I read a comment on a Youtube video about doing an oil change for a 2012 Honda Civic.

The recommended oil type for a '12 Civic is a 0w-20 synthetic oil. However, the youtube posted a comment saying he believes a 5w-20 synthetic oil provides more resistance to heat, as he lives in California, so it is actually a bit better than 0w-20.

Is there any truth to this claim? I'd like to know since I live in a relatively hot part of California (SoCal).

1 Answer 1


There is no truth at all. The weight of the oil does not correlate to heat protection.

Oil weight is its thickness or viscosity. The lower the number the thinner the oil. The oil that has two number blank_w blank is a dual weight oil, 5w 20 for example. The w stands for winter. This means that the oil flows like a 5 at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The second number is how the oil flows at 212 degrees Fahrenheit. In this case it flows like a 20.

If you live in a hot climate the w number is irrelevant. What is relevant is to put the manufacturer recommended oil. The weight of the oil correlates to the internal clearances of the engine. The manufacturer recommends the oil weight depending on the clearances that have engineered into the engine.

  • This answer is absolutely correct, and whoever posted that youtube video has no idea what he or she is talking about.
    – BillDOe
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 5:28
  • Something you should not confuse when talking about oil is the weight (or viscosity) of oil does not correlate with how thick/thin it is. It correlates to its flow characteristics. This page defines viscosity quite nicely without using terms like thick/thin too often. Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 15:35

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