Choosing 0w-20 oil for your car? In this article, we will tell you what to look for when choosing a 0w-20 viscosity oil.
0w-20 oil is usually used for new modern cars or cars with low mileage.
When choosing 0w-20 oil for American cars we recommend buying motor oil that meets the API classification SN, SN+, SP. For Asian (Japanese and Korean) cars it is recommended to use oil with ILSAC GF-5, GF-6 A/B classification.
For European cars, it is recommended to use 0w-20 oil, which meets ACEA classification (A3/B3/B4). For diesel engines with DPF it is recommended to buy the oil, which corresponds to the ACEA C3 classification.
The quality of the lubricant is the most important thing in the work of the engine. High-quality, properly selected engine oil performs a number of functions, without which the engine will soon become worthless:
- protects engine parts from wear and corrosion;
- contributes to quick starting and warming up of the engine during the cold season;
- cleans the engine working area from foreign particles including metal chips, which are formed during operation;
- prolongs engine life;
- helps to save fuel;
- fills microcracks that form on the surfaces of working parts in used cars.
Taking into account the above-mentioned factors, every car owner should know and be able to choose the right engine lubricant taking into account the weather conditions of the region, car brand, and engine type.
How is 0w-20 deciphered?
The most important and significant characteristic of 0w-20 engine oil is the viscosity of the composition. Nowadays such compositions have the lowest viscosity of all the existing oils and are used only in modern automobiles (mostly in hybrid engines).
Engine oil 0w-20 most often refers to high-quality synthetic oils with a set of premium additives. However, there are also variants that represent high-class hydrocracking oil, which is in no way inferior to the synthetic base. The cost of such oil is quite high due to the specifics of production and use.
According to the SAE viscosity classification, 0w-20 oil refers to low-viscosity products. Also, such oil is called “zero weight oil” by many manufacturers and they recommend using it only in their cars.
High-end synthetic 0w-20 oil is generally designed to provide protection for engines even during peak loads. 0w-20 oil also improves fuel economy and even engine efficiency.
Experts remind that if the manufacturer indicated the oil 0w-20 as the recommended oil in the Operation Manual, this is what you must use.
The range of using 0w-20 oil is quite narrow because only certain types of engines in cars manufactured in Europe and the United States are designed for this category of oil. Only Japanese-made cars are an exception.
Oil base and additives of 0w-20 oil
In most cases, it is a hydrocracking process or the use of polyalphaolefins. This ensures the stability of the product throughout the period of use.
0w-20 oil tolerances and compliance
Usually, oils of this group have the highest tolerances and this is quite understandable because products of this group have been developed already for modern engines.
Engine oils with SAE 0w-20 viscosity have very specific characteristics and minimum viscosity, it is too thin for most older cars, so this oil is used in new Japanese and American cars or racing cars. These cars have a special engine design that requires a high fluidity lubricant to operate because of the compression and torque ratings.
0w-20 Motor Oil Best Choice
Best 0w-20 motor oils on the market:
Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20
K&N Motor Oil 0W-20 Full Synthetic Engine Oil
Shell Rotella Gas Truck Full Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil for Pickups and SUVs
Royal Purple 0W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil
Liquimoly 0W-20 Special Tec AA Motor Oil
Idemitsu Full Synthetic 0W-20 Engine Oil
Red Line 0W20 Motor Oil
Mag 1 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil
Types of motor oils
The composition of modern motor oils is formed on the principle of adding a certain set of additives to their base (sometimes called base oil). The base oil can be derived from:
- From artificially synthesized organic compounds – in this case, oils are called synthetic.
- A mixture of mineral and synthetic bases – semi-synthetic oils.
Fully synthetic motor oil 0w-20
Fully synthetic oil provides higher viscosity, resistance to oxidation and thermal degradation, and helps fight oil sludge. It helps improve fuel efficiency and can even increase vehicle power by reducing engine drag.
Fully synthetic oil is ideal for vehicles that require maximum performance and high levels of lubrication. If you live in a climate with very cold winters or very hot summers, or if you use your vehicle for towing or hauling cargo, synthetic oil may be the best type of oil for your vehicle. Older engines can also benefit from synthetic oil because it can help prevent the harmful sludge that some older engines are prone to.
Since the cost of synthetic motor oil is higher than regular oil, consult with your technician to see if this oil is right for your car.
0w-20 Synthetic Blended Motor Oil
Synthetic oil has many of the characteristics of fully synthetic oil but at a lower cost. This type of oil consists of a blend of synthetic and conventional base oils with some additives added that provide additional resistance to oxidation and excellent low-temperature properties. Synthetic blends make it easy for drivers to switch from conventional oil to synthetic oil, so this type of oil is becoming increasingly popular among today’s drivers. It’s also a great intermediate option for drivers who want the added protection and performance of synthetic oil, but aren’t willing to pay for a full switch to synthetic oil.
Conventional 0w-20 Motor Oil
This oil is great for low-mileage, low- to medium-mileage late-model cars with a simple engine design.
High mileage engine oil 0w-20
High mileage oil is specifically designed for vehicles with over 75,000 miles. This type of oil helps reduce oil consumption, minimize oil leaks and seepage, and reduce smoke and emissions in older engines.
SAE and API classification 0w-20
Car oils are classified according to two key indicators: the scope of use: gasoline/diesel engine, turbocharged engine; oil viscosity.
The standards by which lubricants are classified are considered the same for all oils. The most common is the SAE and API classifications.
The API standard introduces two groups of quality classes, prefixed with S (gasoline engines) and C (diesel).
The letter after the prefix defines a particular class, assigned to new classes in order of alphabetical order: API SP oil meets more stringent requirements than API SL.
If a particular oil grade can be used in engines for both types of properties, a double class is specified – for example, API SN / CF.
API classification divides oils into three groups according to their purpose and quality:
- S – for gasoline engines;
- C – for diesel engines;
- EC – universal energy-saving oil.
The other letters indicate the class the grease belongs to. All classes differ from each other:
- API SL – oils for engines in cars manufactured after 2000. For multi-valve, turbocharged, with work on lean mixtures, with increased requirements for energy efficiency and environmental friendliness.
- API SM – oils for engines of cars manufactured after 2004. Ability to be certified according to ILSAC energy-saving category.
- API SN – oils for engines of vehicles manufactured after 2010. Designed for oils used in the most advanced gasoline engines of passenger and sports cars and small vans. Some oils in this category may comply with ILSAC GF-5 specification and qualify as energy-saving.
- API SP – oils for engines of cars manufactured after 2020. Designed for oils used in the most advanced gasoline engines of passenger and sport utility vehicles and small vans. Some oils in this category may meet ILSAC GF-6 specifications.
ILSAC 0w-20 engine oil classification
- GF-4 – oils for engines of vehicles manufactured after 2004, SAE viscosity grades 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, 5W-30 and 10W-30. The oils are compatible with catalytic exhaust gas recovery systems.
- GF-5 – oils for engines of vehicles manufactured after 2010 meet the quality requirements of API SN classification. Viscosity grades SAE 0W-20, 5W-20, 0W-30, 5W-30. They are characterized by improved energy efficiency, enhanced anti-wear properties, reduced sludge formation in the turbine, a noticeable reduction of carbon deposits in the engine.
- GF-6– oils for engines of cars manufactured after 2020, includes improvements: fuel economy and preservation of fuel economy, preservation of engine life, protection from wear.
Recommended oil brands 0w-20:
- Liqui Moly.
- Red Line.
- Schaeffer Manufacturing.
- Lucas Oil.
- Quaker State.
- Royal Purple.
The cost of 0w-20 engine oil:
- Up to $30: synthetic-based 0w-20 oils.
- Up to $50: synthetic 0w-20 oils from popular brands.
- Up to $80: synthetic 0w-20 premium brands.