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・Save up to 30%

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Transmission issue, car limps and very slow in drive

Hello. If this light is coming on, then the computer is detecting a transmission issue. I always start by checking the fluid. If it is low then this will occur. If the fluid level is fine then the condition needs...

Q: Hose leaking coolant

This is common as vehicles get older. Rubber components like belts and hoses have a 4-6 year life span. If the hoses in your vehicle are the original it might be time to change them all. This is something that...

Q: Speedometer 5 MPH too slow

Speedometer issues are not very common and sometimes can be caused by things we do. For example replacing the tires. Tires need to be replaced with tires of the exact same size because that is the size that is programmed...

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...
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...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...