I think by mistake I have overfilled my DODGE 2003 GRAND CARAVAN SE
with 1 to 1.5 quarts of oil.. It is like 1 inch over the max level on
I have not driven the van too much around. Should I try to remove 1
quart? or is it fine to wait for the next oil change..
please let me know your thoughts..
please see this article below.
CAUTION: Do not overfill the engine. Adding too much oil can overfill
the crankcase. As the crankshaft spins around, it can whip the oil into
foam if the level is too high. This, in turn, can cause a drop in oil
pressure and loss of lubrication to critical engine parts. Also, too
much oil may cause leaks as the extra oil is forced past seals and
I'd go ahead and remove a quart. Having the level too high puts it in
greater contact with the spinning crankshaft and it get splattered around a
lot more inside the engine. It might be fine, but there are some problems
that can result from that.
Oil is under pressure. If there is too much oil, and the pressure builds,
then it can push out seals meant to keep it out of places. If the OP is
luck, it will push a seal out at one end of the engine or another and leak
onto the ground or into the tranny (depending on your definition of "luck")
If not, it can push out the valve seals and drop into the engine, and
since a liquid cannot be pressurized...BANG! Hydraulic Lock...
.....exactly what engine are you talking about that has pressurized oil
against the valve seals?
Any oil that manages to bypass the valve seals usually ends up burned -
creating that familiar blue smoke.
'88 Honda Accord. JiffyLube overfilled it by three quarts. I don't know
how it happened, I know they gave me a new engine...I'm just going by what
the Honda Service Manager told me. I figured he knows what he's talking
The oil sitting in the pan is not under pressure (under normal conditions
in most engines, I am sure if I didn't write this someone would find a
some engine made in east germany in 1961 that was in 45 cars that had the
oil in the pan pressurized and call me a dumbass for not considering it).
The oil in the passages is. The pump picks up the oil and it is pumped
through the system then returns to the pan. The oil pressure builds
against the resistance of pushing the oil through the small passages,
When an engine is over filled with oil, the oil pressure doesn't
increase, the crank dips into the oil in the pan splashing it around. The
oil get frothy with air and then these air bubbles are in the oil as the
pump picks it up and circulates it. Of course air doesn't do a good job
lubricating internal engine parts and the engine fails.
With a 3-quart overfill, I can picture some damage being done, including
blown seals (penguin/ice cream jokes notwithstanding).
(To reply by e-mail, replace the last letter of the alphabet in my
address with the letter 'x')
....who was posting that one could experience a hydraulic lock due to
pressurized oil getting past his valve seals and locking up the piston -
which is what I questioned.
The poster discussing the 3 quart overfill never uttered a word about
blowing out seals.
He just claimed that Jiffy Lube replaced the engine after I questioned him
about hydraulic lock caused by pressurized oil bypassing the valve seals
into the cylinder.
Yet another poster posed the theory of a large overfill generating enough
pressure to blow seals - not necessarily blow the engine - but I would
think the standard crankcase ventilation system would absorb any pressure
Well, I read all that after the thread got hijacked. What I didn't
find was your advice to the OP and who seems to have resolved his
Things do get lost though. I offered a wild theory to sort of support
the idea of a hydrostatic lock in the bottom end of the Honda engine
that may have blown some end seals but it didn't appear in this group
thread. Instead it ended up as a cross post into the group that the OP
included in his original post.
As I have come to understand since then, Hydraulic Lock occurs when a
fluid gets into the combution chamber. From what the Honda Manager told
me, enough oil had gotten into the cylinders to cause Hydraulic Lock. I'm
guessing it blew a seal or gasket somewhere.
What I do know for a fact is the engine was a mess! I started it and the
OIL light came on, and I shut it off and saw oil spewing out onto the
Why would you picture damaged seals? It does not matter how much you
overfill the system... the oil pressure will not go up. Think of a
gas pump at the gas station. There could be 300 gallons of gas in the
underground tank or 3000 gallons of gas in that tank. It makes no
difference in the amount of gas coming out of the nozzle at your pump
until the level gets low enough that the pump starts sucking air.
With a 3 quart overfill you should picture bearings destroyed by a
lack of lubrication. With that much overfill the crank will whip the
oil in to a froth and the oil pump can't pump froth effectively so
your oil pressure goes down until you stop or the engine stops.
The seals aren't subjected to any serious pressure. They mostly just
keep the splashing oil from leaking out. Worst case scenario is a
seal would be sitting in oil and might leak a little until the oil
level drops back under it.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.