My car has recently developed a knocking sound from the engine. I took it in to have it serviced. They reported that it was very low on oil in the engine (very strange as, the car is well maintained and I check the levels often).

The car is running well now after the service – the knocking sound is gone. The mechanic even commented that the car has no leaks and is in very good general condition. The car drives well with no loss of power.

I'm puzzled and concerned can anyone explain the knocking sound and how a car that doesn't seem to leak could have the oil go down suddenly? Is there any danger of long term damage?

  • Is there a question you meant to ask?
    – CharlieRB
    Oct 4, 2016 at 19:26
  • 1
    I'm unsure of what your question is and what you may want to know. You mention knocking in the title but go into no further within the body of the question. Can you clarify, as of now, I predict your question will be closed as there is no question. Oct 4, 2016 at 19:43
  • sorry! my Question is :- do you think that the engine is damaged? Oct 4, 2016 at 20:02
  • See if the edits help, and feel free to revert them. Might help to add a bit about how often you check oil and if you recall the level before you noticed the knocking and discovered the low oil. Would also help if you knew how low it had bee.
    – dlu
    Oct 20, 2016 at 4:20
  • Some MINIs are notorious for oil leaks. Check the turbo feed line. It could be leaking and burning off before it hits the ground.
    – Spivonious
    Jan 5, 2017 at 15:52

3 Answers 3


No. Damaged engines make funny noises and are down on power. Low oil will cause a bit of a rattle, and you should find where your oil is going. Most leaks are slow, see if there are fresh oil stains where you regularly park.


My MINI was making the same kind of rattly sounds. I took it into the dealer thinking it was the infamous timing chain tensioner failure. It ended up being that it was 3 quarts low and I was losing about a quart every two weeks to the infamous turbo oil intake leak. I never saw oil on the ground.

Get it fixed! It's PITA to get to the engine side of the intake line, so I would recommend taking it in to the shop instead of tackling it yourself. I did it myself but it took an entire weekend and lots of four-letter words. It's about a 3 hour job for a trained mechanic.

I also recommend Detroittuned.com's superior replacement part that won't leak in the future. The OEM part will fail again after 40-60k miles.


Your engine gets damaged/wears every time you start the car. Because it takes a short while for the oil pressure to build up. Of course if you do not have enough oil, damage will be continuous since oil pressure can't build up. If the engine is damaged badly, you would hear unusual sounds even after correcting the oil problem. But even if everything is working properly/normally with no strange sounds, the life of your engine parts may be reduced significantly.

If you had too low oil, the pump can not create enough pressure and you would get your oil pressure warning light on. If the light is functioning (they usually come on when you start the car and turn off after few seconds).

If the light is functioning but never came on when engine is running, then your engine should be fine and probably your problem was not related to oil level. Maybe your oil gone bad if you never changed it

If the light or the oil pressure sensor is broken, and your oil level was really low, you should get the light/sensor fixed/repaired immediately.

The real question is if you check oil level often, how can it be low right when you go to service? Does that make sense to you? If you are rapidly loosing oil, leak must be found and fixed.

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