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What Happens When You Overfill Your Car with Oil? 5 problems!

What Happens When You Overfill Your Car with Oil

Maintaining the right amount of oil in your engine is important; however, overfilling the engine with oil is very problematic. Typically, when you overfill your engine with oil, here is what could happen:

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  1. Foamy, frothy substance
  2. Too much pressure
  3. Seals breakage
  4. Fluids leaks
  5. Engine overheating

Your vehicle contains many important fluids, and motor oil is one of the most important ones. Changing your motor oil is essential to maintain the engine temperature and prevent overheating. However, you got to do the job right, and that's why many drivers tend to visit small independent shops or probably dealerships to prevent causing issues while changing the oil.

Oil change issues include damaging the oil filter or forgetting to remove the old oil and others. However, one of the very significant issues that some inexperienced drivers might deal with is overfilling their engines with oil. What could happen when you overfill your car with oil?

Let's look closer at this article and learn about the potential negative consequences of overfilling your engine oil and what to do about it.

Engine Oil 101

What's the importance of engine oil?

Before we provide you with an answer for what happens when you overfill your car with oil? We must have a general overview of the importance of engine oil in your vehicle.

Engine oil is one of the most critical fluids that your vehicle cannot run without. In addition, it is responsible for preventing catastrophic outcomes that could cost you the entire engine.

Add engine works, it generates massive amounts of temperatures, and that's why the engine’s temperature increases significantly to a point where the engine might give this choice. Luckily, many interacting systems work together to help maintain the engine's temperature. One of them is the cooling system, but the other is the lubrication system.

Because your engine contains several moving components, these components need continuous lubrication to prevent friction that could cause additional overheating. Thanks to the oil continuously, it will look at these components and prevent any friction from happening, and that's why you don't deal with overheating issues if you maintain the right amount of oil.

Maintaining the right amount of oil is very important, but at some point, you'll need to change the engine's oil because it loses the main characteristics over time. Thus, the older the oil, the less likely it is to lubricate the engine, and that's when you start dealing with engine problems.

Engine Oil Smells Burnt

What happens when you overfill your car with oil?

Many drivers learned how to replace their intent oil and became very protective about it by changing the engine's oil on time. However, there are many instances where we get to a point where we overfill the engine oil. Of course, too much of a good thing is never good, and if your engine doesn't have oil at all, you'll deal with problems, but if you put too much oil, you'll also deal with some negative consequences.

Let's take a closer look at some of the common consequences that could help you answer the question, “what happens when you overfill your car with oil?”

1.    Foamy, frothy substance

The first and most common thing that could happen when you put too much oil in your engine is dealing with a frothy substance. This substance occurs when a lot of oil touches some of the aerated components like the moving crankshaft. Of course, as the oil gets frothier, it loses the important characteristics that help it lubricate the engine and prevent overheating.

Therefore, whenever you deal with this substance, you must take your vehicle to the nearest repair shop and take care of the problem before it evolves and becomes a more serious issue that will cost you thousands of dollars.

2.    Too much pressure

The engine system is designed precisely, and by adding too much oil, you're impacting the balance in the overall pressure in the system. That's why this additional pressure will cause damages to the internal components, causing many of the internal components to work very hard beyond their capabilities.

3.    Seals breakage

As the pressure builds up, it pushes a lot of the weak seals and causes them to break. Of course, broken seals are never a fun situation because they lead to significant issues. For example, if some of the valve’s seals open, the very hot steam can leave these cylinders and escape to the engine components, causing additional problems.

Additionally, some broken seals might even cause different fluids to mix, which is against how the engine is designed. For example, the oil and the coolant should run through different pathways, and if they interact with the chart, they should disappear for other complicated damages.

4.    Fluids leaks

Not only will these forwards interact with each other but also, they might leak outside or inside the vehicle. Every fluid must be kept with the same amount all the time for your vehicle to operate properly. However, these fluids leak, you'll deal with many problems.

For example, if your coolant starts leaking outside the car, engine overheating becomes a very immediate problem that will cost you a lot of money. Similarly, if oil starts leaking outside, at some point in time, you'll get to a point where you cannot drive your car for a single inch without causing severe damage.

5.    Engine overheating

Of course, if you ignore any initial symptoms indicating that you have too much oil, you’ll deal with engine overheating eventually. One might say that we have the right amount of oil and even more; should this be better? Of course not!

Having too much oil causes changes to the oil’s characteristics, and that's why the oil will not do its job, and you might end up with engine overheating problems.

Engine Problems After Oil Change

Can you drive a car with overfilled oil?

Of course not. If you realize that you overfilled your vehicle's engine with oil, you must not drive your car because you will cause severe damage. The faster you realize the problem, the easier it is to solve it.

Automotive experts always recommend draining extra oil from your vehicle before driving it. Otherwise, you'll deal with all the mentioned negative consequences that might range from simple problems to very severe issues in a very short time.

Therefore, you must evaluate the situation carefully and understand all potential consequences before driving your car with overfilled engine oil. Whatever is preventing you from draining this oil should not be more important than what you will deal with by keeping your car overfilled with oil.

What should I do if I overfill my car with oil?

If you used the dipstick and realized that there is too much oil in your engine, you'll have to drain it out completely. Then, you'll need to take out the oil and add the proper level specified in your vehicle owner’s manual.

If you don't know how to drain it out, you can easily reach out to our mechanic at any small independent shop to help you get rid of this extra oil. Of course, you might want to give the mechanic a call and ask him if you can drive the car to the nearest repair shop. If the repair shop is too far from your location, you might need to tow this car to the right location to get it fixed.

Oil Change Light What Does It Mean and What Should You Do About It

How long can I drive my car with too much oil?

Just let me be clear when you put too much oil in your car, you won't deal with the severe consequences immediately right at the moment. You still have some time to drive your car for a couple of miles, but that does not guarantee that your car will deal with the significant issues. It all differs on a case-by-case basis.

For example, suppose you're driving a relatively newer car with healthy internal components. In that case, your chance of driving your car for more miles is higher than someone else who's driving the vehicle but already has multiple problems, especially those related to the engine.

That's why we always advise our readers to fix the problem and never rely on recommendations to continue driving the car with overfilled oil. The potential distance you can drive your car without damaging the engine is not guaranteed, and it might not work for your car.

How much does it cost to fix problems due to overfilled oil?

It all depends. If you waited very long on the overfilled oil and you continue driving your car, you might deal with problems that could cost you between $1600 and $2000 in no time. However, keep in mind that pair costs can climb up significantly, especially if you're driving a luxury car and dealing with some major problems like a blown head gasket, for instance.

Thus, no matter what it's going to cost you to fix any problems, you must fix the issue as soon as possible because sometimes your problem can be solved by easily draining out the oil and changing it with a new one which should not be very far from performing a general oil change.

It's critical that before you spend a penny fixing your car after dealing with problems due to overfilled oil, you evaluate a situation and compare whether it's worth fixing your car or not. In other words, if the problems will cost you thousands of dollars that are close to your vehicle's value, it might not be worth it.

For instance, if your car is worth $6000 and your mechanic came to you and said you'll need to fix the car for about $5000, that doesn't sound like a very good deal, and that's why you might want to think about selling the vehicle instead.

How Often to Change Oil on a Car Not Driven for Awhile

Final thoughts

Maintaining proper engine oil is extremely important for every driver. Many drivers learn to change their engine oil to save on labor costs. However, doing things yourself might lead to mistakes that could cost a lot of money if ignored.

Overfilling the motor with oil is one of the common consequences or mistakes that many inexperienced drivers stop paying attention to. You must understand the potential negative consequences when this happens, including the extra pressure, oil leaks, internal damages, and others.

This article provided you with all the details you need to know about what could happen if you overfill your car with oil. Also, it provides you with some recommendations about what you need to do when dealing with this situation by mistake.

Remember that overfilling your oil might lead to severe consequences if you ignore the issue. If you got to this point for any reason and think that your vehicles' repair costs are piling up and approaching the vehicle's value, it might be time now to sell your car and buy a better vehicle that doesn't have any problem. Who would accept your vehicle considering the problems? Cash cars buyer does!

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