Need help URGENTLY. Have a 1998 Ford Contour 2.0L 4cyl engine. Car will not start. Has brand new battery, has fuel and spark, but won't turn over. Thinking it's timing or compression. HELP!


Asked by Dec 21, 2013 at 04:00 PM about the 1998 Ford Contour 4 Dr GL Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

My 1998 Ford Contour will not start. Car turns over so starter ok, Checked fuel and have
pressure through fuel line. Have spark at spark plugs. Car cranks but does not start.
Thinking it's either compression or timing. Can't find any timing marks on camshaft gears.
I am in urgent situation as this is my only car right now. If anybody can help, would be
most grateful.

14 Answers

Have a look here:

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Forget those red arrows, the circles are not timing marks, The notch is.

5 of 5 people found this helpful.


11 of 11 people found this helpful.

This one is better

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

If you have low or no compression on all cylinders it's going to be a jumped/ broken timing belt. HTH. -Jim

6 of 6 people found this helpful.

Mark here. Tried just about everything. Replaced ignition switch. Not that. Replaced Ignition coil. No that. My neighbor is a mechanic and he was throwing his hands up. we pulled off timing cover and looked at belt. No missing teeth and belt was in fair shape. However, one problem was that the exhaust camshaft was loose. When I say loose it rotates about a degree or two. We rotated the crankshaft until we hit TDC and lined up a bar in the notches on the end of the camshafts. we removed out cap and tightened up bolt on cam gear side on exhaust camshaft. Battery was dying, but when we did compression test, coming up with 35-40 on all (4) cylinders. Mechanic friend said engine was toast. Is this the case?

5 of 5 people found this helpful.

Mechanic friend said either blown head gasket or rings on cylinders are shot. Hoping for some verification on this.

3 of 3 people found this helpful.

Thank you to all of you who posted answers. Really appreciate it.

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

Unfortunately with those compression test results the engine won't run. I think your neighbor is right. Sounds like something catastrophic happened in there and bent the valves. Now the valves aren't closing. That's why you have such poor compression. Sounds like it's time for a new car. Very sorry!! But at least now you know. -Jim

2 of 2 people found this helpful.

test the compression to verify~dry or wet~

set up the marks TDC and both cams with pin-punches or bar or whichever...put the belt back on, tighten 'er down and take your compression readings~ doesn't have to have fact best with the ignition coil disabled jot down the it wet if you suspect something is hanging it up~

1 of 1 people found this helpful. in run through a cheese grater...or greatful as in full of greatness...yah, I know what you meant but can't seem to keep my grubby fingers off this keybored~

sorry for teling the truht. just put youre car in the junkyard and buy a chevy.


Got a 1998 Ford Contour LXL and has 93000 miles on it will go in reverse but will not going any of the other gears does anybody have any idea that if maybe it might be a cable or sensor that is causing this

1 of 1 people found this helpful.

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