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Looking at Ford Escapes

88B2EB

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I'm hoping to get a few suggestions from you guys that either own one or work on them regularly(Adsm?).

My wife and I are thinking about getting a 2nd gen, 4cyl, automatic, 2wd to replace her '97 Taurus. According to Wikipedia the '08 had the 2.3L with 4 speed and the '09-12's had a 2.5L with 6 speed. Does one drivetrain have advantages/disadvantages over the other? Any other comments to help steer me in the right direction would be appreciated.

I found her looking at a Chevy Equinox the other day:shok: so you guys gotta give me some good info on the Escapes. We all know what's at stake here.:D
 
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Brownie Mobile

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I'm hoping to get a few suggestions from you guys that either own one or work on them regularly(Adsm?).

My wife and I are thinking about getting a 2nd gen, 4cyl, automatic, 2wd to replace her '97 Taurus. According to Wikipedia the '08 had the 2.3L with 4 speed and the '09-12's had a 2.5L with 6 speed. Does one drivetrain have advantages/disadvantages over the other? Any other comments to help steer me in the right direction would be appreciated.

I found her looking at a Chevy Equinox the other day:shok: so you guys gotta give me some good info on the Escapes. We all know what's at stake here.:D
Well i hope you would consider leaving her if she considered even paying a cent for a chevy JK. Ive heard escapes like to spontaneously combust so maybe thats something to consider also i would think that the newer drivetrain would be more advantagous better gas mileage with 6 gears instead of 4, but ive never had any hands on experience but the few ive been are nice interior wise its a small suv and thats what you get.
 

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The first gens have a problem with going through front wheel bearings and balljoints, thats been my experience. Other than that i have no complaints.
 

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Pretty stout little units.

As Zman said the odd wheel bearing issue. But replace them with good bearings and not cheapos and install them properly and there is little issue.

The 4wd escapes have issues with the power take off unit for the awd/4wd. The early ones seem to eat themselves up every now and then and the later ones have issues with seal leaks on the PTU unit.
 

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I would stay away from the trans in the 08 and prior and the later 4-cyls.

The CD4E is generally a great trans, but I have seen some frustrating issues with the one clutch drum.

The 6-speed 4-cyl trans has some early issues that have all been sorted out by now. I have seen lot of complaints about the way the 4-cyl trans shifts though, and I don't care for it either.

I am not a fan of the 2.5 though because it is just a really viby engine. They always sound like they have an exhaust leak.

The only other thing I have to say about powertrain options, our V6 AWD does almost as good on fuel as a 4-cyl 2wd and has better power.. The body is just too heavy for the little engine.

I have not seen nearly as many bad PTU seals on these as on the Edges. Most of the PTU leaks I have seen were from loose banjo bolts.


The only other thing I've seen is that the front tone rings break.
 
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adsm08

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shane96ranger

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Neither of the two fire recalls currently out there effect the year he is looking at.
Uhhh.... I am assuming this is the 2013 cooling system (software issue) recall?
 

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If you have kids, you might want to look at the exploders.

My aunt recently got an 08, I believe with a 302 and 4x4. She gets decent mileage and has plenty of room for the 2 younger ones and ALL of their hockey gear. Which is a lot of hockey gear... All the power options and what not, good price too.
 

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They are pretty small and the 4 cylinder engines just aren't powerful enough for the size of the vehicle, you would be working the 4 cylinder to the point where you could throw fuel economy out the window as you wouldn't get very good fuel economy. The 6 speed transmission is useless with a 4 cylinder 6th gear would only get use if you were driving downhill otherwise you would find the vehicle slowing down in 6th gear. Same issues with the Jeep Liberty 4 cylinder 6 speeds they're useless.

I'd still spend the extra few bucks and get a V6 and not have the issues, but I'm not to fond of front wheel drive vehicles either for any driving.
 

adsm08

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adsm08

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They are pretty small and the 4 cylinder engines just aren't powerful enough for the size of the vehicle, you would be working the 4 cylinder to the point where you could throw fuel economy out the window ...
This is kinda my thought as well. Ours averages around 25 or 26 combined. My wife took a trip to Virgina a few months ago and got 34 on the trip back.

I will say, you can see a marked difference in those numbers when I drive it a lot. You have to drive it nicely to get those numbers.

The 6 speed transmission is useless with a 4 cylinder 6th gear would only get use if you were driving downhill otherwise you would find the vehicle slowing down in 6th gear. Same issues with the Jeep Liberty 4 cylinder 6 speeds they're useless.
The problem there was that Chrysler pushed the over drive up on that trans. The top gear on the 6Fmid is actually quite useful because it is close to the OD range on the 4-speed, there are just more stops in between. I can get those things to shift up to 6th before 40 MPH and not lug the engine.

I'm not to fond of front wheel drive vehicles either for any driving.
Eh, FWD isn't so bad. It is better than straight RWD for everything but working on. Smoother, lighter, all the weight is over the drive axle which is also the steering axle, it is easier on your body if you do a lot of turning.

The only thing that is really worse is that it is harder to work on them.
 
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88B2EB

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Just 8 hours and already 10 comments? You guys are great!

I would stay away from the trans in the 08 and prior and the later 4-cyls.
That almost sounds like the answer to a trick question. I think I understand though. You don't recommend the pre '09 transmissions or the post '08 4cylinders. So: '09-'12 6cyl automatic:icon_thumby:. Knew you'd have some good insights.

These were my thoughts on the I4 vs V6. You guys tell me if I'm way off base.
I4: Better fuel economy (about 2mpg) and easier to work on (mainly just due to the extra space in the engine compartment).
V6: Lasts longer (since it doesn't work as hard) and has some towing capacity. I do like the idea of having a second towing vehicle and not being solely dependant on the Bronco II for hauling the motorcycle and dirt bike.

its a small suv and thats what you get.
Yep, but I was surprised to see it's actually longer, wider and heavier than our B2's. Of course my title says 'station wagon' so I guess it isn't right to compare.

If you have kids, you might want to look at the exploders.
We do. 2 16 month old boys (twins!). The Taurus has been a great family vehicle but putting the kids in their rear facing car seats with the lack of head room in the back seat is getting annoying, hence the SUV.

They are pretty small and the 4 cylinder engines just aren't powerful enough for the size of the vehicle, you would be working the 4 cylinder to the point where you could throw fuel economy out the window. I'd still spend the extra few bucks and get a V6 and not have the issues, but I'm not to fond of front wheel drive vehicles either for any driving.
I've never owned a newer vehicle (post '97) but it seems like the smaller I4's nowdays are putting out the same horsepower as the older V6's. Maybe it's just perspective since I'm used to my little 100hp 2.3L Ranger. You guys tell me.

I'm with you on the rear wheel drive. The wheels do break free more often but it seems like I'm always able to straighten it back out, almost a controlled slide out. If a front wheel drive slides out good luck. But I can't argue that front wheel drive cars are safer, especially for the wife.

I should mention that we're still considering other options. I'm leaning toward the Escape but have to remember it's her car so I don't want to take away her fun of finding a car. It's her choice, but I did tell her I feel more comfortable working on Fords.

Thanks everybody for the good advice. Keep it comin:icon_thumby:
 

adsm08

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That almost sounds like the answer to a trick question. I think I understand though. You don't recommend the pre '09 transmissions or the post '08 4cylinders. So: '09-'12 6cyl automatic:icon_thumby:. Knew you'd have some good insights.
Correct. The CD4E (the trans used from 01 to 08) had a problem with bad welds on the one clutch drum that caused engagement issues with 2nd or 3rd gear. It just makes it flare on the shift. But I have seen these drums pass the bench test and still cause the symptom.

The 2.5 is actually a great engine. It is just a big 2.3, which is a well tested and reliable design. If I could get one cheap I'd throw it in a Focus and build something BA. My beef with the engine is it's horrible NVH qualities. It is a rough engine and, as I said before, always sounds like it has an exhaust leak. It's just a quality of large-displacement 4-bangers. The 2wd version has a 5 lb weight bolted to it where the PTU would be on an AWD to try and take some of that out.

The 2.5 is torquey as all get out and would probably tow just fine, although it might not go fast. Also, the 2.5L seems to not meet the fuel economy of the 2.3L.
 

wildbill23c

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My first vehicle was an 84 Ranger 4x2, never had an issue with it in snow/ice and never had snow tires just regular all season street tires. Yeah it would slide around if I wanted it to but I never felt the need to drive like an idiot and when you buy the tires, insurance, brakes, gas and maintenance at 16 you learn to drive the right way.

Never understood the use of the Ford Escape, it seemed so cramped and small for any practical use even for commuting it would seem small. The new Ford Station Wagon cough....cough explorer I think is about the same just a bit longer.

Might as well if you want a 2WD and 4 cylinder you may as well buy a car its lighter weight, and probably cost you less in the long run.
 

shane96ranger

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I will also defend my little 2.3 in my Escape. I got 27 mpg over thanksgiving weekend. I had the whole family, and it was stuffed like sausage. It also is much easier to work on the 2.3 than the 3.0 in my opinion. The CD4E really is a decent little trans too.


Sent from a Commodore 64 using a 300 baud modem
 

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