How Much Oil Do You Need for an Oil Change?

Engine Oil Being Poured

If you’ve ever needed to change the oil in your car, you may wonder how much you need.

Just as you need blood for your body to function properly, your car needs oil. It lubricates the essential parts of your vehicle.

Engine oil reduces internal friction and heat buildup. It also helps to clean away deposits and contaminants from internal engine parts.

Like anything else, engine oil only lasts so long. In this case, you may wonder, “How much oil do you need for an oil change?”

To find out how much engine oil you need for an oil change, keep reading.

How Much Oil Do You Need for an Oil Change?

On average, you should change your oil around every 3,000 miles. However, engines of different sizes use varying amounts of oil. Typically, you’ll need anywhere from five to eight quarts of oil for an oil change.

Regarding the question, “How much oil do I need for an oil change?” the answer is relatively straightforward. The bigger your engine, the more oil you’ll need.

Usually, you’ll need around five quarts of oil for a four-cylinder engine. Meanwhile, you’ll need about six quarts of oil for a six-cylinder engine.

An eight-cylinder engine, however, may take anywhere from five to eight quarts of oil. You may also need more oil if you change the filter when you change your oil.

There are a few sources that can help you figure out for sure how much oil you need for your car, such as the owner’s manual. Typically, you’d find this information outlined in the vehicle specification section under the lubrication system.

You can also check the manufacturer’s website to find this information. If you use this method, try finding the section for vehicle owners. Usually, there’s a link for this information toward the bottom of the page.

You can also try an online search. For instance, enter the make, model, and year of your vehicle along with terms such as “fluid capacity” in the search bar. If you’re lucky, you’ll find out how much oil you need for an oil change.

Choosing the Right Motor Oil

You’ll also need to choose the right kind of oil for your vehicle. For instance, you’ll need to select oil with the correct viscosity level.

Engine oil manufacturers represent the viscosity level with a number followed by a W and then another number. Viscosity is the rate of oil flow at various temperatures.

The first number is the rate of oil flow at 0-degrees. The W is for “winter.”

The numbers after the W represent the rate of oil flow at 212-degrees. Oil with a lower number before the W will make it easier to start your car in the winter.

You’ll also need to consider whether to use conventional or synthetic motor oil. Conventional motor oil is fine if you change your oil frequently. Meanwhile, synthetic engine oil does a good job of removing deposits from internal engine parts.

Some synthetic oils have improved viscosity. In other words, they flow better at lower temperatures. They also maintain their consistency at higher temperatures.

Synthetic oils can also help extend the life of engine seals. This benefit can help you to reduce maintenance costs.

How to Change Your Oil

A few oil changing tips can make the job go a little easier. To begin the process, check your oil level. Next, find out which oil filter you need for your engine.

Before you change your oil, run the engine for five minutes. This action will warm up the oil and make it easier to drain from the engine.

Now, find a flat area to raise the front of your vehicle off the ground. If you have an automatic transmission, put the car in park.

If you have a manual transmission, however, put the vehicle in neutral. Either way, make sure that you apply the parking brake before you slide under the engine.

Now, you can drain the engine oil. Once you empty the oil, remove the old filter, and clean the filter compartment.

Once you install a new filter, you can fill your motor up with oil. Now, start the engine and let it run for five minutes.

At this point, you’ve almost finished. However, you’ll need to check your engine oil level once more.

If necessary, top your engine off with a little more oil until the dipstick shows that there’s enough oil in your engine. Finally, document the oil change in your owner’s manual.

Congratulations, you’re all done.

You Might Need an Oil Change If…

There are a few signs that may indicate you need to change your oil. For instance, your oil light might come on when your oil gets low. Alternatively, if your vehicle has a low oil pressure gauge, it may light up if it’s time to change your oil.

In some instances, an indicator light may not alert you to the need to change your oil. However, you’ll notice that your engine starts to run roughly.

This symptom may indicate that there is a deposit buildup on your lifters. An oil change can help to remove the deposit and remedy the issue. If you notice leaking oil when your car is parked, however, it may indicate other problems.

Learn More About Your Car

Now that you know the answer to the question, “How much oil do you need for an oil change?” you may need a manual for your vehicle.

If you’re changing your oil for the first time, you have enough to do figuring out how to get it right. Searching for your owner’s manual online can prove frustrating.

More than likely, you’ll find yourself thinking, “Just give me the damn manual! Fortunately, there’s a website that does just that.

At, there are no surveys to fill out and no subscriptions to buy. You can simply grab the information that you need and go.

While you’re there, feel free to visit our blog to learn more helpful tips about taking care of your vehicle.