1998 Ford Escort SE 2.0L SPI from North America
An affordable long lasting car
So far not much has gone wrong with the car. I bought the car from my brother-in-law that owns an auto shop for $2500 with 252,xxx miles on it. I have put 30,xxx miles on it since I bought it two years ago to commute to school.
So far, the only thing I have really needed to do was get my oil changed every 3 thousand miles. Even after 3 thousand miles, the oil still looks almost as if it was just dumped out of the bottle.
A gasket or seal in the automatic transmission is allowing fluid to leak out. However I only need to add a quart every other oil change, which is no big deal, even for $6 a bottle B&M trick shift. Oddly enough, it seems to have slowed down once I started adding B&M trick shift.
When I bought the car, I had an AC line replaced by my brother-in-law for free, however a year after that the same AC line leaked, and I have not replaced it.
The rear headliner where it meets the rear window began to fall down.
The front steering components are at about 50% wear from what my mechanic says, however the steering is still tight and handles well.
This car has been great so far. My mom owns a 1999 Pontiac Grand AM with just over 100k miles, and she has paid more in repairs since I have owned my car than I bought mine for.
Even with the automatic transmission and living in the hills, I still manage 30+ MPG with an average speed of 65 MPH. When I am really penny pinching, I can get near 35 MPG even climbing hills.
The interior build quality is somewhat poor, but nothing has broken. It has power windows and locks, and they are functioning fine.
Overall, this is a very good car, and probably one of the best I will own. Out of all my friends and relatives, my car has the best reliability and lowest cost of ownership. The parts are low cost, and they seem to last well.
For 110 horsepower, this car accelerates fairly quickly, and I am usually at road speed when I get onto the freeway.
I may be looking to swap this car to manual when I get the chance, and I am looking forward to see how fun the car will be to drive with a manual.
The stereo sounds good for stock, however my car only came with a tape deck, but that does not bother me because I mainly only listen to the radio.
There is a lot more to this car, but to finish off, I would have to say that this car was a great buy. I do not regret buying this car, and will probably keep it, even if I buy another car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th August, 2010
6th Oct 2010, 08:15
This was a really concise review that touched all the particulars that I was interested in knowing. Thank you.
1st Apr 2011, 17:22
Thanks, if you have any more questions, just leave them here, and when I can, I will try to answer them.
I have been using cruise control for the past 2 months, going to school 5 days a week. I drive 35 miles one way (so 70 miles per day), and have been getting 37 MPG, even with the hills, and it being an automatic. One tank usually gets me around 400 miles or more.
I am at just over 291,000 miles on my 98 Escort now, and have not had any repairs since I wrote this review. I am almost 40,000 miles of ownership with no repairs. I may be needing minor repairs in the next few thousand miles. Major repairs for me should begin at 317,000 miles to change timing belt and other critical components.
With any car though, especially used, you may not get as good of results as I have. I think I just got lucky.
3rd Apr 2011, 11:25
The key to most car's longevity is proper care and maintenance. We drove one Ford for over 325,000 miles with virtually no repairs beyond brakes, hoses, belts and tune-ups. With older cars such as yours, a key factor is never allowing the engine to overheat. It will cause damage that will make the car very unreliable. Newer cars, such as my Fusion, have a computer over-ride to shut down the engine before heat reaches damaging levels.
14th May 2011, 15:08
I try to keep good care of the Escort. I have a 1973 Ford F350 that is still in good shape. I am probably going to keep the Escort until it dies, and then probably going to convert it to electric. I probably have another 50,000 miles left in the car. Timing belt is going to need to be replaced at 317,000. No other problems detected, although I have not taken the motor apart.
15th May 2011, 12:18
With proper maintenance, any Ford will go 400,000 miles without engine or transmission problems. There are a number of million-mile Fords still running. It all comes down to taking care of your car. I see 30+ year old Fords, GM's and Chryslers every day on the freeway. A co-worker drives a beautiful 1973 Olds 88 to work every day. I even see a rare 20-25 year old import on occasion.