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I have a 2.3 2008 (bought it used back in 2010). These engines (2.3 & 2.5) are prone to Idler Pulley breaking off due to owners' errors. There are Duratec engines that get past 300K+ without any issues on Idler Pulley breaking off and there are some that have been very problematic. There are a lot of discussions on these in all Ford forums with 2.3 & 2.5 Duratec engines & no one seems to know or pin point where the problem is coming from. Some suggested & made modifications to the Idler pulley's bolt to a much bigger (grade) bolt but the Idler Pulley still keeps on breaking. Some blame the Ford engineers. Some filed for a class action law suit. Some got frustrated, sold their vehicles & cursed "I will never buy a Ford, again"

I had the Idler Pulley broke once at around 60K+ miles and I pin pointed the problem to the Power Steering Pump "Upon Start Up" of the engine, MOST ESPECIALLY AT COLD START UPS. You see, I have the habit of my hand resting or holding the steering wheel while I start the engine. One slight movement of your hand (left hand) to the steering wheel causes a POWER STEERING PUMP pull on the serpentine belt which causes the Idler Pulley to bend & weaken overtime. The Idler Pulley is the only one within that group of pulleys that has a weak bolt.

So now, I changed my habit and I no longer rest or hold the steering wheel upon start up & no more Idler Pulley breaking off on my Escape's Duratec engine. Some of you might disagree on this, but this all I can say. It won't cost a dime or a hassle either going to a Ford dealer & getting charged for $1,500.00 parts, labor & tool fees just to lift the engine up, drill the bolt out & put a new pulley in. That's what happened to me. That was back then in 2018 & never had a problem since. And that is my story.

I also posted this experience of mine (but not this long) at Ford Fusion & I believe at Transit forum.

If this ever happens to me again in far distant future, then I will make a decision to sell my Escape. For now, I am praying that it shouldn't happen because I truly love this vehicle.

Hope this helps.
 
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