Catastrophic engine failure 13 miles after an oil change

Tiny
MATTHERMANSON
  • MEMBER
  • 2006 CHEVROLET COBALT
  • 2.2L
  • 4 CYL
  • FWD
  • AUTOMATIC
  • 91,000 MILES
We have had a catastrophic engine failure 13 miles after an oil change.
What we know is the oil level is about 3 inches too high.
It is difficult to truly determine what the level is with this cable style of dip stick.
Oil change facility claims oil level correct when it left their site.
Only five of 12 quarts of our parasynthetic oil were returned to us.
The oil has a very dirty look to it.
Several rocker arms are broken.
The valves are hitting the pistons.
There is much play in the timing chain.
We have ordered a spectrum analysis sample kit from the parasynthetic oil manufacturer.
We will be draining, measuring, and analyzing the engine oil contents in a few days.
We are trying to determine if the timing chain guides failed coincidentally with the oil change or if the oil change involving a massive amount of extra oil is to blame.
It appears that no seals have failed.
The oil change facility claims that only possible failure from over filling an engine is a seal failure.
The mechanic is saying that over filling the oil to this extent is to blame.
Based upon what research I've done, I'm having trouble with both ideas.
I was referred to this site by a GM customer service supervisor.
Do you
have the same problem?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 AT 10:55 AM

3 Replies

Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
You never want to overfill the oil. However, I question if it would result in this. 99.9% of the time, there will be seal issues. But, if it is extremely overfilled, to the point where the spinning crankshaft comes in contact with oil, the crankshaft will aerate the oil. When oil is aerated, the oil pump can no longer pump oil throughout the engine. The result is a drop of oil pressure which will result in internal engine damage.

With that being said, I feel the first thing you need to do is determine how much oil was actually installed. If you are correct and 7 quarts were installed, it is possible that my aforementioned explanation may be what happened. With a new filter, the engine should only hold 5 quarts.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Wednesday, May 6th, 2015 AT 7:41 PM
Tiny
MATTHERMANSON
  • MEMBER
We will be measuring the oil next week after a sample container arrives and we will send a sample for spectrum analysis. But the oil (parasynthetic Conkin Convoy 10W30) looked like a mix of new and used oil when removed from the dip stick.
As stated before, the level on the dip stick appears to be at least three inches too high on the dip stick. We are also wondering if the shop even drained the old oil or just poured the new oil on top.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 7th, 2015 AT 6:38 AM
Tiny
JACOBANDNICKOLAS
  • EXPERT
Not being there makes it difficult for me to say. However, if they didn't drain it, chances are it would have been much higher on the stick.

Let me know what you find out.
Was this
answer
helpful?
Yes
No
Thursday, May 7th, 2015 AT 7:04 PM

Please login or register to post a reply.

Recommended Guides