Motor oil continues to evolve as we push for more fuel-efficient engines with longer lifespans. This can be seen in many areas, such as the development of synthetic oils. It can also be seen in the range of new viscosity grades introduced by the Society of Automotive Engineers, or SAE. One of the more interesting oils to hit the market in recent years is 0W16. Do you need this oil for your vehicle? What makes it different from other oil viscosities out there?
Not SAE 16
First, let’s establish one thing. 0W16 is not SAE 16, which was announced back in 2013. SAE 16 is what’s called “straight weight” oil, which is infrequently used in modern passenger cars. On the other hand, 0W16 oil is now being mass produced for use in a number of vehicles. You’ll find a wide range of manufacturers.
What is 0W16?
Most of the recent generation of passenger vehicles on the road today call for either 5W20 or 0W20 motor oil. 0W16 marks an even more refined oil that is designed for super-tight tolerances in newer engines. In US markets, it is part of the rollout of GF-6B oil, which is part of the ILSAC GF-6 program. Interestingly, this oil is not backwards compatible and should only be used in engines rated specifically for GF-6B type oils. Using it in an engine designed for GF-6A oil could result in damage.
What Engines Require 0W16 Oil?
To be completely clear here – do not use 0W16 oil in your engine if your owner’s manual does not specify it. Using a lighter weight oil in an engine designed for a heavier oil weight can result in overheating, friction, and premature wear and tear. Currently, the only automakers creating engines designed for use with 0W16 oil are Honda and Toyota, and they are primarily hybrid engines, as well as small but powerful turbocharged engines. At the time of this writing, no Honda or Toyota engines using this oil are currently sold in the United States.
What Benefits Does 0W16 Offer?
0W16 offers quite a few advantages thanks to its unique features. For instance, because of its low viscosity formulation, this oil can dramatically improve engine and fuel efficiency. The balanced additives in the formulation help provide better lubrication, as well as protection against wear and tear. The lightweight oil is also well suited for use in cold situations, providing faster cold stars and speeding up lubrication in cold environments. Finally, this is an advanced detergent motor oil, which means it can help reduce damaging deposits and keep the engine cleaner, for longer periods.