the dipstick says that I need to add a quart or so of oil but when I take off the oil cap I cannot put in any oil because it is at the top. Any thoughts on what would cause this?


Asked by Apr 26, 2015 at 10:35 PM about the 2002 Saturn S-Series

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

4 Answers


That's impossible, if there was so much oil in the engine that it is at the top of the engine oil fill cap opening it would not even run, you must be looking at something else other than the engine oil fill cap, possibly power steering. Look in you manual, it will show you the fill points under the hood.


I thought so but I have been putting oil in this Saturn for a couple years now. Literally, when I took off the oil cap to add there was oil almost to the top. I rechecked the dipstick and it showed needing a little over a quart. Checked under fill cap and oil was right there. Dipstick is not broke. I thought maybe it was and it was reading correct. Strangest thing I ever seen..... Is it possible there is a clog somewhere not letting it go down? Im just grasping at straws here.


If the return holes are plugged then the oil delivered to the top of the engine is staying there or is really slow in returning and that maybe the low reading ou the dipstick, I would pull the valve cover off and look at the drain back holes to see if they are blocked, if they are you need to clean them out but this also means that you will be breaking up pieces of sludge and dropping it right into the oil pan and that could plug up the oil pumps pickup screen making the problem worse. There use to be a piece of equipment that vacuumed as it chewed through the sludge, maybe a shop around you has such a machine that still works. But I'm jumping ahead here, you still need to find out why the oil is stuck in the top end. Try a little test, let it sit overnight and in the morning before you do anything with the engine, check the oil level, if it is still at the same spot and there is still oil in the top end then it is badly plugged, but if the oil has drained back and the oil level has risen then the engine drain backs are not totally plugged, and may not be as bad a clean out. HTH

Kelly Mayo

try this start the engine and see if the level goes down.

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