Rethinking grades: 5W-20 vs 0W-20

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
17,295
Location
OH
I've been wondering recently whether I should continue with a 0W in our long out of warranty '12 Accord or go to a 5W. We don't live in an areas where it ever gets cold enough that the 0W qualification would matter and there seem to be some advantages in a 5W-20 over a 0W-20. When comparing oils of similar brand and quality, the 5W will always have lower volatility, which should help to prevent sticky rings over the years and miles. The 5W will also have a lower VII load, which should lead to less deposits over the years and miles. Is there any real advantage in the 0W-20 grade? I'm not sure that I can see one even though this grade is now widely recommended.
 

MolaKule

Staff member
Joined
Jun 5, 2002
Messages
23,069
Location
Iowegia - USA
We recently purchased a 2015 PathFinder which specs 0W20, so I made up a batch of 5W20 HM and the engine runs smoother with better response.
 
Joined
Feb 23, 2018
Messages
39
Location
NY
Usually, the same engines in other countries specify that thicker oil should be used. For example, Honda indicates that the 0W-20 should be used in the J35 V-6 in the USA, however, the same engine in other countries calls for 5W-30 viscosity oil. My certified Honda mechanic recommends to use the 5W-30 for more protection, and this is what I'm planning to do in my 5W-20 specified Accord V-6 the next time I change my oil.
 
Joined
Aug 23, 2010
Messages
3,947
Location
pa
from reading it seems smaller spreads of viscosity is better especially with mineral oils, PAO + Ester oils are a truely different animal, but usually overkill for most typical drivers
 
Joined
Oct 3, 2014
Messages
1,882
Location
NoVA
I use 5w30 in most vehicles that call for 0/5w20. As said many cars in the US that call for thin oil call for 5w30 else where that does not have to meet CAFE standards. My truck calls for 5w20 but I run a mix of 10w30/5w30, what ever I have in the shop.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2009
Messages
508
Location
VA
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
I've been wondering recently whether I should continue with a 0W in our long out of warranty '12 Accord or go to a 5W. We don't live in an areas where it ever gets cold enough that the 0W qualification would matter and there seem to be some advantages in a 5W-20 over a 0W-20. When comparing oils of similar brand and quality, the 5W will always have lower volatility, which should help to prevent sticky rings over the years and miles. The 5W will also have a lower VII load, which should lead to less deposits over the years and miles. Is there any real advantage in the 0W-20 grade? I'm not sure that I can see one even though this grade is now widely recommended.
I have pretty much the same thoughts as you concerning 5w-20 versus 0w-20.
 

fdcg27

Thread starter
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
17,295
Location
OH
I guess I didn't express my point clearly enough in my original post. Everyone knows about CAFE, other market specs as well as that the engine won't know the difference. I simply wonder whether I'm missing something in a market where all newer engines seem to have the 0W-20 grade recommended for them. Nothing wrong with the 0W-20 grade, but going with a 5W-20 looks to me like all upside.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2017
Messages
3,275
Location
On another site
0w20 might have been specified to make sure you used synthetic. I'd think if you kept your 5w20 synthetic...no issues.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2013
Messages
10,350
Location
The Midwest
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
We recently purchased a 2015 PathFinder which specs 0W20, so I made up a batch of 5W20 HM and the engine runs smoother with better response.
You formulated your own oil from scratch?
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,195
Location
San Antonio, TX
The world does not need 0W-20, 0W-30, or 0W-40. Totally useless grades. Replace all the zeros with a 5 and the sun will still rise the next day.
 
Joined
Jul 3, 2005
Messages
37,740
Location
NY
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
I've been wondering recently whether I should continue with a 0W in our long out of warranty '12 Accord or go to a 5W. We don't live in an areas where it ever gets cold enough that the 0W qualification would matter and there seem to be some advantages in a 5W-20 over a 0W-20. When comparing oils of similar brand and quality, the 5W will always have lower volatility, which should help to prevent sticky rings over the years and miles. The 5W will also have a lower VII load, which should lead to less deposits over the years and miles. Is there any real advantage in the 0W-20 grade? I'm not sure that I can see one even though this grade is now widely recommended.
I bought into the 0W20 and 0W30 hype a few years back. The more I read up on it the happier I am that I swung back to 5w30 across the board. For my climate the 5W is a better choice imo for the reasons you stated. Unless you live in a very cold climate I think you're better off with 5w20 oil in your application.
 
Joined
Jan 13, 2009
Messages
2,935
Location
wi
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
We recently purchased a 2015 PathFinder which specs 0W20, so I made up a batch of 5W20 HM and the engine runs smoother with better response.
You formulated your own oil from scratch?
Yes I’m betting he did.
 
Joined
Apr 13, 2013
Messages
3,110
Correct me if I am wrong, but shouldn't a 0- and 5w20 syn have about the same viscosity at operating temp? So the 0w & 5w part mainly matter on cold starts. Better flow on cold starts with a 0w20 is a plus, not-to-mention the better base stocks. I can understand avoiding 0w20 on an oil burner, though. FWIW, my Pilot calls for 0w20 and that's what I plan on using indefinitely. Maybe as it gets older, I'll go to a HM 0w20 but that's it.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
Messages
6,147
Location
Kalifornia Kollective
There is no real "better cold flow"... If it flows, the positive displacement pump moves the same amount in both cases. Since we all lived OK for decades on 10W-30 (even in OH), why even bother with the 5W ...
 
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
449
Location
Ontario,Canada
I usually use a 5w20 QSAD in the summer for my 07 Accord. Tbh, I need to burn some of my QSAD stash. Never had, nor do I expect any issues from the 5w conventional. I just wish that QS hadn’t changed the formulation, but they are the experts.. Use what you want, it’s your car, drive and enjoy.
 
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
24,677
Location
...
My understanding is that the cold flow difference between 0w and 5w is minuscule at best.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2004
Messages
13,722
Location
Middlesex County CT
Originally Posted By: dave123
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
We recently purchased a 2015 PathFinder which specs 0W20, so I made up a batch of 5W20 HM and the engine runs smoother with better response.
You formulated your own oil from scratch?
Yes I’m betting he did.
Yupper; that is when you can tell an old BITOG'r from a yung-un. Those who know mola can do that, and those who don't.
 
Joined
Dec 19, 2003
Messages
2,336
Location
Chicago IL
Originally Posted By: dave123
Originally Posted By: skyactiv
Originally Posted By: MolaKule
We recently purchased a 2015 PathFinder which specs 0W20, so I made up a batch of 5W20 HM and the engine runs smoother with better response.
You formulated your own oil from scratch?
Yes I’m betting he did.
Absolutely he did. He won't blow his own horn, too modest. Tribologist, and a host of other terms apply. Guy is an oil guru, normal, honest, and a valuable contributor. Respect and value his input. We are lucky to have him.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2008
Messages
451
Location
Corydon, Indiana
Originally Posted By: fdcg27
When comparing oils of similar brand and quality, the 5W will always have lower volatility
Here is the link to Valvoline synthetic Maxlife product information. I just remember seeing it the other day. It shows a lower NOACK on the 0w20 than the 5w20. Valvoline Product Information I also always thought that 0w oil used better base stock. So hearing 5w is better is kind of new news to me. In what ways is it better?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top