How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

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How Much Oil Does My Car Need

The amount of oil your vehicle requires depends on its engine. The crankcases of many cars can hold five to six quarts. If your vehicle has a small cylinder engine, it will need 4 quarts. Those with heavier pickup trucks will have to use six to eight quarts. If the engine of your car is an average V8 and V6, you only require five quarts. If you are not sure the amount of oil your vehicle requires, you need to consult the owner’s manual. If you bought a second-hand car and have no way of asking the original owner, what should you do? You can visit your local auto parts store and get advice.

How Engine Size Affects The Amount of Oil Used

If your engine is large, the car can accelerate faster compared to a car with a small engine. The large engine also can handle loads with a heavier weight than the small engine. The power a large engine produces is also more. As a result, the space of burning oil is more in your large engine. So the larger the engine, the more the amount of oil you will require to use. If you wish to buy a new car, consider the distance you would be traveling. If it’s a small distance on the highway, take a car with a small engine and vice versa. You should also consider if it has a petrol engine or a diesel one. A diesel engine consumes less fuel compared to a petrol engine.

Tips for Selecting The Right Type of Motor Oil

Why is motor oil essential to your engine? It increases its durability, efficiency, and lifespan. To achieve all these benefits, you must choose the right motor oil. If you use the wrong one, it will accelerate the rate of your engine wear. It may also cause premature failure. Here are quick tips on the factors you must consider to enable you to choose correctly.


Viscosity refers to how well your oil flows if exposed to different temperatures. If you look at a container with oil, the viscosity number has two parts; for example, 10W-40. That W means winter. 10, in this case, indicate how that particular oil will flow in winter/ cold temperatures. You need an oil that can flow well even during freezing temperatures. So, take the oil with a lower number. The second number, 40, in this case, indicates your oil flow when your car is running. Most engines operate at a temperature of 195-225 degrees Fahrenheit. Choose the oil whose second part number is smaller. If you have no clue about the type of viscosity your car requires, check the owner’s manual. You can also check on your oil cap.

Synthetic/Non-Synthetic Oil

So, what’s the difference? Non-synthetic oil is also known as conventional. Many car engines require this type of oil. It’s petroleum-based and requires regular change compared to a synthetic one. Synthetic oil is suitable for high-tech engines. It’s man-made and can withstand higher temperatures. It’s expensive compared to the non-synthetic oil. You can choose any depending on your personal preference. You can also check the owner’s manual to know your engine’s specific needs.


What’s the mileage of your car? If it’s more than 60,000, consider higher-mileage oil. High-mileage oil is beneficial to your long-running engine since it contains special additives to help it run the best.

Symptoms That An Engine Needs An Oil Change

If you take the car to the garage to have the oil changed, the serviceman will inspect a few things. He will check any possible leaks and any other problems before changing the oil. Unfortunately, he may not notice all symptoms. That’s why you need to look out for these symptoms.

  1. Dark/dirty oil- Your new motor oil must have a bright amber color. The color darkens as it ages and gets dirty. That’s why you need to check it regularly using a dipstick. If the color is either black or dark-brown, change it immediately.
  2. Ticking/Tapping noises- As your oil gets dirty and oil, it becomes thicker. It becomes harder to lubricate the components of your engine. If not well lubricated, the engine produces some metal noises. Don’t ignore it since it can damage your engine Change the oil immediately.
  3. Burnt oil smell- Does your car’s interior cabin smell like burnt oil? That could be an oil leak leading to some oil dripping on some parts of the hot engine. Or maybe due to leakage, your engine has no sufficient oil. As a result, the engine is over-heated. Have it checked and add new oil.
  4. Exhaust smoke- Is your exhaust all of a sudden emitting blue/gray smoke? An oil leak could be the problem. If the parts of your engine fail to get enough lubrication, it will produce the smoke. Take the car to the garage to have the leakage fixed and replace the oil.
  5. Car stalling- Is your car stalling as you drive? The problem could be small or bigger. Maybe it’s just bad sparks plugs or could be clogged fuel filters. Unfortunately, the problem could be bigger. Perhaps you have a bad fuel pump, or catalytic converter could be clogged. You may require replacing them.
  6. Poor fuel economy- Has your fuel consumption increased of late? It could be as a result of old and thickened oil. Your engine may not work smoothly if the oil is thick. Friction from the engine makes it work harder. It results in more fuel consumption. You need to change the oil immediately.

What If I Put Less Oil?

Oil lubricates engine parts helping them to run smoothly. It also cools the engine. Your car, especially during start-up, requires enough oil for it to reach all critical areas. If the oil is low, your engine may not run smoothly. If your car has low oil, you can drive a short distance, with it having severe effects.

What If I Put More Oil?

Too much engine oil is not healthy either. When the car is running, it will not lubricate the bearing and cylinder walls as required. As a result, your engine will have serious wear and tear. So always ensure that your engine has the right amount of oil.


You should check the owner’s manual to know the type and the right amount for your car engine. If it’s second hard, you can check the oil cap or even consult your local auto parts store. You also need to know different symptoms indicating the need to add or change the oil. Always ensure that your engine has the right amount of oil. We hope you have got the answer to “How much oil does my car need?”. 

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