Rick's Free Auto Repair Advice

Overfilled engine oil symptoms and fixes

Overfilled engine oil

Is overfilled engine oil a problem?

Maybe. It depends on just how much oil you added. The problem of overfilled engine oil usually happens when you pour in the entire contents of a 5-quart jug of oil when the engine only requires 4.5 quarts.

What happens when you overfill engine oil?

Overfilling engine oil can causes oil foaming and engine overheating

Too much oil in the crankcase causes the crankshaft to whip air into the oil, causing it to foam. Foam reduces oil pressure and doesn’t lubricate well. So your engine can overheat.

Overfilling engine oil can cause oil burning and smoke from the tailpipe

Too much oil in the crankcase can cause the piston oil rings to drag too much oil into the cylinder. That extra oil may not burn off during combustion. In that scenario, the extra oil winds up in the catalytic converter, where it burns off, creating smoke. If this goes on for too long, the extra oil can poison the catalytic converter.

Overfilling can cause engine noise and hydrolock

In extreme cases, the oil rings can drag so much oil into the combustion chamber that it causes hydrolock and engine damage.

How much overfilling is too much?

Most engines can handle overfilling engine oil by about 1/2-quart. This is what that looks like on your dipstick.
motor oil overfilled
If you’ve overfilled by just 1/2-quart, you don’t need to remove the extra as long as you’re not experiencing any of the overfilled symptoms listed above.

However, if your oil level is above the 1/2-quart mark on the dipstick, you really should drain out the extra motor oil.

How to remove extra oil from your engine

1) Remove the drain plug and drain out a little at a time until the dipstick shows the correct level.

2) Snake small 1/4 O.D. vinyl tubing (from any home center) down the dipstick tube and use a turkey baster to suck out the extra oil.

©, 2021 Rick Muscoplat

 

Posted on by Rick Muscoplat



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