The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:05 PM
Kel Varnsen - Latex Division Kel Varnsen - Latex Division is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,106
Car with too much oil - What happens?

I know bad stuff happens if a car is driven without enough oil, but what happens if it has too much oil?
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:12 PM
Theologue Theologue is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Stop!

IANA mechanic, but if I call correctly, this is what destroyed the engine in my parents' car. We were going cross-country for my brother's wedding. The car had lots of problems; by the time we got there, the engine was about destroyed. On our way back, it gave out. The mechanic showed us the metal shavings from the engine block floating in the oil. He said it was from too much oil. It cost them about $3,000 to fix.

And a happy time was NOT had by all...

Hopefully some more knowledgeable Dopers will stop by, but be careful if your car is like this now.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:13 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
If the oil level is high enough, the crankshaft can whip the oil into a froth, which makes it difficult for the pump to distribute oil through the engine block.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:13 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 11,261
In a typical auto engine, too much oil in the pan can result in it being in contact with the spinning crankshaft. If that happens, the oil can become foamy and, ultimately, become unpumpable by the oil pump. Also, I can't imagine the extra drag on the crank does anything good.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:15 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Couldn't you blow some seals as well?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:17 PM
treis treis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Man I need to get my mind out of the gutter I read that as blow (as in blowjob) some seals (as in the animal). I hope I wasn't the only one
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:20 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 22,233
Quote:
Originally Posted by treis
Man I need to get my mind out of the gutter I read that as blow (as in blowjob) some seals (as in the animal). I hope I wasn't the only one
No, you were the only one, you deve.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:21 PM
treis treis is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
:hangs head in shame:

whats a deve?
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:23 PM
Q.E.D. Q.E.D. is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 22,536
A deviant. The sort of person who thinks about fellating pinnipeds.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:29 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by treis
Man I need to get my mind out of the gutter I read that as blow (as in blowjob) some seals (as in the animal). I hope I wasn't the only one

Geez, you people sicken and amuse me.

Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:34 PM
Kel Varnsen - Latex Division Kel Varnsen - Latex Division is offline
BANNED
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 1,106
IS it better for a car to have a little too much oil or a little too little oil?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:44 PM
Mr. Blue Sky Mr. Blue Sky is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel Varnsen - Latex Division
IS it better for a car to have a little too much oil or a little too little oil?
IANAM, but a little more shouldn't hurt.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:45 PM
Guy Incognito Guy Incognito is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Wouldn't you also see stuff happening like oil saturating the air filter? This would be on older cars with "O"-shaped air filters mounted on the top of the engine block.

Seems pretty easy to remedy if you've found the problem in time. Pull the drain plug and let some of it drain out into a pan, or siphon some out through the dipstick hole.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 12-22-2004, 08:49 PM
Rick Rick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 15,489
It depends on how much too much oil is added and how long it stays there.
One quart over probably won't do any damage. (depends on the engine)
Double fill that sucker, and it will smoke like hell from the excess going through the crankcase vent system. (ask me how I know this)
Fill it to the top, and it is offical you are dumber than a bag of hair.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 12-22-2004, 09:10 PM
4thMonkey 4thMonkey is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by treis
Man I need to get my mind out of the gutter I read that as blow (as in blowjob) some seals (as in the animal). I hope I wasn't the only one
I also thought of this interpretation as well, mainly because a friend told me this joke years ago and it reminds me of Gary Larson's Far Side comics.

[hijack]
A penguin was driving through Arizona on a hot, summer Sunday when he noticed his oil light was on. He got out of the car and, sure enough, it was leaking oil all over the road.

The penguin drove around the corner to a service station and asked the mechanic to take a look at it. The mechanic said he had a few others to look at first but if he came back in an hour he could tell the penguin what was wrong with his car. The penguin agreed and went for a walk.

He found an ice-cream shop and thought a big bowl of vanilla ice cream would really hit the spot, since he was a penguin and it was Arizona in the summer, after all. He sat down at the counter and started in on his ice cream. Of course he had no hands so it was rather messy. By the time he was done he had ice cream all over his flippers, and his mouth was a total mess.

He walked back to the service station and said to the mechanic, "Did you find out what is wrong with my car?"

The mechanic replied, "It looks like you've blown a seal."

"No no," said the penguin. "It's just ice cream."

From
From this site
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 12-22-2004, 10:17 PM
Rick Rick is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 15,489
Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Kip Adotta
Quote:
"The Comedian of the United States"
Songs and Stand-up, Includes Wet Dream!.

Yes, this is and has been the No. 1 novelty CD in the world. Why? Because this is the CD that contains Kip's hit "Wet Dream", "The Fish Song" that people can't seem to get enough of.
This the joke put to music
__________________
Remember this motto to live by: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather one should aim to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, glass of Scotch in the other, your body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO! Man, what a ride!"
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 12-23-2004, 06:25 AM
Edward The Head Edward The Head is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Somewhere in time
Posts: 5,743
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guy Incognito
Wouldn't you also see stuff happening like oil saturating the air filter? This would be on older cars with "O"-shaped air filters mounted on the top of the engine block.
Yes this can happen, and it happens all the time on my motorcycle. I put in about what it says I need, then after I start the engine I'm guessing that some oil is pooled and it throws oil into the air filter. It can get quite messy in there. You'd think I would have learned after all the times I've done an oil change.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 12-23-2004, 08:11 AM
The Great Sun Jester The Great Sun Jester is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
:: growing faint. Paroxisms of laughter...blown seals.... GUFFAW::
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 12-23-2004, 05:08 PM
rjung rjung is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Ladies and Gentlemen Mr. Kip Adotta
You gotta give the reference for the folks too lazy to follow the link:

"I was driving in downtown Atlantis. My Barracudda was in the shop, so I was in a rented Stingray -- and it was overheating. So I pulled into a Shell station. They said I'd blown a seal. I said, 'Fix the damn thing, and leave my private life out of it.'"
__________________
--R.J.
Electric Escape -- Information superhighway rest area #10,186
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 12-23-2004, 05:12 PM
Revtim Revtim is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
So how much is too much, as shown by the dipstick? 10 percent over the fill line? 50 percent?

And how much is too low, for that matter?
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 12-23-2004, 07:47 PM
Ringo Ringo is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Houston, TX, USA
Posts: 11,261
Quote:
Originally Posted by Revtim
So how much is too much, as shown by the dipstick? 10 percent over the fill line? 50 percent?
I'd think that would depend on the engine, too much being defined as the point where the in-motion oil level is high enough to be in contact with the counterweights on the crankshaft.

Quote:
And how much is too low, for that matter?
At whatever level the oil pump cannot continuously pump a steadily pressured supply; once again, this will, it seems, vary somewhat with the particular engine.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.