You want your car to run as optimally as possible. That is why it is important to not only change your oil but to pour the correct amount into the engine. Now, you may be wondering, “How much oil does my car need, really?” Well, that depends on the size of your engine. To answer your questions revolving around how many quarts of oil to use during an oil change, keep reading this article.

**Note** – A quick hello to anyone reading this, I’m Alastair and this is my site Synthetic I started this site to help people with their oil questions, and hopefully what you’re about to read will help answer your questions. This page may include affiliate links to the likes of Amazon, which if you make a purchase I qualify to earn a (typically small) commission. Don’t worry as this won’t cost you anything, the likes of Amazon pay any commissions. Thank you in advance for your support as this helps bring you more (hopefully) helpful content.

How Much Oil Does My Car Need? Header Image

How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

The correct answer is “it depends.”

Engines generally require around 8 quarts of oil, though smaller 4-cylinder engines may only need 5 quarts. That said, you do not want to have too little or too much.

Driving around with next to zero oil in your engine opens up the opportunity for all kinds of problems. Without oil, your engine’s moving parts will not be lubricated. Oil also dispels the heat that builds up during operation. If your engine cannot stay cool, you risk irreparable damage.

Conversely, if you pour in too much engine, you run the risk of overloading the engine. Oil will mix with air, frothing and making a mess. Furthermore, when the oil bubbles up, it cannot do its job of lubricating and displacing heat.

As such, you need to pour in the right amount to ensure peak performance.

How to Figure Out How Much Engine Oil is Needed

Figuring out how much oil your car needs is simple:

Check Your Owner’s Manual

The best place to get information on how many quarts of oil your vehicle requires is the owner’s manual. Pop open the glove box and take a peek. The owner’s manual will tell you the recommended oil weight, how often you should change your oil, and how much oil your car needs. If you have misplaced the manual, or if your used car did not come with one, you can always check the manufacturer’s website.

Make sure you have your vehicle’s identification number on hand.

Search The Internet For Answers

If all else fails, you can hop online. Head to Google and type in, “How much oil does my car need?” Just make sure you replace “my car” with the make, model, and year of your vehicle. You are bound to find the answers straight away.

What Affects The Amount of Oil Used?

As mentioned earlier, the amount of engine oil needed is based on the size of the motor. Smaller cars require less oil. Bigger engines need far more.

Although the owner’s manual is the best place to find how much oil is required, you can also follow this general rule of thumb:

  • A 4-cylinder engine will need about 5 quarts of oil.
  • 6-cylinder engines need about 6 quarts of engine oil
  • 8-cylinder engines need anywhere from 5-8 quarts, depending on the size of the engine

Also, make sure you are changing out the oil filter every single time you change the motor oil.

Final Thoughts

Before an oil change, were you thinking, “How much oil does my car need?” You are not alone. Fortunately, the answers are always close at hand. Check the owner’s manual or search your engine’s type online. Otherwise, simply knowing the size of your engine will give you insight into how many quarts of oil go into your car.


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