My car made a sound like metal hitting plastic. Then the engine died and it put itself into Neutral. Now, every time I turn it on, it sounds really bad.
From the information you have given and the knowledge I have I believe the starter or flywheel will be the problem. A starter at times will go bad and produce the exact noises you describe from it incorrectly engaging the flywheel. A damaged flywheel may also force a transmission into neutral if damaged badly enough. I suggest having a technician, such as the ones at YourMechanic, evaluate the vehicle and pay close attention to the starter and flywheel. It would be best to have them evaluate the vehicle firsthand for a proper diagnosis of the noise.
Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing