1992 Escort LX

My Ford EscortLX 1992 Stopped running on a four lane highway. It was running just fine, the it made a few little ping,ping noises and the motor cut off. At that time a gush of coolant poured out from the car. The car
wouldn't hold coolant after that andthe car would't start up. This car is very improtant to my disabled son to go to work. He's an excellant driver. The repair shop said it had a broken piston(?) and cracked block. I don't believe him. I' 40 mis. from there.Help soon. My son could loose his job. I know the older cars but not the newer ones. First I was told it was the water pump and timing belt,he said ther wasn't enough tension . I know the man who sold it to my son. We talked. He had just put on a new water p and had been driving it for three years with the timing belt. Then,,,,,,the repair man said all that about and cracked block. He wants me to sign it over to him for salvage. I may be just a woman,but my father worked for many years on cars, and I'm not stupid. By the way I live in a mountainous terain.
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How many kms are on the engine? If it has high miles, there may be a chance that you just need a head gasket. The question is, if he was driving the car at the time with low coolant and the gasket suddenly let go where it was weak, if there is any damage done to the engine as a result of overheating. The result could be anything from a cracked block, or warped head or worse.
As far as the timing belt, I know I had to change the timing belt on my older 1990 1.9L Escort at least every two or three years. It was recommended to change it every 110,000 kms. The older 1.9L engines are interference (some people will argue that they are not, I saw for myself with my Escort when it happened to me). If the belt snaps on the highway or while the car is being driven, there is a chance of any of the pistons hitting and damaging the valves, which would cause the pinging noise. But if you can visually see coolant dripping from the engine, I have my doubts there is anything wrong with the timing belt. I would however, check the water pump to make sure it hasn't seized up. Depending on the mileage and the quality of the pump from when the new one was installed, it may very well need another one.
The first step is to get it to a shop that you know you can trust. Then, once you know what is wrong, worry about the repairs.
Good luck Sharky
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If he could lose his job they why entrust it by driving a Ford Escort, I have owned two of these (different Mk) they have both been crap.
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