Volkswagen Atlas Engine Oil Capacity

If you need to know your Volkswagen Atlas’s engine oil capacity and how to change your oil or other Atlas specs, Jerry has your back!
Written by Patrick Price
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
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The Volkswagen Atlas is a relatively new model that’s only been in production since 2017. From day one, it’s had numerous reliability issues. If you're going to keep your Atlas on the road, you’ll need to be vigilant about its maintenance—which means knowing its total engine oil capacity.
Atlases rarely make it to 100,000 miles before they encounter serious maintenance problems. Keeping your Volkswagen Atlas in tip-top shape will require a disciplined approach to your
basic car maintenance schedule
.
Unfortunately, if you have an Atlas, you'll probably be spending plenty of time at the auto shop throughout your car’s lifespan. But there are things you can do to mitigate those maintenance expenses. One great money-saving strategy is changing your own oil. But to do that, you'll need to know your Volkswagen Atlas’s engine oil capacity.
You can count on
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And, when Jerry isn't providing top-notch car-care advice, it's working to save drivers like you hundreds on their insurance! When you're done with this article, don't forget to download our
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Volkswagen Atlas engine oil capacity

If you're going to change your own oil, the first thing you need to know is how much oil your car needs. The Volkswagen Atlas 3.6L engine has an oil capacity of 5.8 quarts or about 5.5 liters. 

What kind of oil does a Volkswagen Atlas need?

Before you rush out to buy those 5.8 quarts of motor oil, you'll need to know what type of oil you're looking for. There’s a wide variety of oils, and they are not interchangeable. If you don't use the right kind, it could cause serious damage to your engine.
The Volkswagen Atlas needs synthetic motor oil with a viscosity rating of 0W-30. Viscosity ratings, if you're not familiar with them, are the main factor that differentiates various types of oil. Viscosity basically means the thickness of a liquid. So, the different numbers in a viscosity rating describe an oil’s thickness at different temperatures
When you see a viscosity rating, it will always be formatted like this: [1st number]W x [2nd number]
The first number in the viscosity rating will always have the letter “W” next to it—indicating its thickness in cold weather, meaning 0°F. The second number is the thickness at normal operating temperature rating—meaning of viscosity of the oil at 212°F.
As long as you buy a synthetic motor oil with a viscosity rating of 0W-30, you'll be able to use it in your Atlas without any issues. If you're looking for the very best brands, you should consider buying one of these three products: 
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How often to change the oil in a Volkswagen Atlas

Generally speaking, you should change the oil in your Volkswagen Atlas every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. If you’d prefer to keep track based on time (rather than mileage), that works out to be about once every six months—depending on how much you drive.
Keep in mind that you’ll occasionally need to change your oil ahead of schedule. You should check your oil at least once a month or every other time you fill up your gas tank. When you check your oil, keep an eye out for signs that your oil has been leaking or that it has some other issue.
Here are the kinds of problems that you should be keeping an eye out for:
  • The oil is visibly contaminated with debris or other particles. If you don't see anything in the oil, you should still rub some between your fingers—if it feels coarse or gritty, then you should change it.
  • The oil has changed colors from its original amber to a very dark brown or black.  Your oil will begin to darken as soon as you put it in your engine. A little bit of brown coloration is normal. It's only a cause for concern if it is extremely dark brown or completely black.
  • Your engine is making banging or clattering noises. Or, your engine is producing unpleasant odors—typically, the smell of oil, smoke, or something burning. 
  • There has been a recent decline in your Volkswagen atlas's overall performance.
If you notice any of these issues, change your oil as soon as possible.

How to change your oil and oil filter

Now you know all about different oil types, which ones your Atlas uses, how often it needs its oil changed, and how much engine oil it can hold—you’re just about ready to change your own oil!
Before you get started, make sure you have a filter wrench, a socket wrench, a drain pan, a fresh oil filter, and 5.8 quarts of compatible motor oil. When you've got all those tools and materials ready, you'll just need to follow these steps
  • Start your car's engine and allow it to idle for a while. You want your car at the normal operating temperature so the oil drains more easily.
  • Once your engine is warmed up, shut it off and open the hood. Then, locate and remove the oil fill cap.  
  • From underneath the engine bay, locate and remove the oil drain bolt—just make sure that the drain pan is already in position. The oil will begin draining immediately when you remove the bolt.
  • While the oil is draining, use your filter wrench to remove the old oil filter. Once all the old oil has drained out, install the new filter.
  • Next, put the oil drain bolt back and tighten it. Then, use the fresh motor oil to refill your engine.
  • Put the oil fill cap back on, close the hood, and you’re all set!
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.
While not specifically necessary, it's a good idea to run your engine for a few more minutes after an oil change to check for leaks. When you're cleaning up after the oil change, remember that you need to pour the used oil into a sealable container (such as an empty shampoo bottle) and deliver it to a recycling center—disposing of used oil in any other way is illegal in many states. 

Don’t forget regular insurance policy maintenance

Now that you have saved money on
oil change costs
, are you interested in reducing your
Volkswagen’s insurance costs
while maintaining—or even improving—your level of coverage? That’s what
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