Sae 30 Vs 5w30 Engine Oil: Which One Will Be Best for Your Engine?

SAE 30 vs 5W30 are two popular engine oils used often in the automobile industry. Although there are several similarities between these two oils, you need to be aware that there are also some very significant differences. So, can’t you decide which engine oil you should purchase between SAE 30 vs 5W30?

SAE 30 and SAE 5W-30 have the same viscosity grade of 30 in high temp. But when it comes to cold weather, their ratings differ slightly. SAE 30 oils are suitable for small and old engine oil, while 5w30 oils are frequently used in modern vehicles. 5w30 is a multi-grade oil that can handle extremely cold conditions, making it suitable for modern and heavy-duty vehicles. However, lawnmowers don’t always need this oil since they don’t operate in as cold of conditions as cars do.

This SAE 5W30 vs SAE 30 engine oils comparison is going to explore all the similarities as well as differences between these two popular engine oils. I’ll explore the protective features, oil grade, compatibility, protection and other features of these two oils. So, this article will help you know the ultimate differences between these two.

An Overview of Sae 30 Engine Oil

SAE 30 is a single-grade, cost-effective engine oil manufactured for small vehicles. The mean of 30 in relation to the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is related to the viscosity characteristic. These oils have viscosity ratings of 30 standards; they are suitable for high-temperature conditions.

SAE 30 oil is mono-grade, meaning it has only one viscosity grade. These oils are suitable for high temperatures, and you can’t use them in extremely low temp conditions. This makes it different from multi-grade oils, which have multiple viscosity grades and are better suited for use in engines in cold temperatures.

As I mentioned earlier, SAE 30 is the standard small engine oil. For lawnmowers, SAE 30 engine oils have been a trusted grade for many years because it works well in the temperature extent where most mowers are utilized. SAE 30 oil is best used for smaller air-cooled engines, lawnmowers, tractors, and chainsaws.


  • SAE 30 engine oils are less expensive than multi-grade engine oils
  • These engine oils provide excellent performance in high temperatures
  • It provides excellent lubrication and good heat protection for the engine
  • These engine oils are suitable for small as well as old-model vehicles


  • These oils are not suitable for extremely low temperatures.

An Overview of Sae 5w30 Engine Oil

SAE 5W-30 is a multi-graded engine oil with two ratings, 5 for low and 30 for high temperatures. 5 is a low number; therefore, it works well in extremely low-temperature conditions. This is a particularly helpful quality, especially for vehicles like automobiles, aircraft, and other equipment that operate continuously throughout the winter.

The 5W-30 viscosity level of oil works better in the winter than in other grades, reducing engine tears as well as wear. 5W-30 oil has several additives to help break down waste, eliminate rust, and extend engine life. These oils are sufficiently thin to flow smoothly at low temperatures and sufficiently thick to perform flawlessly at high temperatures.

5w30 is a huge aid to chilly vehicles that are having difficulties starting since it maintains an acceptable viscosity even at low temperatures. Since this type of oil offers extraordinary performance in different temperature conditions, this formula is suitable for different types of vehicles.


  • Provide versatile performance in high and low temperatures
  • Incredibly effective at safeguarding the engine’s internals
  • Includes excellent additives and ensures excellent oil economy
  • These oils are suitable for modern and high-performing vehicles


  • The SAE 5W-30 oils are more expensive than SAE 30 oils.

SAE 30 vs 5W30 Engine Oil: Comparison

This SAE 30 vs 5W30 Comparison will highlight all the key similarities and differences between these two engine oils. So, let’s explore it to understand the similarities and differences between them.

Oil Grade

The first and foremost difference between these two engine oils is in their grade. SAE 30 oils are a single-grade formula, and SAE 5W-30 oils are multi-grade formula. That means SAE 30 offers an unchanged viscosity rating, but the SAE 5W-30 comes with a flexible viscosity rating and can be changed according to the temperature.

Fuel Economy

The oil type has a significant impact on the economy of the fuel. The thinner oil formula generally ensures much more oil economy than a thicker formula. This is because vehicle engines can pump thinner oil easily. So, how do the SAE 30 and 5W30 Engine Oil perform in terms of oil economy?

Both the SAE 30 and 5W30 offer excellent oil economies in average temperatures. However, the SAE 5W30 offers the most advantages regarding extremely low temperatures. This is because the engine will need less energy to pump the 5w30 oil, which might result in somewhat greater fuel efficiency.

Protective Features

The majority of additional additives are absent from SAE 30 single-grade engine oil, which is single-grade. Because it prevents pollutants from adhering to sidewalls or cracks, this oil collects all impurities that may otherwise harm the engine; nonetheless, it gets dirty rapidly.

On the contrary hand, 5w30 oil has several additives, including agents that dissolve sludge, so it doesn’t get dirty as quickly. In order to guarantee a long lifespan, it also includes stabilizing acids as well as a corrosion resistance that reduces rust.

Engine and Vehicle Compatibility

Our everyday lives have undergone a dramatic transformation as a result of automobiles with various engines. Whereas oil serves as the engine’s lifeblood, not all oils benefit all engines. And these two oils also differ from each other from this point of view.

SAE 30 is a single-grade oil appropriate for your tiny engines fueled by diesel or gasoline. To be more clear, this formula is suitable for old models and light-duty vehicles. You can use SAE 30 in lawnmowers, small tractors, snow blowers, as well as lightweight cars.

On the other hand, the SAE 5W-30 oil is appropriate for petrol as well as diesel-powered engines. This formula is suitable for modern and heavy-duty vehicles. SAE 5W-30 can be utilized in Passenger cars, heavy-duty trucks, SUVs, Airplanes, as well as Snowplows.

Season Compatibility

Season compatibility is another important thing you should consider to choose one formula between SAE 30 vs 5w30. Not all engine oils are suitable for all seasons, like high or extremely low temperatures. So, before making a decision, take into account the behaviour of your vehicle and the seasons that work best for the oil.

SAE 30 oil comes with a high-temperature resistance feature that makes it suitable for extremely hot weather. This oil can be used to fine-tune your vehicle at temperatures between 4°C and 100°C. The thicker oil may adequately manage the internal engine components to maintain their functionality and prevent wear and tear.

On the other hand, the SAE 5W30 engine oil is suitable for both high and low temperatures. However, compatibility with extremely low temperatures is one of the key features of this formula. Although most oils fail around -22°F or -30°C, they can still optimize their performance.

Price Tag

This is only the sector where SAE 30 oil gives you more advantage than SAE 5W30. In general, SAE 30 oil costs a little less compared to 5w30 oil. After all, the superior additive package, as well as greater performance, doesn’t come cheap.

However, when you contemplate that you might need to purchase aftermarket additives to raise SAE 30 oil’s efficiency to that of 5w30 oil, you can find yourself spending the same amount. However, if you compare the price “per fluid ounce,” 5w30 will be somewhat more costly than SAE 30.

SAE 30 vs 5w30 Engine Oil: Which One Is Best?

Now it is time to determine which one is best for you between these SAE 30 and 5w30 Engine Oils. I already clarified that both the SAE 30 and 5w30 Engine Oils come with diverse and exclusive features and functionalities. These two oils are different from each other since they offer different viscosities and different car compatibility.

Although SAE 30 as well as 5W30 are both kinds of motor oil, their viscosities or thicknesses are different. While 5W-30 is a thinner oil, SAE 30 oil is thicker. While the SAE 30 oil offers excellent protection against tear and wear, the protection level of 5W30 oil outperforms the SAE 30.

In severe weather, SAE 30 oil cannot deliver a robust as well as powerful performance. Multi-grade 5W30 oils are perfect for automobiles that need to travel long distances since they may assist your car to run smoothly no matter the conditions.

If you have a modern and heavy-duty vehicle and live in a region where temperatures are extremely low, the SAE 5w30 is the best option for you. On the other hand, if you have an old model or light-duty car and live in an average-temperature region, SAE 30 oil is the best way to go through.

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