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.

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

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!
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Rough engine noise on startup, idle and low rpms

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: My car shakes violently

Hello, It sounds like you may have a clogged catalytic converter. This may be a sign of a clogged catalytic converter. The catalytic converter converts toxic exhaust gases into less harmful pollutants that are suitable to be expelled into the...

Q: Recalls

As is typical, these class actions allow consumers to submit objections to proposed settlements in writing and even attend the settlement hearing. You do not need an attorney to submit your objections to the Court. You seem to have a...

Q: Hesitating to go up steep grades but the transmission we got was built back in 2014.

Hi there. It is normal for a vehicle to loose power as it goes up a steep grade. It depends on how steep the grade is. If your vehicle is climbing up a 6% grade at 70 mph, then the...

Related articles

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...
How Much Does a Mechanic Make in Vermont?
Automotive technician jobs in Vermont have an average mechanic salary of $37k, with some mechanics earning a salary of $53k.
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.