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Which 30 Weight Oil Do I Use, 0W-30, 5W-30 or 10W-30?

We get asked this question so often that we have included this special page dedicated exclusively to answering the question.

AMSOIL 0W-30, 5W-30 and 10W-30 synthetic motor oils are ALL 30 weight oils. The answer is that ANY one can be used regardless if your vehicle owners manual says to use, for example, a 5W-30. "W" means winter. In winter weather the 0W oil will flow like a 0W oil, and the 5W will flow like a 5W oil and a 10W will flow like a 10W oil just until the engine warms up. In order to understand the differences one has to first understand that the numerical values given to these various weight oils are strictly empirical numbers. For example, 0W does not mean that the oil has no weight. That is one of the reasons why we say it is strictly an empirical number.

In order to determine the differences between the three oils one has to look at the kinematic viscosity of each lubricant. The kinematic viscosity is essentially the amount of time, in centistokes, that it takes for a specified volume of the lubricant to flow through a fixed diameter orifice at a given temperature.

Let's compare the kinematic viscosity of the three AMSOIL lubricants

AMSOIL 0W-30 is 57.3 cST @ 40 deg. C, & 11.3 cST @ 100 deg. C

AMSOIL 5W-30 is 59.5 cST @ 40 deg. C, & 11.7 cST @ 100 deg. C

AMSOIL 10W-30 is 66.1 cST @ 40 deg. C, & 11.7 cST @ 100 deg. C.

As you can see from the data above the kinematic viscosities are extremely close. Therefore, whether you use the 0W-30, 5W-30 or the 10W-30 is strictly a matter of choice. With the small differences in kinematic viscosity you would be hard-pressed to detect these differences on initial engine start-up without specialized engine test equipment.

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All three oils are excellent motor oils and ANY one can be used in a vehicle which requires either a 0W-30, 5W-30 or 10W-30 oil as well as in several other engine applications including an engine which recommends a 5W- 20 oil.

AMSOIL Signature Series 0W-30 Severe Service motor oil is one of the best synthetic lubricants AMSOIL manufacturers for gasoline engine passenger vehicles and light trucks. The molecular and chemical technology used to develop this oil was derived from AMSOIL's Racing Oil. It is a 35,000 mile/1-year motor oil. This is the same oil used by numerous police vehicles and severe duty fleets nationwide. In fact, many national racing teams use the 0W-30 for the qualifying event, then they change to the AMSOIL 20W-50 Racing Oil for the race. The extra horsepower and friction reduction from the 0W-30 often assists a race driver in attaining a better starting position. In fact, we know exactly which race teams use it, but cannot disclose that information.

This leads to the next topic: many people also ask us if the 0W-30 is too thin a viscosity oil for high ambient temperature operation. The answer is absolutely not! Thicker viscosity oils are not always necessarily better since in addition to its' various engine lubrication functions, an oil must also effectively transfer heat. Only about 60% of an engines cooling is performed by the engine coolant, and only on the upper half of the engine. The remaining 40% of an engines cooling is performed mainly by the engine oil.

Although a vehicle that is recommended to use a 30 weight oil can also use a 40 weight oil, it is usually not needed. You will gain absolutely no benefit from using a thicker viscosity oil if it is not needed. The only time we recommend a 40 weight oil, such as AMSOIL's 10W-40, to a customer in a passenger car or light truck application is if the vehicle's engine is excessively worn and consumes oil at a higher than normal rate or if the vehicle is being used for very severe duty, high load, high temperature applications.

Click here to see the TYPICAL PACKAGE that most people use for oil in their cars for their daily drivers when they switch to Amsoil for the first time.

When you look at the different Amsoil products, you'll see catagory descriptions next to them. (Look to the right of the 10W40 bottle in this example and you will see a list starting out with the letters API.) This will help you determine which oil is compatible with your engine.

For Gasoline Engines
Catagory
Description
Status
SL
For all automotive engines presently in use. Introduced July 1, 2001. SL oils are designed to provide better high-temperature deposit control and lower oil consumption. Some of these oils may also meet the latest ILSAC specification and/or qualify as Energy Conserving.
Current
SJ
For 2001 and older automotive engines.
Current
SH
For 1996 and older engines. Valid when preceeded by current C categories.
Obsolete
SG
For 1993 and older engines.
Obsolete
SF
For 1988 and older engines.
Obsolete
SE
For 1979 and older engines.
Obsolete
SD
For 1971 and older engines.
Obsolete
SC
For 1967 and older engines.
Obsolete
SB
For older engines. Use only when specifically recommended by the manufacturer.
Obsolete
SA
For older engines; no performance requirement. Use only when specifically recommended by the manufacturer.
Obsolete

If you are looking to make a purchase or wanting to become a dealer, please click the icon below. Amsoil products are primarily sold through catalog ordering. It's only $30 per year to become a dealer. If you wish to order at wholesale (25% less than the prices seen in the catalog), you can become a dealer or preferred customer to get the wholesale costs. The only way to get free shipping is to own a retail establishment and place an order exceeding $8,000. Otherwise if you live within a reasonable distance from one of the 14 warehouses in North America, you can drive in person. Shipping costs are so insignificant that it's often not worth the trouble to go to any warehouse. Since Amsoil has such a large account with UPS, they get a tremendous discount on shipping and pass it down to all of the customers.

Fort Meyers, FL

Robert Riley
Authorized AMSOIL Independent dealer
Amsoil Harrison, Tennessee
Telephone (888) OIL-4CAR
Click here to send email

Customer Tesimonials:

Satisfied Customers Praise AMSOIL

"We have a $15,000 motor to protect. That's why we use AMSOIL."
- Brian Cardiff,
Hawaiian Punch Monster Truck Owner

"I own NASCAR race teams and a car dealership in Colorado Springs. I have been a long time user of AMSOIL products in both enterprises. AMSOIL synthetic lubricants are required for my late model race cars and the tow vehicles hauling these cars. My service department at the dealership is required to feature and use AMSOIL products. From dependable, high speed lubricants to hand cleaner, we rely on AMSOIL to get the job done"
-Mike Bonicelli,
Bonicelli Racing Enterprises

Where you can use Amsoil
Performance & Competition:
Performance vehiclesneed performance oil. AMSOIL Synthetic Racing Oil reduces heat and wear whil providing quicker engine response and increased horsepower
Custom & Show :
Vehicles stored for long periods of otime need rust and corrosion protection. AMSOIL motor oils and fuel stabalizer protects against harmful conditions to preserve irreplaceable engines
Snowmobiles & Personal Watercraft :
AMSOIL Series 2000 2-Cycle Racing Oil maintains a higher level of lubricity than 2-cycle petroleum oill, while dramatically reducing friction and wear.
Motorhomes & RVs:
Motorhomes and RVs operate in the widest range of environments and temperature extremes. AMSOIL Motor Oils provide dependable starts, maximum power amd increased fuel economy.
4-Wheel Drives:
AMSOIL Gear Lubes and motor oils provide the hard pounding protection needed by 4x4s. Even under the most extremeconditions and temperatures, AMSOIL lubricants perform and protect
Family & Personal:
AMSOIL synthetic lubricants and filtration products provide unsurpassed, long-lasting service and protection for cars, trucks and other family fleet equipment.