I have a 2004 elantra, not sure how many miles are on it because the odometer has been broken since I got it four years ago but I'd say it's over 200k. It's a car that needs a lot of upkeep and I've spent a bunch of money on in the past few months. There's a crack in the power steering hose, coolant leak, I had to replace the front axles and tie rods, almost everything is rusted up from living in new york and getting road salt everywhere and the check engine light has been on periodically for years, but they said it was from my oxygen meter or something.

Anyways, getting to my problem. The last time I had my oil checked was in march/april, they said I was good on oil and I kind of forgot about it since then. For the past ~5-7 days or so I noticed the oil light coming on only when I hit the brakes hard or fully turn the wheel. I didn't think it was anything serious because the light only flickered on in those instances(I also didn't know how big of a deal oil is). I did notice some weird things happening like lagging acceleration but my car does that sometimes either way. So two days ago was the last time I drive my car, and I noticed a strange noise during startup. I drove it home and that's it.

The next morning when I was about to go to work I tried starting my car and experienced some turbulent shaking and a gut feeling that I shouldn't try driving it so I left it home. Fast forward to today, I decided to finally add more oil. I checked the dipstick and it was bone dry. I added two quarts of generic 10w 40 oil, tried to start it up and two seconds later immediately turned it off because I was getting even worse shaking and just a really horrible sound coming from my engine. I haven't tried to start it after that two seconds and I'm so scared that I ruined my car forever.

I recently moved across the country and barely have enough money to get by, I definitely don't have enough for a new engine or new car. I spoke to my dad, who's not a mechanic, and he told me try getting a lubricant but it might be completely shot. Do you think it's worth it to get it towed to the shop and looked at? I have a video of what it sounded like on startup but I'm not sure how to upload it. This is where I filled my oil to before I started it today

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  • Welcome to Motor Vehicle Maintenance & Repair! Jun 15 '18 at 22:25
  • It's really hard to say whether you've toasted your engine. The only way to tell is to get it to a mechanic. You've obviously done some damage to your engine for lack of oil (it tends to do this), but I'm wondering if something else is going on with the car. Something which isn't associated with low oil. If you only added two quarts of oil, it was definitely low, but it wasn't out of oil. That means it was still getting some form of lubrication. If putting 2q of oil in didn't change how it was running, I'd almost bet there is something else going on. Jun 16 '18 at 13:47
  • PS: Where's the video? Jun 16 '18 at 13:48

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