With most modern vehicles, you must change the motor oil between 5,000 and 7,500 miles. This helps ensure longer engine life.
Nevertheless, why is your car shaking after an oil change? It is quite common, especially when the oil levels are low or too high. Also, using less or more viscous engine oil may result in this problem. A dirty oil filter, oil leak, or replacing one motor mount may also cause your car to shake.
Now you might wonder, how do you fix this issue? This blog post has all the answers to your questions about your car shaking after an oil change.
Why is Your Car Shaking After Oil Change?
Here we look at the different reasons your car may shake after you have changed the oil and the best solutions.
|Low oil levels||Top up the motor oil up to the high mark|
|Excessive amounts of oil||Drain all oil, replace the filter, and add the correct amounts of oil|
|Wrong type of oil||Drain the oil and use the right one|
|Changing motor mounts||Replace both mounts|
|Have a professional mechanic install the mounts correctly|
|Dirty or clogged oil filter||Change the oil if contaminated and replace the filter|
|Oil Leaks||Use high-mileage oil for minor leaks|
|Replace the damaged parts causing the leaks|
Causes of Car Shaking After Oil Change and Possible Fixes
Regardless of which vehicle model or brand you have, there are many potential causes for a car shaking after getting an oil change. Below are the different causes and how to fix them.
1. Low Oil Levels
Based on the number of cylinders your vehicle’s engine has, your car may take between 4 and 8 quarts of oil. After every oil change, the oil level should be between the max and min mark.
The oil levels are low if it is at the min mark or below. As a result, the oil will stop lubricating the engine components. Consequently, the metal friction of the engine parts may cause your car to vibrate or shake at low revs.
The solution here is to top up the engine oil. But make sure the oil levels don’t exceed the max or high mark on the dipstick.
2. Too Much Oil
If the oil levels are only slightly above the full or max mark, this should not be a problem. However, exceeding the oil levels by half a quart or more may lead to increased crankshaft pressure.
Consequently, the engine oil will foam up, preventing proper engine parts lubrication. In return, your car may shake more than usual, and the RPMs could drop really low. The shaking occurs even after changing the oil filter and driving on the highway.
Loosen the drain plug and drain all the oil into a container as you do for an oil change. Then, replace the oil filter. Lastly, refill the oil with the right amount as indicated in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Alternatively, you could drain the excess amounts.
3. Incorrect Oil Type
If the motor oil is too thin or less dense, it may fail to create a consistent lubricating film. As a result, the metal-to-metal friction between the engine parts may cause the car to shake.
Similarly, when you use thicker oil (with higher viscosity) than recommended, the engine components may take longer to be lubricated. Due to the poor lubrication, your car may vibrate as the oil warms up due to metals grinding against each other.
For example, if your car’s owner’s manual recommends using 5w30, using 10w30 may make your car shake. This is because the latter is thicker than the former.
You have to drain all the wrong oil from the oil pan. Then, change the oil filter and add the correct oil.
4. Changing Motor Mounts
Sometimes, your car shakes after an oil change may be more about the motor mounts than the engine oil. For example, if you change only one motor mount and the oil, your car may shake for around 10 seconds during startup. Once the shaking stops, your vehicle will idle as usual.
However, the car may sometimes vibrate slightly for 30 to 60 seconds after changing the oil and both engine mountings. This occurs when the mounts are installed incorrectly.
If you changed just one motor mount, replace the other one too. And for incorrectly installed engine mountings, you should take your car to a certified mechanic for proper installation.
5. Clogged Oil Filter
Clean motor oil offers better lubrication, reducing the rate at which engine metal parts rub against each other. The primary function of your car’s oil filter is to remove dirt and other impurities from the engine oil.
Therefore, you should always change the oil filter every time you change the oil. If you don’t, the filter may eventually clog up with dirt, reducing airflow to the engine.
Consequently, this can result in a surge of unburned fuel, which may change into soot residue. Over time, the soot can pile up on the tips of the spark plugs, making them incapable of delivering a good spark. As a result, your car can jerk, and the engine could misfire or shake during acceleration.
Change the oil if already contaminated, and replace the dirty oil filter. Watch this video on how to change the oil and the filter:
6. Oil Leak
Your car’s engine oil may leak after an oil change for various reasons, including a bad head gasket and:
- Cracked or broken hose
- Damaged oil pan
- Loosely fitted drain plug or oil cap
- Worn-out crankshaft seals
The best way to determine if your vehicle has an oil leak is by measuring the oil levels using the dipstick. If the levels are below the minimum mark after changing the oil, it can signify an oil leak.
This means the engine components will not be adequately lubricated, causing your car to shake as the parts grind against each other.
You can use high-mileage motor oil if your vehicle is over 75,000 miles and with a minor leak. This oil boasts seal enhancers and additives that reduce leaks. But you must replace the damaged components causing the oil leakage for more significant leaks.
Check out these frequently asked questions about car shaking after an oil change.
Yes, if the shaking happens just for a while and then stops. However, once you notice the vibration, you should immediately fix the problem before it causes further damage to the engine.
You should immediately check your motor oil levels and the oil filter. And if everything is okay, you should drive to the nearest mechanic for a proper diagnosis.
Yes, if the tires have uneven wear or are out of balance. However, even without an oil change, your car will still shake if the wheels are out of balance.
Although there are many reasons your car may shake after changing the oil, the main one is incorrect oil levels. However, if you use the wrong oil or fail to change the oil filter, your car may also vibrate.
The good news? It is easy to fix these problems even without the help of a certified mechanic. The important thing is knowing how to inspect the oil levels to ensure they are neither too low nor too high.