Which oil to use, 0W-20 or 5W-30? - Nissan Forums : Nissan Forum
 
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#1 Old 02-15-2013, 01:05 PM
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Which oil to use, 0W-20 or 5W-30?

Nissan manual recommends 0W-20. A serviceman who worked at Nissan for many years told me that using the higher weighed oil (5W-30) will greatly reduce the mpg.

He also told me that the it is not necessary to have a first oil change before 3000 miles or 3 months for new cars these days unless you are involved in extreme conditions. He advised me to come back to his shop at 3000 miles, so he wasn't trying to get me an oil change just to make a few bucks.

I think those were good advices, although he might have exaggerated about the mpg improvement. What experiences (good and bad) do other have regarding the oil grades they use on their cars?
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#2 Old 02-15-2013, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NissanCarOwner2013 View Post
Nissan manual recommends 0W-20. A serviceman who worked at Nissan for many years told me that using the higher weighed oil (5W-30) will greatly reduce the mpg.

He also told me that the it is not necessary to have a first oil change before 3000 miles or 3 months for new cars these days unless you are involved in extreme conditions. He advised me to come back to his shop at 3000 miles, so he wasn't trying to get me an oil change just to make a few bucks.

I think those were good advices, although he might have exaggerated about the mpg improvement. What experiences (good and bad) do other have regarding the oil grades they use on their cars?
Our 2011 Highlander also uses 0w-20 for gas mileage reason. I guess since the cost is negligible between synthetic 0w-20 and 5w-30 (0w-20 5qt jug at walmart cost $25, 5w-30 @ costco is typically $30 for 6 1-qt bottles), we stayed with 0w-20.

We changed the oil on the altima at 3750miles, we will change it again at 7500 and then every 7500 after that.

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#3 Old 02-15-2013, 05:26 PM
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I assume there is nothing wrong with 5w-20, for people in the south.(never gets below freezing) but I would say the northern people better go with recommended 0w-20.

my 1.5 cents.

2013 Nissan Altima 2.5 SV Saharan Stone w/o Convenience or Tech package.
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#4 Old 02-16-2013, 05:06 PM
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I would not use 5w20 oil in your altima unless it is synthetic.

0w20 oil is thinner then 5w20 or 5w30 at all temps. (better mileage, especially with lots of short trips)

To get a 0w20 oil companies have to use very good base oils. Some 0w20 oils have higher hths scores then 5w30.
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#5 Old 02-19-2013, 12:28 AM
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OP, you answered your own question. Manual, dealer, and service techs all say go with 0w20 oil. It is full synthetic and is designed for fuel efficient motors like the Altimas.

Toyota, Lexus, and Hondas now spec this oil on fuel efficient models.
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#6 Old 02-19-2013, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Drtjnky View Post
I would not use 5w20 oil in your altima unless it is synthetic.

0w20 oil is thinner then 5w20 or 5w30 at all temps. (better mileage, especially with lots of short trips)

To get a 0w20 oil companies have to use very good base oils. Some 0w20 oils have higher hths scores then 5w30.
Sorry, not correct. 0w20 and 5w20 are the same viscosity at operating temperature, provided they are both API certified.

What are your reasons for advising not to use 5w20 non synthetic? Every major oil manufacture makes fantastic non synthetic 5w20.
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#7 Old 02-19-2013, 01:28 AM
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I'm not sure why this 0-20 vs 5-20 is under discussion. Nissan makes the engines and presumably has designed them to run best on 0-20. Therefore they recommend 0-20. I'm not clear on why anyone would not follow their advice. Can someone explain that to me? I haven't seen any good arguments for 5-20.

I agree with an earlier post that manufacturing a 0-20 vs a 5-20 or 5-30 requires a higher quality base and I do expect to pay a little more if needed. Also, I believe that 0-20 is much better at cold start, especially in winter, thus the 0 rating. The thinner cold oil will reach vital parts a little bit quicker at engine start up, thus saving a little wear. There is consensus in auto engineering literature that the majority of engine wear occurs in the first few seconds after start up, especially in a cold engine. I'm going for 0-20 until I hear a good reason not to.

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#8 Old 02-19-2013, 02:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Throckmorton View Post
Sorry, not correct. 0w20 and 5w20 are the same viscosity at operating temperature, provided they are both API certified.

What are your reasons for advising not to use 5w20 non synthetic? Every major oil manufacture makes fantastic non synthetic 5w20.

Correct, I apologize, but the 0w20 oils will be thinner at temps leading up to operating temp and remember there is a viscosity range for 20w at operating temp. Even at 80/90 degrees F the 0w20 is a lot thinner.

I also agree that there are some great 5w20 dyno oils on the market but for cars that spec 5w20, as of the print date of the manual 0w20 is only available as a synthetic oil. I don't think anyone makes a dyno 5w20 with the hths score near a 0w20 synthetic, so you would have to go to a 5w30 to run conventional oil. Which is a long explanation of what the manual recommends.
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#9 Old 02-19-2013, 02:13 AM
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Based on what I learnt from here and elsewhere, I am going to use 0W-20 on my next oil change.

The only reason that I can think of why people are using 5-20 or 5-30 instead is because the viscosity of the oil in connection with the outside temperature where it is much warmer/hotter. Engine parts don't always want thinner oil, especially when the temperature outside is very hot, which makes the oil a bit more watery and less effective as a lubricant. Like transmission oil, when outside is very hot (ie, 95 degrees), it becomes watery and your car isn't performing at its best.

Last edited by NissanCarOwner2013; 02-19-2013 at 02:29 AM.
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#10 Old 02-19-2013, 02:22 AM
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Originally Posted by tjmat View Post
I'm not sure why this 0-20 vs 5-20 is under discussion. Nissan makes the engines and presumably has designed them to run best on 0-20. Therefore they recommend 0-20. I'm not clear on why anyone would not follow their advice. Can someone explain that to me? I haven't seen any good arguments for 5-20.

I agree with an earlier post that manufacturing a 0-20 vs a 5-20 or 5-30 requires a higher quality base and I do expect to pay a little more if needed. Also, I believe that 0-20 is much better at cold start, especially in winter, thus the 0 rating. The thinner cold oil will reach vital parts a little bit quicker at engine start up, thus saving a little wear. There is consensus in auto engineering literature that the majority of engine wear occurs in the first few seconds after start up, especially in a cold engine. I'm going for 0-20 until I hear a good reason not to.

Exactly, buy a name brand 0w20 oil and rest assured your engine is well protected and will be as efficient as intended by Nissan.
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#11 Old 02-19-2013, 08:17 AM
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2013 Altima Recommended oil (By Nissan)

JULY 2012 Owners manual page 9-2 for 2013 Altima (July manual changed from first Manual) Recommends following oil viscosity and type:

4 Cylinder use SAE 0W-20 (**Not stated by Nissan but this oil is presently available as synthetic**)
SAE 5W30 conventional petroleum based oil MAY be used

6 Cylinder use SAE 5W-30 (Genuine NISSAN Ester Oil) (Which IS Synthetic)
SAE 5W30 OR SAE 10W30 CONVENTIONAL petroleum based oils MAY be used

NOTE: 5W-20 which is discussed on some of above postings is not listed or recommended for either 4 or 6 cylinder. (Why not?)

Pennzoil platinum 0W-20 full synthetic is available at Wal-mart for aprox $25 for a 5 quart container.

My dealership does NOT have 0W-20 oil. I provided the 0W-20 synthetic oil (from Wal-mart) and for $15 my dealership provided the oil filter AND changed my oil. I think this was the first time (ever) in 45 years that I did not do my own oil and filter change. (I get a $10 discount from dealer for being in some sort of "Advantage" program -- which I did not pay any extra for in purchase price -- at least it was not a additional "Line item" -- but of course is built into the dealers cost/profit margin.

Reference other thread "First Oil Change" for much the same discussion.
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#12 Old 02-19-2013, 12:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NissanCarOwner2013 View Post
Based on what I learnt from here and elsewhere, I am going to use 0W-20 on my next oil change.

The only reason that I can think of why people are using 5-20 or 5-30 instead is because the viscosity of the oil in connection with the outside temperature where it is much warmer/hotter. Engine parts don't always want thinner oil, especially when the temperature outside is very hot, which makes the oil a bit more watery and less effective as a lubricant. Like transmission oil, when outside is very hot (ie, 95 degrees), it becomes watery and your car isn't performing at its best.

It seems people are using these weights because its all the dealer has available, which would make me never go there again.

Outside air temperature has very little effect on oil temp, under normal operating conditions. Especially on an engine with an oil cooler.

Every engine has a required oil pressure, usually in psi per thousand rpm but in general the thinnest oil you can get away with is best. The thinner oil will have a greater flow rate at a given psi. Modern oils dont have to be overly heavy to maintain film strength.
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