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5w20 vs 5w30 on Ford vehicles, which should you use? Actually, Ford recommends 5w20 and 5w30 for most of its vehicles. The exact recommendation for your Ford vehicle is indicated in your owner’s manual.
So, basically, if you use 5w20 or 5w30 on your Ford vehicle, the engine should run fine and there’s nothing to worry about. But, these oils are truly different, and there’s a reason for the difference.
5w30 would perform better than 5w20 in certain weather conditions. Now, the question is, how do these oils differ, what similarities do they share, and what should determine the one to use.
Today’s article clearly details the difference between these two motor oils and the conditions that make each of them stand out.
Important Facts About Motor Oils
In detail, the numbers before and after the letter “W” in the motor oil description refer to how the oil will flow at different temperatures.
The first number refers to how the oil would flow in low temps, and the second number is the flow rating in high temps.
The lower the number in an oil rating, the thinner the oil, which means the oil would flow easily. So, a 5w20 would flow easily in low and high temps than a 10w40 or 10w30 oil.
Similarly, a 5w30 oil would flow easily in low and high temps against 10w30 or 10w40 oils. But when it comes to 5w30 and 5w20, the difference is only in how they’d flow in high temperatures. Now let’s discuss.
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What is 5w20?
5w20 is a Full Synthetic motor oil that flows well in both low and high temperatures. It is recommended for most Ford vehicles, including some Ford F150 models.
Undoubtedly, 5w20 motor oils can unlock your car’s engine for better performance.
What is 5w30?
5w30 motors oils are also Full Synthetic oils that flow easily in high and low temperatures. However, 5w30 is slightly thicker than 5w20 in high temps. The cause of this thickness is the difference in additives used in the oils’ formulas.
This motor oil is recommended for most Ford models. Mainly, Ford recommends the Genuine 5w30 full synthetic oil from Motorcraft, but there are other decent, cheaper alternatives out there.
5w20 and 5w30 Oil: Key Differences
As mentioned earlier, the difference isn’t much and won’t hurt your Ford car’s engine. The only difference between these two motor oils is that the 5w20 is likely to thin out in extremely high temperatures while the 5w30 would survive such situations.
When an oil thins out, it won’t be able to offer protection to your car’s engine or properly lubricate the engine’s moving parts, which can cause damage to occur.
But this does not imply that 5w20 oils would thin out immediately when temps get high. It simply means that, since the oil is lighter, it has higher chances of thinning out at “extreme” high temperatures.
Well, some 5w20 motor oil manufacturers would tell you that theirs would survive any temperature. While this is not entirely true, not all 5w20 oils would thin out easily at high temps.
5w20 Vs 5w30 on Ford Vehicles
Practically, the only way to get the most of your Ford car’s engine is to use the oil type (and also brand) recommended in your owner’s manual.
Modern-day engines are highly sophisticated and computerized. Thus, when you use another motor oil, which is not the same viscosity recommended for your engine, the computer would send wrong signals, and your car may not function at its best.
5w20 and 5w30 oils are both suitable for Ford engines, but you need to stick with the specification in your owner’s manual.
Read Also: Accidentally Put 5w20 Instead Of 5w30
What You Should Know About Oil Thickness At Different Temperatures
“5w20” means the oil weight in cold temperatures is “5,” and in high temperatures, the weight is “20.” On the other hand, “5w30” means the oil weight is “5” in cold temps and “30” in high temps.
Merely, it’s easy to understand that the lower the number, the easier the oil would flow at the specified temperature (hot or cold).
Motors oils need to be thick to withstand high temperatures, and at the same time, they need to be light to still flow at cold temps (especially during the Winter season or Autumn).
When the oil is thicker at cold temps, it won’t flow easily. This would cause the engine to lack sufficient lubrication to function efficiently, which can cause serious damage.
Similarly, when oil is very light, it may thin out when the temperature gets so high. When an oil thins out, it can’t deliver protection or effective lubrication, thus, causing the engine to overheat, and this can lead to further expensive damages.
So, automakers recommend oils of certain viscosity (weight) at different temps for the engines in their vehicles. If you stick with your car manufacturer’s recommendation, you’d surely get the most out of your engine.
Using 5w20 Instead Of 5w30 or Vice Versa | Any Consequences?
Basically, nothing would happen; your engine would still function, but you may notice a significant drop in performance and fuel economy. More so, putting another oil into your vehicle would instantly void the manufacturer’s warranty.
If your car is still new and under the first warranty from the manufacturer, it is advisable to keep using the exact oil specification for your engine.
Finally, when buying motor oils, always read other users’ reviews about the brand you want to buy. Motor oils are available on Amazon and other online stores at cheap prices.
Mixing oils or mistakenly refilling another oil in your car would not cause any instant damage to your engine. But, with time, if you keep using the wrong oil, you could be risking serious engine damage, which could start with overheating.
Regarding Ford F150 pickup trucks, the official motor oils to use are Motorcraft 5w20 or Motorcraft 5w30. Ford approves Motorcraft as the official manufacturer of motor oils to be used in its F150 series.
If you’re permanently switching from 5w20 to 5w30, ensure to completely drain the remnant 5w20 before refilling 5w30. Hopefully, this article answered all you seek to know about using 5w20 and 5w30 on Ford F150s.
Read Also: Can I Use 10w30 Instead Of 5w30?