5w30 vs 10w30: Difference and Comparison

Any vehicle or automobile requires lubrication to run 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 engine oils or viscous fluids used to lubricate engines. The difference between the two engine oils, 5w30 and 10w30, lies in their viscosity and use. This difference is necessary to decide on the right lubricant for your vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  1. Viscosity: 5w30 has a lower viscosity than 10w30, which flows more smoothly and provides better fuel economy.
  2. Temperature: 5w30 is recommended for colder temperatures as it has a lower cold cranking rating, while 10w30 is preferred for hotter weather.
  3. Compatibility: Both types of motor oil are compatible with most modern vehicles, but 10w30 is better suited for older engines with higher mileage.

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 vs 10w30

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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 can cover a large range of temperatures 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 temperatures.

Comparison Table

Parameters of Comparison5w3010w30
MeaningIt is a common viscosity fuel for lubricating engines used for various temperatures.It is also a viscous engine oil for the lubrication of engines but has 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 thicker engine oil. They cannot go through and reach all the parts of the engine, so their efficiency is less.
TemperatureRemains a viscous fluid over a wide range of temperatures from -35 to 35 degrees Celsius.Compared to 5w30 engine oil, the covered temperature range is smaller, from -16 to 30 degrees Celsius.
Ideal useThe engine oil works better during lower temperatures or winters as it loosens up as temperature decreases.The engine oil works better during higher temperatures, especially in summer.
Type of vehicleThis engine oil can be used for any automobile with light-duty petrol or diesel vehicles.It is preferably used only for heavy-loaded vehicles like trucks, buses, or old engines.

What is 5w30?

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

The oil’s naming represents the fuel’s viscosity, suitable weather, and thickness. So, in this case, the viscosity of the fuel is 5. With 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 for use in winter for automobiles as they have a viscosity-temperature of a minimum of -35 degrees centigrade.

30 in the naming stands for the thickness.


What is 10w30?

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

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

Main Differences Between 5w30 and 10w30

  1. 5w30 is a viscosity engine oil used for a wider range of temperatures. They are fuels for the lubrication of engines. 10w30 is also an engine oil used for lubrication of the parts of an engine, but they are used for a smaller range of temperatures.
  2. Their respective viscosities mark the difference between the two engine oils. 10w30 is more viscous than 5w30 and is also the thicker fuel of the two. This changes the efficiency of the two oils as well. 5w30 is less dense 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 temperatures. They can be used as a lubricant within the temperature range of -35 to 35 degrees centigrade. But 10w30 covers a smaller range of temperature. They remain a viscous fluid within the -16 to 30 degrees centigrade range.
  4. Since 5w30 covers a larger temperature range, as low as -35 degree centigrade, they are the ideal engine oil used for vehicles during winter or in places with lower temperatures. Though 10w30 covers a smaller range of temperatures, they are still used as a lubricant for 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 vehicles like 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.
Difference Between X and Y 2023 04 21T133330.933
  1. https://www.sae.org/publications/technical-papers/content/841013/

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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