Ford Escort Hatchback

pjsteinpjstein Member Posts: 1
edited March 2014 in Ford
Anyone have any experience on safety/reliability
of 91 Ford escorts


  • mimeliomimelio Member Posts: 6
    My escort has 155,000 miles still original exhaust.starter went at 120,000.Make sure to change your timing belt at 50,000 miles.I bought mine new oh yes platinum plugs make car start super fast
  • daniel29daniel29 Member Posts: 1
    Would anybody help me find a way to determine the manufacturing date( day and a month) of the vehicle that I purchased. There is no sticker in the car.I have a VIN # of the car.I can not find a dealership either where the car was first bought. What should I do?Thanks.
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    daniel29, I think our Smart Shopper conference would be the best place to ask your question. Why not use our Topic Search on the left menu bar, perhaps with VIN as your key word, and see if this topic is already underway?

  • seebseeb Member Posts: 1
    91 Escort with 177000 miles on it. Starter went out at 175000. Have had timing belt replaced every 60k. Been a very reliable car for me.
  • tmpy2tmpy2 Member Posts: 1
    Is there a faq or web site about Escort I can find on the net? I like to see the problems and solutions on '91 Escort we just got.

  • nelsonknelsonk Member Posts: 1
    I have a 91 Escort GT (2 doors) with 115,000 miles. Even when the car was new, I had trouble rolling the windows up. I've tried cleaning & greasing the window weather stripping but the problem always returns after it rains or after I wash the car. I've tried several different types of lubricants. Does anyone else have this problem, or have a solution?

  • markalan1markalan1 Member Posts: 1
    My 91 Escort with 128K miles has/had the following problems. Noisy engine lifters. Jamming drivers side automatic seatbelt. Difficult to roll up drivers window. Poor breaks (lots of repairs!). Air conditioner failing at 80K. Alternator failing at 105K. Anyone else out there with the same problems?
  • peds_drppeds_drp Member Posts: 1
    i have a 91' escort. when i take my foot off the
    gas then put it back onthe gas(usually going
    30~60 mph) the car hesitstes. anyone have any
  • ttoommttoomm Member Posts: 1

    I am going to buy a 94 Ford Escort LX. The mileage is 96000. What should I check before the paying?

  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    I always recommend a complete inspection by the mechanic of YOUR choosing. Yes, it will cost something up front and if if saves you from expensive surprises later, it will be worth it!

  • drk2drk2 Member Posts: 1
    Am looking at a 1991 Escort GT. Timing belt is about to be changed. Maintenance has been kept up. Asking price is $4000. Sound good?
  • jlw49jlw49 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 91 escort GT, original owner, now has 120,000. I had the window roll up problem, took it to Ford dealer, they replaced the rubber in the window track and has been fine ever since, It's been about 4 years bow.
  • kannan75kannan75 Member Posts: 2
    Have a '93 Ford Escort Pony(2D)- Is that an LX, ZX or DX? Can anyone help me w/ that?
  • kannan75kannan75 Member Posts: 2
    Its way too overpriced ! I would not pay more than 1800 for a well maintained '91 escort!
  • mmmmwardmmmmward Member Posts: 1
    We have a '91 Escort GT that has 180,000 miles on it. It has been through 4 family members, had the oil changed regularly every 3-5,000 miles. It just blew it's FOURTH transmission. No MORE, it is going to the JUNK YARD!!! We have all taken care of the car, the engine is still humming nicely in spite of so many miles, the interior and exterior are in excellent shape... but those transmission troubles have made us crazy! Any body else out there having similar transmission problems on the Escort GT???
  • jimboscjimbosc Member Posts: 8
    I had a '93 Escort GT 5-speed for several years. Great little car. The only problem I had was a bad alternator right after the warrenty expired. Otherwise it ran great and got about 31-33 mpg on the highway (about 22-24 in the city). The "Green Machine" had the original clutch and tranny when I sold it with about 70,000 miles.

    The only thing that worried me while I had the car was alot of brake noise after the dealer did a full brake job. I think the problem was warped rotors and could have been fixed for a few hundred bucks - better spent on my new Camry.

    Ford has a reliable car, at least for the 91 to 95 GTs - better than the 1985 Accord it replaced in my garage. The FORD dealer was a bad experience almost everytime I had to go there, which was a big reason I bought a Toyota. We've had the car a year and have not had to go to the dealer once - yes, Virgina they can build a zero defect car.

    I would recommend the 1.8 motor over the 1.9. It is a Mazda mill, with good power and reliability. I drove the hell out of that Escort GT for 6 years and that engine loved every minute of it.
  • spectre3spectre3 Member Posts: 67
    what experience have you had with the 1.9?? hmmm?
  • dhoffdhoff Member Posts: 282
    In a few words:

    A bit noisy, not much power (88 hp) but good low end torque; great fuel economy; reliable if taken care of.

    I'd recommend the Mazda 1.8 over the 1.9. But it would cost more initially and will need more maintenance (timing belt replacements at 60,000 miles). Slightly less gas mileage but much more fun.

  • spectre3spectre3 Member Posts: 67
    you have 150,000 miles on 1 escort??

    lets see..

    if maintained properly mine ought to last another 3.5 years....

    when its time to replace it, maybe i will look for a good used escort gt if one can be found.. ;).
  • dhoffdhoff Member Posts: 282
    I had 158,000 miles on a 91 Tracer, which is mechanically identical to the Escort. I sold it to a relative about 1.5 years ago and it's still going.

    I always took good care of it, changed the oil every 3000 miles. It was a good reliable car for me. It wasn't he most fun to drive (having the 5 speed helped) but it got me around.

    If I had known how long I was going to keep it, I might have spent the extra money to get the 1.8. The problem was, when I bought it the only way to get it was to go with the Tracer LTS, which was about $2,500 more than the regular Tracer. That seemed like a lot of money at the time.


  • spectre3spectre3 Member Posts: 67
    thanks for the insight.

    i maintain my vehicles very well and
    i hope this escort serves me as well as your tracer did. being forced to commute 100 miles per day since my job relocated, fuel economy and practicality was my reason for buying this car.
    39 - 43 mpg is the norm for me , also with the 5 speed transmission. i plan to have ford add on cruise soon, then maybe i can relax a little on the interstate.
  • dhoffdhoff Member Posts: 282
    I did a long commute for a while in my Tracer - about 80 miles one way for 5 months. Mine had cruise, and it was nice to have. You don't necessarily have to have a Ford dealer install cruise on your car. You can get an aftermarket unit installed that works great for a lot less than a dealer would charge.

    If you keep the car long enough, I'd recommend having the timing belt replaced around 100,000 miles. On my Tracer, the manual didn't ever say it needed changing, but I had it done anyway. I took a look at the belt after it was done and it needed it. Another relative of mine has a 92 Escort and he didn't change his belt and it broke. It didn't cause any engine damage but it left his wife & 2 kids stuck in a dead car in rush hour Chicago traffic.

  • spectre3spectre3 Member Posts: 67
    i did see in my owners manual that it didn't say when to change the timing belt on the 1.9 engine... i did actually change it at 62,000 miles out of ignorance, because i had no idea how long it would go before the belt broke.

    i use to have an 86 escort, and its belt went almost exactly at 62k. i understand the belt in the 95 has a round tooth design, which may help increase the number of miles you get before it goes.

    i had inquired in several ng's about timing belt longevity, i wanted to know what was the normal belt replacement interval before i started to commute this last may, but received no clear answer. thank you!
    i will be piling up the miles on this car, but i may wait a little longer the next time before changing the timing belt again..
    i actually replaced my waterpump along with the belt, because it was a semi-seized water pump that took out the 1st belt in my 86 escort, a few years ago.

    i guess i was afraid that the timing belt in this escort would break in the middle of our indiana winter,, leaving me stranded on the interstate ..
    btw, if you are from the chicago area, we may be neighbors as the crow flies anyway. i am from marion indiana and have to drive to fort wayne to work every day. approx 50 miles one way.

    your handle is interesting, if dhoff is short for hoffman then we may have the same ancestry somewhere, my last name is huffman.

    it has been nice talking with you, i will check into the aftermarket cruise as an option to the ford installed item. (400.00+).

    see ya,

  • shayes1shayes1 Member Posts: 12
    I had a 91 gt I sadly traded away three years ago! I had replaced the transmission after losing
    synchronizer rings at 100K, a new radiator and timing belt also, but that car hummed! Fast,
    could carry lots of stuff, great in the winter.
    Had 120K when I got rid of it. I regret that day.

  • davescardavescar Member Posts: 1
    I'm the original owner of a '91 Escort GT with 92,000 miles. Haven't had any major problems and have done very little maintenance except for regular oil changes. Since it is now our familys 2nd car, only put about 6,000 miles/yr on it. Would like to keep for another 3-4 years, but don't know what type of "preventative maintenance" I should take now to avoid troubles. Also would appreciate any info on the types of potential problems I should prepare for with a car of this age and mileage.

  • dhoffdhoff Member Posts: 282
    Have you changed the timing belt yet? If not, you are overdue. Get that done, and have the water pump and accessory belts replaced at the same time. You might want to have the coolant changed also.

    The big thing is to regularly change the oil, which you are doing. Other than the things mentioned earlier, fix problems as they occur and the car should last a long time.

  • tomsrtomsr Member Posts: 325
    My 94 Escort has 133k miles and now the tranmission does not downshift unless manually
    done plus the torque converter slips.How much
    should it cost for a rebuilt transmission including labor.The other option is a good used one.Has anyone gone through this before.
  • spectre3spectre3 Member Posts: 67

    but it was an 86 escort at that magical 90k mile mark....

    holding my fingers now, driving a 95 escort with 78k miles.
  • remnerremner Member Posts: 1
    Someone asked about an escort site, a good one is It has a faq and a ubb. Theres also a couple of lists on egroups.
  • galahad13galahad13 Member Posts: 2

    I have a '91 Escort LX 2 Door that I am looking to trade in soon. It has 70,000 miles and is in excellent shape interior and exterior(besides a small dent in the left front panel and a few nicks on the doors). I was wondering how much I should expect and/or ask for my trade in? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  • sonnyvegassonnyvegas Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • uglymoneyuglymoney Member Posts: 5
    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.

  • pwt1965pwt1965 Member 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 Member Posts: 67

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

  • lauralu76lauralu76 Member Posts: 1
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 412
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 1,750
    This discussion has been moved back from our Archived folder and reopened. Hope this is helpful.

    Hatchbacks / Station Wagons / Women's Auto Center Boards
  • revkarevka Member 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.

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

    Thanks for your comments. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • jchan2jchan2 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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?
  • kickuskickus Member Posts: 1
    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?
  • mike348mike348 Member Posts: 9
    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 Member 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 Member 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.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • jimbeaumijimbeaumi Member 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 Member 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.
This discussion has been closed.