Q: Engine shake when started and oil pressure gauge dropped to zero.

asked by on October 20, 2016

I was driving my car all day (1990 Toyota MK3 Supra GA70) and when I turned it off and came back to it several minutes later I noticed my oil gauge had 0 PSI and when I popped my hood the engine was shaking violently then a few seconds later stopped. I drove it back home and have left it off ever since. I checked my oil levels and they were a bit low so I'll have to drain and fill it back up. I'm curious on what could've been the cause of this?

Thanks in advance!

Hi there - nice ride! I would first get the oil level back up to "Full". hopefully this was less than a quart low. I would also get a real gauge on the oil pressure to know precisely what oil pressure you do have. Best case on the "engine shake" is that you have an engine misfire because of a failed spark plug or coil.

You don’t mention overheating or other blown head gasket symptoms although this can happen without an overheat event. Turbocharged engines such as yours are more susceptible to head gasket failure. If the "low oil" was seriously low (multiple quarts), you may have major engine damage. I recommend having a certified technician, inspect the low oil level and engine shake, and proceed with the right repairs.

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