What happens if I overfill my engine oil?

Yesterday I decided to top off my engine oil levels as I suspected my oil was low, and I didn’t have time to bring my car in for an oil change. I haven’t driven it much since but I’m worried that I could damage my engine from overfilling it. Do you know what could happen if I overfill my engine oil?

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Answer provided by
Katherine Duffy
Answered on Apr 21, 2022
I’m sorry to hear about your engine oil troubles! If you overfill your engine oil, you could potentially damage your engine.
While engine oil is essential to keeping your engine healthy and efficient, too much can cause problems. Here’s what could happen if you overfill your engine oil:
  • Too much pressure on crankshaft: Your crankshaft head and tails prevent leaking, but when there’s too much engine oil, pressure is applied to this important engine part, which can cause leaks. If this leak occurs close to the flywheel, the oil leak can even damage the clutch.
  • Crankshaft friction: The crankshaft can become coated in oil which actually causes more friction and resistance. This will damage your crankshaft.
  • Engine wear and tear: An oil overfill can result in improper oil pressure in your engine, which means that your engine parts won’t be lubricated properly, causing wear and tear on your engine parts.
You might notice you’ve overfilled your engine if engine oil is pooling on the ground when your car is parked or if your hood starts smoking a thick gray or blue smoke.
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