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Old 02-25-2010, 21:03   #1 (permalink)
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Damn it! my car broke, what should I do? Get a new used car or pay the costly repairs

My car broke down 8miles from where I live. I got all the valuables out and now Im forced to make a decision.
I THINK its something wrong with the engine itself (piston, seat valve or blown head).

and if thats the case, the question now is, call a tow truck and get it to a mechanic for what looks to be some expensive repairs or just buy a new used car?


details on my car and problem:
Ford Escort 2002 2.0L SOHC 4 cylinder.

So what happen was this
I turn my engine on and literally 2 seconds later it would die. It would stutter until it the engine shuts off. However during the time the engine was on, I can hear like a rough clanking sound that seems to be coming from the left side of my engine block (passenger side of the car). I checked my spark plugs and I noticed on one of the cylinders the gap is smaller, bented/pushed in as oppose to the rest of the spark plugs.

So i walked to autozone and got some motorcraft spark plugs, changed all 4 and started the engine again.

This time, the engine didnt die so quickly and infact it stayed on until I turned it off. So I drove the car for about 4min to park it on some small street. However, that rattling noise is still there and VERY loud. I also checked the engine dipstick for signs of water/coolant and didnt find any. prior to all this, my car WAS NOT overheating.

Another thing I noticed when I was running the engine, it seems that the more I press down on the accelerator the faster the rattling sound becomes. and I saw that im leaking A LOT of radiator fluid, i looked underneath the car and its shows a trail of coolant / water following my path on when I drove the car.
Before my car broken down, this leak WAS NOT here.The reservoir however still has lots of coolant.
also this is the sound its making:

I checked all the new spark plugs after the short drive and noticed none of the new spark plugs had any damage on it. the gap on the plugs wasnt smashed in or anything like the old one was.
so i dont know if that means anything?


So right now im just trying to find the most economical way to get a car and I dont know if thats fixing this one or just getting a new used car.
On top of that if I wanna get the car checked out by a mechanic and get an estimate I would have get it towed there.. and i dont even know if I wanna do the repairs depending on the cost / problem
What should I do?
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Old 02-26-2010, 13:35   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Damn it! my car broke, what should I do? Get a new used car or pay the costly rep

I had the same issue on one. It was a dropped valve seat, unfortunately a common occurrence on these engines. Here's an article you should read to see if it is the valve seat or not:

Valve seat - Mechanical Database

You ca see the pictures of the spark plugs. Check to see if your previous one was beat up or not.

I wouldn't junk the car though. Maybe get a tow strap if it's only 8 miles, have a buddy help you get it home. And then get a haynes manual, tear the head off, and see how badly everything is damaged. If you haven't driven it too long the cylinder walls may still be fine but the head will certainly be shredded.
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