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Can I Use 10W-40 instead of 5W-40?

If you’re an owner of a vehicle, you must have come across the question- Can I use 10W-40 instead of 5W-40? Changing oil on your own or getting it done is crucial to keep your engine running smoothly and efficiently. However, selecting the right type of oil can be highly confusing.

In this article, we talk about the significance of two different kinds of oils for standard vehicles- 5W-40 and 10W-40. We’ve got interesting facts and details about when it’s safe to switch to 10W-40.

What do 5W-40 and 10W-40 mean?

Before we explain the difference between 5W-40 and 10W-40, let us understand what the numbers mean. In each of the examples, "W" stands for winter. The number before "W" represents the viscosity rating at low temperatures. While the number after the "W" is the viscosity rating at high temperatures.

In general, winter oils have a lower viscosity, making it easier to get started in colder weather. Contrarily, summer oils have a higher viscosity index, meaning the oil maintains its thickness at higher temperatures.

What are the differences between 5W-40 and 10W-40?

5W-40 is a winter oil that is commonly used in colder environments. The cold temperature ratings of this oil range from 5 to 40 degrees. It is thinner than the 10W-40 oil and is recommended for lower temperatures. Its viscosity rating at higher temperatures ranges from 40.

On the other hand, 10W-40 is a summer oil, recommended to use at higher temperatures such as summer. The cold temperature rating of this oil ranges from 10 to 40 degrees, which is thicker than the previous one. However, its viscosity rating at high temperatures ranges from 40, making it ideal for use in hotter environments.

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When can I use 10W-40 instead of 5W-40?

Now that we have understood the differences, let’s answer the question: Can you use 10W-40 instead of 5W-40?

Yes, you can substitute 10W-40 for 5W-40, provided that it is within the recommended oil viscosity range by the car manufacturer. It means that if the car manufacturer recommends 5W-40, you can switch it to 10W-40 without worrying. For instance, some car manufacturers recommend a single viscosity rating, while others may recommend a range of values. If your car falls under the second category, then you can change the oil viscosity within the range.

However, do not switch to the 10W-40 oil if the car specifically requires a 5W-40. Using a different oil may affect the engine performance and longevity. This is because the engine oil properties and viscosity impact the engine’s operation. If the oil you’re using doesn’t meet the specifications mentioned by the car manufacturer, it will affect the engine’s performance and efficiency.


In conclusion, 5W-40 and 10W-40 are two different types of oils with different viscosity ratings. You can switch the oil viscosity if the car manufacturer recommends it, but only if the viscosity range is within the car manufacturer’s recommendations. Switching oils within the recommended range will not harm the engine’s performance.

However, it is essential to read the car manual thoroughly and understand the recommended oil viscosity before changing. Following the recommended viscosity will enhance your engine’s life and performance. We hope this article has answered your question.