0w40 vs. 5w30 Engine Oil: Differences and Can You Swap Them?

There are two ways to state the viscosity of motor oil. The first number has w in the last, which stands for winter. So it measures how your motor oil flows if the temperature is cold. 

The second number indicates how your motor oil flaw in a standard engine at an operating temperature; it will flow better in your vehicle engine if the number is small motor oil. 

It is essential to know your motor oil number so that it’s easy to distinguish how much amount of motor oil you’ll use. 

Naturally, thicker motor oil is used during the hot season so that it will help your engine to cool down, vice versa.

There are many reasons why motor oil is essential, so in this article, we’ll talk about how 0w40 motor oil and 5w30 motor oil differ and their uses. Also to know, if you use a 0w20 in your vehicle and swap it to 5w30, is it possible to do it? Continue reading!

0w40 vs. 5w30 Engine Oil

What Is The Difference Between 0w40 And 5w30 Oil?

Every motor oil has characteristics, grades, and variations. Also, they are differed by viscosity, weather temperature, and fuel economy. 

These characterize them so that it will be easier to choose the best motor oil for your vehicle. 

Motor Oil Viscosity

Motor oil viscosity means the range of the flow of the Oil inside your car’s engine. For example, 0w40 means that the motor oil viscosity is easy to flow as it has a zero-weight grade during winter. 

The 5w30 is not wintered viscosity friendly; it means it works only during hot season perfectly. 

Fuel Economy

Both 0w40 and 5w30 provide the same fuel economy capacity. Both provide different types of improvement that will keep your engine running and functioning to its fullest.

However, before dealing with these two motor oil, you might need to read first your owner’s manual.

Weather Temperature

The 0w40 motor oil is made with a liquid engineer to make it easier to flow during the cold or winter season as your car needs Zero-weight motor oil. It will assure you that your vehicle engine will run perfectly during a cold climate. 

While 5w30 motor oil only has five weights that are not applicable for the cold season, it is applicable for the hot season. 

Can I Use 0w40 Instead Of 5w30?

Yes, if you have no choice because you need it for your car. However, before making that move, you need to know what’s inside your owner’s manual after buying any vehicle. So if 0w40 and 5w30 aren’t on the list of recommendations, don’t use them.

However, there are some that you need to consider in using it; for example, if you run out of motor oil and only have 0w40 and 5w30, you can use them. 

Accidentally Used 0w40 Instead Of 5w30: Is It Okay?

Yes, it’s okay because no matter you accidentally used either of the two, it won’t create any trouble. 

However, always use the recommended motor oil for your vehicle engine if you’re given a choice. 

0w40 Vs. 5w30 High Mileage

In terms of high mileage, 0w40 is better than 5w30. High mileage is about the miles that a car can run in terms of its age. However, 5w30 is usually put to a car that got the most age because the old car needs higher support due to its machine inside. 

While 0w40 is used for new cars, it will still depend, so the best thing you should do as a car owner is to refer to your motor oil specs in your owner’s manual. 

Which Is Better, 0w40 Or 5w30 Oil?

It depends on some factors. For example, one motor oil does not apply to all car engines. Each engine has specific motor oil to use.

So the better the motor oil you use for your vehicle, the better the result. Always check your owner’s manual because inside it is all the answers and procedures you need to know about your car’s functions.

When should I Use 0w40 And When 5w30?

A 0w40 motor oil has the lowest temperate grade, and it is engineered with liquid that flows smoothly in sub-zero weather. 

While the 5w30 motor oil is excellent in sustaining your engine in low temperatures because it flows effortlessly during this climate, if your engine is running during the hot season, the 5w30 motor oil is perfect for protecting your engine from wearing off.

0w40 vs. 5w30 Engine Oil Differences

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Toyota

The Toyota management recommended their clients to use a 5w30 motor oil. However, some motor oil can be a good match for 5w30, such as 0w40 and 5w30. 

Both have different characteristics; the first one, 0w40, is perfect for freezing point climate while 5w30 is during sweltering days.

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Nissan

Nissan management recommends 5w30 motor oil to keep its engine performance to its optimal capacity. 

But their times that the production of 5w30 got short you can change it to its alternative the 0w40 and 5w30. However, it’s best to consult first a professional mechanic so you won’t damage your engine.

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Subaru

Subaru is a famous brand in the car industry. With its popularity, it also uses a famous brand of motor oil: the 5w30 motor oil. 

It’sIt’s the engine. It is delicate that you need to use only motor oil to prevent its engine from falling apart. 0w40 and 5w30 is the best alternative for Subaru motor oil. 

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Mazda

For Mazda, 5w30 is the referred motor oil for its engine. However, if 5w30 isn’t available, you can also use 0w40 during winter and 5w30 during summer or if you are planning to have a long ride in a deserted area.

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In BMW

BMW vehicle engines consist of the most top-grade engine parts you can imagine. But, unfortunately, its owner’s annual BMW car only uses 5w30 motor oil.

Hence, you can still use 0w40 motor oil to replace 5w30 during winter and 5w40 during hot temperatures.

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Ford

In their owner’s manual, Ford management stated that 5w30 motor oil is essential in keeping its engine smooth and working.

Moreover, you can use another alternative motor oil aside from 5w30 in keeping your Ford engine smooth by using 0w40 during frigid temperatures.

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Chevrolet

Chevrolet vehicles only use the most impressive and suitable motor oil for their engine, such as 5w30. However, due to its selfish engine need, they change it to motor oil friendly.

It gives you the chance to use another type of motor oil that will work the same as 5w30 during hot and cold weather like 0w40. 

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Jeep

In Jeep vehicles, they use 5w30 motor oil. However, not all the time, a 5w30 motor oil is always available on the market. 

You can also try using a 0w40 motor oil in your Jeep vehicle; it works fine for this engine during hot days.

0w40 Vs. 5w30 In Volkswagen

They recommended using a 5w30 motor oil for the Volkswagen engine to keep its engine to its full potential.

However, during the hot season, 0w40 can be a good use as an alternative to keep your cold engine down due to the high temperature of heat. 


In summary, car owners tend to interchange 0w40 motor oil to 5w30 motor oil. It is also confusing if it is right to swap them both. However, that won’t lead to any problem. 

The best option to avoid any future failure is to use the motor oil referred by your owner’s manual. From that, you can make sure that you are using suitable motor oil for your car.



Image credits – Canva

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My name is Hank, and I've been in the automotive industry for 27 years. I've been working in my own auto repair shop for the last 13 years, and now I want to help you here, on my blog. Let me know if you have any questions. Read more