Best 5W-20 Oils in 2020

5W-20 oils are designed for winter use in corresponding engines. Basically, these are versatile oils since they work perfectly not only in cold weather but also when extremely heated. The flashpoint of 5W-20 oil usually exceeds 392F, and the solidify point is usually below -45.4F. Increased fluidity, combined with great density, allows reducing engine loads and increasing fuel economy in any ambient conditions.

The best 5W-20 oil is definitely fully synthetic, designed for heavy loads. It will outperform its competitors in several ways. Many manufacturers offer advanced synthetic oils with enhanced properties.

So let’s get to them!

The Best 5W-20 Oils On The Market

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-20 Motor Oil 5 QTValvoline Advanced
Full Synthetic SAE 5W-20
Fully Synthetic
Motorcraft SAE 5w20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil- 12 Quart CaseMotorcraft SAE 5W20Semi-Synthetic
Royal Purple 12520 API-Licensed SAE 5W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil - 1 qt. (Case of 12)Royal Purple SAE 5W-20 (12520)Synthetic
Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil (5 Quart, Single Pack)Pennzoil Ultra Platinum
Full Synthetic 5W-20
Fully Synthetic
Mobil 1 44975 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil - 1 Quart (Pack of 6)Mobil 1 5W-20 (44975)Fully Synthetic
Castrol 03083 EDGE 5W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 QuartPennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-30Fully Synthetic

Best 5W-20 Oils For The Money

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-20 Motor Oil 5 QT

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-20 Motor Oil 5 QT

Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-20 Motor Oil is a fully synthetic substance, which protects the engine from all kinds of damage. It has excellent protective features that reduce overall engine wear during friction.

The oil also helps to cool down the engine and eliminate waste particles. As a result, the oil helps keep the engine clean and prolongs its life.

This product is compatible with other synthetic oils, which allows using in as an additive. As for thermal properties, the oil claims to be an all-season product, although, it does not work well at high ambient temperatures – oil viscosity at 212F is only 8.1.

However, it will be a good option for cold starts – at low temperatures, the oil “behaves” perfectly, maintaining its fluidity, and giving the engine the necessary protection. The solidify point of this synthetic oil is -32.8F. The fluid contains a special range of additives that do not deposit and provide reliable engine protection against friction and overheating.


  • Keeps engine crystal clean inside
  • Withstands intense heat, maintaining its structure
  • High oil fluidity at sub-zero temperatures
  • Supplied in convenient oil gallons with a special handle and lid


  • Manufacturer: Valvoline
  • Capacity: 4.73 liters
  • Viscosity: 5W-20
  • Oil type: fully synthetic
  • Weight: 9.46 pounds

Valvoline 5W-20 is an affordable oil with interesting characteristics, which indicate a high degree of protection for engines that run on gas and high quality of chemical compounds. The oil retains a stable structure and high viscosity to ensure effective lubrication. It’s supplied in branded 4.73-l gallons with a special handle and a tight lid. 

What is the overall viscosity index of this oil?

The total viscosity index of this oil is 147 units. The kinematic viscosity at 212F is 8.1 units.

How much better does this oil protect the engine compared to regular mineralized oils?

Valvoline 5W-20 fully-synthetic oil prolongs engine life by about 50%. According to the manufacturer, the oil provides better protection of the engine compared to other products, which results in a significant engine part wear reduction.

Motorcraft SAE 5w20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil- 12 Quart Case

Motorcraft SAE 5w20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil- 12 Quart Case

Motorcraft oils are branded products that are best fit Ford vehicles. Motorcraft SAE 5W-20 is a premium oil of high quality, which provides full engine protection at any loads.

The 5W-20 oils contain several branded additives, which allows minimizing oxidation processes at high temperatures and contact with metal, which reduces engine wear.

Binding properties of the oil allow for safe engine operation in different weather conditions. The oil best retains its properties at 32F, and the temperature of the full engine start is -22F.

The solidify temperature is -49F, which means this oil the best for severe winters. The kinematic viscosity of the oil is 8.3 units when heated above the standard operating temperature of up to 212F.


  • Designed specifically for Ford cars
  • Provides fast fluidity at low temperatures
  • Features anti-corrosion properties
  • Lowers the engine operating temperature


  • Manufacturer: Motorcraft
  • Capacity: 11.35 liters
  • Oil type: semi-synthetic
  • Weight: 24 pounds

Motorcraft engine oil is always a high-quality product, which does not let the engine go bad before the due time. That’s why many Ford owners buy only this oil by Motorcraft. The semi-synthetic oil has excellent protective properties, although it’s slightly more expensive compared to its synthetic counterparts. Plus, the oil also needs to be changed a bit more often but, after all, stable engine protection is what matters the most.

What are API specs for this oil?

The oil has the following API specs: SN and SN PLUS.

Royal Purple 12520 API-Licensed SAE 5W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil – 1 qt.

Royal Purple 12520 API-Licensed SAE 5W-20 High Performance Synthetic Motor Oil - 1 qt. (Case of 12)

Royal Purple oils are most often represented by synthetic options with special effective additives. A manufacturer’s production technology makes it possible to create dense oils with uniform textures, fully preserved when heated.

The 12520 can be used in engines that use fuels with high ethanol content. Besides, the high efficiency of the fuel-efficient oil is demonstrated in cars with exhaust gas recirculation systems. The oil reduces friction resistance, thus, reducing gas consumption.

The temperature properties of the oil under consideration do not go beyond -22 and 95F. The oil is stable when heated to 212F, although, it’s not suitable for the countries with very hot climates. As for the lowers the temperature, the oil works perfectly in the severe cold, providing a safe engine start at temperatures down to -22F, and solidifies only when it’s below -40 outside.

The use of this Royal Purple’s oil in engines that run on gas reduces their wear by forming a durable protective layer that reduces friction and easily removes products of natural wear and burning.


  • Cuts fuel consumption
  • Shows improved efficiency with exhaust aftermarket systems
  • Allows using fuels with increased alcohol content
  • Great antioxidizing properties


  • Manufacturer: Royal Purple
  • Capacity: 0.946 liters
  • Oil type: synthetic
  • Weight: 24.3 pounds

Royal Purple 5W-20 differs among similar oils by its fully synthetic components, which determine the high quality of protection and affordable oil price. Moreover, the oil does not have to be changed too often, as it retains its properties much longer than conventional oils. Thus, by purchasing Royal Purple oil, you get rid of many problems related to engine protection.

What is the optimum shelf life for fully synthetic oil?

Manufacturers specify different oil shelf lives, which are determined by their composition and storage conditions. In any case, over time, any oil loses its properties. Most often, standard synthetic oil’s shelf life is not more than 3 years from its production date.

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil (5 Quart, Single Pack)

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil (5 Quart, Single Pack)

Pennzoil Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil is a premium product, made from natural gas. It’s superior to many other similar oils in performance and protective properties. Due to its high-performance properties, the oil is highly effective at low temperatures.

With Pennzoil Ultra Platinum, you can easily start the engine at temperatures down to -22F, maintaining the necessary fluidity for optimal engine performance.

The oil composition features improved cleaning properties, which guarantees internal engine cleanliness as well as its optimal performance. Oils density allows to create a protective layer at all ambient temperatures and acquire reduced resistance. As a result, less energy is consumed while engine operation.

According to the manufacturer, this oil saves about 550 miles per year. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum is designed to perform its tasks perfectly, providing maximum protection of the engine, without frequent changes. This oil is used in various powerful trucks and premium cars.


  • Maximum engine protection from wear
  • Tangible fuel economy (550 miles per year)
  • Excellent cleaning properties
  • Increased fluidity at sub-zero temperatures
  • Enhanced vehicle performance


  • Manufacturer: Pennzoil
  • Capacity: 4.73 liters
  • Oil type: full synthetic
  • Weight: 9.15 pounds

This engine oil from Pennzoil is released in special hard-to-fake 4.73-l yellow gallons with special handles, which make pouring the oil into the engine really easy. If you want to provide maximum protection for your car’s engine during winter, this oil will be the best option.

Is this oil suitable for driving in summer?

The manufacturer states that its 5W-20 is suitable for all seasons, so you can safely use it in summer. The oil retains its properties at 212F outside and can withstand engine temperatures of up to 392F.

Mobil 1 44975 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil – 1 Quart (Pack of 6)

Mobil 1 44975 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil - 1 Quart (Pack of 6)

Mobil 1 engine oils take leading positions on the market and have long pleased car owners with quality and reliability. Mobil 1 44975 5W-20 Synthetic Motor Oil is fully synthetic and has several effective additives that reduce engine wear.

The oil withstands temperature extremes and works in all conditions. Even in severe temperatures down to -22F, the oil allows the engine to start quickly, and retains its viscosity without becoming too fluid when heated heavily. Thus, extreme loads do not stop this oil from the effective operation, whether it’s cooling down the engine or preventing its premature wear.

The oil can be used not only in gasoline but also in engines that run on gas. It can be used according to the specifications in any cars, except for aircraft engines. The solidify point is below -40F and the viscosity index of 8.9 units at a standard measurement temperature of 212F.

The total viscosity index, according to the manufacturer’s statements, is 160 units. This means that by feeding Mobil 1 5W-20 oil into your engine, you will keep your engine running smoothly, reliably protected from wear and overheating.


  • Retains its properties at all temperatures
  • Protects the engine from wear
  • Outperforms many similar oils in terms of endurance and cleaning properties
  • Recommended for engines that run on gas


  • Manufacturer: Mobil 1
  • Capacity: 0.946 liters
  • Oil type: fully synthetic
  • Weight: 11.77 pounds

Mobil 1 5W-20 multipurpose winter oil is sold in grey 0.95-l gallons, so make sure you get enough to change the oil. It should be noted that the manufacturer has a number of other similar oils but the oil under consideration is the best in the range, as it is an advanced product with a technological synthetic base and unique properties.

How well can the oil handle dirt?

According to the manufacturer, this oil, along with other advanced products of the company, is twice as good at engine cleaning, compared to regular oils. Being a fully synthetic product, the oil does not leave any residue and easily removes combustion and friction residues.  

Castrol 03083 EDGE 5W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart

Castrol 03083 EDGE 5W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, 5 Quart

Castrol 03083 EDGE 5W-20 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil is recommended by many premium car manufacturers. It’s effective and stable, and unlocks full engine potential, providing reliable protection under extreme loads.

Castrol 03083 is multi-seasonal oil, although it works best at low temperatures. The oil can withstand temperatures down to -22 degrees. It features increased density and high-pressure resistance. The oil does not lose its viscosity even at 212F, significantly reducing friction, which benefits your fuel mileage. 

This oil from Castrol exceeds semi-synthetic analogs in terms of many parameters. It is an advanced oil with a fully synthetic base and a set of unique additives.


  • High-pressure sustainable
  • Significantly reduces friction compared to conventional oils
  • Does not require frequent changes
  • Premium oil for expensive cars


  • Manufacturer: Castrol
  • Capacity: 4.73 liters
  • Oil type: fully synthetic
  • Weight: 9.28 pounds

Castrol 5W-20 is often the choice of the most demanding car owners who pay special attention to their car engines. This oil increases engine performance, reduces fuel consumption, and reliably protects the engine from all possible clogging and overheating problems. Oil marking indicates that this is a versatile product for winter and summer, which does not lose its useful properties both at low or high temperatures.

How often should I change this oil?

We recommend changing this oil every 12,000-15,000 miles. This advanced fully synthetic oil should not be changed too often. Of course, the exact oil change intervals always depend on your driving conditions as well as the overall condition of your engine. 


5W-20 engine oils have a number of features, which determine their compatibility with certain engines and weather conditions. Almost every high-quality oil is based on synthetics, which is much more stable than regular oils. Fully synthetic oils have good fluidity at low temperatures and maintain stability when heated. Special attention should be paid to advanced fully synthetic oils by Castrol, Valvoline, Royal Purple, and Pennzoil. Perhaps, these are the best companies on the market to get oil from today. They provide oil for various vehicles, help keep their engines in excellent condition, and are recommended for use from the very first day of car operation.

Frequently asked question

Is 5W-20 good oil?

5W-20 oils are good at staying fluid at low temperatures. The density of this oil is maintained over a fairly long time period, shifted to low temperatures. These oils also work well at high temperatures but it may not withstand extreme loads. 5W-20 oils are definitely good for riding in winters with a moderate climate, although, they’re designed as all-season oils.

Is 5W-20 oil full synthetic?

5W-20 oil is typically fully synthetic because it has better fluidity at sub-zero temperatures. However, semi-synthetic oils, e.g. Motorcraft SAE 5W-20, are also pretty common. The oil has its advantages and is designed specifically for Ford cars with powerful engines.

Special attention should be paid to technologically advanced oils. They are also fully synthetic but are more effective inside car engines, minimizing their wear, reducing friction, and cleaning them from the inside. Their price can be slightly higher than that of conventional synthetic oils but the effect is felt immediately.

Is it OK to use 5W-30 oil instead of 5W-20?

If your car specifications require the use of 5W-20 only, you should not use 5W-30. Generally, switching to 5W-30 should not cause irreparable damage significantly affect your car. Such engine oil has a denser structure and, thus, loads the engine more. As a result, the engine performance will be lower and fuel consumption will slightly increase. In all other respects, these oils are quite similar.

How many miles is 5W-20 oil good for?

The oil change period of 5W-20 depends primarily on the oil, car, engine condition, and regular loads. In general, it is recommended to change synthetic oils after about 10,000 miles. If you consider advanced synthetic oils by Pennzoil or Mobil 1, in some cases, you can change them every 20,000 miles. Of course, this is the maximum period, so it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the oil’s condition in the engine, its volume, and change it in time. It is also recommended to use oils of the same brand, if possible.

How often should I change 5W-20?

Most engine oils, including 5W-20, should be changed every 7500 miles. This is especially true for older cars and semi-synthetic oils. If the oil is advanced or synthetic, the interval can be increased to 10,000 miles. In fact, it depends more on the engine condition than on the oil.

Can you put 10W-30 in a 5W-20 engine?

You should not use unrecommended oils in an engine with 5W-20 oil – 10W-30 oil has other parameters and properties. It’s thicker and inferior to 5W-20 in terms of proper operation at low temperatures. 10W-30 shows itself perfectly at high ambient temperatures but may not have enough fluidity for the type of engine under consideration.

Editorial Staff

Add comment