Q: Loud clunk, smoking and leaking, car shakes

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I've had a very serious situation while driving the car the other day and it happened completely out of the blue. First, there was a loud clunking sound. Then I've noticed the smoke. Outside of the car, I saw a huge amount of brown fluid. The leak was under the right tire, on the front of the car. The dashboard was showing the check engine light illuminated. The car was shaking badly. As I'm not very mechanical, I was wondering what part might have gone bad. Did my engine go out? Do you have any idea?

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 2001 Hyundai Elantra. This sounds serious - like the engine broke a connecting rod, which punctured the oil pan, and dumped the oil. Checking your oil level with the engine dipstick will confirm the source of the brown puddle you mention. If you want to have this looked at, a certified mechanic from YourMechanic can come to your car’s location to fully diagnose the car and pinpoint the faulty components that contributed to this situation.

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