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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I'm new to the community. My daughter just bought her first car yesterday, a 1995 Escort wagon with 140,000 miles for $1,000. The interior is like new and exterior has a little crack on the rear bumper, other then that it looks new. The first problem I have to deal with on it is after driving it home, turned it off and coolant was coming out of the overflow tank for a couple minutes. I don't remember if the fan was on, but he said the fan and shroud were recently replaced. The other problem is a small oil leak towards the front of the car, I noticed the oil drops on my driveway this morning. The engine sounds smooth, so I don't suspect anything major. Anyone have any suggestions?
Thanks
 

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Of course first ensure it has coolant up to the top of the radiator cap, as well as enough in the overflow tank, and you can let it idle for a while, to see if the fan comes on. The PCM chooses to turn the fan 'low' on when it senses the coolant is about 205 degrees, and is supposed to turn the fan on 'high' when the coolant is about 215. Mine has never gotten that hot though. In fact, mine is now running the fan all the time - so I should figure out what isnt working like it should.
Escorts have a toothed timing belt to spin the camshaft, and which needs to be replaced each 100,000 miles. If thats been done, you dont have to worry about it. If you cannot determine if it HAS been done - the safe thing is to replace it. I do all work myself, so only have the cost of parts to do deal with, and most Escort parts are inexpensive and easy to get. Along with the timing belt its a nice idea to replace the water pump (if that hasnt been done), since changing the water pump requires removing the timing belt anyway. And folks always advise changing the timing belt 'tensioner pulley' when a new belt is installed. And I always replace radiator hoses at the same time.
If its an automatic, check that the tranny fluid is a decent dark red. If its brown, it should be changed, along with a new pickup filter in the tranny oil pan. A messy job of course. If its a standard, be sure to check the fluid level in the tranny soon. If its full you can forget about it until a year from now. Its a chore to do, but is important.
The oil leak could be a worn rear main seal (which means you plan on just adding oil, as repair requires engine removal), or a bad seal between oil pan and engine block (which can be redone by dropping the oil pan - not too bad a job), or maybe a leak at the oil drain plug - so it might need a new gasket for the drain plug, or a leak from the oil pressure sensor at the back of the motor, or a warped camshaft cover that lets oil leak out the top of the motor. It could also be a tranny leak, if the oil puddle is reddish.
Escorts arent hard to work on if you are mechanically inclined, but as with most modern cars, to work on 'A' you may have to remove 'B' and 'C' to have access.
If you read through these forums, you will find about every kind of problem that could possibly happen to an Escort, and how to fix it. They are fun little cars. We get about 30 mpg in town, and about 37 mpg on the open road - not using the a.c.

And Welcome to the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
leak

Thanks denisond3 for all the info. I probably won't be doing much work on it myself since my time is very limited. I do have a local mechanic that I trust and does decent work for a fair price. I suspect the oil leak could be the most expensive one to fix being that the people sold it instead of driving it til it dies. Hopefully it is something cheaper though. I know he did replace the timing belt though and that is one relief. I ran the car for about 15 min. in my driveway yesterday with the radiator cap off and the heater turned all the way on waiting for the coolant to be sucked down thru system. It never happened and the heat never got warm. I suspect either no thermostat or a clogged system. I'll be dropping it off at the mechanics (Dave's) later today and will find out what he suspects. Thanks again for the assist and I'm glad to be among this group with the vast expertise and knowledge.
 
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