1998 Escort Won't start

Tiny
SILVERGIRL7
  • MEMBER
  • 1998 FORD ESCORT
Ford Escort SE/Sport 1998 146,000 miles

I was driving my escort and had to stop somewhere. I ran in, left it running, and came back out. I began moving and my gas gauge dropped from between 1/2-1/4 (closer to 1/2) to right on E. Then my Low fuel, brake, check engine, and battery lights all came on and I stalled.

We put 6 gallons of gas in it, that wasn't the problem. It's now comfortably sitting on 3/4 or so. However, it won't start. We had it towed home. My dad checked the spark plugs, they've got a connection. He changed the fuel filter and he can't see what else the problem would be. The lights on the inside are strong so he's ruling out battery or alternator and it acts like it wants to start but just keeps turning in the attempt.

Any suggestions?
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Sunday, December 17th, 2006 AT 5:13 PM

4 Replies

Tiny
HYKNRD
  • MEMBER
It is likely your timing belt if this car has one. Ford recommends inspecting or replacing them at 120,000 miles.
I would verify whether or not the car is getting fuel and spark.
If you can hear the fuel pump kick on when you turn the key, then you're probably getting fuel.
To verify you can pull a plug wire(ground it), crank engine, immediately pull the plug and check that it's wet. If wet you're getting fuel.
Check the same wire for spark. If no spark, likely the timing belt, not absolutely.
Can also pull the dipstick to see if the oil level has risen higher than normal due to mixing with fuel. This will tell you you're getting fuel, but no spark.

Hope that's helpful. Let us know what happens
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Sunday, December 17th, 2006 AT 8:08 PM
Tiny
BRUCE HUNT
  • EXPERT
If you have spark that would indicate that the head is moving and the timing belt is fine. Make sure you have spark and fuel. Then I assume that the car kicked on the check engine light. Have the codes pulled for us. Does the car start yet?
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Monday, December 18th, 2006 AT 9:04 AM
Tiny
SILVERGIRL7
  • MEMBER
Well we got a friend to come over and look at it.

He replaced the spark plugs and it appears as if they haven't been changed in ages. The timing belt is also being replaced because they claim it looks like the original. I'm also having to replace my surpentine belt, as that's near the end of it's lifespan. Hopefully after all this it's good to go.

Anything else anyone recommends checking on at this point? Apparently the dealer I got it from ripped me off pretty hardcore.
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Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 AT 6:16 PM
Tiny
HYKNRD
  • MEMBER
Was the timing belt actually bad? If not actually broke, the teeth on the inside will strip. Just curious.

As for recommendations on the timing belt job -- It's a good idea to replace the belt tensioner, idler pulley and water pump on most belt jobs.

Lots of luck. Keep us informed.
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Tuesday, December 19th, 2006 AT 11:20 PM

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