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0w-20 vs 0w30

25842 Views 70 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  ColoradoTJ
This is not a motor oil question or review, just an experience. I took my truck to the dealer last saturday for them to change my oil (first mistake). I bought 2 gallons of amsoil ss 0w-30, knowing our truck takes 7.9quarts. 1 gallon equals 4 quarts, so 8 quarts of oil and an amsoil filter. The dealer calls me back and states that I have the wrong kind of oil, the truck takes 0w-20. I tell them that I know, and that I want to use 0w-30 because I tow. The dealer then tells me that the 0w-30 may cause a check engine light!!! I told her she was full of it and go ahead and change it.
Two hours later, they call me back and the truck is ready, but it is a quart low on oil! I hit the roof! After much deliberation about their intelligence, I speak with the tech, and he claims that the amsoil fiter is larger than the toyota filter.? When I check the oil, of course it is not a quart low, just a hair below the full line.

Anyway, I wanted to let anyone know who is on the fence about using 0w-20 or 0w-30 There is no check engine light that warns you have the wrong oil, and that the truck is VASTLY quieter and smoother with 0-30. I never liked all the clank clank and diesel sounds my truck made with the 20 weight oil. It is like a whole different beast (ie, no clanking) now that I switched to 30 weight. I will never put that 20 in the truck again! I don't care what the book says about 20 weight, I want my truck to last, and 30 is the way to go for me!! No noticeable drop in MPG either.:machinegunner:
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Your experience with 0w30 is good item of info. But I am trying to understand why what you said was true (that 0w30 is better for longevity). I certainly want to use what is better for longevity.

According to data I read elsewhere and provided by TundraRockWarrior, the viscosity is higher for 0w30 than 0w20. But wasn't the 'better oil' designed so that the oil flows quicker so it protect the engine when starting cold? If this is also the case when temp is higher, I don't understand why 30 is better for longevity of the engine.
I don't know jack about oil. I am a musician by trade. I have had great results with 30. There is a thread that shows used oil analysis. I have one on my Toyota oil and plan on doing one with the 30. Thats as scientific as I can get. Lol. I do have a trained ear and the sound with the 30 is exactly what I expect from Toyota. The 20 sound like a poorly built Chevy. Too much metal clanking for my ear. I know that's not scientific, but I will post both my uoa when I get the miles on.


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I've always thought the weights are only applicable during startup, at operating temp they are all essentially the same...could be wrong.

You are better off going with what the manufacture recommends, there is a reason they are putting it there (you could make the argument the EPA had something to do with it due to fuel economy).
I think you are probably spot on. I am also not an oil expert, but I have never liked the idea of the 20W oil. I know the engineers at Toyota have their stuff together, but it just seems like a beast of an engine being lubed by water and I'm not a fan. I will try the 30W next oil change......
If both are 0w when cold they are the same, once engine and oil warm up oil thickens up to the 20 or 30 weight.
The question will be can we run 30 weight with no issues in our engines meaning are the little holes the oil runs through big enough?
Toyota really needs to clear the air on this cause in VERY HOT CLIMATES I BET THEY RUN THICKER oil in the 5.7. 20w is for oil economy and some new cars with the same engines all of a sudden recommend 20w where last year they recommended 30.
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The manual does state a higher viscosity can be run if towing or in hot climates, but its only one sentence and doesn't specify what kind. I will take a pic of it later. It's hidden in the manual.


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The manual for my '08 says to use 5W-30 for the six and 4.7 and 5W-20 or 0W-20 for the 5.7. It does mention "for best fuel economy" use the lower weight.
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I just thought I would mention that I found the 0W-20 Mobil 1 Full synthetic in the 5 quart jug at Wal-Mart for $24.00. I would just buy two and use 1 1/2 for one oil change and then buy another for next oil cange.
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I have noticed no fuel economy change since changing my oil


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I just thought I would mention that I found the 0W-20 Mobil 1 Full synthetic in the 5 quart jug at Wal-Mart for $24.00. I would just buy two and use 1 1/2 for one oil change and then buy another for next oil cange.
And that's how it's done.. :thumbsup:
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I saw 1mpg drop from the dealer once putting in 5-20 vs 0-20.

It was instantly, one tank of fuel, 1mpg less.

As for 0-20vs0-30 I can't tell you.

I live in Mi, even in summer, if it's really hot it may hit 90, tops 100 for a few days out of the year. Short drives.... I am more than happy with 0-20 and in actuality I found my engine is quieter with 0-20 than it was with 5-20.

To each their own. I will tell you that manufacturing tolerances are a lot tighter now than ever before when you are talking about internals of an engine. Engines now last far longer than they used to on average, and they also call for thinner oil, and synthetic blended at the least. Oils have also came a really long way since when I was 16 and my grandpa handed me a case of 15-40 oil for my mustang with 80k miles that was noisy and said it would quiet it down... Then again, back then fuel was .90/gal. so fuel economy didn't matter one bit.

Food for thought. 10 years ago it was not uncommon to have a 2cycle piece of equipment that ran 32:1 or 40:1. Now they are all 50:1, you can run any 2 cycle outdoor power equipment at 50:1 if tuned properly and will not have an issue and actually will have less issues because you will not have clogged spark arrestors nor will you have clogged exhaust ports or stuck carbon'd up rings (assuming you run good fuel). Hell, with amsoil you can supposedly run same equipment at 100:1. AND yet everyone is worried about 0-20 vs 0-30... We are literally talking that the oil has came so far that you can run an engine that lubricates itself with oil mixed in the fuel on less than half the oil it recommended years ago when it was a high tech engine...



Food for thought.

Carry on.
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I bought my truck from Sparks Toyota and it had the much ballyhooed lifetime powertrain warranty. Unlimited miles, unlimited years. Sounds good right?
Water pump is leaking a little I noticed when I changed the oil two weeks ago at 65K.
contacted Sparks about this and they started lighting the flaming hoops I would have to leap thru to get warranty repair. All oil changes, tire rotations and all other routine maint services had to be done at the dealership or at least performed by an ASE certified mechanic. What does an oil change have to do with a leaking water pump?
Needless to say I have written off Sparks Toyota.
I will repair it myself and continue to change the oil in my garage.
so what would you use if you lived in northern NY it doesnt get to warm and its cold as hell in the winter 0w20 or 0w30?
On start up both are the same, when warm one oil is thicker (30). If you don't tow 20 is fine like I am using, but if you do 30 might be better for you.
I live in Houston, so heat is our issue not cold.
Ask your dealer if you can run 30 since you are about to tow over the phone to see what they say or call Toyota with same question to see response.

so what would you use if you lived in northern NY it doesnt get to warm and its cold as hell in the winter 0w20 or 0w30?
would there be any problem running 20 in the summer and 30 in the winter because I tow a 2 place snowmobile trailer every weekend
Did you mean 30 in the summer and 20 in the winter? That would make more sense. Both will be the same at startup. I like the 30 since I tow and would rather have a little extra protection over a .0025% mpg increase ;-)


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Oops, re-read you post, sorry you were towing in the winter. I think 30 would be your best bet, but I have no science to back up my biased option! Lol



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That's what I'm going to do with my truck. Others will disagree I'm sure, I have about 2 thousand more miles to go before my next oil analysis. Will have around 9,000 miles on amsoil 0w30 and several towing trips. Will let you know in about a month how that goes.


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