Overfilling the engine oil can cause serious damage to the engine. Some signs that the car owner can identify that point to overfilling the oil are oil leaks and blue exhaust smoke.
When too much engine oil is added, excess oil comes in contact with the crankshaft. The crankshaft, rotating at a high-speed, mixes the oil with air which results in a foamy, aerated mixture. This foamy oil acts like a bad lubricant, and as a result, the oil is not pumped effectively through the engine. Over time, the engine will be starved of proper lubrication, which can result in components failing and the engine seizing. Excess oil in the crankshaft can also cause the catalytic converter to fail. Additionally, overfilling the oil puts pressure on the gaskets and seals, causing oil leaks that may not have been present before.
Overfilling the oil happens more often than you might think. Here are some instances where overfilling an happen.
- Different vehicles hold different amounts of oil. Not knowing how much oil the vehicle takes and overfilling it is common. When changing the oil, refer to the owners manual and add the correct amount of oil.
- Sometimes the old oil has not been sufficiently emptied before adding the new oil which can result in overfilling. Additionally, DIY customers not familiar with the engine can mistakenly empty the transmission fluid (red) and then overfill the engine oil.
- Owners with vehicles that have oil leaks (sometimes from overfilling) tend to add oil when it’s not needed. It’s imperative to correctly check the dipstick to determine the amount of oil to add. If it doesn’t need the entire quart bottle, don’t use it.
- Newer European imports have no dipstick to check the oil. However, there is an oil sensor that lights up on the dash when the oil is low. Unfortunately, those sensors can fail. The drivers automatic impulse is to believe the sensor and add oil. This will result in overfilling the oil.
Routine oil change is a part of regular car maintenance, and it should be done after every six months or 5,000 miles.
You can learn the difference between a oil change and a Quality Automotive Servicing ServicePlus oil service at www.QualityAutomotiveServicing.com