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Matt Mulchi
Matt Mulchi, Auto technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 53
Experience:  11 Ford Factory Credentials, ASE Certified, Independent and Dealership Experience
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I have a 1995 Ford Contour. Original issue was overheating ...

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I have a 1995 Ford Contour. Original issue was overheating due to Fan (single fan) not coming on when engine became hot. Replaced water pump and now when engine is cranked it sounds like there is no compression. The engine makes a whirring noise likened to a starter that is turning a engine over without the resistance of any compression.The timing belt and cams are turning though. I have re checked the timing of the cams (using steel bar) to crank (pointer aligned with flywheel second mark) and this looks perfect. This was not the original problem. This is new and only occured after replacing the water pump. The car ran perfectly before replacing the water pump. If this problem can be diagnosed and resolved it would bring me back to square one with the overheating issue due to the fan not coming on (will come on when A/C is turned on). I put the details of the overheating issue below. I am willing to pay for the diagnosis on both issues. I asked this question before on whirring and was told how to correctly perform timing. After completing procedure per instructions I still have same issue. I plan on checking compression tonight.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Matt Mulchi replied 9 years ago.
Did you replace the water pump yourself? You actually do not have to mess with the timing belt at all when replacing the water pump. It just involves removing the serpentine belt. Was the timing belt removed?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi Matt, Yes I replaced myself. I was not aware I guess at the time that the timing belt did not need to be removed. I did remove the timing belt though. I just finished checking the compression. The cylinder closest to the timing belt has 160, the next is 0 or close to 0, the next has 170, and the last has 175. I originally bought this car because it had overheated several times and the shop had replaced the thermostat and after the 2nd overheating replaced the water pump. After the third time they sold it to me. The shop had said that it might have blown the head gasket. I drove it home and it drove well but it had sat for several months before I bought it and it was really difficult to get started. It would run a little but was chugging and it blew quite a bit of white smoke. It continued to quit running and after I continued to start it over and over it eventually started to clear up and then ran well. I drove it home with no apparent missing or performance issues. I have had it for six years believe it or not and it would start and run but would always overheat because of the fan not turning on. Since it never missed or seem to have performance issues I never thought it was a blown head gasket although I never did a compression test. I am now wondering if it had a minor blown head gasket near the 2nd cylinder all the time and now has blown completly. There has never been water in the oil or oil in the antifreeze that I could see. It was strange though that when it would overheat while I was waiting to see if fan would turn on, several times antifreeze would pour out onto the driveway near the middle and back of engine. When I would look for the source I could never find it. It was not from a hose or the overflow and there did not seem to be anything like a hose where the fluid was coming from. Now I think that when it would get really hot the fluid was coming from the head gasket (just guessing though).I am also wondering if the fan sensor was not getting hot enough because of the blown head gasket. Maybe somehow the blown head gasket was pressurizing the coolant system to the point where the engine would overheat but the coolant sensor somehow was not being allowed to heat up (again just guessing)Oh well I guessI answered your original question 10 minutes ago but as you can see I have been struggling with this car for a long time and the step daughter is just in the process of getting her license and I wanted this to be her car instead of the Wife or my car.

Cheers XXXXX
Expert:  Matt Mulchi replied 9 years ago.
I wrote back last night, but I guess my response didn't go through. To get right to it, I believe that you are definitely having a head gasket related issue. Your compression test results show which cylinder you have the head gasket opening at. By your description of the symtoms, I think it is possible that the gasket may be ruptured in more than one area. You are correct also, that a rupture in the gasket at the combustion chamber can cause the coolant system to become pressurized and malfuntion. My recommendation would be to concentrate your efforts on getting to the head gasket and replacing it, while examining the engine internals for any other defects. Good luck
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