If you're not the type of person who worries about things, you probably won't check your car's oil levels until the dashboard warning light turns on. That's okay because you won't damage your engine doing that. Checking your oil levels periodically is better because there's very little fluid to lubricate the engine's components when the car's oil level is low. Parts that aren't well oiled can create loud clunk, knock, and grind sounds. These sounds are the first sign that your engine's failing. You'll need to add oil. If you're asking, how much oil does my car need? That depends on factors like the size of the motor and the number of cylinders.
Oil Warning Light
The light that alerts most of us to the low oil in our engine comes on when the car's oil pressure sensors register low oil in the reserves. Unlike the gas tank, the sensor's not registering the quantity of oil left but the oil pressure level. If the pressure's low, oil's prevented from going through the engine properly and won't provide sufficient lubrication. When you get an oil warning light, act immediately. Add oil yourself or take your car in for service.
If you change or add oil yourself, there are a few tips you need to know. Most drivers realize they need to add oil when they're driving. You can't get home and immediately start topping up the oil levels. You should always turn the engine off and wait at least ten minutes before checking the oil levels. There are two reasons for this. The first is so you don't burn yourself on the warm engine. The second is to get an accurate reading of the oil levels, which is only possible once the oil's cooled down.
How Much Engine Oil Does My Car Need?
How much oil does a car need? Most cars need between 3.75 and 4.75 liters of engine oil, but the amount of oil your vehicle needs depends on the engine size and the number of cylinders. A 4-cylinder city car will need 3.75 liters. A larger car, for example a full-sized SUV with a 6-cylinder engine, will need 5.75 liters, while V-8 cars and trucks need around 7.5 liters. Cars with dry-oil sumps like the Ferrari 488 or a Corvette Z06 can require 12 liters, so you should check the owner's manual or the manufacturer's website for that information.
What Happens if You Overfill?
Overfilling your car can also cause damage to the engine. The result is quite similar to a motor that doesn't have enough oil. You can cause your engine to overheat, cause low oil pressure, and oil flow can halt completely. If you overfill, you'll need to drain the oil and refill it to the correct amount. Before looking for the drain plug underneath the car, run the engine for a few minutes to warm the oil. That will make it drain freely and take any harmful deposits with it. You may need to remove a plastic undertray from the car's underside to get to the plug. Most modern cars have that in place to protect some vital components. When you find the drain plug, put a suitably sized container underneath. Don't forget there could be as much as 12 liters of oil in the engine. Then turn the drain plug counterclockwise to release it.
The type of oil is really important. There are so many different variants that you shouldn't buy oil without checking the correct grade for your vehicle. You can get that information from the web or the owner's manual. If you're checking online, make sure you choose the right engine size for your vehicle. The car's age can also be important as newer models may have different motors and take an alternative type of oil.
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