Weird Engine Noise after Oil Change – Diagnosis

Weird engine noise after oil change is unnatural because the fluid is designed to lubricate your car’s engine moving metal parts. So, the big question is – why is your engine louder after an oil change?

The experience is not without an explanation, and that’s why you’re reading this article. Some of the major reasons why a vehicle produces a rattling or engine ticking noise have been unveiled in this post.

Also, the solutions to this problem have been captured in the subsequent section of this article. So kindly take a moment to digest its content below.

weird engine noise after oil change

Causes of Weird Engine Noise after Oil Change

The onset of engine noises after an oil change can point to several reasons. Some factors include the use of an incorrect spec oil or an additive that is not compatible. A mechanic should inspect to determine the root cause, as these things can significantly impact engine performance.

Lack of proper lubrication of metal parts is the chief cause of weird engine noise after an oil change. It is basically due to using wrong engine oil brands and dirty oil filters for your vehicle.

Engine ticking noise coming from your engine after an oil change is not mysterious, identifying the actual cause of the issue will help you resolve it quickly. Otherwise, your engine power may be reduced. Some of the common reasons for a noisy engine after oil change includes:

Incompatible oil viscosity

Vehicle manufacturers design their products uniquely, and as such, specific recommendations are associated with their vehicles, including the type of oil to use.

Components like hydraulic lifters, rod bearings, etc., are designed to be compatible with specific engine oil viscosity in different vehicles.

Therefore, using incorrect engine oil with a different viscosity will eventually result in low oil pressure, too much friction, smoking and a ticking sound emanating from the engine’s moving metal parts.

Wrong or clogged oil filter

The oil filter performs a vital task in the oil circulation in your vehicle’s engine. However, the oil filter in use can either increase or decrease the oil pressure. Meanwhile, low oil pressure will starve the engine parts of proper lubrication. It can cause a ticking noise in the engine.

Also, a good oil filter is subject to collect dirt or debris from the oil. The process of collecting and trapping contaminants to prevent them from circulating along with the oil can block the component after some time.

Proper fluid circulation becomes difficult when this occurs, resulting in friction between revolving engine parts. It is another reason for a car ticking problem.

Bad oil pump

The oil pump is built to supply the force that helps circulate oil across the various passages in a vehicle’s engine. Unfortunately, this component does not last forever as it is subject to wear from constant usage.

Therefore, a bad or worn-out oil pump may not be able to perform the regular duty of providing the required force for the engine oil circulation. This will automatically lead to low oil pressure and cause the engine parts to rub against each other, resulting in an engine ticking or clattering noise.

Loose oil drain plug

The oil drain plug is designed to hold the fluid in the engine oil pan beneath the vehicle. It also allows the disposal of dirty oil through the oil sump. After draining used or contaminated oil, threading the drain plug requires because an overtightened drain plug can weaken the thread.

When this occurs, the thread will affect the plug’s grip and allow engine oil to escape. Also, a damaged drain plug without a replacement will result in oil leaks, which can further lead to low oil levels and create friction between engine parts.

How to Stop Engine Ticking Noise

Fixing the challenges that trigger an engine ticking noise is pretty straightforward. However, the following recommendations are corresponding solutions to the causes unveiled above.

Use recommended oil

If an incompatible oil viscosity is responsible for the poor lubrication in your car’s engine, replacing the oil with the recommended brand will help resolve the engine’s ticking noise. So, you may have to cool the engine, drain the oil and refill the engine with the correct product.

Replace oil filter

Vehicle manufacturers recommend replacing the oil filter alongside an oil change. So, if you changed your engine oil without replacing this component, this is the right time to do so.

Meanwhile, if you bought the wrong or inferior oil filter, you may want to replace that with the recommended part.

Replace the bad oil pump

Since a bad oil pump has nothing to offer, it would be best to replace the component immediately. So, if this is the reason why your car’s engine produces a ticking noise, replacing the component will do justice to the problem.

Replace bad oil drain plug

If you constantly suffer low oil levels due to the bad drain plug, ensure to replace the component as soon as possible. It will rectify any oil leaks traceable to the oil drain plug and resolve the low oil levels that constantly cause the engine to produce a ticking noise.


Can too much oil cause engine noise?

Of course, too much oil can cause a random engine clicking sound. This is because the excess fluid exerts stress on the engine’s gaskets, caps, and other components.

Subjecting a car’s engine to excessive stress will reduce its efficiency, affecting its general operations. So if your engine is suffering the stress of dealing with too much oil, kindly find a way to drain the excess fluid.

Can wrong oil cause noise?

Yes, using the wrong oil for your vehicle’s engine can trigger random ticking noise. The fluid is expected to lubricate the moving metal parts in the engine to minimize friction.

So, the wrong fluid will not lubricate the parts appropriately, leaving some areas uncoated. When this happens, some parts will engage in direct metal-to-metal rubbing, resulting in a ticking or rattling noise from the engine. 

Can an oil filter cause a rattling noise?

Of course, a car making rattling noise may indicate a bad or clogged oil filter. The oil filter is built to collect dirt or particles that can contaminate a vehicle’s engine. Unfortunately, the collected particles don’t disappear; they clog up the oil filter over time.

clogged oil filter change

When the component becomes clogged up, it may not be able to allow proper circulation of engine oil across the engine’s metal parts. This will result in an audible noise created by moving metal parts.

Why do I hear a ticking sound while in idle?

If you constantly hear a ticking sound while your car idles, you most likely have low oil pressure, worn-out lifters, unadjusted or misadjusted valves, etc. The engine consists of several moving metal parts synergizing to achieve a common goal.

The low oil pressure will starve some parts of proper lubrication. At the same time, a slight misalignment can also hinder the engine’s proper functioning, resulting in a random engine tapping noise.

Does engine oil change engine sound?

Using the appropriate engine oil is not supposed to change your vehicle’s engine sound. Unfortunately, some car owners are not meticulous enough to buy the recommended oil for their engine oil change.

A car making noise after oil change could be a result of using an oil grade that is incompatible with the engine. Therefore, stick to using the recommended engine oil for your car.


Although engine oil change is essential as part of a vehicle’s maintenance, using the recommended oil is more important. So, if you hear a weird engine noise after oil changeensure to diagnose the problem immediately.

You may have to consult your auto mechanic for a thorough check. Once you identify the actual cause of the engine noise, ensure you fix the problem as soon as possible to prevent further damage.

Solomon Osuagwu

Osuagwu Solomon is a vetted auto mechanic with over ten years of experience in the garage and five years of experience as a service writer. He prides himself in writing accurate information on professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, buyer’s guides, comparisons, and car reviews. If he’s not in his repair garage, he’s writing automotive blogs to help car owners and fellow mechanics to troubleshoot and proffer solutions to several car problems.

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