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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please see the last post!

Not just any brother....my brother, lol. He and his wife just relocated to Socal from Hawaii, and they just picked up their 01 Escape at the port. They've been having a problem with it, and I'd like to help try and fix it tomorrow. I know I'll probably be missing some key info, but any help you can give me will be great.

Basically, intermittently the rpms at idle will fluctuate quite a bit. The car will actually shudder when it happens. He also says that when driving, it seems like it will hunt for the right gear and or rpms. Some days this will happen all day long....on others not at all.

There is a CEL on right now, but he says thats been on since before this stuff started happening (lol he's not a car guy). My first order of business will be to go down to AutoZone and borrow their scanner. Is there a link somewhere to where I can decipher the code/s I may get?

I was searching and read about cleaning the TB, MAF, and checking the PCV, so I'll probably check those as well.

Anyways, any ideas or obvious stuff I should check?
 

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I think when he says ICU he means transmission. i would start with a tune up if it has never or been a while since done. plugs, wires, air filter, oil change, pcv valve, and maybe even fuel filter. as far as the idle goes the two good culprits are the throttle body being gummed up and the IAC being fouled with deposits. before you clean these parts get new gaskets for the IAC and I always remove the throttle body to clean i think you get better results, but you will need a new gasket for that to. I picked up a felpro gasket kit that gave me both the throttle body the IAC and upper and lower intake gaskets for around 20 dollars. when you change the plugs it can be done with out removal of the intake but removing the intake is not hard and makes the job easier and provides better access to the pcv valve on v6 engines. also check and clean the MAF mass air flow. while you are at the parts store have them check your battery and charging system. I had a bad alternator and battery cause all kinds of problems for me. I just got my 2002 escape 4x4 v6 in February and it had lots of problems and escape city has taught me alot. my escape runs awesome now. the answers you need are here on this site, but they are some times hard to find. I hope this helps and if you got more questions PM me and i will do my best to give you a good answer. by the way my name is Dale and i am in the inland empire. :rockon:
 

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ICU likely refers to either the IAC valve (idle air control valve) or the ECU (engine control unit, "the computer"). Oops, brain fart! Sorry, ICU is obviously the Ignition Control Unit, which is part of the PCM. The 2001 Escape uses one Powertrain Control Module for the Engine Control Module (ECM), Transmission Control Module (TCM), and Ignition Control Module (ICM). The PCM is slotted into the front of the cowl. You should see a big wiring harness right in the middle of the engine bay, just below the windshield.

I can help decipher any codes you pull. Does the Escape have a four or six cylinder engine?

DBMJ211 has a good idea about doing a complete tuneup - it's the first thing I do with any used car to be able to start with a clean slate. The V6 engine does not have spark plug wires, but the I4 engine does. I would do the following:
-engine oil & filter
-power steering fluid reservoir (x3, with two lock-to-lock wheel turns in between each fluid replacement)
-grease all joints (check the ball joints, tie rod ends, and sway bar links for aftermarket replacements requiring grease)
-weatherstrip lubrication (spray silicone grease on the door and tailgate seals)
-lube parking brake cable
-fuel filter
-air filter
-transmission fluid drain & fill (x3, using Mercon/Dexron III, with short drive in between)
-lubricate locks, latches, hinges
-coolant
-spark plugs (wires if I4)
---V6 guide
-PCV valve
-throttle body cleaning
-IAC valve cleaning
-MAF cleaning
-accessory drive belt
-brake fluid bleed (we follow the traditional RR, RL, FR, FL pattern)

It should run you about $250 and take the entire day, so start early. Once you have the code we can better diagnose the idle issue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Okay...need some quick help again.

We got the other problems fixed......DPFE sensor and a misfire on cylinder 3.

We also changed the tranny fluid with some "MercDex" that was reccomended at Autozone (I know, I know). Fluid level seems okay, but it drives like crap. Shift into drive and it doesn't go anywhere. Give it some gas and it will take off like crazy after a second or two.

Is the fluid doing this, or is it something else?

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Squishy said:
That's not a good sign, you might be looking at a transmission replacement. Was it doing this before the fluid change?
Damn I feel stupid. I realized after the fact that we were working on on a slope and a slight angle. Drained and replaced with the reccomended 3.8 and it's all better. I don't know why the dipstick was giving inconsistent readings, but as soon as we added the full 3.8, it was running like a top.

My brother is stoked on the car running "better than it has in 4 years." :D After bitching and cussing trying to get to those 3 rear spark plugs, I decided to just pull the IM off. Turns out the plug in the middle on the rear bank had a broken ceramic section. It was a piece of cake after that. Both codes are cleared and the engine is humming along great., tranny fluid and cleaned the engine up quite a bit.

Thanks a bunch guys!

Changed the PCV (which was a major pain), cleaned the throttle body, changed the oil and filter
 

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:lol:

No, I meant which engine do you have? The PCV valve is in different locations depending on your engine. It is very difficult to get to on the V6, but I do have a write-up with pictures and a list of tools you need. I haven't worked on the I4 engine, so all I can provide is whatever is included on the factory service manual.
 

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Not sure how much you really have to take off to get at that PCV valve, but the manual says the intake manifold has to come off. They should last between 100,000-200,000 miles, especially if they're that hard to get to (it's a sign that they're a bit more robust and not considered part of maintenance).

PCV Valve
IAC Valve
 

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Squishy said:
Not sure how much you really have to take off to get at that PCV valve, but the manual says the intake manifold has to come off. They should last between 100,000-200,000 miles, especially if they're that hard to get to (it's a sign that they're a bit more robust and not considered part of maintenance).

PCV Valve
IAC Valve
Thank you so much!

So the pcv valve is just a little elbow joint looking thing?

So both of these can be cleaned or is replacement recommended? I just got my escape at 102k miles and have been semi lazy to read the maintenance schedule. I just did the plugs, but I'm thinking pcv, iav and fuel filter before winter, tranny, trans case and rear diff lube change all before winter.
 

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The PCV valve is the elbow thing, either plastic or metal. It will be a spring-loaded one-way valve, only allowing air out of the engine block. The PCV valve isn't worth cleaning, as most are around $3, never seen one over $10. The IAC valve can be removed and examined for carbon buildup around the opening. Clean off what you can with electrical contact cleaner, making sure not to get any into the metal cylinder section. Carb cleaner or brake cleaner can be used for heavy buildup, but be very careful not to get that stuff into the cylinder.
 
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