0w16 vs 5w30 engine oils comparison

If you want to know which engine oil is best for your vehicle, you may want to review the comparison between 0W-16 and 5W-30 engine oil.

Because these engine oils possess both differences and similarities, you need to know exactly how they will affect the performance of your own vehicle.

From determining how each motor oil will affect your vehicle’s performance in the winter months to reducing excessive wear and tear on high-mileage cars, there is a lot of information that drivers should become familiar with.

So, let’s get started by discussing, the differences, and similarities and how to select the best engine oil type between the two.

Differences Between the 0W-16 and the 5W-30 Engine Oil

The primary differences between 0W-16 and 5W-30 can be found in the information provided for vehicle owners below.

0W-16 Engine Oil

First of all, 0W-16 is highly recommended as a factory-fill engine oil for an increasingly growing number of modern popular cars, including the engine of the cars listed below.

It is also important for car owners to note that the owner’s manual usually recommends 0W-16 engine oil for its many benefits. Two of the most noteworthy, include the best motor oil for increasing fuel efficiency and operating in cold weather.

5W-30 Engine Oil

Similar to the 0W-16 engine oil, 5W-30 engine oil is considered to be a more popular choice for many different reasons, including those that have been listed in the section below

Coats and protects the engine’s internal components from unnecessary exposure to heat.

Highly recommended for use in light trucks, and modern-day road cars (i.e. Nissan vehicles, General Motors cars, most late-model BMW. Volkswagen, Audi, and some Ford cars

At operating temperatures, this motor oil produces an extra thick oil film

There are also differences in numbers. For example, here are the metric comparisons between each based on different testing specifications.

Kinematic Viscosity at 40°C

  • 0W-16 – 36.5 cSt
  • 5W-30 – 63.4 cSt

Kinematic Viscosity at 100 °C

  • 0W-16 – 7.2 cSt
  • 5W-30 – 11.0 cSt

Cold Cranking Simulator Viscosity

  • 0W-16 – 4781 cP @-35°C
  • 5W-30 – 4555 cP @-30°C

Kinematic viscosity is a measure of a fluid’s resistance to flow. It is defined as the ratio of the dynamic viscosity of a fluid to its density.

The unit of kinematic viscosity is typically square meters per second (m^2/s), also known as stokes (St). It is used to describe the internal friction of a fluid and is often used to compare the viscosity of different fluids.

Viscosity (at cold temperature)0W5W
Viscosity (at hot temperature)1630
Viscosity IndexHighHigh
Flowability (at low temperatures)ExcellentGood
Protection (at high temperatures)GoodExcellent
Fuel economyImprovedReduced
Recommended UseCold climates, hybrid and fuel-efficient vehiclesWide range of temperatures, high-performance, and older vehicles

Similarities in 0w-16 and 5W-30 Oil

Every car owner should also know that there are some similarities in these motor oils, too. Just like numerous car owner manual says, some cars can use 5W-30 in place of 0w-16.

In fact, as long as the car owner uses the correct oil during subsequent oil changes, no damage will be done to the engine or its performance.

And, it really does not matter if the owner of the car is being driven on the highway, city streets, or a small town, the owner may notice a small intermittent increase of 2 to 3 miles at most.

What to choose?

If you are looking for the best engine oil for your vehicle, you should use the information provided firstly in your user’s manual, there you will find valuable info regarding which oil to use for your engine.

If you don’t find any oil listed or one of them, it’s recommended to not use it

Refer to the car’s owner’s manual to see which motor oil is recommended. For instance, the manufacturer of the car may highly recommend 0W – 16 or 5W-30 Oil.

For example, if you own a Toyota or a late-model BMW, you may want to choose a 0W-16 oil for your oil change. Or, if you are driving a Nissan, you may want to select 5W-30 instead of 0W-16.

Determine if the oil change needs to be for a high-performance vehicle

Choose an age-appropriate engine oil for vehicles that have over 75,000 miles on them.

If are not limited by budget amount, you will need to buy the best quality engine oil like the 5W-30 for top performance.


Choosing the right motor oil for your vehicle can be a challenging task. However, if you have access to the information that you need, you can make the best decision possible by comparing oil grades like 016W and 5W-30 Oil. Whatever the case, you need to do your research first before you make your decision to buy.

About The Author

Scroll to Top