I have a 2001 Chevy malibu...I put 10W-30 oil in my car by mistake. I just saw where it says use 5W-30. What's going to happen to my car and what can I do??

Asked by Jan 19, 2015 at 09:15 AM about the 2001 Chevrolet Malibu

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

3 Answers


You can drain the oil and replace with the proper oil. It won't cost you much to do this and is quite quick. If you use the wrong oil in your car, you could damage the engine and then you will see big expenses.


It should be fine unless you live where the high temp is freezing. To explane this better check your owners manual, there is a graph showing outside temps and oil weight that will work through the ranges, you will see overlaps in the ranges, the 10w30 you put in overlaps the 5w30 range fairly deeply. Hope this helps.


Newer designs on engines use metering passageways and/or orifices to control flow to critical places inside engines. The old design used pressure to flood the bearings with oil. The controlled flow process turns out to be a better idea. So o o o, you vary oil flow via different sized orifices and oil viscosity. Just one viscosity range difference isn't necessarily going to kill your engine, but it's better to use what the engineer thought was best for that engine at a certain temperature range.

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