How Much Oil Does My Car Hold

When the Change Oil light comes on, you may ask yourself: "How much oil does my car hold?" Not only does engine oil lubricate the parts in your engine, it acts as a coolant. Too little oil and the engine will overheat-too much oil and pressure builds causing oil leaks.

How Much Oil Does My Car Hold In Its Engine?
Motor oil performs a lot of jobs in your car. It lubricates parts to reduce friction and wear, it acts as a shock absorber for moving parts, it helps to dissipate heat in your engine and it protects engine parts from corrosion. 

But how much oil is enough? Smaller engines often use four to five quarts of oil, but larger engines can use as much as eight. Too much oil can be just as bad for your car as too little. Here's how to find the right amount:

  • You can look it up. Your car's owner's manual or service manual can tell you how much oil you should have in your engine. Don't have a manual? Most car companies have online versions available for cars produced in the last 10 years or so. Most are available for free, with others charging a small fee.
  • Make a call. A quick phone call to the service department of your local dealer will often produce the information. If you don't have a dealer near by, many car manufacturers have tool free numbers to call.
  • The old fashioned way. If you're in a hurry, you can always just measure the amount that drains out when you start an oil change-it should be accurate to within a half a quart or so. If you take this route, be sure to check the dipstick carefully and adjust as necessary. You can easily add extra oil if you're a bit light, but you'll have to drain excess oil through the drain plug if you overload your vehicle.
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