'94 Ford Escort stalls on Idle and has loud engine noises.

Tiny
NOVICE_GEEK
  • MEMBER
  • 1994 FORD ESCORT
Hello,

I just purchased a 1994 Ford Escort LX, with 83000 miles about two weeks ago. (I believe the engine is 1.9 liters, but I'm not sure)

My first issue is this, when the car is in Neutral or Park (Automatic Transmission), it will run for about a minute, and then just die. Some lights on the dash will come on, such as battery, "engine check" and oil. When it's in Drive or Reverse, this doesn't happen. Also, there is no noises or anything like that. It just dies.

Here's my second problem. A few days ago, I accidently left my lights on and the battery died. I was able to have the car jumped, but since then it has been idling in Drive really weird (and hard). When I'm at a traffic light, it will start making loud noises and there's even a little shaking (it sounds like a loud clicking noise, and it seems to be coming from the driver's side of the car). It doesn't die or anything like that, but I'm afraid that it's going to die at an intersection or somewhere like that.

By the way, the car hasn't had much use in the last year, until I bought it. In eight days, I have managed to put 400 miles on it. I'm not sure if that matters much, but I thought that I should say it anyway. Also, I am a good friend of the previous owner, so I can get other information if needed.
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Wednesday, April 25th, 2007 AT 6:36 PM

5 Replies

Tiny
NOVICE_GEEK
  • MEMBER
Since I have posted the original question, the car has started to stall at intersections or whenever it is stopped.

I have fixed that problem (it had a leaking oil distributer or something like that, the spark plugs were "in the worse condition the mechanic has ever seen", and so I also replaced those and the wires and some other small stuff. I also had to replace the negative battery cable (and I believe that they replaced the positive cable as well, for good measure), as well as clean off a bunch of corrosion off of the negative battery terminal. Now a new problem has emerged.

When I start up the car, it runs great (in fact, I'm told it runs better than it did five years ago). If I drive it 'to town' (a 15 mile trip, all 55MPH highway), it will run at or just below the standard operating temp. Once I get to town, the speed limit changes to 35, and it's all stop-and-go for about five miles. If it's moving at 35, it will run at about normal. Once it stops, the needle moves to almost "H". It will then cool down once I get it moving, and it will get back to normal if I get it on the highway. (Although it will continue to overheat if I stop at a light. Although there's only a few of those)

I'm about to go out and purchase a new Thermostat at AutoZone or Advance Auto Parts.

Is there anything else that it might be, or anything that I should look for? Also, how do I drain the cooling system to replace the thermostat (I can't seem to find out how to do it in the Haynes manual).

Also, The current mileage is now 84,600.

Thanks for the help!
Novice_Geek
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Friday, July 20th, 2007 AT 9:39 PM
Tiny
RICEINATOR
  • MEMBER
Hi,
I own a 1994 Escort LX, and I have had the same problems as you. In the last few weeks my car has decided it doesnt want to idle for a long time and it would just stall. Eventually it started to stall at intersections as well. I just found out the cause of the problem today. One of my vacuum hoses has a large hole in it which is causing the vehicle to stall.
Also, I have to cooling issue as well, but I have no idea how to fix that.
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Friday, July 27th, 2007 AT 11:44 PM
Tiny
NOVICE_GEEK
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Riceinator,

In regards to your cooling problem, what is your car doing? Does it sound similar to my problem or is it doing something else?
So far, I've heard that the these cars have some issues with the thermostat, the radiator and the cooling fan relay. The first and last ones should be fairly inexpensive if one of those is your problem. (I just purchased a thermostat and gasket for about $12 at AutoZone)
I'm gonna change my thermostat sometime this week (hopefully), and I will post if that helps, and also provide some hints and whatnot if I have any.

Good Luck,
Novice_Geek
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Saturday, July 28th, 2007 AT 9:15 AM
Tiny
RICEINATOR
  • MEMBER
Basically all it does is it gets really hot really fast. Like, on a hot day if I am sitting for a couple minutes, the gauge tells me that the car is hot. So I crank the heat and everthing goes back to normal. But it is fine when I am driving, its only an issue when I am not moving.

Also, I fixed the stalling issue I has. I had a leaking PVC hose. So it was an inexpensive and cheap fix.
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Saturday, July 28th, 2007 AT 5:42 PM
Tiny
DADDYFRANK42
  • MEMBER
I have a 94 Ford Escort LX Wagon with a 1.9 L engine. I had an overheating problem for a long time. I replaced the water pump, the thermostat, and the cooling fan switch. It was still running hot, so I bought a motor cooling fan relay, and it has not run hot since then. After I fixed the overheating problem, the car idles really high when it is started. And the car is shifting gears too fast, it shifts up to 4th gear before the car is going 25mph. Any advice?
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Friday, July 10th, 2009 AT 7:16 PM

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