Q: Under car damage from steep driveway

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I drove up a steep driveway entrance. It was probably at a 40 degree angle before reaching the flat surface. As 1/3 of the car was over it, I heard a crash-like sound. I knew I must have "hit" something on the bottom of my car. I thought nothing of it as I drove home. I had the windows rolled down and it was a chilly night. Prior to this damage, I felt a little chilly driving with my driver side window down. However, after this damage, I noticed I didn't feel cold at all. I noticed I started to feel heating coming from the area around my legs. I didn't have the heater on. I felt the area above my legs and felt heat.

When I drive up my driveway, my car made a squeak. My brakes also squeak now. What could be the issue?

My car has 32000 miles.
My car has a manual transmission.

Unfortunately, without seeing the bottom of the vehicle, it is impossible to definitively say what part you have damaged. The gas engine is located in the area you are describing. If you did major damage to the gas engine, you would likely notice other symptoms as well. These might include a fluid leak, drivability issues, and/or the Check Engine Light illuminating.

You could have also done damage to the regenerative braking system. This may explain the sounds with your brakes and suspension. Due to the fact you drive a hybrid vehicle, and you are feeling an unusual heat, you will want to get this inspected immediately.

You may be at risk for an electrical fire or brake failure. These, although extreme cases, are serious risks. The first step to take is to raise the vehicle and see where the damages are located. From there you can see what can be repaired, and what needs to be replaced. If you are not in a position to get beneath the vehicle and do an inspection, I suggest you contact a technician, such as one from YourMechanic, to do an inspection of the brakes and suspension for you.

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