This car is a piece of junk. We went through not just one, but two cars: 97 Escort wagon, white. Same problem: the engine seized! Oil level was checked religiously. All preventative maintenance done. Welcome to the Ford family! Have I mentioned that this car is a piece of junk? Propriety prevents me from properly conveying my complete and heartfelt disgust at this putrid broken-down bucket of bolts. I would love to level both barrels of my indignation at the pinhead engineers that designed this car. Have I mentioned that this car is a piece of junk? Treat yourself right for once and DON'T buy this money-burning horror show! Not one but TWO cars, both donation material now
I love how the engine seizes up after about 125000 miles. Sweet!
Have I mentioned that this car is a piece of junk?
My wife's car, and MANY other '97-'04 Escort engines have done the same exact thing.
To power these cars, Ford designed an aluminum engine head with steel valve seats. As the engine approaches 100k miles, the #4 valve seat loosens from the head and disintegrates without warning, due to an overheating problem in that part of the engine from insufficient oil delivery. This devastation can sometimes be brought about by overheating, or simply driving the car on a 100 degree day!
Pieces of the valve seat drop into the cylinder, and act like shrapnel from a hand grenade.
A WELL DOCUMENTED DESIGN FLAW, YET NO RECALL WAS EVER INSTITUTED BY FORD !!!