You replace the car’s engine oil from time to time. It is recommended that you always maintain a certain level of oil. But what happens if you use a little too much engine oil? Does it make the oil pressure go low?
Actually, using an excess of engine oil can bring it in contact with the engine crankshaft, which is moving constantly. This constantly whips up the engine oil, making it frothy. This reduces the oil’s density, making it light and reducing the oil pressure in the process.
So, let’s look at how you can reduce the oil level to acceptable levels and remove any low-pressure buildup right in this article.
Can Too Much Oil Cause Low Oil Pressure?
Everyone has heard about how low engine oil can harm your car. As the layer of oil on the moving parts decreases, that impacts their motion, bringing the engine to a standstill. But what harm can an extra one or two quarts of oil do?
While your car will function normally, and you can even drive without any effect, the extra oil brings a different set of implications. As it is in excess, it can leak to other parts of the engine where you do not want it, such as on the seals and gaskets.
The excess oil can also reach the engine’s crankshaft. That can make the oil thinner and foamier, introducing air bubbles in it. That not only reduces the oil pressure, but the thin oil has less lubrication effect on the moving parts. They will move against each other, increasing the friction and, in the worst cases, damaging the parts.
What Are The Symptoms and Consequences Of Having Too Much Engine Oil?
So, how do you know a car’s engine oil is over the limit? Very simple, actually. Checking the oil level using the dipstick can give you a good indication. If you see the oil level over the Safe or Full marking, that indicates the oil is in excess.
Apart from that, your car will give off some signs that indicate an imbalance in the oil level. Some of these are discussed below.
The Oil Pressure Light Flashing.
The light next to the oil indicator usually flashes when the level is too low. But sometimes, due to the excess oil, the pressure decreases. That can trigger the oil pressure light.
So, if you see this light flashing after a recent oil change, that can be due to the presence of excess engine oil.
White Smoke Emitting From the Exhaust
The engine oil normally resides in a separate section inside the engine. But when used in excess, it can reach other parts of the engine, such as the combustion chamber.
So, naturally, it will burn along with the regular fuel present. That will produce a distinct white or blue smoke from the vehicle’s exhaust.
So, run your engine for some time and inspect the quality of the exhaust. Then, you can determine if the engine oil is causing this.
Smell of Burning Oil
The splashing engine oil can also reach the hot surface of the engine. This will produce a burning smell, which is naturally uncharacteristic of a normally functioning car. This smell is particularly prevalent when the engines are running.
So, if you get a burning smell while the car is running, checking the oil level is a good idea.
Excessive engine oil can reduce its lubricating effect. That means now, there is a thinner film of oil than before. The moving parts inside the engine will come into contact more often, and that will increase the wear and tear of these components.
You will feel the gears or clutches slipping and reduced engine performance. The increased friction will mean the parts will corrode way faster than normal and can bring permanent damage to the engine. If this happens, you will have a very expensive repair to perform.
Using an excessive amount of engine oil can make it thinner, and that becomes foamy as you use the car continuously. This reduces its effectiveness to act as a lubricant.
Hence, the moving parts inside the engine sound more as they rub against each other. The friction between them increases, increasing rattling and tapping noises from the engine.
Additional engine oil will also make your engines heat up more. As the oil becomes foamy, it can no longer cut down on friction.
The engine and its connecting parts will encounter more friction as the engine oil is no longer effective. This will mean that the parts run into each other more often.
What to Do When You Have Too Much Engine Oil?
If you have already checked and found that the engine oil is over the limit, you need to remove some of the extra oil that is present.
There is a pan underneath the engine that holds the oil. An oil sump or a bolt is present, which is used to drain the existing oil inside it. You need to loosen this bolt to drain off the excess oil.
You can do this yourself or seek the help of an expert in a repair shop. The process is fairly simple, so if you have experience of working on your car, you can do this right in your garage.
The steps below show how to do this.
- Place a pan directly below the oil sump. Loosen the bolt and allow the oil to drip below. Do not completely remove this bolt, as that would remove all the oil.
- While the oil drips away, check the engine oil level using a dipstick. Check it repeatedly until it reaches a safe level. You don’t want to remove an excess amount and run into the risk of low engine oil.
- Then, secure the bolt tightly, holding the oil sump in place.
Try running the engine for some time and notice if you get any white smoke. The issue should be fixed by now.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now you know exactly how much engine oil you need for your vehicle. If you have further queries, you will get answers to those questions here.
To prevent overfilling your car with oil, make sure to check the oil level repeatedly when doing an oil change. The oil must be between the safe and add levels marked in the dipstick. Always do this when the car is on level ground to avoid getting inaccurate readings.
The usual fix is adding engine oil until the pressure is normal. If the engine light is still on, check the oil filter for any debris that may have settled and clean it. You may also need to look at the oil pump for any possible damage.
Just as too little oil can be dangerous for your vehicle, the same is true when you use an excessive amount. The oil then loses its ability to lubricate the moving parts, and that can heat up the car even more.
So, keep this in mind and check the oil levels regularly. That will help your car run smoother for a longer time and save you from expensive repairs.
And that’s all for today. I hope you enjoyed reading this piece.