Oil overfill

Yesterday I had the oil changed at a local dealer in my Toyota Sienna 2000 van. After I left the dealer, I noticed black intermittent black smoke in my rearview mirror. I got off the highway and checked the dip stick for the oil. It was 2.5 inches over the max line! By the time I got back to the dealer, I had probably driven 60 minutes on both urban roads and the highway. They immediately drained all the oil, sprayed off the engine, and refilled the oil. What are the chances that serious damage was done to my car during the 60 minutes I was driving it? How will I know? Should a mechanic take a look at the car?


Have a tech thoroughly inspect (and fix where required) the engine, especially the emissions system.

The oil likely foamed but would still supply enough lubrication.

I would have them (at least) change the pcv valve and clean out the hose and check out the EGR system. There has been a lot of pressure built up during this period.

It looks to me as though the old oil was not drained and another required amount was added. Someone was asleep there.

Make certain you keep all the receipts and perhaps get a written and signed statement from the dealership stating what they did and DIDN’T do.

the pan was overfilled and most likely the crankshaft dipped/churned into the oil since it was below the oil level and whipped air into the oil and therefore the engine may not have received proper lubrication. Document this well and pay attention to the engine for the future.

Thanks for the quick reply. Great advice. I’ll be making some calls tomorrow. I agree with you that someone forgot to drain the oil before filling it the first time. The oil was much darker when I checked it the first time after I pulled off the road. Now, it looks pretty clear since it was drained and refilled.

Change your own oil. Or hire the neighbor. At least, don’t have the dealership do anything, ever. Go to a place where the owner/franchisee is working in the shop. He’ll be the friendly old fat guy covered in grease.

Definitely PCV is shot. Catalytic converter may be clogged. Head gasket could be leaking as well as valve cover gasket, oil pump could be damaged, anywhere vacuum goes could be oily…

I would eat this dealership for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Overfilled oil could definitely makes the tires wear out, windshield washer fluid run low and battery run dead while we’re at it… the overfilled oil ate my donuts, I need a dozen glazed for my pain and suffering. who forgets to DRAIN OIL? This is not even a rookie mistake. Definitely never go back.

Why did they spray off the engine? Did oil overflow onto the outside of the engine?

When I checked the dipstick on the road, it was evident that there was spillage of some fluid on the engine. I assume this is what they attempted to spray off.