First of all, do not check the level while the engine is running. It's being pumped around and up to the top of the engine, so it is going to be low down in the bottom, by the dip stick. I saw the results in the late '80s after a fellow kept adding oil to his VW while it was running. It still didn't read "full" after adding five quarts, and it was only supposed to hold 4.5 quarts. By the time he made it a half mile, oil was getting pushed past the piston rings, and since it was a diesel engine that runs on oil, it was running wide open while a bunch of spectators were standing there watching it self-destruct. By the time I got there with a stack of wet rags to snuff it out, it already had stuff oozing from every gasket. The engine died just as I ran up to it. If he had had the presence of mind, it had a manual transmission, and he could have just stuffed it into fifth gear and used the clutch to stall the engine.
You don't have to be concerned with a little extra oil, but that guy had more than twice the amount called for. That makes the level so high that the spinning crankshaft slaps the oil and whips air into it. Air can be compressed, and that prevents the oil from doing its job.
Also, as I mentioned previously, oil is supposed to be getting sprayed onto some internal parts, and that can make it splash onto the dip stick. That is why it is always necessary to wipe the dip stick off first, then poke it back in to take the reading.
Sometimes the oil in the top of the engine takes some time to run back down. For that reason, stop the engine, then wait for perhaps as much as two minutes before wiping off the dip stick and taking the reading. The level will always be a little higher after the engine has been off for a few hours.
Sunday, February 26th, 2017 AT 10:03 PM