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.

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
  • Home
  • Questions
  • 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: No start

Hi there, thanks for writing in about your 1999 Buick Park Avenue. You may have a bad ignition module and coils if you find that you are getting a crank and cam sensor, and no fire from coils. You should...

Q: After I start my car it makes a weird noise.

We need to determine what type of noise the car is making, and in what area of the engine or transmission the noise is coming from. From my experiences most noises come from the belt or pulleys on cars and...

Q: Car vibrates when I brake

Hi there. This is typical of warped brake rotors. Depending on the current thickness, they may or may not be able to be resurfaced to correct the warp. Rotor thickness affects the rotor's ability to dissipate heat during braking; in...

Related articles

P0240 OBD-II Trouble Code: Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance
P0240 code definition Turbocharger Boost Sensor B Circuit Range/Performance What the P0240 code means P0240 is an OBD-II generic code triggered when the Engine Control Module (ECM) detects the intake boost...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...
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...