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What do the numbers and letters mean on motor oil?

The short answer: The numbers represent the viscosity of the oil and the W stands for WINTER. … In a 5W-30 for example, the number before the W describes the viscosity of the oil at low temperatures. The lower the number, the thinner the oil and the better the oil’s cold temperature/ cold start performance

The letter “W” itself stands for Winter. As you may know, viscosity means the thickness of a fluid. In the case of motor oil, it is the thickness of the oil under certain temperature conditions. The number to the left of the W refers to the oil viscosity when the temperatures are low.
oilnumb 2

SAEGradesSAESocietyofAutomotiveEngineers
COLD (WINTER) HOT. -22OF 212OF. SAE = Society of Automotive Engineers. 5W = The W means winter and the oil is tested at -30 C (-22F) SAE 5W-30 = The 30 is the viscosity measured at 100 C (212 F) Need to know stuff. THE W DOES NOT STAND FOR WEIGHT

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