How much oil do you put in your car's sump?

JOD

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3,577
Location
PNW/WA
...and how much does the manual specify?? My Freestyle calls for either 5.9 qts or 6.0 qts, depending on where I look. Thing is, that puts it right between the two holes on the dipstick. Every other car I've had, "full" was right at the top hole? So, I typically put in 6 qts, and then add 1/2 qt around 3K, just to refresh the add pack. This typically gets it close to the "full" mark. Then I'll put in another 1/2 qt around 6K. Since I'll have consumed about 8 oz or so, that'll put it at or just over the "full" mark, then I'll run it out to 10K. I like this, since I get to refresh that add pack/tbn twice over a 10K OCI. The oil is never more than 1-2mm over the "full" mark. But doing the above, when I drain the oil (and add in what the filter holds), I'm pulling out nearly 7 qts? What gives?? It doesn't seem overfilled at any point, at least according to the dipstick? I'm curious as to what people's listed capacities are versus how much they actually put in?
 
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2,543
Location
Rochester, MI, US, World
The last car I had, a Grand Am with the 2.4l four, stated 4 quarts in the OM, but 4.5 quarts at various other sources. Either one would put the oil right on the full mark, or just ever so slightly above. Honestly, I don't know why the 2 capacities showed up so similarly on the dip stick. I usually did 4, however. That way, when buying a 5-quart jug, I'd have one quart for top off. Since I burned a quart every 3,000 miles, I'd add the extra quart then.
 
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7,430
Location
beaver land EH?
depending on how much oil the cam/valvetrain holds,typically, you get less oil during oil change than what the manual specified. It's not uncommon (my 2AZFE takes approx 4L worth of oil during oci, and my fit takes even less (approx 3.2L) Q.
 
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3,610
Location
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Using an "oversized" filter. My sump will hold 6 Quarts. If I leave the filter on and run the second oci....my sump will hold about 5 quarts. On the second run with the same filter, I top off, after I run it for a couple of hundred miles or so, with a half quart or less.
 
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25,985
Location
Upstate NY
I bring it to full on level ground after starting it (then stopping it) and waiting a few minutes for the oil to drain. Jeep takes 6 QTs. I probably would not open another QT if it was only down a tiny bit from the top, if I was using QTs. The QTs are so expensive compared to the 5 QT jugs at Walmart I buy an extra 5 QT jug every few oil changes so I never need to buy a QT. I do keep a QT in the vehicle.
 
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476
Location
Virginia
You should stick with 1. What the manual says, and 2. Use the dipstick to verify you are in range. I have built lots of engines and in every case you have to determine the desired operating oil level and mark/etch the dipstick. The dipstick measurements are a good guide, but the specified quantity is what matters. When the oil pan is tilted even slightly and the dipstick enters the oil at an angle, really wide variations in measured oil elevation occur. In many V-8 oil pans, a half quart either way is not significant. One quart high is starting to be significant on the basis of crank splash, but not likely to be an issue in most engines, as the oil would likely still be 1 to 2 inches below the crankshaft and oil pan lip.
 

crw

Messages
1,715
Location
Pocatello, ID
Interesting... the "trusting" part of me would assume that the dipstick would hit the oil near the center of the pan, thus, if the car was not parked perfectly level the level read would not be greatly affected. So, does the dipstick typically pierce the oil level near the center of the pan or near the edge?
 

JOD

Thread starter
Messages
3,577
Location
PNW/WA
I think the dipstick variability is dependent on the vehicle. On my FS, it hits at the front of the pan and is totally susceptible to angle. My driveway is at an angle, so I actually have to check the oil elsewhere--but I now have a mental 'correction factor'. It reads about 4mm low when parked in my driveway. The filter is obviously a variable in all of this. When Ford re-sized the 820S, I don't recall that they changed the oil capacity (could be wrong, though). The filter I'm using is the same size as the older, bigger 820S. I don't think this engine holds very much oil when drained. Even if it's reading in the middle of the dipstick, I'll pull out over 6 qts during a change. Compared that to a K24, which seems to hold a fair bit of oil, even with a filter change.
 
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695
Location
Manvel, Texas
It could just be in my head but it seems some manufactures are spot on while some take a little fine tuning. My Hondas and Chevys seem to always be just perfect at recommended amounts. My Fords always seem to require some adjustment...
 
Messages
216
Location
Douglasville,GA
Originally Posted By: JOD
...and how much does the manual specify?? My Freestyle calls for either 5.9 qts or 6.0 qts, depending on where I look. Thing is, that puts it right between the two holes on the dipstick. Every other car I've had, "full" was right at the top hole? So, I typically put in 6 qts, and then add 1/2 qt around 3K, just to refresh the add pack. This typically gets it close to the "full" mark. Then I'll put in another 1/2 qt around 6K. Since I'll have consumed about 8 oz or so, that'll put it at or just over the "full" mark, then I'll run it out to 10K. I like this, since I get to refresh that add pack/tbn twice over a 10K OCI. The oil is never more than 1-2mm over the "full" mark. But doing the above, when I drain the oil (and add in what the filter holds), I'm pulling out nearly 7 qts? What gives?? It doesn't seem overfilled at any point, at least according to the dipstick? I'm curious as to what people's listed capacities are versus how much they actually put in?
Enough to reach the full line on the dipstick. The F150 4.6 takes 6.5 quarts The Accord 2.4 takes 5 quarts The F100 360 takes 6 quarts Oil filter replaced at every oil change.
 
Messages
15,136
Location
Canada
Tribute calls for 5.2L. Last change, I put in about 5.6L, as I was trying to use an additive I had. I believe over-filling by less than 0.5L isn't harmful, so in future changes I will most likely round-up the oil fill to 5.5L.
 
Messages
1,153
Location
Washington
The 2011 Subaru Outback 2.5 takes 4.4 The 2011 Camry hybrid takes 4.5 IIRC The 2011 2500HD Duramax takes 10 Adding those amounts generally puts the level right at full.
 
Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
2000 Buick LeSabre owners manual says 4.5 quarts, but 5 quarts brings it up to the full line. Irregardless, I've been filling it up with 6 quarts since I bought the car in 2005 with no adverse affects what-so-ever.
 
Messages
4,379
Location
MS
Originally Posted By: JOD
My Freestyle calls for either 5.9 qts or 6.0 qts, depending on where I look. Thing is, that puts it right between the two holes on the dipstick. Every other car I've had, "full" was right at the top hole?
My Mom has a 2005 Freestyle which I do all of the service on, with hers 6 quarts and a FL-820S puts it right on the full line. My F150 calls for 6 quarts, which puts it right in the middle of the cross-hatch. With an FL-820S 6.5 quarts puts it just below the Max dot, with an Amsoil EaO11 6.25 quarts does it. Neither uses a drop of oil over ~8,000 miles. The Mustang originally called for 5 quarts which put on the Max dot. When I swapped to a 4V (Mach 1 pan) the fill spec was 6 quarts but it took exactly 7 quarts, though I had a filter relocate with an FL-1A.
 
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