Stumped– Why won’t my car start after replacing head gaskets?


(I am a girl.. forgive me if I relay something ridiculously.) LoL
So after dying on me on the freeway, my Dad and brother went to work on my 97 Ford Taurus Wagon GL. I had 2 blown head gaskets, which have been replaced, however the car will still not start and they are stumped. It tries to start but doesn’t…

Can you find out what engine option the vehicle has eg; 3.0L OHV (vulcan), 3.0 DOHC (duratec) or 3.8 L (essex)? it will help in finding out what is wrong! 🙂

Compression low ? how many miles and are they sure the valve timing is correct.
If this car has overhead camshaft, it’s very possible the belts are not installed correctly.
Sounds like the trouble lies in the valve train, to cause a low compression reading.

One of the first things is to check the compressionn in all six cylinders, and if all are low, then it probably can be but one of two causes.
One, the heads were not tightened down properly, (doubt if that’s it) or the valve timing got screwed up, or, adjustments of valves is wrong.
Not too many things that will affect compression on all cylinders at once..
If compression is OK, then posssible ignition wiring wrong.

There are MANY possible reasons a car won’t start. Assuming the battery was disconnected during the work, it is possible the vehicle security system is preventing the car from starting. SOME mid 90s vehicles require you to reset the system by using the key (not the remote) to lock and unlock the driver door after the battery has been disconnected for a while. Check for a similar procedure for your vehicle. A REAL diagnosis will require a better description of what is is actually doing. You may get a correct guess, but without more information, you will ONLY get guesses.

there are 3 prime culprits

1. the heads were not tightened down properly, causing a lack of compression.

2. The ignition timing is off (most likely). Have dad or brother get a timing light and adjust the timing.

3. Your head gaskets blew because of your catalytic converter is clogged up, and still is. If the exhaust gases can’t exit the engine, the engine will not run.

Maybe they put your spark plug wires back in the wrong order. Total bonehead move but I think we’ve all done that a time or two.

Hopefully they checked the heads for cracks while they were off. If both head gaskets were blown, the chances of at least one cracked head is pretty high.

Sounds like the timing is off.

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