How Much Oil Does My Car Need?

Engine oil is the lifeblood of a vehicle, responsible for ensuring its vital components run efficiently, and without undue wear and tear. The oil acts as a lubricant to ensure the many moving parts of the engine are moving smoothly while also keeping the engine cool. As a car owner, it’s important to stay on top of your oil changes by monitoring its levels regularly and topping it up as required.

How much oil does my car need?

If the engine oil amount is too low can lead to excessive friction, overheating, and premature wear of critical engine components, while too much oil can result in foaming and a reduction in its cooling and lubricating capabilities. Generally speaking, the larger the engine, the more oil it will need. Most cars will need around 5 litres of engine oil while some bigger engines may require 6 litres.

Engine oil is a lubricant that influences the overall health and longevity of your vehicle’s engine parts, hence it’s important to use just the right amount. Using the wrong engine oil can even damage your engine, so make sure you use the right type of oil.

A few ways to check how much oil your car will need:

Vehicle handbook: The most reliable source of information regarding your car’s oil capacity is your owner’s manual. It provides precise details about the engine’s oil requirements, including the recommended oil type, capacity, and recommended intervals.

Online oil finder: Brands such as Castrol, Shell and Mobil have online tools to find the engine oil required for your vehicle. You can simply enter your car registration number and it will recommend what engine oil is best for you and how much you’d typically require along with change intervals. As long as the oil is the right type and viscosity you can purchase the engine oil from your preferred supplier or a manufacturer-recommended brand.

Professional mechanic: If you’re unfamiliar with engine oil top-ups, you can always ask a qualified mechanic to do it, who will replace the oil in the recommended quantity as well as the oil filter.

Following are some estimates (please note these would differ with each make, model and year of car, refer to vehicle manual for accurate information):

Vehicle Model Engine Oil Capacity (litres)
Ford Fiesta 1.0L EcoBoost 4.1 – 4.6 (Service fill), Up to 4.65 (Initial fill)
Volkswagen Golf 2.0L TDI 5.5 litres
Honda Jazz Various 1.2 3.6 litres
Audi A1 1.4 TFSI 3.6 litres

How do I top up the oil in my car?

Engine oil top is a relatively simple job and can be done at home. Click here for a full DIY guide on how to check and top up your engine oil.

What happens if the engine oil is too low or too high?

If the engine oil is too low, it can result in reduced lubrication of the engine – this means increased friction and potential damage to the parts. It can also cause overheating and increased engine wear. A lack of lubrication can cause higher internal engine friction, reducing fuel efficiency and causing increased fuel consumption. As engine components rub against each other without sufficient lubrication, you may hear knocking or unusual noises, indicating potential damage.

On the other hand, if the engine oil is too high, then it can cause “foaming”, especially when the crankshaft churns the oil excessively. Foaming reduces the oil’s ability to lubricate effectively. In some cases, the excess oil can find its way into the exhaust system, potentially damaging the catalytic converter and increasing emissions.

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Marketing at ClickMechanic

Louanne is a marketing and communications professional in the automotive tech industry currently at ClickMechanic, boasting over 5 years of experience.

Louanne’s work at ClickMechanic might revolve around branding and customer engagement, but her passions extend far beyond the marketing sphere. A true foodie at heart, she loves exploring diverse cuisines and talking about her culinary adventures across the world. Her writing prowess shines through in her car-related blog content, where she offers invaluable driving tips and practical car repair advice.

In her Suzuki Jimny 4-wheel drive, Louanne combines her sense of adventure with her automotive know-how, transforming every drive into a lesson and a pleasure.