Difference Between 5w30 and 10w40 Motor Oil

By: | Updated: Nov-2, 2023
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Motor oils provide the lubrication that is needed for engine parts to work properly. Motor oil lubricates moving parts of an engine, and doing this helps pistons to travel on engine blocks and not cause them to become brittle. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) has established classifications for motor oils based on their viscosities, and engine manufacturers have developed a suggested level for each type of motor oils used in an engine.

Summary Table

5w30 10w40
A thinner oil than 10w40 is 5w30 oil. A thicker oil than 5w30 is 10w40.
It has a low temperature viscosity of 10 and a low temperature viscosity of 5, respectively.



It has a high temperature viscosity of 30 and a high temperature viscosity of 40.


Attaches to the moving parts of the engineless vehicle. More firmly fastens to the engine’s movable parts.

Difference Between 5w30 and 10w40 Motor Oil

Mileages and the weather will determine what oil should be applied to an engine. Whether 10w40 or 5w30 motor oils perform well on engine parts is determined by their ability to adhere to them. It is important to know how they clung to the parts of a vehicle in order that they can function at their full potential.

Motor oils are necessary to keep a vehicle moving and prevent malfunctions. Motor oils can help to prevent the wear and tear of moving parts by reducing friction. Motor oil helps improve the output and effectiveness of the vehicle’s engine, but it helps the working parts of the engine to avoid friction. The motor fluids used in cars today are 5w30 and 10w40.

The Viscosity Scale

The SAE’s viscosity scale is used to measure the viscosity of engine oil. Their scale starts at 0W (the thinnest type of oil), to 60 (the thickest oil).

Thinner motor oil flows faster and more easily than thicker oil. But why is this important? Consider starting a cold engine. The oil must lubricate all parts of the engine effectively and quickly. Using low-viscosity motor oil allows the oil to do just that.

On the other hand, a hot engine needs thicker motor oil. The higher viscosity oil is thicker and ensures all parts of the engine are lubricated and separated from one another.

How is it different? Let’s find out!

What is 5w30 Motor Oil?

5w30 motor oils are commonly found in light-weight petrol and diesel engines. 5w30 oil is rated with various viscosities and has a viscosity grade that can reach 5 (low temperature viscosity) to 30 (high temperature viscosity).

5W means that the oil flows better at very cold temperatures, 30 means that it flows more smoothly at very hot temperatures. 5W-30 motor oils are specially formulated to protect your engine parts and help extend the life of vehicles with a maximum of 75,000 miles.

5w30 synthetic motor oil protects engine components well over 20,000 miles (or 75,000 kilometers) between oil changes. 5w30 oil has a high flow rate and has a low boiling point, which means that it can flow easily under cold conditions and still waterproof the engine.

5W-30 motor oils are made from 100% polyethylene and are engineered to last for as long as 20,000 miles, protecting engine parts and helping to prolong the life of vehicles that have traveled more than 75,000 miles.

What is 5w40 Motor Oil?

5w40 oil is viscosity at lower temperatures than 10w40, but doesn’t freeze as much. 5w40 engine oil has ten times the viscosity of 10w40 at very high temperatures but is much lighter and slower-acting when hot and cold, for example, then 15w50.

5W-40 is regarded as being the most recommended oil for high-performance engines in all vehicles in the world. It is also a common oil in all truck engines in the United States. 5W40 motor oils are suitable for use in gasoline and diesel engines.

Difference Between 5w30 and 10w40 Motor Oil

The letter “W” in the name of a winter oil refers to its viscosity (or thickness) at low temperatures and at temperatures where the oil is most viscous 150oC on average, when the engine is really hot (i.e., when it is working).

Choose 5w40 oil or an alternative such as 10w40 according to the temperature in the winter in which you live; in summer you will be able to use an oil that has a viscosity higher than 10w40. 5w40 oil is more convenient to use when the engine is cold, because it flows more smoothly at cold temperatures. When a hot engine runs, 5 w40 and 10 w40 have high viscosities and are similarly good at preventing engine wear.

How are They Related?

Both are types of motor oil. Whenever your car runs, combustion products pollute the oil, and if contaminants build up in your motor oil, it can cause problems. If pollutants collect in your engine oil, this leads to sludge and deposits in your engine. Having poor quality oil in your vehicle, ignoring oil changes, and other issues can cause oil to collect in your engine.

If the motor oil in the engine is old and gummy, it will cause problems that affect its performance. Deposits can cause your engine to heat up, trapping heat more effectively and protecting you from heat damage. Motor oils improve the efficiency and performance of an engine, and they tend to prevent engine components from rubbing together.

Less viscoelastic 10W-30 motor oil would perform better in colder climates. The denser 10W-40 oil may be more effective at reducing engine stress and tension in higher temperature environments.

What are the Differences?


5w30 Oil is a multi-purpose oil which is ideal for use at low temperatures as well as during hot days. It increases the engine’s overall fuel efficiency by allowing the gearboxes and other internal components to operate more quietly. 10W40 motor oil stays viscous even when it is very cold and when it is warm, it becomes thinner as it warms up. When oil freezes, it becomes thick and thin. Tension in 10W40 oil is not affected by heating up because it is viscous.

Temperature Viscosity

It is different from 5w30 to 10w40 in the sense of being five times viscose at very cold temperatures, versus being ten times viscose at very cold temperatures. 5w30 and 10w40 are also considered as good, based on the type of engine you have and the heat of the area.


10W-40 is an oil with a relatively low SAE value in cold weather, but a very large SAE value in very warm weather. It is not very effective to mix 5w20 with 5w30, but it is effective in all weather conditions. Multi-viscosity 5W40 oil flows more efficiently in colder weather and is recommended for safeguarding against dangerous conditions such as freezes and heat. It would be unwise to use 5w20 in place of 5w30. 5W20 is a lighter oil designed for colder temperatures.


There’s also some difference between the way these motor oils perform. Let’s take a look.

5w30 and 10w30 have similar SAE ratings; they’ll both perform at the same high or operating temperatures. However, 10w30 becomes very thick in colder temperatures. In that case, 5w30 is better for the engine during the winter season. This ensures the engine’s performance is better in the winter compared to using 10w30.

On the other hand, 10w30 offers better performance during summer and higher temperatures.

But regarding lubrication, 5w30 is usually best for private vehicles, light-duty diesel and gasoline engines. However, 10w30 is a better option for commercial vehicles and other cars that have heavy-load engines.

Can I Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30?

It’s best to use the motor oil recommended by the car’s manufacturer. Using the correct oil ensures your vehicle delivers maximum fuel economy and performance and offers the best protection for your engine. Using a high-viscosity oil can cause increased drag and increase engine temperatures; thick oil does not transfer heat better than thinner motor oil.

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