Should 20W50 Be Used in High Mileage & Older Cars?

by Amy Rodriguez
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The life blood of a vehicle is its engine oil. It is imperative that proper oil viscosity and levels are constant within an engine chamber to keep hot, moving parts lubricated and cooled.


Viscosity, or how well an oil flows or doesn't flow, is an important part of oil selection. Newer vehicles can utilize thinner oils for faster lubrication of new engine parts. In contrast, older, high-mileage engines benefit from thicker oils to prevent friction and oil loss.


The viscosity level of engine oil 20W50 is geared toward racing engines, as opposed to high-mileage engines, that run extremely hot and need heavy load operation. The thickness is not meant for daily, older vehicle use. Since its viscosity is so great, it can drag down the functioning of the crankshaft, resulting in less horsepower.


For an older, high-mileage passenger car, it is recommended to switch to a thicker viscosity oil, such as 10W-30, when approaching and passing 100,000 miles, to lubricate the engine well for preservation.

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