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How Much Oil is Too Much?

I recently changed the oil in my car and when putting new oil in I put a little to much in. The dip-stick has 5 holes (for oil to fill to make it easier to read). All five holes are full and the level is up to just before the M of “Max”, which is just before the last hole.
The oil is on the high side, but I guess what I’m asking is there a tolerance for too much oil. Should I not worry about the amount? Or should I take some out?

I’d guess anything more than 1/4 quart overfill should be corrected asap by draining some out. You’d think more oil wouldn’t hurt, but what happens when there’s too much oil is the oil surface gets slapped around and creates a sort of foam. The result is that oil doesn’t get properly sucked up and go to the needed spots in the engine and can eventually damage the engine.

i have a bud that always throws in 1 qt extra of oil, couse he was a trucker, unnecessary but no damages have resulted.

If the oil level is up to the MAX mark, it’s at the right level.


Right you are in my book @Tester, bur some peoples books are cooked a little differentially. Sure in his years of trucking, no harm no foul, and in his years of the same practice on cars life is good. Do not agree, but his practice seems not to harm anything, go on.

Its just slightly above the max. Probably a cm above.

That small amount over the MAX mark is nothing to worry about.


Okay- thanks for everyone comments. Tomorrow I’m going to check it after running it (i had been checking it after it has been siting for a several hours). I hear that is how some of the manuals recommend checking it. What do you guys think?

Anything close is just dandy and there is no need of any more wondering. It’s nothing.

It should be checked cold after sitting. I do mine first thing in the morning. You’ve been doing yours correctly.

All engines will perfectly safely tolerate perhaps 1/2 qt over FULL. The danger becomes the crankshaft whipping the oil into a froth, but engines have to be designed to be able to be run on inclines (think San Francisco) and with the oil vibrating too (vibrating fluids take up more space) and there must be some tolerance designed in.

A tip of the hat to you for monitoring your oil. If more people did, we’d hear far fewer disaster stories here.

Thank you, @"the same mountainbike"‌, I really appreciate that.
I have checked it both after letting it sit for 5 minutes and letting it sit for 5 hour or more- and got basically the same the result.
Just so I know that I’m not missing anything if I do just leave it- would there be any tattle-tale sighs if there was to much oil?

Does this car have an oil level sensor?

Some cars will actually display “oil level high” if the level is too high

@db4690‌ , no it does not have an oil level sensor. The car is a 02 Cavalier.

The only possible telltale signs would be a bit of foam on the stick when checked immediately after a hot run and/or a low oil pressure light illuminating with the level not low.

Based on your original description, you’re not even close to being high enough to worry about it. Sleep soundly and monitor your oil level as you normally would.

Okay. Thanks everybody for the comments and help.