We've all been there. You take your car in for a routine oil change, and suddenly, it starts running rough. It's a frustrating situation, but don't worry – we're here to help. In this article, we'll explore why your car might run rough after an oil change and provide solutions to get your vehicle running smoothly again.
Understanding the Issue
What does it mean when your car runs rough?
When we say a car is “running rough,” we're generally referring to irregularities in the engine's performance. This could manifest as stuttering, shaking, or the engine not providing enough power.
How does an oil change relate to this issue?
An oil change is a routine maintenance task that involves replacing the old engine oil and oil filter in your car. However, if not done correctly, it can lead to issues like your car running rough.
Common Causes of Rough Running After Oil Change
Incorrect Oil Type
Using the wrong type of motor oil for your car can cause the engine to run rough. Each vehicle requires a specific type of oil with a certain viscosity. If the wrong oil is used, it can cause inadequate lubrication, leading to engine problems.
If the old oil isn't completely drained during the oil change, the new oil can get contaminated. This contamination can cause the engine to run rough.
Oil Filter Issues
The oil filter needs to be replaced during an oil change. If the old filter is left in place, or the wrong filter is used, it can restrict oil flow and cause the engine to run rough.
Problems with the Oil Pump
If the oil pump is damaged or malfunctioning, it can lead to low oil pressure, causing the engine to run rough. This issue might become apparent after an oil change.
How to Fix a Car Running Rough After Oil Change
Checking the Oil Level
The first step is to check the oil level. If there's too much or too little oil, it can cause your car to run rough. Adjust the oil level as necessary.
Ensuring the Correct Oil Type
Check your vehicle's manual to ensure the correct oil type was used. If the wrong oil was used, you'll need to drain it and refill with the correct type.
Checking the Oil Filter
Inspect the oil filter. If it's old or the wrong type, replace it with the correct filter for your vehicle.
Seeking Professional Help
If you've tried the above steps and your car is still running rough, it's time to seek professional help. A certified mechanic online or locally can diagnose and fix the issue.
Preventing Your Car from Running Rough After an Oil Change
Regular maintenance is key to preventing issues like your car running rough after an oil change. This includes regular oil changes using the correct oil and filter.
Choosing the Right Oil
Always use the oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. This information can be found in your vehicle's manual. If you are unsure you can also always ask a mechanic online or locally.
Expert Insights on Rough Running After Oil Change
Expert mechanics agree that while it's relatively rare, a car can run rough after an oil change. The most common causes are usually simple mistakes that can be easily rectified, such as using the wrong oil type or not replacing the oil filter. However, if the problem persists after checking these factors, it's best to consult with a professional mechanic locally or online.
Step-by-Step Guide to Troubleshoot and Fix the Problem
- Check the oil level and adjust if necessary.
- Ensure the correct oil type was used. If not, drain the oil and refill with the correct type.
- Inspect the oil filter. If it's old or the wrong type, replace it.
- If the problem persists, seek professional mechanic help online or locally
When to Ask a Mechanic Online
Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you might not be able to solve the problem on your own. In such cases, it's best to consult with a professional mechanic. Our service here at Mechanic Answer is a platform that connects you with certified mechanics who can provide instant expert advice online. The service is convenient, cost-effective, and can save you time and money compared to a trip to the garage. You can ask unlimited questions, get diagnostic help, and even get step-by-step help guiding you.
A car running rough after an oil change can be a frustrating problem. However, with the right knowledge and a bit of troubleshooting, it's usually an issue that can be resolved easily. Remember, regular maintenance and using the correct oil and filter are key to preventing such problems. And if in doubt, don't hesitate to seek professional help.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is my car running rough after an oil change?
This can be due to several reasons such as using the wrong oil type, oil contamination, issues with the oil filter, or problems with the oil pump.
Can an oil change affect engine performance?
Yes, an oil change can affect engine performance. Fresh oil provides better lubrication and helps the engine run more smoothly. However, if the oil change is not done correctly, it can lead to problems like the engine running rough.
What happens if you put too much oil in your car?
Putting too much oil in your car can cause damage to the engine. It can lead to increased pressure in the crankcase, causing oil to leak into the combustion chambers and resulting in the engine running rough.
Can the wrong oil filter cause rough idle?
Yes, using the wrong oil filter can restrict oil flow, leading to a rough idle.
How long should a car run after oil change?
There's no set time for how long a car should run after an oil change. However, it's a good idea to let the engine run for a few minutes after the oil change to allow the new oil to circulate throughout the engine.