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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair

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  • I have a 2003 Ford Escape 2.0 liter 5 speed with front drive only. It has an erratic idle situation that I cannot figure out. Car had a blown head gasket when purchased with 122k on it. Didn't pay a lot of money for the car so I wasn't concerned about the head gasket. Replaced the head asket, intake manifold gaskets, throttle body gasket, tension adjustment pulley, water pump, water pump pulley, timing belt etc and all was good for about 2 months, even took a 2k trip with no problems.

    Shortly after that the car lost power, ran like crap and gas mileage dropped from about 26 to about 20-21 mpg. Got a p1074 code (lean condition bank 1).
    Read some stuff on line about others that had similar problems and started the journey I am on.

    Things I Have done since the head gasket change:

    1. Idle air control valve
    2. removed , cleaned, checked and reinstalled the fuel injectors with new O rings and caps.
    3. replaced the o rings in the fuel rail
    4. replaced the egr valve and the egr solenoid
    5. Throttle position sensor
    6. Vacuum eq control module
    7. Mass air flow sensor
    Checked the following for leaks, cracks etc.
    air box & hoses
    intake manifold (external for)
    PCV Vale and hoses
    EGR hoses
    All vacuum lines etc.

    Here is what happens.
    1. Cold start car is a bit difficult to start but once starts all is good.

    RPMs holds at about 1200 until the temperature gauge moves up about 1/4 of the way and then it starts to decrease to about 850 rpm.

    Idle starts to become a bit rough and the rpms drop to about 600.
    The idle then gets taken up to about 1200 rpm and drops back to the 5-600 range within 10 seconds.

    Idle is then taken up to about 1500 rpms for a second or two and starts to come back down
    Idle then drops below 500.
    The engine almost stalls (battery light comes on) but rallys and the rpms go up to about 2000 rpm for a couple of seconds and then start to drop down and almost stall again.
    Rallys again and same scenario for about two or three more times and then stalls.
    Engine restarts easily but will not idle normally after that.
    Idle keeps bouncing up and down and stalling.

    Problem is I love this little car. Great utility, pretty fun to drive, enough power and great gas mileage compared to my Ford Club Wagon with the 4.6 V-8.
    Really want to keep it on the road but it is making me nuts and i am running out of ideas.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated
  • I purchased this car just over a month ago and have begun having problems similar to those described here. The first few times, it would stall shortly after being started (in varying temperatures), but never did this recur after restart. Today, I started the Escape and it was idling very rough (RPM shooting up past 2000 and then nearly stalling). Soon something started to smell hot, and the car stalled in the middle of the road. I was able to coast into a parking lot, but I'm at a complete loss. There were no warning lights of any kind. Anyone care to shed some light?
  • I have a 2001 Tribute and had a similar problem. At first I suspected the rack and pinion. It turned out to be tierod ends were dry. The are sealed with no grease fitting so I took a needle that fits a grease gun and punctured the rubber and voila`no grinding/binding noise. You can jack it up and have someone turn the steering while you hold the tierod ends and you will feel it.

    Hope this helps
  • Did you find out what the problem was? I'm guessing the same as what we have had with our 02 Escape. It had been running rough, and then one night while my son was driving it he said it made a loud noise and started to smell really bad. When he got home we found the EGR valve had a hole in it. After having Ford dealership look at it we were told needed all 3 cat converters, plus EGR, etc., replaced, at a cost of over $3000. We took it to Midas, bought the parts ourselves, and had the job done for around $2300. Now, a month and a half later it suddenly started running bad again. Brought it in to Midis, and they said it's misfiring on several cylinders and needs coils and valve cover gasket set replaced, another $1000. We will again buy the parts and have it repaired to save about $250, but it is draining us dry! But it's the only car my son has to drive to work. Does ANYONE know what is the original cause of all this, or is it simply eveerything wearing out on a 10 year oldcar?
  • Just spent $1700 on 100,000 mile service plus replaced PCV valve, front tie rod, brakes replaced, new spark plugs. My 2003 Escape 3.0 V6 runs much better and I haven't had any stalling issues since.
  • I had this problem with mine and I had to have new intake manifold gaskets. Fixed it with no problems and check engine light went off!
  • Thank you for your reply. Found out it was a warped head. We had replaced the head gasket and checked the deck of the head and it appeared fine. Did a compression test and cylinders 1& 4 were abo180-190 lbs each. 2&3 were 82 & 80. Re-pulled the head and lo and behold the gasket was damaged in the same exact place. Ordered a reman head from Cylinder Heads Int. for $350.00. In the process of installing it. Once that is done we should be good to go.
  • I have a 2009 Escape Limited, and I have issues with the reverse warning system. It will work occasionally, but most of the time I put it in reverse and the "off" button lights up and just stays lit until the vehicle is restarted. I've tried washing the car to see if it was just dirt on the sensors, but still have the problem. Anyone know if its possible to test the sensors individually?
  • i have a 2004 ford escape it starts sometimes but stalls out and some times it wont start unless i give it some gas and when i put it in R or D the engine starts jumping and running really bad.i have checked the fuel filter to see if trash or water was the problem and its clean the guy i bought it from said it has been sitting for 6 weeks but ran great before that.i test drove it before i bought it and it ran great but i stopped at walmart before i went home and when i gt back in and started home it stalled out and thats when all this happened.idk what else to do :cry:
  • mickey0929mickey0929 Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    my escape won't stay running. already replaced plugs ,plug wires, ignition coil and throttle position sensor and still won't stay running. if anybody has gone through all this trouble before please give me some ideas, loosing my mind with it already. thanks
  • I have an 01 Escape and every winter I start having the same problem. When the temp drops below 50 degrees or so I go out to start my vehicle in the morning and it idles very rough and will stall unless I hold the gas pedal down and keep the RPMS up to 2000 or higher. It will do this for about 2 to 5 minutes depending on how cold it is. Once the engine is warm (the temp gage goes up at least 1/4) the vehicle runs and drives perfectly fine. I replaced the plugs and coil packs last year around March. I thought that fixed the problem, but it turns out that it just got warmer out and now that the cold weather is back it is doing it again. Again this only happens when it is cold. If it is warm or hot outside I have absolutely 0 problems with it.
  • I have a 2005 ford escape, I've been having problems with my a/c. when i turn it on I get a real strong scent of anti-freeze. I was informed that the problem was due to a heater core malfunction... my question is where do i locate this heater core and how do i get it out?
  • chad42chad42 Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    in 2009 my inlaws bought us a 2001 ford escape with 82,000 miles on it, from finish line ford in peoria IL. the very next day it started having rough idle problems to the point that it would some times die at a stop, the idle problem would only last for the first few minutes of driving. this problem was 20 times worse in the winter, so i looked into it i changed the idle air control valve, egr valve, mass airflow sensor, spark plugs, fuel filter, and nothing so we dealt with it well around 2010 it started getting worse and we could hear this faint hissing noise from inside the car around the brake pedal. the noise got worse and the idle problem got so bad that we would have to put the car in nuetral when stopped and push the gas. it got so bad that as soon as you took your foot off the gas the car would die and the noise was pretty loud also. when the noise came around the idle problem never went away even after driving for hours. so i changed the brake booster fixed the problem back to how it was when we got it. then we started getting a high pitched noise from the hood of the car around the serpintine belt that was very loud and nasty sounding, that was the ac pump clutch went out and the clutch was rubbing up against one of the bolts on the ac pump as soon as we stopped it welded it self together, car would not start the next day so i replaced ac pump and the belt. two months later me my pregnant wife and my son were coming out to the car late at night from shopping and the key would not go into the ignition, it worked on the door but not the ignition had to drill out the tumbler and put a new one in, in the parking lot, 4 months later i was driving the car and the first time i pushed on the brakes the hole car started to shake and a horrible grinding noise was coming from the brakes, that turned out to be the abs sensor ring which was a nightmare to change. during that time we have changed both blinker lights in the front and the plate lights, i have done a oil change every 3,000 miles and a fuel cleaner. during this time also all door apolstry has slowly fallen off. me and my wife HATE this car but dont have the money to buy a new one, it has been a nightmare from the begining it was put together to fast and to many corners were cut building this car. i will NEVER buy another ford again, the only good thing i can say about this car is that it is pretty easy to work on. my wife and i are waiting every day for it to explode on us. oooo yeah it also has a oil pan leak. :cry: :sick: :confuse: :(
  • I have a 2004 ford escape XLT 3.0 V6. Last summer it started idleing rough and acting funny. Slowly over time it kept getting worse giving misfire codes, stalling at lights etc. I changed, plugs, wires, both O2 sensors, fuel filter and was getting ready to replace EGR valve when I discovered the actual problem under the hood stareing at me. I should say hissing. This triggered some old school memorys and skills. With a little detective ear work I followed the sound to a 1/2" diameter vacum hose that had deteriated from extreme heat. The hose is located on top of the engine in back next to the firewall. It is about in the middle and is a 90 degree hose. the heat had caused a hole to form in turn making the hose collapse on itself. I turned the engine off and the hose popped out. I put some duck tape on it and restarted. The car ran perfect, the check engine light went out and I drove it for a week with no problems, until i properly replaced the hose. Never has been a problem since. So before spending to much more time and money check this hose out first if it is not the problem then keep looking and LISTENING. Shortly after I found a smaller hose in front with same issue and replaced that one as well(it was not causing performance issues though).

    I hope this helps someone and saves them some money too. Pass on the info to anyone else who is having same troubles.

    ">

    Mike
  • I am having the same problem with my 2002 Escape. I just reported it to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Adminisration. I have paid for 2 tune ups and had additional unnecessary repairs and it is doing the same thing. I have heard that it is a computer chip. They are aware of the problem, and need more people to complain so that an investigation will be opened and moves made for a possible recall.
  • This is exactly what happened to me and exactly what the problem was. My Escape now has 304000 miles on it and I have owned it since it had 113000 miles on it. I would buy another Escape in a heartbeat!
  • keep an eye on the shifting of the 6 cyl, 6 speed. Harsh shift in 1st, gear hunting then a slam in the 3 gear. we had this problem last week (Feb 1/12).
    it was the seal and a shaft that was replaced. The dealership could not assure me this problem would NOT happen again. So much for off shore, aka cheaper parts.
  • Do you remember what fuse it was?? I'm having the same problem.
  • Had the same problem.. Look under the hood and there is a little tiny bolt that controls the gas flow when your foot isn't compressing the gas. Give it about 2 full turns and it should start right up. No parts no mechanic. Hope this helps. I could send pics if you need.
  • all it is is a little bolt the sets the idle. Look at where the little wheel is that turns when you push the gas pedal (front right of the engine) under the flywheel you should see a very small bolt that the flywheel will rest on when not compressing the gas pedal. The head of the bolt gets worn down and can make an impression on the plate over time. Usually 2 full turns will have it working fine again.
  • Hello, i went out to my Ecape the other day to find it wouldn't start. was trying to turn over but couldn't unless i gave it a lot of gas. Long story short checked a lot of things but turned out to be a little bolt under the throttle flywheel (front right of engine power steering cable connects to wheel). I disconnected the power steering cable and moved the wheel with my hand to gain access to the bolt under it. Gave the bolt about 2 full turns and the problem has been solved ever since. Hope this saves you all some money and time.
  • When I fixed the vacum hose I replaced it from a similiar hose bought from local auto parts store. The hose lasted about 6 months before wearing to the point of the issue returning. I reccomend spending the $49.00 dollars for the genuine ford part number(YL8Z-6C658-A) it will fit correctly and last longer. I just spent three days replacing alternator(nightmare!!). I have some helpful tips if anyone needs them.
  • Hi,
    Thank you for the info. I am assuming that you have a 6 cylinder engine in yours and not the 2.0 4 cylinder like mine.
  • OHH can you please send me a pic...ive been dealing with problems with my 04 escape for amonth now..grrrrrr
  • My 2004 Mazda Tribute with 160,000 miles just exploded on starting. Smoke and flame from under the hood and the plastic intake manifold totally blown apart and scattered in the parking lot. It could have killed somebody if they were in the way. Mazda dealer said that they never heard anything like this and had no clue what would have caused it. They never mentioned any "bulletin about backfires". The tribute never backfired before. Of course it's over a $1000 repair bill and they won't guarantee that there is nothing else wrong with the engine after that expolsion.
  • I would love a picture as well. Our 04 escape has this problem. I tried replacing the IAC valve and it was a bit more consistent with starting up but still very low RMPs when idle and extremely choppy when accelerating. My uncle who is a service tech at a local Ford dealership thought it was the transmission so I really hope its just this little bolt.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Unfortunate, to be sure. I also have heard of no such phenomenon, but in older days, there were lots of carbureator fires on cars from backfires, and other things. Not really sure I'd fix one with $160,000 miles on it unless the rest of the car is in amazing shape. YMMV
  • corrado3corrado3 Posts: 1
    edited March 2012
    I have an 02 ford escape, 3.0L, 105k miles. Once the vehicle gets hot, and this doesnt even matter the idle is just more noticeable when its hot. The car at idle will jerk back and forth, and if i put it in neutral it's much less noticeable. Once i give the car gas though it drives quick and has plenty of power, no hessitation. The car has a new IAC, CAT delete but the housing is still there, all new coils, and a new ECM. Oh and furthermore, the car starts right up when cold, but when its hot sometimes it will take a few rotations of only holding the key over for 3 seconds to start. The best way to describe this "jerking" is similar to having someone at the back of the car pushing it back and forth.

    Would i call this jerking pulsating?
  • jostu001jostu001 Posts: 6
    Hi,
    I've got a 2002 Mazda Tribute, 128k on the clock.
    December last year I had the 2 transmission mounts replaced, since then the car has developed a rattle, I'm not sure if the replaced mounts & new rattle are connected.

    The rattle almost sounds as if its under the drivers seat, maybe a bit forward of that, I can be sat at lights and can here the rattle, then take the car out of gear and the rattle will vanish. Travelling at certain speeds I can also hear it too, at other speeds it's not there.

    Has anyone any ideas or suggestions as to what it may be, and also a cure. I'm a total novice when it comes to car & mechanics so any help or advice really would be greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks in advance

    jostu001
  • rob5662rob5662 Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2004 Escape XLT AWD auto and its sputtering and sluggish on the accelerator from a stand still. I took it for a test drive and it was fine. Within an hour of driving it off the lot, the check engine light came on. I`d like a pic of the bolt if possible. Thanks
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