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Engine Oil Overfilled


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#1 reprised

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 02:15 PM

Hi All,

I had my car serviced by a Ford Dealer last week and I've just checked the oil level and I have noticed that the oil level is over the maximum mark. My car is a 07 Focus 1.6 petrol 100ps engine. On checking the level (after leaving overnight), the oil level is at the midway point of the semi-circular bend above the max level marker on the dipstick. Is this a big problem as the service dept is closed until Tuesday?? Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

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#2 MrrNoName

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:03 PM

how far overfilled in mm would you say it is from the max mark, i believe that 3mm overfilled is acceptable when cold and 5mm when hot (as oil expands when hot) its definitly not a good thing though as overfilled oil creates too much pressure in the engine which can lead to pre-mature seal failure, if the oil is way overfilled its also possible that the crank can whip the oil into a foam which stops the oil from protecting the engine effectivly (as foam is not a good lubricant).

my advice, phone them up, explain and demand they drain some out untill its just below the max line. the problem is that garages often do oil and filter changes in haste and just pump in the manufacturers specificed sump capacity of oil, the problem is that if there is still old oil left in the engine when the new is pumped in (often there is, as oil clings) when the new amount is pumped in it results in an overfilled engine.

hope this helps

#3 reprised

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 03:55 PM

it really pi**ses me off that places do this, how far overfilled in mm would you say it is from the max mark, i believe that 3mm overfilled is acceptable when cold and 5mm when hot (as oil expands when hot) its definitly not a good thing though as overfilled oil creates too much pressure in the engine which can lead to pre-mature seal failure, if the oil is way overfilled its also possible that the crank can whip the oil into a foam which stops the oil from protecting the engine effectivly (as foam is not a good lubricant).

my advice, phone them up, explain and demand they drain some out untill its just below the max line. the problem is that garages often do oil and filter changes in haste and just pump in the manufacturers specificed sump capacity of oil, the problem is that if there is still old oil left in the engine when the new is pumped in (often there is, as oil clings) when the new amount is pumped in it results in an overfilled engine.

hope this helps


I just checked and measured with a ruler- it is 8mm over the maximum mark when the engine is cold. I have already driven the car about 150 miles could the engine be damaged? :unsure:

#4 MrrNoName

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 04:25 PM

not sure but whats done is done now, I personally wouldent drive it anymore untill its corrected, 8mm seems kinda high too me (gotta remember the oil expands when its hot) wait for artscot79 to read and have his input on it, hes really knowledgeable about this kinda stuff

#5 catch

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 04:33 PM

I just checked and measured with a ruler- it is 8mm over the maximum mark when the engine is cold. I have already driven the car about 150 miles could the engine be damaged? :unsure:


Don't let it spoil your bank holiday plans, would be my advice. A car would have to be driven for thousands upon thousands of miles over filled for it to cause any damage I would imagine. Otherwise logic would dictate that there would be cut out mechanisms built into the system to stop the engine operating. Or at the very least an engine management warning message flashed on the dash.

#6 reprised

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 04:54 PM

Thanks guys. I paid upwards of 200 quid for a 3rd year service and they can't even get the oil change done right. They are supposed to be a main dealer too! Is it easy to drain a little oil from the sump plug myself?

#7 jmurray01

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Posted 28 August 2010 - 05:11 PM

8mm over the MAX mark is unacceptable. Call the garage immediately and insist they drain some oil out ASAP. It is almost unavoidable when changing oil to not have it a little bit over the MAX mark (unless you spend AGES topping up a tiny bit and checking the dipstick thousands of times), but 8mm is just darn right stupidity!

When I change oil, the maximum I would be happy with is 2mm over the MAX mark and no more! A tiny bit over the MAX mark when putting fresh oil in is not bad, infact I think it actually does the engine a bit of good, but any more than 2mm and it has the opposite effect.

Next time, do the oil change yourself! It isn't that hard at all. It's like riding a bicycle, seems hard at first, but once you do it once, you just keep getting better and better at it! :)

And to your question, it is very easy. Just jack the car up, and loosen the plug a little bit so it just dribbles, after a few minutes tighten it up and check the dipstick, keep doing that till it's on the MAX mark!

#8 catch

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 09:30 AM

So there is no misunderstanding to my position, yes it wants sorting, the sooner the better but don't let it spoil your weekend. The garage muffed itso let them sort it.

#9 reprised

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Posted 29 August 2010 - 05:17 PM

I ended up draining the oil myself as I need my car for work and can't wait till they are open. I drained over half a litre maybe more to get it down to the max. It was remarkably easy so I might just do the oil change myself in future. Also noticed that they hadn't refitted the air filter housing correctly so did that myself too!

#10 catch

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 08:27 AM

I ended up draining the oil myself as I need my car for work and can't wait till they are open. I drained over half a litre maybe more to get it down to the max. It was remarkably easy so I might just do the oil change myself in future. Also noticed that they hadn't refitted the air filter housing correctly so did that myself too!


Basically the bog standard interim annual service consists of an oil change, an oil filter change and an air filter change. Every thing else in the Ford scheduled interim service is a look check levels job [power steering, coolant, brake fluid oh and a visual brake inspection, with the wheels on] So three things they had to actually get their hands on and two of these the oil and the air filter jobs need remedial work. Not a glowing example of a Ford Dealership is it.........I know what I'd do

#11 artscot79

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 11:46 AM

Basically the bog standard interim annual service consists of an oil change, an oil filter change and an air filter change. Every thing else in the Ford scheduled interim service is a look check levels job [power steering, coolant, brake fluid oh and a visual brake inspection, with the wheels on] So three things they had to actually get their hands on and two of these the oil and the air filter jobs need remedial work. Not a glowing example of a Ford Dealership is it.........I know what I'd do


sorry folks been working so just seen the post yep 8mm is too much around 2mm is acceptable when it expands at 8mm you may find that its sitting so high that the cam will froth it up creating slight air bubbles it stops the oil from cooling the engine properly as its the oil that does most of the cooling so you did the right thing by draining it mate

#12 MrrNoName

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Posted 30 August 2010 - 05:45 PM

If you want something done right, do it yourself :) brings great satisfaction when its complete too :)

#13 Bulletguy

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Posted 31 August 2010 - 11:31 AM

I ended up draining the oil myself as I need my car for work and can't wait till they are open. I drained over half a litre maybe more to get it down to the max. It was remarkably easy so I might just do the oil change myself in future. Also noticed that they hadn't refitted the air filter housing correctly so did that myself too!

Must admit i've lost count of the times i've put a bit too much oil in, though never by that amount plus it was on old cars with pretty basic engineering. Thats one big advantage of any basic engine....it will stand up to all kinds of abuse. 'Modern' engines don't. They nearly all use expensive synthetic oils now and needless to say replacement parts don't come cheap either, even on something as plain and ordinary as a Focus!

Anyway as you found out for yourself, an oil change is relatively simple to do yourself though in my case the guy who does my MOT and repairs actually charges me far less for an oil change (using Ford oil) than what I can buy the cheapest brand at.


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