Sebring engine knocking and over heat after driving through grass!

The other day I was driving down the road and I went to pass a truck. As I pulled into the left side of the road the truck starting moving over toward me. I had no choice but to drive in the grass on the shoulder. I was doing about 60 mph. I then slowed down and got back on the road. About a mile later I turned onto my street. I noticed the engine was getting warmer than usual. The oil light blinked at me and the car died. I put it in neutral and restarted and drove it about a hundred yards to my house, where it stalled in the drive way. I checked the oil level and the dip stick was dry! I had just had an oil change maybe a month ago. I filled up the oil and restarted the car. As the engine was running there was a rhythmic knocking coming from the engine. I put the car in drive and drove it into my garage. I tested driving a little bit and noticed that the car stalled when ever the steering wheel was turned all the way to one side. It also stalled if I put the AC on. The next day I started it again and ran the AC. It didn’t stall but the knocking was still there. The rate of the knocking increases when I rev the engine. The car idled in park for maybe 15 or 20 minutes without over heating (still knocking). When I shut the car off I noticed that the coolant in the reservoir was rapidly bubbling and gurgling. I don’t know what to make of this. No fluids are leaking from the car when it is running. There is no foam on the oil dip stick. The coolant seams clear. Any thoughts?

Did you check for damage/grass packed in front of the AC condenser?


Is the oil pan damaged?Do you remember hitting something?

No, but I will! Thanks!

I didn’t notice damage, and it is not leaking. It didn’t feel like I hit anything. Oil level still good.

Perhaps you can have a local mechanic put your car on a lift and check underneath. And check the radiator cap. Sometimes they deteriorate over time and fail to hold pressure, so the coolant starts to boil.

Pretty good chance the knocking sound means the engine internals were damaged due to the low oil incident. Figuring out what caused the oil to go low won’t be of much value if the engine is damaged to the point it has to be replaced or rebuilt. Suggest to focus on assessing the condition of the engine internals first.


Your engine has damaged a rod bearing from lack of oil pressure. However it got that way, when the oil light flickered, you engine was starved of oil and it has now damaged itself. This will be an expensive repair - new or used engine most likely. Sorry.

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I’m thinking bout dropping the oil pan and taking a look. If I can find the bearing is it something I can replace myself without having to remove the engine?

If you’ve lived a very clean life, you might get lucky replacing the bearing as long as the crank pin is not damaged. Light damage can be cleaned up with a shoestring and fine sandpaper - 600-800 grit. You should check all the rod bearings, farthest from the pump first. That should be the worst.

If it’s a relatively easy job to drop the oil pan, seems worth taking the time for a look-see at the bearings. While anything’s possible given you don’t know what the problem actually is, suggest to not count on an oil-pan access repair for a bearing problem as a practical solution.

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I think you will find a more serious problem. Driving that mile with obviously little or no oil and then another 100 yards to the house very likely did the engine in.

With no damaged oil pan or leaks it seems to me the lack of oil means that your car is burning an excessive amount of oil or the facility that performed the oil change shorted you on oil for some reason or another. Proving the latter would be next to impossible.

JMHO, but I think the engine is not going to be an easy, cheap fix. While this would have nothing to do with the knocking, you might consider running a compression check. The reason it could be dying from a load is because the lack of oil wiped out the top end and there is simply no power left. There’s no sense attempting a lower end knock repair if the top end is gone.


Hey everyone! UPDATE: I replaced the rod bearings. They were pretty destroyed. It took a while to get the engine started once I got everything back together. The engine is nice and quiet now, HOWEVER I believe it has gone into “limp mode”. When I try to drive it the check engine light comes on (codes p0700 and p0605) and it will not shift out of (what I suspect is) 2nd gear. Any ideas?

I will only address the engine issue. You say the rod bearings were destroyed. That also means the main bearings are in the same condition.

This also means that the crank journals are likely damaged. The gambling odds say that this rod bearing job won’t last long as the damaged crank journals will start beating on the new bearings.
I suspect that if an oil pressure test was done the results would not be good; new rod bearings or not.

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“Destroyed” was perhaps the wrong word. The bearings were still “whole” they hadn’t been eaten thru, just severely worn. I checked the main bearings when I was in there, and they were in good shape. My BIG question here is why would the car go into limp mode after just replacing the bearings?

PCM fault P0700 indicates that there is a stored fault in the Transmission Control Module. You need a scan tool that can communicate with the TCM.

Some Chrysler products can display fault codes in the odometer display.

Yes, I have a scanner. I code p0700 and p0605. I have never had any transmission problems with this car. I am racking my brain to figure out what could have happened. All I did was change the bearings and replace the oil pan gasket. The only thing that was strange, was when I went to start the car after making the repairs it didn’t start right away. For a while it just made a sound click when I tried to crank the engine. I thought the battery might have been dead so I tried to jump it. But the battery was fine it turns out. Can jumping a charged battery make the computer screwy?

LOL… HOLY MOLY… This is one wacky thread man. You mean to tell me that after somehow experiencing a major oil failure of your engine that you dropped the oil pan and replaced the rod bearings? Did you find rod bearing damage? What size bearings did you use?

When an engine runs completely out of oil the rod bearings are not the only ones that will get harmed…every bearing will be harmed…crank journal, cam, rod, and basically every other rotating assy that depends on a good supply of oil.

Back to my question on what size bearings you used… I ask that again because of your starter going click upon attempt at your first start after major surgery. How tight was the rotating assy before you hit the starter? How tight is the rotating assy now after it somehow got running? Did you check?

I mean no disrespect here and I actually admire your gumption, but I think you are getting in WAY over your head. You kinda went Gonzo Mechanic here and you may want to reconsider the entire idea of what you are trying to accomplish. It seems this project is half in the grass, going 60mph and headed for the salvage yard. Time is overdue to figure out a sensible game plan.


Yes. Jump start related problems are posted here every once in a while; jumping the car damages some part of the electrical system, either in the car providing the jump start, or in the car receiving the jump start. Sometimes both. The common advice here for owner’s of modern electronic fuel injected vehicles is to neither give nor receive jump starts other than in dire emergency situations. I have personal experience. My Corolla’s alternator was damaged by providing a jump start.

The p0605 means there’s some sort of pcm memory chip error. That’s consistent with a voltage spike damaging the PCM memory. However the first thing to check is that the alternator and battery voltages are correct. Verify that before the first start of the day the battery measures about 12.6 volts. Then immediately after starting the engine, 13.5-15.5 volts.

If that’s all ok, the situation where – after the bearing work – you only heard a click with the key in start is a little concerning. That could mean the crank shaft is no longer rotating freely for some reason, such as the bearings binding, something out of alignment, etc. Sugggest to remove the spark plugs and manually turn the crank using a ratchet/socket on the crank pulley bolt. Does it turn smoothly without undue effort all 360 degrees? Make sure to turn it forward, in the direction it normally turns.

You are reading PCM faults. If you want TCM data you must select TCM on the main menu, if you want airbag data you must select airbag on the main menu.

If you don’t have these options on your scan tool then you can’t read TCM, ABS or airbag data.