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What Happens if You Overfill Your Vehicle with Engine Oil? How to Fix It?

If you’re a vehicle owner, you might have experienced the inconvenience of overfilling your engine oil. It’s a common mistake that can happen to anyone, but it’s important to address the issue promptly to avoid potential damage to your engine. In this article, we’ll explore what happens if you overfill your vehicle with engine oil and discuss the steps you can take to fix the problem. Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or a beginner, you’ll find useful tips and advice to help you resolve this issue and keep your vehicle running smoothly.

What Happens If You Overfill Engine Oil?

Overfilling Damage Your Engine

Adding too much engine oil in the car can cause the oil to froth and create air pockets, preventing it from properly lubricating the engine components. As a result, your engine may experience increased wear and tear and decreased power and efficiency. In some cases, overfilling engine oil can even cause the engine to fail or lead to costly repairs.
Some other potential problems include:

Engine Damage

In extreme cases, overfilling can lead to severe engine damage. The excess oil can interfere with the crankshaft’s rotation, causing it to come into contact with the oil. This can lead to increased friction, heat, and potential engine failure.

Aeration and Foaming

Overfilled oil can cause the crankshaft to whip the oil into a froth, leading to aeration and foaming. This reduces the oil’s ability to lubricate and cool the engine components effectively.

Increased Oil Pressure

Overfilling can raise the oil pressure inside the engine. Excessive oil pressure may damage oil seals and gaskets, leading to leaks.

Oil Leaks

High oil levels can force excess oil past the piston rings and into the combustion chamber. This can result in oil burning, fouled spark plugs, and increased emissions. Oil may also leak from seals and gaskets, causing a mess and potentially damaging other engine components.

Reduced Engine Performance

Overfilled oil can cause increased resistance in the rotating components, leading to a decrease in engine performance and fuel efficiency.

Damage to Seals and Gaskets

Overfilling may cause excessive pressure on engine seals and gaskets, leading to leaks and potential engine damage.

Catalytic Converter Damage

If excessive oil is burned in the combustion chamber, it can contaminate the catalytic converter, reducing its effectiveness and potentially causing damage.

Overfill Engine Oil Symptoms

Overfilling your engine oil can cause several symptoms that can help you identify the issue. Here are five common signs to look out for:

Check engine light

When you overfill your engine oil, the excess can cause the oil pressure to increase, triggering the check engine light to come on.

White or blue smoke

Excessive oil can burn in the engine, causing white or blue smoke to emit from the exhaust.

Oil leaks

Overfilled oil puts pressure on the engine seals and gaskets, causing them to fail and leading to oil leaks.

Too Much Oil In Car

Reduced engine performance

The increased pressure and reduced lubrication caused by overfilled oil can lead to reduced engine performance, including decreased power and acceleration.

Unusual engine noises

The excess oil can create air pockets in the oil, causing it to foam and reducing its effectiveness in lubricating engine components. This results in unusual engine noises, including knocking, tapping, or ticking sounds.

How Do You Fix an Overfilled Engine?

If you’ve overfilled your engine oil, you should address the issue as soon as possible to prevent potential engine damage. Here are some steps to help you fix an overfilled engine:

Check the dipstick

Use the dipstick to check the oil level and determine how much you need to remove.

Dipstick Check

Drain the excess oil

You can use an oil extractor or simply remove the drain plug to drain the excess oil. Be sure to collect and dispose of the oil properly.

Replace the oil filter

If the oil filter has been damaged or has failed due to overfilling, it’s important to replace it.

Oil Filter Replacement

Check the oil level

After removing the excess oil and replacing the filter, check the oil level again using the dipstick. The oil level should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the dipstick.

Start the engine

Once you’ve confirmed the oil level is correct, start the engine, check for leaks, or listen for unusual noises.

It’s important to note that if you’re not comfortable performing these steps yourself, it’s always best to seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic. They can ensure that the engine is properly repaired and functioning correctly.

Start The Engine


Overfilling your engine oil can lead to a range of issues that can affect your vehicle’s performance and longevity to varying degrees of severity. If you notice any of the symptoms or problems discussed in this article, be sure to take action as soon as possible, as the sooner the problem is resolved, the better. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can help prevent potential engine damage. Remember that you can always seek the help of a qualified mechanic if you are not comfortable diagnosing the problem on your own.

Also, when you are searching for the most effective lubricants and engine oil for your vehicle, look no further than Shield Lubricants. Whether your engine runs on gasoline or diesel, we have a large selection of diesel engine oil and gasoline engine oil, as well as coolants, brake fluid, power steering oil, ATF Dexron III, and other products.  Do you wish to inquire about our toll-blending services? Feel free to contact us. We can address your questions and fill your order in a timely manner.

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