2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

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2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby firefour - April 26th, 2012, 5:01 pm

I have a 2003 Ford Escape Limited that at about 35,000 miles the dealer replaced the catalytic converter and said it was clogged. Now at 70,000 miles the rear catalytic converter is clogged and also 3 bolts are broken on the rear exhaust manifold. This will require replacement of both exhaust manifolds and the rear catalytic converter. Being the bolts are snapped the head needs to be removed to get the broken studs out. This repair is in the area of 4K. The mechanic said alot of Ford Escapes and Tributes have had problems of this type. Does anyone know of a recall or class action suit on this? Anyone else experiance these issues. I believe the two cats front and rear exhaust manifold and the EGR valve are also being replaced. This hasn't been the best of vehicles tranny also went 500 miles out of warranty and was rebuilt by a friend who owns a tranny shop.
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Re: 2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby shadow2f5 - April 26th, 2012, 7:01 pm

I have an 05 XLT. I had the same type of problem with mine. Although it was my own fault. Put off changing spark plugs, didn't have the funds to replace coil packs, bank 2 cat overheated, disintegrated, then clogged the third cat. Took it to midas. they told me that all the aftermarket cats were not properly manufactured and I had to take it to the Ford. I took it to Ford. They quoted me at around $3000.00 and there were no recalls that could be applied. And they also told me that the cats were on "NATIONAL GALACTIC BACK ORDER". Long story short I found an honest mechanic, who advised me that if I used an aftermarket cat it probably wouldn't work however did some research to figure out which after market cat had the highest probably of working best, charged me $800 to replace the Bank 2 cat. I hollowed out the third cat (which I was still able to pass NJ emissions inspection because there are no sensors connected to the third cat). And I had to replace the flex pipe in front of the main cat because all the back pressure from the third cat caused it to expand. 6 months later and still no engine light, and no other issues with the exhaust other than a whistling noise when the engine is revved between 3500 and 4500 RPM's.

Hope this helps.
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Re: 2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby Linna - April 26th, 2012, 7:28 pm

Let's see, 70,000 miles on a 2003 Escape, approx. 9-10 years old. Quick calculation, 7-8000 miles per year. I'm guessing if it's daily driven, the trips are quite short in distance. Short trips=cold cats, not enough time to heat up and burn off deposits. Probably gives off funny smell too.
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Re: 2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby firefour - April 26th, 2012, 10:15 pm

Car has had plenty of highway driving and when the first cat was replaced by the dealer the car was well used. Mechanic has seen alot this with Escapes and Tributes. This shouldn't happen and a cat shouldn't be clogged at 36000 miles. The relatively low mileage is because it is a 3rd car for us.
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Re: 2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby coloradoescape - April 27th, 2012, 12:29 am

I've got an 03 Limited with the V6 and at 112,000 miles I'm going through something similar.

My front manifold broke at the flanges and $700 later it is fixed. That was me buying the part through Pepboys and having a local muffler shop do the labor.
My back manifold is also leaking, probably due to missing bolts and a small crack, but unlike last time, this time I ordered the part from Partsgeeks and saved about $85.

The replacement manifolds are made by Dorman, (my muffler mechanic recommended them) and the part numbers are 674-830 and 674-831. Cost is about $365 each (buying from any place else such as Pepboys, Autozone, Advance Auto Parts, or O'Reilly and the price is $439 minimum, more if it has to be special ordered and guess what brand they order.... yep Dorman.

The rear manifold is harder to replace than the front as other parts have to be removed to make it easier to get out.

If the main cat was clogged that happened because the O2 sensors were saying that the cylinders were burning lean and so more gas was dumped into the engine making the exhaust even hotter and melting the precats which in turn ruins the main cat.

One last thing..... neither of these manifolds are CA legal.
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Re: 2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby rfrank3434 - June 19th, 2012, 6:59 am

I just bought a used limited 2003 with 70000 and long story short Im gonna need cats. Firefour do you by chance know which brand of cats you bought? this is my 3rd escape but first problem with the cats, I guess Ive been lucky.
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Re: 2003 Ford Escape V6 Exhaust and Cat Problems

Postby coloradoescape - June 19th, 2012, 9:25 am

I bought the Dorman manifold/cats when I had this done. Online you should be able to find them for about $360 each.

The part numbers you want are 674-830 and 674-831.

(See my posting above, also.)
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