Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Not sure if I messed up my engine

asked by on

I bought a car from a used car lot last year. As soon as I got it home the check engine light went on. Haven't had any major issues until today. I was getting to a stop light when i felt my car kind of sputtering, kind of like it was going to turn off. And thr check engine light was now blinking. When I got home i checked the oil. Well, it was pretty much bone dry! The check oil light never went on and I've been very busy with work this month that I hadn't checked it. I put penzoil oil for high milage vehicles but it's still sputtering. I'm praying I didn't mess the engine up. Any advice is greatly appreciated

My car has 225000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello Sir, From the symptoms you describe ...

Hello Sir,

From the symptoms you describe it would not appear to me that you have messed up your engine.

Usually a Check Engine Light that is flashing means that there is a problem with the vehicle that is may cause harm to the emissions system. A flashing Check Engine Light is a sign that certain emissions or smog components, such as oxygen sensors or catalytic converters, may be at risk of serious or permanent damage, and therefore the vehicle should be stopped and serviced as soon as possible, to avoid the further development of any other problems.

You also mention that your oil was low.

While low oil level can definitely cause harm to the engine, it will not usually cause the Check Engine Light to flash or the vehicle to sputter. A problem that can cause the Check Engine Light to flash however, can definitely cause the symptoms you are experiencing.

I would recommend keeping the oil topped off at the proper level, and having the Check Engine Light diagnosed as soon as you can, before any of the smog components become damaged.

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: Noises around serpentine belt

Hello. Using a small hose would help to isolate the noise. You can hold one end to your ear and the other to each pulley to listen for the noise. It is common for the balancer to not spin true...

Q: I recently replaced the tranny fluid with a redline product. Every since then when I push down a little fast the car will rev high

My first recommendation would be to make sure that the transmission fluid level is full. If the fluid has been changed recently, sometimes the level can drop once the fluid circulates through the system. See if topping off the transmission...

Q: Car surges when stopped & suddenly dies while driving

Hey there, thanks for writing in about your 2001 Chrysler LHS. Both of these problems can be dangerous and can only be diagnosed by verifying the problems first by a mechanic to diagnose them. A scan for codes may show...

Related articles

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 to Renew Your Car Registration in Oklahoma(DELETED)
Having your car registered with the Oklahoma Tax Commission is an important part of driving legally in this state. You will need to do this within 30 days of moving to Oklahoma...
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...