Q: Sputtering and shaking - 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan

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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.

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