Difference Between 5w30 and 10w30 (With Table)

Any vehicle or automobile requires lubrication for running efficiently for a long period. Each part of a vehicle has its specific lubricant fuel that is necessary to be applied for the smooth functioning of that part. Even engines have their kind of lubricant oil.

5w30 and 10w30 are both engine oils or viscous fluids used for the lubrication of engines. The difference between the two engine oils, 5w30 and 10w30, lies in their viscosity and their use. This difference is necessary to know as it will decide the right lubricant for your vehicle.

5w30 vs 10w30

The difference between 5w30 and 10w30 is that 5w30 is less viscous and more efficient than 10w30 because the fuel is thinner and can reach the difficult part of the engine.

5w30 is a viscosity engine oil that is used for engine lubrication. The number 5 represents the level of viscosity of the oil, with 1 being the lowest viscosity and therefore better efficiency. They have low viscosity and also can cover a large range of temperature for various vehicles.

10w30 is also a viscosity engine oil for engine lubrication that is approved and named by SEA.  The number 10, again, indicates viscosity level so it is more viscous than 5w30. It is a thicker fuel that serves through a smaller range of temperature.

Comparison Table Between 5w30 and 10w30

Parameters of Comparison5w3010w30
MeaningIt is a common viscosity fuel for lubrication of engines used for a wide range of temperature.It is also a viscosity engine oil for lubrication of engines but a smaller range of temperatures.
EfficiencySince they have lower viscosity as indicated by their name, they have higher efficiency in reaching the hardest parts of the engine.They have higher viscosity and are a thicker engine oil. They cannot go through and reach all the parts of the engine and so their efficiency is less.
TemperatureRemains a viscous fluid over a wide range of temperature from -35 to 35 degree Celsius.Compared to 5w30 engine oil, the temperature range covered is smaller. From -16 to 30 degree Celsius only.
Ideal useThe engine oil works better during lower temperatures or winters as it loosens up as temperature decreasesThe engine oil works better during higher temperature, especially during summer seasons
Type of vehicleThis engine oil can be used for any kind of automobile that are light-duty petrol or diesel vehiclesIt is preferably to be used only for heavy-loaded vehicles like trucks and buses or old engines.

What is 5w30?

5w30 is a lubricant that is used for engines of vehicles like the commercial automobiles. It, therefore, engine oil is also called SAE 5w30. This is because it is named and numbered according to the rules of the Society of Automotive Engineering.

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The naming of the oil is done such that it represents the viscosity, suitable weather and thickness of the fuel. So, in this case, the viscosity of the fuel is 5. The lowest viscosity being 1, this oil is viscous enough for engines of commercial automobiles.

Since they cover the negative scale for temperature, they have the letter ‘w’ indicating the weather. They are most suitable to be used in winters for automobiles as they have a viscosity-temperature of minimum -35-degree centigrade.

30 in the naming stands for the thickness.

What is 10w30?

10w30 is also a lubricant that is used for engines of many kinds of vehicles. Since they are also approved and named by the SAE, they are also called 10W30 SAE lubricant.

10 is the viscosity level of the fuel. So it is much more viscous and thicker than 5w30. Therefore, it serves a different purpose than being used for commercial vehicles. They are used in heavily loaded vehicles likes trucks and commercial goods.

Since the viscosity of the fuel decreases with an increase in temperature, this oil functions better during higher temperatures. They are ideally used during summer as they would lose the viscosity and would lubricant all parts of the engine right.

This is the reason why they are used more during in summer than winter though according to the name it is to be used in winters. They are also used for the lubrication of old engines.

Main Differences Between 5w30 and 10w30

  1. 5w30 is a viscosity engine oil that is used for a wider range of temperatures. They are fuels for lubrication of engines. 10w30 is also an engine oil that is used for lubrication of the parts of an engine, but they are used for a smaller range of temperatures.
  2. The difference between the two engine oils is marked by their respective viscosities. 10w30 is more viscous than 5w30 and is also the thicker fuel amongst the two. This changes the efficiency of the two oils as well. 5w30 is less viscous and therefore can reach even the difficult parts of the engine for lubrication. But this is not possible with 10w30 since they are thicker.
  3. Comparing the two with their relation of viscosity and temperature, one can find a clear distinction. 5w30 remains a viscous fluid for a larger range of temperature. They can be used as a lubricant within the temperature range of -35 to 35-degree centigrade. But 10w30 covers a smaller range of temperature. They remain a viscous fluid only within the range -16 to 30-degree centigrade.
  4. Since 5w30 covers a larger range of temperature which is as low as -35 degree centigrade, they are the ideal engine oil used for vehicles during the winter season or in places with lower temperatures. Though 10w30 cover a smaller range of temperature, they are still used as a lubricant for the vehicles during the summer as their viscosity reduces as the temperature increases.
  5. The two engine oils are used for different types of vehicles. This is because of the difference in their viscosity and the temperature range. 5w30 is the engine oil used for commercial kind of vehicles like the light-duty petrol and diesel occupying automobiles. But 10w30 is used for heavy-loaded vehicles like trucks and containers. They can even be used for a bus. They are ideally used for old engines.
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Therefore, 5w30 and 10w30 are both engine oils which, according to the name, are to be used for vehicles during winter. But due to the difference in their viscosity, 10w30 is used during summers while 5w30 is still used during winters.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/44612431
  2. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/841013/