Welcome to PriusChat

We'd love to have you join our community and participate in the conversation! Sign up for FREE today.

Sign Up

Prius oil overfill

Discussion in 'Gen II Prius Care, Maintenance and Troubleshooting' started by Ryan king, Dec 30, 2012.

Social Buttons

  1. Ryan king

    Ryan king New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    I did my own oil change on my 2005 Prius and the oil is Barely above the top dot on the dipstick. I knew the Prius took less oil and measured only putting in around 3.5 quarts. Is this okay or do I need to take some out?
  2. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,122
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It should be fine if it is "barely over" but if your concerned remove the filter empty it and put it back on, that should bring the level down nicely after the engine has been run.
  3. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,122
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    Sorry forgetting my manners welcome to PC.

    John (Britprius).
  4. Ryan king

    Ryan king New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II


    If I remove the filter won't oil pour out of the hole?
  5. Britprius

    Britprius Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Messages:
    4,122
    Likes Received:
    1,167
    Location:
    Herefordshire England
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2008 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    No. Two reasons:-

    (1) The top of the filter is above oil level.

    (2) Between the sump and the oil filter is the oil pump "the filter operates at engine oil pressure" if the pump is not running "driven by engine" no oil can flow through the pump.

    So it is perfectly safe to remove the filter when the car is not in ready mode. For safety if your car has SKS system keep the fob as far from the car as possible while working on it. Or put it in a tin or rap in foil.

    John (Britprius).
    jdcollins5 likes this.
  6. cyberpriusII

    cyberpriusII Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2009
    Messages:
    456
    Likes Received:
    116
    Location:
    Oregon
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2009 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    My question/concern -- and probably someone else could answer this -- would be why would the oil be overfilled if you only put in 3.5 quarts?

    When I first started oil changes on my car, I carefully measured out the 3.XXX quarts of oil that the car "actually" called for (something like 3 and 7/8 or something like that) and it came out exactly on the line.

    But, it was a pain, and the great forum folks here told me to just put in 3.5 quarts or so....not to worry about getting it dead-on.

    So, curious why you would be a tad over (a quarter-inch or less above the full mark won't hurt).

    did you change the filter at the same time? Did you measure on canted ground? did you not let all the oil drain -- esp. on a cold engine?

    Curious?

    BTW, if you plan on doing your own oil changes, install a fumoto valve. Makes the job much easier and it is easy to drain any excess. Seach the forum for fumoto information.
  7. Ryan king

    Ryan king New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    II
    That's what I'm wondering too. I did let it drain for quite a while (hours) before putting the new oil in. The only thing I'm wondering is if I was an idiot and looked at the L measurements instead of the quarts. And yes I changed the filter.
  8. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,415
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Three


    Since you mentioned L (litre) measurements, I would ask this question. How many bottles of oil did you use, AND were the bottles 1 quart bottles or 1 litre bottles? I ask this since I really don't know if you are stateside or somewhere else in the world. You can update your personal information to show this if you prefer.

    From what I have learned and read if you are just a little over the top mark (like 1/8 of an inch) you should be OK. However it is recommended to keep the oil between the top mark and the lower mark on the dipstick. If it were my car, I would drain a little out of it. According to the manual if you change the oil and the filter the amount needed is 3.9 quarts. If you were to add that much, it usually brings it right up to the top or just a little over. As other's have posted here in the past 3.5 quarts is sufficient when changing the oil and filter.

    Good luck to you and welcome to Prius Chat.

    Ron
    Britprius likes this.
  9. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Messages:
    20,824
    Likes Received:
    3,370
    Location:
    boston
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Base
    it's fine, don't trouble yourself.
  10. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,022
    Likes Received:
    874
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    Another way to get a little oil out, should you decide to, loosen the drain bolt, back it out 'till it's almost out, then carefully tilt/rock the bolt, slightly, to get a fine trickle, draining into some clear receptacle, preferably with gradations. Keep an oil pan under the whole situation, for just in case...

    It's a little freaky doing this the first time, but really not that hard. Just keep the bolt slightly threaded in, not free of the threads.. It should not be unscrewed so much that you have to start rethreading.
    dorunron likes this.
  11. uart

    uart Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,687
    Likes Received:
    786
    Location:
    Australia
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A


    This is what I was going to suggest. It's much easier than removing the filter, but you have to be a little bit careful.

    One really important thing if doing it this way: DO IT WITH THE OIL COLD!. Otherwise when you start burning your fingers you'll drop the plug and end up with a mess. As long as the oil is cold, and you don't mind having some dribbling over your hand, then it's a nice easy way to do it.

    1. Make sure the oil is cool.
    2. Unscrew the drain plug until it's finger tight.
    3. Loosen it with your fingers while at the same time pushing it in towards the sump.
    4. Let some dribble out and then screw the plug back in.

    Remember that all the while you are pushing the plug back towards the sump, even when you're loosening it. This way it doesn't really matter if the plug becomes completely unthreaded or not, as long as you're pushing back against it as you unscrew then the oil will only dribble out.

    BTW. If the oil is not more than about 3mm (1/8") over the top dimple then I probably wouldn't bother doing anything.
  12. dorunron

    dorunron Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    2,415
    Likes Received:
    580
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2013 Prius
    Model:
    Three


    Exactly, I agree with this 100%. If it is overfilled just a little, then it will be Ok. Anymore than that, you should consider draining out a little as uart suggests. I have ran our Prius both ways, just a little over and in between the marks. I have yet to observe any oil whatsoever collecting in the bottom of the manifold underneath the throttle bore, nor have I had any problems with engine running rough or misfires, codes, etc. that happens when you overfill the Prius with oil.

    Ron
  13. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2004
    Messages:
    8,010
    Likes Received:
    1,965
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2012 Prius Plug-in
    Model:
    Plug-in Advanced
    Barely above is fine.

    For perspective, I brought my 2012 in to the dealer for the routine check, tire rotation, and "free" oil change. I had no idea they would have overfilled by so much. I was 1/2 inch above the full mark. Geez! Draining that out to get the level to 1/8 below full measured to 24 ounces. That's 2/3 of a quart. What a waste. It can't possible be good for the engine either.

    Using the dribble method works well, but can be rather messy. Knowing roughly how much to expect before you loosen helps. I'd suggest a container premarked ahead of time.
  14. richard schumacher

    richard schumacher shortbus driver

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2004
    Messages:
    7,652
    Likes Received:
    874
    Location:
    United States
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    What they wrote: don't worry about it. Next time start by putting in three (3.0) quarts, waiting ten minutes, then checking the level. It'll probably be fine.
  15. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,165
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    Slight overfill of the oil is fine, please do not listen to some of the paranoia and nonsense on here. Grossly overfilling the crankcase would indeed cause foaming issues, and possibly no-start. 1/4-1/3 qt overfill is not going to cause any problems.

    The last Gen 2 I had in, which was a 2006, took 3.9 qt to reach the full dot after an oil change- cold. However, after the car was taking on a long trip and the oil level was checked 5 min after shutdown, the level was about 1/4" over the full dot - which was expected and not of any concern.
  16. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    Messages:
    5,022
    Likes Received:
    874
    Location:
    Greater Vancouver, BC, Canada
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2010 Prius
    ^ I've noticed sim. with 3rd gen.

    The first oil change I did, when checking level after running for a minute or two, then letting it settle: the level looked alarmingly low. This was after putting in 4 liters, when the spec. was 4.2 for full. So I caved in and added about 200 cc, but it was still reading low. Then a day or two later, rechecking: it was slightly over the full mark.

    From then on, I stuck to putting in 4 liters, and leaving it a few days, then rechecking.
  17. The Critic

    The Critic Resident Critic

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2005
    Messages:
    2,165
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Walnut Creek, CA
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2011 Prius
    Model:
    Three
    True story:

    Co-worker dropped off her Gen 1 TSX for a service. I unscrewed the drain plug and allowed it to drain. Over the course of the next 1.5 hr, I cleaned and lubed all of the brake caliper slide pins, rotated the tires, checked fluids, etc. Note that I have done many oil changes on this car before, but I have never allowed it to drain this long.

    When it came time for a refill, I dumped in 4.5 qt of oil and started it up. Previous oil changes have always taken between 4.5-4.7 qt. After waiting several minutes, I checked the oil and it was barely registering on the dipstick! OEM spec is 4.4 qt for an oil/filter change.

    I dumped in the remainder of the oil in the 5 qt container, checked it again, and it was barely past the minimum mark. At that point, I poured in all of the leftover oils that I had on my shelf (of the correct grade, of course) - which amounted to about 2/3 qt total, so now we are at 5.6 qt. Puzzled, I checked for leaks and both the drain plug and the oil filter were dry as a bone. I checked the oil one last time, and it was 2/3 of the way between the low and full marks.

    At that point, I was still puzzled....so I took it for a long test drive and came back, checked the oil, and found the level to be about 1/3 qt over the max. Since the car consumed some oil anyway, I wasn't too concerned about it, but that was certainly a weird night.
  18. uart

    uart Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2009
    Messages:
    3,687
    Likes Received:
    786
    Location:
    Australia
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    N/A



    I think that most of this is just down to slow drain-back (drain-through) of cold oil. There can be a thermal expansion aspect to it, if the oil is a lot hotter on the later measurement. For example a 50C delta (90F delta) in oil temperature will give about a 4 ounce (approx 1/2 cup) volumetric expansion in 3.7L of oil.

    Personally I like to change my oil warm and fast. I get the engine warm but not hot (don't want to burn my fingers) and drop the drain plug straight way. Then whatever time it takes me to unscrew the old filter and pre-fill and install the new one, that's all the time I give it to drain (usually only about 8-10 minutes).

    So I pour in the new oil and the engine is still warm. As soon as the level is showing somewhere about correct on the dipstick I start the engine and let it do it's complete warmup cycle until it cuts out. I then pack up my tools and clean up (about 15 min) and recheck the level, topping off if necessary. After that it's generally the same level any time I check it, except of course for a gradual loss due to very minor oil consumption (approx 250mL per 5000 km in my case).
  19. V8Cobrakid

    V8Cobrakid Green Handyman

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2004
    Messages:
    3,790
    Likes Received:
    140
    Location:
    Park View, Los Angeles, CA. U.S.A
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2004 Prius
    Model:
    N/A
    It's been a while since i've posted on this forum (i have my reasons... usually similar to why other high profiles leave this forum)... instead of opening a new topic about my current issue, i figured i would bring this one "back to life" (not really dead since the last reply was on the 1st)

    Anything over the full mark is too much... simply put. don't call people paranoid or crazy (in my opinion most of you have no clue what you're talking about unless you're trained in this territory as a prius specialist. i'm one of the extreme fanatics and i still keep my mouth shut when i don't understand it 100%)... it's a big issue because anything over full can clog your emissions lines and drop intake pressure which then makes the car run poorly for a short period before the engine no longer starts. look up the TSB EG050-04 or was it -40... i think it's the first one.

    the other major problem with all of this is, it is definitely not an issue that arrises right away... forget the foaming and whatever that's usually compared to traditional car designs. most new cars are now susceptible to this issue (i was speaking with a prius specialist about this in great detail. he also does other imports)

    and now..... i go into the depths of my current problem...

    about a week ago i let jiffylube change my oil. i paid a rather expensive price to get really good synthetic oil since my car is about to hit 200k. usually i'm anal retentive about checking the oil after each fill and i usually drain off a decent amount to bring it under the mark. this time i was rather busy and not feeling so well so i didn't check it and passed it off as ok... hoping i could trust jiffylube for once in my life... i was wrong. (i should have learned seeing they destroyed my fathers 63k dollars commercial grade F450 a few years back and were forced by FORD to pay off for the damage they caused)

    (back to topic)... they threw in 4 quarts according to their service records....

    i was in front of my house spending hours working on the interior (i use my prius for construction so the inside was rather filthy) after sitting at really odd angles cleaning my headliner (cleans up beautifully with watered down simple green) i noticed error lights popped up on my dash and the phrase "problem" (or something similar popped up on the mfd)... i switched over to the SOC screen to see my battery was starting to drain.... hmm... ok... so i peaked on my scangaugeII to see how things were going. it gave code p3190 (poor engine performance... or i think that's the code.. i'm not looking at my notes currently).... the engine was no longer creating a charge. after cycling the engine it gave a p3093... or maybe it was p3193... either way... it's a failure to start.. even though most replies on here say it's no fuel (that's BS)

    if you look up the TSB you'll see people usually disassembled their throttle body and cleaned up everything they could touch... including the pools of oil in the intake manifold.... well.. i didn't have the tools on hand to pull it apart and i didn't feel like getting lint particles inside my engine because if anyone has a clue about engines, you can't let any particles in there or in the oil. (i did pull off the intake and clean what i could in visible reach.. didn't help)

    So... i had my car towed in to a prius specialist near by. they did a free diagnostics and a hybrid battery charge for me. they even offered me a free loaner car. they charged the battery because me diagnosing it ran down the hybrid battery... for those of you who know the numbers... i was down around 200v. they confirmed that there was way too much oil in there and advised to never ever go above the full mark. (mainly because nobody is ever really on a flat terrain, and if it is over the full mark and you go over a steeper grade, you loose the buffer room)

    i get the car back tomorrow. jiffylube is going to cover it with their insurance. (still arranging the details on that)

    please excuse any typos.. its been a bit since i've been on a real keyboard... been living off the iPhone recently (used to typos there.. lol)

    btw, loosening the plug and tipping it is what i do... it works great when it's cold because the tip gives control.. and it usually only drips off of the bolt and didn't get all over my hands (not that i was worried about that since i was wearing my leather work gloves... it wouldn't be the first time an oil gets on them)

    further details.. the shop is disassembling the throttle body and intake manifold.. they are doing a chemical flush on the emissions recovery lines and then when it's all back together they are going to do an engine fogging to clean up all the bits they can (good as new... yay)
  20. jadziasman

    jadziasman 75K miles to go before the odometer stops

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    Messages:
    684
    Likes Received:
    184
    Location:
    District 6
    Your Vehicle Year:
    2005 Prius
    Model:
    Five
    Sorry to hear that Jiffy Lube "screwed" you.


    That's why I ALWAYS do my own oil changes.

    Like Tony Montana said:

    "Who do I trust......ME!
Similar Threads: Prius overfill
Forum Title Date
Gen II Prius Technical Discussion Overfill worries - 2007 Prius with bladder Feb 3, 2010
Gen II Prius Technical Discussion Help! Overfilled my Prius -- long term effects? May 27, 2008
Gen III 2010+ Prius Technical Discussion 2010 Prius IV Secrurity Alarm System Questions Today at 10:32 AM
Newbie Forum First Prius, Four years in PriusChat! Yesterday at 8:58 PM
Prius c Main Forum Prius V made to look like a Prius CI liked my C so much, but after 125k miles, it is just too small, Yesterday at 3:44 PM