What To Do If You Put Too Much Oil In Motorcycle? Symptoms & Solutions

The engine is the motorcycle’s powerhouse. In a motorcycle engine, various motor parts assemble to convert fuel power into mechanical energy. Thus making friction if they come into contact.

Every biker knows why engine oil is most important for their motorcycle. Not only can it keep your engine running clean and smooth but also it protects your engine from corrosion.

If engine oil maintenance is not done properly and on time, it can spoil your riding experience. Now the question is, what to do if you put too much oil in a motorcycle? However, if you want to know about these questions please read on.

Too Much Oil In Motorcycle

Symptoms Of Too Much Oil In Motorcycle:

Depending on the engine size, each bike needs different engine oil. And you can know about them in your bike’s owner’s manual.

However, when you change or refill your engine with oil you often notice some change in your motorbike’s performance. In other words, when the engine oil is overfilled you may notice some symptoms of too much oil in bikes. Well, let’s dive in.

Oil Leakage

While filling engine oil or in times of riding, it often leaks through a small crack or hole. This seeping can make your engine overheat which can’t able to circulate properly. Without proper lubrication of engine parts, oil leakage can cause engine damage.

Smoky Exhaust

A smoky exhaust caused by too much oil on a motorcycle can cause the engine hotter than normal. The oil breaks down and accumulates in the valves and pistons, which eventually makes the engine run less efficiently. So, when you can see overfilled engine oil symptoms you need to fix this problem

Fouled Spark Plug

When a spark plug becomes fouled, oil, fuel, or carbon deposits form on the tip of the spark plug. The deposit obstructed the spark from jumping into the gap between the electrode and the ground, causing the engine to misfire.

Traces of Smoke From The Exhaust Area And Engine Bay

Because of overfilling of engine oil, you will see smoke from the exhaust area as the oil burns. Typically, the oil burns and produces a lot of smoke from the exhaust area.

Too Much Noise From The Engine

Accordingly, if the oil can’t circulate properly, your engine makes noise. The reason is that it overheats your engine and breaks down the oil. As a result, there is a loss of lubrication and enhanced engine noise.

Symptoms of Too Much Oil In Harley Primary:

If you overfill your Harley with oil several symptoms will appear. A typical overfill oil symptom is white smoke and a gray or blue tint. As a result of too much oil slipping into the combustion chamber. Also, you may see excessive white smoke coming from your exhaust.

Nevertheless, if you put too much oil in your Harley you can notice the following symptoms:

Engine Overheating

If you notice that your engine temperature rises simultaneously after filling the oil, it may be the reason for overfilling the engine oil. Particularly, if you overfill the engine, it cannot perform normal functions easily.

Engine overheating occurs due to various reasons like long-time riding, riding in the sun, low oil, etc. Besides this, it’s normal for the engine to overheat if you do long rides or extensive riding. But if the engine overheats after filling the oil while riding the bike. Then overfilled oil can cause the engine to overheat.

The Burning Of Engine Oil

If you notice a burning oil smell or blue smoke from the exhaust, this is a sign of an engine oil overfill. Likewise, you will also smell burnt oil from the exhaust as excess oil finds its way out.

The Motorcycle Won’t Start

Accordingly, using too much oil in a motorcycle won’t start. Furthermore, if your oil is not able to provide the spark necessary for the combustion process, the bike won’t start.

Read Also: Low primary Oil symptoms

What To Do If I Put Too Much Oil In the Motorcycle?

First of all, don’t panic. Don’t run the engine. If you see that your level of oil is too high, drain a small amount of extra oil on the dipstick. It may be very annoying for you but you need to unscrew the drain plug to drain out the oil, but not the full path.

Generally, it will run over your hands or equipment, so be prepared with plenty of paper towels and a drain pan. Don’t drop the drain plug. Check the air filter.

Read: Why Oil coming out of after air filter motorcycle

It’s because it’s saturated with oil. Now replace it with a new filter and clean the air box with a rag. Take time to see if the spark plugs are fouled. Additionally, if the tips are soaked with oil, you’re burning them. Either clean the plugs or replace them.

Do not over-tighten the sump plug, because you may strip the threads. Tighten it until it’s snug and check for oil leaks after cleaning the mess. Additionally, if it still sags after a few miles of riding, tighten it a little bit more.

In addition, if your clutch is slipping because of some oil, it will clear itself after a while. Friction will burn the oil. A bigger concern is a compromised seal that causes leaks. It will be replaced by a mechanic.

How To Remove Excess Oil From Motorcycles?

The easiest way to tell if the engine has too much oil is to check the dipstick. On most vehicles, the dipstick shows you low and high marks that refer to the oil level.

If excess oil is only 1-2 millimeters above the fill line, don’t need to be concerned. However, if the engine has a quart or more of oil, it is best to drain it.

It’s ideal to pour fewer ounces of oil than a specified amount. Also, it’s a really good idea to check the oil level first. Check the owner’s manual to see if your bike needs to be on a side stand while reading the oil level. Also, check if the engine is hot or not.

After rechecking your oil level, you can add some oil at a time until it’s right. The next few minutes give you peace of mind to do it with the right oil.

Too Much Oil In Motorcycle

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions):

Q. What happens if you overfill your motorcycle with oil?

By now, you understand that to prevent engine overheating, don’t use excess oil. We hope you didn’t know that the engine hasn’t overfilled and mustn’t exceed the maximum threshold.

Let’s take a closer look at what can happen if you overfill the engine oil:

  • High oil pressure
  • Oil leak
  • Forming substance

Q. How much is too much oil in a motorcycle?

Generally, a motorcycle needs 3-4 quarts of oil. Again, this will vary from motorcycle to motorcycle and manufacturer to manufacturer. Yet, depending on changing the oil filter at each oil change will affect the oil amount you require to add. Remarkably, if you want to keep the oil filter on, you require about half a quart less oil.

Q. What happens if you put too much oil in a 4-stroke engine?

When you overfill the engine oil, the excess oil will travel to the crankshaft. And as the crankshaft rotates at high speed, this oil mixes with the air. After mixing with air it becomes foamy resulting in a smoky exhaust.

Adequately, it acts as a poor lubricant and due to this, the oil isn’t pumped efficiently. Spark plugs will foul quickly. Notably, it’s possible to create enough pressure in the crankcase to push out the seals and gaskets.

Of course, these symptoms’ severity is related to the degree of overfilling that has happened. Try to avoid doing it and, if it occurs, lower it back to normal before running the engine. Don’t just throw it in the fire and hope for the best.

Q. What Happens if I put too much oil in my dirt bike?

Too much oil is not good anyway but there is some safety margin level created by the manufacturer. Typically, it may be 3 ounces. Since oil is non-compressible. So if you overfill your engine the oil will rise above the piston, and if you try to compress damage will happen.

The severity of damage it may cause is uncertain. We think if a few ounces end up on the piston it will blow out the breather tube. Even your plug can be fouled. It’s better if you can understand you overfilling the engine and discover the oil-fouled plug.

Read About: Dirt Bike Oil

Final Word:

One thing to remember is that the oil should not go above the maximum level, or below the minimum level. Both are not fine for engine health and performance. Therefore, do not forget to fill the oil engine in an accurate proportion.

Overall, if you accidentally fill the engine with too much oil, just drain it and check the level again. This way, you can know the maximum and minimum oil levels. Or you can take help from your service manual. From this manual get the correct number or value for your motorcycle.


Rio is a car & motorcycle mechanic who is working with different kinds of problems relating to oil and grease. He is also a passionate technical writer.