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Old 08-13-2011, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
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Alright motorheads, what's the difference between these two blends of synthetic oil? My car recommends 5W20 Dino, but I go with synthetic (don't want to open that arguement) when I took it in to get an oil change, the dealer had a special on 0W20 synthetic.... But I was kind of concerned about using anything other than 5W20 which is what is recommended. Thoughts?
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:08 PM
 
Location: Mayberry
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0 20 is like water.
use the 5 20!
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:24 PM
 
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If the 0w20 is cheaper than the 5w20, certainly go with the 0w20. 0w20 is only available in synthetic, and as a result many cars do not put it as their recommended oil.

The 0w20 may give you a slightly better fuel economy in the winter. Also 0w20 is recommended for hybrids due to the fact the engine starts and stops frequently.
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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If you put different viscosity oil from what the car manual calls for you might be voiding any warranty-if you have one. Even without a warranty it is safer to stick to whatever the engineers felt is appropriate for the car. Saving a couple of bucks is not worth $$$ engine overhaul.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:37 PM
 
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I agree with the above if warranty is still intact. Otherwise, I still recommend you go with the 0w20. It's really odd to see 0w20 cheaper than 5w20... 0w20 is usually the most expensive.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:38 PM
 
Location: San Francisco
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I am skeptical of a zero weight oil. The car manufacturer's do it purely for a bump in fuel mileage.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:02 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
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The w stands for Winter and essentially means "how "liquid" this oil is in the cold/start up", lower the number more "fluid" it is, check your manual, they'll generally say something about what types of oil you can still safely use, like my Subaru which has a recommended 5W30, but states that 10W30-40 can be used in warmer climates, because you don't need the low cold start (winter) capability.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Indianapolis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBest View Post
I agree with the above if warranty is still intact. Otherwise, I still recommend you go with the 0w20. It's really odd to see 0w20 cheaper than 5w20... 0w20 is usually the most expensive.
Yeah, I was surprised too. 0W20 is usually more expensive! They're running a special on the Penzoil 0W20 Full Synthetic and it's $25 cheaper than the 5W20. The car's a 2010 Honda Civic (still under warranty) and this is at a reputable dealership where I actually bought the car. Using the 0W will not do anything to the warranty and is acceptable according to the dealer, I asked and supposedly most of the 2011 Hondas all take the 0W oil rather than the 5W.... I was just wondering what the advantages and disadvantages are between the 2. Is it worth paying more for the 5W? It's very tempting to go for the 0W! Most of my friends think that the 0W is the better oil!!

Last edited by X-Greensboro Resident; 08-13-2011 at 08:52 PM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:07 PM
 
Location: St. Ann, MO
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Well considering summer is almost over, you live in Indiana and it'll be cold soon. The 0W20 should be pretty nice to have during the cold winter months ahead. I'll assume that because you're running synthetic oil, you're not changing it every 3-5k miles like most folks do with Dino oil.

As stated, the W is designating a winter viscosity. Viscosity essentially means resistance to flow, the higher the number the higher the resistance to flow. A single weight oil, say SAE 40, is saying the viscosity of the oil is 40, which is a higher number than say, 20 or 30. Having the higher number means as temperature decreases, the 40 weight oil will flow slower than a 20 weight, or a 30 weight...and especially slower than a 0 weight oil. However, if you ran a pure 0 weight oil in the engine, as soon as the engine was warmed up, the oil would have thinned up so much that it may not protect critical components. As a result, we have multi-blend oils, which combine the best of both worlds...One viscosity for cold operations and a different (higher number) for warm operations. This ensures that the oil will protect the engine once it's heated to operating temperatures, and also ensures that the oil will flow easily when the weather is cold out, allowing quick lubrication of critical parts following startup.

The differences between a 5W20 and a 0W20 will be negligible, and if your dealership is the one with the sale it'd be them voiding your warranty, which i highly doubt they'd do. If you get a deal on the cheaper oil, i'd totally jump on it.

Also, if you dig through your owners manual, you'll typically see different oil options for different climates. I know this is the case with my motorcycles, but because of the vast differences in operating temperatures of most bikes in different areas, it makes a tad more sense than a vehicle...however, i'm sure engine temps vary pretty greatly even in an automobile between an Indiana winter and an Indiana summer.
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Old 08-13-2011, 10:21 PM
 
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unless you are going to see severely cold weather, stick with the 5w30. as indicated 0w30 flows like water, and is used for cars that see extremely cold weather(like you would find in the antarctic at the coldest time of year), or when bearing clearances are extremely tight. 5w30 will serve you just fine even at 40 below.
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