by madcarpenter on Mar 1, 2012 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Escort LX 4dr Sedan
Our '97 Escort, 2.0 SPI engine recently succumbed at 121k miles to the well known, dreaded 'Dropped #4 Valve Seat' fatal engine defect particular to this poorly designed powerplant.
ALL '97-'04 Ford vehicles using this engine are at risk of this happening as they approach 100k miles. Most consumer reviews of this problem claim it happened abruptly between 100k and 130k. It even afflicts vehicles that have been meticulously maintained by their owners!
The steel valve seats pressed into the aluminum head of these engines expand and contract at different rates, eventually loosening. WHEN (not if) this happens, it's like dropping a grenade into your engine!
Shame on you, Ford!!!
by bisjoe on Dec 11, 2010 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Escort LX 4dr Sedan
My '97 just got a new clutch, just before that a new serpentine belt. Other than those recent jobs only brakes, tires and oil changes and it's
still getting me to work every day at 32 mpg.
For a cheap little car the quality has been surprisingly good, even great.
by LizzyLouBorne on Jul 31, 2010 Vehicle: 1997 Ford Escort 4dr Sedan
My mom bought this car for me in January, when I turned 17. She paid $1,500 it only had 123,000 miles on it. It was from an older couple. The interior is in perfect condition. I can't say much about how it runs because I finally went take my driving test yesterday, and I passed. I drove it all day long. The only problem I have is there is no AC. I am getting that fixed very soon, though. The only set backs are I have read about shaking when it idles low or something, and there is no tape or cd player. It's good for me though because I don't need it. I am having a problem with it shaking when I am parked, but other than that it runs like a champ.
The Ford Escort is totally redesigned this year with improvements across the board. The most noticeable improvements are in the powertrain and ride quality. New sheet metal gives the Escort a rounder, more aerodynamic appearance as well. The GT hatchback version is dropped.