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Fluids and Lubricants Motor oil, transmission oil, radiator fluid, power steering fluid, blinker fluid... wait, there is no blinker fluid. Technical discussion and analysis of the different lubricants we use in our cars.

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Old 08-31-2007, 11:17 AM   #1
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How much extra engine oil is too much extra? I may have screwed up.

I just performed an oil change and I think I accidently added 1/2 a quart too much.

I am using Mobil 1 Synthetic engine oil.

The '06 Max is supposed to take I believe just 4.5 quarts but I think I may have put in a full 5.

Any help you all can provide is much appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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First step is to check the dipstick. It is the true reading of how much oil is in you engine & filter. You should have run your engine (after the oil change) for at least 5 minutes to completely soak the filter with oil. Then check the level on the dipstick. It is reported that the full level line represents the correct oil level after the engine has been shut off for about 3 minutes (while you are filling the gas tank). I prefer to check my oil level in the morning after the oil has a chance to fully drain back into the sump -- but the 3 minute rule is supposedly the more accurate measurement.

- If the level is at the full line you are OK.
- If the level is below the full line, you should add more oil. The difference between the full line and the low line is 1 liter or almost one quart of oil.
- If the level is above the full line, you should drain out some of the excess motor oil. There is no easy way to do this without making a mess. If you loosen (but don't remove) the drain nut, the oil flow will be extremely slow -- a few drips a minute as most. You could do this overnight if you have a garage. If you remove the nut, you will get too much out before you can replace the nut again.

Good luck.
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Old 08-31-2007, 12:27 PM   #3
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Okay thanks a lot for the quick response. I will try out what you said once I let the oil settle down fully.

The dipstick really confuses me at times. Because everytime I wipe it then pull it out, it seems as though there is oil everywhere and I dont really know what I am looking at. It's hard to explain but maybe once it all settles, it will become a bit more easier to read.
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Old 08-31-2007, 02:46 PM   #4
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After waiting a couple hours for the oil to settle, I think it might be a little bit above the full line.

What are the risks I take when I have slightly extra oil (betwee half a quart and 1 quart) extra oil in the engine?
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Old 08-31-2007, 03:20 PM   #5
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I would suggest that you try the 3 minute reading again -- because that is the really true test of whether the oil level is too high. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it thoroughly. Put the dipstick back in and then quickly remove it again. Ignore any spots of oil on the upper dipstick. You are looking for the oil level measured on the bottom of the dipstick. If the level is less than 1/32 of an inch above the full line, I would not worry. If it is more than that above the full line, you have too much oil in the engine.

If you have too much oil in the engine it can (but not always) cause the following problems:

- The engine has to work harder due to the extra oil in the oil sump (see next).

- Excessive oil splash at the bottom of the cylinders which can result in:
a) the oil foaming {less likely but possible with Mobil 1}, and
b) oil splashed on the bottom of the cylinders that can be burned by the engine. This causes deposits on the cylinder walls (not good)

There may be others on this site who can list other bad effects from having too much oil in your engine. It has been my experience with other cars (not my Max) that they tend to burn less oil when the oil level is 1/2 to 1 quart low. My Max burns about 1/2 a quart every 5 K miles or so, but running it 1/2 quart low does not seem to change that burn rate.

Final point, every engine is slightly different, so you need to find out what your engine does with oil burning.
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Old 08-31-2007, 04:26 PM   #6
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wait a minute 1/32 th of an inch is like nothing, its not even one millimeter, and thats tiny, you probly cant even see the difference of that on the sip stick.

i have the vq30de and the oil level is slightly above the H mark, its less than 5 millimeters above the line (0.19685 of an inch) -- is that bad ?
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:17 PM   #7
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In an ideal world, the oil line would exactly match the line on the dipstick. Who knows how much "slop" Nissan designed into their dipstick. I guessed that it was 1/32 of an inch. Andrei would like it to be about 1/10 of an inch.

On the dipstick in my VQ the distance between the H and the L line is exactly 7/16 of an inch (1/16 under 1/2 inch -- but I will use 1/2 of an inch because it makes the math easier). If the "slop" is 10% (which seems reasonable), then that would allow for about 1/20 of an inch -- which is less than 1/16 but more than 1/32. But 1/20 of an inch is half of what Andrei would like it to be.

Bottom line, IMHO, don't overfill your engine with oil. On first filling, err on the side of being low by about 1/2 quart or so. It's easier to add a little more after a day than it is to try and remove 1/2 a quart that turns out to be too much.
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Old 08-31-2007, 06:56 PM   #8
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ok so what should i do ? i dont change my own oil, so ive never drained it myself

should i try to unscew the drain plug and let it drain a little ?

i got my oil changed a few weeks back and i dont feel any difference.
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:15 PM   #9
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IMO your fine. Maybe if you put an 1 extra quart/liter of oil in, then worry. But in all my cases, i have put .5 liter in too much, accidently of course, but at the time i didnt catch it, untill i read i put 4.3 instead of 3.8. I did that to my car a few times, i always thought it took 4.1, so i started putting in 4.1, then it was always high so i went down, 3.8 seems to be good for the vq30.

Then again i can get accurate measuremnts down to the hundredth, the oil system we use at my work is measured.

Honestly, if it bugs you that much, then what you can do rather then slowly take out the drain plug is loosen the oil filter, you dont need to drain much so keep that in mind. it will be messy of course.


good luck!
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Old 08-31-2007, 08:38 PM   #10
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Good idea with the oil filter -- messy of course. But easier to control than the drain plug -- which is either in or out. You will probably have a hard time loosening the filter. You can buy a filter wrench to fit the filter -- if you know the size of the filter. That wrench will make it easier to loosen the filter.
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Old 08-31-2007, 09:54 PM   #11
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Yeah, at my work we use the "Crow Feet" style lol. Thats what i started calling them, its like water pump pliars with 2 big jaws. The OP should have a 15208-65F00 which is one of the smallest filters ive seen, id say 3" in diameter and maybe 3" long. Id recommend the 15208-9E000, its a better filter, if you can find the ones that are still made in japan that is.

Its kinda funny, like all the nissans from atleast 1984 use either 15208-55Y00, 15208-65F00 or 15208-9E000. I think theres one more, but it is not common..you remember these numbers when you do like 10 oil changes a day LOL.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:02 PM   #12
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I have a filter wrench for the Nissan filter. But when I started using the Mobil 1 filter -- which is bigger -- I went back to using a big pair of channel locks. The problem with using the channel locks to loosen the filter-- they will most likely put a dent in the side of the filter. They are fine for removing a filter you will no longer use. But not so good for just loosening a filter so you can drain off about 1/2 quart of motor oil.

Good luck with this effort. Hope you can locate a filter wrench that works on the filter in you Max.
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96blkonblkse
i did that to my car a few times, i always thought it took 4.1, so i started putting in 4.1, then it was always high so i went down, 3.8 seems to be good for the vq30.
Yeah that sounds good, thanks, i think i know what happened, i told the guy to put in 4 Litres, exactly like this vq needs, but he did not give it enough time to drain, and some of the old oil was still in there. I think ill keep this oci short. 5000 Km instead of the usual 6000 Km.

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:53 PM   #14
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running an extra quart wont hurt anything. many auto-x guys do it so that under hard cornering the oil doesnt completely leave the sump, and they dont drain it after. 1 qt extra wont hurt anything. in fact, i wouldnt even drain it. thats a waste
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Old 09-01-2007, 12:37 AM   #15
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well your theory is excellent too, dont drain it because there is more oil and it will last longer, there is simply a larger quantity of particles.
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Old 09-01-2007, 01:08 AM   #16
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This is the way my dad puts it...if the car is meant for 5 quarts and you put in 5.5 quarts, then that's like saying you can only drink half a cup of water at a time, but now you increased it to one cup. (I know it's double, but you get my point) This would cause a little stress on the motor because in a way it would be "choking" it. Also, there's more friction, so you are also loosing power.

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Old 09-01-2007, 10:49 AM   #17
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Thanks for all the insight and tip fellas.

What I decided to do was to pump out about 1/2 a quart of engine oil. Rather than loosening the bolt or removing the filter and risking losing too much oil, I used a hand pump and sucked it out through the dipstick location.

It was a slight pain in the butt (took about 15 mins to set it all up and remove the oil) but I checked the dipstick again after removing the oil and it is right next to the "high" line now.

Since doing the oil change I've only driven it about 2 miles. Later on, I'll drive it around let it sit again and check the dipstick oil level.

Thanks again guys for the help.
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Old 09-03-2007, 08:28 PM   #18
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interesting thread, I've always put in 5quarts
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Old 09-05-2007, 09:20 AM   #19
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Make sure you don't over tighten the filter. I've never had to use a wrench to get one off that I put on. Now on a very old car, that had the filter on for 5-6 years it was a different story, haha.
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Old 09-05-2007, 07:20 PM   #20
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weird...whenever I get my oil changed its ALWAYS higher than the "H" mark...noticeably higher. As per specs, 4.25 quarts are always added...dunno why its always beyond "H"
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Old 06-17-2013, 02:22 PM   #21
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Little late maybe to be posting, but the best way to removed excess oil is with a large (horse) syringe and clear tubing (fish tank type). You can ruin a turkey baster if you want, but finding a veterinary supply outlet or mechanics syringe shouldn't be too hard. I've had one for years and comes in handy with a motorcycle too.
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:32 AM   #22
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4.5 is what the manual says. I usually use 4.
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interesting thread, I've always put in 5quarts
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Old 05-05-2014, 06:55 AM   #23
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4.5 is what the manual says. I usually use 4.
This thread was done in '07.
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:04 AM   #24
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If you performed a complete drain from the plug, then replace the oil filter, then drop all 5 quarts into that baby.

Ive been doing that from day one, and have 237K on my 05.

No regrets!!
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Old 05-05-2014, 07:22 AM   #25
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Old 06-14-2014, 01:49 PM   #26
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Why don't you guys take off the oil pan and put in 4.5qt and then 5qt.
See how much of a difference that is in the pan.

I put in 5qt just because that extra bit of oil is a waste to throw away.
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Old 06-14-2014, 02:28 PM   #27
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I put in 5qt just because that extra bit of oil is a waste to throw away.[/QUOTE]

I take it you're not worried about submerging a valve or 2....
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:32 PM   #28
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Will 1/2 a qt do that?
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Old 06-16-2014, 03:41 PM   #29
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Will 1/2 a qt do that?
who wants to find out!? The extra pressure is not good, not what the engine was designed to withstand. Just get some narrow plastic fishtank tubing and a large vet's syringe (horse) or the biggest you can find. Push the tube down the same hole the dipstick comes out of and draw off the excess one syringe full at a time till you are at the right level. The "high" and "low" markers are there for a reason. If you can't do that, obviously you can just loosen the drain plug on the oil pan enough to shed whatever you need. Catch it in a bowl or whatever is big enough to avoid a mess and top off if you are too low.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:19 PM   #30
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The extra pressure is not good, not what the engine was designed to withstand.
What pressure
The only pressure is from the oil pump, and that is only present in the bearings and is not affected by having too much oil. There is no magical sump pressure that will blow your seals out. If you have too much blowby pressure the oil level will not change it.

Seriously guys, the hash mark on the dipstick represents 1 quart. Now imagine half a hash mark above the full line, this is NOT substantially closer to the crankshaft and will not cause foaming. Not enough of a change to hurt a dam thing.
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Old 06-16-2014, 05:30 PM   #31
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what about the other theory, that too much oil is likely to cause oil to be burnt with the gas and eventually fowling the cat. Other theory about seals and foaming are valid, why push it.
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Old 10-03-2014, 01:13 AM   #32
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I thought I'd add my 2c..

I've personally most of the time filled oil up just a little bit higher then the H mark.. why? Its just stupid imho to throw the 500ml's away. Sure you can store it away for the next oil change, but i mean, after the next oil change you would have another 500mls stored away - stupid!

I used to race my previous car at the tracks (sig), and I would always make sure there was more oil then needed - This is merely to save the motor on hard cornering. I've NEVER had issues with oil foaming or anything.

If 1/2 quart was ever going to cause foaming issues, then that right there is a flaw in the car, and in fact, they should be recommending a smaller sump, or lower volume of oil needed.

I'd rather have too much oil, then have low oil
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Old 10-07-2014, 07:20 PM   #33
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what about the other theory, that too much oil is likely to cause oil to be burnt with the gas and eventually fowling the cat. Other theory about seals and foaming are valid, why push it.
Right on.

Nissan puts the 2 lines on the dipstick for a reason. You should not go below the bottom line or above the top line. It may not cause a problem in your Nissan - but then again it might - so why tempt fate. There are numerous reasons to not exceed either line - there is no good reason to do so.

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