Winter oil weight

I know ive been here before but im not accustomed to using synthetic oil.

I looking for input on what weight oil i should use in a recently rebuilt 22re (about 5000 miles on rebuild) My guess is 0-30. I want to go with synthetic for cold starts due to temps. of -50 and colder…
I do have block and oil pan heaters


I never use synthetic oil because my vehicles don’t require it and I live in a temperate zone. I would use a synthetic if I lived where it was -50 and colder. I just checked the Mobil 1 website and they recommend 5W-30 for your application. Others may have a better answer but Mobil 1 is available everywhere and can be bought at a reasonable price at places like Walmart.

I agree with @missileman, Compare synthetic Mobil 1’s “pour point” to non-synthetics. Pour point is essentially the temperature below which you can no longer pour the oil out of the bottle. This is a measure of how the oil flows at startup. Mobil 1 5w30’s pour point is -65F. Compare that to non-synthetic Quaker State (SH grade) whose pour point is -35F. At -50, the oil is a waxy solid. Other synthetics perform equally well. You engine will start easier and wear less with these extreme conditions with a synthetic.

0-20 for sub-zero conditions…

5w-30 should be fine. 0w is NOT required for sub-zero.

Fight nice guys (humor)

If mobil 1’s 5-30 pour point is -65 i will go with that i think. Thats all im looking for is the cold start flow…


If it’s going to be -50 you have to have a 0Wxx oil. Mobil 1 and other pure synthetics have a pour point of -55 or so, and a “borderline cranking temperature” of close to that. I worked in the arctic and we could still start cars at -50F with a 0W oil, but had to let them warm up so we could actually shift the transmission into gear

The expression “subzero” means nothing, other than a make of Fridge. it could be -1F at which a 5W20 or 5W30 would work. But OP said -50, so that demands a 0W full synthetic oil. OP must live in Alaska.

The OP also said he’ll have block and pan heater.

Gets that cold.I’m staying in-Kevin

If it gets that cold - I’m moving.

JUst for fun, did anyone check what the car’s manufacture’s recommendation was for your specific car?

OP Lives in Fairbanks Ak. -50 is common

I got to thinking
Was is the manufacturers definition of “pour point” and would a 0 weight oil hurt anything

manufacturers recommended is 5-30 if believe. But does that include -50 cold starts? i do have block and pan heaters but i wondering as was mentioned above if i was in a situation where i couldnt plug in and had to do a true cold start would it start …

@badbearing The pour point is just that; the temperature at which you can our the oil out of the can with good flow. The actual; definition is very technical. The “borderline pumping temperature” is a little higher since it includes all the internal friction in the engine. It is the temperature where the oil does not interfere in the engine cranking, and oil can be supplied to the bearings.

Everyone I know who lives in a place like Fairbanks and has to park outside has an engine block heater at least. The guys who write the owner’s handbooks seldom have any very cold experience and are rather clueless about what it takes to start a car at that temperature. My Dodge Dart manual 0f 1965 said to use 5W oil and also dilute it with kerosene for very low temperature. I had a block heater in it so I got by with 5W30 in the winter.

Ive been using 5-30 since i got here. Non-synthetic. The heaters take care of the rest.
I guess im going to run with 5-30 synthetic being it has a colder pour temp…if i got that info right…

I would use the 0W20, it’s going to flow better when cold and that’s what you need.

“If it gets that cold - I’m moving.”

I agree…last winter we had a couple of nights that got down to about 20 degrees.

My 2011 Toyota Sienna owner’s manual specifies 0W-20 synthetic oil and that is what I use winter and summer and have no oil consumption.
Years ago, I had a 1971 Ford Maverick and use 10W-40 oil. We hade a big snow storm and then the temperature dropped to -22 F. I had a driveway that was about 200 feet long and couldn’t get the car to the garage, so I parked at the end of the drive and waded through the snow into the house. The next day, I got a call from a fried needing some help thawing pipes. I waded out to the Maverick and turned the key. The engine turned slowly, but it fired right up. I let the car run about 5 minutes to make certain that the gas line wasn’t frozen and went on into town to help my friend. The valve lifters really clattered for about 30 seconds, but that was the only problem. With 0W-30 or 0W-20 synthetic oil and your block heater, you shouldn’t have any problem. Keep in mind that when I had the 1971 Maverick, I didn’t have electronic ignition or fuel injection.

@badbearing and @acemaster IF you can plug in everywhere you can get by with 5W30, and synthetic is best. However, I have been in many places where I could not plug in and my 0W30 came in handy.

Mobil1 5W30 has a pour point of -47Celsius (-53F), their 0W40 has a pour point of -54C, (-65F), while a regular mineral 5W30 from Exxon has a pour point of -36Celsius (-32F). Big difference. Other oils show a similar or somewhat smaller difference. All vehicles used by the Alyeska Pipeline have standardized on Mobil1 because of its wide range of application.

Using 0W20 is not recommended, except in the latest Toyota cars. The “0” part will let you start in very cold temperatures, but the “20” is the hot viscosity, and in a 2005 Toyota you will likely have oil consumption or small leaks. This stuff, although good oil, is too thin in older cars. So, 0W20 IS NOT what you need, it’s 0W30 synthetic. The 0W20 Synthetic is now recommended for 2012 and 2013 models, since the y have oil activated valve gear, better oil control rings and tighter sealed engines…

My son has a 2004 Mazda3 with 200,000 miles on (no oil consumption to speak of) it and it has used 0W30 synthetic since new, although Ford and Mazda specified 5W20, which was not good for hot weather and high loads.


You mentioned newer vehicles
Im running a 1989 toyota 22re

Do i understand you recommend 0-30 synthetic for my 89 22re???

@badbearing Yes, for that age car you need the 30 grade once the engine warms up to avoid leaks and oil consumption. In the Southern part of the country you could use a 0W40 or a 5W40 synthetic.

I used 0W30 in a 1976 Ford Granada, a 1984 Chevy Impala V8 and a 1988 Caprice V8, as well as my wife’s 1977 Colt and 1994 Sentra. At the ski lodge we get some extremely cold overnight temperatures, and there are no plug-ins.

A synthetic 0W30 is the perfect oil for your car, but when it was built, these oils were not widely available and the manufacturer recommended 5W30 mineral oils, as they did in my 2007 Corolla. A 0W30 has to be at least half synthetic to meet the various tests. In Malaysia, a tropical country where we lived, the locals put in 20W50 quite often. The book there says 10W30 or 10W40, since the overnight temperature is about 25C (77F) and the daytime in a traffic jam can rise to well over 100F.