I have a Nissan Sentra 2014. I wanted to start using full synthetic oil, and the manual said I should use 0W-20. I changed both the oil and the filter (I used this one), and after finishing I realized I used 0W-30 instead.

I was thinking about changing it again tomorrow, but I'm not sure if I can use that one, and wait some miles before changing it again.

Is it serious? When should I change it? Also, should I change the oil filter again as well?

  • Where are you located?
    – race fever
    Jan 4, 2016 at 0:30
  • I'm in Miami, FL Jan 4, 2016 at 0:30
  • The no, you will not have any issues. Don't worry about it. But if you can't sleep at night thinking about it then change it. :)
    – race fever
    Jan 4, 2016 at 0:34
  • @racefever - Don't be afraid to use your votes and I'm not talking for me. Jan 4, 2016 at 0:41
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    @OscarMederos Here is the spec sheet for it. Note that it is ilsac GF-5 approved and API SN approved which are the only specs that Nissan requires. Should be fine. This is a high quality oil. mobil.com/USA-English/Lubes/PDS/GLXXENPVLMOMobil_1_0W-30.aspx Jan 4, 2016 at 1:28

6 Answers 6


This is not a serious issue. You can probably even get by using 0W-30, especially since you are in an area which is usually warm. If you were in a colder area up north somewhere, I'd highly suggest you change it out. If you do decide to change it out, don't worry too much about the filter. I'd take the filter down and drain out what's in it, but put some clean oil back on the gasket and put it back in. The little bit of leftover 0W-30 is not going to cause any issues.

One of the issues with running a heavier weight oil is that your bearing clearances are set by the factory to accept the thinner oil. By having the thicker oil in the crankcase, you run the risk of bearing damage. I think with where you live the chance is mighty small, but it's still there. If your car is really new, I'd highly suggest you change the oil out. When a car is newer, the bearing tolerances are even tighter. Seeing as how your car is a 2014, there has probably been at least three or four oil changes done to it, so it shouldn't be an issue.

  • Thank you very much. I will keep using this one then, and I will use 0W-20 next time. Since the filter isn't expensive I will also change the filter. My car has 26k miles. I bought it with 22k. I changed the oil after buying it (regular oil) and I started using full synthetic today. Jan 4, 2016 at 0:43
  • I agree it is not a serious issue. It should be noticed that multi-grades are typically "thin for grade" (on the lower end of the acceptable spectrum) at their higher end (thickness when hot). In addition, most include VII's (viscosity index improvers), and as these break down, the oil becomes thinner at the top end anyway.
    – kmarsh
    Jan 4, 2016 at 14:30
  • 1
    @kmarsh - Seeing as how it's full synthetic doesn't hurt matters either. Jan 4, 2016 at 15:17

It is interesting how people think they know the answers. Let's break down what oil viscosity means, and how it applies to engine use. First of all, "thicker" oil is NOT physically thicker. It is more like being more "clingy". The actual measurement of the oil molecules is pretty much the same whether 20 weight oil or 40 weight oil. It is the additives that make it thicker or thinner.

Let's use 5W30 as a reference. The 5 represents how thick the oil is cold, and as a reference, "not thicker than 5 weight oil at -40.". The "W" represents winter cold starts. So at this point whether 5 weight or 0 weight, 0 weight would give better cold start protection. The 30 represents "not thinner than 30 weight oil at operating temperatures.

The only concern for newer engines would be how the systems sensors, actuators etc would work with the different oil viscosities. For example the VVT actuators may not work as well with the different oils. Trying won't hurt except to hinder performance and fuel economy.

If you want to research, check websites that explain oil technology and be very wary of forums from people who want to give you "good advice". My advice is, if you are not sure, use manufactures recommended oil and oil change intervals.


Some owners manuals will suggest that a higher viscosity oil may be used under certain conditions. My 2021 Toyota RAV4 Prime (a plug in hybrid) manual "recommends" 0W-16 but then says "An oil with a higher viscosity may be better suited if the vehicle is operated at high speeds, or extreme load conditions." The manual does not further explain these conditions but the attendant Warranty and Maintenance Guide defines "Special Operating Conditions" as "Driving while towing, using a car top carrier, or heavy vehicle loading."

The owners manual for my 2012 Toyota FJ Cruiser (not a hybrid) says the same thing except the "recommended" oil is 0W-20.

The owners manual for my 2014 Honda Accord Plug In does NOT allow for the possibility of using a higher viscosity oil. It simply states to "use" 0W-20. Same thing for my ordinary Honda Accord Hybrid. So I've stayed with 0W-20 in these. I have 60,000 miles on the regular hybrid and it uses no detectable amount of oil between oil changes running around 6 to 7 thousand miles. Using a high quality brand of 100% synthetic, of course. 40,000 miles on the plug in Accord and again, no detectable oil loss between changes.

Passenger cars and SUVs achieve maximum weight capacity simply by filling them with passengers and luggage. I have seen high speed driving defined in these manuals as 70 MPH or more. So if you plan to ever fill your vehicle up with people, drive it on a high speed interstate, or like to accelerate hard, pull a trailer, mount a roof top carrier, the car manufacturer is strongly hinting you might not be best served with the "recommended" viscosity.

A 0W-20 oil is a 0 weight oil with viscosity improvers (VIs) that allow it to function as a 20W oil at operating temperature. These VIs are long chain molecules that are broken down as the mileage accumulates on the oil. So that means that 20W rating is gradually decreasing. By the time you need to change that 0W-20 oil it has become 0W-??. I'd rather not start this process with the 0W-16 that is only OK if you don't plan to push the vehicle very hard.

My plan is to go one weight higher where the owner's manuals allow it on the basis of extreme use. From 0W-16 to 0W-20 and from 0W-20 to 0W-30. Where there is no such allowance made by the manufacturer, I will stay with the recommendation.

My motivation is strictly what's best for my vehicle, not the environment.

  • This trend in zero weight oils is to improve fuel economy, which improves CO grams per kilometer or per mile. Fuel and environmental targets are high pressure in the auto industry. Heavier weight oil, within reason, is going to be fine for improved oiling and engine longevity. Many or all manufacturers recommend higher viscosity in many conditions, such as race track use or severe service, Running such oil 100% of the time is harmless, but may impact fuel economy and emissions.
    – geoO
    Dec 26, 2020 at 16:52

I did the same thing today except I used 20 and vehicle calls for 30 since it has a turbo. I wasn't sure if this was going to be an issue but actually ow-20 far out performs ow-30 oil which is why it's more expensive, here is a really good write up of the differences. Essentially 0w-30 does not protect your engine nearly as well as 0w-20 but is ideal for more extreme temperatures (temperatures of over 400°F).

According to stikkitnow:

While the 0w30 motor oil promises to protect your engine from tear, the 0w20 motor oil does this in a more outstanding and dramatic way. According to a study that was carried out with the 0w20 motor oil, it was revealed that this motor oil leaves your motor parts about four times (4×) smoother.

The 0w20 motor oil offers you a much more superior wear and tear protection on some of the essential or vital parts of the engine. The 0w30 motor oil, on the other hand, does not offer you the same assurance. When it comes to viscosity breakdown, the 0w20 motor oil happens to offer you a higher and unsurpassed level of protection that the 0w30 motor oil cannot offer.

Also: no, you wouldn't need to change your oil filter.

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    please don't use link shorteners, just place the link in its original format. That way people are able to judge the validity of the link without having to open it first.
    – Luuklag
    May 14, 2021 at 9:19

I drive an SUV for transcontinental trips from Arctic Canada to Belize. I have experimented with oils for five or six years in many road and weather conditions and at altitudes varying from sea level to 9000+ ASL. Whether the ambient air temperature is -30F or +35F the 4 liter V6 in my Xterra has run smoother and quieter, especially during the critical 'Start-up' phase; that first 30 seconds after turning the key. That's where automotive engineers agree that between 90-95% of all engine wear occurs. Use only 'SN' (an API oil classification) full synthetic oil with a bottom end of 0W and you will not go far wrong. Listen closely to your motor during that critical first 30 second warm-up before you put your vehicle into motion. The sounds and vibrations will tell you how well it likes (or dislikes) the oil you're using. All the best, JC Bradshaw


2012 honda civic(r18a engine) 1.8l(manufactured in canada) driven in austin texas for 3yrs(102k miles) book says 0w20 and to use 5w20 in emergency then to change back to 0w20 next service interval(not asap??)

I've used 5w20, 5w30, 0w30 and half quart of 5w40(with 0w20)

Anything higher than 0w20 I've noticed I'd lose 20-40 miles per tank, and my car didn't accelerate as fast as normal

Tested each weight oil for 1k miles and didn't notice any unusual noise(notice lifters were more quite with the thicker oil) and a year later of 0w20 everything is still operating as "normal"

No uoa but other than gas dropping I didn't notice anything unusual

The lighter oil "moves" faster at start up and "thicker" oil(not actually think but due to additives) has better film strength for longer drives

I'd say if u drive less than 20 minutes per trip the "lighter" oil for mpg and cold weather

Long trips 30+ minutes, the "thicker" film strength since it takes about 15minutes to get up to 212F(plus or minus for operating temps) and Texas heat from the roads

As of longevity I have no idea but as a hypothesis it's all good

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