Q:

What happens if a person overfills an engine with oil?

A:

Quick Answer

Constantly overfilling oil in an engine will result in damage to the internal components. The oil will not circulate correctly, leaving many of the moving components dry.

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Crankshaft and Connecting-Rod Damage

If the crankshaft contacts the oil while it is rotating, foam will form. This foam will not allow the oil to lubricate the internal components. Too much oil leads to oil starvation, which results in broken crankshafts. Another issue occurs when the connecting rods, which mount directly to the crankshaft, do not receive proper lubrication. The oil starvation leads to rod knocks, which occur when the bearing that seats the connecting rod breaks loose.

Rising Oil Levels

There are other ways in which the oil level increases without user error. When the oil level is checked and is higher than its previous level, the additional fluid may be due to coolant or condensation or fuel, both problems that require immediate repair. Even if there is a mixture of oil and other fluid, lubrication problems are still possible. Coolant leaks usually mean there is a problem with the head gasket. If not repaired, the engine can warp and cause permanent damage. Fuel can point to issues with injector or pump seals. Fuel loss will result until the issue is repaired.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What happens if too much engine oil is added to a vehicle?

    A:

    If too much engine oil is added to a vehicle, parts of the engine may agitate the oil, turning it into a foam that cannot lubricate the components or carry away contaminants. Regularly checking to see that a vehicle contains the correct amount of oil as recommended by the owner's manual can help prevent engine damage.

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  • Q:

    Can putting too much oil in your car damage it?

    A:

    Too much oil in an engine can damage it. Adding too much oil to an engine can be as bad as running out of oil. The engine needs to be filled with the factory-standard level of oil, since either a low or a high level can be disastrous.

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    Is Dexos the only oil that works in GM engines?

    A:

    Dexos oil is the only type of oil that General Motors (GM) recommends owners use in their cars, as other brands, which contain different compositions, may cause damage and void warranties. GM, like several other car manufacturers, uses an exclusive oil that combines various properties of other car oils. This special blend works only for cars and trucks with the GM label; vehicle owners with cars using standard gasoline use Dexos1, while diesel-powered vehicles use Dexos2.

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  • Q:

    Where can I find out my vehicle's engine oil capacity?

    A:

    Consumers can find a vehicle's oil capacity in the owner's manual, on the manufacturer's website, on a specialty website, or by using the dipstick, states HowStuffWorks. Most vehicle manuals include the oil capacity with and without an oil filter.

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