2010 Nissan Altima Engine Oil Capacity

The 2010 Nissan Altima has an engine oil capacity of 4.9 quarts (or 4.64 liters).
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
The 2010 Nissan Altima ticks a lot of boxes for the value-conscious buyer looking for a safe and reliable midsize sedan. But if you expect optimal performance from your Altima, knowing its engine oil capacity of 4.9 quarts is essential. 
Nissan
may not produce the most luxurious cars on the planet (they saved that for their sister brand,
Infiniti
). But a non-luxury car doesn’t always guarantee a cheap ride. With its solid build quality and high reliability and safety ratings, additional expenses like insurance and maintenance might not cost you a fortune—but they can quickly add up. 
If you own a 2010 Nissan Altima and want to
save money on car expenses
, doing an engine oil change at home is an easy solution. Just be sure to check your owner’s manual before getting started to confirm you have the right oil type and amount.
If you can’t get your hands on a copy of the owner’s manual, don’t panic—we’re here to help. We have all the details of the 2010 Nissan Altima’s engine oil capacity and a simple at-home guide to changing it yourself. 
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2010 Nissan Altima engine oil capacity

Let’s start with the most critical question: How much engine oil does a 2010 Nissan Altima require?
Whether your 2010 Nissan Altima has a 2.5-liter four-cylinder or 3.5-liter V6 engine, it has an oil capacity of 4.9 quarts or 4.64 liters. But when looking at how much oil your engine needs, don’t be confused between the engine size and the engine oil capacity.
The 2.5-liter or 3.5-liter measurement doesn’t denote the amount of oil that’s needed. It’s simply the displacement, or the volume of the engine’s cylinders. Engine oil capacity refers to how much oil is required at each oil change. Simply put, engine displacement is not the same as oil capacity.

What kind of oil does a 2010 Nissan Altima need?

Once you determine how much oil your Altima needs, you then need to select the right kind of oil to use. Several types of engine oil are available, and different engines have different requirements for optimal performance. 
To keep your 2010 Altima performing well, look for full synthetic SAE 5W-30 motor oil. Using this engine oil is important to minimize friction, reduce wear on the engine, and prevent or minimize internal component corrosion. 
Your owner’s manual recommends using a genuine Nissan Motor Oil SAE 5W-30.
But what do these numbers actually mean?
The numbers in the oil grade are the oil’s viscosity, or how thick it is. The “W” stands for winter certification. The number 5 tells us that the oil has a relatively low viscosity at 0 degrees F, while the number 30 means that it has a higher viscosity (i.e., it’s thinner) at higher temperatures. The lower the number before the W, the better the oil’s cold temperature/cold start performance is.
These numbers represent the ideal oil for a 2010 Nissan Altima. It will support optimal engine performance in cold weather conditions, and lower viscosity means less wear and tear on your engine.
But the choices for engine oil don’t stop there—you also have to choose between conventional or synthetic. Most automotive manufacturers, including Nissan, will recommend using synthetic motor oil for your engine because it offers better engine protection, a cleaner engine, and better viscosity. Plus, you can drive longer between oil changes.

How often to change the oil on a 2010 Nissan Altima

Once you know the type and quantity of oil to use for your 2010 Nissan Altima, it’s time to get to work and
change your oil
Before you jack up your vehicle, check the last time you had an oil change. Nissan recommends changing your oil and oil filter every 7,500 to 10,000 miles if using synthetic oil. 
However, if you opt to use conventional oil, change it every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. And since your Nissan’s getting up there in age, high-mileage drivers may want to consider changing the engine oil more frequently—about every six months.
Because the climate where you live, how often you drive, and more can affect your oil quality, the best way to determine when your car needs an oil change is to check your oil level regularly. Once a month, check the level and look for the following signs that your oil needs to be changed: 
  • The change engine oil or
    check engine light
    is on
  • The oil is dark brown or black (clean oil is light brown or amber)
  • The engine oil level is closer to the minimum line on the dipstick
  • Engine oil feels gritty
    or coarse to the touch
  • Unfamiliar or
    loud engine noises
  • Your vehicle’s performance has changed
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How to change your oil and oil filter

If you’ve never done an oil change before, performing one might be daunting—but don’t sweat, it’s simple! Before starting, collect your materials:
  • 14mm socket wrench
  • Drain pan
  • Oil filter wrench 
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Replacement engine oil filter 
  • 5 quarts of premium 5W-30 synthetic engine oil
Once you’ve collected all the tools you’ll need to change your engine oil, turn on your car’s ignition and let your engine run until it reaches normal operating temperature. In typical weather, this should only take a few minutes. 
Once your car is at the right temperature, turn off the engine and pop the vehicle’s hood. If you need to jack up your car, you’ll want to do that now. Otherwise, follow these steps: 
  • Remove the oil fill cap
  • Get underneath the engine and use a socket wrench to remove the oil drain bolt and washer
  • Let the oil drain into the drain pan (this will take about 10-20 minutes) until the flow has slowed to a trickle 
  • Remove the old oil filter and let the remaining oil drain 
  • Install the new oil filter
  • Replace the drain plug and tighten it until snug (don’t overtighten, as it can damage the oil pan and drain plug)
  • Refill the engine with your new oil and replace the fill cap 
  • Remove the dipstick to ensure the oil is at the correct level 
Once you’ve finished your oil change, turn on your Altima and let it idle and warm up. Check under the vehicle and around the oil filter for any leaks. Then, reset the oil light on your dashboard so you know when it’s time for another change!
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