97 Escort- interference or non?

I have a '97 Ford Escort LX with the 2.0 4 cylinder stock engine with 130,000 mi. I’m preparing to drive accros the country and a mechanic told me I should change the timing belt… I keep getting different answers about whether my car has an interference or non-interference engine- which will determine if I pay the $700 or so for the belt/water pump change. '97 Ford Escort LX- interference or non-interference??

[b]The engine is your Escort is a non-interference engine. So if the timing belt fails, the engine just shuts off but no engine damage occurs. But what difference does it make?

If you’re planning on driving across the country, you need to have the timing belt replaced before doing so. Because if the timing belt breaks, whether or not it’s an interference engine, you’re still stranded!


Tester is correct. Your engine is non-interference. It has a recommended change interval @ 120,000 miles so you are on borrowed time. Although no engine damage will happen when the belt breaks nothing is more fun then sitting on the side of the road waiting for a tow truck, or better yet a 10 mile hike to get cell service.