Will a Car Sputter If Low On Oil? (3 Symptoms of Low Oil)

Symptoms of Low Oil

Will a car sputter if low on oil? Yes, it will – sputtering is one of the symptoms of low oil in the engine.

The engine in modern vehicles is sophisticated – with so many connected components, which all require lubrication to function. Apparently, adding motor oil to your engine is the best and only way to keep the metallic components oily as needed.

However, not all drivers keep track of when they should change their engine oil. In most modern vehicles, when your engine is due for an oil change, the oil change icon (or check engine light) would activate on your dashboard.

But what about old cars?

Signs Your Car Is Low On Oil

Will a Car Sputter If Low On Oil

You don’t really need to wait until the check engine light illuminates; there are a couple of signs that indicate your engine is due for an oil change.

These signs are listed below:

Read Also: How Many Months Does Synthetic Oil Last?

1. Unusual Overheating

Basically, when you drive for a long time, your car’s engine bay would heat up, but it becomes an issue if it “overheats” – gets hotter than supposed. One of the major causes of overheating is low oil or dirty oil.

When oil is low in the engine, it won’t be able to flow properly into the moving parts of the engine; thus, causing an increase in friction between those unreached components, which in turn causes “overheating.”

This is not good for any engine!

2. Sputtering or Shaking

When your brakes are not working, you may notice that your car sputters or shakes when you try to accelerate, or even when you drive normally.

That notwithstanding, this type of situation can also occur when your engine is not getting enough oil as expected.

3. Warning Lights

Another clear sign to tell that you’re running low on oil is when the check engine light or the “oil check” light illuminates on your dashboard. All the icons on your car’s dashboard are available for certain purposes.

Thus, when any of them illuminates, you need to pay attention to the corresponding component it is connected to. For example, if the check engine light illuminates, you should really check your engine right away.

Will a Car Sputter If Low On Oil?

From what is shared above, the answer is YES. Your car may sputter when the oil in the engine is low or dirty; the sputtering happens because the engine’s moving parts are not getting enough lubrication to rotate smoothly and perform their functions.

However, it is important to note that sputtering does not only occur due to low oil in the engine. If your car brakes are bad or the drivetrain is broken, you’d surely notice serious shaking and sputtering as you drive.

This needs to be fixed as soon as possible because it can lead to costlier damages, or even cause the engine to fail permanently.

The best way to know if the sputtering you’re experiencing while driving is caused due to low oil is to check the oil in your car, top it up if it is low, and then drive again to see if the sputtering would occur again.

If it never occurred again, then the culprit was “low oil.” In contrast, if you still experience sputtering after refilling oil, then you need to check the brake pads and calipers – those are the next two common causes of sputtering.

What More?

Any unusual occurrence that has to do with your car engine should be carefully attended to, else, it could lead to fatal engine damage, which is more expensive because you may need to be in the market for a new engine.

Related Posts: Common Engine Problems After Oil Change

Scroll to Top