Ford Escort ZX2



  • bopherbopher Member Posts: 8
    I can't tell you about the transmission filter but I will tel you defintaly spend the money on a special removal tool for the fuel filter. I have a 98 Escort ZX2 that I tried the regular pull the filter and replace and found out after a $1400 fix that I needed the tool to keep all the little washers and stuff down inside the fuel line. I started smelling gas when I drove the thing and when I looked I was pumping gas all over the place. Without those washers you need a complete fuel line replacement from the filter to the gas tank.
  • bopherbopher Member Posts: 8
    I am wondering out there if anyone ahs had this problem, I have a 98 ZX2 and the thing runs great. Unfortuanly I was driving home from work tonight and my electrical systems started going on and off at different times. It seemed to get better after a few minutes but when I let it idle in my parking lot the headlights looked like they were dimming then coming back up. In the past I have had to have the alternator replace 3 other times, 1st was the original I would assume, 2nd was the replace ment fro the first one cause it was bad, 3rd I didn myself because I was tired of taking it to a mechanic to be looked at. So I'm hoping that this is another problem that mayeb ruining the Alternators I put in and I need to fix the other problem first then worry about the alt. any ideas out there?
  • ClairesClaires Member Posts: 1,222
    Bopher, you might also want to post your question in our Electronic Gremlins: Electrical Problems That Are Driving You Crazy discussion in the Maintenance & Repair Forum.

    ClaireS, Host


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  • tshottstshotts Member Posts: 1
    I have two Escorts both 1998 one is a SE and the other is a ZX2 would like to swap engines from the ZX2 to the SE Was wondering what is involed in terms of the the eletronics/computer. Can I just swap computers? or is there more to it?
  • swickdogswickdog Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone know where the fuse is for the A/C fan? I can't find it in either fuse box. Am I missing something? My fan isn't working and I'm hoping like crazy it's just a fuse.
  • ClairesClaires Member Posts: 1,222
    Swickdog, you might also want to post your question in the Climate Control Problems: All Cars or Electronic Gremlins: Electrical Problems That Are Driving You Crazy" discussions.


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  • solocal999solocal999 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 Zx2. When i bought it originally the starter was having problems, took it to the dealer and they redid the wiring but never actually fixed the problem, a year later my starter went and i got that replaced. 9 months later and im driving and sulfur smoke starts pouring out of my steering colum. I pulled over to the side of the road and turned it off, thats when the fire started, the steering colum got fryed and luckily i was a block away from a fire dept. The dealer told me it was a ignition switch, then promptly told me the cost to fix it, i did my research and saw that they had fires from ignition switches in escorts 88-94. I want somebody to be held responsible and the dealer is being a typical dealer. any information on anyone having similar problems or avenues for getting some sort of settlement would be greatly appreciated.
  • slim6slim6 Member Posts: 1
    Swickdog i had the same problem with my ac fan, in a 94 escort wagon. I kept losing power whenever i turned any of the heating/cooling controls on. Eventually my car started smoking and i had a mech. disable the fan to the ac. Now after about three weeks of making a loud sound when i went to start my car at lunch it would not turn over. it sounds like it wants to start but it just won't. i have a half of tank of gas in it and jsut replaced the air filter. Does anyone have any idieas, because i really do not want to pay for a tow.
  • rick25rick25 Member Posts: 1
    Anyone know what the typical problem is with a cruise control unit that won't turn on in a '98 ZX-2? The switches sound like they're working, but nothing happens, no dash indicator, no pedal response. I checked the fuses under the dash but dont know where to go next. Please email me with any tips... Thanks
  • ClairesClaires Member Posts: 1,222
    Please don't encourage other members to email you with the information -- otherwise, those who are reading here won't be able to benefit from the answer. Sharing in the discussion is what makes this Forum a rich resource for you and others.



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  • 99zx299zx2 Member Posts: 1
    Whenever I get up to 3000-4000 rpm, which is often when I am trying to merge into 60 MPH traffic, the check battery light comes on and the lights dim. Advanced Auto said that I needed a new alternator, but the car ended up in the garage for a bad sensor and the mechanic said that the alternator was fine. The car starts fine, and as soon as I let off the gas and dip under 3000 RPMs the car recovers.
  • artemaiartemai Member Posts: 1
    My 2000 ZX2 has recently decided that when i get into the car and turn it on, that the gear shift initially does not let me change gears. I depress the brakes and try to change gears, but the button wont depress. So, I usually sit with my foot on the brake for a little bit, then try again, and it will work. Could this be an automatic transmission fluid problem?
  • cozadzx2cozadzx2 Member Posts: 2
    I've had my z for about 4 months. It has 51,000 on it now. I think that I have some roughed-up front bearings. Has anyone ever changed these on your own, or is this something that I want to take to a shop?
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    Coz: Please be more specific. What "front bearings " are you talking about ? Suspension, CV axel or what ?

  • cozadzx2cozadzx2 Member Posts: 2
    CV axel...I'm not sure if there are 2 bearings like on a rear wheel drive car or what. Might have to bite the bullet on this one and take it to the shop. Other than this, I love my little car. I've been able to squeeze 40MPG out of it a couple times, which makes me very happy!!
  • clickclick Member Posts: 2
    I recently traded in my 98 ZX2, but it also did this. I found that I had to push it forward to kinda make it stick past park and then I was able to get it working. Drove me nuts for several months, but it eventually got better. I had the transmission checked and it wasn't it, but did figure out it happened more in heat than any other time. It eventually stopped but it cause me to say some choice words there for awhile. :)

    I loved that car, bought it new and when I traded her in she had 177,900 miles on her! The only thing not factory was the tint, Ungo alarm and remote start. She was in darn good shape and I while I definitely was ready for a new ride, I do miss her. :D

  • shareonshareon Member Posts: 1
    I need a transportation for around town & found this 92 tracer wgn for $900 it seems to be quiet enough & drives well, the miles say 69000 but i suspect it's actually 169.000, he claims that it's not over there anyway for me to know if it's rolled over? he also claims to have replaced main bearings, front CV axel, brakes & one of those front springs for the suspension.If i take it to a shop will they be able to confirm his replacment information for me. I know little to nothing about car's & am attempting to avoid a money pit or a lemon. Thank You.
  • naatz1naatz1 Member Posts: 188
    Two weeks ago (3 weeks before HS graduation which my 18 yr old son got the car for) he was stopped and got hit hard from the back. The kid was shook up but not hurt bad, the ZX2 is still drivable but believe it or not just because the back part of the right frame member was creased it went from a $1500 bumper fix to $5000 and being TOTALLED....argh. :cry: It took us 3 mons for find this nice car. Anyway, we plan to try and fix it up to look a little nicer at least as he really like the car and we do not have the time to search for another one, but my question is:

    Has anyone ever replaced or fixed the drivers seat recliner latch on this 2 door ZX2?

    Somehow that got sprung and it's irrititating as it is either fully straight up or totally flat back, nothing in between. I can find many 4 door Escorts in the local junk yards but the recliner does not look the same, probably since the 2 dr allows move ahead and rear seat entry. So far no hits on internet used parts either. The dealer wants $130 for a new recliner ... any ideas on how to fix or where to find a junk 98-01 Escort ZX2? :confuse:
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    naatz: Most decent "recyclers" ( nice name for junkyard LOL ) are connected to a national internet that can locate the part you need IF there are any. Big Bubbas junk yard down by the tracks is not gonna be of any help unless they just happen to have one sitting back there by that 1965 AMC Hornet !

  • halomanhaloman Member Posts: 1
    I'm having the same problem with my ZX2. I was in a mild accident last week, and ever since, it's been doing the exact same thing you described. If you did figure it out, drop me a line at [email protected]
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Better yet, if a solution is known, let's ask 99zx2 to post it here for the benefit of all of our members. When questions are answered in email, everyone else in the discussion loses in the opportunity to learn and benefit from the exchange.
  • prjktredrubiprjktredrubi Member Posts: 1
    I need to replace the alternator on my sister's 98 ZX2 and I can't figure out how to take the tension off of the drive belt. I have tried to get a socket or wrench on both of the idler pulleys and have had no luck with that. Any of your help would be great....and Ford sure makes a crappy car.
  • beastzx2beastzx2 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 zx2, and the only problem I've had with it is that there is a squeaky loud noise when I turn the wheel, and it is more promenant when it is wet outside. I've had people tell me the strut bushings are bad, somethings wrong with the steering and that it just needs to all be lubed up. So I'm trying the lube thing tomorow morning hoping that will fix it, cause it is one ugly sound. Oh and the steering sticks, if I turn one way pretty sharp like a corner it will pull that way, so when I'm stopped at a light I have to turn the wheel to straighten it out. Any ideas?
    I was reading about the idle problem people have, I have 51,000 miles on mine and I haven't seemed to notice any idle problem. Did they fix it before my year?
  • crash72crash72 Member Posts: 1
    Anyone have a clue about slapping either a factory, or aftermarket cruise control on a 2001 ZX2??
    All I have found is an Audiovox aftermarket C/C kit and I'm not a fan of Audiovox products.
    Btw, why the hell would Ford give me power mirrors and A/C, but not C/C and A/C???

    Also, so some of you know, I've been told by 6 differant tire shops in town that you can NOT go any bigger than 185/60/R14 tires on these ZX2's because of front shock tower clearance.
  • lindsay1lindsay1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1999 zx2..It seems like I have had nothing but problems with the car. I love the way it looks and the way it handles too, but.. it seems to be shifting really hard, it takes a lot of effort to shift it. It doesn't go into reverse very well and when the weather is just right the car drives like a top. It shifts nicely, it revs nicely.. I don't know what to do. Does anyone know what to do about the shifting problem?
    Also it has a lot of vibration.
    I'm getting really frustrated with my car.
  • mark58mark58 Member Posts: 4
    My friend is moving out of state & selling his '98 & I'm considering buying it. It's an auto. trans. w/83K miles. He's owned it a year. Has had no problems. What might go wrong soon? Any typically chronic recurring problems w/this car? With proper care, how many more miles might this car have in it? Have heard these cars are fairly reliable. Appreciate your informed opinions.
  • hjc23hjc23 Member Posts: 1
    Hello, I need help in replacing the serpentine belt on a 1998 Escort ZX2. I am attempting to replace the alternator for a friend but I am perplexed at how to deal with the automatic tensioners. Can anyone tell me how to get the belt back in place? Do I need special tools? Your help is much appreciated - thanks!
  • bopherbopher Member Posts: 8
    I had to replace the alternator on my '98 escort and I ran into the same problem. I found the easiest way to get the belts off was to put the car on ramps, then one person crawls underneath, if you look carefully you can see one pulley is on an arm. Using a socket wrench you should be able to push the pully up toward the hood while another person from above grabs the belt and pulls it off to the side. it shoudl come right off. getting the belt back on though took myself pushing the pulley back up after laying the belts out next to the pulleys and my wife and her sister pulling on the belt to get it back onto the system. Hope this helps you out.
  • bopherbopher Member Posts: 8
    check for a relay. I have been having problems with the blinkers on my '98 zx2 and I looked everywhere for a fuse for them. then I found out that its a relay that was up under the driver side dashboard. If you look up under there you should see a blue box connected on the side of an off white plastic box. you'll have to really look around for it but the nut that holds the whole thing up is against the firewall, undo that and you should be able to pull the whole relay holder down. If i remember right there was an A/C relay on there but check it out. hope it helps.
  • bopherbopher Member Posts: 8
    check out the explination i left for prjktredrubi, I hope I got everything in there you need. No special tools that i know of.
  • donaldo88donaldo88 Member Posts: 1
    I've had some of these Tracers and Escorts that my kids and I drive. They run a long time if maintained, but they're not fussy like a VW or SAAB. New main brgs a major thing. Either it was run out of oil or it had maybe 269K on it. Salvage Escorts are so common it wd make more sense to put in a salvage engine than to do this kind of work. Likewise CV jts should not go out in only 69K. Brakes are not a clue. Sounds beat. Can't you find a 95 -up for about the same $$? You'll find the next number place on the odometer. I sure wouldn't buy an old car like this with an automatic, unless I got it for $300 and was ready to crush it when something went wrong.
  • ninja4her26ninja4her26 Member Posts: 1
    Hey my 99 ZX2 has 114K on it i did not have that much go wrong with it. Except for regular maintaince like oil change, fuel filter and tune up. I however do have my check engine ligh that is always on i think due to an O2 sensor. It still runs great.
  • lorenzo1lorenzo1 Member Posts: 1
    I just boughty my daughter a 2002 ZX2. it;s her first car and she will pay for the insurance and gas. 'Supposedly', the dealer gave her a full tank of gas when we picked it up. I did not personally check the fuel gauge. She has only has it four days and says the fuel gauge reads just under 1/2. With the high cost of gas these days, she is concerned about the mileage she might get. What do you other ZX2 owners get for mileage? Thanks
  • jdavilajdavila Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 Ford Escort Zx2 and has 75,000 miles in it. I have had it for two years and just recently the Service signal just came on. When do you do a tune -up.
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    idavila:That signal does not mean it is tune-up time. It could be as simple as a loose gas cap, a plug misfire, malfunctioning injector or just a ambient "glitch" that set the code in the ob computer.

    Actual "tune-ups" on the newer cars really only consists of new plugs and possibly cleaning the injectors. I would be more concerned as to whether the timing belt has ever been replaced ( bet it hasn't) and at 75K you'd better at least have it checked. A failed belt can destroy the engine or at the least strand you somewhere on a dark and stormy night. Been there ,done that !!

  • madd_manmadd_man Member Posts: 1
    I have a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 and the right speakers have a crakeling problem what whould cause this? I allready changed the speakers so it's not that.everything is stock
  • norknork Member Posts: 1
    The 4 way flasher and tail lite have to be replaced. I did the tail lite easy but i cant find the flasher. I can hear it but i cant see it. Can anyone tell me what it looks like, what color it is? I got a standard aluminum colored flasher from Canadian tire but i dont know if that would work. They have the type with 2 and 3 pins on it, i got the 2 pin. Will this work? I sure need help finding the existing one!
  • ford99ford99 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 99 ford escort zx2 auto trans. and i purchased is 6 months ago with a 101 thousand miles on it and it was shaking when i got it. My whole car is shaking pretty bad on idle and shifts hard when i accelerate. one mechanic said it was my mounts and another one said it wasnt the mounts he said it was a engine miss and needs a tune up. what could it be? i hope it doesn't cost a lot of money to fix the problem.
  • cdhmcdhm Member Posts: 1
    Had to have my wife's 2000 ZX2 towed in to the shop today. The check engine light had been on a few months, but the shop told me it was because of a faulty O2 sensor. Was driving it then all of a sudden steering gets tight, radio clock and other interior items start to dim, all lights in the driving console flash on (seat belt, engine, gas lights, etc.). And vehicle gives out. I pushed it to lot, let it sit a few mins. and then restarted....looked and sounded fine, but drove maybe 100 yds and same thing happens again. Shop tells me the main culprits are idler and tensioner pulleys and a busted vacuum hose. Anyone with similar experiences or advice. 6 more payments to go, but no real prior problems with car (90K miles).
  • beliverbeliver Member Posts: 155
    Ford99: Don't know if you have gone back and read a lot of the old posts for the ZX2 but rough idle (shaking0 WAS (IS) A major complaint for almos all years of production. Motor mounts did account for some of this but most posters thart replaced the mounts said it helped some but did not solve the problem entirely. Cars with higher mileage seem to suffer the most from the "shakes"

    My son had a 2001 ZX and it always had a rough idle since new but got worse as the miles built up. At about 48K it got so bad he finally dumped it. He tried ALL the supposed "fixes" including the motor mounts. Nothing really worked.

    I was going to buy a ZX2 back when my son did but out of the 4 or 5 I test drove they all shook @ idle. I had been used to Honda engines and of course was spoiled for their smoothe operation. Even the company vehicles our service techs drove ( Cavs & Sunfires with the Ecotech motors) were a lot better than the Ford engine in the ZX2.

    The most the Ford people could suggest for the problem was "you'll just have to learn to live with it" Bill Ford can blame a lot of lost sales on that motor for sure.

  • john1977john1977 Member Posts: 4
    I have 83000 miles on my cool ZX2 and had a water leak(?) which led to blowing the head gasket. Now when I crank the engine, water shoots out the radiator cap - is this due to leaking compression into the water jacket? And could anyone tell me some insight into this leak?
  • john1977john1977 Member Posts: 4
    My 1998 ZX2 was a great car, and still is, except it sprang a water leak in the waterpump housing, had to take off the exhaust and power steering pump to fix it with some JB weld, it held up great until another leak occured, a different location. This caused the temp guage to read cold, til the head gasket blew from overheating. Aside from these mysterious leaks it was a great car...has 83000 miles.

    :sick: :confuse: :cry:
  • john1977john1977 Member Posts: 4
    Question for anyone - I have a 98 escort ZX2 Cool model and the engine had two water leaks occur, one at the waterpump housing(the large aluminum peice that the pump bolts two) and a second which caused the engine to overheat and the head gasket blow. The second leak was hard to detect and since the low water did not cause the temp gauge to rise, led to the car's demise. Anyone know about this? Also why would this cause water to shoot out the radiator cap during engine cranking? Thanks :sick: :confuse:
  • miryammiryam Member Posts: 1
    my 1998 ford escort zx2 will not start in weather below 55 degrees, it cranks but will not catch, i have had people say it is the crankshaft sensor, the battery, and the air charge sensor. the battery is still goo, i took it to sears to get tested, the battery had just turned 12 months old 2 days before that.
  • chezellechezelle Member Posts: 1
    My 1998 Ford Escort runs great except for an intermittant squeal or screech that no mechanic has been able to fix. I've had it to one regular mechanic who thought it was the transmission, a transmission guy who said it wasn't but didn't know what it was and to two Ford Dealers - one who blew me off saying it didn't make the noise long enough to pin point so unless I wanted to pay a technician by the hour he couldn't help me,and the 2nd one told me he was certain it was the IAC Valve. He replaced that and said the noise immediately stopped. Unfortunately the noise continues. The squeal doesn't start until the car is warmed up about 5 minutes or so and it continues to make this horrid screech whether I'm sitting in idle or driving - with or without the air conditioner on. The pitch of the squeal also changes along with the engine RPM. It will also make the noise about a second or so after you turn the engine off and what's weird is I can look at the pulleys after a friend cuts the car off and it will make the noise about a second AFTER the pulleys and serpentine belt have completely stopped turning. After seeing this I thought it may be the electric fan because it was the only thing that was still turning after the engine completely stopped turning but I disconnected it and the car still makes the screech. So whatever it is, is still turning some AFTER the motor/belt/pulleys have stopped. What could be still turning after the motor has stopped besides the fan?? Can anyone help diagnose???? Help!
  • click23click23 Member Posts: 3

    What you have is a clogged up crankcase breather filter. This is a $10-15 dealer part, and it takes about 2 min to change. Crankcase Breather Filter In that link it is the cylinder to the right of the red arrow. It is on the top rear of the drivers side of the valve cover. This noise drove several months and well over $500 trying to figure out what it was. You can check by taking the one that is on your car off and try to blow through it. If it is hard to do that then its time go go get another one. Write down the part number and take it to the service desk at your local parts store and you should be good to go. Let me know if you need anymore help.

    Robert :shades:
  • born7born7 Member Posts: 2
    Hello maby you guys can help me a little?
    I just bought my 98zx2 two days ago and it has some problems
    granted I got it for $2,000 but it supposedly has only
    60K miles on it... the service engine light came on today
    and my cold/heater nob rotates as though it's hooked up to nothing? it's a base modle, plus I had the oil changed
    and the guy put 4.5 qrts in the engine seems like too much?
    And he told me that it needs a new transmission gasket?
    do you know the cost of that? part and labor?
  • born7born7 Member Posts: 2
    Oh And he showed ne the leak in the tranmission between
    the engine and the transmission from underneath.

  • dover471dover471 Member Posts: 1
    Did you get it fixed yet...same thing happened to me today with my 2002 Ford ZX2...

    After getting the code from Autozone, took it to an auto repair shop, and they didnt really think it was that big of a deal...
  • maurice99maurice99 Member Posts: 2
    Chezelle and Robert:

    I also have the EXACT same squeal/screech noise. However, I replaced the pcv valve and it still makes the same noise. The 1998 ZX2 does not have a Crankcase Breather Filter - at least that is what the dealer said when I tried to buy the part (I also could not find one in my Chilton's Repair Manual).

    It is interesting to note that the noise goes away completely when I pull out the PCV Valve and just let it hang outside of its receptacle. So, it looks like the hose is blocked somewhere between the PCV Valve and its terminus. The hose goes up under the intake and I can't quite seem to figure out where it ends. In any case, I can't find any type of filter that might be clogged.

    Any help someone can provide would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance for you help,

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