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Ford Escort Wagon



  • GameMakerGameMaker Posts: 1
    Hello -
    We're looking into buying a '94 Ford Escort with VERY LOW mileage from a family friend. It was a "little old lady" car.

    It's a '94 Escort LX Wagon, with 9,000 miles on it. Yes, that's right. Nine thousand.

    Edmunds lists the market value at $4250 including options, but the mileage adjustment is about $5,000. Obviously, that's a bit much - Edmunds even states "Mileage adjustment should not exceed 50% of the vehicle's trade-in value".

    So my question is:
    1) How should I value the car, given it's extremely low mileage? Should I just cap the mileage adjustment at 50% of the appraisal value ($2125)? If so, then their $6,000 asking price seems reasonable. (I also think they didn't know it was me when I asked for the quote, so they might go lower.)
    2) What problems should I be wary of when buying a car that might not be properly broken in? I believe the owners had it maintained fairly well, but we ARE talking about a 7-year-old car that hasn't had much of a chance to run. I've had cars like this in the past, and the fact that the systems don't get much use ends up biting you in the butt - belts get dry, things rust, etc.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated. Especially since we're buying from friends - always a tricky proposition.

  • oglett00oglett00 Posts: 4
    I am interested in knowing if anyone has been able to get the "shimmy" out of their Escort Wagon. It started innocent enough but became more and more noticeable. It has now developed into this quite annoying shimmy at 70+ mph. I replaced a good set of tires thinking that it was somehow related to the tires (even though I had them balanced several times). The new tires make no difference. I would like to have another Escort Wagon but not if it is going to shimmy.


  • cnsjjccnsjjc Posts: 3
    I just paid $180 (2 belts and 2 hours labor) to have the timing and serpentine belts installed on my 1997 Escort wagon. The old timing belt looked pretty good, but the old serpentine belt had many cracks. Was this a reasonable price? Did I really need to change the timing belt? The car has been drive 65,000 miles.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    i posted a similar complaint in the hatch back category. same year escort.
    i took mine to the ford dealer wednesday. i am waiting to hear what they have to say about it. i will let you know what they say if you wish.

  • oglett00oglett00 Posts: 4

    Please let me know what your dealership finds out about your car's shimmy. I took my Escort to my Ford dealer and they said that they could find nothing wrong with it - even though they said they did notice the shimmy.


  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67

    actually the main reason for the trip to ford last week was i hit a severe storm coming home on the interstate, and the wind was so powerful that it broke my drivers side wiper!! the wiper was laying on top of the drivers side mirror...
    i had to have the whole wiper transmission replaced. you can't buy just the knurled stud that the wiper arm goes on to.

    as far as the vibration is concerned, they checked that out for me. i had also told them i had just put new rotors and front pads on the car(with in 500 miles) and it felt like they were warping already!!

    well, i was wrong. the front rotors were not the problem it was the rear drums that needed turning.

    i told the ford dealer i had just balanced and rotated all 4 tires at "tire barn" just 3 weeks ago.(to try and get rid of the shimmy). ford had enough common sense to check the balance anyway.

    believe it or not they were out of balance by a big margin!! so, ford rebalanced the front tires. the ford tech took the car out on the interstate and said it was a smooth as any escort he had driven of that year. tire barn is going to hear about it from me, that is for sure.

    i got a chance this morning to verify what ford had said about the shimmy, and it is greatly improved.
    it is dark when i begin my commute, and with no cruise, i found myself running 80 miles per hour at times, with no shimmy or shake. i usually try and run 72 miles per hour.

    thats my story. a ford dealer that knows what they are doing should be able to help you too.

    btw, i hope i don't get yelled at by mr/ms host here, since my car is really a hatchback.
    i have posted my problems on the hatchback thread and have not got any comments. i will pay more attention to the station wagon thread in the future.

    good luck to you!!

    i do enjoy my fuel economy since my job moved 50 miles away and i am forced to commute.

    42.14 at 65 miles per hour.
    40.62 at 72 miles per hour.

    63,600 miles on the odometer.

    middle grade unleaded fuel. ($1.61 per gallon in indiana this morning, ouch)

    mobil 1 synthetic oil, bosch platinum spark plugs.

    hope to hear from you again.

  • oglett00oglett00 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the information Lee. It may well be my tires also (even though they are brand new). My vibration gets worse by the day. I've got to do something because it is driving me crazy. No car should vibrate like mine. It feels almost as though the car is shaking apart.

  • oglett00oglett00 Posts: 4
    Thanks for the information Lee. It may well be my tires also (even though they are brand new). My vibration gets worse by the day. I've got to do something because it is driving me crazy. No car should vibrate like mine. It feels almost as though the car is shaking apart.

  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    i would like to know what you do find out when you have the car checked. many others here might like to know as well.

    have a good day,

  • starfire2starfire2 Posts: 9
    The other Escort topics seem dead, so I thought maybe I could get some input here even though mine's a sedan, so here goes...
    I have a 98 Escort SE with 13,000 miles. So far there have not been any major problems, but a few nit picky ones that I want to see if anyone else has had.
    - When idling, the hood vibrates like mad. I used to have a 99 Tracer (same car mechanically) and I never had this problem. I know is sounds petty but it really does bother me.
    -The power steering squeaks when making sharp turns at low speeds. This does NOT sound normal. Could it just need fluid? The service department at the dealer supposedly checked the fluids when I got my last oil change about a month ago, but I didn't think the power steering fluid needed to be changed until at least 20,000 miles.
    -The car sort of "hangs" in first gear (it's an automatic), it seems to be shifting a little late. It's also very reluctant to downshift when passing or when I begin accelerating after making a turn, and when it finally does, it does so very abruptly. I suppose this could just be characteristic of all 98 Escorts, but the warranty is up this December and I'd hate for the transmission to fail after it expires.
    -OK I think that's it.
    -Oh wait, does anyone else have the 6 CD changer? The other night it got stuck and I couldn't eject the magazine. It the CD player goes out, I think I'll die. If it does die, are the audio systems covered by the factory warranty?
    -OK that's it I promise. Sorry it was so long and if you read this far then I thank you.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    you are correct about some of the other escort topics being dead. are there really that few escort problems? or does everyone simply put up with them?

    if your dealer isn't taking care of you under warranty, i would seek out another that will.
    your idling problem is not normal. i am not sure how the automatic transmission behaves that year. you might try driving another for comparison & leverage with ford service.

    i wouldn't wait too much longer to get your problem resolved, if the warranty is close to being expired they may not be too interested in fixing the problem.
  • monoman2monoman2 Posts: 1
    I have a 98 Ford Escort Wagon, standard transmission, and I'm having a curious problem with stalling. Often, when I'm breaking relatively hard on an off ramp or somewhere similar, the engine will stall. Luckily, its a standard, so I just engage the clutch and restart the car, but its always a shock to suddenly lose the power steering, especially on an off ramp. I understand that some Ford engines have automatic cut offs in case of accidents or whatever, and I was wondering if that was causing this problem. In any case, its dangerous, annoying, and a little frightening, so I was wondering if anyone else has had this problem. The car is still under warranty, but only for another month or so.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    i believe i wouldn't waste any time taking the car to ford. if you register the complaint before the warranty runs out, they may be willing to work with you in a short period of time following, should the problem re-occur or become more severe.

    i have never seen the fuel pump cutoff switch automatically reset itself in an escort.

    perhaps you have an intermittent fuel delivery problem? how many miles on the car? have you ever replaced the fuel filter??

    this list of possibilities are endless i am sure.

    try, http//

    they have an archive of escort complaints. one of them might help you.

    good luck,

  • jbeveljbevel Posts: 1
    My escort has about 94K miles, and has been maintained regularly. At about 50 - 65 mph it occasionally misses or hesitates. Do you think this would be spark plug cables, or perhaps a fuel pump? Any ideas are appreciated.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    or maybe the fuel filter?

    the possibilities are many.

    as i am fond of saying, snap a code scanner onto the diagnostic port.
    check any error codes and start there.

    if you have never replaced the fuel filter, i would do it anyway though...

    if no error codes are found, have someone check the fuel pressure. if fuel pressure is ok, you could have an injector problem.

    does the car idle well? if it idles fine you probably don't have any vacuum leaks.

    are the sparkplug wires original? if so, they are probably due to be changed.

    the spark plugs have been changed at the recommended interval?? if recently, are you sure the gaps are correct?

    any recent maint? if so what was done. verify it was done correctly.

    how long has the problem occurred?

    did you buy gasoline somewhere you don't normally?
    i have on occasion had bad gas cause a lot of problems....

    good luck,

  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    i would always choose a well maintained car over a poorly maintained one, however i understand your dilemma concerning the mileage.

    i have a 95 escort lx(not a station wagon) i purchased in february of this year, before the gas prices were quite as high as they were now. the price was 3,300.00 with 62,500 miles, 5speed manual, air, no cruise, rear window defroster, tachometer, aluminum wheels.
    i believe you have room for negotiation with those prices, especially on a car with zero maintenance, provided it checks out ok, by a pro.

    i little more money might net you a lower mile car, if that is a priority with you.

    like you, i must have a manual transmission. these cars are low powered anyway, i can't imagine driving one with an automatic transmission. the 5 speed is at least tolerable.

    these are some things i would check when you test drive any of the 3 cars.

    1) vibrations at interstate speeds (70mph or higher)

    2) speedometer accuracy.
    sometimes,(maybe 1 time a week) when i hit a big bump, my speedo will register 5-7 miles per hour higher than i am going, gradually coming down to normal(a common complaint).

    3) if you can get 38 miles per gallon or higher at 65 - 68 miles per hour, then you can be fairly certain the engine is in good shape and in reasonably good tune.

    my 95 lx gets 40.56 as a weekly average, all interstate driving at 68 miles per hour.
    (new bosch platinum plugs, mobil 1 synthetic oil, fresh air filter,middle grade unleaded fuel)
    running with the air on knocks it down to 38-39.
    this is based on a 100 mile per day commute to work.

    timing belt question? did you see my comment in the maintenance section under 91-95 escort sedan?
    any car that hasn't had the timing belt replaced by 90k will likely leave you walking soon. replacement much sooner than that would be my preference, but perhaps not necessary.

    not sure if this has helped you.

    i am glad to hear from other escort owners and soon to be ones.

    good luck and best wishes,

  • starfire2starfire2 Posts: 9
    Again, my car is a sedan, but no one's talking on the other Escort topics so here goes. I've been thinking about trading my 98 Escort SE in for something bigger and more powerful (possibly a 98 or newer Mercury Sable, I love the looks of it and the way it drives). I love my Escort, it's been VERY reliable (no problems except for a few very minor ones, which I addressed in a recent post), but after having a bad accident, I'd feel a lot safer in something bigger. Anyway, I've gotten appraisals from two dealers for trade in value, one of them said $7000 and the other said "between 6 and 7 thousand". Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book have given values of over $9000 (this car has every available option except a sunroof and has just over 13000 miles). Are these guys trying to rip me off because I'm young and they think they can take me for a ride (I'm 21 but I look 18)? Or is this really what my car is worth? I told the guy at one dealership that I KNEW that my car was worth more than what they wanted to give me, but he told me that I "wouldn't get that much for it anywhere". Please help.
  • lriverslrivers Posts: 1
    I have a 94 Escort Wagon with 69,000 miles.
    So far I've had to replace the clutch - probably from LA traffic - the battery, the timing belt - which died without warning during rushour - the serpentine belt, the fanbelt, I've had two oil leaks with a third still unrepaired, countless electrical malfunctions, cruise control breakage, and the always mysterious exhaust-system grumble. SOmething in the elecrtical system fried and sent black smoke out of the engine. I'm told I need a new fuel pump but cleaner seems to work pretty well. Now that I've repaired so much I'm waivering between trading in and running it into the gound.
    Any advice?
    I swear I don't beat it up. I've had it since 95 and do all the regular maintenance. I just don't know when something else will break and I will have to push it in a dress and heels out of six lanes of traffic again.
  • hersbirdhersbird Posts: 323
    I bet they are not taking into account the low mileage addition (about $700) and are leaving off some options. I realize KBB and Edmunds are not the best source but even my NADA dealer edition march 2000 mountain states lists it about $8300 wholesale (with every option). Then again I see alot of 98 escorts around for about $6500 but they don't have many options or low miles. Try selling it yourself or a consignment lot (many regular new car dealers have a consignment option) they should only charge a $500 fee when it sells.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    sounds like that escort has been a money pit, and may continue to be so....

    believe or not all escorts are not that way!!

    yep, when the timing belt breaks it will leave you stranded... the oil leaks you mentioned,,,, if it is from the cam or crankshaft seal, these leaks can saturate the timing belt with oil and cause the timing belt to fail prematurely..

    you must have nerves of steel to drive an escort on the la freeway in rush hour.... having been on that freeway for the first time in 1995, in rush hour, while on vacation, it was no picnic.....

    if your car would have broken down here in indiana and you were wearing heels and a dress, you would have been overwhelmed with offers of assistance, i am sure.

    i believe i would obtain a newer vehicle for the highway and keep the old escort as my around town beater.

    best wishes,

  • tennessetennesse Posts: 1
    I just purchased a 1995 Escort wagon automatic with 55,000 miles. It seems to me that the transaxle slams when automatically shifting through the gears and when downshifting, is this normal?
  • jplantejplante Posts: 2
    Would it be the same kind of hesitating as when you have the air conditionning ON?
    I have a 97 Escort and the air conditionning is almost always ON; even when Ithought it wasn't. The only 2 positions where the air conditionning isn't ON is the feet position and the vent position.
    I read a post from "BROWN" who was going to check with his dealer to see if this was normal but he never came back with an answer. Too bad!

    PS sorry for my vocabulary, I'm french!
  • jplantejplante Posts: 2
    I have a newly acquired 97 Escort.
    The problem I'm having is that the horn is going on by itself (usually in the middle of the night!!!!!!)occasionally. I went to the dealer and they told me the problem is the rubber on the steering is shrinking when it gets cold causing the horn to go ON. They said it is a relatively common problem.
    The cause being found I thought I was saved (from the neighbors wanting to kill me for waking them up at 1AM) but then they told me the solution is to change the whole middle part of the steering which contains the horn switch and ...the air bag!!!!. Cost: 800$ Cnd +tax + time.

    I took out the fuse and am now driving without a horn!

    Have you ever heard something that ridiculous!
  • My 93 escort wagon is wonderful, but won't warm up. Replaced change. Cooling fan never runs. Was 105 F here recently, and the gage said normal. Not a problem this time of year, but not a treat in the winter. Other than another themostat this weekend, any one faced this one?
    The poor car has had 106,000 miles of abuse and never failed me. It sets at airports for days at a time, then fires up first try. My teenage daughters hate it (not fashionable enough), but I refuse to replace it. No vibrations, brake problems or any of the other problems I read of.
    I'd buy another.
  • Don't recall mine 'slamming'. have 106K and never touched the trans, other than to change fluid once.
  • er3942er3942 Posts: 1
    I'm ready to purchase a 93 Escort Wagon.
    Mi 100000.

    Has anyone run this car for 150000 miles.

    AM advised it is not a long haul car.

    Please respond
  • vickasvickas Posts: 1
    I am ready to purchase a 95 Ford Escort Wagon. It has 50,000 miles, and is in excellent shape (exterior). I have driven it, and it runs well. But who's to say it wont crap out in a month. The dealer wants $6300. Is this a good deal? I'm a little weary about this car because it has such low milage. HELP!!
  • Do it, they are good cars if well maintained
  • brownbrown Posts: 10
    I have posted this problem about a year ago, soon after we bought the wagon. The car has been in for service 3 times now, but it never stalls when they go on a test ride with me, and they say they can't find anything wrong. The car will stall when I am going into first gear from a stop or after backing out of a parking place. The problem occurs more on an incline. That is the only real clue I have, the car might stall a couple times in a 2 to 3 days, then not again for a few weeks. I have learned to rev the engine when I am in neutral, just before I put it in gear. Anyone have any solutions to this?
    JPLANTE, in answer to your question of air conditioning, yes, the vent position for feet and upper body is refrigerated air, that's just how Ford made it. I usually us the vent side to the left of the center for outside air. It actually works out nicely having the cool air on the vent setting, it is just cool enough for most of the days. I have only used the air conditioner settings when the day is over 98 degrees.
  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    ER3942, I have a 93 5 speed wagon with 120k. It runs the same as when new. Never used a drop of oil. I've spoken to fleet owners and dealers and heard they go over 200k. I think the longevity will be determined by the maintenance that has been performed. Good Luck.
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