2002 Escape V6 Will Not Start. I've tried everything I can think of.

  • 2002 FORD ESCORT
  • 6 CYL
  • 4WD
  • 100,000 MILES
I have a 2002 V6 Escape 101K that I purchased from my daughter last summer.
It started and ran fine for a few months until Fall when it struggled to start two days in a row, but did run OK after starting. Now it just refuses to start.

When I try to start it, it cranks over vigorously, but will not fire except for an occasional "pop" on a single cylinder every 3-5 seconds.

When the ignition is first turned on, the fuel pump will run for one second. When I release the ignition key from "cranking" position, the fuel pump runs for one second afterwards. There is a distinct smell of gas outside the car after attempting to start it. I don't have an adapter for my fuel pressure gauge that will fit the Escape's gas line Schroeder valve, so I don't know what the line pressure is. I don't think that's the problem though.

I've tried cranking it with the gas pedal pressed to the floor to clear out any flooding but that didn't help either. I have heard that doing this will shut off the injectors temporarily

When I hook up my code reader to the OBD port there are no ECU codes showing up.

I pulled the front three plugs out. The plugs (Motor-craft platinum) were wet with gas, medium tan in color, with no carbon deposits and gapped at the recommended.053". They looked good. All three front coils tested good with a strong spark. I didn't look at the back three plugs or coils.

Back in the Fall I did the one of the Ford TSB procedures for "non starting" where I disassembled and cleaned the multi-pin connector under the battery and also the fuse block and connectors behind the driver kick panel. All connectors were clean with no trace of corrosion, but I cleaned them up and gave them some dielectric grease anyway.

All the clues seem to point to ignition rather than fuel.

Are there other Ford TSBs that might apply to this problem?

What should I try next? I'm really stumped.

Anyone that gives me advice that solves this problem will be compensated generously.
Do you
have the same problem?
Thursday, May 1st, 2014 AT 2:03 PM

1 Reply

All "crank, no start" conditions are approached in the same way. Every engine requires certain functions to be able to run. Some of these functions rely on specific components to work and some components are part of more than one function so it is important to see the whole picture to be able to conclude anything about what may have failed. Also, these functions can ONLY be tested during the failure. Any other time and they will simply test good because the problem isn't present at the moment.
If you approach this in any other way, you are merely guessing and that only serves to replace unnecessary parts and wastes money.

Every engine requires spark, fuel and compression to run. That's what we have to look for.

These are the basics that need to be tested and will give us the info required to isolate a cause.

1) Test for spark at the plug end of the wire using a spark tester. If none found, check for power supply on the + terminal of the coil with the key on.

2) Test for injector pulse using a small bulb called a noid light. If none found, check for power supply at one side of the injector with the key on.

3) Use a fuel pressure gauge to test for correct fuel pressure, also noticing if the pressure holds when key is shut off.

4) If all of these things check good, then you would need to do a complete compression test.

Once you have determined which of these functions has dropped out,
you will know which system is having the problem.
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Thursday, May 1st, 2014 AT 3:40 PM

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