overfilled oil

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Dec 17, 2012
So my wife told me last night that her dad told her something but didn't want me to feel bad. I changed his oil in his 97 Nissan hard body a few months ago and apparently something happened to it...I wasn't supposed to know so I can't really ask. Whatever shop he had it fixed at told him it was because the oil was overfull. Granted I didn't know these engines only take like 3.5 qts so after I changed it and checked the dipstick, it was 1 quart over, so I drained some out, and let it ride. It was only about 1/2 qt over and it had a few leaks so i figured it would be no big deal. So is there anything that could happen if this engine were 1/2 qt to 1 qt overfull?
Nope....you were just the last person to touch it...so it must be your fault. If your wife checked his tire pressure and he got a flat the next day it would have been your wife's fault right??? Same thought process.
The only way to know if it was your fault is to find out what went wrong.. If it only takes 3.5 quarts and there was 1 quart overfilled there could be a smoking issue. I dought there would be engine damage in a very short period o ftime
1/2 quart shouldn't be an issue. One time I accidentally put an extra quart in a GMC Sierra that had the wrong owner's manual in the glovebox and it was fine until I was able to have it brought back over to my house to drain out the extra quart. You just don't want it getting full enough to make contact with the spinning crankshaft, causing aeration.
I dk what exactly failed, I wasn't even supposed to know, I just know they charged him $300 to fix whatever it was. I know engines can blow seals but most of the ones I've seen are from people that don't know what they're doing and overfilled their car by 3 or more quarts. My FIL knew it was overfilled a little and probably told the shop that, so they probably just blamed it on me.
So, you changed the oil and guessed how much to put back in? Did you pour in a whole 5-qt jug before checking the dipstick? If what you say is true, and it was only half a quart over then they're full of it. If it was 1.5+ over, I'd be less sure, since I don't know how much over-filling it can tolerate. I routinely over-fill my vehicles that call for X.5 or X.6 quarts of oil by adding the full last quart.
^^^^gathermewool is right. Also, easy thing to do is idle/drive it a bit, like 10 minutes, and then immediately check the dipstick to see if there are any bubbles on it. Thats what overfilling a little might do, cause aeration bubbles to form, reducing lubrication. In the case of 1/2 quart, probably nothing!
No, it takes 3.5-3.75... I only put about 4.25 in it, and I still drained some out after that.
Absolutely did not hurt to be 1/2 qt overfull. As others have said, I also do that on purpose, and have never had any sort of problem.
nothing happens. When the car is left cold, all the oil drains to the bottom, and the car is able to startup fine with the excess of oil over operating conditions. Additionally, you drive on hills and stop and go, so the oil sloshes around; yet the car works fine with the changing oil positions and volumes.
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