An owner's manual is shown on the console of a 2010 Toyota Prius hybrid car in San Francisco, Calif.

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If you're the type of person who likes to change his or her own oil rather than leaving the job to a mechanic, you'll need to know exactly how much oil should go into the engine after it's been completely drained. You don't want to overfill because the oil may find its way into parts of the engine where you don't want it to go (and the consequences of accidentally spilling oil onto something like the clutch pads can be expensive and unpleasant), but you don't want to underfill it either or you may find the engine both underlubricated and subject to overheating. Oil, when used correctly, has a number of benefits for the way your engine functions, so it would be nice to know exactly how much oil the engine needs when filled exactly to its capacity.

Using Google to find such information is always a good practice, but there are some standard places where you can find a car's oil capacity and, once you know what they are, you'll never again have to worry about how many quarts of oil to purchase for that next big oil change. (Well, at least until you buy a new car that has a different oil capacity.) Not surprisingly, this information tends to be available in a number of different places, so it's unlikely (unless you car has some kind of custom engine) that you'll ever have to guess at the capacity (though if you do have to guess, remember that your oil dipstick is your best friend). On the next page, we'll suggest several methods by which you can quickly and efficiently learn how much oil your car needs.