Can I Use Sae 30 Instead Of 10w30? [Answered]

Did your 10w30 oil run out? You have sae 30 in your inventory now. But you’re not sure if it’s usable in place of 10w30 oil. We understand your situation because using the wrong oil can be detrimental.

So, can I use sae 30 instead of 10w30?

Yes, in theory, you can use it. This can be done by not letting the oil’s temperature fall under 50°C. Because both of the oil have the same viscosity at operating temperature. But sae 30 doesn’t have a winter oil rating. Therefore, it becomes sludgy in colder conditions. Furthermore, they also have other differences.

Still a bit confused? We’ve got everything you need to know about this topic.

So, let’s get started!

Sae 30 Vs 10w30: Overall Comparison

Sae 30 and 10w30 are two different types of engine oil. The sae 30 is a single-grade viscosity oil. It has only one oil rating for every type of temperature.

Whereas, the 10w30 has two viscosity ratings. These types of oil with two different ratings are called multi-grade oil.  

Now, not knowing about the differences between the oils can be problematic. So, for your machines’ safety, you should have a better understanding of this topic.

Let’s take a look at the table below and compare them-

Categories10w30sae 30
Viscosity (at cold temperature)LowerHigher
Viscosity (at operating temperature)SameSame
ApplicationAutomotive or Heavy-load enginesSmaller air-cooled Engines & garden tools
Engine Protection (at cold temperature)HigherLower
Engine Protection (at operating temperature)Same Same 

This is only the surface idea of this topic. Let’s dig deep into this-


First of all, what does viscosity mean? 

Well, viscosity means the amount of resistance a flowing fluid will show. Basically, higher viscosity fluid will show comparatively more resistance. It happens because the particles inside the fluid have friction among them. 

The oil rating like 10w30 or sae 30 indicates their viscosity. If your oil has a higher oil rating, that means it has a higher viscosity.

This will make the oil face hindrance while flowing inside the engine parts. That means the fluid will resist the natural flow to a greater extent.

So, what about the oil types we are discussing? In operating temperature, both of them exhibit the same viscosity. But as sae 30 does not have a winter oil rating, the issue occurs. 

You might think, how so? 

Well, it is a single-grade oil, the viscosity stays the same at ‘30’ under lower temperatures. The oil becomes extremely thicker in winter. This means it will not flow properly inside the engine for increased resistance. 

In contrast, the winter rating of 10w30 is ‘10’. This oil is comparatively much thinner. This results in steady flow inside the engine even at very low temperatures. Thus, making it the better option at lower temperatures between the two of them.

Now, you might be wondering, can I mix sae 30 instead of 10w30

Well, yes you can because they have the same viscosity at operating temperature. Multi-grade oil can be easily used along with sae 30 by mixing them together.


Density refers to the thickness of the oil. It is a measure of oil and it is closely related to viscosity. 

A higher oil rating number means higher density. So, if you want to pick a thinner oil buy a lower oil rating one. The oil with a lower density tends to flow more fluidly. 

Sae 30 and 10w30 both have the same thickness at operating temperature.

But there’s a catch! This similarity of thickness vanishes at a lower temperature. At lower temperatures, the 5W30 becomes much thinner. In contrast, the sae 30 stays the same as in operating temperature. 

This means the sae 30 will face more resistance while flowing. As a result, the flow of the oil will be less spontaneous. Because when the oil temperature falls down, the oil becomes sludgy.

Whereas, the 10w30 at low temperatures flows more easily. Because it is thinner in colder environments.

Therefore, in a colder environment, it’s better to use 10w30. But in hotter conditions both of them perform the same.


Both of these oils can be used as engine oil. If you have a comparatively older engine, you can use sae 30. But, if your engine is a new one try to use 10w30. Also, it’s better to use 10w30 in a colder climate.

The sae 30 is better suited for motor oil. Lawnmowers, generators, 4 stroke engines operate smoothly if you use this oil. So, if you use your machines in a hotter climate it’s better to use SAE30.

The sae 30 is required exclusively in the pressure washer pump. This type of oil reduces friction caused by increased wear. Less friction means the machine runs more smoothly.

But if the temperature is not above 40°C, use 10w30 oil.

You can replace 10w30 with sae 30 in your car. To do that, make sure the temperature never falls under 50°C. Because the sae 30 will flow properly at 100°C. But under a lower temperature, it becomes sludgy.

To sum up, for smaller engines, motors and pressure washer pump sae 30 is better. But for heavy-duty engines, it’s better to use 10w30 oil.

 Engine Protection

As mentioned, sae 30 and 10w30 have identical viscosity at operating temperatures. For this reason, both of them offer great protection for the engine at higher temperatures.

Generally thicker oil offers better support to the engine. The 10w30 and sae 30 flow rapidly inside the engine at operating temperature. This makes the engine run smoothly and protects it from wear.

But under colder temperatures things sae 30 flows less smoothly. The oil doesn’t reach different parts of the engine rapidly, resulting in more wear. 

The engine becomes less efficient for wear. Making the engine provide less than the expected output.

To conclude, if you want better engine protection go for thicker oil. Under lower temperatures, try not to use sae 30. This will only harm your car’s engine. 

All cleared? Still worried as to which oil type is better for your car engine? 

We’ve a way to solve the worry. Just keep reading!

Can I Use 10w30 Instead Of Sae 30?

Well, under all conditions, you can use sae 30 in smaller engines. So, it’s totally fine if you are using this oil in your lawnmower.

But if you have a comparatively new engine, it’s better to use 10w30. The 10w30 oil has a wider temperature range. It also shows superior efficiency in colder conditions. So, it’s better to use this oil in your car engine under any conditions. 

What Happens If I Use Sae 30 Instead of 10w30?

As we’ve mentioned before, the two oil types aren’t the same. Hence, they have a lot of differences.

If you use one instead of the other, you’ll definitely notice a change in your engine. And in most cases, this change isn’t a good one. 

If your engine is designed on the basis of one particular oil type, you should only use that type. Otherwise, you’ll just damage your car engine in the hope of getting it better. 

2 Tips on How to Choose The Perfect Oil for Your Engine

Tip 1: Go for the Manufacturer’s Recommendation

It doesn’t mean the costliest oil is the best for your vehicle. Try to check what the manufacturer guide says about using engine oil. Because the engine will work more efficiently if you use the manufacturer’s suggested oil.

Tip 2: Check the Temperature around You

Always keep your surrounding temperature in mind while picking your engine oil. The oil with the largest oil grade will not always meet your desired expectation. 

So, keep these in mind while using any oil for your vehicle. This way you won’t have to go through any more issues!


Question: How often do I need to change the oil of my lawnmower?

Answer: You need to change your lawnmower’s oil regularly. After using it for 50 hours or more, make sure you change the oil. Also, if you don’t use it for over 50 hours in a year, change the oil.

Question: How to know if the oil I use is good quality oil?

Answer: The straightforward answer is to check the authentication seal. Before buying, search for the API seal. If you don’t find that, look for the ACEA seal.

Question: Why is multi-grade oil called blended oil?

Answer: It is called blended oil because it has two different parts blended. The 10W part represents the winter oil rating and the 30 part is for hotter temperatures.


That’s all for this article. That was everything on the topic- can I use sae 30 instead of 10w30. 

We hope we helped in your quest for knowledge. Best of luck trying the tips on your engine.


We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply