Oil capacityquestion

Took my 2017 Highlander for an oil change to a privately owned business (not a quick change business) that my husband had used and had no problems. I went there bc I had not been able to get an appointment at the Toyota dealership after 3 weeks of attempts.
When I went in to pickup my car the owner told me he changed the filter and put in 7 quarts of synthetic oil. I had requested synthetic oil so that was fine. I’ll be the first to say I don’t know a lot about oil changing,etc but 7 quarts of oil seemed somehow not quite right. I questioned the owner and he gave me this spill about the filter holding a lot of oil and the oil level being correct on the dipstick but I just wasn’t quite buying it. Before leaving the business I looked online and 2 different sites said my car should hold 5.8 quarts with a new filter. I told the owner this and he said you can’t believe what’s on the internet. In the meantime I called my brother who knows a lot about cars and talked to him. He suggested I take my car home and let it sit for a few hours and then check the oil level on the dip stick. He also told me to check my owners manual for oil capacity which said 5.8 quarts was correct
It’s been about 3 hours and I just checked the oil level on the dip stick (I do know how to do that.) it’s really hard to tell how far the oil goes up the stick bc the oil is almost clear but I’m pretty sure it goes to the top line which my owners manual indicates excessive oil. After all this, I guess my question is will it damage my car or cause any problems if I drive a car with 7 quarts of oil in it when there’s only supposed to be 5.8? Thanks for listening.

Is this what your dipstick looks like? Where on this picture would the oil level be?
image

Take it back.

Tell them to remove the extra quart of oil and refund you for that extra quart.

And tell them it’s your vehicle, and you don’t want to hear their B.S.

Tester

1 Like

Our 2013 highlander V6 holds 6.4 quarts (so they’d probably bill for 7). Maybe they assumed the 2017 held the same amount. But, you’re right, from what I’m seeing. 2017 holds 5.8 (6 quarts).

Ask them to double check the dipstick. If more than 1/2 quart overfilled, ask them to drain the excess out and put it in a container. You can use it later to lube your door hinges etc. It’s an easy job, not shop seeking repeat business is going to complain.

I’m guessing however that there’s no overfill, & there’s a simple clerical error instead, the tech thought they’d used a little less than 7 quarts, but they really used a little less than 6. Ask them if this is possible, and if so if they’ll give you the extra quart next time you get an oil and filter change.

I should point out I have no experience with changing oil on this engine. So your shop could be absolutely correct. My own truck uses about 6 1/2 quarts.

I checked the dipstick after 3 hrs of sitting and it was at the top level which according to the owners manual is excessive oil. I was dealing with a small business where there are a few mechanics one of which is the owner. The owner is the person I talked with and he was adamant that 7 quarts was the correct amount for my car. At that point I wasn’t certain of my concern but now I know I was right to be suspect and the dipstick proves its overfilled. I will be going back tomorrow and they WILL remove the extra oil AND refund my money. This old lady won’t be listening to their bull**** and I absolutely won’t go there again. Thank you.

Ask them to double check the dipstick. If more than 1/2 quart overfilled, ask them to drain the excess out and put it in a container. You can use it later to lube your door hinges etc. It’s an easy job, not shop seeking repeat business is going to complain.

I’m guessing however that there’s no overfill, & there’s a simple clerical error instead, the tech thought they’d used a little less than 7 quarts, but they really used a little less than 6. Ask them if this is possible, and if so if they’ll give you the extra quart next time you get an oil and filter change.

I should point out I have no experience with changing oil on this engine. So your shop could be absolutely correct. My own truck uses about 6 1/2 quarts.

How are you finding your shop? The best way imo is personal recommendations from somebody you know who and who uses the same shop for their cars.

So few people ever check their oil. Have a trucker bud gets the oil changed for 4 cars , his, 2 kids and wife, and adds an extra quart after change. I would be on the don’t worry side,

1 Like

If there is 7 quarts of oil in the engine, it would show 1 1/2 inches above the full mark ( # 3 in the diagram). For the level to be at mark # 3 is normal.

Shops use programs to bill services, these programs bill the parts and fluids for the vehicle selected. The 2016 Highlander takes 6.4 quarts of oil, the 2017 5.8 quarts. The service provider may not have updated the program for the latest vehicles but that doesn’t matter. Oil is billed in whole numbers and the technician doesn’t add the amount of oil billed on the repair order, they add the amount the engine requires.

2 Likes

No, if it is at the top point on the diagram I posted that is ‘full’. If it is ABOVE the top point, that is overfilled. Which is it?

2 Likes

The diagram does say the top mark is “excessive”. Confused me, to be honest. Good thing I didn’t read my owner’s manual :laughing:.

2 Likes

Dipsticks have sure changed. They used to be fairly standard and I’ve never seen one with a marking that indicated “too much oil.” Normally, the upper dot meant “Full” and the lower dot meant “Add.” Frankly, I believe that’s still the case and the Owner’s Manual is simply unclear.
Several times when I’ve had my oil changed, the level afterwards was a bit above the upper dot and it didn’t hurt a thing. An oil level significantly above the upper dot means the amount of oil is excessive but it would need to be seriously overfilled to pose a problem (i.e., the crankshaft coming in contact with the oil and “whipping” it).
If I owned your Highlander, I’d be happy to drive it with the oil level at the upper dot all day long. You may well have a legitimate beef about being charged for an extra quart of oil the shop didn’t put in but IMHO that’s about all.

1 Like

It’s not the dot that indicates ‘too full’. It’s the area above the dot, as shown on the diagram. Seems perfectly clear to me.

4 Likes

Look at the diagram again. There’s an arrow that indicates everything above the top marking is overfull.

1 Like

I know. First glance, though, 3 = excessive.

Understood. Arrow should really go both ways to indicate a range rather than point down to a…point. “Point 3, excessive, arrow pointing down to point 3”. I will take that up with the guys who drew the diagrams lol. I get it, but others might not.

Do you know a family member, neighbor, friend, or family member of a friend who knows how to read a dipstick and give you a second opinion?
It can be tricky to read a dipstick with new, clear oil.
Hold the dipstick at just the right angle and you can see the oil’s reflection.

2 Likes

This engine takes 5.8 qrts. Why did they put in 7.

Our Olds was off a quart compared to the dip stick and what the book called for. I asked the dealer which to believe and he said the dip stick. So I always put a quart more in than the book called for to bring it up to the full mark. I still don’t know which was correct but it made 200,000 miles so must have done something right.

I’m not sure anymore that you can rely on the published capacities. When I had the differential fluid changed in the Acura, they charged for something like two more quarts than the owner’s manual listed. When I asked about it they just said that’s what it took. Same number of quarts the second time so have to believe they were correct and not the book. Doesn’t matter money wise, but would just like accurate information.

They didn’t, the OP stated the oil is at the proper level, they are complaining about the invoice billing of 7 quarts.