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Engine oil number meanings

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Could someone tell me what the number before the W and the number after the W means? Like in 10w40, what 10 would mean and 40 would mean?

Also, what would be the difference between 10w40 and 20w50 etc...?

Thanks!

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yeah what chuck said. it performs different temps. and usually the lower the number the thinner the oil. so 10w40 is thinner than 20w50.

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