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my girlfriends mercury tracer is having motor problems she brought it to a shop and they said it has a busted valve and is not firing on all cylinders. it sounds like a lawn mower. i want to try to see what the problem is i think if it is some thin minor i can fix it. i dont know motors well. any idea what might cause a valve to break and it not firer on all cylinders. it is i think a 98 4 cylinder. any help would be great. thanks guys you have helped me so much with my 68 coupe i hope you can help with this too
 

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A broken valve is not a minor thing, especially in one of those overhead cam engines. It wouldn't be a good engine to work on with limited experience. This is probably a good task for the pros. Just MHO...
 

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Valves break for various reasons, but the reason it won't fire now is because it's not getting compression, not getting air into the engine, or not getting exhaust out. Probably a combination of 2 of those 3 actually. If you don't know engines much, this is not the place to start, you'd need to pull the cylinder head off, remove the cams, and the affected valves spring. Then you'd need to determine if the broken valve damaged the piston, or the head before putting it back together.
 
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