Car will not start, was clicking when pressing gas

  • 2000 FORD ESCORT
  • 4 CYL
  • 2WD
  • 200,000 MILES
For about a day while driving it would idle funny while sitting with it in drive like at a light or whatnot, then later that day I realized it was starting to over heat, but was not smoking or anything. It was just was the gauges where saying, so I would pull over and let it cool down before driving again. I also checked the water, seemed like it was not using any. Later on after being parked for about six hours or so, car started right up as normal, I noticed that the gauges where going up and down randomly showing it was going to overheat (still no smoke and not using any water). I parked and it was making a semi-loud bubbling noise of some kind, after letting that stop and starting it to make it back home, it started to make a ticking noise when I would hit the gas. The more I hit the gas the louder the tick. Then car just shut off and would not start back up. When I go to start it, it does not sound like it normally would when started, sounds kind of faint. But it does try to start.
Do you
have the same problem?
Friday, September 21st, 2018 AT 3:37 PM

1 Reply

Hi and thanks for using

The bubbling you were hearing was most likely the coolant boiling in the engine. Since you were hearing a ticking sound, I think it was hotter than you think. When you try to start it now, you mentioned it sounds fainter. Is the engine still turning at the same speed? Does the starter change pitch (slow then fast then slow)? If it does, you may have broken a timing belt. To determine if that is the case, you can do it two ways. First, check engine compression. Here are two links. The first discusses how to complete a compression test and the second explains reasons for low compression.

Or, you can check the belt itself. You will need to remove the timing belt cover on the front of the engine. Note that the belt may not actually be broken, but may have jumped time (slipped). If you determine the belt is bad and needs replaced, here are the directions for doing it. All attached pictures correlate with these directions.

Note: the water pump is driven by the timing belt. It may have locked up damaging the belt. Replace the pump when replacing the belt regardless if it appears good.

1. Remove the drive belt and the drive belt tension-er.
2. Remove the (A) three nuts and the (B) three bolts and remove the outer engine front cover.
3. Raise and support the vehicle.
4. Remove the RH splash shield.
5. Remove the bolt and the crankshaft pulley.
6. Align the timing marks.
7. Remove the timing belt.
1. Use an 8 mm Allen wrench and turn counterclockwise.
2. Insert a suitable holding tool to lock the timing belt tension-er in place.
3. Remove the timing belt.
8. Inspect the belt for signs of oil contamination.

1. Note: Install the timing belt over the sprockets in a counterclockwise direction starting at the crankshaft. Keep the belt span from the crankshaft to the camshaft tight while installing the timing belt over the camshaft.

Install the (A) timing belt and remove the (B) holding tool to release the (C) timing belt tensioner.
2. Rotate crankshaft two times and recheck the timing marks.
3. Install the outer engine front cover.
4. Install the crankshaft pulley.


Let me know if this helps or if you have other questions.

Take care,
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Friday, September 21st, 2018 AT 8:07 PM

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