The “Hemi” has remained a long-standing engine that has propelled Chrysler through the 20th and 21st Centuries. Hemi is an abbreviation that denotes the hemispherical combustion chamber that’s used in the engines. What makes this particular chamber different from other V8 engines is the fact that the combustion chamber has a circular (or hemispherical) shape instead of the standard straight chamber in most V8 engines on the market.
Chrysler first engineered the 5.7-Liter Hemi engine in 2003 and it has remained the dominant V8 engine used in almost all Dodge SUVs, pickup trucks, and muscle cars. Although the gearing and tuning for each different car vary, they all share the same similar core engine.
Needless to say, the 5.7 Hemi has become somewhat of an icon. It’s powered some of the loudest, baddest, and most powerful Dodges on the market and has become a truly iconic engine. Although it’s been fine-tuned and improved over the years, the overall design in 2021 is almost the exact same as the first 5.7-Liter Hemi produced nearly two decades ago. Talk about a long run!
In today’s post, we’ll be reviewing the best oil for your 5.7 Hemi engine. In general, Chrysler recommends using 5W-20 engine oil for these engines. However, each brand has certain features and aspects that may make them slightly more beneficial compared to standard 5W-20’s on the market. So, without further ado, it’s time to get our hands dirty and look under the hood!
List of the Best Oil To Put In Your 5.7 Hemi
If you want to keep your Hemi running for as long as possible, then it’s vital to keep it properly lubricated. Without proper lubrication, the high-heat combustion chambers can quickly cause engine wear and tear, dramatically reducing the longevity of the engine. However, if you keep up with the oil changes and use high-quality lubricant, then your 5.7 Hemi can last just as long as any of the competing engines on the market!
That being said, let’s take a few minutes to review some of the best oil brands and types that you can put in your 5.7 Hemi engine. Even if your local auto shop is closed, you can still purchase these oils directly from Amazon using our affiliate link (and you’ll also save a good bit of money as well)!
Mobil 1 Advanced Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-20
No matter what type of engine you have, Mobil 1 is widely regarded as one of the highest quality synthetic motor oils on the market. Mobil’s research and development department have dedicated their work towards manufacturing premium synthetic oils that are designed to out-perform almost all conventional oils on the market, allow engines to go longer between oil changes, preserve the combustion chambers, clean the pistons, and increase overall engine longevity.
Mobil 1’s full synthetic 5W-20 is easily the highest quality synthetic that you can put in your 5.7 Hemi. In fact, some drivers have stated that Mobil’s synthetic 5W-20 provides the same level of protection as a thicker 5W-30 while still retaining the looser viscosity of the recommended 5W-20 motor oil that should be used in all 5.7 Hemis.
- Out-performs many other 5W-20s on the market.
- Allows you to go longer between oil changes.
- Provides similar protection to 5W-30 motor oil.
- It’s a bit expensive.
MOPAR 68218891AB – Oil 5W20
If you own a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or Ram, then you’re no doubt familiar with the famous MOPAR brand name. Mopar is a portmanteau of the words “motor” and “parts.” MOPAR is the customer care division of the Chrysler brand, and most of the parts and fluids used in Chrysler engines are manufactured under the name MOPAR.
That being said, MOPAR’s 5W-20 motor oil is specifically manufactured for 5.7-Liter Hemi engines. In fact, if you purchase a new Dodge Ram, Challenger, or Charger straight off of the Dodge car lot or the factory, then it will be full of MOPAR brand 5W-20 oil. If you get your vehicle serviced at the dealership, you can also expect the same oil to go into your engine.
Although it’s slightly more costly than other more common motor oil brands, sometimes the best bet is to just stick with what the manufacturers use. The benefit is that you’ll never have to worry about warranty claims!
- The original brand-name motor oil used in brand-new Dodges.
- It won’t void your vehicle’s warranty.
- Manufactured specifically for 5.7 Hemi engines.
- More expensive than most synthetic 5W-20 motor oil.
Pennzoil – 550045202 Ultra Platinum Full Synthetic 5W-20 Motor Oil
Although Chrysler always recommends using MOPAR brand 5W-20 synthetic motor oil, they also understand that this isn’t always readily available. Sure, you can usually find it on Amazon or your local Dodge dealership, but it’s also expensive and can sometimes be hard to find. That being said, Chrysler has a deal with Pennzoil and specifically recommends the brand’s 5W-20 Ultra Platinum synthetic motor oil whenever MOPAR 5W-20 can’t be found.
In addition to the manufacturer’s recommendation, Pennzoil’s Ultra Platinum oil is highly regarded for increasing engine longevity and providing enhanced protection under strain. If you use your Hemi to tow or race, then the Ultra Platinum can provide your engine with the extra sludge protection that it needs to ensure optimal performance.
- Recommended by Chrysler.
- Added sludge protection.
- Fair price.
- Made using a natural gas base.
- None to speak of.
Red Line 15205 5W20 Motor Oil
While many people who own a 5.7 Hemi vehicle use it for everyday tasks like towing, running errands, or towing their boat to the dock on the weekend, some Hemi owners prefer the high stakes environment of the race track. Whether you’re drag racing your Ram or your Charger/Challenger, you’re going to need a high-quality synthetic oil that can stand up to the extreme temperatures created by the higher RPMs while racing.
Thankfully, Red Line has the perfect product. They’ve been manufacturing high-quality synthetic lubricants for vehicles that are often pushed well beyond their factor limits. While this oil is far more expensive than almost any other synthetic 5W-20 on the market, it’s well worth the extra money if you’re putting your Hemi under high strain.
- Designed for higher RPMs.
- Designed for Hemis that race.
- One of the most expensive synthetic oils on the market.
Valvoline High Mileage with MaxLife Technology SAE 5W-20 Synthetic Blend Motor Oil
Chrysler’s 5.7 Hemis typically see a lot of action. Unless you have a rare collector’s car, then chances are that you’re using your vehicle on a daily basis. This means that you can rack up miles quickly (especially if you’re using your Hemi as a work truck).
Once your Hemi passes the 75,000 or 100,000-mile mark, then it’s a good idea to switch to a synthetic oil that’s designed for higher mileage vehicles. Valvoline’s High-Mileage synthetic blend features the brand’s patented “MaxLife” technology which contains extra additives designed to maintain engine pressure and keep your cylinders/pistons clean and powerful.
- Great for high-mileage engines.
- Added compounds to increase engine life.
- It’s a synthetic “blend” not a full synthetic, which means you’ll need to switch it out sooner.
Formula Shell Conventional 5W-20 Motor Oil
If you’re in a bind for money and you can’t afford to purchase a higher-quality synthetic motor oil, then you can usually get by with conventional motor oil. Conventional motor oil is made out of a crude petroleum base and isn’t quite as durable or long-lasting as synthetic motor oil. It also doesn’t have the added compounds designed for longevity, meaning that you won’t be able to go as long between oil changes.
However, if your engine is newer and you aren’t putting under high-stress situations, then you probably won’t notice the difference. Just make sure that you aren’t using it for the long term.
- Cheap and easy to find.
- Provides decent engine protection.
- You will need to change your oil sooner.
Quaker State Motor Oil 5W-20
If you’re looking for another reliable conventional motor oil brand for your 5.7 Hemi, then Quaker state has a great lubricant. Like the Shell conventional 5W-20, it isn’t designed to stand up to the high RPMs generated from frequent towing or racing, but it will get you through if you’re in a bind.
Overall, Quaker State’s conventional 5W-20 performs well. Just don’t expect to go more than 4,000 miles between oil changes if you want your engine to stay up to expected performance levels.
- Affordable and easy to find.
- Defends against engine build-up and acidic deposits.
- Needs to be changed often.
- Doesn’t provide the level of protection that a synthetic does.
Buyer’s Guide and F.A.Q.
Now, that you’ve had a chance to look at some of the best oils that you can lubricate your 5.7 Hemi engine with, let’s take a few minutes to answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding this engine, what type of oil is recommended for it, and discuss a couple of other questions related to changing your 5.7 Hemi oil!
What kind of oil does a Dodge Ram 5.7 Hemi take?
Chrysler (the manufacturer) recommends putting 5W-20 motor oil in your 5.7-Liter Hemi engine. When engines are manufactured, they are generally manufactured to maintain a specific amount of engine pressure. Using a 5W-20 oil ensures that the pressure within the combustion chambers is up to Chrysler’s calculations and standards.
Another great reason to use 5W-20 motor oil is that it’s a great “all-around” motor oil. 5W-20 oil is designed to perform well in both cold and hot temperatures. Since these 5.7 Hemi engines are used across the United States, Chrysler needed to engineer them to perform as well in the cold winters of Maine as they did to perform in the hot summers of Texas.
5W-20 oil is designed to fit just such specifications. It’s thick and durable enough to stand up to the higher temperatures of the south, while also being thin enough to ensure a smooth start on a cold winter morning in the north.
What kind of oil does a 2016 Ram 1500 5.7 take?
The Dodge Ram 1500 is, by far, the most popular production model of the truck. Like its predecessor, it utilizes the same 5.7-Liter Chrysler Hemi engine. This means that it takes the same 5W-20 motor oil as all of the other Chrysler and Dodge vehicles that use the same engine block.
Can I put 5W-30 in my 5.7 Hemi?
If you’ve been browsing the internet looking for information on changing your oil, then you’ve almost certainly come across a few horror stories involving people who use the wrong type of oil or don’t use enough oil. These stories almost always end in blown engines, busted seals, engine knocks, and other similar tragedies. Needless to say, it’s usually more than enough to make most people re-think everything that they put in their engine.
One of the most common questions we’ve seen is from people wondering whether or not they can put a 5W-30 engine in their 5.7 Hemi. Although the manufacturer recommends a 5W-20, you’ll usually be safe putting a 5W-30 oil in your engine. One of the main reasons people substitute the thicker 5W-30 oil is that it’s usually easier to find at local auto shops and gas stations, especially when you’re on the go and you don’t have time to stop for a proper oil/filter change.
The difference between 5W-20 and 5W-30 is relatively small. In fact, the only difference is that 5W-30 is slightly thicker than its 5W-20 counterpart. This means that it’s able to stand up to higher temperatures and also may be better for older 5.7 Hemi engines that are having trouble maintaining the same combustion ratio and pressure rating.
Can You Combine 5W-20 and 5W-30 Oil At The Same Time?
We’ve all been there at least once before… You’re on a long road trip and you’re burning through oil a little bit faster than you’d like. When you stop to fill up your gas tank, you figure that you might as well check your oil levels as well. Upon checking the oil, you see that you need to top off your engine with a half-quart or even a full quart.
So, you go into the store hoping to purchase a 5W-20 synthetic top your engine off with. Unfortunately, though, they only have a 5W-30. What are you supposed to do now?
Thankfully, all synthetic engine oils are designed to work with each other. That being said, combining oils can result in the eventual loss of engine pressure or could cause your oil to burn off quicker than expected.
If you’re in a bind, then you shouldn’t worry about throwing a quart or two of 5W-30 in with your engine that already has 5W-20 in it. The two oils are very similar in viscosity and have the same “winter” (5W) rating. In fact, some of the higher quality 5W-30’s, such as Mobil 1, are rated to perform even better than standard 5W-20 motor oil.
Does Dodge recommend synthetic oil?
Yes! Chrysler (the company that owns Dodge and manufactures all 5.7-Liter Hemi engines) recommends using a full synthetic in all of their engines. They especially recommend using synthetic oil in larger engines like the 5.7 Hemi.
Since the larger engines generate more heat and produce higher power, they typically operate at hotter temperatures. This, in turn, means that the engines can benefit from having a thicker, higher-quality synthetic motor oil. Conventional oil isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s not designed to last as long between oil changes and can’t hold up to high-performance scenarios such as towing or running at max RPMs down the race track.
The success of Chrysler’s 5.7 Hemi engine has led to Dodge trucks, SUVs, and muscle cars becoming some of the highest-rated vehicles in America. In fact, the brand-new 2021 Dodge Ram 1500 (which also utilizes a 5.7 Hemi) was recently rated the MotorTrend truck of the year due to its comfort, reliability, engine power, and overall consumer satisfaction.
If you want to keep your Hemi running as long as possible, ensure that its power output remains the same, and retain the value of the vehicle (for trade-ins or resale), then putting great oil in your Hemi is a must. Although it may cost a couple of extra dollars to purchase some of the high-quality synthetic oils we’ve outlined in this review, it’s well worth the money and time that it will save you in the long term.