Toyota RAV4 Forums banner

Dealer repeatedly overfilled oil level

3928 Views 28 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  Dr. Dyno
I just completed my second 10,000 mile Toyota dealer service. On both services I found my dipstick level was 1/2" above the full mark on the dipstick. I returned the vehicle both times and requested that the level be corrected. The first time it was returned to me with the level exactly on the full mark. The second time I was told it was corrected, but later I discovered it was not. That service occurred last week. Frustrated I decided to do it myself, so I drained 1/2 quart and found the level to be just a hair above the full mark. I then wrote an email to the service manger explaining what happened. The reply I received basically told me I was being nit-picky and that the oil level being overfull is not an issue. Is he right? I was always told that the oil level should never be much above the full mark. I asked this question; "If your service department added the specified amount of oil why would it be 1/2 quart over?" I got no answer. Doesn't the filter hold about 1/2 quart? Is it possible they didn't bother changing the filter? Feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
Not open for further replies.
1 - 5 of 29 Posts
I just found these in my owners manual. Now am mad! View attachment 189614 View attachment 189615
Overfilling by 2/10ths of a quart is not going to harm your engine. If you want to do the oil changes right, do them yourself. I have been using exactly 5 quarts (4.8 w/ oil filter is recommended) and have almost 40k miles, with no issues. I change my oil every 5,000 because my driving conditions, which are the same as described by 90% of people on these forums.

Another example of a car that I continually use 5 quarts instead of the 4.8 quarts, is my 2012 Chevy Sonic with the 1.8L. Been doing that since I got the car with 98k miles and haven't had any issues from being 2/10ths of a quart over the recommended level. That car has almost 175k miles on it now.

The only time I would be concerned is if they over fill the oil by 0.5-1 quarts or more. Otherwise, don't worry about it, these engines are engineered to have some sort of leeway with fluid levels. Transmissions are a whole different beast though.
  • Like
Reactions: 2
There is a lot of controversary and discussion regarding over filling in the new hybrid motor. This will continue for about 15 years as we need a new generation of people to take over -anybody how has changed oil or half of their life will refuse to consider different technology exists.
I don't have an opinion either way but these threads have been turning into an arguments because people who bought a car say that overfilling it with oil is okay.
The 2012 Sonic probably uses a different motor than the 2022 RAV4.
Auto start/stop has been around several years but somebody once said it is stupid then other people keep saying the same thing without actually using their own opinion. One of these days that argument may end but we're only a few years into that subject.
Just like oil levels, this is new territory and like I mention, we need a new generation to step in.
We still do things like our grandfathers did. When we become the grandfathers, the newer generation will start adapting to our current 2022 technologies.
Did you not read my post at all? I stated what motor my other car has, which is clearly going to be different than a Toyota. I was stating from experience that 2/10ths of a quart WILL NOT cause engine damage or issues related to overfilling the oil. Whatever you do is your prerogative, but experience tells me otherwise that oil level can be overfilled by 2/10ths of a quart and have no ill effects. Doesn't matter what motor or manufacturer that you are looking at, 2/10ths of a quart is barely anything and pretty much all manufacturers take into account that someone might overfill the oil and not drain some out. So, it's not exactly crucial to put in exactly 4.8 quarts, as that is only an estimate by the manufacturer.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
Where did 2/10ths of a quart come into the discussion? My overfill exceeded 0.5 quarts (1/2 quart)
I was referring to the other individual who thinks that 5 quarts or 4.8 quarts in an engine that calls for 4.8 w/filter is a bad thing and says to use 4.5 quarts.

* From experience, 2/10ths of a quart doesn't matter, but 0.5 or more quarts might. *

Sounds like the lube tech is not allowing the oil to drain all the way, which is why it is 0.5 quarts or more over when you get it back. That 4.8 w/filter figure means letting the oil drain completely until it gets to a slow drip, like a drip every 10 seconds or longer, for example. I've seen techs put the oil plug back in when there is a steady, uninterrupted flow of oil coming out of the pan.

You're the 2nd person this week to claim overfilling by about 1/2".

On the hybrid it's rumored to be more critical. The other thread called the dealership where service was done and they were not interested in draining. His local dealership fixed it in 2 days or so after the request.

If you go back in 10,000 miles, have them write on the invoice to add only 4.5 quarts (the book says 4.8). It's rumored that a shop adds 5 quarts. Short of reading a dipstick, so far nobody knows for fact the shops are using 5 quarts.
My dealership drains for 30 mins or longer until not a single drop comes out. I can see everything from a window in the waiting area to the service area, but then they go ahead and overfill it...
That may be the dealership that you go to, but it's not the norm. Most dealerships that I and others have dealt with, try to cram as many vehicles into the schedule as humanly possible, which results in tire rotations and oil changes getting completed in less than 30 minutes (when done together). That does not leave time for the multi point inspection that they claim to do and to properly carry out the service on your vehicle.
  • Like
Reactions: 1
that wasn't my point. My point is that the overfilling is not the result of partial drainage of oil.

Yes, it does. When you make a partial drain on the oil of a car, say 4.2 out of the expected 4.8, you leave 0.4 quarts in there. Add another 4.8 quarts on top of that and you get 5.2 quarts in the crankcase. Simple math.

Yes, it can be overfilled by putting too much in after draining but I really doubt that is what happened in OPs case, especially at the dealer. They get all the required specs from Toyota and not some third-party unlike a lot of independent shops or franchises. You'd have to be a complete nut job to fuck-up a thing as simple as an oil change.

And my point still stands, just because your dealership takes "30 minutes" to drain the oil, it doesn't mean the rest of them do. And that can be proved by going to various dealers in the area or speaking to previous employees of said dealerships. It is not in the best interest of the dealer to take at least 30 minutes or more to do an oil change, especially when they are all about that profit and ripping their customers off.
1 - 5 of 29 Posts
Not open for further replies.