Many manufacturers have shifted to 5W-20 from 5W-30 oil in new production vehicles. The 5W-20 is a thinner oil (at operating temperatures) and thus raises concerns as to whether it protects and lubricates as well as the thicker, previously recommended oil weight.
Ford Position on 5W-20
Ford states that the company has shifted to 5W-20 due to a multitude of benefits derived from thinner oil, including better lubrication and reduced wear oil pump loads. In addition, Ford states that thinner oils reduce start-up wear, a major source of total engine wear.
Ford 5W-20 Requirements
In order for an oil of 5W-20 weight to be approved for use in Ford vehicles from 2006 forward, the oil must have a American Petroleum Institute (API) certification seal on the oil container.
While GM does list various 5W-20 oils in its approved oil list, GM does not specify 5W-20 oils in its cars, continuing to recommend 5W-30 oil. As a related note, many oil companies sell 5W-20 oils which are in full compliance with GM standards, which include API certification.
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