22nd Jun 2007, 23:28

My escort does the samething, but it does not matter what gear I was told it need to to be idle down.

19th Oct 2007, 19:46

My 01 did the rattle. I called it the $165 monthly massage. I did take mine to ford and they said that others have done it and they didn't know why.. My friend later purchased the same year and hers did it. It was annoying. But a good little car. Hated to see it go.

2nd Dec 2007, 11:07

I've owned 2 different vehicles that had a rattling noise coming from underneath the car when stopped in Drive with my foot on the brake. In both cases it turned out to be a loose catalytic converter shield that was rattling from the vibration of the engine. On both vehicles, the welds that held the sheild on broke, so they just needed to be welded back on and the problem was solved. Not sure if this is the rattling problem with these Escorts, but it sounds awfully familiar.

5th Dec 2007, 19:24

I also own a 2001 Ford Escort 4 dr sedan. It had 98,500 miles when I bought it and now it has 112,600 miles. I drive it 250-350 miles every week and I get 28-32 MPG however I HATE the rattling noise and rough idle it has while stopped at a traffic light with car in gear and foor ton the brake. If I keep one foot on the brake and just give it a little gas to raise the idle the rattle and rough idle stops. Ford said ALL 2001 Escorts idle like mine does and thought that was hard to imagine until I read the other postings here. I love the gas mileage, but HATE the rattle and rough idle, I will check the converter heat shield to see if that is what is making the most noise. Good luck to all 2001 Ford Escort owners/drivers.

6th Dec 2007, 21:35

Weird. My '93 Escort GT used to do the same thing. I got into the habit of shifting into Neutral when I was waiting at red lights because my passengers were kind of scared of the vibrations.

4th Jun 2008, 01:28

I bought my 2001 Ford Escort SE (former fleet vehicle) for $4,000 in April 2005. 8 months later, I had to replace the engine due to a broken timing belt. I suspect the timing belt was original. The car had 109,000 miles on it. I got a used engine put in for $2,800. Ever since then, I have not had a single problem with the car. I do not have the rough idling and the car rides nice and smooth. I think proper use of the manual over drive has something to do with it. I always shift into overdrive when I hit 40 mph and I shift out of overdrive when I drop below 35 mph.

My sister's 1997 Escort Sport had rough idling and rough shifting from 2nd to 3rd, but the previous owner drove it hard. It finally got a loose piston and died a few months ago.

In summary, Escorts driven hard will have problems. Escorts that are driven lightly and are well taken care of seem to do fine. It's a decent car, but also somewhat fragile.

27th Jun 2008, 17:58

You get dirty transmission fluid when the gears in the transmission aren't made to accurate specifications: the parts rattle and grind against each other, causing tiny metal filings to dirty the fluid.

Poor workmanship.

14th Aug 2008, 06:43

I have a 2001 Escort. Bought it off lease from a relative with 65,000 miles for $2600. Had rough idle and check engine light kept coming on. Code was too lean bank one. Fix something and 300 miles later on again. Finally at 127,000 miles it dies. Mechanic checked and found a bent electrode on a plug. Said a valve seat had come loose and had to replace engine. Got one with 21,000 miles on it. Same rough idle, but gas mileage was 31. Now have 149,000 miles and gas mileage has dropped to 26. Can't figure it out. Every once in a while get a check engine light. Misfire cylinder one. Replaced plugs and wires, better for a while then same code. Replaced coil pack, same thing. Replaced cylinder one fuel injector and no more check engine light, but still rough and still 26 mpg.

One thing I have found out after engine replacement is that these engines have a problem with valve seats. My daughter had a '95 Escort LX. Had 110,000 miles when she got it. Ran good, but had a loud rattle back side of engine. I thought lifter. Checked them and all seemed to be OK. Had a mechanic friend listen to it and he said lifter. Later replaced timing belt. Ran good with good mpg, just noisy. Then at 137,000 miles ran really bad and would not idle. Checked timing belt and everything there OK. Could not figure out until after had the problem with 2001. Acted exactly the same.

Valve seats seem to be a real problem on these.

7th Sep 2008, 05:48

I can solve all of your problems with the rattling and shaking of the car while your foot is on the brake!!


You have 1 or more bad engine or transmission mounts!! This is the solution that you all need because I replaced all of them and my 1997 ford escort has NO vibration and is so nice and still. Ford thought that they would screw with you because the mount in the front is "Oil filled (hydraulic) mount. Recommend replacement to maintain original equipment vibration and shock dampening" on the front.

So send your other escort questions or thanks to mbraesch2002@yahoo.com.

Thank you and good luck!

17th Sep 2008, 04:17

The rattling will definitely be the catalytic converter cover, and the rough idle will be the idle control valve. I have had plenty experience with this as I am a mechanic, so good luck.

10th Nov 2008, 19:19

Sorry, but engine mounts are not always the answer to rattling sounds when the car is stopped and your foot is on the brake. I have a 2001 Ford ZX2, and I recently had the mounts changed because of this very same problem; cost me close to 400 dollars and the problem is still there. This problem didn't develop until the last 4 months or so. I love the car, but find this extremely annoying.

3rd Feb 2009, 13:20

I have a 2001 Ford Escort that rattles also, but it's getting really bad where the steering wheel shakes. My grandfather is a mechanic and he said he thinks it's the idler arm. They're only like $30 new; I just haven't had the time to fix it.

12th Mar 2009, 16:01

I have a 1996 Ford Contour. I had the rattling and it turned out to be the A/C compressor. They put a non A/C belt on and the rattling is gone... still working on the vibration while at red lights...

17th Sep 2010, 18:40

My 2001 Escort ZX2 runs great, but it too has idle problems. When stopped briefly, for whatever reason, everything seems fairly normal for about 10 or 15 seconds, but then the RPM drops slowly to about 800, at which point the vibration sets in. If the A/C is on, the vibration and noise are greatly accentuated. I just bought the car, but unfortunately, I didn't check the A/C while stopped. The A/C doesn't seem to effect the car when driving normally. Moving the automatic gear shifter from drive to neutral when stopped doesn't seem to alter the condition very much, which would seem to rule out motor mounts. Frankly, and I'm not a mechanic, the problem seems centered mostly on the A/C, and that conclusion brings the serpentine belt into play. I'm going to have it tuned up and have the fuel filter changed for a start. Wish me luck!