Maybe you need to add oil to your car’s engine just to keep the levels topped off, or maybe you need to do a complete oil change. In either case, you’ll need to know how far a bottle of oil will go when it comes to helping you complete your task.
Oil is sold by the quart and the gallon. How much is a quart when it comes to meeting the needs of your particular engine? Let’s take a look.
Oil and Your Engine
Car engines come in different sizes. Engine size impacts the amount of motor oil required by your vehicle.
On average, the typical car engine takes between five and six quarts of oil. If you have a smaller car with a modest four-cylinder engine, you’ll likely need less oil. A car in this category may require about four quarts or so. And if you have a larger vehicle — like a truck — with a bigger engine, you’ll likely need larger quantities of oil. A vehicle of this type may require up to eight or nine quarts.
How to Tell How Much Oil Your Car Needs
So, how much is a quart of oil when it comes to your specific vehicle? Know that there are easy ways of figuring out how much of this fluid your engine requires.
The most direct way of gathering this information is to read your car’s owner’s manual. The manual will tell you what type of oil is required and how much is needed.
If the manual isn’t available, you should be able to figure out how much oil your engine needs by doing some online research. You can use the year, make, model and engine size of your vehicle to track down the information you need.
Another approach is to call the service department of your local dealer. They may ask you for your car’s vehicle identification number (VIN). They can use that number to track down detailed information about your car engine’s oil requirements.
Checking the Oil Level
If you’ve added oil to your car’s engine, it’s important to check the oil level immediately after. To do this, start by putting the oil filler cap in place and letting the engine run for about a minute or so. Then, give the oil a few minutes to settle. At this point, pull the dipstick from the oil, and wipe it clean. Reinsert the dipstick and extract it one more time; this time around, check to make sure the dipstick indicates that the engine’s oil level is full.
What if the dipstick shows that the oil level is less than full? The dipstick has lines that indicate various oil levels. It’s typically safe to assume that the distance between each line equals about one quart of oil. Use this insight to guide you when deciding how much oil to add to the engine.
Now you know the facts about how much oil your car’s engine needs. This vital fluid keeps your engine running smoothly and protects it from damage, so make every effort to get regular oil changes. Also, check your car’s engine from time to time to make sure its oil levels are diligently maintained.
Check out all the oils, chemicals and fluids available on NAPA Online or trust one of our 17,000 NAPA AutoCare locations for routine maintenance and repairs. For more information on how much oil your car’s engine needs, chat with a knowledgeable expert at your local NAPA AUTO PARTS store.
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I'm a writer and editor who's a regular contributor with the New York Daily News and Carfax, and my content has appeared in over 20 publications. I've written content that covers industries such as automotive, medical, insurance, healthcare, real estate, plumbing, pest control, dental and hospitality.