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.

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?
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Car won't start but when attempting to start it makes a repetitive "pop" sound.

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: Someone pulled distributor coil cord while engine running. Now the car can't start.

This may have been caused by many different things such as a faulty crank position sensor, a bad pickup inside the distributor or many other things affecting the ignition's ability to produce a spark. I would recommend having an expert...

Q: 2001 Saturn L300 turns over won't start it just stalled out and won't start

Hello, thank you for writing in. When it comes to a stalling issues, you want to turn your attention to the spark and power supply first. It is good you have partially ruled out the fuel supply as the problem....

Q: Car won't start and doesn't have normal power

Thanks for writing in today about the issue with your Saturn. Without being there to physically inspect the car, it's very hard to give you a precise diagnosis, but one common problem that occurs when people install accessory items like...

Related articles

How Do Power Car Windows Increase Passenger Safety?
Power windows are responsible for approximately 2,000 emergency room visits every year. When a power window closes, it exerts enough force to bruise or break bones, crush fingers, or restrict an airway. Though...
How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
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.