95 Ford Escort LX stopped in traffic light.

Today on my way to office Ford Escort LX 1995 1.9L Automatic stoped when I slowdown at a traffic light after driving it that morning over 18miles without any signs for trouble.
This happened so that I couln't restart the car and the power steering and brakes become rock hard to move or operate.
I can hear the radio, honk the horn and I hear the engine turning but not starting. I have full tank of gas and engine oil at the correct mark and changed only a few hundred miles prior to this happens.
This car has 102K miles and done a 70K mile overall (cast me about $1600) and it has a 5 years battery with only 3 years used. Before I tow it to a workshop, can anyone give me some tips to identify what the problem might be? If it could start by just installing a new batteries, I think I can do it myself and save some dollars.
Tks
Sam
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Have you checked the timing belt yet?
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scott snipped-for-privacy@my-deja.com (Childfree Scott) wrote in message

Nope? Can you give me some suggestions to identify it is a timebelt problem?
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sams opined in

The sound the engine makes while cranking is much diffent. No variance in pitch due to compression.
Pull one plug, will make no puffs out the hole while cranking.... it may inhale and exhale but it will be at little pressure.
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I also would say timing belt - especially if you have not changed it at 102K!... Just had same thing happen to me at 115K on my 94 Scort. Not real easy to see from the outside of the engine, since the belt is under a shroud, but someone on the list suggested an easy check - open your oil fill cap on the valve cover, and look inside with a flashlight for valve train motion while someone cranks the engine (be sure you have the in car neutral and the parking brake on while doing this so you don't get flattened by a potential lurching car - actually the car should not crank unless its in neutral (or park for an automatic). The old style check for ignition spark won't work on this engine - the ignition sensor is driven off the crankshaft vs the camshaft - so you WILL still have spark with a non functional timing belt. That threw me off track for a while on finding my bad timing belt. If you have not done this job before, or are not very wrench handy, you might want to let your mechanic handle this one. The hardest part is taking off the accessory belt pulley on the crankshaft - its hard to get access to without putting the car on a lift and is torqued on very tightly. A belt should run about 30 bucks at a discount parts place, and the labor should be about 2 hours by the shop. While you are having the job done, you should definitely replace the accessory drive belt if its not relatively new, as it has to come off as part of the job, so no extra labor involved. Another thing to consider is changing the water pump, which is driven by the timing belt, and requires all the timing belt work just to gain access to it.
God Bless and good luck....
Chris Bowne Stonington, CT
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no valve train motion.

not done this job before. I have done regular oil, filter change on this car.

Couldnt get any mechanic commited before September 15. May be should I try changing it myself. Looking for some online resource with step by step illustations to replace the pump and belt. I will post a seperate message to the group regarding this.

I have no lift, except the jack stand and 2 steel ramps.

I have new timing belt and water pump at hand.
Thank you for helping to identify the problem.
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have you got teh Haynes book on your car? or the oterh book? they show you every thing in those books even how to rebuild the motor and teh tranny if its a standard.
sams wrote:

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I hear the sound and then the gauge needle moves toward fulltank. Also the inertia switch is OK, I didnt see it poped up. But using a screwdriver I poped it up and then pressed it down.
Could be something blocking the fuelline?
Sam

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