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By Bee Davis
Updated on Jul 13, 2022
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff, Staff Editor.
The 2012 Honda Odyssey has an engine oil capacity of 4.5 quarts. But that’s not all you need to know before performing your oil change at home.
Routine engine maintenance can be a hassle, and oil changes are no exception. For most people, the sight of the oil pressure light on the dashboard means a trip to the mechanic—but you don’t have to be a grease monkey to change your oil yourself. Oil changes are actually quite easy (and inexpensive) to do at home.
Car insurance expert Jerry has all the best tips on DIY car maintenance. As the top-rated app for car owners, we’ve seen a few oil changes, and we have all the information you need to change the oil on your 2012 Honda Odyssey at home.
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2012 Honda Odyssey engine oil capacity
So, how much oil does a 2012 Honda Odyssey need?
The engine for a 2012 Honda Odyssey has an oil capacity of 4.5 quarts or 4.25 liters. The Honda Odyssey is one of the most popular minivans on the market, and regular engine oil maintenance is important to keep everything running smoothly. You don't want to grind up your engine without proper lubrication.
What kind of oil does a 2012 Honda Odyssey need?
Now that we know how much oil a 2012 Honda Odyssey needs, let’s take a look at the best choices for oil types.
Every engine is different, and types of oil will perform differently in your car, so it’s important to buy the kind of oil your car’s engine needs. For your 2012 Honda Odyssey, you’ll want to stick to the Honda company’s recommendation of Honda Genuine Motor Oil SAE 0W-20.
But what does SAE 0W-20 mean? The numbers on an oil rating can be confusing, so let’s break it down.
Oil types have different viscosity at different temperatures. Well-performing oils maintain a thin viscosity to prevent your gears from gunking up—the thinner the oil, the better. You can tell how well an oil will perform in both hot and cold temperatures based on its rating.
The “W” in the 0W-20 rating means “winter”, referring to how the oil performs in winter temperatures. The lower the number before the W, the thinner its viscosity in cold temperatures. A “0W” rating means that the oil performs perfectly in the winter, much better than, say, an oil that’s rated 10W.
The second number is the oil’s performance rating at high temperatures, so a 0W-20 oil will perform better in the heat of your engine than a 0W-40 would.
So, altogether, 0W-20 tells us that this oil maintains its thin viscosity in both cold and hot temperatures.
If you can’t find Honda Genuine Motor Oil SAE 0W-20, the top oil recommended by Honda, there are a few alternatives:
Full synthetic oils tend to be better for Honda engines since they require a pretty low viscosity, but you can use partially synthetic oil as long as you perform more frequent maintenance.
How often to change oil on a 2012 Honda Odyssey
Now that we know which type of oil to buy, it’s time to change your oil—if you’re due for an oil change, of course.
It’s recommended that you change your oil every three years or 7,500 to 10,000 miles. But if you don’t drive often, every six months may be a better metric as oil will naturally degrade over time no matter how often you drive.
A lot can happen to your car in the time between oil changes, however, so checking your oil levels frequently is the best way to stay updated on your engine’s condition. You may need to change your oil early if you experience the following symptoms:
- Your engine oil has changed color from light brown to dark brown or black
- Your oil feels coarse or gritty
- Sudden noises coming from the engine
- Strange smells (ex. oil, smoke, or burning)
- A decrease in your vehicle’s performance
Of course, you can always take your 2012 Honda Odyssey to a mechanic if you don’t want to change your oil yourself. But Jerry knows how exciting it is to save money on your car, and it’s much less expensive to perform an oil change at home if you have the time.
How to change your oil and oil filter
To change your oil, you’ll need a few materials. Grab a socket wrench, a drain pan, and a filter wrench that can remove your old oil filter. Don’t forget your replacement oil and a new oil filter. You can get any of these items off the shelf at your local auto parts store.
The first step of your oil change is to get your car up to operating temperature. In normal temperatures, you should only have to run the engine for a few minutes to get it up to speed. Once you’re there, turn your engine off, pop the hood, and follow these steps:
- Remove the oil fill cap
- Get underneath the engine and remove the oil drain bolt and washer, allowing the old oil to drain into the drain pan
- Remove the old oil filter and continue to let the oil drain
- Install the new filter
- Replace the oil drain bolt using a new washer and tighten it to 29 lb-ft
- Refill the engine with your new oil and replace the cap
And voila! You’ve changed your oil. Check for leaks by running your engine once you’ve finished up. If your oil pressure light turns off, that’s a sign that you’ve done an oil change successfully!
Finally, don’t just leave the old oil lying on your garage floor—make sure you clean it up. Gather the oil into a container and bring it to a recycling depot.
Don’t forget regular insurance policy maintenance
Just like with your engine oil, you can perform maintenance on your car insurance policy at home. With Jerry, it only takes a few minutes!
In two minutes or less, Jerry can get you a quote for the same coverage, but much cheaper. Jerry compares quotes from top insurance companies to get you the best bang for your buck. Just download the app, answer a few questions, and get customized quotes that could save you $800+ per year on car insurance.
“I was paying $350 a month for my new car. With Jerry, I set up a new policy in under 30 minutes that will save me over $1,000 a year!” —Mariah K.