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#4640142 - 01/19/18 03:55 PM 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example
Vladiator Offline


Registered: 01/04/16
Posts: 714
Loc: NC
This, somewhat, represents the actual oil viscosity at room temperatures and way below freezing temperatures.
Oils used in the "test" are:
- LiquiMoly 5w20 (some say that it is Group 3 hydrocracked)
- LiquiMoly 5w50 (supposed to be PAO)
- Conventional Lukoil 10w40 (comparable to SuperTech 10w40 or similar)

Since the video is not in English, I just took screenshots and will explain what is going on.

In this first picture lab probe tubes are filled with oils listed above. Inside goes a small bearing ball. All bearing balls are from the same bearing, so they are identical in size and weight. Then the probe tubes are flipped over at exactly the same time (as they are tied together) and the ball bearing fights the oil viscosity to reach the bottom of the probe tube. Obviously, ball bearing that reaches the bottom first - indicates a lower viscosity of the liquid that it's in, and vice-versa.

At room temperature 5w20(right) is a clear winner, followed by 10w40(center), and 5w50(left) takes the last spot.


After a few hours at freezing temperatures the same oils show interesting results. 5w20 reaches the bottom first. Then 10w40 again has a slight lead over 5w50.


Interesting lesson that not all 5wXX are created equal, and some 5wXX synthetics are more viscous in freezing temps than a 10w40 conventional. Discuss.
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#4640171 - 01/19/18 04:11 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
PeterPolyol Offline


Registered: 03/06/16
Posts: 1152
Loc: toronto
Proof that SAE J300 ratings alone have a very limited scope

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#4640190 - 01/19/18 04:20 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
CharlieBauer Offline


Registered: 03/29/16
Posts: 1174
Loc: CA
What exactly was the "way below freezing temperature"?
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#4640226 - 01/19/18 04:49 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
Serge Offline


Registered: 09/22/16
Posts: 52
Loc: Minnesota, USA
Т у ф т а
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2008 135i (600hp) 60k Redline 5w40
2013 X3 28i (375hp) 50k Castrol 0w40
07Mzd3 2L 180k 10w30
11Mzd6 2.5L 110k 10w30
14Mzd3 2L 30k 0w20
16 Yukon XL 15k 0w20

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#4640269 - 01/19/18 05:27 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 38960
Loc: 'Stralia
It's not a failing if J300.

J300 defines the pumping CCS aspects of an oil at it's extreme cold end...5W is 5W is W, and then the operational end, with KV100 and HTHS.

You are measuring oils in the middle, where the 20, 40, and 50 are still the major factors at play.

BTW, I am exceptionally impressed with your set-up. You have done well, just need to get -30 to -40C capability.

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#4640281 - 01/19/18 05:41 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
FermeLaPorte Offline


Registered: 07/25/17
Posts: 424
Loc: Texas (south)
I think the best multigrade to use in the winter is any with a 0w just to play it safe. In my area the perfect oil (protection-wise) would be 0w-40, but the manufacturers require 5w-30 or 0w-30 based on their own testing and I respect that smile


Edited by FermeLaPorte (01/19/18 05:41 PM)
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#4640307 - 01/19/18 06:10 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
Silk Offline


Registered: 07/26/03
Posts: 4371
Loc: New Zealand
Always puzzled why they test at such extreme low temps...not relavent to me, I want to see them in my temp zone - down to zero C. But that just shows that the W part of an oil means nothing to me, apart from that it does have one...so I can use a 50 at zero.
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#4640312 - 01/19/18 06:13 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Silk]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 38960
Loc: 'Stralia
Silk, yes 20W anything (and that includes SAE30 these days) is plenty fine for either of us.

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#4640321 - 01/19/18 06:20 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 38960
Loc: 'Stralia

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#4640520 - 01/19/18 09:59 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Silk]
SR5 Offline


Registered: 07/07/15
Posts: 4286
Loc: Down Under
Originally Posted By: Silk
Always puzzled why they test at such extreme low temps...not relavent to me, I want to see them in my temp zone - down to zero C. But that just shows that the W part of an oil means nothing to me, apart from that it does have one...so I can use a 50 at zero.

For me right now, the listed 40C viscosity is my cold start temperature & viscosity, or very close to it. Very nice of the manufacturers to tabulate all their data tables for my home town.
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#4640523 - 01/19/18 10:07 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: SR5]
Shannow Offline


Registered: 12/12/02
Posts: 38960
Loc: 'Stralia
Yeah, was 1 degree off that yesterday arv after work

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#4640740 - 01/20/18 09:11 AM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: FermeLaPorte]
jorton Offline


Registered: 07/04/03
Posts: 3093
Loc: San Antonio, TX
Why? At operating temperature does 0w-40 prevent metal to metal contact better than 0w-30 or 5w-30 does?
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#4640891 - 01/20/18 11:36 AM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: jorton]
SilverFusion2010 Offline


Registered: 06/29/11
Posts: 1518
Loc: Crawfordville FL
Originally Posted By: jorton
Why? At operating temperature does 0w-40 prevent metal to metal contact better than 0w-30 or 5w-30 does?


In the crankshaft bearings, possibly. Depends on a bunch of other factors
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2010 Ford Fusion SE 3.0L V6, 175k miles M1 AFE 0w-20

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#4641178 - 01/20/18 05:08 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: jorton]
zeng Offline


Registered: 09/01/15
Posts: 2095
Loc: Malaysia
Originally Posted By: jorton
Why? At operating temperature does 0w-40 prevent metal to metal contact better than 0w-30 or 5w-30 does?

Prevent totally, no.
Prevent partially, yes.
It's higher MOFT reduces duration and frequency of boundary lubrication ,and possibly mixed lubrication regimes in valve trains and ring/liners.

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#4641377 - 01/20/18 08:57 PM Re: 5w20 vs 5w50 vs 10w40 Visual Example [Re: Vladiator]
BrocLuno Offline


Registered: 09/06/15
Posts: 5216
Loc: Kalifornia Kollective
Wonder what the bearing fall looks like at 150*C ... laugh
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Formerly in marine engineering. In an earlier life I owned my own petroleum tank truck, and hauled for the majors and independent's.

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