5w20 vs 5w30 vs 5w40 vs 10w30 vs 10w40
Maintenance (DIY)

Right Motor Oil for Your Car: 5w20 vs 5w30 vs 5w40 vs 10w30 vs 10w40

There are a lot of motor oils available in the market today; that is why I have decided to compare five different commercially available motor oils. This is the 5w20 vs. 5w30 vs. 5w40 vs. 10w30 vs. 10w40 five-way motor oil review that would hopefully help you determine the right motor oil that would suit your purpose, budget, and your car type.

Mobil 1 5w20 vs. Mobil 1 5w30 vs. Motul 5w40 vs. Mobil 1 10w30 vs. Mobil 110w40

Extended Performance 5W-20 5W-30 8100 X-cess 5W-40 High Mileage 10W-30 10W-40 Racing 4T
Brand Mobil 1 Mobil 1 Motul Mobil 1 Mobil 1
Model 120765 120764 MTL102870 120770 98JA11
Size 5 Quartz 5 Quartz 5 Quartz 5 Quartz 5 Quartz
Weight 9.4 lbs. 9.3 lbs. 9.6 lbs. 9.5 lbs. 12.1 lbs.
Mileage 15,000 miles x x 75,000 miles x

Mobil 1 5w20

Mobil 1’s 120765 is an advanced full synthetic motor oil that promises 15,000 miles of protection for gasoline engines. The product developers estimate that it would take up about a year to reach that kind of mileage; but they admit that depending on how you use your car, you may hit the 15,000-mile ceiling within a year.

Mobil 1 5w20 Motor Oil’s Strengths and Weaknesses:

Extended Performance 5W-20 Motor Oil
Extended Performance 5W-20 Motor Oil


  • Good resistance to thinning under colder temperatures.
  • Provides ample engine protection until the 15,000-mile mark.
  • For everyday light vehicles
  • For medium-duty vehicles that are used daily



  • Lower resistance to thinning under heat
  • Lower mileage protection
  • Relatively thinner in viscosity

Mobil 1 5w20 Motor Oil’s Key Features:

  • Good enough viscosity for everyday driving.
  • 15,000-mile guarantee means that you would have to change your vehicle’s oil approximately once a year.
  • Provides fast engine starting even in low temperatures and cold seasons.
  • Does not give your vehicle’s starting system a lot of stress.
  • Assists in the maintenance of your vehicle’s oil viscosity.
  • Can prevent engine sludge accumulation that can maintain the structural integrity of your vehicle’s engine.
  • Protects the necessary parts of the engine to ensure that your vehicle is working in its optimal condition.
  • Lubricates engine parts well making sure that your engine does not overheat.
  • Provides sufficient wear protection and prolonging your engine’s life.
  • Dexos1-approved.

Quick Count for the Score on Mobil 1 5w20 Motor Oil:

The Mobil 1 5w20 motor oil is a good enough motor oil for gasoline engines without any surprises. It works well with cars, minivans, vans, pick-up trucks, and other light to medium-duty vehicles that are used on a virtually daily basis.

Overview of Mobil 1’s 5w20 Motor Oil

I would have to say that the packaging for this motor oils is quite good; for some reason, I find the gold and grey colour scheme quite appealing to me.

I also appreciate that their API certification starburst symbol is clearly visible. Having the symbol present help consumers easily identify if the motor oil works well with their vehicle’s particular engine.

Pouring out the contents of the bottle, the amber liquid smoothly pours out. Although it feels thicker than motor oils that do not claim of “extended performance; it does, however, feel lighter than the other oils in this selection.

There were no surprises after using the motor oil.  The engine does sound quieter and feels better to drive; but as quiet as an engine with its oil recently changed.

This motor oil may be good enough for everyday vehicle users; because having no surprises when using a new motor oil can be a good thing.

Although this motor oil boasts of being an extended performance, it may be the lowest among the products reviewed here today.

Is Mobil 1 5w20 Motor Oil the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle?

If you are driving just to get to work, or school, or the grocery; then yes, this may be the motor oil that is most appropriate for your vehicle. But if you are driving commercial transport vehicles, race cars, towing vehicles, or you do not drive that much; then, this might not be the right fit for you.

According to Mobil 1 their 5w20 extended performance motor oil works well with most vehicles that require 5w-20 motor oils. This includes most domestic car models, imported models, and GM cars.

The Verdict for Mobil 1 5w20 Motor Oil

As an official motor oil brand used in the NASCAR races, a lot is expected from the Mobil 1 brand; and their 5w20 does not disappoint. However, compared to other motor oils in this review, it does not wow that much either.

Mobil 1 5w30

Mobil 1’s 120764 is a synthetic motor oil that supposedly will make your car engine sound like new again. Although the manufacturer does not indicate the mileage that this motor oil can take, it does have an edge against the 5w20 in terms of the vehicles that it can provide lubrication and engine protection.

Mobil 1 5w30 Motor Oil’s Strengths and Weaknesses:

Mobil 1 120764 Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
Mobil 1 120764 Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30


  • Adequate resistance to thinning in low temperatures.
  • Good high temperature thinning resistance.
  • Aids in the efficient use of fuel.
  • Works well with everyday vehicles.
  • Can be used on select high-performance vehicles.



  • Unknown mileage protection.

Mobil 1 5w30 Motor Oil’s Key Features:

  • Has great wear protection.
  • Cleans and lubricates the engine.
  • Enhances over-all performance.
  • Up to par with ILSAC GF-5 standard
  • Dexos1-approved, Corvette-approved, and GM-approved motor oil.
  • Has GF-5, SN Honda HTO-06, and A1/B1 ACEA approvals.
  • Can be used for normal to extreme driving conditions.
  • Appropriate for gasoline, diesel, and multi-valve fuel injected engines.
  • With sludge build-up prevention formula.
  • Helps in vehicle’s fuel economy.
  • Assists in quick cold season starting.
  • Reduces stress and prolongs engine’s life.

Quick Count for the Score on Mobil 1 5w30 Motor Oil:

Although there are no special names attached to Mobil 1 5w30 motor oil, it is, surprisingly, a good motor oil. It shows little weaknesses and has the ability to be used to a wider variety of vehicles.

Overview of Mobil 1’s 5w30 Motor Oil

First off, I would have to say that Mobil 1 is doing a lot of great work with their products’ packaging. Although the silver and blue colour scheme does not appeal to me as much as the silver and gold, or is it amber, of the 5w20; it still looks sophisticated.

I also appreciate that their API certification starburst symbol is clearly visible. Having the symbol present help consumers easily identify if the motor oil works well with their vehicle’s particular engine.

The markings for this motor oil are clear as well. This enables the consumer to see the information that they need to determine if they have the right kind of motor oil for their car.

Although there is no significant difference in the colour of the liquid once it was poured out; there is a minute difference with how thick the oil is. There is a whisper of a ‘glug’, that is a technical term by the way, that can be heard once it is poured out.

I cannot directly compare the performance of the two oils definitively, as they cater to different kinds of vehicle. But I would have to say that the vehicle does run a bit smoother and the fuel indicator agrees that it does help in the area of fuel economy.

Another plus that this motor oil gets, is that it can be used on a wider array of vehicles. Furthermore, it had received more approval ratings compared to the 5w20.

Is Mobil 1 5w30 Motor Oil the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle?

Regardless if you are driving a light vehicle or a high-performance vehicle, then Mobil 1’s 5w30 just might be the right fit for you. But you better re-think about using it in your motorcycle or plane, because it just cannot handle those.

Mobil 1’s product guide indicates that their 5w30 is appropriate for engines requiring 5w30 motor oil that includes most domestic,imported, and GM cars.

The Verdict for Mobil 1 5w30 Motor Oil

It is clear that between the 5w20 and the 5w30, the 5w30 is the clear winner as it can provide engine lubrication and protection to a lot of vehicles; but it is important to remember that each car needs a specific kind of oil. However, with the capacity to clean the vehicle’s engine as well as provide fuel economy, the 5w30 edges out its competition.

Motul 5w40

Motul’s 8100 X-cess 5w40 is a crude-oil based synthetic motor oil that specially caters to high displacement engines, catalytic converters, turbo diesel engines, and gasoline direct-inject engines.

Motul 5w40 Motor Oil’s Strengths and Weaknesses:

Motul 007250 8100 X-cess 5W-40 Synthetic Gasoline and Diesel Engine Oil
Motul 007250 8100 X-cess 5W-40 Synthetic Gasoline and Diesel Engine Oil


  • Great viscosity.
  • Superb thinning resistance against heat.
  • Usually used for cars under warranty.
  • With multiple approvals
  • Lubricates well with low volatility.
  • Helps decrease oil consumption.



  • Discontinued as per Amazon.
  • Can no longer be found in Motul’s product line.

Motul’s 5w40 Motor Oil’s Key Features:

  • Works well for both gasoline and diesel engines.
  • OPEL 2.0 and OPEL 2.2 DTI engine-recommended motor oil.
  • Good HTHS levels.
  • Low volatility.
  • Lowers vehicle’s oil consumption.
  • Appropriate for vehicles using leaded and unleaded gasoline.
  • LL B-025-approved, ACEA B4-approved motor oil.

Quick Count for the Score on Motul 5w40 Motor Oil:

There are a lot of praises that can be said about Motul’s 8100 X-cess 5w40 motor oil, but it pales in comparison to the fact that it is already discontinued. If you are one of the lucky ones to still find a can of it then you are in luck because it has great viscosity; but check if your vehicle can handle the kind of viscosity that the Motul 5w40 offers.

Overview of Motul’s 5w40 Motor Oil

The reason that I put the 5w40 from Motul in this review is because I got my hands on one. So, in the spirit of fairness, I will review the Motul look.

I have to say, there is nothing special about this packaging; because unlike the Mobil 1 products that looked sleeker and more upscale, the Motul look seems to be sporting an in-your-face I-am-a-motor-oil look. Nothing bad about that, at least it is direct to the point.

Although the packaging is pretty basic for a motor oil packaging; it does have the necessary information clearly printed on the container. This is, again, a good thing because it can help users identify where to use it on.

I may not be impressed with the look, but I am not a fan of the handle design. Although one is the actual handle and the other can act as support when tipping the canister over, I find that my hand gets stuck and pouring the contents of the container can be a full body experience.

The difference in viscosity is more obvious in the 5w40 as the ‘glug’, again it is a very technical term, is clearer when the liquid is poured out. Plus it seems to be richer in colour.

Again, I cannot definitively and directly compare the performance the oils, as they are designed for different kinds of vehicle. However, I would have to say that Motul’s 5w40 does what it says it can do.

Is Motul’s 5w40 Motor Oil the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle?

Even if you are driving a diesel or a gasoline car that needs a 5w40 oil, then Motul’s 5w40 may be a good choice for your purposes. As this is the most likely choice for warranty cars, it indicates that it can be used in a wider variety of vehicles.

However product descriptions that were once supplied by Motul warn people that the 5w40 may not be ideal for VW unit injector engines.

The Verdict for Motul’s 5w40 Motor Oil

Although Motul’s 8100 X-cess 5w40 possesses a lot of great qualities for a motor oil; its discontinuity is a deal breaker. I would have to keep my eyes open for a similar product from Motul.

Mobil 1 10w30

Mobil 1’s 120770, or the Mobil 1 High Mileage 10w30, is a synthetic motor oil that promises to extend your vehicle’s engine life and maximize its performance. With mileage going up to 75,000 miles, maybe changing your oil may be less frequent with this one.

Mobil 1 10w30 Motor Oil’s Strengths and Weaknesses:

Mobil 1 (120770) High Mileage 10W-30 Motor Oil
Mobil 1 (120770) High Mileage 10W-30 Motor Oil


  • Provides exceptional engine lubrication.
  • Coats necessary engine parts well.
  • One of the top motor oils with high cold thinning resistance.
  • Solid heat temperature thinning resistance.
  • Gives maximum protection up to 75,000 miles.
  • With seal conditioner and cleaning additive.



  • No approval yet from GM, Ford, BMW or VW.

Mobil 1 10w30 Motor Oil’s Key Features:

  • Solid wear protection up to 75,000 miles.
  • Helps ensure that there your engine will not have leaks.
  • Cleans and lubricates the engine at the same time.
  • Leaves behind little deposit despite the additives and the conditioners.
  • Maximizes the engine’s performance.
  • Reduces engine sludge and deposit build-up.
  • Good for engine starting in cold weathers.
  • On par with ACEA A3/B3 and API SN, SM standards.

Quick Count for the Score on Mobil 1 10w30 Motor Oil:

When Mobil 1 10w30 says it is for high mileage, you can bet it is high mileage. The manufacturers of this product were so confident in their product that they launched a whole challenge around it.

Among the motor oils reviewed here, this might just take the cake. But its lack of explicit approval from car makers can set it a disadvantage.

Overview of Mobil 1’s 10w30 Motor Oil

Okay, so I like the Mobil 1 10w30’s packaging, as I do with the other Mobil products. The company has really out some thought in their packaging, or maybe they have captured my particular aesthetic.

Another thing that I like about the packaging, aside from the colour scheme and the clear product markings, is the easy-grip design. It can be a two-hander job but no awkward full-body pouring experience on this one.

When poured out, this particular motor oil feels denser and more viscous. The ‘glug’ factor, the technical term that we all learned through this comparative review, is there but it was more like a suggestion of a glug compared to the 5w40.

Again, it would not be fair to anyone if I compared the performance of the motor oils decisively according to how they affect a vehicle because they are for different kinds of vehicles. However I do feel that the engine runs quieter compared to when I was not using the motor oil.

Plus, I do not know if it is just my brain or what, but I feel that I can really go 75,000 miles without my engine suffering any kind of damage. Maybe it is the whole 500,000 miles challenge thing, but I feel oddly secure.

Is Mobil 1 10w30 Motor Oil the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle?

If you and your car are all about road trips and maximizing your mileage, then this may be the motor oil for you.

The Mobil 1motor oil guidedoes not say which specific car brands work well with the 10w30. But as long as your car need or can handle a motor oil with this kind of viscosity, then I think you are all good to go.

The Verdict for Mobil 1 10w30 Motor Oil

When it comes to mileage the Mobil 1 High Mileage 10w30 has a clear advantage over the 5w20, 5w30, and 5w40. Although the industry standards are met with flying colours, there is still an extra boost of confidence knowing that certain car makers approve of the formulation.

Then again, the Mobil 1 10w30 does well as part of the motor oil line officially used in NASCAR races. The 500,000 miles challenge does amazing things for its PR as well.

Mobil 1 10w40

The Mobil 1 Racing 4T or 98JA11 is a fully synthetic high-viscosity motor oil designed for motorcycles. It supposedly protects cruisers’ and sports bikes’ engine, clutch, and transmission.

Mobil 1 10w40 Motor Oil’s Strengths and Weaknesses:

10W-40 Racing 4T Motorcycle Oil for Sport Bikes
10W-40 Racing 4T Motorcycle Oil for Sport Bikes


  • Has the best viscosity among the motor oils reviewed.
  • Protects engine well in light and sever riding conditions.
  • Additional protection for clutch and transmission.
  • Solid cold and heat temperature thinning resistance.
  • Cleans engines as it lubricates necessary parts.
  • Maximizes engine performance.
  • Lengthens engine life.



  • Just for motorcycles.
  • No motorcycle maker approval.

Mobil 1 10w40 Motor Oil’s Key Features:

  • Can be used for on-road and off-road riding.
  • Great for motorcycle racing and cruising.
  • Extends engine life.
  • Provides maximum wear protection.
  • Has the best heat-temperature and cold-temperature durability among the motor oils reviewed.
  • Lubricates and clean motorcycle engine at the same time.
  • Provides additional protection for motorcycle clutch and transmission.
  • Has JASO MA2011 and MA2 2011 approvals

Quick Count for the Score on Mobil 1 10w40 Motor Oil:

The Mobil 1 10w40 does have superb viscosity, protection, and lubrication properties as it was advertised. But only motorcycles can enjoy its benefits.

Although there are no known motorcycle maker approvals for this particular motor oil, it did pass all the industry standards with flying colours.

Overview of Mobil 1’s 10w40 Motor Oil

I have to say that out of all the Mobil 1 packaging reviewed in here, I like this the least and the best. Perhaps they changed their packaging since they sold it online through Amazon or the online store had the latest design, but I got the silver and red colour scheme; that being said, I like the Amazon design and I am not a big fan of the other one.

But aside from the colour scheme, the markings are still clearly indicated. And if you do not know that this motor oil is only for motorcycles, the motorcycle silhouette in the container is a dead giveaway.

This motor oil takes the ‘glug’ category against the 5w20, 5w30, 5w40, and the 10w30. The amber liquid has a more viscous feel to it and it can make you feel that it will indeed do well in lubricating and protecting your engine.

If I was unable to compare the performance of the other motor oils against each other since they cater to different vehicles and engines, then I sure cannot make a comparison with this one because it is designed specifically for motorcycles.

But this I have to say, it does perform well in a comparison with motorcycle engines that does not use the 10w40. With the 10w40, the motorcycle engine feels easier to start and runs smoother.

Is Mobil 1 10w40 Motor Oil the Right Motor Oil for Your Vehicle?

If you have a car and do not have a motorcycle, then look away because this is not the oil for you. However this may be your motor oil of choice is you have cruiser, sports bike, or a general motorbike.

Based on the Mobil 1 motor oil product guide; the Mobil 1 10w40, that had passed industry standards for motorcycle motor oils, works well with motorcycle engines that are designed to handle oil viscosity of 10w40.

The Verdict for Mobil 1 10w40 Motor Oil

Again, another great product from Mobil 1 as the Mobil 1 10w40 Racing 4T has the best viscosity, cold-temperature durability, and heat thinning resistance. But, it only works well with motorcycles.

Nevertheless, when it comes to lubrication, engine wear protection, engine sludge reduction, and enhancing engine performance; the Mobil 1 10w40 can hold its own against the other motor oils in this review.

Motor Oil-Related Frequently Asked Questions

Is it time to change my engine’s motor oil?

If your vehicle’s engine is roaring like a dinosaur instead of purring like a kitten, then maybe it is time to get your engine oil changed. Having a louder-than-normal engine sound may indicate that certain parts are having a hard time coping with the metal-to-metal contact in your engine.

It is ideal to get your car checked, maintained, and its oil changed annually; but there are motor oils that can protect engines up to a certain mileage ceiling. So you may want to take into consideration the kind of oil that you have used in your car as well.

Is higher motor oil viscosity good or bad?

A general rule of thumb indicates that higher viscosity can provide solid lubrication for your vehicle’s engine as it can coat the parts better. You can know the viscosity of the motor oil in their labels.

The first number in viscosity values like 5w20, 5w30, 5w30, 10w30, and 10w40 is the motor oil’s resistance to thinning in cold temperatures; this will help start your car in the cold. The second number, on the other hand, shows heat-temperature durability which is how much the motor oil can withstand the friction caused by the in-engine metal-to-metal contact before overheating.

However, not all engines are created equally; certain engines can only handle certain motor oil viscosities.

Why is oil sludge bad for the engine?

Engine sludge is the deposit that oil leaves behind when it breaks down.

If sludge builds up, it can lower the engine’s oil pressure, decrease your mileage, prevent motor oil from lubricating your engine properly and cause havoc to different parts of your engine.

So when you get your vehicle maintained, watch out for engine sludge accumulation as well.

How do I know which viscosity works well with my vehicle?

Since you now know that you cannot just pick up any motor oil, it is best to review your car’s manual and see which viscosity works well with your engine and compare it with motor oil product specifications like this one.

If you cannot locate your manual, you can go online to look for a copy, consult with you friendly neighbourhood mechanic, or ask the people working in your car when you bring in your car for maintenance.

The Winner in the Five-Way Motor Oil Battle for Supremacy

In a the five-way 5w20 vs 5w30 vs 5w40 vs 10w30 vs 10w40 comparative review of motor oils with only the oil’s properties on the line, I can say that the 10w40 is the best. But when it comes to performance with respect to a vehicle, the results are inconclusive.

With everything being equal, Mobil 1 10W40 Racing 4T does win in viscosity, heat-temperature durability and cold-temperature durability. But it only works well with motorcycles.

The bottom line is, all of the motor oils I have reviewed here are exceptional in their own field and can deliver the results that they promise. But they may or may not be good for your engine since your engine can handle just so much viscosity.

So, before you pick up a bottle of motor oil, you may want to make sure that you are picking up the right one for your car. You do not want to cause more damage than good.

Hey, help your friends out? Share this article and maybe you can save them from spending a lot of money because they used the wrong motor oil.

Better yet, share your story with me. Leave a comment below, and tell me your motor oil engine success.