SAE J300 Viscosity Grades for Engine Oil

SAE Viscosity Grades Revised and Updated 2015

Viscosity plays a predominant role in the selection of lubricants for engines. Engine lubricants must meet viscosity requirements that are established by a number of organizations along with major equipment manufacturers. January 2015 revision SAE J300 viscosity chart now includes two new viscosity standards SAE 12 and SAE 8.

Use only manufacturer recommended oil viscosity grades for your vehicles. The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) developed a scale for viscosity for both engine oil (SAE J300) and transmission oils (SAE J306). See SAE J300 viscosity table below.

Engine oil viscosity refers to how easily oil flows or pours at a specified temperature.  Lower viscosity or thin oils flow more easily at low temperatures than thicker oils that have a higher viscosity. Thin oils are easy to pump and help start engines quickly during cold weather. High viscosity thicker oils have strong film strength to protect metal to metal contact during high temperature and heavy load.

SAE J300 2015 Update: Revised and updated, Revision January 2015 includes 2 new standards SAE 8 and SAE 12

Low-temperature cranking (CCS)
viscosity (cP) max @temp °C [1]
Low-temperature pumping
viscosity (cP) max @temp °C [2]
Kinematic viscosity
(cSt) @100°C[3]
Kinematic viscosit
(cSt) @100°C[3]
High shear rate (HTHS)
viscosity (cP) @150°C[4]
ASTM D5293 ASTM D4684 Minimum Maximum Minimum
0W6,200 @-35°C60,000 @-40°C3.8
5W6,600 @-30°C60,000 @-35°C3.8
10W7,000 @-25°C60,000 @-30°C4.1
15W7,000 @-20°C60,000 @-25°C5.6
20W9,500 @-15°C60,000 @-20°C5.6
25W13,000 @-10°C60,000 @-15°C9.3
4012.5<16.32.9 [5]

SAE J300 Viscosity table, SAE J300 Viscosity chart shown above is January 2015 revision.


[1] ASTM D5293. CCS or Cold Cranking Simulator, A Test Method for Apparent Viscosity of Engine Oils and Base Stocks Between –10 °C and –35 °C

[2] ASTM D4684 (no yield stress). A Test Method for Determination of Yield Stress and Apparent Viscosity of Engine Oils at Low Temperature

[3] ASTM D445. Test Method for Kinematic Viscosity of Transparent and Opaque Liquids

[4] ASTM D4683, CEC-L-36-A-90 (ASTM D4741) or ASTM D5481. A Test Method for Measuring Viscosity of New and Used Engine Oils at High Shear Rate and High Temperature

[5] 0W-40, 5W-40 and 10W-40. (For 0W, 5W, and 10W,  HTHS limit is 2.9 cSt.)

[6] 15W-40, 20W-40, 25W-40 and 40. (For 15W, 20W, and SAE 40 HTHS limit is 3.7 instead of 2.9)