Forum: Advice / Cars & Driving

Which oil to use for the car?
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 05:49 PM

So my dad bought a car from our neighbours for me to drive. He says it uses 5W30 oil. But if you look under the hood where you add the oil, it says 5W20. ... Umm, confused. Why would that be? Would it be a big deal if you put 5W20 in it instead of 5W30 if that's what it says?? :S

It's a 2002 Ford Focus SE if that makes a difference.

5 Replies to Which oil to use for the car?

re: Which oil to use for the car?
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 06:52 PM
Well, according to my dad, the 5W20 is what is the manufacturer recommends. So that's should what you use. But, he said that you should use different thickness of oil for different climates.

Just my dad's opinion...
re: Which oil to use for the car? (karma: 1)
By FeisDadAndre
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 07:00 PM
Majeure is right; you should use different grades of oil for different seasons because each oil has a different level of viscosity. Peronally I use peanut oil in the Spring, virgin olive oil in Summer, extra virgin olive oil in Fall and canola oil in Winter. But hey... that's just me. :)
re: Which oil to use for the car?
By dangslowmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 09:13 PM
The first number is the "parent" or "base" weight. That means that the actual oil is 5 weight oil. Both 5w20 and 5w30 are the same physical weight parent oils. The second number is a number which reflects the protective quality of the oil. The 5w30 will have different additives which tend to protect better or make that particular oil more resistant to shear loads. The same additives which make it more resistant to breaking down give the oil slower flow qualities inside the engine at cold temperatures.

Bottom line is that both 20 and 30 oils will behave the same at high temps, but at start up you should drive the vehicle a bit more gently... which you should be doing anyway...

Buy castrol or valvoline 5w30 in the summer and 5w20 in the winter. Or just run 5w20 all year, it really wont make a practical difference, so maybe just get whichever is on sale.
re: Which oil to use for the car?
By BeautifulMistakemember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Fri Sep 04, 2009 10:11 PM
Thanks a ton. :) That helped a lot.
re: Which oil to use for the car?
By flemishg
On Sun Sep 20, 2009 02:24 AM
I work for Ford, and we use Motorcraft 5w20 as required by Ford on that car.

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