Updated at: 12-07-2022 - By: Lucas

For a car engine to work well, it needs oil, and it’s important to change your oil often. But while you need enough oil to keep your engine running smoothly, adding too much oil can hurt your engine and make it wear out faster.

In this article, I’ll talk about what happens when you put in too much oil, how to tell if you’ve put in too much oil, and what to do if you did. Let’s get into it!

What Happens If Your Car Has Too Much Oil

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Engines have metal parts that move quickly, so they need oil to keep them from getting stuck. Proper lubrication cuts down on wear and tear, makes your engine last longer, and keeps your car running smoothly.

On the other hand, too much oil has the opposite effect. When you put oil in your car, it will sit in the oil pan until you start the engine. At that point, the oil pump will take the oil out of the oil pan and run it through an oil filter.

This oil filter gets rid of dirt and other particles in the oil so that it can lubricate the engine well. After going through the filter, it goes back and forth through the engine.

Now things get interesting: Right above the oil pan is the crankshaft. When there is too much oil in the oil pan, the crankshaft can touch the oil.

When this happens, the crankshaft will wipe the oil into a foamy substance. When the engine is running, the crankshaft turns very quickly.

Its purpose is not to mix up the oil, but if you add too much oil, that is exactly what will happen. Oil with a lot of air in it will lead to a number of problems.

#1 Improper Lubrication

Oil helps keep the engine running smoothly, but foamy oil doesn’t do a very good job of that. It’s just too thin, and it’s full of air. The oil gets foamy and bubbly, like whipped eggs or whipped cream.

If your engine doesn’t have enough oil, the parts can rub against each other and wear out faster. Because of this, the engine might make loud noises or stop working.

Since frothy oil doesn’t move well through the engine parts, the engine could end up getting too hot. This can happen when engine parts rub against each other too much, which can cause too much friction.

An engine that gets too hot is a problem because if you don’t fix what’s causing it, the engine could break down. Also, if the engine gets too hot, parts of it can melt.

If that happens, your engine will need to be replaced.

#2 Leaks

If you put in too much oil, it can start to leak out of your car. When you add more oil or air to the oil, the oil will put more pressure on the seals and gaskets.

That includes the seals on the top and bottom of the crankshaft.

What happens when the pressure is too high? There could be leaks if the gaskets and seals can’t handle that much pressure.

Some seals are hard to replace, so it’s best not to put too much oil in your car to begin with.

#3 Spark Plugs Not Working

To start a spark, the spark plugs need to be able to get high-voltage pulses. In turn, this spark starts the combustion that your car needs to get going.

If you put in too much oil, it could end up on the spark plugs. If the spark plugs are covered with oil, they might not be able to get the pulse or start a spark.

If this happens, you might have trouble getting your car to start. You might not be able to start your car at all, in which case you might have to change the spark plugs.

#4 Blue Smoke Coming From the Exhaust

If there is too much oil, it can get into the chamber where the fuel is burned. If that happens, your car will burn both gasoline and oil.

That can make your car give off blue smoke. Not only is it bad for the environment, but it can smell bad and isn’t healthy to breathe in.

Signs of Excessive Oil In Your Car

too much oil in car

There are ways to tell if you accidentally put too much oil in your car. Here are a few ways you can tell if your car has too much oil.

Sign #1 – You See or Smell Oil Leaking

Most of the time, you can see or smell oil leaking from your car. There are many things that can cause an oil leak, so it doesn’t always mean you put too much oil in your car.

But it could be a sign of too much oil. No matter what caused the leak, you should look into it.

Sign #2 – Blue Smoke Is Coming From the Exhaust

As I said before, if there is too much oil, blue smoke can come out of the exhaust.

You might be able to see smoke or smell burning oil!

Sign #3 – You Are Experiencing Issues With Starting Your Car or Stalling

If you can’t get your car to start, the spark plugs may be soaked with oil. On the other hand, if your engine seems to stall or sputter while you’re driving, too much oil could be to blame.

That’s because an engine can’t work right without the right amount of oil.

Sign #4 – Weird Noises Are Coming From Your Engine

Without enough oil, the parts of an engine can start to bang against each other.

When your oil is bubbly, you might hear the engine banging, rattling, clanking, or making other strange sounds.

Sign #5 – You See a Warning Light or High Oil Pressure Gauge

When there is a problem with the engine or oil, many cars have an oil pressure gauge or a warning light that turns on. A warning light can mean many things, like that your car has too much oil.

If the oil pressure gauge on your car is too high, it could be because you put in too much oil. The indicator might also get mixed up and go back and forth between full and empty.

How to Deal With Too Much Oil In Your Car

If the problem is caught early, it is easy to fix. As if you were changing the oil, remove the drain plug to get rid of any extra oil.

You can also use a suction pump to get rid of the extra oil.

But if you notice the problem later, you might have to take the car to a mechanic to get it fixed. You may have engine parts that are worn out or spark plugs that are dirty and need to be cleaned or replaced.

You might also have to change out some seals. A trained mechanic can figure out what damage was done by the extra oil and fix it.

How Much Oil Do You Really Need?

To find out how much oil to add, you should check your car’s owner’s manual. You can usually find this information online if you can’t find the owner’s manual.

Most of the time, this amount will be between 4 and 8 litres. If your engine has more cylinders, it will need more oil.

Use the dipstick to check the oil level at all times. It should be below the mark that says “Full.”

A little bit of extra oil won’t hurt much because your car will burn it up on its own. But too much oil can cause a lot of different problems.


When you aren’t paying attention, it’s easy to add too much oil, but in the long run, this can cause a lot of damage. Because of this, you should only add as much oil as the car needs.

If you put in too much oil, make sure to get rid of it right away. If the damage is worse, you should get your car to a mechanic as soon as possible to limit the damage.