Overfilling engine oil | Its effects on your car

Overfilling engine oil is an unforeseen consequence of undertaking regular car maintenance. Low oil levels can cause engine damage as much as excess oil.

For you to fill oil correctly, you need to be aware of how much oil is the correct amount. Most engines need between 4 to 6 quarts of oil capacity. You can confirm this from your owner’s manual.

It can be difficult to determine how much oil to add up to the maximum mark on the dipstick. Therefore, overfilling during oil change is a common mistake.

You cannot dismiss the roles of engine oil and that’s why it’s important to notice if you happen to have an overfill. Because this compromises the functions that the oil should undertake within the engine. For example, Lubrication.

Symptoms of overfilled engine oil.

Oil drains downwards to the oil pan located below the crankshaft. Therefore, an overfill of the oil pan will reach the crankshaft which churns the oil to create a bubbly foam.

It may be hard to notice that you have put excess oil immediately. But there are signs that you will observe which will point to this issue.

a]. Dashboard warning light.

The onboard computer will first notice that there is a problem in the system. Hence issuing a dashboard warning light like the check engine warning light or oil pressure warning light. This should alert you to take action.

b]. Oil puddle under the car.

There are occasions when you will notice a colored puddle under the car which might not be oil. Therefore, it’s important to perform a white cloth test to determine which fluid is leaking.

However, in the case of an excess oil leak, there will be some spurts around the seals and gaskets in the engine area. That’s because of too much pressure from the excess oil. There are other causes of oil leakage too.

c]. Blue or white smoke.

Excess oil will sip into the internal combustion engine chamber hence compromising fuel efficiency. Therefore, when this oil burns it exits through the exhaust pipes as blue or white smoke. This could also be a sign of oil pump failure.

d]. Rough idling, stalling and engine misfire.

When the excess oil sips into the combustion chamber, it compromises the process of burning the air and fuel mixture. Further, it affects the conditions of the spark plug by forming a coat on the edge.

The spark plug receives high voltage current when the engine is running to facilitate the burning of fuel. Due to the black coating from the excess oil, the spark plug may fail in its function and cause the engine to stall. Additionally, when starting the engine, the fouled spark plug may cause the engine to misfire.

e]. Increase in oil pressure.

An increase in oil pressure will compromise its lubrication function. The oil pump will be compromised by the excess oil as it will be over-working. Therefore, if there will be insufficient lubrication of engine parts, the engine will suffer damage.

f]. Malfunctioning dashboard oil gauge.

Once you overfill engine oil, the engine gauge will start wiggling back and forth between the full and empty markings. This is one of the most obvious signs that you can observe when you have an overfill.

g] Overheating engine.

There are a number of reasons for an overheated engine and excess oil is one of them. Simply because the excess oil is unable to lubricate the engine parts.

Because the excess oil is churned by the crankshaft which causes it to have bubbles and this compromises oil viscosity. Hence compromising the oil’s lubrication properties. Therefore causing friction to increase between the moving engine parts.

Oil contamination could also lead to an overheating engine. Which could cause engine seizure.

h]. Reduced acceleration.

The motor oil that leaks into the combustion chamber compromises the generation of power. Because it interferes with the condition of the spark plug which facilitates the burning of fuel and air mixture.

Therefore, when the driver hits the accelerator, the engine will not respond accordingly. Because the fuel won’t burn as it needs to so as to make power available to meet the engine’s demand.

i]. Smell of burning oil.

The excess oil may fall onto hot engine parts. Therefore, it will start burning and the stench will creep into the cabin. If you smell something suspicious is burning, ensure that you investigate it.

How to check engine oil level.

Ensure that before you perform this car maintenance act, the engine is cool. Because, excess oil causes the engine to overheat, ensuring that the engine is cool will protect you from getting burnt. Additionally, ensure that the car is parked on a flat surface.

Locate the motor oil dipstick in the engine area and pull it out. Afterwards, wipe the oil using a cloth and ensure the dipstick is clean. Next, locate the maximum and minimum marks on the dipstick. This will ensure that you measure the oil levels accurately.

Afterwards, push the dipstick in up to the level of the handle like you’re about to restore it. Then pull it out again to check the level of the oil. If the motor oil streak is between the max and min markings, the oil level is okay. However, if the oil is above the maximum mark, there is too much oil in your engine.

How to drain excess engine oil.

There is a possibility that you already know how to change the oil by yourself. However, the vehicle needs to looked at by a professional to ensure that there are no other underlying problems with the parts like oil filter, oil pumps, valves and seals.

You need knowledge about the vehicle before undertaking this activity. Park the car on a flat surface using a parking brake and jack it up. Slide under the vehicle and place a container under the oil sump.

Remove the drain plug that seals the drain opening to let the oil to flow into the container. Afterwards, plug the drain plug back and use the dipstick to check the oil levels again.

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