I have a 1994 Ford Escort that was bought used 2 years ago. When we bought it, it would barely run, and we had to replace the engine head. As a result of that and other repairs, it has been losing coolant slowly. I do not know what was causing the loss, the engine oil was not discolored and there were no puddles under the car.
Recently on a long trip I began experiencing strange behavior. When traveling at 70 mph it ran as usual. At around 50-60 mph, however, it felt like a cylinder was out. I continued to drive it for about 80 miles (which I now regret) trying to maintain speed on the interstate. However, with slower traffic and hills it eventually lost all power and I was forced to come to a stop and get a tow.
Once it was towed home I put around a gallon of coolant/water in it, so I think it overheated (I forgot to check the thermometer at the time). The car started in order to drive onto the tow truck's bed. It does not start now, however (it turns over and is very rough but does not start).
Just finished checking the timing belt in case it was something easy to fix, but it is timed correctly. Might look into the distributor and spark plugs.
If it did overheat, my understanding is that the engine is most likely destroyed (warped and damaged). Could someone correct me if this is wrong? Also, what are some other things I should check?