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Ford Escort Wagon



  • Our 1997 Escort Wagon gets excellent mileage on the highway, around 30-33 mpg, but only about 19 mpg in town, esp. in winter when "oxygenated" gas is mandated in our area, as it is in most metro areas. The additive used here in the Eastern U.S., MTBE, not only reduces gas mileage but pollutes the air and water; research has linked it to cancer and neurologic disorders.
  • cnsjjccnsjjc Posts: 3
    I have a '97 wagon which I purchased as soon as they were available - one of the first off the line. I couldn't be more pleased with its performance and reliability. It now has 74,000 miles and has had no problems except rear spring replacement - probably because I overloaded it several times. Why did Ford stop producing the Escort? Is the Focus wagon as good? Any recommendations for a wagon to supplement and eventually replace my 1997?
  • wendy123wendy123 Posts: 1
    Had my car in for inspection yesterday and it didn't pass due to the fact that both rear coil springs are broken (exact same places). The mechanic informed me that their Ford gararge has seen alot of these in the Escort Wagons. I called a few other Ford garages in the area to inquire about this and they too said the same. Question is "What is Ford doing about this?!" Seems to me if this is occuring so frequently that they should announce a recall. Has anyone written to Ford to complain? I'm planning on doing this myself. Sure would be nice if Ford would announce a recall and save me $240!
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    Well, after reading many messages about the Escort Wagon, I did the deed and purchased a used 1998 5-speed model with 36,000 miles on it. I traded a 1995 Toyota Corolla that had 106,000 miles on it, as we needed more room.

    Outside of a few burn marks and stains in carpet/seats, it appears mechanically sound. However, as I inspected the car from underneath (it was lifted at the dealer's garage) I was concerned about some black colored metal around the bottom of the engine where the transmission housing meets the engine. It looked like some sort of burn, since it was soot black and did not rub off. I also noticed a little dryish dark substance around the bottom of the transmission and suggested to the mechanic that it might have a very small transmission leak. The mechanic said not to worry about it, because the substance wasn't "wet".

    Should I worry? Has anyone seen this before?

  • maryjoe1maryjoe1 Posts: 1
    I'm trying to change the oil on my mom's 98 Escort Wagon, but cannot find the bolt that unscrews from the oil pan to drain out the old oil.

    Could use some direction. Thanks.
  • compensatecompensate Posts: 212
    The owner's manual with my 1998 Escort Wagon showed an incorrect location for this drain plug, which may be causing the confusion.

    If you are lying on your back, lookin up at the bottom of your engine with feet pointing out toward the front of the car, the oil drain plug will be just to your right on the back side of the oil pan (the side of the oil pan facing the rear of the car).


  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    If you don't get a response here soon, you may want to post your question on our Maintenance & Repair Board. Put the word "escort" into the Board Search to see what kind of Ford Escort discussions are on that board.

    Also, you may want to check with the nhtsa website, or to see what kind of complaints, service bulletins, and recalls are listed for your 93 Escort.

    For future reference, you can also find a direct link to the NHTSA's recalls and tsb's in's Safety section. Good luck and please keep us posted.

    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Board

  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    Hi, I've owned a 93 Escort Wagon since August of 92. Mine is a 5 speed. I've had the following repairs:
    Water Pump - 77,000
    Radiator - around 100k
    Tie Rod Ends - 121k
    Ignition - 125k

    Still have the original exhaust. I replaced the original battery in November of 2000. The battery hadn't died, but why push your luck. I live in Rhode Island; didn't feel like jumping the car and then changing the old one in the cold.

    I paid 8,788 for the car. Remember looking at a Corolla Wagon when I bought this car. The Toyota sticker was 16k.No one would the Toyota have been a better purchase from a cost standpoint.

    From what I've heard they are reliable. Not exactly a good performer and some may consider them unrefined, but I'm not going to get rid of mine anytime soon. My A/I still works fine. Car still gets 30 to 35 MPG and I don't baby it.

    If you found one that is well maintained then I wouldn't hesitate buying it. I not aware of anything to look out for.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Happy Motoring! ;-)

    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards
  • My wife and I are considering purchasing an escort wagon 1998 or 1999 model. I have been a Honda owner for the past two decades, but didn't feel like taking out a second mortgage to buy a decent car. We have a 19month old as well as one due in May, thus the wagon. What do you people think? Here in Western New York, I am hoping to spend $8000-9000 on this. Any feedback will be appreciated.
  • mowslawnmowslawn Posts: 11
    I bought my 1995 wagon new in 1996. It is an LX with a 5 speed. It has been extremely reliable. The extra space has been very useful. I have 202,000 miles on it. I drive a lot of highway miles. I have had the radiator and headlight reflectors replaced (they get dim with age). I follow all of the regular maintenance. When I get the camshaft belt replaced, I also get the water pump replaced. The speedometer gets eratic above 60 MPH when it is cold, but it gets better as the car warms. I get mid 30's mileage. The car tends to ping some in warm weather; this may be due to gasoline mixture change by the oil companies in warm weather - so I have to run high test every other tank in warm weather. My original tires lasted about 50K miles. The second set, Goodyear Weatherhandlers, lasted 120,000 miles. The engine, transmission, suspension are all great. I replace all coolant/radiator hoses every 100,000 miles. I expect the car to go another 100K miles at least.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67

    is your escort unstable on the interstate when it is very windy??? my tie rods are new, new struts at 63k. the front end is tight enough to do alignments without a problem. i wonder if there is a worn spot in the power steering rack about midpoint.

    if i get 200k out of my 95(currently at 87k) i would be delighted. i also commute over 100 miles per day to work.

    the jumpy speedo,
    mine does the wavering/noisy thing above 50mph, hot or cold. i have a replacement, waiting on the time to install it.

    see you,

  • mowslawnmowslawn Posts: 11

    I don't notice any problem in windy conditions, but the winds in my area are not that strong. The car is pretty light, so I guess it could get knocked around. I have always had econoboxes, so maybe I just don't notice it.
  • wchauwchau Posts: 2

    I have a 99 Escort Wagon and I am satisfied with my purchase. Here is a short list of the things I like and dislike about my car.

    1. It is small so it is easy to park and it gets good gas mileage.
    2. It has a good reputation for reliability.
    3. It is inexpensive to insure. (Who is going to drive this type of car aggressively?)
    4. It can carry a lot of cargo.
    5. The engine has adequate power.

    1. This car is no hot rod (only 110hp) but I guess if it was a hot rod it would not be very cheap to insure and fuel.
    2. The engine is rough when it is idling and it is pretty noisy when driving at speeds above 70 mph.
    3. The low-beam headlights are not that powerful on a rainy night.
    4. An econobox wagon is not the ideal vehicle to own if you are a single male. :-(

    (But you don't have that problem.)

    mowslawn and lee,

    I have felt my car pushed around by the wind on the freeway on a VERY windy day about three times in my 20 months of Escort ownership but I don't consider it a problem since it happens very infrequently.
  • spectre3spectre3 Posts: 67
    thanks so much for the comments..

    it is nice to see the escort thread isn't completely dead.

    best wishes,

  • I've looked all over and haven't been able to find what all the colors on the back of the radio means for a 91 and a 94 escort. The radio is bad in the 91 and I got a 95 radio, but the clips don't match. Does anybody know what the colors mean EXACTLY? The 94 radio (which I paid $5 for) has more pins in the clip that the 91 does.

    Thanks for reading,

  • pbb98pbb98 Posts: 19
    Red= Power
    Black = Ground
    Yellow= Constant power(for clock and preset stations)
    The rest are speaker wires (2 for each speaker). I forget exactly which wires go to which speaker.
    Does the clip plug directly into the back of the radio? If so, maybe you can get a plug out of a junk yard and match up the wires. A lot of Fords use the radio I think you're talking about so it should be easy to find one. Hope this helps.
  • pocahontaspocahontas Posts: 802
    Thanks for helping dogfacedgrmlin with his radio info.... Happy motoring! ;-)

    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards
  • mowslawnmowslawn Posts: 11

    I think the check engine indicator indicates a possible problem with the emission controls. I think the computer turns this indicator on/off. It could be something very simple or something like the EGR, oxygen sensor, etc. If it continues, I would get it checked since waiting might cause damage.

    mows lawn
  • jazzmusicjazzmusic Posts: 1
    My wife and I recently purchased a silver Tracer wagon with low miles. We are happy with the extra space and the car runs well for an economy car. speeds of 65mph or higher on the freeway it makes a high pitched whistling sound. The sound seems to be coming from the passenger side door (either the door or the window). Has anyone else experienced this? Any idea what might be causing it?
  • mowslawnmowslawn Posts: 11
    jazz music,

    I have never had that problem, but I can try a guess. The sealing material around the door might have a hole or break. You might be able to find this using a garden hose. The window may not close completely. Actually, my window whistles sometimes at high speed when it is not completely closed. Spray water around the edges, and see if any comes in. Then seal that place. Good luck.

    mows lawn
  • bgluthbgluth Posts: 1
    I am thinking about buying a minivan so I was doing some research and decided to check the Escort board. My wife and I purchased our 96 LX wagon new. It has the 5 speed manual transmission and I put Thule roof racks on it even though it had a factory rack. The car now has 72,000 miles on it and runs great. I commute to work in it regularly. It has been very reliable and averages about 30 miles per gallon.

    There was a redesign in the early 90's (When the body style changed). Most people that I know who have had the newer design have had very good luck with their escorts if they took care of them. Although most of them agree that the pre 97 automatics are slugs (Get a manual transmission!) I am encountering people that have 200,000 miles on their escorts and the cars are holding up well. I wouldn't buy an escort from before that redesign.

    We have had a few very minor problems and one other problem. The very minor problems were all body hardware problems such as door moulding becoming unglued, a plastic seatbelt guide broke, and the rubber shroud around the stick shift slipped down about 1/2 an inch and won't stay up. The broken seatbelt guide may have been our fault.

    The other problem was that the window gear wasn't installed right and needed to be reinstalled. (The window was difficult to roll up.) This problem was quickly fixed under warranty and has been fine since. I have had to have the car aligned several times but from what I can tell most small cars are knocked out of alignment easily

    I was very apprehensive about buying this car since it is the first and only econobox I have purchased (We own many other cars to compare it with.) I did a lot of research and found out that for the money they are pretty good cars. Sedans in the price range were so small that you could fill up the trunks with one baby stroller. I paid $10,900 including tax and license.

    I have read that the front end design will cause some front end parts to wear sooner than in more expensive cars, but supposedly the replacement costs are not too bad.

    I am not sure what other people are doing to their cars to cause the rear springs to break, but I have had no problem. However, I realize that the car is not a pick up truck. I do haul stuff (a dog, ladders, kyaks, lumber, roofing, tools, sacks of concrete) with it but I don't overload it, and I certainly don't pull anything with it. I do have all of the routine and preventative maintenance done.

    I don't abuse it but don't always baby it either.

    In conclusion, I have taken good care of the car and it has been very reliable, very inexpensive, and very practical, however I wouldn't want to drive across the country in it (I am over 6'1".) I would definitely buy another one as far as quality and reliability are concerned, but I probably won't, because I will get something larger when it needs replacing.
  • escort93escort93 Posts: 2

    I bought a 1993 Escort wagon (AT) two month ago. It has 130,000 miles.
    The car runs good but I have a problem, when I run above 60 mph and hit the auto cruise after 30 seconds the engine is loosing power. It's like the fuel supply not right in the engine and the speed decrease. I don't know why. I have replaced the fuel filter recently but it still happens again. Maybe the fuel contaminated with water in the tank?
    Please give me some advices about this one.

    My front windshield has some cracks, Do you know how much the cost for repair it? I live in Seattle, WA.

    Thank you very much for you help.

  • mowslawnmowslawn Posts: 11
    Sorry, I can't help you with the cruise control.

    If I was planning on keeping a car, and it had cracks in the windshield, I would probably get the windshield replaced. A cracked windshield might break more easily - a dangerous thing, and cracks tend to run. The last time I had a windshield replaced, the prices ran about $150 to above $300. It pays to shop around. I think I got mine replaced at SafeTLite.

  • I own a 92 Escort LX wagon. I would like to update the radio to include either a cassette or CD player. What would be the price range for product/installation? Is it a do-it-yourself project? Thanks.
  • pbb98pbb98 Posts: 19
    isabelquinones: A cassette player can cost as little as $50 or so while a fancy CD player can cost $400 or $500 so it really depends on what you want. A nice CD player should be easily under $200 though. Crutchfield is a good place to see what is out there and how much it costs. I think installation usually costs like $20 or $30 but it's pretty easy to do yourself.

    escort93: Did you try posting your problem in a Maintenance & Repair topic?

  • pbb98pbb98 Posts: 19
    I was wondering if anyone knows of any reasonably priced aftermarket rear coil springs for a '93 Escort wagon that hold up better then the stock ones. I have broken two of them in the two years that I have owned the car and I understand that it is not uncommon for them to break, especially on the wagons. Thanks in advance for any help.
  • escort93escort93 Posts: 2
    I have original speakers in my Escort 93 and the front speaker (left) has broken. I want to replace it with the original one.
    I've been looking at many stores but I have no luck.
    Do you know where I can find it?
    When does the water pump need to be replaced? mine has 138,000 mileages and no problem so far.

  • riswamiriswami Posts: 192
    My pump was replaced at 77,000. The bearings froze.
    It gave me plenty of warning - but I didn't get to the mechanic in time. The timing belt also drives the water pump. You may want to consider replacing it when you have the timing belt replaced. The mechanic will be right there. Or you can take a chance and leave it alone. Who knows it may go forever.
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