Depending on your car’s engine.
Based on your car’s oil capacity and engine size, you can estimate how much oil you need:
- Oil is needed on a car with a 4-cylinder engine every four quarts
- The oil consumption of a 6-cylinder engine is approximately 5-6 quarts
- An 8-cylinder engine requires 5-8 quarts of car oil
However, your vehicle owner’s manual will tell you exactly how much mineral oil or synthetic motor oil your car needs.
What is the purpose of engine oil?
An engine that lacks enough oil will break down. The lubricant keeps the fast-moving engine parts from contacting each other.
An engine that has low oil levels may overheat due to friction. Additionally, it will increase wear and tear on the engine parts.
Oil that is too high will come in contact with the crankshaft and aerate it. Apart from lowering the quality of your oil, bubbles in your oil will cause unnecessary friction between your engine parts.
Keeping an eye on your oil level every few weeks is a good idea.
How do you do that?
How To Check The Engine Oil Level (Step-By-Step)
Dipsticks are the best way to check the oil level.
On the dipstick, there will be an L for low oil level and an H for high oil level.
In an ideal world, the appropriate level is right in the middle between the L and the H.
Following is a quick walkthrough of how to properly check your oil level with the dipstick:
- Make sure your vehicle is parked on a level surface. Manufacturers recommend checking your oil with a warm engine, but the most important thing is to let your car idle for about 10 – 15 minutes before checking, so the oil can settle in the oil pan.
- Pull out the dipstick tube from the top of the hood and open the hood again.
- Replacing the dipstick in the oil well requires that you clean the end with a rag and fully insert it.
- The oil level can be read by removing the dipstick tube back from the car’s dipstick. The marking should be between H and L.
- Simply unscrew the engine oil filler cap and add new oil if it shows a low oil level. Make sure it doesn’t cross the H marking, or you’ll have excess oil.
To get the best results, choose the right oil for your car.
Let’s take a closer look.
How Do I Know Which Motor Oil To Use?
Since so many oils are available, you may not know which is right for your car.
Since using the wrong oil can damage your car, you probably don’t want to wing it either.
Buying fresh oil when your oil level needs topping up is a matter of knowing the viscosity of the oil. On the label, you should see two numbers representing the grade. The most common oil grade is 5W-30.
A viscosity of oil at low temperatures is indicated by the first number (5).
When this number is lower, the better the oil will perform in winter, because the W stands for winter.
A higher temperature will result in a greater viscosity (30).
When your car’s engine warms up, the oil thins, which is why you need to use the right oil. In the summer, the higher this second number, the better the performance.
Make sure you know what type of oil your car needs, whether it’s mineral oil, synthetic motor oil, or synthetic blend oil.
Oil produced from crude oil (or conventional motor oil) is called mineral oil, whereas synthetic motor oil comes from synthetic sources. Alternatively, you can choose oil with a high mileage rating for older vehicles.
The price of regular oil (conventional oil) is lower, but it is less refined than synthetic oil or synthetic blends oil.
Check your vehicle owner’s manual for the best advice. Depending on your car’s oil consumption, it’s important to get regular oil changes.
How can you tell when you need an oil change?
When Should I Change My Car Oil?
It’s best to check your user manual or the service manual to determine when an oil change is due.
Once you reached about 3,000 miles, you had to change your oil. Nevertheless, modern lubricants (such as synthetic oil, synthetic blend oil, and high mileage oil) allow engines to run between 5,000 and 7,500 miles before they need to be changed.
Oil change intervals are typically based on mileage in older cars. Generally, there are two types of maintenance schedules for cars, one for cars used in “normal” operation and one for cars used in “severe” operation.
This involves driving your vehicle under one or more of the following conditions:
- Short-distance driving primarily
- Driving in extremely hot, cold, or dusty conditions
- Stop-and-go driving frequently
- Transporting heavy loads or trailers
Keeping oil change intervals rigorously for your vehicle will help you avoid these issues. Newer cars are equipped with oil-life monitoring systems that let you know when your oil is running low.
To be safe, here are some warning signs that your car needs an oil change.
Five Signs That Your Car Is Overdue For An Oil Change
A car that hasn’t been serviced for too long will manifest specific symptoms. The following indicators will guide you into determining when to change the oil (or when to change it conventionally):
1. The Oil Light
It is likely that this will be the first and most obvious sign that your car needs some new oil. The dipstick should be checked if the light on the dashboard turns on. Oil capacity and consumption will determine how often you should change your engine’s oil.
As a worst case scenario, the “check engine” light will also illuminate, indicating low oil levels and putting your engine at risk.
2. Engine knocking sounds
Oil lubricates all the moving parts inside your vehicle’s engine, so if there isn’t enough, your engine may be noisy.
It is possible to hear the knocking sounds of metal-on-metal in severe cases of contact. In this case, the oil should be changed right away.
3. Exhaust Smoke
Smoke is a bad sign regardless of how much translucent vapor escapes through your exhaust pipe.
It is possible that you have a damaged component or an oil leak in your engine, and you should have it checked right away. At this point, you should replace your oil filter since the old filter is likely clogged up and is causing the oil leak.
Getting a synthetic oil change or conventional oil change may be a good idea.
4. Dark Or Dirty Engine Oil
The fresh oil is slightly translucent and amber in color. This particle collects particles and darkens as it’s used in your engine.
Check your oil about once a month, as you won’t know when this starts happening. Oil that is dirty and old increases fuel consumption and wear and tear. Oil filters may need to be replaced if your oil becomes dirty often.
5. Ticking Sound When Starting The Car
Oil begins circulating once the engine of a vehicle is started. This may take longer than normal if the oil level is low or if the old oil has expired.
When this happens, the engine will tick while it warms up. Old oil is moving around inside valves, causing this noise.
Keep your car running smoothly by making sure it has enough fresh oil. Therefore, you should check your car’s oil level regularly.
Whenever you notice your car’s oil is getting low, double-check the owner’s manual for the correct type of oil (whether conventional oil, synthetic blend, or synthetic oil).
It is easy to fill your car’s oil yourself. On the other hand, if your car is burning oil or getting dirty faster, you may need to get an oil change.