0w40 vs 5w40

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A vehicle has several moving parts that consist of very minute clearances between them that need oiling. And 0w40 and 5w40 are motor oils that are the life of the internal combustion engine of all cars. Both 0w40 and 5w40 oils act as a protective layer for lubricating anything that will possibly limit the effects of overheating or grinding.

Hence, it is important to keep your vehicle safe from engine failure conditions by using proper oils. For that, you need to know the specifications of various oils.

0w40 vs 5w40

Both 0w40 and 5w40 support light and heavy-duty car engines but are not similar in terms of specifications. Furthermore, these oils are synthetic, but some of the selected brands prefer synthetic blend over pure synthetic inclusion.

Synthetic engine oils are highly preferable regarding consistency and cleanliness, thereby making them efficient lubricants to pick for your vehicle.

Car dashboard

To understand the details and specifications of these two oils, you need to check their differences presented to you over this 0w40 vs 5w40 article.

0w40 Specifications

0w40 is a preferable and highly recommended motor oil that most auto-makers suggest for usage. Also, it is highly essential for most European vehicles as it is ideal for use in cold conditions. And, big brands such as Benz, Volkswagen, Porsche, and Mercedes, also advise using this motor oil for their respective cars.

Moreover, the viscosity perk of 0w40 is gaining a high reputation amongst the American automobile makers, as it ensures high-performance engines. Also, 0w40 is ideally preferable for both pickup trucks and cars and diesel and gasoline-powered engines.

The numbers in 0w40 refer to the weight and thickness of the oil. In precise, they elaborate the thickness rating of the oil in cold and hot conditions. The motor oil turns out to be thick during cold climate and thins up when the engine heats up.

The first number of 0w40 gives insight into the viscosity of the motor oil at low temperatures. And the second number of this oil gives insight into the viscosity at high temperatures. 0 indicates that this oil is very much proficient in winter conditions, as the viscosity is less or nil.

The lesser the viscosity, the better will be the performance. For example, the viscosity of 40 for high temperatures is pretty much high compared to 5w30 and other such alternatives.

However, it is still ideal for optimal use in hot temperatures. So you can still take the vehicle on long trips if you are using this oil. But it is mostly preferred for vehicles that usually run in cold regions and winter climates.

0w40 is ideal for making your vehicle run seamlessly for around 10,000km, after which you can seek to replace the oil.

5w40 Specifications

5w40 is crude-grade motor oil that is also preferable for gasoline and diesel engines but has higher low-temperature viscosity. Therefore, the rating of 5 is not that much of a concern but is definitely higher than 0w40’s aspects.

Mechanic checking a car's engine

5w40 is quite efficient for your car, in comparison to other alternatives such as 10w40 or others. It helps your engine take up the powerful start, even at low temperatures. The flow of the oil is good and doesn’t differ much from that of 0w40.

When the engine is hot and running continuously, 5w40 will also do its part in protecting the engine from wear and tear.

5w40 is a synthetic blend motor oil that is made out of a combination of synthetic base and mineral-base oil. Along with that, some additives are also added to the combination to make it more proficient. It is thick enough to offer you ideal thickness for both cold and hot exposure.

0w40 vs 5w40


  • Both these engine oils have a high-temperature viscosity rating of 40.
  • They both have an ideal thickness and offer smooth flow at all temperatures.
  • Both have low friction and low viscosity and support a hike in fuel economy.
  • Both have the easy cold starting feature, even with the difference in viscosity.


  • The low-temperature viscosity of 0w40 is zero, whereas it is 5 for 5w40.
  • 0w40 can pump the engine up to -40 degrees Celsius, and 5w40 can pump the engine up to -35 degrees Celsius.
  • 0w40 is a little expensive in comparison to 5w40.
  • 0w30 is better in low temperatures in comparison to 5w40. N

Major Distinguishing Factors

The working viscosity for 5w40 is 12.5 to 16.3mm2/s, whereas for 0w40 is 3.8 to 16.3mm2/s.

Red car with an opened hood

When To Use 0w40?

0w40 is highly preferable for vehicles and owners who are running the engines in colder climates. However, if you take it for a long ride rarely, then using 0w40 is an ideal choice for the same. But, even though you are using it in hot climates, it will still help you neutralize your car’s engine’s wear and tear aspects.

When To Use 5w40?

5w40 also has similar positives as that of 0w40. But the only difference is that it is less proficient than that in terms of running in cold climates. Nevertheless, it hardly matters, as the difference is very minimal.

Therefore, you can prefer to use 5w40 for both hot and cold climates. In addition, you should prefer it when the seasonal temperature change is very frequent.

Final Verdict

These are a few of the things you need to keep in mind whenever choosing between 0w40 and 5w40. The differences are minimal, but you still need to keep in mind the various specifications to choose the ideal one as per your needs. If viscosity for low temperatures is considered, then 0w40 is a perfect pick for you.

However, if you are in a region where the temperature is moderate, then both have similar perks to keep your engine safe.