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EricFromCT, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3410
Experience:  20 years dealership exp., ASE A1-A9 L1 L2, Ford Lincoln Mercury Senior Master, Diesel Certified
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My daughter was driving to Vegas, and her car had no

Customer Question

My daughter was driving to Vegas, and her car had no problems through Tahachappi Pass. As she was going up the last set of hills into Vegas, the car was running about 3,000 rpm. It jumped to about 5,000 rpm and the car died. No check engine light, no idiot lights, just dead. She tried starting it and it turned over but wouldn't catch. The emergency flashers and the electrical system seemed to work (radio etc). I just got it home and it has a dead battery (from flashers) which I am replacing. Any idea on why the car would just up and die?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 11 months ago.

Hi. FIrst thing is when you get the battery in make sure the alternator is charging. You should have at least 14volts. Second, the escapes are known for having some Powertrain Control Module issues. If possible before replacing the battery see if you have any codes in the computer. If not you will have to see what happens when you get a new battery in.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
That I will do. If the alternator or PCM has issues, would it give me a check engine light (or at least an idiot light)?
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Also, perhaps I forgot to mention, I had to go and pickup the car on a trailer to bring it home, as when it died, it never came back to life. It is in a battery charger now, so I can see what happens when I try to start it. It may be a bit before I can check the alternator.
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 11 months ago.

A pcm issue can just die like that with no warning. A check engine light my not have come on. An alternator if failing would turn the battery light on once the voltage got low. Let me know how it goes after charging.

Expert:  EricFromCT replied 11 months ago.

Hi. Have you made progress with checking the charging system? Let me know if you have more questions on this. And please rate my service and have a great Holiday!

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I replaced the battery. Got no codes or errors on computer. Tried starting, and engine turned over way too fast, making the starter sound like it was buzzing. I'm thinking a broken timing chain, but they are metal. Doing a spark/compression test next, but have to tear down the car to do it, so will start with the front three cylinders. Front timing chain intact as I can see it move from the oil fill tube.
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 11 months ago.

That does not mean that the tensioner did not go bad and the chain jumped. If it sounds different when cranking and fast I would still continue to check the compression.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I also discovered it blew a hole in the newly replaced EGR valve
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 11 months ago.

Oh ok. It probably backfired and blew that apart. I have seen that before.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Would that be caused by a jumped timing chain?
Expert:  EricFromCT replied 11 months ago.

Yes it could be caused by that. The timing is off to cause a backfire.

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