After you drain, how much is still in your engine?

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Pennsylvania
Just wondering about this today. I know it will vary based on engine size, design, etc. but can anyone give me a ballpark of how much oil is still in your engine after a oil drain? Half a quart maybe?
 
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1,084
Location
Florida, USA
Probably about half a quart. Most vehicles will give a spec for the amount of oil that is put in at the factory and how much is needed for an oil change, and the difference is obviously how much stays in after an oil drain (because of some at the bottom of the sump or just clinging to engine parts). But some of it stays in the filter that gets changed, so actual amount may be less.
 
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4,998
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Milwaukee, WI
On ramps, with the drain plug at the back of the pan? Less than if it's on level ground. But if the plug is at the front of the pan, then more.
 
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Florida, Cape Coral
Mazda CX7 factory manual states dry fill is 6.8 quarts and 6 quart change with OEM oil filter. so 0.8 quarts in the cooler, cylinder head and lines. So it depends on the engine and any accessory oil widgets.
 
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Santa Barbara, CA
i left a car on a lift over the weekend with the drainplug out. iirc it was a 00-01 town car, after the main drain i wanna say there was about half a quart on the ground that i got to clean up. that was in my younger days though haha.
 
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Easton, PA
obviously it can't be the same amount for every engine, but it would stand to reason that there is always a little bit left. I don't know about everyone else, but once the drain slows to a drip from a trickle, I put the plug back in. I don't have all day to wait for the drip to stop.
 
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175
Location
CA
 Originally Posted By: Mark888
Probably about half a quart. Most vehicles will give a spec for the amount of oil that is put in at the factory and how much is needed for an oil change, and the difference is obviously how much stays in after an oil drain (because of some at the bottom of the sump or just clinging to engine parts). But some of it stays in the filter that gets changed, so actual amount may be less.
I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I would think flushing with some fresh oil would help wash the remaining dirty oil out and exchanging it with clean. I'm talking about just pouring fresh oil in while the drain plug is removed. Maybe a 1/2 quart. Last time I asked about this I was called all kinds of crazy.
 
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66
Location
Indiana
 Originally Posted By: mozart
 Originally Posted By: Mark888
Probably about half a quart. Most vehicles will give a spec for the amount of oil that is put in at the factory and how much is needed for an oil change, and the difference is obviously how much stays in after an oil drain (because of some at the bottom of the sump or just clinging to engine parts). But some of it stays in the filter that gets changed, so actual amount may be less.
I know I'm gonna get flamed for this, but I would think flushing with some fresh oil would help wash the remaining dirty oil out and exchanging it with clean. I'm talking about just pouring fresh oil in while the drain plug is removed. Maybe a 1/2 quart. Last time I asked about this I was called all kinds of crazy.
I do that. Both of my cars take 4.5 quart fills, so I pour the other half quart through the motor with the drain plug out to help flush out any old oil. It's not that crazy.
 
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14,778
Location
Illinois
On my 96 Merc GM after pulling the drain plug and the oil starts flowing, Car is on ramps, I jack up the passenger side just a bit and the oil will increase in the flow rate. Several more ounces of oil will come out doing that.
 
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567
Location
IL
 Originally Posted By: mpvue
obviously it can't be the same amount for every engine, but it would stand to reason that there is always a little bit left. I don't know about everyone else, but once the drain slows to a drip from a trickle, I put the plug back in. I don't have all day to wait for the drip to stop.
Agreed. The only time this would seem a concern would be on an engine with a small sump, like the in the Sentra's QG18DE.
 
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14,013
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Retired | Wausau, WI
I won't flame you but I will say you are wrong, and this is why. When you do that you are just pouring oil in to pass through. That won't do anything to get the left over oils out of all the little nook and crannies that oil sets in. But it does feel good to see clean oil come out of the pan.
 
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567
Location
IL
Not to mention v-configured engines where oil is poured into one bank only. No idea about VW's W engines but I'd assume is the same.
 
Last edited:

jigen

Thread starter
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1,611
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 Originally Posted By: Johnny
But it does feel good to see clean oil come out of the pan.
I would agree to that! I also think we have some problems, lol. BITOG members are one of a kind! So glad this forum exsists.
 
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989
Location
Iowa
I remember installing a couple new radiators with oil cooler lines in them and some oil pan/pump replacements when I worked with my Dad during my teenage years. Usually we had to add about 0.5 to 1 qt extra when we re-filled the engine oil.
 
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