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

asked by on November 22, 2016

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.

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