Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car won't start but when attempting to start it makes a repetitive "pop" sound.

asked by on

I have a 2001 Ford Escape XLT 3.0L V6 with 271,000 miles on it. I put my car in reverse to back up into my driveway and as I slowly backed in my car started to act like it was going to die. I could smell some type of fumes or weird smell but could not pinpoint what the smell was. Then I put my car in park and turned it off and went inside of my house. went back outside to restart my car and as it started I heard a loud "pop" sound it idled for 10 seconds and then died. I went to try and start it again 5-10 minutes later and it was making a repetitive "popping" sound and it will not start.

My car has 271000 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

A: Hi there. What could be happening is the e...

Hi there. What could be happening is the engine has either a large vacuum leak or the timing chain has skipped a tooth making a camshaft out of adjustment. First look all over the engine for any possible vacuum leaks, included looking at the brake booster for it uses the most vacuum. If there is no vacuum leaks, then try to hand crank the engine over. If the engine will crank free and has no binding, then most likely the timing chains are fine. The other thing to check is the fuel pump for fuel pressure. When the fuel pressure drops to almost nothing, the engine will not start and cause a constant popping sound. Check for fuel pressure on the fuel rail. If there is no pressure to the rail, check the fuel pump relay. If the relay is working, then the fuel pump needs replaced. If you need further assistance with all of a sudden the engine is not starting and begins popping, then seek out a professional, such as one from Your Mechanic, to help you.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Car died while driving and cranks but wont turn over. Had a check engine light on for P0030. Insight on why it wont start?

When you say the car cranks "lightly" it makes me wonder if you've had a timing belt break. The timing belt is supposed to be changed at around 90,000 miles, and if that is not done, the belt could fail,...

Q: Engine light came on

The "Check Engine Light" indicates a fault being stored in the engine computer. A triangle shaped light with a circle around it indicates a fault in the electronic stability control. To diagnose these issues the faults will need to be...

Q: Dont no think injector

This may be a result of a dirty or failing idle air control valve. The idle air control valve reads the air intake as it is mixed with fuel prior to being injected into the engine at low speeds and...

Related articles

How to Avoid Back Pain in a Car
If you have back problems, sitting in a car for an extended period of time can be excruciating. Even without back problems, you could experience discomfort and soreness from...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.