What is the best 5W-30 synthetic oil in the market?
Easy to answer if you ask us.
Here are Gear4wheels' top 5 picks for the best synthetic oils on this popular SAE grade, commonly used on medium sized petrol engines and hybrid vehicles.
Let's jump right to this shall we?
TOP 5 PICKS
|1. Valvoline SynPower
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|2. Liqui Moly Longtime High Tech
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|3. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum
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|4. Castrol EDGE Extended Performance
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|5. Royal Purple High Performance
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1. Valvoline SynPower
Industry Specifications Met:
Valvoline maintains extremely high standards for their flagship synthetic 5W30 oil, adding superior detergents and protectants to their Group IV stock base oils.
When things get hot in your engine, your valves and pistons are fully protected even with the cold-start friendly lower viscosity rating of a 5W30 blend.
With the industry demand increasing for high-efficiency motor oil and more and more engines requiring specialized synthetic-only oil, Synpower easily meets the demanding requirements of many manufacturers' more stringent lubrication requirements.
Its lower viscosity also means that if you are running a turbocharger or supercharger on your engine, your oil can withstand the higher extreme temperatures that come with high-performance parts, too.
Best of all, the blend of additives ensures that your engine stays sludge- and varnish-free for vehicles under 125,000 miles, improving or maintaining your fuel efficiency and the overall life expectancy of your motor.
While this is an excellent choice for newer vehicles with less than 125,000 miles on the odometer, older cars will most likely benefit from the high mileage blend of Synpower oils due to their superior detergent additives and protectants that are not present in the standard Synpower blend.
How else do you keep your engine healthy? Getting to know your engine manufacturer is one. It’s also important to follow manufacturer recommendations as described on the container when purchasing synthetic oils for your car.
2. Liqui Moly Longtime High Tech
Any experienced mechanic knows the value of Liqui Moly grease when it comes to keeping your car’s body and suspension functioning smoothly, and their synthetic 5W30 provides similar high performance when it comes to keeping your motor running at peak efficiency even under the most extreme conditions.
High-performance designers like Porsche, BMW, and other German automakers recommend Liqui Moly for use in their vehicles due to its superior performance under the extreme stress of high performance motors in some of the world’s fastest and best engineered cars.
While it may be a bit more on the pricier end of the spectrum for engine oil, it definitely provides the quality sludge and varnish protection that a high-end performance engine demands over time regardless of whether or not you push it to the limit on a regular basis.
This is definitely a must-buy for fans of German turbo or supercharged motors as well, especially given the extremes to which they push the multi-valve engine designs on modern German automobiles.
3. Pennzoil Ultra Platinum
Industry Specifications Met:
A high end premium product that offers complete engine protection for your car, Pennzoil Ultra Platinum 5W-30 is the motor oil of the future for numerous makes and models of engine.
Thanks to the Pennzoil revolutionary production processes, the additives and detergents in this fully synthetic oil clean and protect your motor better than almost any other high performance motor oil on the market today.
Pennzoil stands behind their product 100 percent too, claiming it keeps pistons 65 percent cleaner, adds an extra 550 miles on average compared to engines not cleaned and maintained with their product, and helps guard against a loss of horsepower over the lifetime of your vehicle.
Also, thanks to its significantly lower viscosity, this synthetic oil also offers some of the best available friction protection money can buy.
Most important of all for gearheads and tuners though, this synthetic oil is an excellent choice for use in turbo and supercharged motors, offering the high temperature extreme performance such motors demand of their motor oil. All in all, Pennzoil makes a fantastic product with few (if any) drawbacks.
4. Castrol EDGE Extended Performance
Being able to maintain a critical engine requires understanding which engine oils work best in specific conditions. Liqui Moly’s 2039 5W30 synthetic oil is ideal for diesel engines.
Not only is this great in terms of preventing engine power loss but is also proven to withstand catalytic converters. It also works well with turbochargers.
Though it seems to be the most expensive of our top five 5W-30 motor oils, it is the best in terms of delivering the best performance for your car, especially if it is equipped with DPF.
It even meets the 505.1 oil rating and extends your mileage between oil drain to 8,000 miles.
5. Royal Purple High Performance
Firstly, it helps prevent the wear and tear experienced by the engine by fully blocking metal-to-metal contact.
This special formulation also increases your engine’s protection against low-speed pre-ignition or LSPI.
In addition, it makes this motor oil work better with fuels that contain higher levels of ethanol. This, in turn, can make it easier to prevent lubrication starvation and white sludge.
Finally, it also provides protection for your car’s exhaust emissions equipment.
Aside from the patented additive, other benefits include rust protection and added fuel efficiency一both points that we’re confident all vehicle owners appreciate.
That said, as with any other product, this synthetic oil is also not perfect. There are two recurring concerns about it.
For one, vehicle owners tend to worry about the significant increase in gunk levels during the first couple of oil changes.
Don’t worry; this is simply the cleaning abilities of this formula beginning to work its wonders.
Secondly (and more worryingly), we have received reports of past buyers complaining about getting sealed bottles a few quarts low.
Thus, make sure to get your Royal Purple High Performance only from reputable sellers.
What Is a 5W-30 Synthetic Oil?
To better understand what kind of motor oil this is, let us first discuss the meaning behind its name.
5W-30 is a code that the Society of Automotive Engineers (or SAE) had developed to denote the viscosity of transmission oils and motor lubricants.
For consistency’s sake, it always follows a set format, “XW-XX,” where the W means winter and the Xs stand for the product’s oil flow and viscosity grade.
In this case, 5W means that this motor oil has an oil flow of 5 at zero degrees Fahrenheit.
Keep in mind that the lower this number gets, the more efficient it’s going to be during extremely cold temperatures, such as during the winter.
As for the 30, this means that this product has an oil viscosity grade of 30 during high temperatures, more particularly those exceeding 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
There are two types of 5W-30s: conventional and synthetic.
As the name suggests, the 5W-30 synthetic motor oil uses artificially processed compounds derived from the process of breaking down and rebuilding petroleum molecules.
This method makes synthetic oils deliver a significantly better performance. It is also because of this that more and more car models are being released with this type of motor oil.
What Do All the Codes on the Bottle Mean?
You might notice that there are alpha-numeric codes at the back of your motor oil bottle.
As mentioned, these codes refer to the industry specifications met by the product.
For instance, you will notice that most of them have API listed, sometimes even followed by two more letters, from SL to SN.
API stands for the standards that apply to commercial and passenger-rated vehicles.
Meanwhile, SL, SM, or SN denote the quality of the motor oil in question, with SN being the best.
Does It Matter What 5W-30 Oil You Use?
Yes, it does. Not using the right motor oil that the manufacturer has recommended for your vehicle can risk engine damage and impact its overall performance.
Thus, it is critical to consult the owner’s manual before purchasing your preferred formula.
Please refrain from mixing multigrade motor oils as well. Doing so will not only put your engine life at risk, but it can even null your vehicle’s warranty.
To add salt to the wound, repair costs can also reach a fortune if you’re not careful.
That said, it will still highly depend on the engine of your car.
Interestingly, there are engines that allow different types of motor oils and even mixing two multigrade oils.
However, they are quite uncommon, and it’s still not advisable to combine oils even for them.
What Happens If You Use the Wrong Oil?
Regardless of whether this was done knowingly or by accident, the best step to take is to drain out the motor oil as soon as possible and get your vehicle’s oil changed.
If you currently don’t have the chance to get your oil changed right now, be sure to drive slowly while carefully monitoring your engine’s temperature and speed.
If you find your engine getting really hot, it would be wise to pull over for a while to allow your engine to cool down.
If this issue keeps repeating, you probably already require roadside assistance.
For those where price isn't really an issue, but performance is key, we certainly recomend Liqui Moly. For everyone else, Valvoline really is the way to go.
Note we haven't listed any Amsoil products in this list. We don't particularly dislike Amsoil, but they just don't qualify for a top 5.
And who's got the time to read a long ass list of 10 of the best 5w30 synthetic oils, anyway?
Even if we have already reviewed each featured product in detail, don’t forget to double-check each of their product information on your own as well.
If there’s one additional tip that we’d like you to take away from this, it would be this:
Having the patience to go through product details is a practice that can significantly impact your car’s performance.