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The dealership has been doing my oil changes for 5 yrs. and I recently discovered they have been putting in more than the recommended amount of oil. They have been installing 5 quarts instead of 4qts. (With filter) I can see oil residue around the seal and wonder if the integrity of my engine has been compromised? Once, to my knowledge, they put in 6 quarts of oil. I would like your opinion before I consult a lawyer. I have A 2003 Dodge Dakota SLT 3.9L. If they are doing it to me they are doing it to others.

Last time I checked lawyers don't fix cars! What you are questioning is your cars engines integrity! So I called my automotive engineer radio Co-Host Mark Sarlo and asked him this. “What is the worse thing that could happen to an engine being 1 Qt overfilled with oil”? Being a true engineer he could never give me an exact answer. He said it depends on your driving style and habits. If in town driving is what you normally drive, then nothing MAY have happened to your engine. If highway driving is what you drive most, then the engine MAY be damaged. Let me explain why the “type” driving you do make the difference in what damage may have happened to the engine. If you drive at prolonged highway speeds where the engine speed is constant, then foaming of the oil MAY happen. It is like whipping vegetable oil to make a mayonnaise. You take a liquid and turn it into a thick paste by whipping air into it. Oil can do the same thing with the pistons moving up and down at such a rapid rate. This may cause a lack of lubrication to the mechanical components in the engine. Today’s oil has anti-foaming agents to keep this "foaming" from happening so easily. Still at prolonged highway speeds it MAY happen. My advice would be to see if the dealership will extend your power train warranty. They have the power to do this with approval from the district representative. In most cases the person who changes oil is the lowest paid guy at the dealership. It is an entry level job that doesn't require a high mechanical skill level. When I started working on cars in high school I wanted to be the best mechanic @ J.C. Penny's Auto Service. During these early years I messed up my share of oil changes by under filling or over filling or just leaving oil plugs or filters loose. I know this does not take away the fact that your oil was overfilled. And you are worried about your car. I just want you to be level headed and see if you can work out an answer to your problem with the dealership. It is getting harder and harder to get young people to work in the automotive repair field. The average age of an auto technician is around 48 years old. If things don’t change soon then we will have a nation of geriatric auto technicians working on cars. Dealerships and independent repair shops want to maintain good customer relations so that we may continue to grow and take care of our customers. We are only as good as the people we hire and we want to make it right any way we can.

 

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