How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

Do you want to change the oil in your car and wonder how much oil does my car need? Look no further because we have the answers you’re looking for.

In this article, we will provide you with all the information you need to know about the right amount of oil for your oil, what happens if you put too much oil in your car, how often you should check your car oil, and best practices when refiling your vehicles engine oil.

Let’s get started!

What’s The Right Amount Of Oil To Use In Your Car?

If oil is added to an engine, it lubricates all of its parts and ensures that moving parts don’t grind against one another when in use.

If you are wondering about the quantity of oil, you should put into your car, first imagine it as a spot which you need to fill. Generally, engines that are small only need small oil, whereas engines that are large will also require oil in a larger amount.

Most car engines need approximately 5 to 8 quarts of oil, according to their size. Smaller engines require less oil than larger ones because there is less metal to lubricate. On average, a 2.4-liter car engine requires about 4 to 6 quarts of oil. A powerful pick-up truck or diesel engine may need as much as 8 quarts of oil.

What Happens If I Put Too Much Oil In My Car?

What Happens If I Put Too Much Oil In My Car

If the oil that is being added into an engine’s oil pan is excessive in quantity, this makes the crankshaft get in contact with the oil, and as such, air flows right into it; A foamy substance forms as a result of this which makes the oil unable to properly lubricate the car’s engine.

You will see the following signs if you put too much oil in your car?

  1. There will be an oil leak.
  2. The engine will give off a burning odor.
  3. Smoke will be coming out from the bonnet.
  4. The exhaust will be releasing smoke
  5. You will hear strange sounds coming from the engine.

To ensure that there is not too much oil inside your car, make sure you are constantly checking the small dipstick while you’re refilling your car. The dipstick’s top has two tiny holes, which indicate whether the engine oil levels are high or low. Normally the oil levels have to be within the two holes as too much or not enough will result in damage to your vehicle.

Also Read: How Much Is A Tune-Up?

How Often Should You Check Your Car Oil?

Checking and topping off your engine oil is among the most important things you need to do in order to maintain your car. This is also a very easy task to carry out as you can conveniently do it all by yourself.

Every year you have your car serviced, the mechanic will replace the old oil with a new one. Then you can check and top it off your oil all by yourself.

We advise that you not wait until your yearly servicing before changing the oil in your car. It’s good to take a look at your oil regularly, especially if you plan on taking long trips.

If you newly got yourself a car with an unclear service record, it can be confusing to figure out whether or not your oil or oil pump has been changed. This is a common problem and something that’s best avoided. If this is the scenario, it’s always best to ask your mechanic to change the oil just to be safe.

How To Check Your Oil Level

How To Check Your Oil Level

Check out these steps to know how to check the oil level of your car

  1. Open the bonnet and find the dipstick. It is near the engine and may have a handle that is T-shaped and also brightly colored.
  2. Reinsert the dipstick back after wiping it using a tissue or dry cloth.
  3. After you remove the dipstick, you will see some oil. The dipstick has two marks. Your car’s oil level has to lie between them. If this is the case, then you’ll be fine for the rest of the trip.
  4. In order to properly maintain your vehicle, you should fill up its tank with oil. Given that your vehicle’s oil does not reach the slight level of the lower mark, you should fill up the tank. Always check your vehicle’s oil level before driving.

Signs That Your Car’s Oil Level Is Low

If you monitor the oil levels of your car more often, you’ll be able to avoid developing the following symptoms.

  1. The oil pressure warning light is illuminated.
  2. The smell of burnt oil: If you smell burned oil, there is probably a leak that is causing oil to fall onto the hot parts of the engine, causing them to burn. Your oil level will be low as a result of the leak.
  3. Unlubricated parts of the engine making a clunking sound.
  4. Performance issues with engines. The components of the engine have to work extra hard when they aren’t well lubricated.
  5. Overheating: Overheated Engines are a result of moving parts without lubrication rubbing against each other.

How To Change Car oil

How To Change Car oil

Maintaining your engine oil is essential; simply check the level and replace the oil if necessary. You can do this easily:

  1. Make sure you turn off your car’s engine and let it cool down, as well as that your vehicle is at a level position and you can visibly see how much oil is in it.
  2. Remove the dipstick completely, and then clean it off using a cloth that is dry and clean.
  3. Be sure to insert the dipstick fully but without forcing it. If you’re having trouble, try to remove it and clean it, Then do the process all over again, and this time try to put it in to be as straight as you can.
  4. After you complete the insertion, take out the dipstick to inspect your ‘Min’ level, as well as your dipstick’s markings. If these readings are lower than what is written on the dipstick, you will have to add in more oil.
  5. Remove the oil filler cap near the engine and the dipstick (oil can accumulate on top of the cap).
  6. Fill the tank with a bit of oil and slowly pour it in.
  7. At the end of every top-up, Check the level of oil by measuring until the dipstick reaches its highest possible mark, marked ‘Max.’ Do not go any further than where the mark ends.
  8. The dipstick should be inserted after the cap has been secured on the tank.

Watch this video guide to know how you change your car oil

Also Read: Car Leaking Oil When Parked? (Causes and Fixes)

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

Most Car engines require between 5 and 8 quarts of oil, based on the size of the Engine. A smaller car engine will require less oil to fill the Engine. The typical 2.4L car engine requires about 4 to 6 quarts of oil. A more powerful engine (pick-up truck and diesel cars) could require up to 8-9 quarts of oil.

How much oil do I put in my car if it is empty?

If your car’s oil level is not full and does not get to the dipstick, you must add at minimum 1 (1) full quarter-quart of oil right away.

How much oil does a 2 liters engine take?

Small 4-cylinder engines with capacities ranging from 1.6 to 1.8 milliliters typically come with an oil capacity range from 3.5 to 3.7 Liters or around 3.6 quarters. If you own a larger 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the oil capacity will be approximately 5 quarts.

Can I add oil to my car without changing it?

Dark-colored, cloudy, or grittier oil indicates that the oil’s lubricating elements are exposed to excessive heat and require a change. In addition, adding oil instead of changing the oil at this time could result in engine problems. The old oil must be removed to allow fresh oil to lubricate the Engine’s components.

Does the Engine have to be cool to add oil?

It is possible to add oil to your vehicle while the engine is running hot but it is not advisable that you do so. Check the oil level once the engine cools down, and it is acceptable to add oil into your vehicle when it is warm or slightly hot, as long as it is turned off for some time. Do not fill the oil beyond that “max” line on the dipstick.

What happens if I add too much oil to my car?

If too much oil is added to the car, the level of oil in the oil pan is excessively high. This causes a quick-moving, crankshaft, a rod with a lobed surface to get into contact with the oil and basically let it aerate. This results in a foamy substance that is unable to effectively lubricate the Engine.

What should I do if my car oil is empty?

If your car is running low on oil, immediately go to an auto repair shop where you will be able to get the oil of your vehicle replaced by a professional. If the oil you use has damaged your vehicle’s engine, the auto repair shop can pinpoint any issues and address the issue immediately.

Should you fill oil to the max?

You shouldn’t fill your car’s oil to the max. if the oil level is between the min and max mark then it is alright. If it’s below halfway between these marks, we’d recommend adding oil. If it’s near or even lower than that minimum level, you must add some oil.

Is it okay to add new oil to old oil?

Adding new oil to an old one is fine and is a standard procedure to ensure proper oil levels between service changes. The added oil must be of the type recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer, which is crucial. The constant addition of oil isn’t a substitute for changing the oil in your Engine.

Can I put a little oil in my car?

Yes, you can put a little oil into your car if you notice that your car is low on oil. Before you pour the engine into the car, the Engine has to be shut off, and it should take at least five minutes to allow the oil to settle prior to applying the dipstick.

How do you know if you put too much oil in your car?

1. Leakage of oil.
2. The smell of burning engine oil.
3. Smoke through the exhaust.
4. Smoke is released from the tailpipe of the exhaust.
5. Engine making strange noises.

Will an extra half quart of oil hurt my Engine?

An additional half a quart of oil in your crankcase isn’t likely to cause any damage to the Engine. If your crankcase was overfilled, say more than a quarter, the spinning crankshaft might come in contact with the oil liquid and cause it to churn. If you require additional oil, you can add it.

How much oil does a 3.5 Liter engine hold?

Modern vehicles are equipped with a 3.5-liter engine. such engines need an oil capacity for oil that is 6-quarts and includes the oil filter.

Is it okay to slightly overfill oil?

Having too much of something can be an unwise decision sometimes. If you overfill your Engine oils, it can lead to hundreds of dollars in repairs. If excess oil gets pumped into your vehicle’s crankshaft, the rotation speed of your crankshaft will begin to let the oil air dry.

Where should the oil level be on the dipstick?

At the bottom of the dipstick are two marks or tiny holes that indicate high and low levels of Engine oil. The level of oil must be somewhere between the two marks. Too high or low will harm the vehicle.


Removing the oil from your car is an essential method to ensure it is running efficiently. Most people don’t know the right quantity of oil to put in their vehicles. So, the question is, how much oil does my car need in Liters or what quantity of oil is required for my vehicle.

According to the size of the engine, many car engines need between 5 and 8 quarts of oil. A car with a small engine will also need a small amount of oil for the engine. A standard 2.4L vehicle engine consumes approximately 4 to 6 quarts of oil. Vehicles with larger engines like (pick-up trucks and diesel cars) usually could demand up to about 8-9 quarts of oil.

Scott Greene is a seasoned automotive technician for over 5 years and has been deep into advanced automotive diagnostics for a couple of years. He Loves writing about Automotive Diagnostics and Repair, Trouble codes, Buyer guides for various car parts and accessories, and lots more. 

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