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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I just joined this community and I'm really hoping the knowledge here can help me solve a strange noise/issue I'm having in my 2002 Ford Escape XLT (3.0L V6).

Apologies if I didn't post this in the right location, I'll need to get the hang of how this forum operates.

I'm getting a reverberation/resonating sound at certain RPM bands (around 2000 and again around 4000) and have been noticing declining fuel economy. I hear the sound when I fire up the car from a cold start in park but after a minute of idling, I can't replicate the sound in park. I'm also unable to replicate the sound in neutral. I thought it might be exhaust related as I installed a new (bargain bin style) front cat and main cat 2 years ago. But if its exhaust resonance I'm hearing or a clogged cat, I'd figure I'd be able to hear it in neutral or park too when I blip the throttle? A bad or clogged cat would also explain the poor fuel economy.

I also had a ball joint rip a few months back causing the CV axle to pull out of the transmission while in gear at low speed. The spinning CV joint punched a hole in the side of my transmission but didn't damage any internal parts. I patched the side of the transmission housing and replaced the CV axle and control arm.

Any ideas whats causing this sound and poor fuel economy? I've linked a video below that captured the noise to this post as well. Thanks all!

Reverberation Sound
 

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Welcome to the City!!! We are glad you joined us!!! Sorry you are having issues with your Escape. Not sure what is going on. If you don't get some feedback on your post in the next few days and I will use my Admin superpowers and move your post to our Problems and Solutions forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Welcome to the City!!! We are glad you joined us!!! Sorry you are having issues with your Escape. Not sure what is going on. If you don't get some feedback on your post in the next few days and I will use my Admin superpowers and move your post to our Problems and Solutions forum.
Thank you - I appreciate that! Looking forward to getting to the bottom of this!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quick update. Had an early cold start today and that reverberation sound was heard in park before I began driving. After driving for about 45 min, the noise suddenly went away.

It came back though and almost seems to be getting a bit louder with the weather getting closer.
 

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Hi Charles - any chance you can shift this post over to the help section?
People can see it here .
I've never heard it before btw , BUT , going by the video it nearly sounds like something is resonating "in" the exhaust , a CAT maybe , a loose bracket or something , the muffler inside it? , so how about some more explains , like

Where does the noise sound like its coming from

Can you feel it

Now its doing it in park get someone on the throttle at the sound and lift the hood or climb underneath (make sure they got it in park , handbrake and foot brake all on)
 

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Hi Charles - any chance you can shift this post over to the help section?
Per your request, I have moved your thread to our Problems and Solutions forum. Hope your issue gets resolved soon.

Charles
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
People can see it here .
I've never heard it before btw , BUT , going by the video it nearly sounds like something is resonating "in" the exhaust , a CAT maybe , a loose bracket or something , the muffler inside it? , so how about some more explains , like

Where does the noise sound like its coming from

Can you feel it

Now its doing it in park get someone on the throttle at the sound and lift the hood or climb underneath (make sure they got it in park , handbrake and foot brake all on)
Thanks for the reply.

The sound is somewhat hard to pinpoint. I had my wife blip the throttle to try and replicate the sound in park/neutral while I poked around inside the engine bay and rolled under the vehicle but of course we couldn't replicate the sound. It happens infrequently in park/neutral and much more frequently in drive (especially around that 2,000 RPM band).

When driving, it seems the noise is coming from lower down (under floor) perhaps offset to the passenger side. This would fit with a bad main cat as it's essentially located under the front passenger seat area.

I can't "feel" anything when the sound is being produced, it's only audible.

From time to time, the reverberation also produces a bit of a metallic rattling, but this typically subsides quickly once the vehicle is warmed up and doesn't happen all the time.

I'll try to replicate the sound again in park this weekend but the last few drives, its only producing this sound in drive again.

If this is, in fact, an exhaust related issue (ie. clogged or partially clogged cat), would the sound not be replicable regardless of whether the vehicle is in drive, neutral, or park? Or does exhaust flow through the system differently when "under load" with the vehicle in drive? I can confirm the noise is definitely not from any sort of road vibrations. I can replicate the sound every time regardless of speed and driving surface by just holding the throttle around 2,000 RPM with the loudest sound being heard in first and second gears.
 

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Hi , imo i think you are over thinking things but i do understand one would like to know exactly , a far easier method is just to fix the problem if one can zero in on it .
Under the floor sort of designates the area and maybe what the rest is up to you , as far as different sounds sometimes it'll all depend on heat , flow , pressure and pulses and the fine tuning of all that to make a resonance , so zero in further and tackle it from there , see out here we get just 1 large CAT and looks just like a muffler and its easy to take off if needed so i'm unfamiliar with your set-up , good luck as it looks like your getting there .
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi , imo i think you are over thinking things but i do understand one would like to know exactly , a far easier method is just to fix the problem if one can zero in on it .
Under the floor sort of designates the area and maybe what the rest is up to you , as far as different sounds sometimes it'll all depend on heat , flow , pressure and pulses and the fine tuning of all that to make a resonance , so zero in further and tackle it from there , see out here we get just 1 large CAT and looks just like a muffler and its easy to take off if needed so i'm unfamiliar with your set-up , good luck as it looks like your getting there .
I've been fixing my vehicles for 20 years and usually have better luck narrowing in on the sound. Seeing as I can replicate the sound in drive, I even thought about putting the car on jack stands and having my wife put it in drive while I'm under the vehicle. Pretty sketchy tactic though and don't really want to do that!

I'm thinking it's got to be the exhaust system (front cat(s) or main cat under the vehicle). Also thinking the flex pipe braided heat shield might be rattling a bit (perhaps the metallic sound I also hear from time to time) as its somewhat rusty and doesn't look to be in the best shape.

Going to try to warranty the main cat I installed in 2019 and see if that fixes the problem. Will report back with findings when I finally get to the bottom of this!
 

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I've been fixing my vehicles for 20 years and usually have better luck narrowing in on the sound. Seeing as I can replicate the sound in drive, I even thought about putting the car on jack stands and having my wife put it in drive while I'm under the vehicle. Pretty sketchy tactic though and don't really want to do that!

I'm thinking it's got to be the exhaust system (front cat(s) or main cat under the vehicle). Also thinking the flex pipe braided heat shield might be rattling a bit (perhaps the metallic sound I also hear from time to time) as its somewhat rusty and doesn't look to be in the best shape.

Going to try to warranty the main cat I installed in 2019 and see if that fixes the problem. Will report back with findings when I finally get to the bottom of this!
My Hobby is electronics atm has been for 20 years also and i still find i overthink sometimes as i'm not trained for it , only self trained , i'll not mention how many times something was not working and i got straight into it , pulled the covers , mutimeter out even the soldering iron wondering why is it not working as everything looked as it should work , just happened to glance at the power-point and YEP not switched on :LOL:

Then there's the times i'm hunting for that screwdiver , it was just there a minute ago , 10 minutes later after frantically searching goes to scratch me head with the left hand and nearly pokes me eye with that same screwdrive , but maybe that's KRAFTS disease ?

My other Trade , i don't even have to think mostly :eek: , good luck .
 

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Have you documented the poor fuel economy? Actual km/l measured and compared to previous data? Colder weather will cause fuel usage to increase due to several factors. Could it be that?
The noise reported is not only sensitive to engine rpm, but also to temperature. You note that at first start, you can reproduce at will, but after warming up it becomes more difficult if not impossible to do sitting still.
That indicates a bit of temperature sensitivity. I would want to investigate the joints in the exhaust system. The flex could have an opening that is more apparent cold, but expands with heat, and somewhat closes up. Similarly, a loose 'ring' gasket where a pipe attaches to a manifold outlet can also cause noise. You may find blocking the exhaust outlet will let you duplicate the noise at will, engine running at idle or a bit more. OTOH, the fact that is seems rpm dependent, occurring 2-4k rpms, that indicates resonance of some sort. If you had a heat shield on parts of the exhaust, they may have rusted through their welds, and be allowing bits to move around and vibrate. FWIW, I used stainless steel screw clamps, large economy size, linking two head-to-tail and then connecting after wrapping around my catalytic converter heat shield. Tightened the clamp, and my annoying rattle was vanquished. If you have failing shrouds or shields, that may be an effective fix.
tom
 

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If the sound has a metallic resonance, then the exhaust shielding as suggested by tomw is the place to start. There is also a flexible pipe just after the front and rear banks merge that is off to the passenger side, under the floorboard.

If the resonance is less metallic and more....meaty, then check the passenger side engine mount. It is hydraulic and absorbs vibration. When it starts to,fail it can lead to low level vibrations that are heard, then later felt as the mount gets worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks for the additional responses. I'll check the engine mounts as well!

I'm pretty OCD when it comes to tracking mileage and keep a spreadsheet of every single fill up I've made since I bought the vehicle 7 years ago. Any variance in fuel economy can be easily caught and I have indeed seen a recent spike by about 2 L/100 km since this noise started getting louder. It is cooler outside here now and this will definitely have an impact but typically by closer to 1 L/100 km versus the increase of 2 that I'm seeing.

I removed a front pipe (near front cat) heat shield that was hanging on by a thread due to rust and have checked all the other exhaust components. The flexible pipe isn't in the greatest shape and the woven metal fibre shield that slides over this pipe has come detached at one end. I think this is likely contributing to some of the intermittent metallic rattling I'm hearing and I may try to source a new flexible pipe.

I didn't pay a lot for this vehicle and now 7 years into ownership, it's starting to show its wear quite a bit more. I've put in nearly $3,000 in parts (both preventative and required repairs) over this time but am becoming more hesitant to throw too much more at it. My worry is this sound is a hint that something significant is going to fail on me if I don't fix it soon so I'll do a bit more poking around.

My father-in-law suggested the noise might be a failing hydraulic pump in the transmission after he had a listen while we were driving. Any thoughts on this being a possibility?
 

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There are substitute flexible woven pieces that can be welded in place in stead of a factory/OEM version. Supposedly they are much less costly. As long as the pipe area/length at each end is intact, the non-OEM can be welded in place.
The heat shield on the front converter may be able to either have 'tabs' welded on where the bolts normally are located so it can be bolted back in place, or stainless 'screw type clamps' can be obtained and wrapped around the shield and converter to hold it in place. It all depends upon shape and fitting. It is possible either boneyard or new shields could be obtained. I repeat a lot. Dunno availability.
A failing transmission pump would generally cause a whine, much like a power steering pump that is low on fluid, or has been run low on fluid. The old Chevy Powerglide automatics had a definite pump whine when in neutral, engine at idle.
Keep watch on the fuel economy. Winter fuel has more aromatic components so it will evaporate more readily in colder temperatures. It has less 'longer' ones that can provide more heat through slower(?) combustion in the chamber. Make sure your thermostat is keeping coolant cold until it reaches full temperature. The hose to the radiator from the thermostat should stay cold, and then quickly get hot. If it warms slowly, your stat is leaking, and should be replaced for best operation. That can affect fuel mileage, and is easy to check.
tom
 
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