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I bought a 2nd hand Ford Focus in November 2014 and had no issues until this month. The car overheated suddenly a couple of mins after filling up with fuel on the freeway. There was some loss of power prior to overheating and the brakes were not activating properly before stopping for fuel. They seemed fine again after leaving the fuel station. Also, my friend who was driving mentioned they'd tried to use the AC earlier in the trip and turned it off when it didn't really work (needs to be re-gassed). Now the car is not starting without revving it a lot and there's a loud rattle coming from the engine. I think it might be the timing belt but am wondering if these other symptons make sense if the timing is out or if we've got another problem. There's also a burning smell after just a minute or so of letting the engine run.

Oil, water both fine.

I read the thread from Arizona Focus drivr with very similar sounding issues. DO people think it's the same issue (i.e. timing)?

Do folks think that the brakes are a seperate issue? And could it just be a problem with the brake lines (the fluid level is fine and I can't see any leaks)?
 

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If the rattling began after the overheat....................well, I would focus on that, all the rest may now well be a moot point.

Which motor will finalize that decision making even more.
 

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Then possibly a damaged engine and not long for this world now.
 

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Sounds like a good time to do a compression test. I always tell people Zetecs are unkillable, but enough overheating would do one in.

Usually a sudden loss of power, overheating, no power brakes, and no AC would make me think you'd had a belt issue...by which I mean one of the pulleys had seized and so none of the others were turning properly. And the burning smell could easily be the belt skidding across a pulley that wasn't turning.

Give the serpentine belt and all the pulleys it turns a look before you write off the engine.
 
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