Engine heating after too much oil applied to engine. Details attached.

Asked by Jan 27, 2013 at 10:50 PM

Question type: Car Customization

A misunderstanding resulted in two different people adding motor oil to the engine of a 1996 Camry- about 4 quarts too many! The oil was drained, and three new quarts were then added.After turning on the car, blue-white fumes began exiting from the exhaust. The car started up after burning off all of the oil, and it was taken out to test for damage. Upon checking the engine, it was steaming and overheated after being driven only a few miles. I left it to cool, then checked coolant levels, and it was still present in the reservoir. I checked the oil, and there appears to be small levels or ash/soot in the oil. I'm thinking broken head gasket? Any way to self-diagnose this issue before/if I take it into a mechanic?

6 Answers


Yeah... Well could be a head gasket but probably not. When you fill the oil level up so high that it reaches the spinning crank shaft, the shaft froths the oil up and forms air bubbles in the oil. Oil with air bubbles does not lubricate properly. Awful for the engine. Your engine probably has some internal damages. Best bet -- Drain the oil again and add a slightly thicker grade of oil. Change again in about 1000 miles.


maybe also try installing an oil pressure gauge to side of block where your sensor is, just to be sure that you still have oil pressure. if too low, you now know why its overheating. if pressure is between 10 an 40, constantly while running, maybe try engine flush, run cheapest oil through it for a few minutes after the flush is complete, drain, then refill with w/e you use. then again, there very well may be serious bearing, cylinder wall damage

Perhaps the tranny fluid was drained by mistake! You might check that. Surprised you haven't blown any seals with the added blood pressure!


You knocked some stuff loose when it was overfilled. It's showing up as soot. Forget about that. The filter will take care of it. You're pressure is good unless you have a low pressure light on the dash. The problem seems to be overheating. That's one of the symptoms of a blown head gasket along with air bubbles in the coolant reservoir and water in the oil. It may be overheating due to some things that were meant for vapors getting filled with oil.


Its not the head gasket, the car has had an overflow and has oil in the sylinders and has been passed on into the exhaust manifold. This will dissaper by it self after a while . About the soot particeles in the oil, this is because of of the overflow. Perform a enginee cleaning with flushoil, then start the enginee and let it run for 2 min, drrain off the oil, and fill up with 5w-40 full syntechic grade oil to the middle value.


you can compress a gas but not a liquid ,over fill will force oil up piston ring gaps enter combustion area ,piston trys to compress liquid oil , no go ,forces to head gasket ,owch! that was the releif or it would bend a rod ,good guess is a gasket with the heat up thing,I hate when those things happen and im sure you do also, sorry to hear that

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