How to choose 5w-20 motor oil?

5w-20 Oil

How to choose 5w-20 engine oil for your car?

You need to replace the 5w-20 oil in your car, and you don’t know what parameters to pay attention to when choosing an oil.

The 5w-20 is typically used in new cars with mileage of 150,000 or less and can be a substitute for the 0w-20 under certain conditions.

Many years of experience in a car store and a lot of experience writing articles for websites allow us to compose a simple and straightforward guide for you.

We’ve created this article to tell you how to choose 5w-20 motor oil for your car, and what to look for when choosing 5w-20 motor oil so you don’t waste your money and advise you on the 5w-20 motor oil which is of good quality and what the market has to offer.

What does 5w-20 mean?

5w-20 is the viscosity of engine oil, a measure of its resistance to flow.

Two numbers are used when marking an oil, and they define the viscosity of the oil.

  • The first number: 5w indicates how the oil flows at low temperatures when starting a cold engine.
  • The second number: 20 indicates how the oil flows at normal engine operating temperatures.

Where is 5w-20 engine oil used?

5w-20 oil is used in the engines of modern cars, as well as for new cars or cars with no more than 100,000 miles on the road. If your car has more than 100,000 miles, you can use 5w-30 viscosity oil.

What’s the best 5w-20 oil?

Each automaker specifies its oil requirements in its documentation, which will include such data:

  • Vehicle manufacturer’s approvals
  • The viscosity of the engine oil, in this case, is 5w-20
  • ACEA, API, or ILSAC oil specifications

Best engine oil 5w-20

There are quite a few brands of high-quality oil on the market. We will advise you on several brands in different price categories.

Best synthetic motor oil 5w-20

Oil 5w-20 optimal price

5w-20 oil for American cars

For American cars, you should use 5w-20 motor oil that has API SN or SP, ILSAC GF-5 or GF-6 specifications. Also consider automaker approvals: Ford Approvals (WSS), General Motors Approvals (Dexos), Chrysler Approvals (MS) and others.

5w-20 oil for German cars

For German cars you must use low ash 5w-20 oil meeting ACEA and API specifications, as well as approved by automobile manufacturers: VW Approvals (VW), Mercedes Approvals (MB), BMW Approvals (Longlife) and others.

5w-20 oil for Japanese and Korean cars

Asian cars require 5w-20 engine oil with ILSAC GF-5 or GF-6 specifications.

5w-20 for European cars

For German European cars, you must use 5w-20 engine oil which has ACEA or API specifications and is also approved by the car manufacturer. And also approved by the car manufacturer: Peugeot-Citroën Approvals (PSA), Renault Approvals (RN) and others.

Engine Oil 5w-20 for SUVs and Trucks

When choosing oil for trucks, you need to use an oil designed for that type of engine.

5w-20 Oil for Diesel Vehicles

Modern 5w-20 motor oils are universal oils, so most 5w-20 oils can be used for cars with gasoline and diesel engines.

Some brands produce a special 5w-20 engine oil for diesel engines. We recommend paying attention to the tolerances and specifications of your car.

How is oil 5w-20 different from other oils?

An oil with a viscosity of 5w-20 is a very thin oil, so it’s used in modern engines where the clearances are very narrow.

What happens if you use 5w-20 or 5w-30 oil instead of 5w-20 oil?

You can use 5w-30 oil as an alternative to 5w-20 oil as long as you meet all the manufacturer’s tolerances. We do not recommend mixing these oils. If you want to switch to a different viscosity oil, you will need to drain the current oil completely and pour in the new oil type.

What can I use instead of 5w-20 oil?

You can use 5w-30 or 0w-20 oil instead of 5w-20 oil without affecting your car’s engine.

Is 5w-20 oil suitable for high mileage cars?

No, 5w-20 oil is not recommended for high-mileage vehicles. If your car has more than 150,000 miles, you can use 5w-30 oil. If your car’s engine is using too much oil from change to change, you can switch to 10w-30 oil.

How often should I change my 5w-20 engine oil?

  • Synthetic 5w-20 oil should be changed in your car once a year or every 7,000 to 10,000 miles.
  • Regular 5w-20 oil in your car should be changed every six months or every 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

How much does 5w20 oil cost?

The cost of 5w-20 motor oil:

  • Price of regular motor oil: $35 to $50.
  • Price of synthetic motor oil: $45 to $80.

How long does it take to change 5w-20 oil?

Changing your car’s 5w-20 oil usually takes about 30 minutes.

How much does it cost to change 5w-20 engine oil?

Typically, an oil and filter change costs between $20 and $50 depending on the vehicle. The cost of the change along with the oil is about $50 to $150. The price can vary depending on your area and the quality of the car service.

The most popular brands of 5w-20 oil are:

  • Castrol
  • Royal Purple
  • Mobil
  • Amsoil
  • Red Line
  • Liqui Moly
  • Motul
  • Shell
  • Valvoline

Where can I buy 5w20 oil?

We recommend buying 5w20 motor oil from dealers or major online retailers like Amazon or Walmart.

Final thoughts

5w-20 oil is a product with an excellent viscosity grade that provides excellent engine performance and smooth oil flow in both winter and summer. The oil’s fine texture makes it ideal for cold starts and sub-zero temperatures.

So if your automaker recommends 5w-20 oil, use only this type of oil. Use only synthetic motor oils from popular manufacturers, and your engine will last you a very long time.


My friends and I created this site to tell you a lot of useful things from the world of cars. I worked as a salesman in a big auto parts store and gained a lot of experience in this field, now I am sharing my experience with you.

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