Best 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022

There are several reasons to use synthetic engine oil instead of conventional oil. First off, it’s much safer for the…

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Best 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022 ©Best 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils (Review & Buying Guide) in 2022
Best Choice Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil
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Best Value Valvoline - 882837 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil Valvoline – 882837 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
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Premium Pick Valvoline - 882837 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil Valvoline – 882837 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
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There are several reasons to use synthetic engine oil instead of conventional oil. First off, it’s much safer for the engine. Uniform molecular size produces less friction between moving parts. Additionally, synthetic oils contain fewer impurities, which makes for longer intervals between oil changes in modern, naturally aspirated vehicles. Older engines and forced induction applications will need more regular oil changes but will still benefit from the use of synthetic oil in other ways. Special additives in synthetic oils are resistant to oil breakdown, provide protection against heat, and will reduce sludge build-up in any engine.

The list keeps going, but you get the picture. The question is, which synthetic oil belongs in your engine? Yes, there are different blends intended to perform in specific settings. While any oil will perform, which performs best depends on a few factors. To find out what oil belongs in your engine, we are going to dive right into the best options on the market.

The Best 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils

 

As an option suitable for all applications, Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil is our top pick. Castrol Edge is specifically designed to maximize an engine’s potential. Liquid titanium is used to change how the oil behaves under pressure. This ensures little friction exists between the moving parts no matter how hard an engine is being pushed. It’s resistance to viscosity breakdown is much higher than leading competitors. This characteristic is just as good for engine life as it is for performance. This full-synthetic oil is also designed to reduce deposit build-ups and therefore preserves throttle response as the engine ages. This oil will work wonders in any engine, but for best performance, one must refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations in their vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Key Features
  • Fully synthetic formula
  • Features fluid titanium technology
  • 20,000-mile drain interval
Specification
  • Brand Castrol
  • Model 03084
  • Weight 5 quarts
PROS

Suitable for extreme pressure conditions

Reduces friction even during high driving speeds

Improves throttle response

Reduces engine deposits

CONS

Bottle may leak during shipping

May leak while in storage

Formulated only for gas engines

At a much lower price point than comparable offerings, Valvoline – 882837 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is just our favorite cost-effective choice. Despite the price, Valvoline Daily Protection delivers in every way you should expect any synthetic oil should. This oil exceeds industry standards and provides additional protection of the engine to ensure it runs like new for as long as possible. Additives are also featured that are resistant to oil breakdown, which allows for longer intervals between oil changes. Of course, one must refer to their vehicle’s owner’s manual and refer to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is also a fuel economy formula that is specifically designed to increase gas mileage. The characteristics of this oil ensure enhanced performance in any weather conditions.

Key Features
  • Includes added detergents
  • High-quality additives
  • Includes multi-viscosity and monograde formulations
  • Advanced deposit and sludge protection
Specification
  • Brand Valvoline
  • Model 882837
  • Weight 5 quarts
PROS

Promotes fuel economy

Enhanced wear protection

Resists motor oil breakdown

Flows easily in all climates

Provides year-round engine protection

CONS

Not the best option for old or worn engines

May break down during harsh driving conditions

Not ideal for diesel engines

Engines with high mileage require special care from their oil and Pennzoil Platinum High Mileage Full Synthetic 5W-30 Motor Oil is our recommendation for applications as such. Platinum High Mileage is intended for use in engines with 75,000 miles or more. This oil is made from natural gas instead of crude oil, which makes for less oil burn off. It will also keep pistons 45 percent cleaner than other oils can, which ensures preserved horsepower and throttle response. Additionally, this oil offers more friction protection than any other high-mileage oils on the market. Another benefit to being formulated with the use of natural gas is that it contains fewer impurities than those based on crude oil. This also provides much more stable conditions and long intervals between oil changes.

Key Features
  • Includes added detergents
  • High-quality additives
  • Includes multi-viscosity and monograde formulations
  • Advanced deposit and sludge protection
Specification
  • Brand Valvoline
  • Model 882837
  • Weight 5 quarts
PROS

Promotes fuel economy

Enhanced wear protection

Resists motor oil breakdown

Flows easily in all climates

Provides year-round engine protection

CONS

Not the best option for old or worn engines

May break down during harsh driving conditions

Not ideal for diesel engines

Classic cars and truck engines require the use of additives not commonly found in modern oils. Royal Purple ROY11748 HMX SAE 5W-30 High-Mileage Synthetic Motor Oil features these additives as it is specifically intended to be used with these engines. Zinc and phosphate are anti-wear compounds that are blended right into this oil in order to protect valvetrain parts. Other options may be used, but only with these additives added in separately. Additionally, this oil also works to restore hardened seals that are commonly found on older engines. This will work to restore power in any aged engine. In order to safely extend oil change intervals, this oil is formulated with oxidation resistance. Because these engines are often hard-used, Royal Purple implores enhanced friction resistance making this oil perfect for any classic application.

Key Features
  • High mileage motor oil
  • Formulated with anti-wear compounds
  • Oxidation resistant formula
  • Enhanced corrosion protection
Specification
  • Brand Royal Purple
  • Model 11748
  • Weight 5 quarts
PROS

Rejuvenates hardened seals

Reduces oil consumption

Allows for extended oil-drain intervals

Minimizes wear upon start-up

Restores an old engine’s performance

CONS

Leans on the pricey side

Only ideal for gas engines

Not necessary for short trips

While oil doesn’t freeze, it can still be negatively impacted by cold weather. Mobil 1 5W-30 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil performs exceptionally well in cold climates, making it our recommendation for engines used in the winter or cold regions. This is on account of its Quick Cold-Weather starting characteristics, which promise ample oil supply even in the coldest settings. It is capable of protecting the engine in subzero conditions without the use of a block heater to retain its viscosity. Though, it is still recommended that additional measures are taken to protect the engine in these settings. It also has excellent resistance against oil breakdown and can work to restore hardened engine seals on older or hard-used engines. Additionally, this oil has excellent oxidation and thermal stability. This allows for 15,000 miles of use between oil changes.

Key Features
  • Thermal and oxidation stability
  • -53 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit working temperature
  • 15,000 miles drain interval
Specification
  • Brand Mobil 1
  • Model 98KG82
  • Weight 5 quarts
PROS

Flows easily in low temperature

Promotes quicker cold weather starts

Works well in all climates

Makes the engine run smoother

Prevents engine wear and tear

CONS

Handle tends to kink in hot temperatures

Not ideal for diesel engines

Limited viscosity options

Best 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils Buying Guide & FAQs

The 5W-30 is a viscosity (thickness) rating given to synthetic oils based on how well it performs in extreme temperatures, including engine and ambient operating conditions. The 5 is the viscosity rating in cold temperatures, while 30 indicates the viscosity in normal operating temperatures, and the W stands for Winter.

Most 5W-30 motor oils fare well in cold temperatures, but how well it works for the engine depends on what the manufacturer includes in the formulation. This is how the different brands gain the competitive edge. Finding the best synthetic oil for your engine isn’t a tough choice if you are equipped with the right information. That being said, you can rely on the buying guide below to find the best 5W-30 synthetic motor oil on the market.

Do You Need a 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil?

A 5W-30 motor oil can help improve the lifespan of your engine since most come with additives that help to reduce friction, minimize rust, and promote improved performance across a wide range of temperatures.

You can benefit from a longer interval between oil changes than when using conventional motor oil. Synthetic oils last for about 10,000 miles or more, whereas conventional oils only last for about 3,000 to 5,000 miles.

Synthetic oil can be a good choice for older and high mileage vehicles where deposits and engine wear are a common occurrence. Most of these oils come with cleaning agents that help to dissolve the deposits, and wear and tear inhibitors that help to keep the engine parts well lubricated to minimize corrosion or damage.

  • Experience improved fuel economy
  • Helps to reduce cold start issues
  • Best for short trips since it warms up fast enough to burn off moisture and impurities in the engine system
  • 5W-30 oil flows smoothly in cold weather, and is resistant to thinning or evaporating during hot weather

Types of 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils

There are two types of synthetic motor oil: fully synthetic and synthetic blend. The type of oil you use in your engine will greatly determine its performance. Below, we discuss the benefits offered by each type.

  • Fully Synthetic 

Fully or pure synthetic oil is made from 100 percent of synthetic compounds. It’s mostly intended for high-performance vehicles whose engines experience high operating temperatures or carry large loads. This includes racing, towing, and hauling vehicles. Before being brought to the market, fully synthetic oils are put through special tests (often indicated on the label) to test their viscosity rating and performance in harsh conditions.

In addition, the fact that it’s a purely synthetic oil means that it will last longer than any other oil. It can last for about 8,000 to 10,000 miles. Some brands have oils that can last for up to 20,000 miles. It also has better lubricating properties than synthetic blends, but is more expensive. In most cases, you can mix fully synthetic oils with minimal issues since most only differ in the type of additives in the formulation.

  • Synthetic Blend 

A synthetic blend is a combination of conventional oil with a synthetic base. Conventional oil prevents friction, has anti-foaming additives, corrosion inhibitors, and can withstand extreme pressure. The synthetic base is included to enhance these properties.

It’s a cheaper alternative to fully synthetic oil, and offers more protection to your engine than conventional motor oil. It’s ideal for a standard highway vehicle, which isn’t exposed to extreme driving conditions.

What to Look for When Buying a 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil

As we mentioned earlier, most 5W-30 synthetic oils on the market come with different formulations despite having the same rating. This is why there are some affordable options while others are somewhat pricey. A 5W-30 synthetic oil typically costs about $15 to $50 per container. If you are looking to save money or get a good deal, consider the features below before adding any synthetic oil to your shopping cart.

  • Compatibility 

It’s crucial that you get a motor oil that’s compatible with the type of fuel you use in your engine. Finding one won’t be a major issue since most manufacturers indicate the type of engine that the oil is formulated for, either a gas or diesel engine. Consult your owner’s manual on the recommended motor oil for your vehicle’s model.

If you are getting a new type of oil, ensure that it’s compatible with the oil that’s already in the system if you don’t want to flush it out. Some of the oils can be mixed, but some fully synthetic oils can lose some of their properties when mixed with conventional oils.

  • Additives 

Regardless of the brand, all 5W-30 motor oils would have the same properties if manufacturers didn’t include extra additives in the formulation to improve the properties. For instance, all 5W-30 motor oils would thicken in cold temperatures and get thinner in hot temperatures, but this isn’t the case since some brands have oils that remain fairly stable and viscous even in extreme temperatures.

Additives can help to prevent oil breakdown, improve wear resistance, prevent rust, and reduce friction between metal components, and to thicken the oil at high temperatures to minimize chances of evaporation. They may include antioxidants, anti-wear agents, friction modifiers,  detergents, foam inhibitors, rust inhibitors, or viscosity index improvers. When buying motor oil, be sure to confirm that it has enough additives to promote the best engine performance and prevent a premature breakdown.

  • Size 

It’s important to determine how much synthetic oil you need beforehand so that you can get enough for your application. You can get this information in your owner’s manual. The 5W-30 synthetic oils are typically packaged in bottles ranging from 1 to 5 quarts.

You can use a 1-quart bottle to top off the synthetic oil in your system, while a 5-quart bottle is preferred for a complete oil change. You may prefer to buy more from an economical point of view so that you can have some left for the next oil change, but be sure to purchase a product with a long shelf life.

Best 5W-30 Synthetic Motor Oils FAQs

Hopefully, we have made it easier to identify the best 5W-30 synthetic oil for your application. To add to the knowledge you’ve acquired, we will answer a few questions on how to use synthetic oils. Read on to find out more.

Q: How do you use a 5W-30 synthetic motor oil?

The process will be just like any other oil change with a different type of oil. First, you need to confirm how much oil your vehicle needs by checking the owner’s manual. Then, proceed to drain the old oil before replacing it with the new oil. Alternatively, you can get it changed at a service station, which may take less than 15 minutes.

Q: Who makes the best 5W-30 synthetic motor oil?

The best manufacturers of 5W-30 synthetic oils as per our buying guide are Castrol, Valvoline, Mobil 1, Royal Purple, and Pennzoil. Other brands worth looking at are Mag1, Liqui Moly, and Shell Rotella.

Q: How often should you change 5W-30 synthetic motor oil?

Your car owner’s manual will have the information on how often you should change the oil. Most manuals recommend that you change it every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but it also depends on the quality of oil you use. Some high-quality oils can last longer in your vehicle, and only need to be changed every 10,000 miles.

Q: Is it okay to change from conventional to synthetic oil?

You can change it as long as the synthetic oil is compatible with your vehicle’s make. You can consult a professional mechanic to see if synthetic oil is the best fit for your vehicle. It’s advisable that you flush out the conventional oil before you add the synthetic oil.

Our Top Pick

The Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil is our top pick because it’s formulated to enhance engine performance during all driving conditions. It also reduces engine wear and lubricates the engine parts to promote a smoother driving experience.

Final Thoughts

If you are looking for a cheaper alternative to the Castrol 03084 EDGE 5W-30 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil, the Valvoline – 882837 Daily Protection SAE 5W-30 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil is also a great choice at a more affordable price. It helps to eliminate sludge and varnish deposits from the engine, and also helps to maintain fuel efficiency.

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