I broke my car

I just changed my oil and now my car won’t go above 3mph. What did I do? What do I need to do?

You didn’t give us much help here. What happens when you try to go over 3 MPH? Does the engine rev but the speed not pick up? Or does the engine bog down or stall?

Is there any chance you drained the transmission and double-filled the oil?

Did you accidentally knock off any vacuum lines or electrical connectors when you were doing the work?

Did you change the oil yourself?

Have you changed it yourself in the past?

Go back and check your work from start to finish-the answer is there somewhere.

Try releasing the parking brake.

Info we will need…
-type of car (year, make and model)
-engine size

  • type of oil used and type of oil manufacturer suggests
    -last oil change mileage and the mileage inbetween last and this one
    -EXACTLY what the vehicle is doing…noises, smells, smoking, misfiring, etc…

It sounds like you drained your transmission fluid, not your oil. This needs to be corrected immediately before your transmission and engine are both ruined, and DON’T DRIVE IT UNTIL YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE FIGURES IT OUT!!! If you’re new to this sort of thing, the best way to learn is to watch a professional do it, and explain what s/he is doing, why, and what not to do if you want to do it in the future. If you’re trying to save money, try calling around and compare prices. I’m ASE Certified, but take my cars to a local dealership for oil changes. They charge $14.95, and the fifth one is free. I can’t buy the supplies to do it myself for that, so I don’t deal with it.

I agree with lion9car and mark9207.

I believe that you drained your transmission, rather than the engine.
The result is that the transmission is dry and the engine has twice the amount of oil that it should have.

If you start the engine again, and if you drive it more than a few feet, you will probably wind up damaging the engine and will essentially destroy the transmission.


Have the car towed to a mechanic (NOT to a quick oil change place) so that he can assess the situation.

If you are very lucky and if you have lived a good and virtuous life, you may luck out with just needing to have the oil changed and the transmission refilled. That, of course, depends upon how long you ran the engine after you “serviced” it, and how far you forced the transmission to go in a dry condition.

Good luck!

That happened to me while changing an alternator.
But you’d have been working in the opposite side of the engine area for it to be a same situation.

In my case I had to remove many items in the way to get to the alternator. Then when finished the truck would only idle to about 3 mph but not accelerate nor even rev.
Upon opening the hood to investigate I noticed I had not reassembled the air intake tube to the air cleaner so the airflow sensor had no clue, and would not allow more fuel.

Any input from your mechanic at this point?

I guess the OP has deserted us. Sometimes I wonder why we bother!