5w30 vs 10w40 : What’s the difference?

5w30 vs 10w40

One of the crucial components that we need to routinely replace in our cars to keep them up and operating at their best is motor or engine oil. The motor oil enhances engine performance while also assisting in reducing wear and tear.

However, selecting the appropriate motor oil is more crucial. There are two types of motor oil that, despite their apparent similarity and shared qualities, differ greatly.

Because the 5w30 and 10w40 motor oils are so similar, we’ll compare the two to make it easier for you to select the one that’s best for your car.

What is 5w30 Motor Oil?

5w30 motor oil is an oil that’s formulated to deliver the right amount of lubrication and protection for your vehicle’s engine. It should be used in all vehicles that operate at different temperatures, including trucks, SUVs, and other vehicles with a high grade of performance.

The 5w30 is synthetic motor oil that is approved by API or American Petroleum Institute. The oil is made up of base oils, synthetic detergents, and additives into the base oil.

The 5w30 motor oil is used in a wide range of vehicles, and it is highly suitable for light-duty vehicles with petrol and diesel engines. It is a multi-grade oil as it can range from a low viscosity grade of 5 to a higher viscosity grade of 30.

What is 10w40 engine Oil?

10w40 motor oil is a semi-synthetic blend of components designed to provide high performance and excellent protection in diesel engines. It is also used in other internal combustion engines, including heavy-duty and marine applications.

It’s designed to protect an engine from wear and tear caused by friction, which includes wear caused by the pistons striking the cylinder walls, as well as oil consumption due to friction between moving parts in the engine.

10w40 motor oil is recommended for use in cars and light commercial vehicles with automatic transmissions. It can also be used in smaller engines but should not be used in larger engines because it’s too thin for high-performance engines.

The 10w40 motor oil is highly suitable for cold starts in lower temperatures. The 10w40 motor oil offers a standard operating temperature in different engines. 10w40 motor oil comes with a lower viscosity grade of 10 and a higher viscosity grade of 40.

5w30 vs 10w40 Motor Oil Comparison

Name5w30 Engine Oil10w40 Engine Oil
Lower Viscosity510
Higher Viscosity3040
Oil ThicknessThinThick
Fuel EconomyGoodAverage
Engine WearModerateLess
Suitable WeatherCold (Winter)Cold (Winter) and Hot (Summer)
Ideal Temperature-20 to 30 degrees celsius-25 to 40-degree celsius
Oil TypeSyntheticSynthetic
Life Expectancy5,000 miles10,000 miles
Replacement RequiredBefore 3 to 4 thousand miles8 to 9 thousand miles
Vehicle CompatibilityPetrol, Diesel, and CNGPetrol, Diesel, and CNG
Ideal EngineHydraulic Tappets-based enginesEngine and vehicles except for hydraulic tappets
Thermal StabilityGoodBetter
Oxidation StabilityAverageGood

Similarities Between 5w30 vs 10w40

The 5w30 and 10w40 motor oil have a lot of similarities between them. For instance, the anti-corrosion, anti-foam, and anti-wear properties, all are similar among the two motor oils. So, below are the major similarities between 5w30 Vs 10w40 motor oil.

Oil Type

Synthetic oils is a type of motor oil that is made up of synthetic base oils and additives. It’s typically used in engines that need to be operated at high temperatures, like diesel engines. Synthetic oil comes in different viscosities as well, with 5W30 and 10w40 being the most common.

5w30 and 10w40 are both synthetic oils. They are both made from petrochemicals in oil pump but with different end goals in mind.

Read: 0w30 vs 10w30


When you run your car, the engine needs to protect itself from corrosion. This can be achieved with the use of anti-corrosion oils. Both 5w30 and 10w40 are anti-corrosion oils, and both of them have anti-corrosion properties that keep your engine protected from rust and corrosion.


Both 5w30 and 10w40 have anti-foam properties, which means they don’t allow water to flow through them as easily as other oils. The anti-foam properties of the two oils are different, though. While 5w30 is more resistant than 10w40 to water, 10w40 has a higher ability to resist water than 5w30 does.


Both 5W30 and 10W40 have high anti-wear properties that help to prevent excessive friction between moving parts inside your vehicle’s engine block, transmission case, and transfer case. This helps to extend the life of those parts by preventing damage from wear that would otherwise have occurred through normal use over time.

Vehicle Compatibility

When it comes to vehicle compatibility or compatible vehicles, then both the 5w30 and 10w40 support similar types of vehicles. Both the motor oils can be used in petrol, diesel, and even CNG engines.

This means that you don’t have to worry about which type of car you drive. You will be able to use these motor oils in your car. The 5w30 is highly compatible and most suitable for diesel and petrol vehicles, while the 10w40 is suitable for all three types of vehicles.

Read: 0w20 vs 10w30

Difference Between 5w30 vs 10w40

While there are a lot of similarities between 5w30 Vs 10w40 motor oils, there are a lot of major differences as well. And these differences will helps you to easily distinguish between these 2 types of motor oil.

Lower Viscosity

The first and foremost difference between the 5w30 and 10w40 motor oil is the lower viscosity. Both of these motor oil operates at different lower viscosity which plays a crucial role of operation in high and low temperatures.

The 5w30 comes with lower viscosity of grade 5, while the 10w40 offers lower viscosity of grade 10.

The 5w30 motor oil is less viscous motor oil in high as well as low temperatures. On the flip side, the 10w40 is more viscous motor oil in both low temperatures as well as high temperatures in comparison to 5w30.

Higher Viscosity oil

The 5w30 motor oil comes with warm viscosity or higher viscosity of grade 30, while the 10w40 motor oil comes with a higher viscosity grade of 40. Both these motor oils have different higher viscosity grades.

The 10w30 motor oil will flow better and easily in high temperatures and hot climates, whereas the 5w30 engine oil will flow better in cold low temperatures and winter extreme temperatures climates.

Oil Thickness

The oil thickness is highly important to consider while making your final choice before buying the motor oil. The 10w40 is thicker engine oil weight in comparison to the 5w30 engine oil.

This is due to the fact that it operates at a higher viscosity in low temperatures(car engine motor oil’s cold viscosity). In comparison, the 5w30 motor oil flows slowly in the cold season.

Fuel Economy

Before choosing the optimum motor oil, fuel economy is another crucial consideration. Compared to 10w40 motor, 5w30 motor oil offers noticeably higher fuel efficiency. This is because 5w30 motor oil is thinner and requires less effort for the engine to move the parts.

However, compared to 5w30, 10w40 motor oil offers an average fuel economy due to its thickness. Nevertheless, because it is thicker and the engine parts won’t wear out as quickly, 10w40 is a better choice in the long run.

Engine Wears

Both the motor oils optimize their performance for increased fuel economy according to the lower and higher temperatures and the climate, so engine wears will be different with 5w30 and 10w40.

The 5w30 motor oil will become thick in the cold climate, so the engine will not wear in the cold climate. On the flip side, the 10w40 motor oil will become thick in the hot climate and high temperature, which will protect your engine from wear as well.

Weather Conditions

When it comes to the weather conditions, then both motor oils perform differently according to the temperature in your region. So, it is best to know the temperature of your region before choosing the right motor oil.

While most brands will suggest you use 10w40 in both cold and hot climates, it is not true. Due to its viscosity, you are not advised to use it in both weather conditions.

The 10w40 motor oil is suitable for hot temperatures, while the 5w30 is suitable for cold weather.

Temperature Range

The 5w30 motor oil is suitable for a temperature range between -20 degrees and up to 30 degrees. On the other part, the 10w40 motor oil is most suitable when the temperature lies between -25 to 40 degrees.

5W-30 is designed for engines with an operating range from -20 C to 30 C. This means that it can be used in most car engines.

On the other hand, 10W-40 is designed for engines with an operating range from -25 C to 40C. This means that it is more suited for hot climates and vehicles that run at a high temperatures, such as trucks and other vehicles since it will remain stable even under extremely hot conditions.

Engine Oil Life and Replacement

Motor oil life and replacement is another important consideration you have to make while choosing the best motor oil for your automobile. The 5w30 motor oil comes with 5,000 miles of life, and you should ideally replace it when you can complete at least 3 to 4 thousand miles.

On the other part, the 10w40 motor oil has a life of about 10,000 miles which is considerably noticeable in comparison to the 5w30 motor oil. Moreover, you can use this oil until you reach at least 8 to 9 thousand miles.

Compatible Engines

Both the 5w30 and 10w40 motor oils are compatible with different types of engines. It is best to use these motor oils with compatible engines for optimum performance.

The 5w30 motor oil is ideal for hydraulic tappets-based engines. On the other part, the 10w40 is highly suitable for the engines and vehicles except those who have hydraulic tappets engines.


When it comes to friction, then it is highly important that you choose the oil that offers the least friction. In this case, the 5w30 motor oil is the clear winner. This is due to the fact it offers the least amount of friction between the engine components.

The lesser the friction, the better the performance. The 5w30 motor oil offers the least friction as it is thinner motor oil (lighter oils) as compared to the 10w40 motor oil(which is thicker oil). But you need to know that the least friction, the more the engine wears.

Thermal Stability

Thermal stability is another factor when choosing the best engine oil. Both the 5w30(thinner oil) and 10w40 motor oils can perform ideally at different thermals.

However, the 10w40 is a better option as it offers better thermal stability in comparison to the 5w30. This is because it can handle heat very well. Moreover, it is an ideal option for hot temperatures, so it is more thermally stable than the 5w30.

Oxidation Stability

Oxidation stability refers to the level at which a lubricant will not break down or wear out easily. The more stable an oil is, the less likely it is to become brittle or flake off after use, which could harm your engine.

The major difference between 5w30 and 10w40 is that 5w30 has a lower oxidation stability rating than 10w40. While 5w30 provides good protection against wear and tear, it won’t last as long as 10w40 in most engines.

Pros and Cons of 5w30 vs 10w40

5w30 Engine Oil:

Least frictionLesser life expectancy and replacement time
Ideal for hydraulic tappets-based enginesMore engine wear
Suitable for cold starts 
Performs better in a cold climate 

10w40 Engine Oil:

Ideal for non-hydraulic tappets enginesMore friction
Performs in both hot and cold climate 
Better thermal and oxidation stability 
Greater replacement life 

Which is Better: 5w30 vs 10w40?

Both the 5w30 and 10w40 motor oils are a great choice, as they are made for different types of engines and vehicles.

The 5w30 is a better option if you want the best performance out of your engine as it offers the least friction but also has more engine wear in comparison to the 10w40 engine oil.

However, if you want an engine that can perform ideally in both hot and cold weather, then the 10w40 is a superior choice. Also, it has a long replacement life, and you will see a great, better fuel economy with 10w40 in comparison to 5w30.

Read: 5w20 vs 10w30

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can you use 5w30 in place of 10w40?

Yes, you can use it. And in real life, you may not be easily able to differentiate between these 2 engine oils, but there is a significant difference in replacement time and friction.

Which engine is oil more viscous?

The 10w40 engine oil is more viscous in comparison to 5w30.

How long will the 5w30 last if we don’t change it?

The 5w30 will last up to 15,000 to 20,000 miles in high mileage engines depending upon the conditions you use it. But it is ideal for replacing the engine oil as soon as it reaches its life.

Conclusion on 5w30 vs 10w40

So, this was all about the 5w30 and 10w40 viscosity engine oil comparison recommended oil. Based on the comparison above, both are great engine oils that can be used in different weather conditions and different engines.

The 5w30 low temperature viscosity engine is suitable for hydraulic tappets-based engines, and it is ideal to use with light motor vehicles. Diesel and petrol gas mileage engine vehicles are perfect, and you can use the 5w30 engine oil.

On the other side, the 10w40 high temperature viscosity engine oil is suitable for hot weather and climates and engines that work in higher temperatures, such as trucks, SUVs, and other heavy-duty vehicles.

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