Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Engine rattling, shaking and loss of power

asked by on

Hi. My car has gone around 120,000 miles. The car has some engine malfunctioning lately. When I started the car up the other day, there was this rattling sound and the car was shaking. I drove it and these issues wouldn't go away. The dashboard showed the check engine light on as well. The engine seems to be losing power and the rattling is becoming worse. It has difficulty accelerating. Right before this happened, I had the oil changed. Also, the outside temperature was low. Can that cause these problems? Thanks.

A: The VANOS unit or solenoid can cause a ratt...

The VANOS unit or solenoid can cause a rattling sound from the engine. The VANOS is a camshaft timing system which runs off of engine oil pressure. If the oil is the wrong viscosity or the system has a buildup of sludge which causes the system to cavitate, it will make a rattling sound and store faults which will cause the Check Engine Light to illuminate.

You will want to have the fault codes read out. If there are camshaft position faults or any VANOS faults, then they would further support this theory. In some instances, an engine flush can correct sludging issues in the camshaft timing adjustment system. Replacing a VANOS solenoid or a camshaft sensor is not a difficult job, but replacing a VANOS unit could be an issue as it is an involved repair requiring special tools.

You may want to enlist the help of a mechanic such as one from YourMechanic, who has the tools and expertise to complete the diagnosis and repair, starting with a diagnostic of your Check Engine Light illumination.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

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: Won't start with the key, but I can lock and unlock the doors.

Hi there. The key fob could have a battery that is going dead. I recommend replacing the battery as the battery only lasts about 8 years. Then you will need to reprogram the key fob to the vehicle by putting...

Q: Replaced brake light switch but still no lights when pressing on brakes

Hi there. Check the fuses/relays and replace as necessary. If the fuse is blown and blows again we'll need to investigate what is causing the circuit to overload. If the fuse checks ok, then check for supply voltage at the...

Q: Shudder or bounce after hitting bump

Hello there, thank you for writing in. Based off of your details, you may first want to concentrate on diagnosing the speed sensitive vibration at 40-50 MPH because that will be easier to resolve. I would place wireless chassis ears...

Related articles

How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.