Ford Escape Automobiles Forum banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I noticed a couple of winters ago, that the 2001 Tribute LXV6 AWD I have is running rough in cold weather. The car has been garaged for the last 6 years, but not the first 3 - it was always plugged in during cold weather, or the remote function to keep the engine warm was activated.
So, as I said, the last 2 winters when it's cold, the car is running rough: starts fine (garage) but then, once in the cold, the engine develops a strange noise, very loud and the car seems not able to accelerate. The tranny fluid has been replaced every 15,000 to 20,000 Km the last flush being done this summer.
The alternator has been changed a few years ago (I think maybe 4), the battery about 3 years ago.
I am still with the original plugs and coils (except for coil #5 - which died about 5 years ago). The car has about 73,xxx Kms.
This week, I had to park the car outside for coupe of days and in the morning, the same strange deep growling unhealthy sound was developing. The temperature wasn't even close to what we had 2 winters ago. Once the engine warmed up, that rough growling sound was gone, and also the car regained the agility (which always seems lost at cold now).
There are no CEL's, and also the antifreeze has been flushed a few times (if this helps in terms of a diagnose).
I also checked the threads with "rough running" behaviour, but it seems that what I experience is not related to those threads.

Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
I actually have something similar happening to my 01. Whenever i start the car now after it has been sitting for a long time it has a very rough idle and just sounds like its choking, just like you stated it is very hard to accelerate. Even when i stop at a red light it still have a rough idle. I have went through the coils, plugs, and even checked everything for leaks. Does it get better for you when the car warms up? I think it might be my idle air control valve that is bad and causeing this but still not 100% sure.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Once the car warms up it runs fine. Last winter during a very cold day, there were moments when it warmed up and it was running fine, than I had a short stop enough to have the engine and maybe some other components cool off, and she was running rough again until she warmed up really well.
Last week when she was rough in the morning it wasn't that cold as last winter. It's a day and night difference in terms of coldness (last winter I had it happen at -35°C or -40°C, whereas last week in the morning it was only -5°C) - so the problem has gotten worse. But as I said, I have no idea what it is.
I switched the oil from dino to full synthetic (Qaker State) but not sure if it is the right approach (obviously not). Also not sure how good the Quaker State oil(full Syn) is.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
seems like im with you on this problem. I actually switched out my idle air controle valve and that didnt help either :cuss: so now im back to square one. i guess ill have to keep trying and see what actually works out
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,977 Posts
It might be a dirty O2 sensor that takes a lot longer to warm up than usual. That would leave the car in open loop, where it runs rich until the sensors are able to provide input.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
I had this too last winter..... almost the exact same problem....I changed out the IAC, replaced o2 sensor, cleaned the throttle body, had no CEL's of any kind, and couldn't figure out what was going on. Long story short after a bunch of trips to the dealership, we discovered the problem. It was a vacuum leak. I'm not sure where it was, I think it was in the brake master cylinder if I'm not mistaken, but my brake pedal used to squeal too when it wasn't depressed, (like air was escaping). The problem started in cold weather, but eventually got worse to any weather would cause some type of rough idle.

When I get back to my house, I can check my service records and tell you exactly what it was and what they did to fix it. I remember it wasn't cheap...somewhere in the $700 range :roll:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the vacuum leak heads up. And 700 bux? Wow!!!! That's insane.
Please post the diagnose..
If it is any kind of vacuum leak (except the one you described - brake pump), one could identify it with some brake cleaner - spray and if there's a change in idle, you know it's a vacuum leak. Than it's a matter of pinpointing. Sometimes the rubber hoses are placed in impossible places and lots of stuff has to be removed to access the said rubber hose. Especially if it's in the back of the engine / close to the firewall.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
i actually had a leak in my brake booster, however i replaced that and still no luck. Im trying to avoid the stealership since there is aton more i can you $700 bucks on. I think im going to just double check all lines. we shall see
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
Another cold weather rough idling 2001 Tribute here. My very-experienced mechanic has been unable to conquer this problem. Appreciate all the previous posts (I feel like I could have written any one of them) but am really anxious to hear from someone who has discovered the cause. Thanks all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
263 Posts
This following is the actual quote from the service write up at my local Ford dealership from when I had my idle issues....

"Check customer concern: Vehicle runs rough and idle fluctuates when cold"

"DIAGNOSED AND REPLACED BRAKE BOOSTER FOR VACUUM LEAK, ALL SPARK PLUGS AND COIL FOR NUMBER 3 CYLINDER"

Grand Total: $709.71

I recently had to replace the coil on the number one cylinder as well. Yeah....real fun.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
gmercedesbenz said:
This following is the actual quote from the service write up at my local Ford dealership from when I had my idle issues....

"Check customer concern: Vehicle runs rough and idle fluctuates when cold"

"DIAGNOSED AND REPLACED BRAKE BOOSTER FOR VACUUM LEAK, ALL SPARK PLUGS AND COIL FOR NUMBER 3 CYLINDER"

Grand Total: $709.71

I recently had to replace the coil on the number one cylinder as well. Yeah....real fun.
Funny thing is, i had to replace the brake booster, replaced all spark plugs and even all coils and still no luck. However while on my way to the gym today my "check Engine" loght came and and this is the first time i was happy seeing it come on :D so i can finally see whats going on. Ill keep everyone posted and maybe ill be able to help everyone else out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes, not sure the brake booster vacuum leak has anything to do with rough idling at cold?
It's like: "my tummy hurts because i twisted my ankle", but who knows? I have seen strange things before.
Please Tomci08, once you have the codes read and solved, could you please post some info?

Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
41 Posts
doru said:
Yes, not sure the brake booster vacuum leak has anything to do with rough idling at cold?
It's like: "my tummy hurts because i twisted my ankle", but who knows? I have seen strange things before.
Please Tomci08, once you have the codes read and solved, could you please post some info?

Thank you
Actually the brake booster does have a line going to the manifold if i remember correctly so it is in sense a vacuum. As soon as i get the codes read ill let everyone know what code(s) come up.

Tom
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I had same problem last winter,I change almost everything starting from IAC,MAF O2 Sensors all 4 EGR valve and problem still exist.
Finally I read on some other ford forums about vacuum leak and find LOWER intake manifold gasket leak.It has take couple of hours work to finished and cost me $14 bucks total UPPER AND LOWER gaskets at auto zone.Since then it is almost one year I didn't have same problem again with rough engine.
I am 100% sure that many of us had same issue with lower intake gaskets for that Rough Idle when engine cold.
If any of you decide to do this you must be careful with fuel injectors connectors it is cheap plastic clip and I broke all 6 when removing but I placed them back without that clip and it still fine.
Hope this will be helpfully for many of us.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks to all who posted here.
I think I will look into the intake gaskets first combined with cleaning the IAC valve (MAF has been cleaned, and because no codes yet, I think O2 sensors still OK). I might swap the sparkplugs maybe (I am still running the originals and they have 9 years on them now).
Anybody has the intake gaskets (lower & upper) DIY somwhere? How hard on a scale from 1 - 5 is it? ( 1=change tire, 5 = change head gasket)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
It is number 5 on scale not that easy there is a lot of work to be done until you rich lower gaskets if you never did before?!You also need to remove fuel injectors with fuel line,If you decide to do that then you can change PCV valve too because it is easy to reach.Call someone to help you if you think that is not easy for you.Also I want to tell you if you have engine light ON the code reader can tell you O2 sensors but it is NOT.It's happen to me too a lot of codes come on and I change everything one by one and after couple of days rough idle come back.Many of us just spend money for nothing for one simple thing even mechanic or dealership can't realize this problem.
Good luck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
I suggest you to buy one it's about$4 bucks I got mine at auto zone I don't know where you are but you can order it online too! Just find that part number or call them to help you.About IAC valve you will just waste money if you buy it like I did.Test it first,when your car running try to disconnect IAC valve cable connector if no difference at idle it my be broken,you can hear motor runs inside IAC valve when connect back.Also you can clean With some of electric part cleaners,easy to find and cheaper at local Walmart store.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top