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Old 04-30-2010, 08:58 AM   #1
dporretta
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Default 5W20 vs. 5W30

I took my 2005 Saturn Ion for an oil change yesterday and even though the oil cap says to put in 5W30 they put in 5W20 instead. Will this harm the engine? I live in Ontario by the way.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:33 AM   #2
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

5W20 will be too thin and not lubricate properly. make them change it for free ASAP
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

5-20 will not hurt a thing .... but what you need to do is go on the internet and read about oil and what the numbers mean.
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Old 04-30-2010, 10:06 AM   #4
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

I would get the 5/20 out before the summer weather hits. If it was my car there is no way I would run it if the daytime temps rise above 80. 5/20 is fine for the winter but not the summer, if the shop doesn't have 5/30 have them use 10/30 for the summer. One thing is for sure the 5/20 is probably dissolving any sludge found in the engine so you will get a motor flush out of the deal......
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:11 AM   #5
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

I agree with the others...in the winter 5W20 would be ok. In the summer I'd stay away from it. However, I don't think it will hurt the car a bit.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:24 AM   #6
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

taken from http://bestsyntheticoil.com/info/5w20-cafe.shtml

"Question: My owners manual specifies 5w20 oil. Do I really need to use 5w20 oil and why did my 2000 model year vehicle require a 5w30 oil, while the exact same engine in my 2001 model year vehicle requires 5w20 oil?

Answer: No. You do not need to use a 5w20 oil. The only reason 5w20 was specified for your engine is to increase the CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) reported to the Federal Government. CAFE is the combined average fuel economy of all of a vehicle manufacturer's product line. Minimum CAFE levels are specified by the Federal Government. In order for a vehicle manufacturer to continue selling profitable large trucks and SUV's, which typically have poor fuel mileage, and still meet mandated CAFE requirements, they must also sell smaller cars which have much better fuel economy ratings to offset the poor fuel economy ratings of the larger vehicles.

For model year 2001, the change to 5w20 oil will allow a vehicle manufacturer's overall CAFE to decrease by a very small amount, typically in the tenths of a mile per gallon range. 5w20 oil is a lighter viscosity than a 5w30 oil and therefore has less internal engine frictional losses, or less drag on the crankshaft, pistons and valve-train. This decrease in frictional power loss promotes increased fuel economy. This increased fuel economy is virtually undetectable to the average consumer without the use of specialized engine monitoring and testing equipment when compared to a 5w30, 10w30 or a 0w30 viscosity motor oil.

Question: What are the negative aspects of using a 5w20 oil?

Answer: 5w20 oil has less film and shear strength than a 5w30, 10w30 or a 0w30 motor oil. This can lead to increased engine wear under today's demanding heat and high-stress engine performance conditions.

Question: Is the above true of synthetics as well?

Answer: Yes and no. Depends upon what you're comparing. A 5w20 synthetic oil will likely have less film and shear strength than a synthetic 5w30, 10w30 or 0w30. However, if you compare that same synthetic 5w20 motor oil to a petroleum 5w30, or 10w30, it will likely have better film and shear strength.

Obviously, this means it will certainly have better film and shear strength than a petroleum 5w20 oil. So, if you'd feel more comfortable sticking with the manufacturer recommended 5w20, go with a quality synthetic oil.

Question: Don't I have to use a 5w20 oil to maintain my factory warranty if my manual recommends a 5w20 oil?

Answer: Absolutely not. Vehicle manufacturers recommend using motor oils meeting certain viscosity grades and American Petroleum Institute service requirements. Whether the motor oil is a 5w20, 5w30, 10w30 or 0w30 or even a synthetic vs. a petroleum-based oil will not affect warranty coverage. The manufacturer is required to cover all equipment failures it would normally cover as long as the oil meets API service requirements and specifications and was not the cause of the failure.

In addition, the federally mandated Magnuson - Moss Warranty Improvement Act states that a manufacturer may not require a specific brand of aftermarket product unless it is provided free of charge. If your dealership continues to tell you that you need to use 5w20 oil to maintain your warranty, then ask them to put it in writing. If they indicate you must use a particular brand of oil to maintain your warranty, tell them you expect it to be provided free of charge.

Their position is inaccurate and, in fact, violates existing U.S. legislation. Additionally, if there is ever a question of whether or not a particular oil was the cause of an engine failure make sure to get a sample of the used oil in a bottle, typically 6 oz. minimum. That will provide enough fluid to send oil to 2 independent testing labs for analysis. Remember, being a knowledgeable and informed consumer is your best defense against being taken advantage of by a car dealership service center.

NOTE: If you've purchased an extended warranty, the above may not apply. Extended warranties are not necessarily bound by the same regulations as factory warranties are."

I WOULD ONLY USE WHAT GM RECOMMENDS IN THE ENGINE, 5W-20 IS VERY THIN I WOULD TAKE IT OUT. YOU SHOULD NEVER GET A DIFFERENT OIL GRADE THEN 30 FOR THE IONS AND MOST GM CARS. THE AWD VUE, AND NEW FORDS OIL GRADE DIFFERENT THEN 20.
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by IONSedan View Post
5-20 will not hurt a thing .... but what you need to do is go on the internet and read about oil and what the numbers mean.
I really think you need to folklore your own advice and find out what they mean. 5w20, as already stated has lower film strength and WILL NOT LUBRICATE AS WELL. you definitely should not run this oil in your car. the only time it is ok to mess with what viscosity you are running is if you live where it is really cold, and the viscosity you run is 0w30. the 0 is the winter, or cold viscosity number, the second number is the operating temperature viscosity number. by running a lower hot viscosity, you will only do damage.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2006 ion2 View Post
I really think you need to folklore your own advice and find out what they mean. 5w20, as already stated has lower film strength and WILL NOT LUBRICATE AS WELL. you definitely should not run this oil in your car. the only time it is ok to mess with what viscosity you are running is if you live where it is really cold, and the viscosity you run is 0w30. the 0 is the winter, or cold viscosity number, the second number is the operating temperature viscosity number. by running a lower hot viscosity, you will only do damage.
You Sir have no idea why you say the things you do.



Leave the 5-20 in your car till the next oil change.
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Old 04-30-2010, 05:44 PM   #9
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Quote:
Originally Posted by IONSedan View Post
You Sir have no idea why you say the things you do.

Leave the 5-20 in your car till the next oil change.

yes, I do. besides the post SaturnIONSLVUE posted (which just reinforces what I already said), I am a highly trained mechanic, well versed in, among other things, ENGINE OIL. the 5W20 is the wrong viscosity for the engine (too thin in this case), meaning it will not lubricate the engine right, also, in the case of automobile engines, that oil does not have the right additive package and detergents for this engine, so those will also act wrong on their engine.

you have NO basis to recommend them keeping that oil in this engine, you clearly do not know why you say the the things you say.
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Old 04-30-2010, 07:09 PM   #10
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

It does not matter what 5W20 will do or not do compared to 5W30. The engine calls for 5W30 not 5W20.

Take it back to the place that changed the oil and tell them that they need to do it over with the right oil. They need to replace the filter as well. They made a mistake.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

I called the shop and I'll be bringing it tomorrow. They said they'd flush out the oil and replace it with the proper grade. Last time I'll go there; I had problems with them last year when they spilled oil all over the place and had it dripping from my frame for months.
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

I would watch them change it!
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

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Originally Posted by SaturnIONSLVUE View Post
I would watch them change it!
I 2nd that
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:03 AM   #14
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

most definitely, watch them.
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:06 AM   #15
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Quote:
Originally Posted by dporretta View Post
I took my 2005 Saturn Ion for an oil change yesterday and even though the oil cap says to put in 5W30 they put in 5W20 instead. Will this harm the engine? I live in Ontario by the way.
The answer is no.
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Old 05-01-2010, 12:09 PM   #16
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Quote:
Originally Posted by IONSedan View Post
The answer is no.
Not necessarily. The answer could be yes. If you drive the car hard under high ambient heat conditions the oil temp will rise considerably. Thin oil is less viscous than thick oil. Your oil pump will not be able to maintain its required output under the required pressure. In layman's terms, your oil pressure will drop and all lubricated surfaces will not be as well lubricated as when you use 5W-30. Will this damage the engine? Depends how long the engine is stressed, but it certainly won't be good for it.
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Old 05-01-2010, 06:35 PM   #17
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Not necessarily. The answer could be yes
The car gods WILL strike your car down if you use anything other then 5-30 motor oil.
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Old 05-01-2010, 07:08 PM   #18
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Quote:
Originally Posted by IONSedan View Post
Not necessarily. The answer could be yes
The car gods WILL strike your car down if you use anything other then 5-30 motor oil.
Now Now... Lets be specific. Stick with a 0W30 or 5W30 and you'll be OK. The car gods should take pity on you then.

Typically 0W30 is recommended by Saturn for cold weather -19F conditions.
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Old 04-10-2016, 04:44 AM   #19
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

Good information.
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Old 04-10-2016, 11:58 PM   #20
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Default Re: 5W20 vs. 5W30

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Good information.
i don't agree. the typical misinformation on oil you find on internet.

in reality, most 5w30 oils turn into 5W20 with use. this is why the whole industry was able to switch from 5W30 to 5W20 with ease.

now, i do use 5w30 or 10w30 oils in most cars i own, but it's not as critical as one would think.
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