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Is too much oil a problem?

edited November 2011 in Repair and Maintenance
My mechanic changed my oil and put about 1/2 a quart too much. Can this damage the engine? Should I drain the extra or just leave it alone? The car is a Chevy Malibu 6 Cyl.


  • I don't know if it would damage the engine but I would get a juice container or measuring cup and drain that extra half quart out. If you accident drain too much out, you can always pour it back in lol. Yes, I did that once when I was a teenager, got my first car, and my daddy was teaching me how to change the oil in a car saying it was an important skill to have and I dumped an extra quart in.
  • 1/2 qt exta oil is not a problem.
    If you had a few extra qts of oil in the crankcase, that would be a significant problem.

    Just motor on, happily.
  • This is not a problem.

    If enough oil had been added that the crankshaft would splash into the oil in the pan and
    cause it to froth, it could damage the engine, but 1/2 quart is not going to do it.
  • With a V-6 malibu, it should take 5 quarts of oil. No more, No less. Mechanics usually check the oil after a change to make sure its at a normal level. He probably assumed you needed that extra 1/2 quart because he checked the oil before it had time to settle in where it needs to go.
  • It won't hurt a thing and consider that 1/2 quart a small insurance policy for oil consumption purposes.
    Three or four quarts could be a problem but that small amount is meaningless.

  • The dipstick mark is just an approximation of the ideal level. A half quart more or less is perfectly acceptable.

  • I knew a mechanic who intentionally ran his 1.2L Civic 1/2 a quart over for extra protection.
    He also had a Weber carb, performance cam and exhaust header.
  • 1/2 quart is nothing.

    Excess oil doesn;t become a problem until it gets high enough for the crankshaft to whip it into a frappe. That takes typically more than a qt. Allowance has to be made in the design for going up and down hills, which raises the level at one end of the pan. Cars in San Francisco would all have problems if the level were that sensitive.
  • I helped my Dad change the oil in his Ford F-250 Powerstroke diesel pickup and he puts a little extra oil in that thing, its a beast! Personally, I don't like changing oil in vehicles, that's why I pay someone to do it unless I'm in a pinch and its oil changing time then I take care of it myself.
  • We have the opposite fears. You're uncomfortable changing oil and I get anxiety attacks letting someone else do it.
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