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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
133,400 miles
Total Complaints:
9 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace cylinder head and piston repair (3 reports)
  2. replaced engine (2 reports)
  3. not sure (1 reports)
  4. replaced block, and cylinder head (1 reports)
  5. replaced cylinder head (1 reports)
  6. written off - sent to scrapper (1 reports)
1999 Ford Escort engine problems

engine problem

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1999 Ford Escort Owner Comments

problem #9

Jan 222014

Escort SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles


Oh man, what a bummer. Just bought this car in July 2013 for about $2,000. I bought it knowing the timing belt had never been replaced, so I did as much a couple of months later. I also did the brakes. Always ran well; no problems as many will tell you. Drove it to work like any other day, but when I got into my car to leave... nope. CLANK CLANK CLANK. I knew it was pretty awful. Got it towed and was told about this common engine defect. What a massive pain. The quote with the tow and diagnostic ran up $2,300. Not sure if it's worth replacing...

- Jay G., Beaverton, OR, US

problem #8

May 252013

Escort Wagon 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 95,070 miles

I am really getting sick of ford and their penny pinching systematic fatal vehicle flaws. I broke 2 headbolt getting the head off this car, the rod bearings were badly worn, the valve seat fell out and demolished the number 4 piston and the engine head. You have to buy a full set of piston, if you want a new piston. If I was a ford Mechanic, I would have a hard time facing my customers with tales of broken studs and overpriced repairs. This is the last ford I will ever let a customer buy used, when I will be doing the repairs in future. Ford really has slipped quality when I would prefer my customers buy a Hyundai than a ford

- Simon P., Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

problem #7

Nov 042012

Escort SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles

Ford need to find the designer and his boss who designed this aspect of the engine and fire them with no pension. This problem can be avoided with good design practices.

- William H., Rancho Palos Verdes, CA, US

problem #6

May 042011

Escort LX Wagon

  • Manual transmission
  • 134,726 miles


Ran smoothly yesterday. Leave for work today: turn key and hear engine turning then a louder, rougher, banging sound accompanied by vibrations through the whole car. Will not start. After 5th crank (this time with an experienced car enthusiast looking under the hood) confirm there is an object between the cylinder and head by sound and feel. Final diagnosis pending but there is definitely an object between cylinder and head.

Car is dead - not remotely worth the cost to replace the engine. I just put $750 into it to fix other lesser mechanical problems: what a money suck.

- Nick H., Calgary, AB, canada

problem #5

Dec 172008

Escort SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 148,753 miles

Yeah, definitely a pain, seems like they all pop right around this mileage, this is overall the worst part about this car.

- Daniel S., Raleigh, NC, US

problem #4

Aug 132009


  • Automatic transmission
  • 184,000 miles

It started with the engine stuttering when starting, especially if the car was pointed down hill. It would smooth out, run fine. Never lost a drop of oil, no smoke whatsoever. Actually, the car never ran better! My son took it shopping, was parked on a very slight downhill slope, It studderd then CLANG CLANK CLANG! Towed it back, and the #4 piston hit the spark plug so hard that it flattened it and even broke the ceramic. Thinking about changing the motor if we can find one with low enough miles.

- camdenite, Camden, NY, US

problem #3

Jan 022008

Escort ES 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,000 miles


My Escort dropped valve seat cylinder #4, and I had to replace the engine. Apparently this is a design defect, ford should pay for the repair

- Ralph L., New Braunfels, TX, US

problem #2

Sep 012008

Escort Spot 2.0L Sohc 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 155,000 miles

I have fallen victim to what seems to be a well documented and common problem with the 2.0L I4 SOCH escort motor. The intake valve seat in cylinder number 4 has broken apart into about 6 1/8 inch or so pieces falling into the cylinder then subsequently getting mashed in between the head and piston. Damage caused from failure as follows: Cracked piston, bent connecting rod, cracked cylinder wall, mechanical damage to combustion chamber on cylinder head. Not happy with this at all and Ford refuses to do anything about it, even though it is clearly a defect in the manufacturing process.

- Joseph G., Lorain, OH, US

problem #1

Apr 242008

Escort 2.0L SOHC

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

My understanding is the the valve seat on cylinder 4 can drop at any time. A pretty well document design flaw on this vehicle.

- Darren B., Spring, TX, US

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