General Question

Breefield's avatar

What does putting oil in a car, without draining the old oil do?

Asked by Breefield (2728points) February 28th, 2008

So…my car putters to a stop, I push it to the curb, and with no money for gas, find a full bottle of oil in the hood under the ignition thingy. I decide to pour it in, and because of that the car starts, and we manage to borrow some money from a friend and make it to a gas station which happened to be the problem from the start. Now I have two problems. A broken gas gauge which is why I put the oil in, and a car with some unknown oil in it…

Does anyone know what this means for my car?
I’m planning on taking it to Les Shwab tomorrow, but…I’m just wondering if anything knows anything about this.

As far as my car, it’s an 84 Nissan 300zx. And the oil was just…I dunno, green bottle.

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6 Answers

blunckhouse's avatar

From Tom & Ray:
When you overfill the crankcase by a quart or more, then you risk “foaming” the oil. If the oil level gets high enough, the spinning crankshaft can whip the oil up into a froth, like the stuff that sits on top of your cappuccino. And the problem with that is that the oil pump can’t pump froth. It’s like trying to drink from a straw when there’s not much left in the glass—what you get is mostly air. And air can’t lubricate your engine.

wabarr's avatar

It sounds like you are saying you put the oil in your gas tank?! If that is true…then that is definitely not good for the fuel injection system in your car (assuming it has one). The magnitude of the problem probably depends on how much gas you put in once you got to the gas station to dilute the oil. If I am misunderstanding your problem…and you put it in the crankcase where it belongs….then see blunkhouse’s answer above.

Breefield's avatar

Oh sorry, misunderstanding, I put it in th oil tank because I thought I was out of oil. But I thought I had plenty of gas.

kelly's avatar

somewhat low oil in the engine will not make a car stop running. most autos can run ( although not advised) on a quart(or liter) or even two low for a short distance. you should get a low oil pressure indication on the guage on your dash or “low oil” idiot light on the dash well before engine distress. Again – I would not drive far if low oil light on or low oil pressure on guage. Too much oil is NOT good, see blunckhouse above. why your car stopped, if it had gasoline/diesel is likely not due to low oil. maybe electrical or fuel delivery from tank to engine???? you should check your oil dip stick at least every other gasoline fill. ask someone to show you where to look and how to read the dip stick. often it is advisable to add half a bottle of oil, check the dip stick to ensure you do not over fill the oil. you can screw the cap back on tightly and save the rest for later. it doesn’t spoil if the bottle is open and resealed. If you do overfill about the only way to reduce the oil level is to have the oil drain plug removed and let some oil out, a VERY messy affair.

Breefield's avatar

Any idea about how much an oil change would be at oh…les shwab or somewhere like that?

FrankHebusSmith's avatar

@wabarr Your car cannot run on engine oil, it’s too low of quality. If it fired at all, it would sputter and die very quickly.

@Breefield A cheap oil change at a quick oil change spot will set you back maybe $50. $60 TOPS. And don’t overfill your engine oil, not good for the car. ALWAYS check the dip stick before adding oil.

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