Luckily, providing your vehicle with the correct amount of oil doesn’t need to be difficult. In fact, it’s fairly straightforward. Here’s how to figure out exactly how much oil your car will require.
Why is Oil Important?
First, let’s dive into the details of why exactly oil is important for your vehicle. Car engines have a lot of moving parts - and those parts can cause both friction and heat. Oil simply lubricates the car’s engine while absorbing the heat, which allows the engine to prevent overheating and work efficiently.
That being said, oil needs to be maintained. It’s not something that you’ll put in your car once and then not have to again for the automobile’s lifetime. Your car requires regular maintenance to continue running smoothly, and oil is no exception.
As time goes on, oil begins to break down and loses the thickness that helps make it so effective in the first place. This means that it is unable to perform its duties as well as it did when it was first added to the vehicle. For this reason, it’s a great idea to get into the habit of checking how much oil you have in your vehicle. Ultimately, only changing the car’s oil in the correct intervals can prevent this from happening. This helps ensure that the oil is clean, efficient, and doing its job to the best of its ability. In addition to this, the type of oil your car takes can contribute to how frequently it needs to be changed.
What are the Different Types of Oils?
There are several different types of oil, and what’s suitable for one vehicle might not necessarily be suitable for the next. Therefore, it’s essential that you’re checking that you’re using the right kind of oil (if you’re doing it yourself).
The different types of oil include:
- Synthetic Blend
- High-Mileage Synthetic Blend
- Full Synthetic Oil
- European Oils
Conventional Oil: This type of oil is petroleum-based and is created from crude oil sourced from underground. It usually has a lower price tag than other oil types, but also is more sensitive to temperature changes. In addition, it can thicken when temperatures are low, and is known for thinning when it gets hot. This type of oil is also predisposed to create sludge, which occurs because of a thickening of contaminants, oils, and carbons.
Synthetic Blend Oil: As you might have guessed, this type of oil is a combination. It's both conventional and synthetic, which allows your car to experience enhanced performance and lubrication while also protecting internal parts.
These oils typically have a longer lifespan because they don’t break down as quickly as conventional oils do. We should also note that they are better at resisting heat. While a synthetic blend oil won’t be as cheap as a conventional oil is, you do get a lot of bang for your buck while not paying as much as you would for a fully synthetic oil.
High-Mileage Synthetic Blend: Up next is the high-mileage synthetic blend oil. If your car has reached 75,000 miles or more, then this just might be the oil for you. Once your vehicle has reached this number, you’re going to want to take extra precautions. One of these precautions includes switching to this type of oil. It has all the benefits of synthetic blend oils but also has improved additives and detergents.
These protect the vehicle from extremely high temperatures, wear, and sludge build up. Most notably, the additives work to extend the lifespan of your vehicle’s engine. They protect seals, the piston rings, and beyond. There are also antioxidants added to this oil to prevent the degrading of oil because of oxidation.
Finally, there are also detergents added which help keep your engine clean and remove sludge. This is a great option because they last longer than usual petroleum oils would but still cost less than a full synthetic oil would. It’s a win-win.
Full Synthetic Oil: We’ve mentioned full synthetic oil plenty of times, so let’s talk about this popular type of oil. Full synthetic oil is essentially crude oil purified and broken down into basic-molecules. These are made to meet the requirements of vehicle engines. In addition, there are synthetically produced additives in this type of oil. If you’re comparing these to conventional oils, you’ll find that they’re more costly but also do a better job at lubricating, removing impurities, and last longer due to the molecule makeup. In addition, this type of oil is more heat-resistant than others, resist sludge build up, and are not usually as impacted by changes in temperatures. This means the engine doesn’t have to consume as much of a full synthetic oil.
European Oils: Last but not least is European oil. This type of oil has a lot of the same qualities as full synthetic oils do, however, it has special additives in it as well. This is designed for stricter emissions. For this reason, European oil is usually used for a luxury, European produced vehicle. This type of oil is the most costly.
How Much Oil Does My Car Need?
The amount of oil that your car requires is going to depend upon the size of the vehicle’s engine. If your car has a smaller engine, it’s going to require less oil than a vehicle with a larger one.
Of course, if you have any questions about your car specifically, the best thing to do is to check your car’s owner manual. That will provide exact answers to the questions you’ve been wondering. If you’re not finding answers there, you can also refer to the car manufacturer’s website, just be sure to check out the correct year of the car. Another option is to bring it into the shop, where a mechanic can help you figure out how much oil your car requires.
Still, there are ways that you can do that on your own. As a general rule of thumb, your car will require oil based on how many cylinders the engine has. That means:
- If your vehicle has a 4-cylinder engine, you’ll need about 5 quarts of oil
- If your vehicle has a 6-cylinder engine, you’ll need about 6 quarts of oil
- If your vehicle has an 8-cylinder engine, you’ll need somewhere between 5 and 8 quarts; this depends on the size of the engine (so check your owner manual)
The amount can also vary based on if you decide you’re getting an oil filter change too or if you’re simply swapping out the vehicle’s oil.
How Often Should I Change My Car’s Oil?
There are a few variables that impact how frequently you should change your car’s engine oil. These variables include how old the vehicle is, the type of oil it takes, and the driving conditions you typically use your car in.
While it used to be typical to change your car’s oil every 3,000 miles, modern lubricants have changed things. Now, most engines require oil changes between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. That being said, the type of oil that your car requires can also impact how frequently it gets changed.
For example, if your vehicle uses full-synthetic motor oil, you might be able to go as far as 15,000 miles between services. It’s also important to note that you are unable to judge engine oil condition by color, so you should follow the maintenance schedule detailed in your owner’s manual. The age of the vehicle also has to be taken into account.
As for older vehicles, you should change the oil based on mileage intervals. In addition to this, if you operate your vehicle in “severe” situations, such as primarily brief trips (5 miles or under), in extremely hot or dusty climates, in sustained stop-and-go driving conditions, or while carrying heavy loads, you should follow a more rigorous schedule. This will be detailed in the owner's manual. As for newer cars, there will oftentimes be an alert on the car’s instrument panel. If you can’t find that, then you should follow the guidance in the owner's manual.
Making sure that your car has the right amount of oil is essential to properly maintaining your vehicle. That being said, it’s also important to ensure that your car has the correct type of oil in it. Checking on both of these things can help guarantee that your car will enjoy a long lifespan. With products such as our Performance Booster Oil Additive, you can treat any oil-lubricated system no matter if it's a diesel or gas engine. The Performance Booster reverses engine wear by preventing rust, oxidation & reducing regular friction.