My 1995 Ford Escort turns over but won't start.


Asked by Apr 03, 2012 at 09:04 PM about the 1995 Ford Escort 4 Dr LX Sedan

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I was driving my Ford Escort on the highway and noticed that the temperature was reading higher than normal.  Then I noticed that I was losing power, and the car would not accelerate.  A few seconds later, the temperature spiked all the way to "H", so I began to pull over.  Then the engine stopped and the top radiator hose blew off the radiator and threw water all over the engine.  (The hose did not rupture, but the clamp came off.)  I tried to start the car and it would not even turn over.  After towing it home, several hours later the engine turned over fine, but wouldn't start.  I checked the compression and got steady readings of 130, 110, 50, and 75.  While checking the compression I could smell gas coming out of the spark plug holes.  I squirted gas into the intake several times, and it wouldn't start.  I checked for spark (on 2 of the spark plug wires) and got spark.  One thing I noticed was that the vacuum into the intake was very low when turning it over.  I took off the valve cover and had my friend try to start it, and all the rocker arms seemed to be moving normally.  With the valve cover off, I could also see the top of the timing belt and all the teeth seemed fine.  I also replaced the ignition module, but this did not help.  What could the problem possibly be?

7 Answers


That poor little engine was severely overheated. With the compression readings you got, (50 and 75 in adjacent holes) there's a blown head gasket or a cracked head under that hood. When combustion power gets into the cooling system the pressure is overwhelming and the radiator hose clamp was the weakest link and acted like a pressure relief valve. Sorry for the bad news, but its time to repower or sing requiems. Good Luck! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thanks for the response. What confuses me is why the engine will not start with 50 psi in the worst cylinder. It seems to me that 50 psi should be enough pressure for the engine to start. Am I mistaken?


Probably has injector problems as well with the overheat. Plus, only two cyliders are able to fully hit. Makes cold starting difficult at best. Also, plug wires would be compromised and plugs could be fouled or burned up too. I wouldn't make any more attempts to start until pulling the head and determining the extent of the damage. Good Luck!

Best Answer

Sounds like your head gasket may have gone and the engine has over heated,May be you should consider a donner engine? let me know if you do get it sorted


I pulled out the head and got it resurfaced and had all the valves inspected and reseated as necessary. I replaced the head gasket and head bolts. I also cleaned the cylinder walls and pistons and put in new rings and rod bearings. The compression improved to 120-150 in each cylinder. Also, one of the injectors was malfunctioning. The solenoid was clicking properly, but it was spraying a mist instead of four jets. So I replaced the injector as well. Two of the spark plug wires had faulty connections, so I replaced all the wires and plugs. I also found that the water pump was not working. When I took out the old one it looked fine and had no trouble spinning, so I have no idea why it wouldn't pump water. In any case, when I installed a new water pump it worked fine. The bad water pump may have been the cause of the overheat in the first place. The engine runs fine now. Thanks Mike, you were right about pretty much everything.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Thank you for the kudos. Always glad to help and glad you got it fixed!


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