How Much Engine Oil Does a Car Hold?

Most cars take between 4 and 5 quarts of engine oil, but some vehicles can take up to 15 quarts of oil. Your car manual should indicate how much engine oil it requires for a full oil change.

The amount of oil needed for a car’s engine varies by the engine type and size. The owner’s manual should indicate how much oil the engine can hold. If this is not available, the driver should be able to contact the manufacturer to find out the vehicle’s engine oil capacity. Drivers can also just check the dipstick to determine if they need to add more oil to top up the engine.

Step 1: Let the engine cool

Turn off the car and let the engine cool for about 5 minutes. This allows all of the oil to flow back into the tank.

Step 2: Pull the dipstick

Locate and pull out the engine oil dipstick. The dipstick usually has a red handle and it has a long, narrow length of aluminum that extends into the oil tank. Wipe the dipstick clean with a rag.

Step 3: Check the dipstick

Insert the cleaned dipstick back into the oil tank. Pull it back out and look at where the oil clinging to the aluminum ends. The oil should end somewhere above the lowest mark on the stick and below the highest mark on the stick. If it is below the lowest mark, the engine does not have enough oil in it and needs an immediate top up. If the oil is above the highest mark, there is too much oil in the engine and some of it needs to be drained.