The car was making clicking sounds and I checked the oil. Seemed to not registered much on the stick. I added 3 quarts of the proper oil and drove down the road. Within 1/2 mile it was sputtering and ALOT of smoke was coming out of the exhaust.

Did I kill my car?

  • 3
    There is too little information here and too many possible causes for us to be able to really answer that question. How long had it been low on oil? How did you know it needed 3 quarts and not 2? Did you check the oil again after you added the oil? Is it over the max line? What color is the smoke from the exhaust?
    – CharlieRB
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 11:52
  • The ticking noise has been gradually getting louder and gets louder as I accelerate. Yes I checked again and it is over the max line :((. The smoke is white.
    – Pkorns
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 18:14
  • I thought that it shouldn't have been low on oil. As it was ok a month ago and I haven't seen any spilled oil marks any where that I usually park. But it looked like it only registered only about little over quarter inch on stick.
    – Pkorns
    Commented Oct 27, 2016 at 18:17
  • 1
    IIRC, the dip stick "low" mark means it's one quart low. The engine only takes 4.25 quarts, so adding 3 put it way over. Drain it and start fresh.
    – Spivonious
    Commented Jan 6, 2017 at 15:47

1 Answer 1


The ticking noise has been likely a warning sign that something is going wrong. It may, or may not be related to the oil level. If three quarts over filled it, then it probably was not completely out of oil (NOTE: Oil levels should be checked on a regular basis, like each time you add fuel, and kept in the proper range).

White smoke is not oil. White smoke from the exhaust is an indicator that coolant is entering the combustion chamber (which it should not). That can be caused by bad head gaskets, cracked head, cracked block, etc.

Have it towed to a repair facility. They will be able to tell you if the engine is repairable or not. Do not drive it! That may cause more damage.


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