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I'm worried I may have screwed up a step and added too much oil when changing my oil.

I have a 2011 Golf Wagon TDI and changed the oil for the first time (15,000km). I used this page as reference:

http://www.myturbodiesel.com/1000q/8p/A3-TDI-oil-change.htm

The text instructions say to "Fill the oil filter housing with engine oil and replace the filter cap. You have to wait until after putting the filter back or else the button will be open and all the oil will just drain into the oil pan".

I was in the middle of this step when I decided to refer to the video. In the video the technician does not fill the filter housing with oil. He only lubricates both O-rings.

I had put about ¼ litre in the filter housing before I stopped.

I don't know a lot about how this filter housing works. I understand it fills with oil to prevent dry cold starts.

What I don't understand is: Does this oil drain into the oil pan? When does it do this?

I'm worried I may have added too much oil since it took about 4¼ litres (including the oil I added to the filter housing) to hit the top mark on the dip stick and the spec is for 4 litres.
 

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I would think about the worse that could happen is you have a little too much oil in it. My 2010 Golf TDI held exactly four litres. I would probably extract the extra 1/4 litre although I don't think 1/4 litre would hurt anything. But let's see what others that may know more think.
 

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It goes directly into the oil pan if the filter is not in place. If you sucked it dry, there will be some small areas which get filled. If you didn't, it just overflows into the oil pan.

With the filter in place, the oil sits there.
 

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After you start the car and check for leaks, whatever the stick shows will be what is in the crankcase and measurable. The oil in the filter holder recirculates with all of the engine oil.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The oil in the filter holder recirculates with all of the engine oil.
Okay, so by the sounds of it, my car just took a little more oil than expected. I had taken it for a drive around the block (actually around the forest in my case) then let it sit a minute before I topped it up to the mark on the dipstick, just like the manual describes.

So I suppose this means I shouldn't bother filling the filter housing with oil then.

I told all of this to my neighbour (retired autobody worker) and he said that the car may hold oil in there to help with cold starts in the winter (or something along those lines). So as long as I don't fall asleep in the middle of changing my oil in the winter, I should be fine leaving the filter housing dry (except for the O-rings of course).
 

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Priming the filter with oil is a valid process. Even just getting it wet with oil helps shorten the time the oil gallery requires to re-prime after an oil change. I have been priming filters for years and I am not as concerned with 'filling the filter' as much as I am with reducing the air space and wetting the filter element. Also, after an oil change don't go 'straight to' a run state. Crank the engine and the moment it fires turn it off, then wait about 10-seconds for the oil pressure from the short-crank event to push into the oil gallery and purge out the air. If you listen closely you can hear the air purging out of the galleries, which will sound different the next time you shut off the engine and straight oil is in the oil galleries.

As for your current situation, the dipstick is equipped with a "high" and a "high-high" mark, see the owner's manual for guidance. As long as you did not exceed the high-high mark you are safe. If you are above the high-high mark you are at risk of the oil striking the crankshaft and aerating the oil, which is a very undesirable situation and you will need to lower the oil level: pull the plug or use a dipstick evacuation unit.

When a crankshaft strikes the oil the oil will foam up and push up thru the dipstick tube. This typically only happens in severe over fill events.
 

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Sorry if I didn't explain it well enough, I didn't make the video, I just talked with the maker and embed it here off youtube to provide additional help and explanation.

Also, your cartridge oil filter is upside down vs. most filters that use a spin on can that is filled with oil from gravity. If there was no way for the oil filter to hold oil, there'd be a small pocket of air there on every start. That is the purpose of the valve that is opened when you removed the filter.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the info. My oil level is right where it should be. I'm still a little confused as to why my car took an extra ¼ of a litre but I suppose I shouldn't worry about it.
 

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Priming the filter with oil is a valid process. Even just getting it wet with oil helps shorten the time the oil gallery requires to re-prime after an oil change. I have been priming filters for years and I am not as concerned with 'filling the filter' as much as I am with reducing the air space and wetting the filter element. Also, after an oil change don't go 'straight to' a run state. Crank the engine and the moment it fires turn it off, then wait about 10-seconds for the oil pressure from the short-crank event to push into the oil gallery and purge out the air. If you listen closely you can hear the air purging out of the galleries, which will sound different the next time you shut off the engine and straight oil is in the oil galleries.

As for your current situation, the dipstick is equipped with a "high" and a "high-high" mark, see the owner's manual for guidance. As long as you did not exceed the high-high mark you are safe. If you are above the high-high mark you are at risk of the oil striking the crankshaft and aerating the oil, which is a very undesirable situation and you will need to lower the oil level: pull the plug or use a dipstick evacuation unit.

When a crankshaft strikes the oil the oil will foam up and push up thru the dipstick tube. This typically only happens in severe over fill events.
Hi again and I know I am new to this site. An I bring a different perceptive in using a American diesel as a reference. But here I go again.
Cummins warns the end user not to pre-fill the oil filter. They are worry about the sealing AL cap or plastic cap over the oil bottle from contaminting the oil, since it is not filtered oil.
Cummins has had piston failures due to the oil cooling passages being plugged by the little amounts of debris in the un-filtered oil. These passages are used to cool the piston when the engine is under use.

I do not know if this real applies to the VW diesel engines or not. But to me the oil needs to pass from the pan thru the filter before it is return to the engine. This way you are insured of clean filter oil.

By the way I am a retired hydraulic engineer from Caterpillar after forty years there.
Jim W.
 

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Agree with Jim W's point. As for me, I am extremely meticulous. I even go so far as to wash the engine compartment prior to performing maintenance. I wash my hands before each 'clean event', so as to not cause a 'maintenance contamination event.'

I am a FOD freak, so I feel that I am at a very low risk of ingesting part of the foil/plastic cover from the bottle or any other contact contamination source.

If you elect to 'not prime' the filter housing, I would still recommend following the 'quick shutdown' procedure following an oil filter change so as to purge the air out of the filter and oil galleries before transitioning into a steady run state.
 

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Jim W., I understand your point and I know you are quoting from Cummins's recommendations and there is some validity to the scenario as they present it, but lets think about this for a minute...You are filling the oil filter housing with clean oil, albeit theres nothing to say that the clean oil from the bottle is completely free of particulate but it should be reasonably clean unless you've left the cap off for some period of time.

My personal and educated opinion on this is that hairs are being split. The engines you speak of I presume are typically much larger and handle much more oil at higher pressures and if particles were to be introduced it would have a more profound effect presumably. They are also typically filled from larger oil reserves in a commercial environment so there may be more opportunity for contamination somewhere along the line.

But in a single owner scenario, even during dealer service, its unlikely that any significant particulate will make its way through. Also, if this is really what they are worried about then we should't be adding oil to the engine at all because like most cars the oil filler is located in the valve cover and oil gets poured over the valves and is channeled down to the sump. On larger commercial engines the sump usually has its own fill port, thereby only circulating filtered oil to the engine.
 
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