Can Too Much Oil Cause Low Oil Pressure?

Your engine’s lifeblood is oil. And you most likely know that low oil pressure can occur when there is insufficient oil in the engine. But have you ever heard that having too much oil in your engine can also result in low oil pressure?

Well, we’re here to clarify the surprising question can too much oil cause low oil pressure? So, keep reading.

Can Too Much Oil Cause Low Oil Pressure?

Can Too Much Oil Cause Low Oil Pressure?

Yes, too much oil can cause low oil pressure in your engine. When there’s excess fuel in the oil pan, the fast-rotating crankshaft ends up splashing it. This turns the oil into a foamy, frothy mess that mimics whipped cream, which lacks proper lubrication and results in low oil pressure.

And just as you wouldn’t want to lube your engine with whipped cream, you wouldn’t want this bubbly oil to do the job, either. Thus, it’s essential to maintain a balanced fuel level in your engine – neither too much nor too little.

You see, the oil acts as a protective shield, keeping every running part of the engine lubricated. And without proper lubrication, they would grind against each other, causing irreparable damage.

What are the Risks of Driving with Too Much Oil?

Driving with excessive oil in your car can cause many problems and jeopardize your engine’s condition.

Leaking Engine Oil

A complicated issue may arise if the oil level in your engine climbs excessively. The additional pressure may put stress on your engine’s vulnerable components, such as the head gasket, oil seal, or valve cover gasket, leading to leaks. Before you realize it, the oil will leak out and endanger your engine.

Damaging Engine Severely

The connecting rods, pistons, and other moving parts of your engine may experience excessive resistance as a result of too much oil. And if this occurs, your engine will be irreparably damaged, requiring a complete engine replacement.

Catalytic Converter Damage

Your car’s catalytic converter turns harmful pollutants into less toxic substances before they’re released into the atmosphere. However, too much oil in your engine’s exhaust might cause harm.

When oil coats the inside of the converter, it can become overheated and even melt down or become polluted, which can result in costly repairs.

Catalytic Converter Damage
Catalytic Converter Damage

Blue Smoke from Exhaust

When you see blue smoke coming from your car’s exhaust, the oil is burning and coming out of the tailpipe. This isn’t good because it means your car is losing oil and the oil is not doing its job inside the engine anymore.

What are the Symptoms of Low Oil Pressure?

It’s crucial to be aware of the signs of low oil pressure since it can seriously affect your car’s engine. Some of the symptoms are —

Warning Light

The oil alert light illuminates the dashboard when the pressure is improper. At that time, pull over to a safe location, such as a gas station or parking lot, and check the oil level using a dipstick. Even if your oil level appears to be normal, you should still have your vehicle towed to a repair shop.

Noisy Engine

Noisy Engine

If the oil pressure falls, you’ll start to hear the valves clicking, clattering, or squeaking. Plus, other components, such as the piston rods and crankshaft, may begin to bang if the oil level remains low.

So, if you hear either of these noises, stop driving right away unless you wish to bid your engine a last farewell.

It’s Hot Under the Hood

It’s Hot Under the Hood
It’s Hot Under the Hood

Your engine is designed to operate between 190 to 220 degrees Fahrenheit. And a key component of maintaining your engine inside this range is oil.

However, the engine can overheat if there is poor oil pressure, a broken thermostat, and inadequate coolant. So, make sure you’re not skimping on oil, or you might end up with a boiling engine.

Damaging Spark Plugs

Spark Plugs
Spark Plugs

If there’s too much oil in the engine, it’ll reach into the spark plugs. Consequently, plugs will get damaged, needing them to be replaced. That being said, in case you’ve any damaged ones, you can try our recommendation for plugs.

How to Drain Too Much Oil from the Engine?

If there is too much oil causing low pressure, you must drain some out to keep it at the right level. And to do that, follow the steps below.

Step 1: You’ll need a special tool called a ⅜ -inch socket wrench and have to go under the car to find the oil pan.

Step 2: Now, locate the oil plug, which looks like a big bolt at the bottom of the oil pan.

Step 3: Then, place a special pan under it and unscrew the oil cap with the wrench a little bit at a time, allowing the excess oil to drain out slowly.

Step 4: Meanwhile, keep checking to see if there is still too much oil and keep taking some out until it’s at the right level.

Step 5: Avoid unscrewing the cap too quickly, or all the oil may leak out.

Step 6: Once you’re done, verify that the oil is in the correct quantity by checking the dipstick once again.

Step 7: Repeat it if it remains too high. If you remove too much oil, you’ll need to add more until it is within the proper range.

How Much Oil is Required for My Car’s Engine?

If you don’t know the appropriate amount of oil, you risk having issues because various engines require different quantities.

Simply read the lubricating section of your owner’s manual. There, you’ll find the precise volume of oil your engine requires, stated in liters with the specific oil it requires.

And in case you don’t have the manual, here is a brief summary of the probable amounts of oil that various engines may require:

  • 3.5 to 4.5 liters of oil is required for a four-cylinder engine
  • 4.5 to 5.5 liters of oil is required for a six-cylinder engine
  • 5.5 to 7.5 liters of oil is required for eight-cylinder engine


Read this frequently asked questions for further clarification on this issue.

Can I Drive My Car With Low Oil Pressure?

Yes, you can drive with low oil pressure. However, it’s not recommended. That’s because insufficient lubrication can lead to a significant failure of the engine.

Is It Safe To Drain Oil From The Engine While It Is Still Hot?

Oil experts often advise against draining motor oil while it’s cold and instead do it when it’s warm. The primary cause of this is that hot oil has a lower viscosity than cold oil, which allows it to drain from engines more rapidly and fully.


In the end, the answer to the question “can too much oil cause low oil pressure?” is yes, it can. Overfilling your engine with oil can drop oil pressure causing serious damage to your engine over time. It’s important to keep an eye on your engine’s oil level and ensure it stays within the recommended range.

Remember, it’s not ok to err on the side of caution when it comes to engine oil. So make sure to check it regularly and top it up when necessary.

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