0w vs 5w in a typical winter.... Does it matter?

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Caldwell Idaho
I've asked the same.

I keep coming to the conclusion that a 0W is probably a "better" oil, because it can achieve a 0W rating, vs a 5W.. similar to what Davejam said.

I think what is being said is the difference is so small that the answer to the question is no.
If you need the 0W them it will be better but any oils 0w,5w,10W etc if properly used are good oils . I doubt we can call any of today's oils by the major bottlers bad oils.
 

ZZman

Thread starter
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7,218
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Michigan
Whats your vehicle.. whats a typical Michigan winter and what does your service manual suggest?
2005 Toyota Avalon. A typical Michigan winter is stated. Rarely do we hit negative Temps. Sometimes single digits.

Well since my car is older and 0w oil never existed then, 5w-30.
 
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I would suggest that Backyard Bill doesn't know oil has to go UP not down when an engine starts, lol.
When I saw this I just thought I would share this......back in the mid 70's when the Ford Pinto was popular with the 2.3 engine with OHC we (Ford dealership) were having a lot of issues up north with cams going out of them . Back then pretty much 10W30 conventional was used in everything and yes did cars Struggle to turn over in the really cold weather . Anyway , it was found the reason for the cams failing was it was taking aprox 10 minutes for oil to reach the cam bearings . Took a long time for that oil to travel UP !!
 
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When I saw this I just thought I would share this......back in the mid 70's when the Ford Pinto was popular with the 2.3 engine with OHC we (Ford dealership) were having a lot of issues up north with cams going out of them . Back then pretty much 10W30 conventional was used in everything and yes did cars Struggle to turn over in the really cold weather . Anyway , it was found the reason for the cams failing was it was taking aprox 10 minutes for oil to reach the cam bearings . Took a long time for that oil to travel UP !!


There was some pretty crappy oil back then.
 
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Upper Midwest
When I saw this I just thought I would share this......back in the mid 70's when the Ford Pinto was popular with the 2.3 engine with OHC we (Ford dealership) were having a lot of issues up north with cams going out of them . Back then pretty much 10W30 conventional was used in everything and yes did cars Struggle to turn over in the really cold weather . Anyway , it was found the reason for the cams failing was it was taking aprox 10 minutes for oil to reach the cam bearings . Took a long time for that oil to travel UP !!
If it took that long then there was something seriously wrong with the design of that engine. More likely there were some material defects involved as well.
 
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68
If it took that long then there was something seriously wrong with the design of that engine. More likely there were some material defects involved as well.
OHC was a new design back then . It wasn't so much the engine design as it was the flow of the available oils back then.
A lot of things started to change after this , 5W grade oils to start with.
 
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1,551
2005 Toyota Avalon. A typical Michigan winter is stated. Rarely do we hit negative Temps. Sometimes single digits.

Well since my car is older and 0w oil never existed then, 5w-30.
You solved your riddle then. 5w30 all day and year long. Those older Toyota's love Castrol GTX
 
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PNW
OHC was a new design back then . It wasn't so much the engine design as it was the flow of the available oils back then.
A lot of things started to change after this , 5W grade oils to start with.
To add, it was because the oil wouldn't flow well into the pump inlet tube. Once oil gets through the PD oil pump, it's pretty much going to get where it needs to get through pump force - that's the purpose of using a PD pump. But if the oil can't flow very well from the sump into the pump, then the oiling system is going to suffer.
 
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9,602
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Virginia
You ever been in Gunnison basin?
Yes, I have been there, it is cold. Not as cold as Gunnison basin.


It gets colder east of the Rockies routinely... In typical cold front winter time scenarios. In the plains east of those mountains the coldest Arctic air moves southeast and eastward. The Rocky mountains act as a barrier to that cold air from moving westward and southwest typically.

On occasions extremely cold air moves west of the continental divide. Not all that often though.. Though it can and does happen. Coldest temp ever measured in Colorado -61 °F.... North Dakota... -60°F.... Not a big difference obviously. In fact in Alaska -80°F at Prospect Creek was at only 1,100 feet elevation... Not at the top of Denali...

And the Yellowstone basin does get exceptionally cold at times... Base elevation typically 8,000 to 9,000 feet in that high elevation basis as well.

However... Those high elevation basins see much colder temperatures vs other areas in the Rocky mts either in the fall season or late spring.

A look at the temperature map from January 1985 massive Arctic outbreak gives a normal air temperature setup seen in the lower forty eight. Or the Arctic outbreak in January 1994... Or early February 1996...
 
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179
Location
New Hampshire
When I lived in Socal, I used to like running Rotella straight 30wt. oil in my Toyota pickup. Later, I ended up in New Hampshire with the same pickup and the same straight 30 weight mineral oil. In early October, we had a cold snap where it got near freezing for an early morning start with 30wt oil in the sump. The poor truck cranked very slowly and its idle speed was slower than usual. Throttle response was very slow. I imagine that the oil pump drive was under high stress. I changed the oil that same day with 5w30 synthetic oil and a fresh filter. Next morning, around the same early morning temperature, cranking speed was fast and the engine started right away and idled at higher rpm. Throttle response was night and day better. The engine seemed quieter too. What a vast difference. If my truck was kept outside, I would definitely prefer a 0w30 in the winter..
 
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2,013
Like API/ILSAC, I don't care for SAE either. Tests/requirements/specs constantly being revised in a leisurely vote/political fashion for the masses who think it means something. Look at GF6/SP and now oil protects timing chains in the year 2020+.... like we didn't use timing chains for 100 years.
Sounds like things are getting too complicated for you.
 
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WI.
Seems to me a 0W would pump, splash, dribble or flow better than a 5W at low temps say 0F and below
just seems to make more sense there's no 'hard cutoff' temp that might be projected by a test method.
 
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EU
To really look at winter oils would mean to not only regard flow at -15°C but likewise behaviour in EHL at +40°C or things that oils and rings build up at even higher lower oil temperatures. And most certainly a few more aspects professionals would talk about if only we kept quiet for a few days in such a thread. After all the better winter oil in that sense will also be the better oil for up to all-year in many areas / scenarios far beyond "typical winter" in Michigan.

We need a button to push threads up without posting. To make a professional or two chime in from time to time. An oil forum whose only reflexes and ambitions are CCS + MRV for J300 is not really hellish, just poor and sad and aging badly.

Could be we're better at chasing tungsten...
 
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OVERKILL

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Seems to me a 0W would pump, splash, dribble or flow better than a 5W at low temps say 0F and below
just seems to make more sense there's no 'hard cutoff' temp that might be projected by a test method.
See my reference to the doubling/halving rule earlier in the thread when discussing CCS visc.
 
Yes, the variable displacement pumps are becoming more popular for sure. I expect they suffer the same suction issue as the gear pumps due to the same issue: Lack of perfect seal, but I must assume that the existing testing methodology sufficiently captures this, hence the lack of revisions. Chasing losses has definitely resulted in some interesting changes and this is one of them.
Actually, the Chevy LS truck engine might even have more of a fun time drawing the oil up to the pump because the intake pipe travels across the entire length of the oil pan, and also there is a O ring sealing the intake pipe to the block that is known to degrade with age.
 

OVERKILL

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Actually, the Chevy LS truck engine might even have more of a fun time drawing the oil up to the pump because the intake pipe travels across the entire length of the oil pan, and also there is a O ring sealing the intake pipe to the block that is known to degrade with age.

Yes, that's an excellent example!
 
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