WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU OVERFILL YOUR ENGINE WITH OIL
To ensure that the components are well-lubricated and protected from wear and corrosion, regular oil change is a must for any engine. But what happens if you put too much oil into your car? Below are signs that you have overfilled your engine with oil and ways to determine how much oil your car really needs.
Signs of oil overfill
A car’s oil tank reservoir is designed to accommodate a certain amount of oil. We need to be mindful that oil volume will expand when heated and as pressure in the engine builds up. Here are the signs you might have overfilled your oil tank:
1. Thick white smoke
If you see white smoke coming out of your engine, this may be a sign that you have put too much oil. Excess oil will burn if it gets into contact with heated engine parts.
2. Oil leak
Oil puddle underneath your vehicle could be a warning sign that your oil might have overflown. However, make sure that you check under the car for leaks in oil pan gasket that may be loose, which could also be a cause for the leak.
READ ALSO: 6 STEPS FOR AT-HOME OIL REPLACEMENT
What happens to an overfilled engine?
If you overfill your car engine with oil, your car may experience these problems:
- Pressure on crankshaft; proper pressure on crankshaft will prevent leaking. But excess oil in the engine will cause excessive pressure in the crankshaft component, which will cause leak. If the leak spreads to the flywheel, oil will contaminate and damage your car transmission.
- Friction on the crankshaft; Too much oil will also cause friction on the crankshaft due to poor lubrication, which will quickly damage your crankshaft.
- Engine damage; if the oil pressure is off, the engine components will not be properly lubricated, which will make your engine deteriorate quickly. Too much oil in the engine can also cause the pressure on the crankshaft to increase, causing oil to enter the exhaust pipe from the crankshaft into the combustion chamber, blocking the combustion chamber hole with oil and eventually clogging the engine.
- Wet spark plug; excess oil will also flood the spark plug well. An oiled spark plug must be replaced immediately.
If your car is experiencing these symptoms, you should check the oil volume using the dipstick. First, Warm up the engine and make sure to park on a flat surface. Before opening the hood, turn off your engine and locate the dipstick to check for oil. Pull out the dipstick and observe the your oil level; oil should not exceed the letter F (full), or sometimes also marked with the maximum line (Max), but also should not be at or below L (low) or the minimum (Min) line.
If your oil is between L (Low) and F (Full), it is best to immediately add some oil until it reaches the letter F or the maximum limit. Remember to not overfill above the maximum or full! Also, make it a habit to check the volume of your oil regularly every week or every time coming back from a long trip.
How to correct oil overfill?
If you've accidentally put too much oil into the engine, it is best to try to discard the oil until below the maximum limit. Driving with too much oil will only make your engine deteriorate quickly. To do this, just like changing your own oil, drain the excess oil through the drain plug at the bottom of the engine. Follow this link for step-by-step instructions.
How much oil does a car need?
The amount of oil needed by each car varies by engine capacity. However, most engines require between 3 to 8 liters of oil. The larger the engine capacity, the more oil you’ll need:
- Three-cylinder engines need 3 liters of oil
- Four-cylinder engines require around 4.5 liters of oil
- Six-cylinder engines use 5.5 liters of oil
- Eight-cylinder engines need more oil, around 4.5 liters to 7.5 liters of oil
It is important to know how many liters of oil your car needs before changing or adding oil. Check the vehicle manual to know exactly how much oil you need. The manual will also contain information on the type of oil that is recommended by your car manufacturer.