The best 5W30 engine oils

Refine your knowledge on 5W30 engine oils with our handy guide

Engine oil being poured into a car's engine

by Ryan Gilmore |

5W30 oil is a popular engine oil for modern cars because it is adaptable to heat changes and particularly good when it's cold outside. If your car requires 5W30 engine oil (you can find out in your car's handbook), then there are plenty of options that are available, all with different additives designed to help your engine in a certain way.

Without being crude (sorry), oil is an essential part of your engine and you need to know which one is right for your car and driving habits. Thankfully we've put together a list that will help you choose the right 5W30 oil for your car's engine.

The best 5W30 engine oils


Castrol Edge 5W30 engine oil

Our top pick for 5W30 engine oil
Castrol Edge 5W30 engine oil
Amazon

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Castrol is a go-to make for engine oils because of its reputation for quality and value. This fully synthetic 5W30 offering from the brand is our top option because of its protective qualities. Castrol Edge makes use of "fluid titanium technology" to allow the oil to keep protecting the engine even under extreme pressure. The oil is designed to ensure that all parts of the engine are protected keeping the internals safe from wear and enhancing the performance of your engine. Castrol Edge is also the engine oil of choice for some Mercedes, VW and Porsche models meaning it's suited to both regular and performance engines. It can also be used in diesel and hybrid engines. It's rated by the European Automobile Manufacturers Association (ACEA) as a C3 engine oil, meaning it is compatible with catalytic converters and performs well at higher temperatures.

Pros: Keeps your engine in top order, fully synthetic

Cons: Small price premium over other 5W30 oils

AmazonBasics 5W30 engine oil

Best semi-synthetic blend
AmazonBasics 5W30 engine oil
Amazon

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Amazon Basics may not be the first brand you think of when you're thinking about buying some engine oil but don't discount them immediately. If you're after some decent 5W30 engine oil on a bit of a budget and don't mind a semi-synthetic blend then this is a solid option. While it may not boast the same additives as other 5W30 engine oils, it will still protect your engine's internals. Amazon also claims it will help increase engine performance and fuel efficiency. This oil is rated by the ACEA as A5/B5. This means it's suitable for use in both petrol and diesel engines that require low viscosity oils. This means it'll be a safe option for most engines but you'll need to check your car's handbook just to be sure.

Pros: Will keep your engine working, good value for money

Cons: The semi-synthetic blend is not as refined as other offerings

Triple QX 5W30 oil

Boost your fuel economy
Triple QX 5W30 oil

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Triple QX is engineered with increasing fuel efficiency as a top priority. So if you're wanting to squeeze some extra mpg out of your engine it may be time to invest in some for your engine. This fully-synthetic blend focuses on reducing wear and deposit build-ups in engines to improve efficiency and performance. This oil reduces the forming of combustion residues and is also formulated to work effectively during cold starts. These oils are also formulated for different engines. This particular example is designed for VW engines but versions for GM and Ford are also available. It's rated by the ACEA C3 so should be fine to add to most petrol, diesel and hybrid vehicles.

Pros: Lower fuel consumption, helps avoid engine corrosion

Cons: It's expensive

Castrol Magnatec Stop-Start 5W30

Keep your engine protected in traffic
Castrol Magnatec Stop-Start 5W30
Amazon

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Another great synthetic offering from Castrol, the Magnatec Stop-Start is formulated specifically to deal with the stress that commuting and stop-start traffic can cause to your engine's internals. Time spent idling in traffic causes microscopic damage to your engine that over time can lead to larger damage. This oil creates a layer that will cling to engine internals and keep them protected even when stationary thanks to 'Dualock' molecules in the oil. When operating at higher speeds this engine oil will still protect your car's internals thanks to Castrol's advanced oil additives. This oil will also help improve fuel efficiency and performance. This 5W30 engine oil is ACEA C2 rated and approved for use in PSA products.

Pros: Perfect for commuters, keep your engine safe from damage, recommended by several car manufacturers

Cons: Not optimised for long-distance driving (it'll still keep your engine protected, however)

Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30

Great for long distance drivers
Mobil 1 ESP 5W-30
Amazon

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If you're regularly driving long distances and want lower maintenance costs then you'll be wanting an engine oil that prolongs the life of catalytic converters and diesel particulate filters. This 5W30 engine oil from Mobil 1 is designed to do just that, it is engineered to not only prevent water to your engine's internals but will protect both catalytic converters and prevent diesel particulate filters from becoming blocked. Aside from that, it will also help boost fuel efficiency and performance by better protecting your car's engine. This engine oil is ACEA rated for both C2 and C3 and is approved for use in various VWs, Porches and PSA products.

Pros: Protects diesel particulate filters and catalytic converters, reduces overall pollution

Cons: Not optimised for stop/start traffic

Shell Helix 5W-30

Protect your emissions systems
Shell Helix 5W-30

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Like the Mobil 1 option above, this 5W30 engine oil will also help protect the various emissions systems that modern cars are equipped with. However, this option from Shell is also designed to prevent sludge from building up in your engine. Shell Helix Ultra is synthetic engine oil that makes use of 'Active Cleansing Technology' to keep your car's engine as clean as when it was new. This product is designed to keep the engine as clean of sludge as possible, even at high speeds and temperatures. It will also prevent build-ups on the diesel particulate filter and prevent damage to your catalytic converter. This 5W30 oil is ACEA C3 rated and approved for use in various BMWs, Mercedes and Chryslers.

Pros: Improve your fuel economy, protect your engine from sludge

Cons: Expensive option

How to choose the right 5W30 engine oil:

What does 5W30 engine oil mean?

All engine oils come with a code: a number followed by a W, followed by a bigger number (XWXX). In this case, it is 5W30. This is all to do with the viscosity of the oil. The 5W represents how quickly the oil flows at -17.8 degrees Celsius. In this case, the oil is nice and thin at this temperature (ideal for cold starts). The number after the W is the viscosity at 100 degrees Celcius, and the higher the better. 5W30 oil is brilliant in low temperatures and good at higher temperatures, so it's perfect for most modern engines.

Semi or fully synthetic?

Modern engine oils tend to either be fully synthetic or a blend of mineral and synthetic oil. Synthetic is the best option for an engine because it can be manufactured to a higher standard. This is the most expensive option, however, because it costs more to produce.

Semi-synthetic options use both synthetic and mineral oils and are a great budget option. They still have better refinement than fully natural examples meaning they're better for your engine but do not cost as much to buy as fully-synthetic models.

It is extremely rare to find a mineral-based engine oil because they simply cannot be refined enough to work effectively in a modern engine.

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