Mechanics

FORD ESCAPE SMOKE PROBLEM

2001 Ford Escape • 180,000 miles

2001 Ford Escape, very rough idle and stalling only when it is cold.
Hello I have a 2001 Ford Escape XLT V6 and for the second Fall / winter season I am experiencing the same problem. When it starts getting cold out I can start my vehicle just fine and within 3 seconds it will start to idle extremely rough. It spits, and sputters, jerks and shakes and will eventually stall out unless I give it some gas. I am able to drive it like this, but when I come to a stop it does the same thing and will stall unless I put it in neutral and give it gas. This happens for most of my 10-15 minute drive to work and then once I get there and the engine seems warm, it will idle and run fine with no issues. Then of course when I go to leave 9-10 hours later and its cold again the same thing happens all over again. I have been to 3 different shops including a Ford dealership and the following work has already been done but the issue is still there. Replaced the fuel pump, fuel filter, air filter, all plugs and wires, 2 of the coil packs the read faulty when checked, IAC valce and cleaned the MAF sensor and had it tested. Unrelated I have also changed the alternator and water pump. The shops are out of ideas and so am I. Any ideas what this could be? This only happens when it is cold, I do not have this issue in warm weather. Also the engine light is on and it is throwing to codes P0171 & P0174 bank 1 and 2 are lean. I am not too mechanically inclined, however I don't have much money to have the work done and I do know how to do some things and I am good with instructions.
Avatar
Garmitch
December 12, 2012.



So are the codes P0171 and P0174 seasonal as well only when it gets cold outside?It only idles like this fine while moving and driving?Sounds like a vacuum leaks especially with the codes and symptoms. Has a smoke test every been used on the engine to look for vacuum leaks when its cold outside and acting up?

Saturntech9
Dec 12, 2012.
Yes codes are seasonal as well. Late spring all through summer it starts and runs fine. As long as I have my foot on the gas pedal it drives fine. Once I let off and come to a stop / idle it will stall. No I have not had a smoke test performed on it. Is that something I could do or is there another way for me to test it myself? It is hard to find a leak when it is idling because it will stall out unless given gas.

Tiny
Garmitch
Dec 12, 2012.
A smoke test is down with the engine off a machine injects smoke into the intake manifold there the brake booster hose. Then you look for smoke escaping with a very bright flash light you have to block off the throttle body because thats going to let out smoke. The cheapest smoke machine I have seen is about 700 I made my own smoke machine.I used a old metal hand held paint sprayer a glow plug some wire and connectors alligator clips mineral oil fish pump. Its not pretty lol but it works I dont know how handy you are at making things. But I think a smoke test is what I would do.

Saturntech9
Dec 12, 2012.
Thanks I will call around and see what the test would cost me.

Tiny
Garmitch
Dec 12, 2012.
I would say about 100-150 for a smoke test let me know what you find.

Saturntech9
Dec 12, 2012.
Wow that much huh? I will let you know what I find. I amy just spend that money and just replace the PCV valve and hose and see if that does the trick.

Tiny
Garmitch
Dec 12, 2012.
Yeah some of the professional smoke machines are over 2,000 your paying for them to use the machine and the expense for them to have the machine. You have to look at it this way all the tools cost money scan tools are expensive smoke machines arent cheap. Then the guy has to hook it up set up use it and look for a problem. Let me know what you find.

Saturntech9
Dec 12, 2012.
I just got my 2001 Ford Escape XLT (V6) about a week ago. I'm having the same problems. Before this car, I had a 2002 Ford Escape XLT (V6) which I gave to my daughter. From my experience and what my mechanic has told me, it sounds like possible issues spark plug boots, spark plugs, and possibly vacuum leak(s).

I've done some research on the web and found a few othter discussion threads which talk about the same thing. The following is what I think best sums up what my mechanic explained to me. I've yet to try this, but will as soon as I get the time.

Check for vacuum leak. Also if it has over 80,000 miles on the odometer replace the spark plugs and plug wires.
I just had my 04 Escape checked out at a mechanic and the computer said it was the egr valve. This started happening after I ran out of gas. The mechanic thinks that may have been part of the problem cause some junk may have made it past the fuel filter and gunked up the egr valve.

- I would first check for vacuum leaks, then I would test or replace the IAC (idle air control), then if all checks out, do a compression test. All cylinders will have to be within 10 per cent of each other to have a steady idle. Note that the upper plastic intake will have to be removed to test the back bank.

This guy is RIGHT it is a VACCUME LEAK! CHECK this out!
Im not a mechanic but I have had the same problems with my 2001 Ford Escape. I changed the Mass Air Flow Sensor (MAF sensor), Idle Air Control valve (IAC Valve), Positive Crankcase Ventalation Tube (PCV Tube) and nothing worked. You do need to check your PCV tube to see if it has collapsed if so change it $26 at Ford house. What finally fixed my car was when I changed out the upper and lower intake gaskets $9 at Auto Zone. 4 of my upper gaskets and 2 of my lower gaskets were leaking. If you do decide to change the gaskets out, replace your PCV valve $6 easy to get to once you remove the intake to get to the lower gaskets. Change your spark plugs out with factory Motorcraft plugs $4 a piece. I did all this and my Ford Escape runs like a charm. Hope this helps you out. If you do this yourself make sure ALL VACCUME HOSES are put back on.
Vacuum leaks can be hard to find, I use WD40 instead of a smoker, whenever idle changes when spraying around hoses/motor, I have found my leak. Works everytime!

Hey, before you tear everything apart, if you don't have any warning lights on, disconnect the battery and leave it disconnected for about 5 minutes. Then reconnect it. This resets the computer. Mine ran smooth as silk after that. (2001 V6 Escape).

Tiny
Ericmaurer
Mar 22, 2013.