Can I Use 0w20 Instead Of 5w20? [Question Answered]

It is always very confusing to choose the right and best oil for the car. The same thing can be said while you’re choosing between 0w20 and 5w20. Because not getting the right oil can be hazardous for your car engine. 

But, can I use 0w20 instead of 5w20?

Yes, both the 0w20 and 5w20 are fully synthetic oil. As a result, you can use 0w20 instead of 5w20 without being concerned about your car engine. Both oils have a lot of similarities. For example, they both perform the same at a regular temperature. Plus they have the same grade and level of viscosity in general or operating temperature. 

To be honest, you must be still very confused. You should properly know all the details before deciding the best oil for your car. And we have explained it all.

Let’s jump to the details, shall we? 

0w20 vs 5w20: Overall Comparison

To know if the two oil types are actually interchangeable or not, you need more details. This includes knowing the overall comparison, both similarities, and differences between them. 

And luckily, we have mentioned every little detail about the two here. So, let’s check the detailed comparison in short first- 

Viscosity (at operating Temperature)SameSame
Viscosity (in low temperature)LowerHigher
PerformanceSlightly better in cold weatherGood
Fuel economySameSame


If you intend to change your oil, you first need to know about the difference in viscosity between both of the oils. The viscosity refers to how easily an oil can purify to a specific temperature. 

The lower the viscosity in low temperature that means the higher the fluidity. In other words, the oil can be easily pumped in, or the engine will easily start.

How to know the viscosity level? Well, it is laid in the name of both oil types. The word “W” in both oil 0w20 and 5w20 is denoted as winter. That means both of the oils are very useful in winter. Or in other words both the oils are featured to maintain low temperature.

The other number in both of the names refers to the viscosity of the oil. The first number refers to the viscosity of the oil at cold temperatures. As well as the last number refers to the viscosity of the oil in operating temperature.

The numbers and letters are arranged like a code as per the SAE grade standard. SAE grades oil according to their thickness or viscosity in different temperatures.

In the case of 0w20, you can say as per SAE grade the oil is suitable for cold temperatures. Also, the viscosity of the oil is 0 at a low temperature (-17.8 degrees Celsius). 0w20 is good to go between -25 degrees celsius to 40 degrees Celsius temperature.

As well as that you can tell the viscosity of the oil at high temperatures. That is 20 at approximately 100 degrees celsius.

In the case of 5w20, you can easily tell that the viscosity is 5 at a low temperature. Also, the viscosity is 20 in the high temperature (100 degrees Celsius).

So, comparing both 0w20 and 5w20 you can say 0w20 is more effective in low temperatures. But both the oils perform the same way at high temperatures. 


From the grade of both oils, you can easily say that both of them can perform similarly. But the 0w20 has a slight advantage in case the temperature is so cold.

0w20 will perform better than 5w20 in cold weather. Because it will flow freely. In other words, you will be able to easily start the engine with it. And you can also keep the engine operating. But in regular use both perform similarly. 

Fuel Economy

Both the Ow20 and 5w20 have the same fuel economy. Because both of them have the same kind of thickness. 

So, both of the oil can easily run through the engine. As well as both ensure the fuel consumption is low.

Thus, in this debate, you can’t judge them by the grade of fuel economy.


But in most cases, you will see the price of 0w20 is a little bit higher than the price of 5w20. This is because of the additive feature of the 0w20.

But those features are for the extreme cold condition. If you don’t need to handle the extreme condition. It’s best to use 5w20 instead of 0w20 because it will cost you less on the other hand it will perform the same. 

Can I Use 5w20 Instead Of 0w20?

Based on the performance and the grade both the 0w20 and 5w20 are the same. They both are fully synthetic oil and have the same SAE grade. But the 0w20 has some of the most effective features in extreme conditions.

But according to the pricing, the 5w20 is the best option. But the price of 0w20 is not that much higher.

So, depending on this much info, you might think of interchanging them.

Well, if you intend to change the oil to 5w20 from 0w20 in the cold scenario, it’s alright. But if your engine has a requirement of 5w20 it is best to use 5w20 rather than 0w20. The extra additives of 0w20 can be harmful to your engine.

To be fair, it’s best not to change the oil if your engine requires the 5w20. Because otherwise, your car engine won’t function properly.

What Happens If I Put 0w20 Instead of 5w20 and Vice Versa?

If you want to change your engine oil, you should know the specification and differences. In some cases, if you use 0w20 rather than 5w20 it can be beneficial. Because 0w20 has more features than 5w20 in cold temperatures.

The most important feature of engine oil is the lubrication of moving parts. Engine oil also prevents heat build-up into the engine. The correlation of the engine is also another feature of engine oil.

That is why you need to know the key differences and the features that the oil can provide before changing your oil. But here’s a thing, there are two types of engine oil, synthetic oil, and mineral oil.

Mineral oil is directly derived from refined crude petroleum oil. It’s mainly preferred for old model car engines.

But synthetic oil is the most preferred engine oil. The reason is that they can perform well in extreme temperatures and thicknesses. The fluidity of synthetic oil is much more than mineral oil. That means it can easily run through the engine.

So, have you decided to interchange the oil types? 

If you have decided to change your engine oil, you need to know how to change car engine oil. To learn about that, keep reading!

How To Change Your Engine Oil?

Now that you know which oil to use we have explained how to change engine oil.

First of all, get the car in position. If your car is too low, jack the car up and put the axle stands in. Then open up your car hood and open the oil cap on the top of the engine. This will allow the air to follow and help the oil drain out.

It will probably take up to 10 minutes to drain all the oil. Set a pan underneath the car to catch the drained oil. Next, pop the new oil using the funnel. Make sure you are using the right amount of oil.

Reinstall the engine cap. Then start the engine. It will sound a little bit awful though there isn’t any oil in the system. After that, check the oil level with the deep stick. If it’s between maximum and minimum, you are good to go!

Can I Mix 0w20 and 5w20?

Yes, you can use a mixture of both 0w20 and 5w20. Because both oils have more similar features than different ones. Just follow the above steps to change your engine oil after mixing the two oil types.


Question: What oil can I use instead of 5w20?

Answer: 5w20 is suitable for cold temperatures. But if you are concerned about the oil in the summertime, 5w30 is going to be the best option for you. However, you should only change the oil if the manufacturer recommended doing so. 

Question: How many miles is Ow20 good to go?

Answer: Standard oil change intervals are typically listed for 6 months or 5000 miles. But some models that require the 0w20 oil enlarge the interval. The enlarged interval is 1000 miles or 12 months. 

Question: What model cars use Ow20 oil?

Answer: The new Honda CR-V and Toyota Camry use the oil 0w20. Also, most of the new model engines use the 0w20 oil. 

Final Words

Hope now you know the answer of can I use 0w20 instead of 5w20

You should always use the best quality product for your car engine. But your car might require a specific type of oil or a specific oil. In that case, it’s best if you don’t change the oil instead of the required oil.

Best of luck with your car.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

      Leave a reply