1999 Saturn Sc2 Coupe Engine Knocking Noise – Ran Out Of Oil

Reader Question

I have a 1999 Saturn Sc2 Coupe. Ive had it for about a year and it has been running great but then I accidentally let it run low on oil and it started making a noise. I took it to get an oil change, they did everything, and the next week the engine started making a knocking noise.

I took it back to the oil shop and they said it sounded like an internal problem with my engine. It only makes the quick knocking sounds when I’m giving it gas. and more towards higher rpms.
What do you think?


Hey there Sam

When an engine runs low on oil or has an internal engine problem it can make a knocking noise. The noise can get louder when the engine RPM’s are higher. I would NOT
continue to drive this engine until you get a second opinion.

Make sure you visit a repair shop that is capable of doing internal engine rebuilding or replacing the engine altogether. This can be a BIG job,and you don’t want to get a shop that is not competent in this repair.


Austin C. Davis

Reader Follow Up

Thanks for your opinion. so i was driving to a shop and it made a really loud knock and so i pulled over, got it towed to the shop and they said the worst. new engine, $2800, and everything.

So I talked to some friends and one of my buddies has rebuilt an engine before. with the right tools and a manual for the engine and everything, do you think it is advisable to rebuild it ourselves or pay someone else a bunch to do it?

The shop I took it to said it was the whole cylinder that needs replacing which means the whole engine block right? if its just the piston its a lot easier to replace?

Hello again Sam

If this was me, I would call around to a few junk yards in your area and see if you can find a low mileage vehicle that was wrecked, but the engine is still in good shape. You might be able to buy one for $500-750 used.

Trying to rebuild only ONE cylinder/piston is not the recommended way to overhaul an engine, especially one that ran out of oil or had some other internal problem.

You might replace that one piston, reinstall the engine and still have the same problem. Time and money wise, it will be smarter to install a used engine.

You can even buy an extended warranty from the junk yard with will cover the engine itself, but usually not the labor, but you and your friends can do this job in a weekend.


Austin Davis

Posted in: Used Parts

2 Comments on "1999 Saturn Sc2 Coupe Engine Knocking Noise – Ran Out Of Oil"

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  1. Shonna says:

    Hi, I just bought my 1999 Saturn Se coupe last week from a used car lot, and today there is a clapping noise coming from the engine, and gets worse when reved up. My question is, why does the Check Engine light not come on if it is an engine problem?

    • By Austin Davis says:

      Good question. The check engine light is a warning light for a computer sensor malfunction…something electrical has failed, then the YELLOW check engine light will come on. The RED engine light will come on when there is low oil or low oil pressure or an over heating issue from not enough coolant in the radiator.

      Check the engine oil fist, and top off as needed. If it is full of oil you might want to buy a can of Marvel Mystery Oil treatment from your local auto parts store and add it to the engine oil and see if that helps. I would NOT drive this car with the noise, you will be doing internal engine damage that will be costly. If that does not help I would have a mechanic check the engine oil pressure with a gauge they can hook up. Maybe you can get some warranty or assistance from the car lot??

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