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Ford Escort Hatchback

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  • Here's a question -

    I've got my old 1993 Escort LX 3DR. Sure, the 1.9 only pumps out 88hp, and it's styling is a little dated, but the car is still reliable. Over the years, I've replaced the engine (at 180,000) and a few clutches. 10 sets of brakes and 6 sets of tires .. 2 complete sound systems.. a few windows.. and just about every body panel. One motorized seat belt and an overpriced plastic radiator added to the list, and I've probably got a total of $18K invested in the car over it's 8 year life.

    Through the various accidents, break-ins, vandals, and HARD driving; the car has been operational at least 90% of the time. All the while, costing me less than $.15/mile over it's life.

    Now, with a big dent in the rear quarter panel, and oxidized paint, the time has come to make a decision. If I choose to sell the car in it's current condition, I can expect to get around $2K for it. If I choose to fix the car, repairs and paint will cost me around $1500.

    Still reliable.. still gets me to the airport on time.. not nearly as much fun to drive as my 2000 Chrysler 300M, but it does have a better sound system.

    Of course, if I do keep it, It'll be a different color and I'll be adding GT brakes and all new suspension components.

    What do you, my fellow escort owners, think . ?? Your opinions are welcome -
  • dlf3dlf3 Posts: 2
    sonnyvegas
    I have 254k on my 94 Escort I got new, same engine, no blow-by. same clutch. same radiator. 3rd set front brakes, same (original) back brakes, not that I over use them.

    Sure a couple timing belts & 1 idler, crank damper & alternator (248k). And had to clean the MAF when the car started running rough & burned the plugs & a coil output had to replace the coil of course. And the front calipers.

    My car came with the heavier duty brakes, the pads 1/2 again larger everything else is the same.
  • I put 212k miles on my 86 Escort (1.9L). Original clutch and engine. I bought this car cheap from a good friend when it had around 100k. Never figured the cost per mile but it must have been incredibly low. After selling the car I only lost 2k on the deal. Repairs were limited to struts, tie rods, front bearings, door handles.

    My mother who has a long commute put 225k on an 87 on the original clutch and motor.

    Both cars were still running good when sold. The 87 is commuting for a friend who now has 238k on it. It still does not burn any oil between changes, but is rusting badly.

    -Nate
  • pwt1965pwt1965 Posts: 1
    I have a 94 Escort 4 door LX sedan. I have 130K miles on it. It has been the most reliable car I have ever had. Other than your standard oil changes every 3,000 miles and replacing my timing belt at 60K, I have had no problems. However, the other night, while driving, the "Low Coolant" light came on. The coolant reservoir was bone dry. I put antifreeze in it and filled it up to the top. The light went off. The next day, driving home from work, the car began to overheat. I pulled into the gas station, let it cool off, and put water in the radiator and more antifreeze. I let it cool off and drove it home. The next day, I had to take it in for my scheduled oil change. While taking it in, the mechanic said I needed to fix my water pump because it was leaking and to replace my timing belt because of the miles. They had no availability that day, but I rescheduled for the next Saturday. On the way home that day, my car's engine began to rattle, and it started driving sluggishly. I barely made it over the bridge, and my car ultimately stalled on the side of the exit ramp. This was all happening even though the temperature gauge was still at Normal. I could not start it again, and I had it towed. The question now is, I still owe $1400 on this car, so do I even bother to fix it? Is my car dead? I could get it towed to a mechanic to see if they can fix it. I had planned on getting a newer Escort, preferably a 98 anyways. I just don't see, if I am going to pay $500 to fix it, if it is even worth it. Can I get some advice?
    Thank you.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    hi,

    if your water pump siezed it usually takes out the timing belt. it could be all you need to do is replace both..

    lee
  • I recently took my 95 Escort GT (automatic, only 56,000 miles) to my local Ford Dealer because it was stalling at red lights. It was dying because of a cracked throttle body air tube, but while they had it under the knife, they found a host of other problems. My exhaust manifold was cracked and needed to be replaced (luckily covered under the extended warranty I bought when I purchased the car used 2 years ago). It had also been leaking coolant, and what little was left was rusty and thick. They did a coolant flush to see why and where it was leaking, but found nothing. They told me to keep an eye on the coolant, it could be the head gasket burning it, and he also mentioned possible engine problems, in either case one or the other would need to be replaced. I've only every heard good things about escort's reliability, so I was a little surprised so much was so wrong at 56k. I love my little white pocket-rocket, but if this is just a taste of what's to come, I think I should get rid of it before my extended warranty is up. This was three weeks ago, and the car is actually running better than ever, and the coolant hasn't leaked so maybe I'm out of the woods. Has anyone else had similar problems with the GT or any advise?
  • jps57jps57 Posts: 1
    My first escort was a 91 2 door 5 speed I bought it with 120,000 miles on it $500.It needed an alternator. I treated the engine with system 48 and changed oil every 4000 miles. The only thing I ever put into it were brakes and tires. A hail storm cracked the windshield and I decided to quit driving it at 201,000 miles. It never used any oil between changes and as far as I know had original clutch , water pump, timing belt etc. I never changed them in the 80,000 miles I put on it. The car would get 40 mpg on trips. I now have a 1992 escort wagon with auto transmission I get 35 mpg on trips and the timing belt did break at 130,000 miles I replaced the water pump at the same time and should be good for another 70k. My daughter has a 1994 4 door automatic. My wife is purchasing a 1997 tracer . love these cars.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 408
    you have to remove the water pump to replace the timing belt, so you might as well have it replaced as well. If you overheated your engine then your new timing belt and water pump will be worthless, so make sure your mechanic checks the engine compression BEFORE installing the new parts. If the belt is broken, you can turn the cam to a point where all valves are closed and do the compression check that way. If worse comes to worse, check engine rebuilders in your area because the Escort 1.9L engine is one of the cheaper ones, for example at one shop here in Dallas you can have a freshly rebuilt 1.9L Escort engine installed for $1145, but I think that may be the older (81-90) style.
  • leenyleeny Posts: 1
    We have 93 Escort that we purchased new.(67500miles)It recently developed a rattle when the clutch was disengaged. After a few days it began to rattle all the time. Sounded like marbles in the transmission. To make a long story short I replaced the TO bearing. The old one was bad. For a few weeks things were fine, now the noise is back. Can you provide any direction. If the TO.. was not the only problem what else should I look for?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    This discussion has been moved back from our Archived folder and reopened. Hope this is helpful.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    It was once dubbed Ford's "World Car" but now it's part of world history. Gone but not forgotten, read about how this nameplate carried the Ford compact car banner for 20 years only to be replaced by that cross-pond rival, the Focus.

    Here's the full story from Edmunds' Generations section: A Ford Escort/Mercury Tracer History, by John DiPietro. Let us know what you think.

    image
    A 1991 Ford Escort GT (Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company)

    Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    We use to have an Escort LX. We drove it in the harsh winters of North Dakota (we later moved) and the hot summers of Alabama before that. It was an economical car and when we moved to Wisconsin, I cried because we sold our most dependable car we had ever had (it still holds my title of best dependability) and replaced it with a 97' Honda Accord Special Edition. The Accord needed more repairs than the Escort. All we did on the Escort was normal maintenance and changing the timing belt at 59K miles. On the Accord, we had to get a new Power Door Lock Actuator (what's that) and it broke down once in our driveway. Sounds like we should have bought a 97' Escort instead. My kid drives in 6 years and we think we'll be handing the keys of either a Mini Cooper or a Ford Focus to him.
  • dave6977dave6977 Posts: 3
    has about 201,000. Still running well. About the only things that i have put into it is timing belts, alternator, radiator, clutch, battery. And, especially delivering pizzas, brakes. Still getting about 28 MPG city, 37 hwy. Take care, later.

    Dave J
  • wipeout9wipeout9 Posts: 2
    My son purchased a 96 Escort hatchback privately a month ago. 102k km's. Today the check engine light came on, but the car still runs okay. I've looked on the internet for a gizmo to read the fault codes, but it seems like they are for 1995 and earlier vehicles. For Ford 1996 or newer a code reader seems non-existant. Can someone advise of a code reader that is available within the $$ range for a home mechanic, or of another procedure to get the fault code from the computer?
  • I own a 93 Ford Escort GT, 1.8 liter, and recently was not able to start the car. The engine turned over but would not start. I was able to determine that I was not getting spark to the plugs or fuel to the cylinders. Has anyone else experienced this. (It's so weird because my Dad had driven the car into our garage without a problem and then the next day it would not turn over.) Could this be a electrical problem? Could this be the failure of the crank shaft sensor?
  • That happened to me with a Volkswagon. It may be the timing belt broke. Open the oil fill cap and see if the cam shaft is turning.

    Hope that helps
  • rogerm4rogerm4 Posts: 10
    I just purchased a 1998 Ford Escort SE for my daughter, but it does not have an owners manual with it. Any web sites where I can purchase one? I tried the Ford web site, no luck there. Thanks for any help anyone can give me.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Have you tried asking the Ford Motor Company's customer service? I would think they would be able to direct you to the right sources. Here's a direct link to their contact information page. Scroll down that page and you'll see their 800 numbers. Good luck.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Posts: 620
    The queen of all Escort/Lynx models is my beloved Betsy 2, a 1987 Lynx GS 5-speed. Purchased new in late 1987, she racked up over 227K miles, and was sold in mid-1998 with original exhaust, original clutch, original radiator, original starter, original wiper motor, and first major repair did not happen until 190K miles or so (head gasket). Beautiful black turned into black-over-rust, but the gray cloth interior was fine.

    That 1.9l engine continued on essentially the same for a few years in later Escorts, so I hope many of you had the same good fortune that I did. Maintenance helped alot: timing belts every 60K and oil changes every 3-4K. My baby!
  • rogerm4rogerm4 Posts: 10
    Thanks for the advice, but I found one fairly cheap on E-bay. I did try Fords online "help" with out any luck. Thanks again.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    To jimbeaumi- Thanks for your message. I'm sure other owners passing through here will appreciate reading about your good Ford Escort experience.

    To rogerm4- Glad you were able to find an owner's manual. It's amazing what one can find on Ebay! Thanks for the update.

    Happy motoring!

    Revka

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • Hi all,
    I just bought my 1989 Ford Escort LX with automatic transmission 140000 mi. Everything is fine, except two things. a) Air Conditioner doesn't work, and b) Tachometer is not alive.
    I tried to change tachometer to a "new" one from Junk yard, I checked all wires which going to tachometer. Everything looks fine, but tachometer doesn't move. Did somebody have same problem? Can you help me?
    I do not ask about A/C - it will be my next step ;)
    Rinat
  • Hello,
    I had my Escort for last 10 years and now has 95,000 miles. Engine starts well but when I change gear from part to drive position car moves very slow or some times takes long time to move. Has any one experienced similar problem? Any idea how much it will cost to fix.
     
    Thanks
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    rinat- You may also want to post your question on our Maintenance & Repair Message board. If you can't find an appropriate discussion there, feel free to start up a new one.

    ghates - In addition to posting on our M & R board, you should plug your vehicle (model/year) into Edmunds' Maintenance Guide to see if there any technical service bulletins (TSBs) that might be related to your vehicle problem. Good luck.

    Revka
    Host
    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
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