Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Sputtering and shaking - 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan

asked by on

Had oil changed on Sunday, then car died at a stop light the next day. Radio and dash lights worked. Engine made clicking noise but wouldn't start.

My dad came out and sitting with his car hooked up to ours, it finally kicked in after sitting and charging for a few. Hooked up to a charger overnight, then seemed OK. Battery was old. Needs replacing. Next day, took it out seemed OK.... Makes a ticking noise, but this is nothing new. (Hubby says he thinks noisy tappets, which is why I pushed for an oil change) Then it died while driving. Smoke billowing from engine. Geico towed it home, and they were able to jump it.

Now the car sputters and shakes when we start it and acts like it wants to stall. Hitting gas doesn't alleviate the problem. Exhaust puts out steam. I couldn't tell you how it drives, I'm scared to take it out of my driveway.

My car has 108000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hello. If this occurred right after the oil...

Hello. If this occurred right after the oil change then the first thing I would do is check the oil. This will occur if there is too much oil in the engine or if they forgot to put oil back into it. If the oil level is too full then it needs to be drained.

If there is no oil in the engine, then the engine may need replacement. If the oil level is fine, then it has another problem. From what you are explaining, it can very well be a blown head gasket which will require some engine work also. A block test could be done to verify this as the problem. If you want to have this looked at, consider YourMechanic, as a certified technician can come to your location to diagnose the sputtering issue so that you can get back on the road.

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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Engine ticks on a 2006 Acura TL

The only ticking sounds that you generally get are either the valves are out of the adjustment, the lifters are bad themselves, or the fuel injectors are ticking. So get yourself a little stethoscope and listen around. Maybe it's...

Q: I recently got a second hand 2001 santa fe from Europe and it has a water pump problem, can I find it in Mali (West Africa)

It may be possible to order parts from the US and have them shipped to you. The shipping will take a while and may not be inexpensive. You might have to call the customer service line of the vendor to...

Q: Engine running rough and light now on.

Yes you could have bad fuel in the system if that is the case. However, you may want to check and make sure your fuel filter is good, and make sure there are no extra leaks in the the air...

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...
P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
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.