Putting in 5 qts oil instead of 4.6
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Thread: Putting in 5 qts oil instead of 4.6

  1. #1
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    Putting in 5 qts oil instead of 4.6

    My neighbor across the street has a 2010 Pilot. He changed his oil yesterday and realized his car takes 4.5 qts. He asked me if it was a problem if he put in 5 qts.
    Then I went to check my manual on my 03 EXL and to my surprise it said 4.6 qts. All these years I owned the car, I never realized it was less than 5 qts, yet thats what I've been putting in at every oil change, but I never had any problems.
    So I told my neighbor I've been doing it for years and never had problems with it.
    So my question is what happens if you overfill the engine with 1/2 quart oil? Anything catastrophic?
    Does the engine have a little fudge factor with the capacity, like maybe it does hold 5 quarts safely?

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  3. #2
    Registered User William Wiles's Avatar
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    Do you ever look at the dipstick? If it gets too high it will be churned by the lower moving parts of the engine and turn to foam. Adjust the oil level by the dipstick.

  4. #3
    Registered User New Dad New Van's Avatar
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    Oil change, including filter 4.4 L (4.6 US qt)
    Oil change, without filter 4.0 L (4.2 US qt)

    Just keep within the dots on dipstick.
    2001 Odyssey LX
    2003 ACURA EL Touring

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  5. #4
    Registered User 0dyfamily's Avatar
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    Re: Putting in 5 qts oil instead of 4.6

    Originally posted by sizzlemp
    ......So my question is what happens if you overfill the engine with 1/2 quart oil? Anything catastrophic?
    Does the engine have a little fudge factor with the capacity, like maybe it does hold 5 quarts safely?
    I don't know about any fudge factors, but in a moment of inattention, I've loaded 5 quarts into one of our Odys once.

    No ill effects, but I really grated my teeth until the next oil change (since none of these Hondas ever seemed to burn any oil, no matter how many times I checked that dipstick). I even went so far as to drive that entire 3,750 miles very carefully, avoiding hard cornering, braking, acceleration, etc., thinking "Man, I don't want that crankshaft to whip up the oil."

    On a positive note, I always got good MPG on those tanks of gas while driving that way.

    Instead of that anguish, I should have just spent 10 minutes and put up with the somewhat messy procedure of loosening the drain plug, letting some oil drop out in the old drain pan by sheer guesswork (yeah, that looks like it's almost a quart), put the plug back in (and get an oily hand), and then check the level, and top up if necessary. That would have been much, much easier.

    WW and New Dad are right...keep it within the dots on the dipstick; also, they're spot-on with this: the crankshaft can whip the oil into a foaming, non-pumpable, engine-killing froth if the oil level is too high. This is true of any engine. I just don't know how many quarts causes that in our Honda 3.5L V6's; just drain some oil, and top up if necessary.

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    Last edited by 0dyfamily; 07-15-2010 at 10:40 AM.
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    With the smaller oil filter now made for the Ody comapred to the original when the 03's came out, mine barely takes over 4 to hit the full line.
    2012 EX (hers) 03 LX (reserve force)
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  7. #6
    Registered User William Wiles's Avatar
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    If you are only getting 4 quarts it isn't completely draining. The difference between the old filter and new is only about a tenth of a qt. Draining cold oil after running the engine will leave a lot of oil in the upper engine and draining on a slope will do it. Warm oil on a flat surface should get pretty close to the rated 4.6 quqrts.

  8. #7
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    Last edited by mem; 07-16-2010 at 11:39 AM.

  9. #8
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    If you look at the surface area of the pan, an extra 0.4 quarts of oil will not raise the level enough to even worry about.

    My '97 Civic 1.6l drinks a quart every 400-600 miles (I know, that's impossible, Hondas are perfect, right?) so I often add oil, no problems at all going even 1/2-quart over (it goes down soon enough) although I try to keep it a 1/4 quart over or less.
    2001 Odyssey EX 175K miles, 70K on the 3rd tranny, now running Dex III ATF with Lubegard Friction Modifier (black bottle)

  10. #9
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    As I've said, I've been putting in 5 quarts since day one, never had problems, but next oil change, I'll pay more attention. I could save money on buying only 9 quarts for the next 2 oil changes instead of 10.

  11. #10
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    Originally posted by New Dad New Van
    Oil change, including filter 4.4 L (4.6 US qt)
    Oil change, without filter 4.0 L (4.2 US qt)

    Just keep within the dots on dipstick.
    I always keep mine right at the top dot in summer. It stays in the sump longer and so runs a little cooler.
    2002 Odyssey EX FG
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    Glad there is a topic about this too - I just picked up my Ody with 137k, and the first oil change was done at the dealer by a buddy of mine. less than 4k miles into it, I decided to check the stick, I had originally thought oil change interval was 5K, and was thinking to do 4K if I could, with synthetic oil.

    To my surprise, my oil was on the LOW dot already, and instead of just adding a quart, I just did the oil change. I am definitely burning or leaking a quart over that 3~4k miles, which I'm not gonna sweat it.

    Now I had the same question - I just dumpped 5 quarts into it, cause 1. I checked, it was barely over the top dot. If by the text book, over by 0.4quarts can't be all that bad. 2. I know mine drops in level over miles. So unless someone really has a terrible experience, the 5 quarts is just simpler to deal with I think (though extra cost... but how much are we talking about?)

    Also, anyone has anything terrible to say about Mobile 1 in these cars? am I just wasting money if I change at 4K interval.... but then I already bought couple jugs... I suppose nothing will die if I switch back later. It's like 25 bucks vs. 16 bucks for a 5 quart big bottle.

  13. #12
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    Excess oil in the crankcase is not recommended as previous posters have noted that oil foaming will result. Other things also happen .... If you consider the engine as a pump then extra oil under the pistons causes the pump to work harder (moving downward) as the extra oil has to be pushed out of the way. This takes energy, resulting in loss of fuel mileage. Also, as the oil is heated and foamed it vaporizes which is then recurculated through the crankcase vent system. This over time, can and most likely will cause restrictions in the EGR porting and intake runners. This will cause $ for repairs and replacement parts. So, to overfill or not ? Your choice!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cwy_odyssey View Post
    Also, anyone has anything terrible to say about Mobile 1 in these cars? am I just wasting money if I change at 4K interval.... but then I already bought couple jugs... I suppose nothing will die if I switch back later. It's like 25 bucks vs. 16 bucks for a 5 quart big bottle.
    This is what I would say regarding this...I always pay attention to whether the oil is rated for the correct service requirements and whether the API seal is on it. That's it. If it is cheaper, I get it. I work in the auto industry and know how these things go. Unless you buy a ton of cars and test them yourself for over 100,000 miles each (impossible) it would be impossible for you to notice a difference in wear between the different oils. Is there a statistical difference between the oils? Yes. Is it something that an individual will ever notice? No. Today's engines can easily reach 200,000 miles with normal maintenance and no overhauls. The key is not to abuse them, follow the maintenance schedule, and fill it with oils rated for the proper service requirements. I would think that definitely Mobil 1 would be a waste of money if the car does not require synthetic. My Ody just turned 142,300 miles and still does not burn any noticeable oil between oil changes. Still sounds like new, runs like new.

    And, let me add, I also pick the cheapest filter that I kind find.

    '00 EX-Nav
    Last edited by reyesrey; 01-31-2011 at 12:17 PM.

  15. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by reyesrey View Post
    ***snip*** I would think that definitely Mobil 1 would be a waste of money if the car does not require synthetic. My Ody just turned 142,300 miles and still does not burn any noticeable oil between oil changes. Still sounds like new, runs like new.

    And, let me add, I also pick the cheapest filter that I kind find.

    '00 EX-Nav
    I agree that the Ody's engine will last a long time using a natural oil that meets the API spec. But there's more to consider than engine life when considering synthetic. One is that they flow easily at cold temperatures and so a cold startup is easier on the battery and starter, extending their life and saving money. After startup, an engine with synthetic oil needs less fuel to run cold (saving money) and also produces less emissions (which are highest during warmup).

    But that's just my input. A better justification is that the Prius requires synthetic. Toyota builds engines that are as bulletproof as they come. So the Toyota engineers must be aiming for something beyond engine life.
    2002 Odyssey EX FG
    Honda hood deflector, mud guards, AC condenser screen mod, Zyml wax, Honda ATF cooler, Amsoil EaO20 oil filter, Amsoil synthetic 5W20, Amsoil ATF 6/2011, Krown rustproofing, block heater (gets cc...cold in Canada in winter!)

  16. #15
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    I'm in the boat of synthetic oil. Mainly because I use the Amsoil Synthetic oils with EaO20 filters and I don't change them for 20k. The oil doesn't need to be changed before then. Even when I pull the oil out, it still looks and feels good.

    Best part is that I change the oil 6 times between timing belts. I also change out the transmission fluid around this time too.
    2001 Honda Odyssey
    131k Dec 09
    135k Jan 10
    137k Feb 10
    140k March 10 EGR,Valves, IAC
    143k April 10 Fluids PS, ATF, Oil(18k change), BK

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