Too Much Oil in Engine Sound: Causes and Solutions

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 

too much oil in engine sound

As car owners, one of the most dreaded sounds we can hear is a rumbling or weird engine noise coming from our car. One of the issues that can cause such a noise is having too much engine oil in your car.

So, what does too much oil in engine sound like? If you put too much oil in car, it can create a clanging or knocking sound. Air pockets from overfilling froth up and stop the oil from lubricating properly.

In this article, we will discuss the overfill engine oil symptoms and how to remove engine knock from your car.

How Do I Know the Engine Has Too Much Oil?


Aside from the clanging noise, you may also pull out the dipstick of your car and see if the oil streak is between the High and Low marks. There’s a one to two mm allowance for excess oil levels above the High mark, but anything more than that means you overfilled your engine.

Causes of Excessive Oil Noise in the Engine

The main cause of noise due to engine oil is the stress on engine components or the lack of lubrication. Aside from overfilling, other culprits that can create overfilled engine oil noise are:

1. Wrong oil viscosity


Engines require a specific oil viscosity to work well in different temperatures. Using the wrong oil viscosity can cause low oil pressure and friction inside the car, which can create a ticking sound.

2. Clogged oil filters


Oil filters are bound to get mudded up by dirt and other contaminants. A clogged oil filter can stop the proper circulation of engine oil in your car, causing friction and a ticking sound.

3. Bad oil pump


A bad pump can’t circulate oil that well, causing friction to build between engine components and a rattling sound to emerge as a result.

Too Much Oil in Engine Symptoms


These are some of the signs of too much oil in car:

  • Leaking Oil – Excess pressure on seals and gaskets can cause oil to leak and seep into your other engine components.
  • Engine Smoke – When your car consumes too much oil, it can result in a blue or gray exhaust smoke.
  • Check Engine Light – Too much pressure in your engine systems can cause your car’s engine light to trigger.
  • Burning Oil Smell – Overheated engine from a lack of lubrication can cause it to burn up and emit a “burnt” smell.

Risks of Excess Oil


Adding too much oil to car can expose your vehicle to experiencing problems. Here are some of the risks:

  • Overheating

Adding too much oil can cause it to froth and the engine to overheat. This can lead to your car having a hard time starting or failing to start at all.

  • Engine Friction

Too much lubrication by driving with too much oil can damage your crane and crankshaft due to the increased resistance that is applied to them.

  • Engine Wear

Overfilling even the best BMW or Mercedes engine with engine oil can cause it to wear down. The wrong oil pressure is sometimes all it takes for your engine to deteriorate.

Additionally, frothy engine oil can cause valve pipes and engine rods to bend and break due to additional pressure.

  • Bad Acceleration

Overfilled engines have a hard time operating and must use more power to move their components. This can lead to your car over-accelerating, which will eventually destroy the engine and will be dangerous on the roads.

  • Bad Seals

Your car’s gaskets and seals are rated for a specific amount of pressure. Too much oil can subject them to overpressurization and lead to leaks, which will eventually blow your head gasket.

Solutions for Excessive Oil Noise in the Engine

Now that we’ve discussed what happens to your car when it’s overfilled with engine oil, let’s answer the question of how to remove the excess oil in your engine.

1. Check oil level


This is the first step you should take before you remove excess oil from car. Start by checking the oil level using the dipstick and see if it’s between the high and low marks.

If you find the dipstick oil level too high, then you can move on to the next step of draining your engine oil.

2. Manual oil drain


Manually draining the excess oil is the easiest way to fix too much oil in car. You need to find the oil pan below your car. All you need to do is loosen the drain plug and let the excess liquid go into a suitable container until the oil reaches the proper level.

This method can also help you fix too much oil in generator, which can also present the same problems as a car engine.

3. Extractor pump


This method is much cleaner and more straightforward than draining the oil manually, but it requires an extractor pump. The first thing you need to do is warm up the oil so that it flows easier through the extractor tubes.

Next, place the tube inside the oil dipstick channel. Make sure to check the levels at intervals, so you can make sure you aren’t removing too much oil.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long can I run my car with too much oil?

Your car can run for 6-7 days before too much oil cause knocking and other symptoms. Driving your car long after that time can cause more damage to your engine.

How much oil is too much?

Your car’s engine oil requirement is dependent upon its size and engine type. For example, suppose you put too much oil in a 4 stroke engine of your compact sedan, that same amount might not be enough for a limo.

Here is an example of the volume needed for some car types. Always remember to check your manual to find out the oil amount necessary for your vehicle.

Vehicle Type Volume (In Liters)
Sedan 4.7-7.6
Hatchback 3.0-9.5
Minivan 3.5-6.8
SUV 3.5-7.6
Limo 4.5-29

Prevention and maintenance tips

Here are some things you can do to prevent too much oil from breaking your car:

  • Using the right type of oil – Oil viscosity is an important factor when choosing your oil. Make sure you get the right one for your car.
  • Use high-octane fuel – This type of fuel burns cleaner and can prevent the knocking sound from your engine.
  • Maintenance – Changing your oil fuel when needed and replacing worn-out parts ensure that your car will always be in working condition.


It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t ignore too much oil in engine sound. This can indicate a lot of underlying issues that require immediate attention.

When you start hearing weird noises from your car and start asking yourself “Is it bad?” it’s best that you check your dipstick level and don’t forget the symptoms and tips on how to remove excess engine oil.

The next time someone asks you: “Can too much oil damage your engine?” tell them to never ignore the problem.

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