Car Won’t Start After Oil Change – 8 Common Causes & Solutions

Written by

Charles Bolte


Vernon Hoppe 

Car Won't Start After Oil Change

An oil change of the car is a predominant factor for smooth running or optimal performance. The car’s performance highly reduces if you don’t change the car oil.

Engine oil is crucial for protecting moving parts, providing lubrication, and cooling the engine. If the car is low on oil, it will not start because of inadequate lubrication, overheating, and increased friction between the piston and cylinder.

Modern engines require synthetic oil with proper additives to hold out extreme pressure and heat; failure would result in premature wear and tear.

Your car won’t start after oil change, maybe due to poor reconnection of the battery, faulty starter, or ignition problems. Read on to know how to troubleshoot and fix those issues.

Possible Causes

After an oil change, let’s discover the possibilities of the car’s starter problems.

1. Oil leakage


Improper installation of the oil filter during the oil change causes the oil to leak, which is a minor problem, but if ignored, it can cause your car engine to stop running.

The car’s electronic control unit will stop the engine from starting if the oil sensor level reaches a dangerously low level. If you see some oil light coming on, and the car won’t start after that, it might indicate an oil leak.

2. Loose tightening


If the oil drain plug of your car is tightened improperly, it will start losing grip due to engine vibration, which would lower the oil pressure. This would result in oil leakage, so your car’s engine wouldn’t start.

However, using old spares or cheap replacement parts would also give a rough start to your vehicle.

3. Poor Oil quality


High-quality and compatible types of oil have a strong impact on the smooth running of the engine.

Low-grade or poor-quality oil couldn’t provide adequate lubricant to your car engine and starts to cause the whining noise. Then your car struggles to start and the engine’s performance has been impacted directly.

4. Overfilling


If you pour excess oil into your engine, it will also start disrupting the engine. Overfilling is mainly one of the reasons for oil leakage, and fuel starts coming out through various parts like gaskets, crankshafts, valve covers, and seals, causing engine damage.

5. Bad starter


When you turn on the ignition key and the car is acting weird by producing some whining noise or buzzing, it indicates it is a bad starter. The starter is spinning yet fails to connect with the flywheel. That’s why there is noise from the engine start, but the car still shows no signal.

6. Choked filter


If the fuel stream of your car is choked with dust, sludge, or any impurity, your engine is affected, which means the fuel filter is not working properly. This sludged fuel line is affecting the starting ability of your car.

7. Dead battery


Starting a car after an oil change creates problems due to a weak or dead battery. In high temperatures, the battery of the vehicle is affected badly.

If, after a long summer, you see the flickering headlights and battery symbol and hear no sound of engine turnover after igniting the key, it means your battery is dead, and your car won’t start.

8. Considerations

Mostly the oil change comes, and the car won’t start; to prevent this, here are things you need to consider for changing a car’s oil.

  • Check the oil level with a dipstick.
  • Check the Quality of the oil filter.
  • Type of oil.
  • Proper refining or filtration
  • Amount of oil.

Solutions for Car Not Starting After an Oil Change

Your car is not running right after the oil change problems, let’s see what you should do;

1. Check the starter connection


Pull out the starter and check the connection if you hear some sound when igniting the key. It means your car is making a whirring noise but won’t start due to a bad starter that needs replacement.

2. Double-check the connections


If the plug is not properly tightened and starts losing its grip, it will easily begin to fall out, resulting in the engine stalling. Hence before starting the engine, double-check every connection attentively to prevent any issues. If there are engine problems or overdue oil changes, ensure that oil is in adequate amounts and has the proper viscosity.

3. Use Recommended fuel type


Mostly the wrong type of oil causes disruption, so it is better to use a manufacturer’s recommended fuel.

Different oil grades are common, but you must consult a technician or repairer before changing the oil. If the oil level is not in the proper amount, will adding oil make the car start.

4. Clean the oil filter


If you are facing the ignition problem of the spark plugin, make sure to clean the residue of dirt or sludges from the oil filter. It will help to improve fuel efficiency by providing more clean oil and will be significant for smooth oil flow.

5. Check the insulation wire


During the removal of the oil filter, any damage to the insulation wire also disrupts the electrical connection of the car. Ensure the wire is connected to the ground engine, and you can take help from your vehicle manual.

6. Try to run the engine


After the oil change service, you must try to start the engine and make it run for a few minutes. This activity will help the new oil to flow smoothly through the various components, which is helpful for fuel efficiency.

7. Change the Fuel Pump


Check the fuel stream, if it is sludge or has debris. Suppose you hear any backfiring or clicking noise from the stream. In both cases, make sure to change the fuel pump to avoid any further damage.

8. Regular oil change


It is better recommended to change the oil on a proper basis. Otherwise, your car’s performance will eventually slow down due to increased friction or low lubrication. The car oil should be changed regularly every three months after service or after driving 3 miles.

This is the ideal period which can vary according to car modules. Honda Accord oil guidelines suggest changing the oil after every 75000 to 10000 miles.

Why Changing the Oil at Regular Intervals is Necessary

The best investment you can make with your car is to keep changing its oil at a balanced period. Suppose you are not changing the car’s oil for the long term. In that case, the sheer sludge and dust will make your car engine dirty and contaminated, which is not a good sign for the stability of the engine’s performance.

When the oil doesn’t change, the engine gets less lubrication, which increases friction, leading to scratches on the bearings or pistons. This will make your car overheat, impacting efficiency or performance.


As discussed, when car problems after an oil change arise, oil change is not directly the cause of starting issues, but it is a variant of multiple factors like leakage and sludged engine.

You can enjoy your well-performed car by actively paying attention to the oil-changing requirements. Here you have been provided with the reason and solutions to your problem.

If your car won’t start after oil change and further troubleshooting, go to the nearest technician or repair shop for better consultation, as they have better expertise and tools.

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