Managed a very stupid mistake: changed the oil on my just-purchased '03 Kia Diesel Pregio on uneven ground. The drain plug on it is on the side of the pan, exacerbating the mistake.

Initially drained only ~3.8L and refilled 7.1L. Manual states 7.1L for a complete change. So the oil was overfilled by 3.3L.

I realize I am an idiot. I didn't measure how much oil was in the drain pan, and I did not expect such a difference from slightly uneven ground.

I started the car with almost a gallon of extra oil in it! The oil light went off and all appeared perfectly fine? Maybe it was running louder than usual, but I could not notice any rough idling. Ran it about 1-2 minutes, shut it off, checked the oil and saw it was all the way up to the bends on the stick! Over the distance between F-L again passed F!

Then, drained about 3.3L, started it again and all appeared OK. Now the oil is at F. I did not see any foaming or evidence of foaming--I am lucky for that!

I am worried foaming occurred during this 1 minute of idling. I have checked the dipstick since then 30x and do not see anything.

Also, now only 68% (7.1/10.4) of the current oil in car is new, assuming it was homogeneously mixed by the second time I drained it. I assume the new oil filter should do a good job cleaning up the old oil, but I am worried I really should change it again soon..?

So what is the proper course of action in this event? *When should I do my next oil change? Immediately? I have 200 miles to the next auto store and I don't want to tow it to a shop.

**This observation is strange to me: When checking the oil, one side of the dipstick is coated in oil way past the full mark, about to the same mark as when it was way overfilled. The other side indicates F. If the dipstick tube was overfilled with oil, the dipstick may be scraping oil from the side of the tube... otherwise I believe both sides would indicate past full if it was dipping into the oil level. This sounds reasonable to me, but I am paranoid that the oil level is still too high. I inserted, cleaned, and re-inserted the stick about 20 times to see if I could get a different result but the same thing always happens: one side oil passed the jagged bends, the other side to the F mark.

***The day after this happened, I encountered this problem: Starter Motor Intermittently will not engage I believe this intermittent problem is the solenoid or a wiring problem, and should be unrelated to the oil change, would that be correct?

****Is it possible the oil foamed and I do not notice it on the dipstick?

Thank you so much if you read through this long-winded debacle!

  • 1
    Related: mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/1125/… and mechanics.stackexchange.com/questions/24679/…. Not sure if duplicate. Anyways you're worrying too much.
    – Jason C
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 5:29
  • It is a nice relief to see most people commenting that it should be OK and I am worrying too much. Still, what do you think about the oil? Redo the change now or do you think it is OK to drive to maybe half the stated oil change interval and change it again? Only 68% of the oil is new and the old stuff was in there for way over the recommended change interval. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 3:41

3 Answers 3


if your oil is now at the correct level and the engine is not upset, then you may not have any problem. the starter behavior will be unrelated unless you have inadvertently, say, soaked it in oil.


You are worrying too much, everything is fine and your car is very happy. If you have too high oil level, it can struggle with breathing, but it won't harm your engine, just drain it to level and happy days. Foamed oil will disappear after a longer jorney when your oil will heat up properly. If it is too low, it will heat up faster, will decrease oil pressure, and if it is way too low, it will grab air, which will stop lubing your engine components.

Don't worry, you have done everything properly.

FYI: Most of standard road cars does not require more than 5 liters of oil, this is why oil is being sold in 1L or 5L cans.


When reading the oil level stick just take the lowest reading. Obviously if the oil stick is dry above F (even if only part of it) then the oil level is at least up to the F mark. The explanation for the amount above F is as you assume, just picking up from inside the oil level tube.

Cant help with the oil change though.. You may have to assume the oil change has not been done correctly and repeat it. You risk wear on the engine even if only half the oil is renewed.

Although.. Dare I say it, you would be better off than not changing it at all..

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