Can you mix 5w20 and 5w30 motor oil in my car? This is a question you might have if you want to perform an oil top-up or change on your vehicle.
The short answer to this question is, Yes, you can mix5w20 and 5w30 oil. However, Since both oils are meant to be of different grades, the challenge is how to combine them, and we will discuss that in a section of this article.
Questions on what will happen if they are mixed, whether or not there will be a negative effect on your engine, as well as the advantages and disadvantages, will also be answered as you read on.
Can You Mix 5w20 and 5w30 Oil?
Yes, you can mix 5W20 and 5W30 oil, but your engine must be designed to use the mixture. Also, Both you should use oils of the same brand in order to prevent engine damage, and there should be a similar API service level for both oils.
You won’t endanger the parts of your engine in any major or significant way by topping up your oil tank with 5w30 or 5w20 mixed together since there are many additives used in engine oils. They have different weight ratings because of the variations in their ingredients.
The ingredients in these oils won’t combine and blend into one oil type if you mix them. It also won’t seriously hurt the engine of your vehicle. Some individuals may challenge the reasoning behind combining both of these.
In some cases, customers might need to use an oil with different viscosity since their original oil has run out. Therefore, draining your car’s original oil and replacing it with another one is the best course of action. However, your engine won’t malfunction whether you drain all of the oil or not.
So your choice is between the two. You could also research how to preserve the life of the engine. You can research the safety of this activity for your car by consulting your owner’s manual.
The winter rating for 5w20 oils and 5w30 oils are the same. They will both exhibit the same viscosity when it is chilly.
However, if you compare a 5w30 to a 5w20, you should be aware that 5w30 oils have greater viscosity in a 100 degrees Celsius condition. So 5w30 oils are more viscous than 5w20 oils at typical temperatures.
Also Read: Can I Use 10w30 Instead of 5w30? (Everything to Know)
What Ratios Can You Mix 5w20 and 5w30?
Although mixing the two fluids may not harm your engine, experts still don’t recommend it.
However, in emergencies, if a 5W20 oil top-off is needed in an engine already containing 5W30 oil, you should use more of the heavier 5W30 oil than the thinner 5W20 oils.
For example, in a 5W30 engine, you might use two parts of 5W30 engine oil and a part of 5W20 engine oil, or the other way round.
Check the owner’s manual to ensure that the correct ratio is used if your engine supports the combination.
Is It Ok to Mix 5w20 and 5w30 – Possible Downsides?
Oh yes. You won’t have any big or serious problems if you combine 5w20 and 5w30 oils. But you must make sure that they are manufactured with the same categorization and have the same API classification.
Then again, you should probably refrain from combining both if you can. This is due to the fact that it is always advisable to adhere to the prescribed viscosity and that mixing two viscosities is not advised.
You should adhere to this guideline if you wish to be safe. Try the blend, though, if you’d like a little more of a challenge.
What Happens if You Mix 5w20 and 5w30 Oil?
Understanding both oils is necessary to fully comprehend what happens when combined in an engine.
According to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), the letter W is the format for any multi-grade oil that is acceptable for winter and, consequently, is suited for the colder regions of the world.
The Arabic numerals before or after the alphabet denote viscosity below zero degrees or the one at a hundred degrees Celsius, respectively.
Due to its increased viscosity, the multi-grade 5W30 oil is used throughout tropical climates or in the summer since it is better suited for higher temperatures.
The oil could still be used in a cold climate. However, in colder conditions, 5W20 oils are recommended.
So what will happen if your mix both oils together?
Since the two oils have different viscosities and additives, they won’t completely blend into a single, homogenous oil combination. There won’t be instant damage to the engine if you combine the two oils in an emergency situation.
However, using a combination of the two oils inside an unsuitable engine could cause serious long-term engine damage, including overheating, sludge buildup, oil leakage, and accumulation.
Therefore, it is advised that you flush off the remaining oil in the engine and replace it using the proper engine oil if you must use incompatible oil in an emergency.
Also Read: Can You Mix DOT 3 and DOT 4? (Read First)
Can You Use 5w20 Instead of 5w30?
A 5W20 oil may not be ideal for 5W30 engines due to its lower viscosity. Since more viscous lubricants that can lubricate engines under high temperatures are more suited for the 5W30 engine.
Alternatively, 5W20 oils would not be able to adequately protect the engine’s parts against friction, which could lead to wearing and tearing over time.
Hence the layer of lubrication inside the engine would then be slim, and the oil won’t be able to prevent friction between the components effectively.
You can use 5W20 oils for 5W30 engines if it allows a mixture of different oils. 5W20 oils shouldn’t be employed alone in such circumstances; instead, both oils have to be combined before use.
Can You Use 5w30 Instead of 5w20?
Since the 5W30 oil has a greater viscosity and is too high for the 5W20 engine’s components, which need a thinner lubricating barrier, it might not be a good idea to use it in a 5W20 engine.
Also, the more viscous oil would find it hard to pass through the engine, and the engine parts would not receive adequate oil coating, which might lead to overheating, wearing and tearing, and oil deficiency.
What Are the Main Differences Between 5w30 and 5w20?
When compared to 5W30 oil, the 5W20 oil works at a lower temperature. Although it isn’t as low as the 5W20 engine oil, 5W30 oil also works at a low temperature.
It can function at a greater temperature, but it cannot work at low temperatures.
Since it has a higher viscosity, its capacity to penetrate is reduced, which may result in oil deficiency in some engine components. 5w30 oils may be able to operate to some extent but not as much as 5W20 oil at lower temperatures.
In contrast, the 5W20 oil can reach the deepest areas of the engine and coat the delicate sections with a thin barrier, ensuring that every part of the engine receives oil.
When temperatures rise, 5W20 oil becomes too thin to coat the engine’s parts, causing early deterioration.
On the other hand, the 5W30 oil may effectively lubricate the engine’s components and reduce friction.
Engine oil becomes more watery when it is heated.
While the 5W30 oil will benefit from this, the 5W20 oil will suffer significantly because it will no longer be able to protect the engine parts by forming a barrier adequately.
5W20 is a more fuel-efficient option at normal operating temperatures. Since it creates a thinner barrier for lubricating engine parts, less oil is needed.
At first glance, this might not seem like much, but over time, it adds up and helps save on the fuel for the engine.
Related: Can I Use 5w30 Instead of 5w20? (Answered)
Can You Use 5w20 Instead of 5w30 in Hot Weather or Summer?
Oh yes. The optimum motor oil to use when driving in warm weather is 5W30. If you live somewhere with hot summers, have an old car parked outside during the summer months, or drive a lot on hot days, you shouldn’t use 5W20 (more than a hundred miles). This is because the 5W20’s thinner viscosity oil will flow more readily in warm weather, which can result in increased frictional heat and engine wear.
Is 5w30 Better for a High Mileage Engine Than 5w20?
No, is the easy response. Many individuals, particularly in automotive forums, believe that 5W30 is superior to 5W20 for high mileage engines, but this is not factual. Only use oil weights that are in accordance with your environment and your vehicle’s recommendation. A slightly greater viscosity will enhance compression in an engine with severe wear.
The best viscosity for your car depends on various criteria, including your temperature, driving habits, and manufacturer recommendations.
Also Read: Oil Light Flickering (Causes & How to Fix)
Conclusion – Can You Mix 5w20 and 5w30?
In conclusion, the answer is that you can combine 5w20 and 5w30 oils. Please make sure they are all from the same manufacturer. However, it is still acceptable if they don’t share the same brand.
Motor oils need to be changed because they do not last long. It is best to change the entire oil if another oil of different viscosity was combined with your original oil before renewal.