Honda CRV Engine Oil Capacity

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Whether it’s a model from the late 1990s or it rolled off the assembly line yesterday, you can depend on a Honda CRV to provide you with reliable transportation and unbeatable comfort—just so long as you do your part to keep it in tip-top shape.  In order to do that, you’ll need to know its engine oil capacity. 
The Honda CRV is an iconic crossover SUV that has delighted drivers for nearly a quarter-century. But like any car, your CRV requires regular maintenance that can quickly add up, including oil changes. 
In this article—brought to you by
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Honda CRV engine oil capacity

The first thing you need to know before you can start changing your own oil is the total engine oil capacity for your car. Adding too much or too little could easily lead to serious engine damage. 
The CRV has been in production for quite a few years, and the oil capacity will be different depending on the year yours was manufactured. To determine your CRV’s oil capacity, take a quick look at the list below:
  • 1st generation CRVs (1997-2001): 4 quarts
  • 2nd generation CRVs (2002-2006): 4.4 quarts
  • 3rd generation CRVs (2007-2001): 4.4 quarts
  • 4th generation CRVs (2012-2016): 4.4 quarts
  • 5th generation CRVs (2017-present) with 2.0L LFB2 engines: 4 quarts
  • 5th generation CRVs (2017-present) with 1.5L L15BE Turbo engines: 3.7 quarts

What kind of oil does a Honda CRV need?

Next, you’ll need to know what type of oil your Honda needs. Different engines require oils with varying degrees of thickness or “viscosity” in order to function. 
Just like with oil capacity, it’s vital that you use the correct oil type—using oil with the wrong viscosity rating could damage your engine or even void your warranty.
Here, again, we’ll need to take a year-by-year approach, since the viscosity rating does change depending on which generation a CRV belongs to. Here’s how it breaks down:
  • 1st gen. CRVs required oil viscosity: either 5W-30 or 10W-30
  • 2nd gen. CRVs required oil viscosity: 5W-20
  • 3rd gen. CRVs required oil viscosity: 5W-20
  • 4th gene. CRVs required oil viscosity: 0W-20
  • 5th gene. CRVs required oil viscosity: 0W-20
For the purposes of changing your own oil, you won’t usually need to know what those viscosity ratings actually mean—you’ll just need to know which rating your Honda needs and stick to that type of oil. But in case you’re curious, we’ll go over it briefly. 
All viscosity ratings comprise two numbers. The first one is marked with the W, and the second one follows the dash. The first number tells you how viscous the oil is at “winter temperature” or “cold start,” hence the W. 
The second number tells you how viscous the oil is at “normal operating temperature.” The normal operating temperature of a combustion engine is typically between 195°F and 220°F.
You’ll have plenty of brands to choose from as well—and that can be a bit overwhelming. Obviously, the specific products will depend on which model year your CRV is, but here are some of the best brands for CRV oil overall: 
  • Manufacturer’s recommendation: Honda recommends that you use their own in-house brand Honda Genuine synthetic oil
  • Good for high-mileage vehicles: If you’ve got an older CRV, Mobil 1 makes some great high-mileage synthetic oils specifically designed to increase an older engine’s longevity.
  • The top-shelf choice: If you spend any time shopping for motor oils and/or comparing them, you’ll quickly notice that oils made by ACDelco give you a superior quality for a higher price.
MORE: How often should I get an oil change?
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How often to change the oil in a Honda CRV

In general, you should plan on changing your CRV’s oil every 5,000 to 7,500 miles. If your Honda is an older model, you may need to change it more frequently. 
If you use conventional oil instead of synthetic oil, you’ll need to change it much more often—about every 3,500 miles
Some drivers find it difficult to remember their oil changes based on mileage. If it’s easier for you, many people simply change their oil once every six months—which is usually fine. Just remember, if you spend a lot of time on the road, you may need to change it sooner. 
You’ll also need to change your oil early if you run into certain issues. If, for instance, you notice that your engine has started making a strange banging or clattering noise, or if there’s a smoky or charred smell when you're driving, then you should change your oil right away, 
You should be checking your oil about once a month to make sure it's still at a good level, it hasn’t become contaminated with debris, and that it’s not overly discolored (i.e., light brown oil changing to dark brown or black).

How to change your oil and oil filter

When the time for an oil change comes around, you’ll want to have replacement oil and a fresh oil filter purchased and ready to go. You’ll also need a drain pan, a sealable container (an old milk jug or water bottle will work), a rag, a socket wrench, and a filter wrench
Once you’ve got all your materials ready, start the engine of your Honda and let it run for a few minutes. When it’s reached normal operating temperature, you can shut it off. Then just follow these steps: 
  • Under the hood, locate and remove the oil fill cap.
  • From underneath the engine bay, locate and remove the oil drain bolt—just make sure that you have the drain pan positioned underneath since the oil will begin draining immediately. 
  • It will take a few minutes for the oil to drain completely. While you wait, remove the old oil filter. Once the draining is done, install the fresh filter in its place. 
  • Reattach the drain bolt and tighten it. Then, refill the engine’s oil using the fresh supply you’ve purchased. Once it’s filled, double-check the level with the dipstick. 
  • Then, replace the oil fill cap and close the hood—and you’re good to go! 
As a reminder, never throw out old oil with your trash or dump it on the ground. This is hazardous for both people and the environment. Instead, gather the oil in a sealable container and bring it to a participating auto parts store or local recycling center. 

Don’t forget regular insurance policy maintenance

Once you’ve finished up in the garage, there’s another bit of car maintenance you can take care of that will also save you a decent amount of money: reviewing your auto insurance. 
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