Q: My car will turn over but will not start and it started after I added oil.

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I bought the car 3mos ago. It needed 1 new spark plug (but when I get it done I’m going to do all of them). I have not got them done yet. All I did was go get an oil change. When it started getting cold here in GA about a month ago, every time I would start the car, it would lag (it would start, then go quiet like it lost power, then run fine). Well about 2 weeks ago, the oil light came on. So I added a quarter of a quart of oil to it. When I started the car after I added it, it made a whizzing sound and the oil pressure gauge started going up and down, both lasting about 60 seconds. After that, the car ran fine. Well 3 days ago, the oil pressure light came back on. My husband added the rest of the quart of oil to it and after I tried starting the car. It turned over but would not start. We tried 3 times. Then we waited until yesterday and tried again. Still the same thing. But I noticed there is like a foamy oily substance on the right front side. Almost in front of the car.

My car has 182000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There could be an issue with the oil level and/or the oil pressure. But, the oil pressure can only be measured once the engine is running. If the engine won’t start at present, the best course is to request a no start diagnostic and once the engine is running the mechanic will have some indication of whether it is running reliably or whether there are additional concerns. If you are trying to diagnose the no start on your own, first confirm that the engine immobilizer system (security system) is not activated thus preventing the car from starting. If the immobilizer system is on, you may see a security warning light. If the warning light is on, to temporarily override the immobilizer system, see these instructions. If the engine is cranking at adequate RPM, be sure there is adequate fuel in the fuel tank and that the fuel is not old. Download any OBD-II trouble codes that have been stored and examine those codes for diagnostic clues. Check for adequate fuel pressure, injector operation, and a spark at the spark plugs. Basically, if the starter motor is turning the engine over rapidly, at sufficient RPM, but the engine does not catch and run, that means that there is an ignition, fuel, air induction, or mechanical fault in the engine that will have to be repaired. Check for vacuum leaks, an air induction fault like a stuck idle air control valve or, considering fuel, check for a failed temperature sensor that must be working properly to signal the PCM to enrich the mixture on cold start. Other possible no start faults are low compression, defective spark plugs, a defective coil(s), a failed crankshaft or camshaft position sensor, a failed throttle position sensor, and a broken timing belt. Regardless of the underlying cause, if you request the no start diagnostic the responding certified mechanic will get the problem diagnosed and repaired for you promptly. Please let us know if you have further concerns or questions as we are always here to help you.

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