Rattling sound in engine on 2002 Toyota Corolla

Hi, A sudden rattling sound appeared in the engine of my 2002 Corolla and I pulled over. The oil light was on. I probably did not notice it earlier. The engine starts except that it makes this rattling noise. The oil was extremely low, maybe just upto the tip of the dip stick. The engine has ~100,000 miles and I had just done an oil change a month ago. No oil leakage or radiator leakage. No over heating. Any idea what I am looking at?

by in State College, PA on October 11, 2010
2 answers
ANSWER by on October 11, 2010
Did you top up the oil and see if the engine still rattles? If so, you may have damaged the engine bearings due to lack of oil. See a mechanic for an opinion. If the engine bearings are damaged, you could have and expensive repair. If the engine beariings are OK and there's still a rattle, your mechanic will have to tell you what it is. Here's a directory link for you: http://repairpal.com/directory?address=16801&car_brand_names=Toyota
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ANSWER by on January 21, 2011
Be sure the oil is full.... if not fill it and keep a miles log on it to see if you are burning or leaking oil excessively, if its full have a mechanic check it as it sounds like you "may" have either a worn Timing Chain...or a worn Water Pump, or a worn Coolant fan assembly....all the parts above are sort of reasonable to replace except for the timing chain hopefully that is not the problem.... they usually last till 200K depending on the way you drive....quick jack rabitt take offs help make the chain wear out faster. Hope this helps good luck!!!
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