Experience With The New 0w-30/40 Viscosity Motor Oils

I have a 2006 Pontiac Vibe with 40,000. I live in a cold climate/car kept outside. I would like to switch from the 5w-30 I have used for years to the new 0w-30 now out for better cold start lubrication. Anyone out there with experience using it?

Try bobistheoilguy.com for oil nuts/afiando’s.

Any synthetic(5w30) will suit you well in cold temps, IMHO.

No Doc, I Don’t, But That Never Stops Me From Offering Opinions.

I see that Mobil-1 says to use 0w30 (or for that matter, 5w30, 10w30, etcetera) where it is recommended by the manufacturer.

It also appears that it is being marketed as part of the big “green” movement and is touted as a gasoline saving oil, not a cold start oil.

I too live where it gets very cold (sometimes -30F or so) and therefore use Mobil-1 5w30 as recommended by my car’s manufacturer. GM recommends synthetic for extreme cold use.

I believe in using what the manufacturer recommends and believe that I am already getting more benefit during cold starts by using a full synthetic.

I think 5w30 full synthetic is every bit all you need to protect your engine and 0w30 is not necessary. When one of my new cars recommends 0w30, that’s what I’ll use.


I have spend a considerable amount of time in the far North, where -40F is common overnight. Yes, the 0W30, first introduced by Shell (Synarctic) and EXXON in the 70s, is ideal if you cannot use a block heater and have to park outside. It has a pour point of about -50F, and will lubricate your valve gear quickly.

I you live in Colorado, for instance, a synthetic 5W30 might be OK, since synthetics pour better at very low temperatures than similar grade mineral oils. The lower number is measured at 0 degrees F, not your ambient night temperature!

Your first choice should be to use a block heater for the engine, if you can plug in ovenight. Most places of work don’t provide these, however, so your car sits out all day till 5 pm and cools down to ambient.

Why worry about engine heaters if it starts?

" I would like to switch from the 5w-30 I have used for years to the new 0w-30 now out for better cold start lubrication"

How can your cold start lubrication get any better?? It seems fine now…How will you KNOW if it’s better??

Working under laboratory conditions, doing long-term engine wear studies which include starting at sub-zero temperatures, these people MIGHT be able to answer your question. But the 100 or so oil experts that will reply to your question do not have a clue…

There are side benefits to using a block heater, such as quicker warmup, usually better driveability, lower fuel consumption, and longer engine life.

Some posters, like MIke in NH may not agree, but we are talking the average driver who may park OUTSIDE, puts on less than 10 miles to get to work and his engine often does not heat up fully to drive off all the condensation. Robert Sikorsky, author of “Drive it Forever”, lives in Tucson, Arizona and plugs his mid 70s Volvo in all year round. This may be overkill but the benefits outweigh the modest cost of $60-$8 per month in electricty. My rule of thumb is to plug the car in when parked outside and below freezing temperatures. Inside I would only plug it in when the temp drops to -10 F or so.

When cars used carburetors, one rally cold start was equal to about 500 miles of engine wear. If you then used the block heater 100 times a year in North Dakota you would save about 50,000 miles a year equivalent in engine wear.

Don’t forget about 5W20.

If you’re using a block heater have it on a timer. Usually, 2-3 hours should warm it sufficiently. I set mine to go on at 4am. I leave the house between 6-6:30am and never have a problem.