What does the “W” in 5W30 engine oil mean?

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What does the “W” in 5W30 engine oil mean?

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The W in the 5W30 defines winter or cold weather flow properties. This is a measure of the oil’s ability to remain fluid in the cold. The number 5 dictates the specification for cold temperature (-30º C) whereas the 30 indicates the viscosity at normal operating temperatures.