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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All -
Haven't been to this site for quite a while and forgot my original login name. Anyways, hopefully all of you experts can figure this one out. I have a 2002 Escape XLT with the Vortec. Recently, I've noticed that the truck seems to really battle hills and bogs down and usually downshifts one or two gears to make the hill. Then the RPM's race of course from downshifting. It basically struggles, especially on highway hills and/or passing. It never did this since the time I bought it new. When maintaining speed though, it works fine, its only when going up a hill or trying to pass somebody. It idles fine and has no hesitation and/or missing when on a flat road, even when starting out from a stop sign, although it doesn't seem like it has the power it used to have when accelerating from a stop. I'm thinking maybe a PCV valve or fuel filter or something. I did replace the stock air filter system in 2003 when a open style K&N cone filter (cold air intake) but that's been fine all these years. I'm thinking of getting rid of that assembly and putting the original stock system back on to see if there's a difference. Any other ideas or comments on it maybe being a fuel filter or PCV valve or something. I don't know much about cars but these are the obvious things that strike me. Thanks in advance for any help! If I take it to the dealer and try to describe my issue, they'll probably wanna do test after test and I'll have a $500 bill.
Dave
 

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when was the last time you cleaned yoru air filter? and replaced your fuel filter? i would start there, tahts the cheapest start point. then after that, park plugs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hello. Thanx for the reply. I forgot to mention that the truck has about 72k on it. I don't believe the fuel filter was ever changed or the spark plugs. I replaced the cone filter for the cold air intake last year. I'm thinking of maybe going back to the stock system that came in the truck. Is the fuel filter one of those deals being inside the fuel tank or is it easy for the owner to change?
 

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JP posted a How-To here: viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1820

The fuel filter is somewhere around the bottom of the driver's side rear door. As you will have your ribcage right under the pinch weld seam, make sure you use a proper jack and jack stand - not what comes with the spare tire. Chock your front passenger tire to be safe.

The tricky part is with the plastic clips. When you buy your fuel filter, you will likely get two new clips with it - with mine, the two new clips were identical but my Escape uses two different clips for the inlet and outlet clamps. One clip is easy to figure out by looking at the new clips, but the other one took some poking at with a small screwdriver to get it to disconnect. Make sure you have a good light source and enough room to get your head in and look at it carefully.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just checked my records after I wrote the last reply. I forgot that I DID have the 60k tune up/service about a year ago and the dealer replaced the fuel filter, trans fluid and filter, cabin air filter, checked all linkages/hoses, and all that. The only thing I didn't have them do was replace the air filter because at that time, I had just replaced my cone filter with a new one to work with my cold air intake. So I guess it can't be the fuel filter.
 

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are you sure they changed your tranny filter? cause you have to tear quite a bit of crap off to change it eh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Its hard for me to decipher the codes they have on the paperwork, but I believe they changed the fuel filter and trans filter since both are listed as being replaced at the 60k tune up/check up and that's what I told them to do. The bill wasn't cheap either.
 

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if you can scan it and post a pic of your service list, i might be able to help you decipher it lol.
 

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just upload it to photo bucket or something, and then im sure between the hundreds of members we can figure it all out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
thanx to everyone for the help. If its not the fuel filter, could it be the spark plugs and/or wires? It runs / idles fine when at a stop or maintaining speed on a flat road. Just during heavy acceleration, it sounds like the engine gets really loud and sometimes goes into high rpms from downshifting. Weird. When I had it in for inspection around Xmas, nothing was found. I'm thinking maybe somethings up with the air filter possibly? they didn't touch that since I told them not to. I replaced my old cone filter with what I was told was an exact replacement. But since those things get air from under the hood, instead of outside with the stock air assembly that I took off, maybe something is goofed up there, although I don't know what.
 

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Do you have the itemised receipt from the shop? What you posted was just a generic maintenance schedule from their computer - they may have done more or less. According to that schedule, the 60k job does not include transmission fluid (no one would change the transmission filter - it would be about $300 in labour alone). However, the 150k mile service recommended by that schedule is no good. 60k miles is a good time for a complete fluid change, and I would do a drain-and-fill every 15k miles otherwise.

Are you sure the idle is perfect? It might be the EGR valve, which when stuck open will cause misfires on idle and while under heavy load. Sometimes a slight misfire at idle can't be noticed unless you watch the engine for that stumbling vibration. The EGR valve should never open during idle - on a cold engine, check that the EGR valve body does not heat up from exhaust gases while idling the engine. At most it should become a bit warm as it soaks in heat.

A completely failed EGR valve should set a code, but a dirty one that is partially stuck open may fall through the cracks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I just checked the link. There are two pics on the site. The first is the itemized checklist for the 60k checkup. The second one is the itemized receipt with pricing from the dealer. Can't you see it? I can see it here from work. Let me know.
 

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Okay, I found the second picture. Looks like you got an oil change, fuel filter change, and transmission fluid change, along with a standard inspection. Not sure what that last "91004 TRANS SERV" item is - chemical flush?

The EGR valve is easy to change; the tutorial is one of the shortest articles in that section: http://www.escape-city.com/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=17

The valve itself is not very cheap, so I would test it before replacing it. Even if it is bad, try cleaning it first.
 

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i was looking at that, and im guessing its a chemical flush as well, ford did one to my escape, and it cost me 200 bucks CDN.
 

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I dont know if you fixed your problem or not but the same thing happened to me and I couldn't figure out what it was, after a couple months it would run for very long. Found out that the front converter melted and blocked the exhaust, after that the 2nd one did the same and then the 3rd on went. Needless to say all 3 are now gone and its quicker and getting better mpg, and I dont have any codes for the front converters
 

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Greycougar said:
I dont know if you fixed your problem or not but the same thing happened to me and I couldn't figure out what it was, after a couple months it would run for very long. Found out that the front converter melted and blocked the exhaust, after that the 2nd one did the same and then the 3rd on went. Needless to say all 3 are now gone and its quicker and getting better mpg, and I dont have any codes for the front converters
What Cougar said.

The Buick behaved just as you described, bad cat. :bill: GM had an extended warranty thing just for that part... known to fail? Replaced under warranty.

As for me it was probably caused by too much WOT, torquey little Buick, hard not too. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi All,
Over the past few years, my airbag light has been coming on intermittently. I've just been disconnecting the harness under the driver seat and disconnecting the battery and assuring that there is nothing rolling around the seats causing the sensor to trip. It came on again yesterday and there is nothing under the seats. I'm reluctant to take the truck into the dealer for a check cuz I'm sure it will cost me all of $, but at the same time, I don't want there to be a safety hazard with the airbag coming out while my wife is driving the truck. Opinions on what else to check before taking in? I appreciate anyone's input! Thanks in advance.
Dave
 
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