Thank you for replying.I wish I could be more helpful. The mechanic who presently has the car did not call the "air into the cylinders" test by any specific name. He merely said that he did it and according to him, he was most concerned about the air escaping thru the dipstick. I cannot remember why, because so much of what he was saying was "over my head" (he talked about where air should be circulating when introduced into the cylinder, and where it should NOT be circulating.) The car does not have any coolant leaks or oil leaks or anything like that. I had simply driven my kids to an area amusement park for the day and upon starting the car at closing time, the car turned over very sluggishly and would not start. I waited a moment, put the accelerator to the floor (old habit from the 70's) and the car started but a loud "metallic knocking" sound came from the engine that would not stop. It was louder upon acceleration. The oil level on the stick was clean and full. No other symptoms were present. No smells, no smoke, no leaks, no overheating, nothing else. After a nightmarish end to an otherwise pleasant day, I had the car towed home the following day, where the mechanic I have quoted took the valve cover off, did a compression test (NO compression at all in #2 but all others normal) did the air injection test, and gave me the bad news. His initial "guess" is a damaged valve and "possibly"- a worst case scenario- a hole in the top of the piston. He also told me of a Ford SERVICE BULLETIN for Escorts and Focus models about excess carbon buildup on the valves resulting in something getting stuck and collapsing? I tried to find such a service bulletin but could not. Does anyone know of this by chance? Another mechanic who just listened to my story gave another possible diagnosis: a broken or "jumped" timing belt.I apologize for such a long post. I am in a very bad situation and am fairly isolated from friends and family, so I have no where else to turn but to folks like you on sites such as this. I am trying to arm myself with information and am grateful for any ideas, suggestions, and help anyone reading this has time to give. Thank you INDYUKE for replying. Blown head gasket hasn't come up because of lack of any coolant leaks but I sure will consider that if you think it matches the other symptoms I'm having. Thank you, and all for your time. Any additional thoughts would be hugely appreciated. The car only has 65K and I hate to replace the motor with a used and even higher mileage motor. This also has been suggested.
Tuesday, June 26th, 2007 AT 2:34 PM