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Ford Escort Wagon



  • Not much of a problem anymore but the last two weeks have been a nightmare for me and my 97 LX (157k miles). I had a 90 Subaru Legacy that was having some issues (looking like the beginnings of a money pit) and the wifey and myself decided it was time to upgrade. So we bought an 01 Windstar. Nice Van! Two days after the van was brought home the Escort decided this was it's opportunity to get some work done on it. It had been making a tapping noise for a week or so prior to the problem but It didn't sound very alarming to me (oh how wrong I was!). Was eating lunch one day and came out to get to my next destination, got in the car, turned the key and heard this really nasty racheting sound. After a couple more tries, it wouldn't turn-over at all, I called my insurance agency and they sent a tow truck over to take it to the shop. The shop called me the next day and said that one of the connecting rods went south and the engine would need to be replaced! Wow, what a bombshell that was. So, the wifey and myself decided to go ahead and get a used engine (1200.00 installed). About 4 days later, the shop called and said it was ready to go...Picked it up the next day, sounded pretty good, drove it away...

    That same day, while heading back from a service call. I noticed it started making a funny "clanking" noise and was trying to overheat. The over-heating was due to the mechanic didn't put the radiator cap on right and it was loseing coolant but, couldn't really tell where the noise was coming from but knew it had to be bad...Tapping noise = not good...Clanking noise = Gotta be BAD! So I took it back to the shop and found out that the AC compressor clutch assembly went south (bad berrings)! $150! Nice? A day later, the battery went south! $108 (Battery & Terminals). I don't think much of anything else can go wrong with this thing! What a friggin couple weeks! Runs Nice tho now and I have an engine with 80k miles left on it before it goes south! (Hopefully :)

  • t558t558 Posts: 2
    Wow - I can definately co-miserate. It was the timing belt on my 93 Escort that went broke. Didn't want to attempt it, so had the garage tow it in and was dead man walking to pay the bill. Of course there were more things wrong with it. I don't think I've ever gone and and had one repair. Long story short and just shy of $1K, got the car back. It ran well for a week but now it's hesitating badly on acceleration. Very irritating. So now I'm wondering what's gone south on it. Going to try and tackle it this weekend. It's been a great car for a long time and is worth something to me but probably not much to anyone else and would like to avoid buying another car. It's my daily driver and is great for that route. Thank goodness and knock on wood my 1990 F150 runs pretty good. -Tim
  • bae146bae146 Posts: 10
    Your drain line is plugged. It is almost impossible to get at the drain outlet from the engine compartment. It lives behind the ac accumulator. So the fix for this is to go inside your vehicle and drill a small hole on the plastic housing under the evaporator. Be very carful when doing this. You can see where the low point in the plastic housing is and where it goes to the drain on the firewall. Drill the hole here, drill it towards the drain. Then blow through the hole with an air compressor. you should be able to feel air coming out of the drain from the engine side of the firewall. Then seal up the hole you made with a piece of black silicone. Best of luck..
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,417
    Doing a bit of housekeeping around here. We're moving away from having very large single topics where someone might have to dig through hundreds, if not thousands of posts to find the info they want, and towards smaller, more specific topics.
    So I'll be pulling some postings from this main topic and starting up new ones. For example, the Ford Escort Electrical Problems discussion will be the place to talk about Escort electrical issues.

    Pardon the dust while the furniture gets moved around a bit. This should make it easier to find information and get faster answers to your questions.


    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,417
    The last post on the Escort stalling problem has been moved to the Ford Escort Wagon Stalls discussion. Follow that link to continue there.


    Need some roadside assistance? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

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  • (Also posted in Service Engine Line post)
    I have a 1999 XL(lx) wagon. I've been very happy with the car. About a year ago the speedometer started to go up and down on its own every now and then. I had the oil changed at a Jiffy Lube - all we have out here anymore - and the speedometer/odometer stopped working completely. At the same time the service engine soon light came on. Naturally Jiffy Lube could find nothing wrong when I took it back. I've lived in the rural area all of my life. I drive the same roads, etc. and have no problem without the speedometer. In NY all cars have to have this light off to pass inspection. Mine's due next month. I ordered the manual, have browsed here and there, but cannot find anywhere that gives me a hint as to how to turn this light off. I don't know anything about cars, and have no male friends or relatives that do either apparently. If I take it to a local dealer for the computer checkup it's $300 just to run the engine through the computer, any repair of the speedometer is extra. My car has well over 100,000 miles on it and I have no intention of ever selling it so the speedometer/odometer thing doesn't bother me. Can anyone give me a clue? Please? Like most people, I don't have the extra 3-5 hundred to throw at a problem that isn't a problem. Thanks so much.
  • mdhugmdhug Posts: 9
    All you need to do is unhook both battery cables and hold them together without touching the battery for 30 seconds and this will re-set the vehicle computer and clear the light. You may need to pull off the side of the road right before you get it inspected if it has a history of coming back on. Hope this helps
  • After months of searching, you've given me hope! I will try it and see how long it takes before the sensor picks up the speedometer and then gauge it accordingly for the inspection.
  • dlf3dlf3 Posts: 2
    The problem is your speed sensor has gone bad. This will cause your light to come right back on if don't fix it. That price for connecting the code scanner is beyond ridiculous. A code scanner can be had for under $100, with manual.
  • Thanks, I took your advice. I wasn't sure where to drill at, so I took my best guess. This problem had been giving me fits for two years and all it was was a simple drill and silicone.
  • maryawmaryaw Posts: 22
    I find the Escort Wagon to be a great utility vehicle for people who don't want a gas-guzzling SUV. My Dark Green 99 Escort Wagon is the "Designated Dog Hauling Car". That way the other family cars stay relatively hair-free. Also it is the one car that dog and cat crates fit into quite nicely. We bought it used in 2001.

    It now has close to 120K on it but it still has plenty of zip for passing and drives nicely on the highway. It still looks good - the body has held up well. We did have to replace the back [shocks/springs?] due to overloading it a few too many times. :(

    The only thing that could use upgrading is the speakers. They are a bit cheap sounding, so perhaps they'll be replaced one of these days.

    I just wanted to check in with other Escort Wagon owners - it's not a car that gets much attention but since we've had it we find it to be a great dog-hauling, grocery-getting, all-around utility vehicle.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    Don't ya love it when you find a vehicle that does the "job". Welcome to the forums!
  • I have a 93 ford escort. it is pretty rusty and the back end bounces around quite a bit. This is causing the fuel cut off switch to go on and the car will stall. How do I bypass that switch? My mechanic said he was not legally allowed to disable it for liability reasons, but I can't drive it unless I am able to disable it.
  • elmastoelmasto Posts: 2
    on my 91 5 spd escort wagon, the central seat belt just seems to come out loose when you pull it, [slowly or jerk it out]. Every once in a while, it engages when turning on curves or braking...but that is every once in a while. Is this the same among the wagons, or do your seat belts engage easily when pulling hard (the diagonal one, not the lap ones). If it is problematic, do you think it ie electrical or what?
    Thanks a lot
  • fnlcutfnlcut Posts: 1
    I have a 93 1.9L Escort wagon that appears to be overheating. I had a Ford mechanic tell me it need to run between 195 Degrees and 225 Degrees for the computer to work right. I checked the block with a non-contact thermometer and it's reading 223, but the temp gauge is red-lining. I have replace the temp sending sensor, the cooling fan relay, and the cooling fan itself, but none of it helped. Can anyone tell me why the gauge is saying it's getting hot when it's not? And what can I do about it?
    Thanks alot :confuse:
  • I have a 1993 ford escort wagon. I need a windsheild for it and I need to find out what years and models of ford windsheilds will fit.
  • My speedometeris not working at all. One mechanic said he did not know what was wrong and the dealer told me it was a electrical (fuseblock) problem.
    I am not sure I am getting good information.
  • my air conditioners not working had no power to compressor, I ran hot wire to compressor worked fine but compressor runs all the time. disconnected battery and hot wire to compressor when battery hooked back up compressor worked properly on its own till you shut the car off and restart then no power to compresser, disconnect battery reconnect again, compressor works again till you shut car off and resart, any ideas ?
  • i like my escort wagon too,hauls a lot of stuff.damn engine failed a couple of days ago.a valve finally broke at 195,000 miles.problly a valve seat will be back on the road in a couple of weeks after freshening the original core.with the price of cars these days and the lack of a 08 improved focus,not having a wagon option ,ill treat the car to a fresh trans, trans,performs flawlessly at 195,000,same axles and bearing too.i laugh when people call them junk, all the while their cars are in the shop alot.the escort has failed to start 3 times in the last 10 years,just needing a fresh car battery.very very reliable car,they should of kept making them.
  • maryawmaryaw Posts: 22
    My 99 Escort is starting to slip a bit in the tranny too. It still has less than 120,000 miles on it. Will take it to the good transmission place in a couple of weeks and have them look it over.
    :( BAD THING: Just in the last couple of months the paint on the hood and roof has started to oxidize really bad. My husband tried rubbing compound and waxing but it still looks horrible. The other panels look fine! We always thought ours was the best looking of the older Escorts in town. . . others have peeling paint and mismatched panels. I suppose the next thing will be seeing if I can get JUST those panels painted.
    ***I intend this car to last up to 200,000 miles!***It gets mostly highway driving and rarely goes on gravel. No, they are NOT junk. They are good little work horses.
  • When I turn off the ignition, only the radio is turned off and the engine continues to run, please help, it may not be the ignition switch, has to be something else.
  • I have a Ford Escort that has motorized seat belts. The passengers side will not always work properly. When the engine is off and the door opens, the seatbelt should retract. Sometimes it will retract and sometimes it won't. At times as you are getting out of the seat and duck under the belt, then it will decide to retract, hitting your head with the seat belt. It seems to always go into the locked position without failure when door closed and ignition on.

    Any suggestions? Not sure if there is a sensor that is failing or perhaps just a switch sensing when the door is open / closed.


  • You will have to replace the seatbelt retraction motor assembly. This requires removing the sid pillar and windshield pillar trims. The motor is located at the base of the door strike pillar base. The assembly extends from the motor to the windshield. Not a hard job, but time consuming. Be careful removing the trims. I bought one at a junk yard, and it failed within about a year. I don't know the cost of a new one.
    Good luck.
  • I don't remember on the Escorts, but typically you have to pull the dash loose at the bottom, disconnect it at the top, and rol it up and to the rear of the car some. Then you have to pull out the entire heater case. Remember where all the hoses and plugs go. Also, make sure to get a REALLY good mental image of how it came apart, so you can put it back. I used to do these a lot on GMs and its a lot of work, but not so bad with the right tools. Small ratchets and screwdrivers. Ratchets need to have 60 teeth or more so that they have a very short throw. (Angle you have to move the handle to make it catch again)
  • my 93 ford escort lx wagon trans slips in second gear its an auto trans i have to put it in N then D untill i reach 45 to 50 mph then when a come to a light or a complete stop my gears work fine when i continue to drive ! is it time to replace my trans ? ? ?
  • hey man...i was having the same problem a few weeks ago....i used the fat-end of a butterknife and ran it all the way through the track, that will open up and of the track that may have been sqeezed together causing and tight spots. also make sure it has grease in the track to make it a little bit easier to slide.

  • Oh yeah - I've done it twice on my Tracer Wagon. First time core was old, second was a freak failure at six months - or it may have been, I did it putting hoses on. Anyhow... you've got to drop steering column remove instrument cluster, heater/a/c controls... and remove ENTIRE DASH PANEL, and then yank out the blower to get to the core, which is right up against the firewall. When you've got it all out, you're looking at back side of firewall from one side of the car to the other. The book says 5 hours, I think; I spent three days the first time, about half a day the 2nd time. It's a [non-permissible content removed], but doable. I think I could prob do it in four hours, now. The part is cheap; more if you buy factory. TIP: smear some silicone sealer around where the two pipes go into the core; that way, if you're a little rough putting the hoses on, it won't ruin it.
  • neeseneese Posts: 1
    I hope someone can give me some good advice or instructions.?
    Unfortunately the drivers side mirror on my 98 escort wagon SE
    was vandalized and I need to replace it.I think I can do the job myself but not sure
    if I need to take the door panel off or what?also electrical connection locations would be helpful!
    Any advice would be helpful!!!!!!!
  • meech1meech1 Posts: 2
    I just bought a 93 escort wagon LS, 5 speed with 62000 miles for 1000 bucks... half the miles are towing miles, it was towed behind an RV. I love the gas mileage even though i"ve only had it a week... I previously owned a 94 escort hatchback that finally blew up with 185000 miles on it. If i had had a brain then i wouldv'e replaced the engine.. i'm happy to have a "second chance" and really thrilled to find this support group!
  • woodie4woodie4 Posts: 1
    do you know were the thermostat is
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