Q: Engine Shaking after low oil

asked by on October 12, 2016

My truck had an oil leak and i drove it approx 2 miles before realizing that the oil was almost completely absent on the dipstick. i opend the hood and saw very light white smoke coming from engine. i shut the engine off and proceeded to to fill it with the oil i had available which was 10w30 ( my truck uses 5w30).

I overfilled the engine with oil, oil was way past the "full" mark on the dip stick but the Odd noise that the engine was making had stopped once the oil was in.

i proceed to drive the truck and noticed that is now " chugs" and the engine shakes. it has also seems to have loss some of its power.

i drove it a few more miles to the local quick lube and had the oil changed and the correct type and amount put in. this has not fixed the problem. no weird noises are notice but the vehicle has lossed some of its power and chugs along. what do i need to do??? could it be the Spark plugs??

My car has 220000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

It is very possible you have damaged the crankshaft and camshaft bearings. Ideally, the person changing the oil should have taken a sample of the oil that came out first to see if there are metal shavings in the oil. This can often reduce the power output of a motor by clogging the many small oiling passages in the motor creating excessive internal engine drag. Eventually this will lead to the need for a complete motor rebuild.

Overfilling the oil can foul the spark plugs, damage oxygen sensors and the catalytic converter. Since there aren’t any more noises, you may get lucky for a time with the motor. I would begin by pulling the spark plugs. If they have been oil-fouled, they will be wet or have black or white debris left over from burning excessive amounts of oil. It’s also possible the spark plugs will be washed clean from fuel that hasn’t burned because of misfiring from too much oil. The main thing to keep in mind is the plugs should be clean, dry and free of debris. If not, replace them if you’re not sure.

I would also take a look inside the air intake hose to see if oil was sucked into there via the positive crankcase ventilation (PCV) system. If this happened, it can contaminate the mass airflow sensor (MAF) which is the most important sensor for the powertrain control module (PCM) in making fuel ratio calculations. If it is oil soaked or has other debris in it, clean it gently with carburetor cleaner.

And still another possibility is the timing chain could have jumped a tooth or two. This will make a big difference if this has happened. The timing chain is tensioned by a hydraulic tensioner. When you lost oil pressure, that tensioner could have allowed the timing chain slacken and jump a tooth or more.

If you need assistance, a certified YourMechanic technician can come to your location to perform an inspection of your shaking engine and suggest any appropriate repairs for your vehicle.

Good luck!

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