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.

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?
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. Engine rattling, shaking and loss of power

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: Car damaged by garage

I can comment on the need for the ecu, without knowing if they in fact damaged it or not. I can say that it is possible to damage any vehicle electronics when working on or near any power source such...

Q: E92 oil filter gasket

If the oil filter gasket does not properly seal, this may result in oil leaking out. Depending on the severity of this and how quickly it leaks, this may result in the motor running dangerously low on oil which can...

Q: Car won't pass smog due to computer code P0420 - 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit

This code is related to the catalytic converter. As you may know, the catalytic converter is a section of your exhaust system that helps to complete the combustion process when excess unburnt fuel gases pass through the exhaust. Due to...

Related articles

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 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 Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...