Overfilled my oil and got froth. Completely flush? Just drain excess?

JohnSpain

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I overfilled the oil on my 4th gen Maxima. Took a 5min. drive. Got froth. Drain it all out and replace, or just drain the excess (which I can more or less do by only taking off the oil filter)?

Full story:
So I changed my oil the other day, a task which I'm new to. For reasons I won't elaborate on, I wasn't quite sure how much I had put in. I let it sit for a while and when I checked my dipstick, I was in the low range of the OK range. So I just put 0.25 quarts in, in an attempt to bring it up to the higher end of the OK range. I took a 5min. errand. Let it sit for a while. When I checked the dipstick this morning before heading out on a long drive, I read around 1/8th" above OK. I opened the oil filler cap and yup, there's froth (at least I think so. I'm not sure what 'normal' would look like. It had a bubbly surface).
 
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Polygon

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A little over the full mark isn't bad. If you're concerned just drain off the excess.
 

D-Fence

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Whatever you do, get rid of excess ASAP!
The froth comes from the crankshaft hitting the oil. This froth can not be transported normally inside the engine and will lead to engine failure, at least all your seals are in danger. The other bad thing about too much oil is that it will be burned in the engine, resulting in lots of bad stuff on your valves and sparkplugs and more importantly it will ruin your cat. I just assume your car has a cat. :). The froth however is on top of the oil, so you should be fine by bleeding the excess and let the car sit for a while to let the froth dissolve again.....

@ Polygon: he has froth. That is like a huge neon lettering saying OH SHIT THIS IS TOO MUCH OIL!
 

Cowboy

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I wouldent worrie to much, 1/8 above ok isent that dramatic.

If you have "froth" now, chances are you had it before but just never noticed , that could be anything from a headgasket about to go to a simple matter of cheapass oil, I doubt its related.

As for the overfill, the way you describe it that's not even 0.25 quarts over, should be fine realy ....I would drive it for a couple of days and see what the oil level does, if your car is a light oil burner chances are the problem will solve itself.

*edit*

seems like (as always) there are two different views on this .........yay, another topic that will result in a huge argument :p
 
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argatoga

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American oil have more froth than that Euro crap. :p
 

JohnSpain

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I just took the oil filter off and lost a bit of oil. I let it sit for a while. That's when I snapped this photo. I thought I was looking about bubbly oil, but when I looked at the photo, which provided a much better view, I think I was actually looking at metal.




I just put the oil filter back on and check the level. It's now right in the middle of the OK range now.

Bleed Oil:


My reason for posting was concern over whether the oil had been compromised somehow from the foaming...but I bet I was looking at cast metal the whole time. :cry:


Thanks for the responses! I feel just slightly less noobish now. :mrgreen:

Edit: I'm running Castrol GTX 10w30. Apparently my VQ engine (4thGenMaxima) is hard on oil in general, and the Castrol GTX is one of the recommended routes for it. I'll probably go 5w30 for the winter, maybe even stick with it year round. I've thought about going syn, but I don't accelerate higher than even 2.5k rpm usually, above ~3.5k essentially never, very rarely crack 75mph, and never beyond 90mph. So I concluded syn was an unneeded extra cost.
 
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Cowboy

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Glad to see that's solved........I think that's a first :p
 

JohnSpain

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Glad to see that's solved........I think that's a first :p
I wish the story ended there...

Someone pointed out to me how nasty that overfill stuff looks. I doubt checked the stuff I discarded and verified I had trashed only rubbish, no mix up, so I can only concluded that the place I got the oil from had junk mixed in with new. No wonder the sale was so good. This was an autozone or like too, not some questionable place. :cry:

The 'good' thing is that since the deal was so good (5 quarts GTX + good filter came to ~$18 included tax) is that I went back later that day, yesterday, and bought another set. I'm going to take the caps off those bottles to make sure they are good.

I almost took a long road trip today. I'm _really_ glad I didn't.
 
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Cobol74

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Cresta its frothy man. ? :

Lovin Teddy


New Flavour:


I think that we learn from this that frorthy oil is perhaps best avoided!
 

LeVeL

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My 4th gen maxima was never "hard on oil".
You should probably post this on maxima.org
You should probably not change your own oil again :p
 

Spectre

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Castrol GTX is actually one of the worse national branded oils you can buy. Even Mobil DriveClean oil is better. Just check out the typical inspection data - lots of ash, low flashpoint, etc., etc.

Edit: Forgot to mention - I was horrified when I found this out, because Castrol is traditional in Brit cars. However, the TID doesn't generally lie, so I stopped using the stuff. Apparently the parent company is just using the name in a cynical marketing exercise.
 
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v0od0o

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Whatever you do, if the car has been on mineral oil for 6 years don't switch it to synthetic. Not unless you're planning to replace all your seals and gaskets.
 

Spectre

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Whatever you do, if the car has been on mineral oil for 6 years don't switch it to synthetic. Not unless you're planning to replace all your seals and gaskets.
Not necessarily true.

If you are leaking already, a tiny leak will generally seal up. Larger leaks will get worse, much worse.

If you are not leaking, it's usually a non-issue.
 

Cobol74

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What does the owner's manual recommend?

Spectre is correct in the UK Castrol GTX has a good name as an oil and tends not to give us problems; but remember our climate is different to NA with less extremes but it is generally wetter.
 

Polygon

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Not necessarily true.

If you are leaking already, a tiny leak will generally seal up. Larger leaks will get worse, much worse.

If you are not leaking, it's usually a non-issue.
Exactly.

That is a myth propagated by people that had failing seals and the synthetic oil just found it easier to get through. If you change your oil to synthetic and it leaks you should replace the leaky seal as it's a matter of time before it fails completely. Then it will leak no matter what oil you use. Treat causes, not symptoms. Both my cars had conventional in them when I got them. I switched them to synthetic first thing, and, no leaks.
 

JohnSpain

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Castrol GTX is actually one of the worse national branded oils you can buy. Even Mobil DriveClean oil is better. Just check out the typical inspection data - lots of ash, low flashpoint, etc., etc.

Edit: Forgot to mention - I was horrified when I found this out, because Castrol is traditional in Brit cars. However, the TID doesn't generally lie, so I stopped using the stuff. Apparently the parent company is just using the name in a cynical marketing exercise.
Ouch; not the news, but the way you've left me hanging! ;) What do you recommend for non-synthetic?

If nobody makes a good non-synthetic that can be had on this side of the pond, any soild synthetic blend recommendations?
 
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_HighVoltage_

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I would recommend, and I believe Spectre would back me up too (since he told me about it), Valvoline MaxLife. It is a synthetic-blend, you get the best of both worlds. 5 quart jug costs $15 in Walmart.

I've used it for a year and I am absolutely delighted. I had used Castrol and Mobil 1 before, but wasn't happy with either.
 

JohnSpain

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Wow, I got to say a recommendation for anything Valvoline surprises me.

TID - what is this? I'm not questioning your Spectre, but I'm curious what your source(s) are for inspection data or is it simply 'original research' i.e. your experience as a mechanic?
 
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