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93van oilchange 2-quarts high

The Dipstick Oil Level was 2x normal the day after driving the VAN home from work two weeks after I paid for an oil change at Walmart on 07/02/09;

The trip home was anything but normal, the engine seemed to be missing, hesitating, the VAN slowed down, then sped up, regardless of where my foot was on the gas peddle; it was slow-down, speed-up all the way home, a very stressful trip of 30 miles in the wind and driving rain; needless to say I was thankful that I made it home;

the following morning, before starting the car, I opened the hood and checked the oil level, the brake fluid and the radiator fluid; the oil level was way over normal, twice over the full-level on the dipstick;

I was upset to say the least; but unbelieving at first, so, I wiped and re-wiped the dipstick and checked the level 4-times; way over the normal full level; all the while the VAN is sitting on level ground;

I contacted Walmart and spoke with the Auto Manager; he told me not to start the engine or drive it;

so I stayed home from work …

Rick Walmart’s Automotive Service Manager

came out to check the VAN and to take

pictures of the the Oil level

the level at that point was 1 qt above normal

but varied each time he put the dipstick in depending upon which side of the dipstick we looked at; one side lower,

the other higher;

Rick Walmart’s Automotive Service Manager said to me, OK get in and start the engine the Engine started up; sounds OK to me, says he, seems to be OK so far; Get in lets take it for a short drive; no hesitation, Seems OK to me says he; Let’s take another look at the oil again; Oil still 1 qt over the normal level.

Well, Rick said, I suggest you have your VAN towed to a garage that Walmart does business with in La Junta, Colorado and if it is our fault then we will pay for any work to inspect and repair the engine

Had AAA tow the VAN to Davis Garage, in La Junta, Colorado; Gilbert drained the Oil and said that the Oil was over full; it was 2-Quarts high; but the engine seems OK to me, say he;

But, yesterday afternoon when driving home from work, the VAN started to hesitate slow down, speed up just as it had two weeks after my last experience and the oil change at Davis Garage; which I paid for.

I have been taking my VAN to Walmart for oil changes since I moved to Colorado at the end of October 2007;

During one oil change in 2008; the Bay Manager was puzzled when she put the dipstick in and out several times first no oil then two times as much oil; she gave orders the bay workers to drain the oil completely and refilled it and re-checked several times before she let me drive off;

Walmart always added oil from to my VAN from a hose with pump gauge set to the specific number of quarts for each vehicle they service;

So my speculation was that if it happened once, it could have happened again;

My question to you is, could overfilling the oil by 2-quarts and running for two weeks have caused the performance problems that I experienced on the way home yesterday

And from your perspective how should I proceed at this point.

Thank you

Bruce Reznik


A engine can be damaged by too much oil. But in this case I don’t think you’ve been offended by anything more that poor service. After the van had the oil level corrected it drove fine, no smoking out the tailpipe etc. The missing and running problems seem coincidental. Perhaps if oil had come out the filler pipe or the PCV valve and been sprayed around the motor coating wires and such that would cause some running problems.

You did the right thing in checking on WalMart’s work and calling them. It was the right decision not to drive the van with in effect 2 quarts overfilled with oil. The cost of the 2nd oil change should have been paid by WalMart. Forget WalMart for any future oil changes. For that matter forget Quickie change places altogether.

What is causing your running problems remains to be determined.

I would have to agree with Uncle Turbo. Oil overfilling and forgetting to fill the oil altogether is very common among the quickie oil change places. The reason: The guy or gal under your vehicle probably was flipping burgers the day before. The turnover is very high at these places including Walmart and others. Unless something way out of the ordinary happened, your engine problem was secondary to the oil overfill.

Thank you for your immediate response;
After submitting my question to you, I went out to the VAN; since I have been inside all morning, I decided to check the oil with out starting the engine; this time I took my camera with me, well it’s over full again; way over the safe zone, I can send you the pictures if you like; how can this be? what do you think is happening here; free oil, I don’t think so ???
where is all the extra oil coming from?
Should I be driving it?

Thanks I await your reply
Bruce Reznik

What I am picking up is that EVERYONE (sorry for the caps) is having trouble reading the dip stick with this vehicle. In these cases I rely on the stated capacity (we have discussed this at lenght,is the stated capacity when the engine is brand new and never had any oil in it ever, or is it after a hot drain with some left in, and then people throw in using filter A or filter B which should not matter.

I fill to stated capacity making no correction for any oil that may be left in engine after hot drain (should be minimal). Then I know how much oil is in and dam* the stick.

Is it possible the 5W oils used commonly now are hard to read especially when the oil is fresh from a recent change? I’ve had trouble getting a reading on the Toyota Sequoia at times. I’ve taken to only adding 1/3 to 1/2 quart at a time and check again after a day or two.

Do you think your van may have the wrong dipstick for the motor?

Is the oil clear or cloudy? Does it smell strongly like gasoline?

I am also starting to suspect that the engine’s crankcase is being “invaded” by other fluids, possibly gasoline from a bad fuel pressure regulator. That could also relate to the poor running of the engine.

Simply because 5W oil is common for many of todays cars,don’t let anyone use them in your 1993.