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Ford Focus TDCi 1.6 overfilled oil need advice please

Hi there all,

So without knowing I did this I overfilled the engine 2 inches above the max fill line. I then proceeded to drive onto the motorway. It was alright until 5-10 minutes of motorway driving when i noticed loads of white smoke coming out of the exhaust, seconds later the car started accelerating on its own so i had to cut the engine off and move over to the hard shoulder lane. I started the car up again and in idle it was okay. As soon as i started to drive the car then it started to accelerate on its own again + the white smoke so I immediately turned the engine off.

I had it towed back to my local garage and have been told that it may be a simple drain the oil back to normal levels or the car may be a write off as it may go “bang” one day.

The car has been left with at the garage since Saturday and I’ve been told he will start to drain the oil today.

Does anyone have any advice as to how realistic the prospect of my car will be a write off ? Has anyone had any experience of this happening ? If so has the car been back to normal ? Has it gone “bang” for anyone ? Are there any parts I would be looking to replace to help reduce the damage ?

Your comments are appreciated

If it was going to go BANG, the most likely time was while you were running it.

There is really nothing you can do to prevent failure that might or might not occur other than not overfilling the oil again. I doubt you will have any problems. The excess oil that found its way into the combustion chambers acted as extra fuel causing the acceleration so I doubt any damage occurred.

Since the oil apparently burned, and since you were smart enough to immediately shut the engine down, you’re probably okay, but you’ll want the spark plugs changed and you’ll want to save up for a new catalytic converter. You may have shortened its life considerably. You’ve probably caused the Mass AirFlow sensor to become contaminated too.

You’re lucky. If the oil had been churned into a slurpy (aerated) by the crankshaft, you might have ended up with seized main bearings. That would mean serious damage.

I agree with the other replies. Once the shop adjusts the oil pan capacity to the correct amount you will be OK. Just drive it normal and keep an eye on the oil pressure gauge and the temp gauge. Good luck.

It’s a diesel.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Wow okay. Sounds a bit more positive then what I was thinking. Haven’t had word from the mechanic yet so waiting to see what he says. I will report back to advise what he says and will ask him if any further parts need to be changed as a result of the damage done so far. The car was due a service in the next few months. Is it worth getting him to do a full service straight after? Not sure if that will help give the engine a better chance of recovery?

If he’s already working on it, might as well get an oil and filter change at the least.

Good catch.
A Ford Focus diesel? Definitely not from my neighborhood!

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Depending on where the oil entered the intake system it may be necessary to clean the oil from the intercooler. If an excessive amount oil oil has accumulated in the intercooler the engine could “run away” when this oil is blown into the engine’s intake.

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Back in 1968 my future father in law gave my future wife an old Dodge to use at school but he said to make sure to keep the oil filled. She drove it the 100 miles home and the thing was smoking like crazy the whole way. When my father in law checked the oil level he discovered that she had kept it filled all right, right up to the top, just like the gas tank. He drained the oil and it was fine. Of course it was like a 1962 model so hope for the best.

RIGHT !!! The mechanic has just got back to me and told me all the oil collected in the intercooler. He’s tried to clean as much as he could through the pipes but he said the only thing i can do now is to drive it and see how it goes. What are everyone’s thoughts on this ?

Again thanks for the comments as its really helping !

I say listen to the mechanic.


Think that may be the only option. Does anyone know how many parts the oil has gone through before it reached the intercooler and got stuck in there ? I just want to confirm the extent of the damage really now.

Got the car back yesterday and the mechanic sat in the car with me and we hit high revs on the dual carriageway. He advised me that if it was going to go bang then it would have happened whilst we were in the car.

Been advised to use an EGR cleaner and was told that i am very lucky that i switched the engine off asap otherwise damage would have been worse and it would have gone bang once the accelerator needle went past the cars limit at the time of the event.

Just going to see how it goes now. Not sure if i should use the EGR cleaner spray or just take the EGR value out and clean it myself. Has anyone got any other recommendations ?