Whether you’re an experienced DIYer in auto maintenance, or just starting out, there are some important questions we all ask ourselves every now and then, and Solution Oil is here to lend a helping hand! You can estimate how much oil your car needs by counting the cylinders. How much motor oil does my car need?
- A four-cylinder engine consumes about 3.5 – 4.5 liters of oil
- A six-cylinder engine needs about 4.5 – 5.5 liters of oil
- An eight-cylinder engine consumes about 5.5 – 7.5 liters of oil
However, this is only an approximation. To find out exactly how much motor oil your car needs:
Check the manual
View the user guide on your phone or get the paper version from your glove compartment and look up the information in the index. It is usually listed under the section devoted to routine maintenance.
What if the oil level is too low?
It could be due to a number of issues, including insufficient oil added during the last oil change or oil consumption. There are several reasons for oil consumption. But here are a few of the most common.
Leaking seals or gaskets – your engine uses seals in several places to ensure that oil stays in the engine while contaminants are kept out. A good example is around the crankshaft where it protrudes from the engine and connects to the transmission. Gaskets seal the uneven metal surfaces between parts to ensure that some of the oil remains in the engine. The cylinder head gasket is a notable example.
If the seals and gaskets become worn, brittle or deformed over time, they can cause oil leaks. Depending on the severity of the leakage, the engine oil level will drop.
If your engine oil is leaking, visit a mechanic and have it repaired!
Volatility – engine oil can evaporate when exposed to heat. The less stable the oil, the faster it evaporates. While the engine is running, a thin film of oil coats the cylinder wall and piston skirt. Given the proximity of the fiery boiler to the combustion chamber, the oil in this part of the engine can easily volatilize or evaporate. The by-products can leave the exhaust as emissions. But they can also form harmful carbon deposits in the engine that reduce efficiency and eventually lead to engine failure.
Synthetic motor oil is more resistant to volatility than conventional oil, so use a good synthetic oil to reduce oil consumption due to volatility and keep your engine clean.
What if the oil level is too high?
It’s probably due to an operator error; someone just added too much the last time the oil was changed or topped up.
Too much oil is a bad thing. The spinning crankshaft and churning engine parts blow air into the oil, which can cause foam. The tiny bubbles travel between moving parts, where they rupture. When they do, there’s nothing left to protect metal surfaces from wear and tear. Foam also increases heat, making the oil more likely to break down chemically.
If the crankcase is overfilled, drain the excess engine oil until the correct level is reached
Elevated oil levels can also be due to fuel dilution. This is when fuel enters the crankcase and contaminates the oil. In severe cases, enough fuel may enter the crankcase to noticeably raise the oil level. This is bad. Very bad. Fuel dilution leads to sludge, paint and engine wear.
The presence of coolant in the oil can also raise the oil level. Again, this is bad. Whenever something is present that shouldn’t be in your engine oil, the wear protection suffers. Coolant in the oil is most likely due to a bad head gasket, which is a costly repair.
One last piece of advice: check your oil at least monthly to ensure the correct level. Make sure the vehicle is parked on level ground to get an accurate reading. Finding out that the oil is too low or too high before something goes wrong can save you a lot of heartache in the long run.