I was driving about 55 mph and lost power suddenly. I pulled over instanly and checked the oil, it's not dry but pretty low and it's been a long time since I've had an oil change. Now if I try and start it, it only turns over. There's no clicking noises or smells. Any ideas of what happened?
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Could have overheated because low on oil, the engine may not start until the computer is reset, a safty feature which keeps the engine from damage in such cases., Take it to a mechanic to reset the computer if you think the oil being low was the main issue.
The white smoke is probably steam caused by coolant getting into the cylinder(s) either from a faulty head gasket, cracked cylinder head or cracked engine block. The loss of heat from the heater indicated that coolant was being lost..
Your transmission fluid is dangerously low (tranny is dry). The pops & jerks are the transmission internal components trying not to seize onto each other due to lack of lubrication and/or overheating. Low transmission fluid leads not only to loss of lubrication but lots of overheating (of the tranny). The loss of Elantra performance (speed tops out at 55), is caused by power loss due to friction inside the transmission. All your power is lost overheating the transmission (toward destruction), instead of being transmitted through the transmission to the wheels.
The 2004 Elantra takes Hyundai SP-III Automatic Transmission Fluid, with 8.4 quarts used in a total refill - but just 5 quarts at a fluid change. For How-to transmission fluid change instructions:
www.autozone.com claims that 2004 Hyundai Elantra can take these non-Hyundai ATF's: Lucas Semi-Synthetic Multivehicle ATF Pennzoil Muilt Vehicle ATF Valvoline Maxlife Dex/Merc ATF Castrol High Mileage ATF
i had a 1996 corolla, the spark plug wires run through the top of the valve cover, pull them off and check for oil in the spark plug tubes, the seals go bad and oil leaks past the spark plugs and causes the engine to misfire