When choosing a 0w-20 viscosity grade engine oil for your vehicle, you need to consider the manufacturer’s recommendations, oil composition, tolerances and specifications. We’ve prepared this guide to help you choose the right 0w-20 viscosity grade engine oil for your car.
We’ll look at the main characteristics of 0w-20 oil, what to look for when choosing a 0w-20, and which 0w-20 oils are the most popular in the United States.
Motor oil 0w-20
0w-20 Engine Oils
0w-20 viscosity oils are low-viscosity oils and are generally recommended for Japanese and American vehicles.
The most common recommendation for 0w-20 oils is found in Honda: this concern was the first to switch to total use of the lowest viscosity in all its vehicles.
Also, 0W-20 engine oil can be recommended for new Korean and some German cars, both in winter and summer. And, of course, such oils are also suitable for hybrid engines with low operating temperatures.
Which 0w-20 viscosity oil should I choose for my car?
0w-20 viscosity oils are low viscosity oils and are generally recommended for use in the engine of American and Asian cars.
Also, 0W-20 engine oil can be recommended for new Korean and some German cars, for both winter and summer use. Also, 0W-20 oils are also suitable for hybrid engines with low operating temperatures.
What 0w-20 viscosity oil should I choose for my car?
Most 0W-20 engine oils manufactured for the U.S. market are synthetic (or hydrocracked). We recommend using fully synthetic motor oils from popular brands such as Amsoil, Red Line, Mag 1, Castrol, Pennzoil, Valvoline, Royal Purple, Mobil 1, Liqui Moly, Motul, and Idemitsu for your vehicle.
All of these brands make 0w-20 motor oil on a synthetic basis and have recommendations from automakers: GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, MB, Porsche, VW, and others.
Best engine oil 0w-20
Idemitsu 0w-20 SPGF-6
Approvals and Specifications:
- API SP
- ILSAC GF-6
The most popular oils are 0w-20:
- Amsoil Signature Series 0W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil
- ACDelco 0W-20 Full Synthetic Motor Oil
- Castrol Edge Advanced Full Synthetic Oil 0W-20
- Castrol Magnatec Full Synthetic Oil 0W-20
- Eneos Full Synthetic Oil 0W-20
- Idemitsu ZEPRO Eco Medalist 0W-20
- K&N 0W-20 Full Synthetic Engine Oil
- Liqui Moly Special Tec AA 0W-20
- Liqui Moly Top Tec 6200 0W-20
- Mag 1 Full Synthetic Oil 0W-20
- Mobil 1 Advanced Fuel Economy 0W-20
- Mobil 1 High Mileage Full Motor Oil 0W-20
- Motul 8100 Eco-Lite 0W-20
- Pennzoil Platinum Motor Full Synthetic Oil 0W-20
- Quaker State Full Synthetic 0W-20 Motor Oil
- RAVENOL DFE 0W-20
- RAVENOL ECS 0W-20
- RAVENOL EFS 0W-20
- Red Line Motor Oil 0W-20
- Royal Purple High-Performance Oil 0W-20
- Valvoline Advanced 0W-20
- Valvoline High Mileage 0W-20
- Valvoline Modern Engine SAE 0W-20
- Valvoline Extended Protection SAE 0W-20
Popular Genuine Oils
- BMW Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20
- Honda Genuine Full Synthetic Oil 0W-20
- Ford Motorcraft Full Synthetic 0W-20
- Mazda Genuine Oil 0W-20
- Nissan Genuine Oil 0W-20
- Toyota Genuine Synthetic Motor Oil 0W-20
- Subaru Synthetic Motor Oil 0w-20
Engine oil 0w-20
Engine oil 0w-20
Low-viscosity oils, of which 0W-20 is one of the most liquid oils, are recommended for the most modern engines which have stringent requirements for lubricants in terms of environmental and fuel efficiency.
The increased fluidity of 0W-20 engine oil enables it to circulate easily inside the engine compartment in frosty conditions.
|Application||For American and Asian vehicles|
|Oil type||Synthetic, Semi-synthetic|
|Winter temperature limit||– 31.0 °F|
|Summer temperature limit||59.0 °F|
0W-20 Oil Specifications
The SAE J300 standard describes oil viscosity using a set of classes given their own numerical indices. Seasonal oils are tested using different methods which simulate their conditions of use.
Since summer oils are not important for starting properties at negative temperatures (pumpability, cranking ability), they are tested only under conditions close to working conditions: kinematic and dynamic viscosity is measured. Each SAE class has its own range of kinematic viscosity and minimum dynamic viscosity. The higher the viscosity of the oil, the higher the index.
For winter oils the main tests are conducted at low temperatures – measured dynamic viscosity at two points specified by the standard for a particular class. The class index, for convenience, marked with the letter W, decreases with increasing starting properties of the oil, that is 0W oil can start at lower temperatures than 10W.
For multigrade motor oils, which also include 0W-20, indices of both classes are shown. By these you can see that such oil is not only low in viscosity at working temperatures, but also increases it to a minimum at negative temperatures. In such oils the pour point exceeds the peak winter temperatures in most of the accustomed climatic zones.
The oil designation is 0w-20:
- 0w is a winter parameter and indicates the minimum safe cold start temperature. This means that the smaller the first digit, the lower the temperature the oil is rated for.
- 20 is a summer parameter, indicating that the oil can be used in certain temperature conditions.
Oils with low viscosity are used for rapid pumping in cold weather so that when you start the engine without warming up, it is instantly lubricated.
0w-20 oil features
SAE 0W-20 motor oil is a special engine oil designed for engines that initially require a low-viscosity, energy-saving motor oil. Such engines have a number of design features aimed at reducing mechanical losses. First of all we are talking about thin piston rings, providing a minimum of friction losses in the cylinder head. The flip side of such a design solution is reducing the efficiency of removing the oil film from the cylinder walls.
For this very reason in engines of this type SAE 0W-20 oils are used all-season, even in moderate climates, where there is no need in them in principle. A thicker oil would inevitably increase the consumption for exhaust through the cylinder-piston group. Additionally, the fluidity and low viscosity themselves reduce engine losses, improving fuel economy, critical for today’s environmental demands.
The mechanism of low viscosity oils and peculiarities of their application
Production of oils of this class is advisable only on a synthetic basis of high quality. There are several reasons:
- The film strength that low-viscosity oils create, all other things being equal, is minimal. To avoid damage to the engine, the oil must provide high antifriction and extreme pressure properties;
- Low viscosity oils are a consequence of stricter environmental standards, which are achieved, among other things, by reducing mechanical losses in the engine. But since the stringency of current standards like API SN is very high, the oil itself must have low volatility and ash content, and regulated phosphorus, and sulfur content. Only synthesis, not the purification of crude oil, can ensure the purity of base oil.
Low viscosity synthetic oils must have higher shear stability to provide adequate protection under high loads. This allows to maintain oil wedge in friction pairs, including the most loaded – main and crank bearings of engines, as well as those operating at extremely high speeds (turbocharger bearings). It is the shear resistance that allows oils with low viscosity to operate successfully in highly accelerated engines, providing them with long service life.
The properties of energy-saving oils are described by ILSAC standards, the latest of which is ILSAC GF-5. It differs from the previous specification GF-4 first of all by the introduction of biofuel compatibility requirements. Phosphorus content in such oils cannot exceed 0,08%, thus compatibility with multicomponent catalysts is guaranteed. At the same time, the ash content is limited in the same way as for MidSAPS and LowSAPS diesel oils.
The energy-saving effect is created by several specific properties of these oils:
- They are easily pumped through the oil channels, through the oil filter. SAE 0W-20 oil thereby reduces the load on the oil pump, which can now draw less power from the engine;
- The anti-friction properties which are important for complex modern engines with a large number of friction pairs are increased: the overall benefit in friction reduction becomes tangible.
At the same time it is highly not recommended to use such oils in the motors, not designed for them. It is necessary to understand that the energy-saving effect and reduced fuel consumption of these oils is inextricably linked to the design of the engine itself, while the engine, designed for a more viscous oil, will experience several problems at once. The oil pressure will drop, because the oil pump was designed for a different viscosity. There will be increased wear on the cylinder walls and upper compression rings, since piston rings and cylinder honing also imply different properties of the engine oil. Hydraulic timing clutches and hydro-compensators may also malfunction on low-flow oil.
The advantages of 0W-20 engine oil
Idemitsu 0w-20 oil fully meets the requirements of modern engines, especially American and Japanese, which are designed for energy-saving lubrication.
Motor oil specifications
API US specifications provide for two groups of classes for vehicles:
- S for gasoline engines
- C for diesel engines
API specifications for gasoline engines: SA, SB, SC, SD, SE, SF, SG, SH, SJ, SL, SM, SN, SN Plus, SP. API specifications for diesel engines: CB, CC, CD, CD, CE, CF, CF-4, CF-2, CG-4, CH-4, CI-4, CI-4 Plus, CJ-4.
The European standard ACEA uses four groups:
- A for gasoline engines
- B for diesel engines
- C for engines with catalytic converters or DPF
- E for heavy-duty diesel engines
ACEA specifications: A1, A2, A3, A5, B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, C1, C2, C3, E1, E2, E3, E4, E5, E6, E7.
The Asian ILSAC standard defines the Quality Specifications for gasoline engines of passenger cars.
ILSAC Specifications: GF-1, GF-2, GF-3, GF-4, GF-5, GF-6
Asian motor oils are often certified not only to the internationally recognized API and ACEA standards but also to the ILSAC standard, which is the most accurate recommendation for the Asian market. This is handled by the International Lubricants Standardization and Approval Committee, which is based on the Japanese and American automobile associations JAMA and AAMA.
Motor oil for American cars
For American cars, you must use oil that has the specifications API SN, API SP for new cars. For earlier models of cars, you can use oil with specifications API SL, and API SM. It is also necessary to consider the approvals of manufacturers: Ford, General Motors, Chrysler, and others.
The most popular American car brands are:
The most popular Ford models:
- Ford Bronco
- Ford F-150
- Ford F-250
- Ford F-350
- Ford F-450
- Ford Taurus
- Ford C-Max
- Ford Escort
- Ford Fiesta
- Ford Focus
- Ford Galaxy
- Ford Kuga
- Ford Mondeo
- Ford S-Max
- Ford Transit
- Ford EcoSport
- Ford Edge
- Ford Escape
- Ford Expedition
- Ford Explorer
- Ford Fusion
- Ford Ranger
- Ford Mustang
The most popular Buick models:
Chevrolet Silverado 1500
Chrysler Grand Voyager
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Chrysler Town & Country
Dodge RAM 1500
Dodge RAM 2500
Dodge RAM 3500
Dodge Grand Caravan
GMC Sierra 1500
Jeep Grand Cherokee
Hyundai Santa Fe
Hyundai Azera (Grandeur)
Hyundai Grand Santa Fe
Hyundai Grand Starex
Hyundai Maxcruz (Grand Santa Fe)
Kia Carens (Rondo)
Kia Mohave (Borrego)
Kia Morning (Picanto)
Kia Quoris (K9)
Engine oil 0w-20 for Japanese vehicles
For Japanese vehicles, an engine oil complying with ILSAC GF-5 and GF-6 specifications must be used.
The most popular Japanese car brands are:
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Mitsubishi L 200
Mitsubishi Pajero (Montero, Nativa)
Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross
Nissan 350Z, 370Z
Nissan Micra (March)
Nissan NV (NV200, NV300, NV400)
Nissan TIIDA (Versa)
Nissan Violet (Stanza)
Toyota FJ Cruiser
Toyota Land Cruiser Prado
Toyota Voxy (Noah)
Toyota Land Cruiser
Suzuki Grand Vitara
Lexus RX 350
When selecting which engine oil to use for your vehicle, please consider the manufacturer’s specifications.