than a Xw40! I need to drain my AFE 0w20 and put in some 20w50 ASAP! joking of course.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2012
Messages
214
Location
winter park, Fl.
Originally Posted By: Rolla07
I doubt any issues, but to what benefit would running it over a 0w30 or 5w30? Minimal harm/benefit.
Not too long ago a comment like that would have got you in trouble here, I should know.
 
Top