Question about 1996 Mercury Tracer
After driving on interstate for approx. 20 minutes, car cut off. When I restarted it, there was a loud engine knock. The vehicle hesitated for the mile and 1/2 home, cutting off twice. There are no signs of running hot, unless guage is inaccurate.
Was the engine overheated when it shut down on the highway? If so, it probably seized due to a stuck bearing, when you restarted the engine, the bearing spun and now you likely hear a connecting rod knocking around in the engine without bearings. This will mean you need a new engine.
If the engine didn't overheat, then it's possible that a valve seat in the cylinder head fell out of place and is now banging around inside a combustion chamber destroying the engine and you will likely need a new one. This was a very common problem on one of the Ford based 4 cylinder engines, it depends which one you have. The major offender was a 2.0 litre.
Another possibility, the timing belt has jumped and the pistons are now hitting the valves, causing the engine to run rough. This will either require a major repair or a new engine.
Posted on Mar 11, 2009
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