29th Jun 2007, 05:04

"going down long hills" with the engine off--NOT a good idea.

No power steering assist if you need to make a sudden steering correction, and the fuel savings are negligible.

14th Jan 2008, 01:04

An update... at 286,000Km. Recently did a planned replacement of all the tires, replaced 3 tie rods that were worn and did a 4 wheel alignment... $1100 total cost. This has raised my average monthly maintenance and repair cost to about $130/month.

Regarding the comment:

""going down long hills" with the engine off--NOT a good idea. No power steering assist if you need to make a sudden steering correction, and the fuel savings are negligible."

Well you sound like you AREN'T speaking from experience. I've been doing the conservative driving since May 2007, including killing the engine down hills and highway off-ramps... so far the fuel savings are in the 15-20% range. And that's with driving at the speed limit. I think I can improve on that and have recently started examining the impact of holding my highway speed to 80-90km/h.

Lack of power steering? No problem. I can and do steer without power assist. Don't need power steering assist in a relatively light 4 cylinder car. If I drove a hulking V8 engined vehicle, it would be a different story. My last car (Honda Civic) didn't have power steering at all.

And a 15-20% reduction in fuel use isn't negligible... and I think I can do better with more disciplined driving.

31st Jan 2008, 15:06

Yes, I'm sure that coasting with the engine off will not damage the manual transmission. There is no pump that circulates fluid on the manual transmission.

The easy way to tell if it's safe to do is if the manufacturer says it can be a 'dinghy vehicle'... a vehicle towed behind a motorhome on all 4 wheels with it in neutral with the engine off. You can find lists of vehicles you can and can't do this with on the Trailer Life website.

Now for an update...

At 287,000KM, and I've decided this is the end of the line. The driver's side brake caliper seized, rear brakes need to be adjusted, and some other things need to be done.

So for $1150, I got about 1.5 years and 27,000km of use out of it with an average cost of around $300/month, which include gas, insurance, maintenance and repairs.

Wouldn't be too bad cost wise to fix it and keep it. However, I decided to take advantage of a special deal on a 2000 Saab 93 5 door hatchback with 5 speed manual in very good condition.

If the body had no rust, I would have just done the repair. But Mother Nature has been steadily biodegrading my Escort.

I'm either going to sell this car now or (if no offers come in) I may keep it, fix the brakes myself, strip the interior, install a rollcage/racing seat/6 point racing seat belts and enter the car in the 24 Hours of Lemons race (www.24hoursoflemons.com).

What's stopping me from fixing the brakes myself right now? Well it's winter and I have nowhere to work on it (I'm not going to work on a car in my driveway in the winter). Also, I'm not a mechanic... Researching and teaching myself to do something as I do it is time consuming. Not a big deal for a second car. But it is a big deal for a car needed every day.

14th Feb 2008, 10:58

Good info - the Escort is a heck of a deal for an old car. Best value, by far, is a five-speed wagon. Cheap to buy, very cheap to run. Up tire pressure to 40 pounds, drive gently, and you'll see 40mpg, easy. Lots of space.

20th Jul 2008, 04:07

I have an Escort Wagon 95. I love this car; it's real cheap on gas. I mean gas is now 4 dollars and 50 cents. And I fill the tank with 40 bucks. It last me 2 weeks and a couple of days... it's a nice looking car fixing it up. With a loud muffler and some spoke rims. With a stereo system it looks and sounds bagging.. If you're thinking of buying one, go with 5 speed, much better... oh and tint those windows up.

24th Sep 2008, 19:23

Concerning the electrical connector located on the right side under the glove box. It is for the heater fan. It has a tendency to overheat and melt. Mine did. There is a relatively inexpensive replacement kit for it. (Improved over the original)

30th Oct 2008, 09:21

I have been driving my Escort '95 for the fifth year now and I have only praise for it. It accelerates superb and drives swell. My only beef other than the creeping rust is the weak torque when making turns. I have to be extra patient and careful when making turns from a stop, especially on wet or snowy roads.

10th Jun 2009, 08:06

Escort was 2nd or 3rd best selling compact in 1994 and/or 1995 and you will typically see more on the road than rusted-out Hondas which fell apart long ago. Picked up this showroom condition Florida LX in 2001 with 75,000. It has 160,000 in 2009 and the never-been-serviced AC blows colder than our new Toyota. The paint has less orange peel than most new cars and exhaust has never been touched. Just for the heck-of-it I put it on craigslist last month for $2,600 and got five responses for this well maintained, like new econobox. Had I sold it for $2,400 the total cost to purchase, maintain and operate (including insurance) would have been 22 cents per mile since 2001. Average annual mileage = 10,000/yr. If I can't handle the maintenance (tie rods, springs, struts, etc) I find a certified mechanic on craigslist who works out of their home.