Fuel, Oil, Cleaners & Other Maintenance Extending the life of your Civic requires the proper fuel, oil, and cleaners, along with other regularly scheduled maintenance.

What weight oil is best for protection?

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What weight oil is best for protection?

Okay I know that the answer is generally "whatever the manufacturer calls for". However, what if the manufacturer allows the use of several different grades of oil within a specific temperature range? For example, I found an owners manual for the car my engine came out of (2005 Honda Stream), and it allows for the use of 0W20, 5W30, or 5W40 across all temperature ranges, and it also allows for the use of 10W30 oil down to -20C, or -4F, which it would never see here. Below is a picture of that page of the owners manual:

So which of these oil weights should I choose? I understand that the thicker the oil in the engine is the more energy it will take to push and the lower my power and MPG will be, so I am just asking about protection. Thank you very much in advance!
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Whichever oil is listed and falls in the appropriate range of temperature that matches were the car will be used.
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Originally Posted by GolNat View Post
Whichever oil is listed and falls in the appropriate range of temperature that matches were the car will be used.
Thanks. I understand that using the specified grade is best, but as you can see on the chart, all 4 grades of oil listed on the chart would actually be approved for use within the range of temperatures in my area since it never gets anywhere near -20C (-4F) here in Memphis, and I also keep my car in a garage. So which would you go with?
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Go with your heart, go with your first instinct, go with the force.
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Originally Posted by HR Puffinblunts View Post
Go with your heart, go with your first instinct, go with the force.
Lol 😁.


I wouldn't use 0w20, better fuel yes, but the engine wasn't designed for it (the 0w20 listing is retro active, it wasn't an original option), and 0 weights are known to have slightly lower protection rates than 5 weights.

10w30 is far too thick while cold and can tax the oil pump as well as starve the camshaft while starting (that's why it is restricted in cold temperatures, because then the problems can cause damage)

.....

5wXX is your best bet.

All 5wXX oils will have the same viscosity at starting temperature.

The XX such as 20, 30 and 40, get thicker as the number increases at operating temperature (which is always thinner than starting temperature, even though the number is larger; because the two measurements, the 5 for starting viscosity and the XX for operational temperature viscosity, use different scales).

If your oil cap says 5w30, use 5w30. If you are burning oil try 5w40.
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Originally Posted by mac25 View Post
Lol 😁.


I wouldn't use 0w20, better fuel yes, but the engine wasn't designed for it (the 0w20 listing is retro active, it wasn't an original option), and 0 weights are known to have slightly lower protection rates than 5 weights.

10w30 is far too thick while cold and can tax the oil pump as well as starve the camshaft while starting (that's why it is restricted in cold temperatures, because then the problems can cause damage)

.....

5wXX is your best bet.

All 5wXX oils will have the same viscosity at starting temperature.

The XX such as 20, 30 and 40, get thicker as the number increases at operating temperature (which is always thinner than starting temperature, even though the number is larger; because the two measurements, the 5 for starting viscosity and the XX for operational temperature viscosity, use different scales).

If your oil cap says 5w30, use 5w30. If you are burning oil try 5w40.
Thank you very much for your help, makes perfect sense! The oil cap that came on this engine actually didn't specify an oil viscosity like the US oil caps do, it just said something to the effect of "Use API certified oil, see owners manual".

Also, it's interesting you said that 0W oils often provide slightly worse protection than 5W oils since they are both the same viscosity once the engine warms up. Why exactly is this? I remember reading that the more difference between the cold and hot viscosity the more VI (viscosity index) improvers needs to be added to the oil and that VI improvers are poor lubricants and tend to break down, so less is better. Is this the reason, or is there something else? Thank you in advance!
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

The last time I looked into multiple brands use of 0 weight oils nearly all of them had lower oil film tension, and produced larger scarring on test bearings than 5 weight oils.

That being said all of the 0 weight oils were within safe wear limits.

However with the developments in engine technology, materials used, oil passage size, ect. newer engines may wear less than if you use 0w20 in a car initially designed with 5w20.
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Originally Posted by mac25 View Post
The last time I looked into multiple brands use of 0 weight oils nearly all of them had lower oil film tension, and produced larger scarring on test bearings than 5 weight oils.

That being said all of the 0 weight oils were within safe wear limits.

However with the developments in engine technology, materials used, oil passage size, ect. newer engines may wear less than if you use 0w20 in a car initially designed with 5w20.
Wow, I had no idea! Thanks for letting me know. I did notice that 0W oils have a higher NOACK volatility rating than 5W or 10W oils, so more of it will evaporate in the heat.
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Are you subjecting your engine to some unusual and severe loads and conditions the engineers who designed it couldn't foresee? Doubt it.
I'd run the 5w20 or 0w20 synthetic (same oil we put in customer cars) and not give it another thought.



Also....old school thinking doesn't always work as expected with new tech. Thicker oil can increase consumption rate.
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Re: What weight oil is best for protection?

Originally Posted by ezone View Post
Are you subjecting your engine to some unusual and severe loads and conditions the engineers who designed it couldn't foresee? Doubt it.
I'd run the 5w20 or 0w20 synthetic (same oil we put in customer cars) and not give it another thought.



Also....old school thinking doesn't always work as expected with new tech. Thicker oil can increase consumption rate.
The only somewhat unusual things that my engine is subjected to is being pushed pretty hard, as well as a little bit more power than stock, probably 20-30 HP extra at most. However, I do not take my car to the race track or (regularly) tow anything, so I think I am probably okay with using 5W20 and saving a little fuel and horsepower. Thanks for your help!
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