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You may have heard that a Nissan will last forever if you routinely change the oil. While that may be an exaggeration, it does speak to the longevity of cars like the Nissan Altima. But the most complicated part of following that advice is knowing which oil is best for your Altima. With so many brands and types on the market, it can seem like a fool's errand. Luckily, we researched the best oils paired with the Nissan Altima and have the answer for you here.
The Nissan Altima requires a fully synthetic motor oil for peak performance. You should look for an oil with a viscosity rating of 5W-30. Here are some examples of the best oils for your Altima:
- Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
- Castrol GTX Magnetic Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
- Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
- Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30
- Castrol Edge High Mileage Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
That's the list of high-quality oils that will keep your Altima running for years to come. But, there's more you should know about each of the oil options. In the remainder of this post, we will discuss the importance of the oil type and the details of changing the oil in a Nissan Altima.
Best Motor Oil for Nissan Altima
While some Nissan dealerships say that Nissans don't require synthetic oil, they always recommend it. Going with that advice and selecting a synthetic oil will help your car run smoother throughout its lifetime. The oil viscosity rating is the main thing you want to look for in potential motor oil other than synthetic.
For a car like the Nissan Altima, you can't go wrong with any synthetic oil that has a rating of 5W-30. That viscosity rating tells us how the oil will function in both cold and hot temperatures. The five is a cold-weather rating, whereas the 30 is a warm-weather rating. As long as you don't live in an extreme climate, 5W-30 will be perfect. Let's take a look at a few oils that fit this description:
1. Mobil 1 Extended Performance Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
The first oil on our list is the Mobil 1 Extended Performance motor oil is a full synthetic that protects your engine much longer than the manufacturer's recommended oil change window. The Mobil 1 formula helps the oil keep its viscosity and fight build-up inside the engine. It acts quickly in cold temperatures, helping your Altima to start more quickly on those winter mornings.
2. Castrol GTX Magnetic Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
The next oil that's good for the Nissan Altima is Castrol's GTX Magnetic synthetic motor oil. This 5W-30 motor oil boasts that they leave engine parts running five times smoother. Additionally, the product offers protection against engine wear on all vital engine parts. GTX magnetic does so by leaving a coat of oil on the internal engine after being shut off, protecting it on the next start-up.
3. Pennzoil Platinum Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
Pennzoil's Platinum full synthetic motor oil comes in at third on our list. This is an exciting oil because it is derived from natural gas instead of crude oil. Pennzoil works hard to keep your engine clean and running smoothly, giving a car like the Altima better overall gas mileage.
4. Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic SAE 5W-30
Fourth on our list is the Valvoline Advanced Full Synthetic motor oil. A significant benefit of the Valvoline Advanced oil is the high-temperature operating capabilities it gives your engine. Valvoline helps your engine run in the cold as well. This oil keeps the motor clean and free of sludge throughout its usage.
5. Castrol Edge High Mileage Full Synthetic Motor Oil 5W-30
Last on our list is for Altimas that are getting up there in age. If you have a Nissan Altima with more than 75,000 miles on it, then the Castrol Edge high mileage motor oil might be the oil for you.
The formula in Castrol Edge helps to tackle several common problems in high-mileage engines, such as oil burn-off and leaks. This high-mileage oil also helps to improve fuel economy in older vehicles.
Does Synthetic Oil Last Longer?
So why do Nissan Dealers always recommend that you use 5W-30 fully synthetic motor oil in your Altima? The reason is that synthetic oil is engineered to function better than traditional oil. Among those better functions is the longevity that isn't found in any standard oil.
According to Scientific American, some synthetic oils can be good for over 10,000 miles. Synthetic oil lasts so long because the formula is purer than standard oil. The lack of oil impurities allows the oil to get its job done more efficiently, making the oil and your engine last longer.
How Do I Change the Oil in my Nissan Altima?
The process to change the oil on a Nissan Altima is similar to many other vehicles. If you don't want to take the car into an auto shop and pay to have someone else change the oil, you'll have to change it yourself. You can change the oil on your Altima by following these steps:
- Drive the vehicle onto car ramps, ensuring that your Altima isn't at risk of falling.
- Unscrew the bolt at the oil reservoir and let the old oil drain into a bucket.
- Also, unscrew the oil filter (location may vary) and let any older oil drain out of the filter opening.
- Replace the bolt on the oil reservoir and install the new oil filter.
- Finally, pour new oil into the proper opening at the top of the engine.
- Use your oil dipstick to verify that your oil is filled to the correct level.
If you are more of a visual learner, here is a video on how to change out the oil on most Nissan Altimas:
How Often Should I Change the Oil in my Nissan Altima?
Several factors influence how often you need to change your Altima's oil. Some of those factors are your driving habits, the oil type you typically use, and the age of the vehicle. There is debate on how often you should change your oil, and every stakeholder has their argument. The best way to decide is to follow the advice of Nissan on both oil change intervals and oil types.
According to this Nissan dealer, you need to change the oil on an Altima using synthetic oil between every 7,500 and 10,000 miles. But remember, if you don't put a lot of mileage on your Altima, you might want to get the oil changed periodically regardless.
How Much Oil Does a Nissan Altima Take?
The amount of oil a Nissan Altima needs during an oil change depends on the engine size. Most Altimas come with a 2.0-liter engine that uses 4.7 liters of oil. But some of the premium trims of Altima have a 2.5-liter engine. These trims require 5.1 liters of motor oil to function correctly.
Please remember that you may have to buy more than one unit of the oil on the list above to get the amount you need to change the oil in your Altima.
What Brand Oil Filter does Nissan Use?
When you are only changing your synthetic oil every 7,000 miles or so, you will always need to replace the oil filter. Nissan produces their own brand of filters that come stock with the vehicle. Several other brands work well with Nissan Alitmas and other Nissan cars, but you can still purchase the official Nissan oil filters. For example, here is one found on Amazon:
If it's getting close to time to change the oil on your Nissan Altima, make sure you choose the right oil for the health of your car. When that time does come, stick to a fully synthetic oil like the ones mentioned on the list above. Whether you are getting your oil changed by a professional mechanic or changing it at home, these oils will keep your Altima running smoothly.
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