Q: Car engine keeps shaking then it shuts off. Did I ruin it by accidentally putting too much oil in?

asked by on

My car was low on oil, I checked the dipstick and it was almost dry. Drove to pep boys and bought a gallon of 10 30 oil, recommended for my car. Stupid me, I did not know that when you put oil in the car, you pour a little in then check the dipstick to see if it's full. I thought it was how the water is, you pour it until it's full. I put about 4.5 quarts in it. After calling my dad, he told me I definitely should NOT have done that, I checked the stick and it was about an inch and a half over the full mark. Mechanic said it was shaking really bad when he moved it into the shop. I've never had an issue with that in the year I've owned it. The guys at pep boys drain it, and do an oil change. They also replace the air filter with my permission. After that is done, they try multiple times to turn on the car, then the engine proceeds to shake furiously then the car shuts off. In Park, Drive and Reverse. Every time they turned it on, same thing. Had to get it towed home. Any ideas?

My car has 120000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

It certainly is possible that some engine damage was done. With the oil level reading an inch or more above the full line, it’s a safe guess that you were running at least 2 quarts overfilled. Considering the engine holds about 4 quarts, it was basically overfilled by 50%. With that much oil in the engine, aeration can be a problem. The oil will begin to foam or aerate due to so much oil in the small spaces inside the engine. As the oil aerates, the oil pump will have a hard time pumping the oil, oil pressure can drop and cause bearing, crankshaft, piston, and/or connecting rod damage as well as piston rings. A good place to check if the engine is still healthy is to have a local repair shop do a compression test. The readings can then be compared to factory specifications.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car engine keeps shaking then it shuts off. Did I ruin it by accidentally putting too much oil in?

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Truck is running good, but sometimes it will act like it's flooding out. It will sometimes stall when stopped unless I pump the gas quickly

Hi there. Your truck is from the 1999 model year so it is fully OBD-II compliant. That means that the computer "runs" the show and the only way the car can be tuned is if the oxygen sensors are operating...

Q: Q: Misfire

You may have an issue with power getting to the coil pack or from the coil pack. Check to be sure all connections to the coils are solid. Other things like faulty wires going to the coil may also case...

Q: What other damages occur when the idler pulley freezes?

An idler pulley will never prevent an engine from ever running again. An idler pulley just has a ball bearing inside of it that can dry out over time causing it to get hot. If the issue is not resolved...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.