Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Overfilled in oil change

This past weekend I got my oil changed. Looking at the stick today it appears they put maybe a half a quart to much in from where the oil is on the stick. My car does burn oil to the tune of about a quart every 1000 miles. Should I be concerned with it being over at this point. Its a 2003 impala LS with the 3.6 engine I believe. It has about 117,000 miles on it.

Have a bud, used to be a trucker, added a quart of oil to his 03 Impala after every oil change, along with every other car, he never had an issue other than a failed torque converter, and I do not think it was related.

I don’t think an extra pint of oil in the crankcase will make any difference. Anything over a quart may cause problems, however. You are wise to keep your eye on the oil level.

An extra pint won’t cause any damage.

Damage from oil overfilling occurs when the level gets so high that the crankshaft whips the oil into a froth. Aerated oil cannot provide the pressurized fluid barrier necessary to keep the sleeve bearings apart from the corresponding rotating parts. Engines are designed to accommodate levels higher than the “baseline” level to accommodate movement of the oil from things like driving up steep hills, increased volume due to fluid agitation, and other normal variations. You need not worry until the overfill exceeds a quart.

You’re clearly diligent about checking your fluids after servicing. I applaud you for this. If more people did, we’d have fewer people write in with damaged engines.

Did you check the oil right after the job was done, or later after you’d driven a few miles? Right after the job is done it might show a little high b/c the filter isn’t yet filled up w/oil. If you’d driven a few miles and it still showed 1/2 quart high, me, I’d drain the 1/2 quart out. Just to avoid an unanticipated consequences. I’d also check the levels of my automatic transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, b/c if a shop is incompetent enough to overfill the oil and let you drive away like that, you don’t know what else they might have done.

Right after the job is done it might show a little high b/c the filter isn't yet filled up w/oil

The filter would have been filled within the first 30 seconds of starting the car to pull it out of the service bay. I also would like to think it was started to at least check for leaks before it was pulled out.

An extra pint won’t cause any problems at all.

I was kinda hoping it wasn’t, I finally have my car almost back to fully running with all repairs done and the recall issue fixed and didn’t want this extra oil to be a issue. The car drives just fine so didn’t think it would but wasn’t sure.

I’m humbled by both your attention to your fluids, your foresight in checking the oil after the change, and your follow up. If I were a car, I’d want to be in your hands. I’d also be a Fiat, but that’s another story. :smiley:

Happy motoring.