Q: Sputtering and shaking - 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan

asked by on September 15, 2016

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.

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?
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・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

while driving at speed above 40mph i feel humming sound from real which die down on appling break.

Thanks for writing in about your Hyundai Santa Fe. From what you've described, it sounds like it may be from the rear wheel bearings. When the rear brakes are applied, the brakes will quiet the noise down. Have a mechanic,...

Vehicle stalling

The most common cause of a vehicle stall would be a vacuum leak or an AC pressure switch. As for the overheating problem, this may or not be related to the stalling issue. If it is related, I would also...

Pulley squealing.

I would have a technician take a look at it and they can find the problem. Sometimes a bad air compressor will cause the belt to squeal and sometimes the belt may just need tightening. There is also a product...

Related articles

The Best Used Cars to Buy If You're an Archeologist
If If you are an archaeologist, you need a vehicle that will take you off the beaten path. After all, that’s where you spend a good deal of your time. And that means that you will need, ideally, an SUV...
The Best Used Cars to Buy If You’re a Massage Therapist
If If you're a massage therapist, one of the cornerstones of your business has to be that you don’t keep your clients waiting. That means you need a vehicle that’s reliable. You also will have to move your gear, including...
How to Understand Compression and Power Systems in Small Engines
Being familiar with basic compression and power system functions of a four-stroke engine can help you diagnose and fix issues with your car.