2013 Nissan Altima Oil Capacity Guide

If you want to change your 2013 Nissan Altima’s oil at home, you’ll need to know its oil capacity. Find out more here.
Written by Emily Maracle
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Great fuel economy and crash safety ratings make the 2013 Nissan Altima a popular option for those looking for an affordable midsize vehicle. To get the most out of your Altima, knowing its engine oil capacity is key. 
Car ownership can make your life easier, but it often seems like a never-ending money pit. Thankfully, there are DIY maintenance tasks you can complete at home to save some extra cash. Changing your oil is one of these tasks, but you’ll need to know your Nissan’s oil capacity first. 
To help you navigate changing your Nissan Altima’s oil, learning its engine oil capacity, and the best oil for it,
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2013 Nissan Altima oil capacity 

While reviewing your owner’s manual isn’t most people’s idea of enjoyable reading, it is essential to learn more about your car—including your engine’s oil capacity and the type of oil
recommends. But if your manual has seen better days or is MIA, don’t stress! We’ll go over what’s important.   
While the 2.5L and 3.5L engines need 4.8 and 5.1 quarts of oil, don’t confuse the engine size in liters with the amount of oil you need. The size of your Nissan’s engine is called engine displacement, referring to how much volume your engine’s cylinders take up. Oil capacity is how much is required to change your oil. 
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What kind of oil does a 2013 Nissan Altima need?

Knowing the amount of oil you need is a good first step, but before popping the hood, you’ll also need to know what type of oil your 2013 Nissan Altima requires. Not using the correct type of oil can significantly damage your engine, causing major problems. 
For the 2.5L Nissan Altima, Nissan recommends using SAE 0W-20, while they recommend SAE 5W-30 for the 3.5L engine. Both should be certified for energy conservation. If you’re unsure where to begin, let’s explain what these numbers actually mean. 
The 0 and 5 represent the oil’s viscosity, meaning how thick it is. The “W” stands for winter, so 5W or 0W means it has a low viscosity in winter, while the 20 and 30 describe its viscosity at 212 degrees—your engine’s normal operating temperature. While 5W-30 is one of the most versatile and popular oil types, 0W-20 is becoming more popular as it flows easier at any temperature. 

How often to change oil on a 2013 Nissan Altima

changing your oil
is a multi-step process, it’s actually pretty easy once you know what to do. That said, an important part of changing your oil is knowing when to change it. 
If you’re using Nissan’s recommendations, which are mainly synthetic, you’ll only need to change your only every 7,000 to 10,000. Conventional oil has a slightly shorter lifespan, and you’ll need to change your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles
Since you likely aren’t looking at your odometer counting down the miles until it's time for an oil change, it's good to get in the habit of checking your oil levels. There are signs you can look for to determine if it’s time for an oil change without having to remember any additional information. If you see any of the following when checking your oil, it’s time for a change:
  • Black or dark brown oil: Clean oil is amber or light brown. 
  • Coarse oil: Dirt and debris can contaminate your oil, causing it to feel gritty.  
  • Strange engine noise: Any out-of-the-ordinary sounds coming from your engine may mean it’s time for a change.
  • Burning, oil, or smoke smells: If you smell oil, burning, or smoke, your oil is likely dirty and ready for a change. 

How to change your oil and oil filter

Beyond knowing how much and the type of oil you’ll need, some tools are necessary for an oil change. Before you begin, grab a socket wrench, drain pan, a filter wrench to remove the old filter, a replacement filter, and five quarts of synthetic 5W-30 or 0W-20 engine oil
The first step in changing your oil is warming up your engine, which typically takes about five to ten minutes after starting your car. Once your engine has warmed up, you can open the hood and follow these steps:
  • Find the drain plug or nut underneath your car
  • Put a drain pan under the plug to catch the old oil 
  • Open the plug with your wrench to drain the old oil
  • Remove the oil fill cap located at the top of your engine
  • Remove the old oil filter and replace it with a new one 
  • Replace the oil drain plug or nut
  • Add fresh engine oil and replace the oil fill cap
After changing your oil, it’s a good idea to turn on your car and let your engine run for about 30 seconds before you check the oil level. This will give you a more accurate measurement, and you’ll be able to top it off if necessary.
Although you know your Altima requires 5 quarts of oil, it’s still good to double-check the levels before finishing up. You’ll also want to turn your car on for a few minutes to ensure there aren’t any leaks. If your Altima’s
maintenance oil light
was on, it should turn off soon after changing the oil. 
Once you’re done, don’t just throw away or dump your oil out! Oil is a contaminant, and it's important to dispose of it properly. You typically can recycle it or drop it off at auto shops, stores, or local recycling centers. 

Don’t forget regular insurance policy maintenance

Saving money on your Nissan Altima doesn’t have to stop at DIY oil changes by using the
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