How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

Motor oil is responsible for lubricating and protecting the parts of your engine against heat and corrosion. When it comes to adding oil to your car, there is a certain balance that must be achieved. A car can overheat and suffer premature damage from having too little oil, whereas an excess of oil can lead to leaks and excessive pressure.

Reading the Dipstick

Once or twice a month, check your vehicle’s dipstick, which will tell you how much oil is needed. An accurate read of the dipstick requires parking your car in a level, well-lit location. Remove the dipstick and wipe it with a clean rag. Re-insert the dipstick and pull it out again. If the oil level is between the two marks or holes at the bottom of the dipstick, your oil level is fine. If the oil level is below the two marks, you will need to add 1 quart of oil to your vehicle.

Oil Change

If you are servicing your own vehicle and want to know how much oil a car needs after an oil change, check your owner’s manual to see how much your engine holds. It is suggested to pour a little over ¾ of that amount into the engine. For example, if your car holds 4 quarts of motor oil, then add 3 ½ quarts to prevent overfill.

Car Owner Manual

To determine the right amount of oil for your vehicle, a car owner’s or service manual will tell how much oil your car needs. If you’ve lost or misplaced your manual, you can always check for an online version or visit the local library to browse the repair manual for your make and model.

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