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Bad engine?

My husband was driving our 2013 nissan rogue and the engine light came on. Shortly afterwards the car began to smoke and stopped working. Oil is leaking out of the car and the oil pan needs to be replaced (looks like he hit something because the oil pan has a dent in it). Also, the engine rattles when turned on. They said that I might need a new engine which is over 4000 dollars. They said I can replace the oil pan and get an oil change to see if that works. Is it likely that my engine is dead? He said it could just be rattling because of the lack of oil but he won’t know until we replace the oil and oil pan. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

Where’s the oil leaking out? The oil pan? He don’t remember hitting anything? It don’t sound good for the home team, but theinimal cost of replacing the oil pan and adding oil would be my first choice. You might luck out. This is assuming the oil is leaking from the pan

A couple of questions - Did he shut the engine down immediately upon hearing the rattling? Does the rattling sound like a clicking sound or a deeper dull knocking sound?

It seems like the oil is leaking from the pan because they said I for sure need a new pan. It sounds like the concern about the engine came from when the mechanic tried to start the car. I don’t recall my husband saying he heard it rattling. Once the light came on and the oil started burning he pulled over and we got it towed. It sounds like rattling like if you put a penny in a bottle and shook it. It doesn’t sound like a knock.

Your description of the rattle is encouraging. Likely collapsed hydraulic valve lifters which will pump back up undamaged when oil pressure is restored. I assume this car has hydraulic lifters. My biggest concern is damage to the rod bearings. That would be the duller knock I was talking about. Hopefully the smoke was just from oil blowing back on exhaust parts.

Well, if they try to start the engine without fixing the pan and putting oil back there, I am thinking the “rattling” is from the engine running dry. I think your engine is toast though I hope I am wrong.

I assume the warranty might not cover this, but I would like to inspect the pan for damage vs a seal failing. Ideally this should be done by you or someone other than the dealer.

Was the oil plug in place? When was the last oil change?

If all fails, I believe your comprehensive insurance should cover you minus deductible.

Try oil pan replacement. A few hundred is much better than 4k. It sounds as if your hubby turned it off pretty quickly. That could have saved it. Most people just keep driving until they get home or where ever they are going.

If you are lucky, the rattling is the noise of the crankshaft hitting the dented oil pan.

@oldtimer 11 Good point. That would be great.

My suggestion would be to remove the oil pan and then remove a few crankshaft bearing caps that are located the fartherest away from the oil pump.

If the overlay has been scrubbed off on the bearings then the engine’s days are numbered. Any thought of replacing the pan at that point may also need to be scrubbed.

Before springing for a replacment engine, I’d remove the pan, bang out the dent, and reinstall it as best I could, making sure the pan wasn’t interfering with the moving engine and oil pump parts. Fill up with oil, as long as there won’t any big oil leaks from the pan, maybe a little dripping, I’d idle the car while monitoring the oil pressure, and listen to what the engine sounds like.

The pan’s apparently damaged enough to be leaking, I’d replace it.

You say the Engine Light came on. Was this the Check Engine or the Oil Light?

I would check the oil pump first of all as the oil scavenger may have broken when the pan was dented which would have caused oil to NOT circulate because the scavenger tube which is like a straw broke. No oil circulating and still driving will destroy the engine fast. Pull the pan and look first before you spend a dime. The lifters losing oil pressure make rattling sounds but the crankshaft bearings don’t until they overheat, disintegrate and throw a piston rod. Check engine light came on or the oil light came on? It does not sound good so careful throwing money at it now and do not try to start it until the pan has been off and oil pump checked and shaft bearings at that time. The oil will also show fine brass colored flecks in the sunlight if the bearings were damaged. A good mechanic will know.