overfill; percentile oil expands when hot; HELP~!

Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
18
Location
california
Hi… New here… anyway, Vehicle: Honda S2000 2.2L (2007) Oil: Mobil 1 Extended Performance (10W-30) All, What is considered an overfill… In regards to engine oil? -> using more than the recommend amount in the user manual by Honda? OR -> the oil lever reading ABOVE the H (high) on the oil dipstick. 5.1 quarts is recommended… but 5.5 quarts never reaches the H level on my dip stick. I have been using 6 quarts at every 5k miles for 30k already. NOTE: I check my oil COLD in the morning. Currently, I am approx 1 millimeter above the “H” (high) COLD… obviously; I am overfilled… how much am I over filled? If 5.1 quarts was recommended, and I have 6 quarts in there… am I overfilled by 0.9 quarts? OR am I overfilled by “X” amount being over the “H” mark. Also… at what percentile does oil expand when heated? I drained .5 quarts (middle of dipstick COLD) and when I run the car and check 30 minutes later, I am at the “H” (high) level on the dipstick. Strange… Thanks in advance all…
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
5,337
Location
Southeast Texas
Let me tell you a little story (the highly condensed version). I took 95' Chevy PU to Walmart, got oil change. Next morning, half quart or so is on driveway. Its 4AM, and I have to get to work, so I drive 30 miles, assuming its just a leak. Call WM, they tell me to not drive truck, they will come out to me. They arrive at lunch, to "rechange" my oil in parking lot. WM guy slides under truck, and drains out 12 QUARTS! They had double filled! Refilled with correct amount, then I drove truck with no problems for another 4 years & 100,000 miles. Bottom line, don't overfill in general, but don't sweat it! My truck was living proof its not a disaster, especially if its a quart or less. Oil does not expand. Hope this helps!
 
Joined
Mar 19, 2009
Messages
595
Location
Hither & Yon
Idriveadelsol: If you look in the Specifications section of your S2k owner's manual, you will see it lists three oil capacities: two "change" capacities -- one including a filter change and one without -- and a "total" capacity. The latter, you will see, is roughly a quart more than the "without filter" capacity. In other words, if your car is level when you change your oil, there's still a little less than a quart of oil left in the oil system. That's true for most cars. It also explains why you can get more than 5.1 quarts out of the sump by jacking your car from one side or another, or higher in the front, when you are changing oil. Consequently, you aren't really overfilling the car's oil system until the oil level you're seeing on the dipstick when the car is level is above the high mark on the dipstick. And, the small additional amount you described, a millimeter over the high mark, isn't significant. It probably represents about 100cc, if that.
 
Joined
May 27, 2003
Messages
1,565
Location
Elkridge, MD
My 1997 Monte Carlo called for 4.5 quarts. I was never bothered to measure out a half quart (and I know a guy that measures out 3.9 quarts, exactly), so I just dumped 5 quarts in. Sold it with 194K miles, running fine.
 
Joined
Oct 18, 2007
Messages
3,756
Location
CA
Don't worry at all if it's just a little above the full mark. I've run my TL quite a bit past the full mark for 70,000 miles.
 
Joined
Aug 27, 2006
Messages
1,365
Location
orwellian sheep land?
 Originally Posted By: mstrjon32
...and I know a guy that measures out 3.9 quarts, exactly...
People like that should just stick to accounting or auditing. idriveadelsol , dipstick > the manual [real life > theory] sleep easy.
 

idriveadelsol

Thread starter
Joined
Apr 14, 2009
Messages
18
Location
california
Interesting …. I go out for a spirited spin and I do jack up the rear of my vehicle during an oil change so I can get more used oil out of there. I let it drain for about .5 to 1 hour. Probably the reason why I can reach the “H” (high) level on the dipstick COLD with 6 quarts. I do not leave the canisters to drain/empty out for every drop of oil. I know I have enough. 1 more thing… do I check my oil COLD or HOT? gfh77665 , if oil does not expand when heated, why is there an ongoing debate on checking engine oil cold vs. hot? Not my field, so I am curious. Thanks again all… people in that vehicle forum tell me my car is going to throw a rod or blow up. I swear…
 
Joined
Sep 5, 2005
Messages
1,623
Location
western australia
Run your engine and get it hot. After vehicle is stopped for 5 mins or so note level on dipstick. Next morning check dipstick when cold and note difference between the hot and cold level. This will give some baseline idea. For my vehicle, the expansion on the dipstick between hot and cold is about 1/8th of an inch.
 
Last edited:

ctc

Joined
Nov 5, 2008
Messages
488
Location
VA
 Originally Posted By: virginoil
Run your engine and get it hot. After vehicle is stopped for 5 mins or so note level on dipstick. Next morning check dipstick when cold and note difference between the hot and cold level. This will give some baseline idea. For my vehicle, the expansion on the dipstick between hot and cold is about 1/8th of an inch.
I can't check the oil on my 2 cars when they're hot (one 08 Nissan and one 08 Mazda). There is oil all over the dipstick after wiping and replacing. I never had this problem on Ford, Dodge, Honda and Toyota in the past but I did have the same issue with my 99 Nissan as well.
 
Joined
Apr 17, 2006
Messages
19,528
Location
Lake Forest, CA
I have 2004 S2000, I always use 5 quarts and the level is 1/8" down from the max line. I check oil level when engine is cold usually in the weekend morning. Once in a while I checked oil level at gas station after driving more than 10 miles and the level was the same.
 
Joined
Jun 12, 2005
Messages
5,869
Location
North Texas
 Originally Posted By: virginoil
Run your engine and get it hot. After vehicle is stopped for 5 mins or so note level on dipstick. Next morning check dipstick when cold and note difference between the hot and cold level. This will give some baseline idea. For my vehicle, the expansion on the dipstick between hot and cold is about 1/8th of an inch.
Same here in my Tacoma. I fill cold to the full mark.
 
Joined
Sep 1, 2008
Messages
5,337
Location
Southeast Texas
 Originally Posted By: idriveadelsol
1 more thing… do I check my oil COLD or HOT? gfh77665 , if oil does not expand when heated, why is there an ongoing debate on checking engine oil cold vs. hot? Not my field, so I am curious.
Here is the deal: It's not the temp that is changing the level you see, it's that just after shutting off an engine, a lot of the oil is up in the nooks and crannies at the top of the engine. It circulates from bottom (the sump) to the top of motors. So, after sitting for a half hour or so, it drains back down into the pan, and you can get an accurate read. Of course, after sitting all night, checking a cold engine gives a very accurate read. Checking a hot engine might you might see a "level" of oil that was sloshed up on the dipstick, and get a falsely high read. Oil does not expand. Hope that helps, GH.
 
Joined
Mar 5, 2007
Messages
640
Location
Western Washington
I run 5 quarts in my 22RE (Truck and 4Runner) engines without problem. The spec is somewhere around 4.5 quarts. I try to run an oversized filter to offset the additional capacity, but it doesn't always happen. If the jub was 4.5 quarts I would use that.
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 8, 2006
Messages
10,479
Location
Birmingham, AL
My truck is supposed to take 4.5 quarts, but if I dump in a whole 5 quart jug of oil it will usually be right at the full mark on the dipstick. I don't worry about it, I just use the full five quarts. Assuming the dipstick is the original one, I'd just go by what it reads.
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2003
Messages
264
Location
Rio Grande Valley
Power steering dipstick on anything I've seen has a hot level mark and a cold level mark auto transmissions do also and both use oil why would engine oil be different?
 
Joined
Apr 11, 2009
Messages
16
Location
NY USA
From what I've been told, a minor amount of overfilling isn't really a problem. But if too much extra oil is put into the engine, the suction by the oil pickup will begin to generate a whirlpool in the oil and allow air to be pulled in and circulated. Not a good thing. I believe that I read this in David Vizard's book, "How to Build Horsepower".
 
Joined
Jun 11, 2008
Messages
143
Location
Virginia
I think the real issue with significant overfill is that the oil level is so high in the sump that the crankshaft splashes into the surface of the oil, and at running speeds this whips so much air into the oil that the oil pump can't effectively pump it any more. It becomes a brown whipped cream so to speak. As long as the oil level remains below the crank journals the oil remains air-free and will circulate properly. BTW, when the engine is running, at least a half a quart or more is circulating through the engine oil passages, valve train, etc. and this lowers the level of the oil in the sump a little. So a small amount of overfill usually causes no harm since the sump level drops a bit when the engine is running.
 
Joined
Jul 20, 2007
Messages
1,408
Location
NH
classic story by gfh and the 12 qts in his chevy...i always check my oil if someone else changes it
 
Top