Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Rough engine noise on startup, idle and low rpms

asked by on

I had a low oil level without any warning lights that I didn't know about, I drove the car at around 70MPH on a mountain road for 20 minutes and when I parked the car was all shaking on low RPM when idling. I drove the car again and when my speed goes up the engine keeps the noise but I can't feel the shake. The noise is best described as a stutter. I haven't noticed any performance issues.

My car has 1211673 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi and thank you for contacting YourMechani...

Hi and thank you for contacting YourMechanic. What seems to have happened is that the oil level was too low causing the engine bearings to have less clearance on them, making the rods bounce around. This is the stutter feeling that is occurring from the engine.

The engine should not be operated if the oil level is lower than 3/4 on the dipstick markings. I recommend topping off the oil and running the engine to listen for any more stuttering noises. If the noise goes away, then the engine was just too low on oil. If the noise continues, then there may have been engine damage due to running at highway speeds with low oil.

If you need further assistance in troubleshooting your engine vibration, then seek out a professional, such as one from YourMechanic, to help you determine why your car is making this noise and how to repair it.

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

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: Car made a loud noise and now won't run

This sounds like potentially some backfiring and possibly a blown head gasket if you are seeing white smoke. Some things to consider are: did the car overheat at all last time it ran? Have you noticed any water leaking from...

Q: Is engine replacement complicated?

This would be impossible to answer since the Crown Victoria never had these engines and adding the larger engine with unknown changes from one engine to the other. The motor mounting, exhaust manifolds, wiring harness and computers are all different....

Q: Car jerking past 10 MPH

The shaking steering wheel at relatively low speeds is telling me that there is a tire on the front end of your vehicle that has a broken belt, causing it to be out of round; the jerking could be the...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...