Q: Drove without oil; car shaking, cut out

asked by on

I was driving my car without oil, it started shaking badly and then made a loud clicking noise, and cut out. Then, thick white smoke came out of the front hood.

If the engine had no oil in it, the shaking, noise, and eventual seizure of the engine would have been the result of that. The engine is also more likely to overheat. The white smoke that you saw is likely coolant that has blown out of the radiator cap or the top of the reservoir due to over expansion. This coolant likely landed on something very hot such as the exhaust or the overheated engine block causing it to burn off quickly. I would first recommend having your engine inspected for damages by a qualified technician. Best case scenario would be adding engine oil to the correct level as well as coolant and starting the engine and it runs fine. If that is not the case, permanent engine damage may have occurred.

Was this answer helpful?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Drove without oil; car shaking, cut out

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: The oil leaked out of my engine.

First thing I would recommend to do would be to have a mechanic check to see if the hole was caused by something coming up and hitting the oil pan causing the damage and the oil leaked out causing engine...

Q: Engine bogs down going uphill

Considering the age of your vehicle, I would suspect the catalytic converter might be having issues. Catalytic converters are an emission component that are located on your exhaust pipe. Over time, the insides of the converter start to fail and...

Q: I have a 1998 saturn and it won't accelerate when i step on the gas please help

Your vehicle might be in a reduced power mode or limp mode. The issue you are writing in about is common enough that a specific diagnostic, namely a reduced engine power diagnostic is performed by technicians dispatched by YourMechanic. If...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.