I hav'nt heard of a valve seat problem. I disconnected my automatic seat belts before one failed. If you can get the belts retracted in the back position, then just pull the fuse. I'm not sure how your state inspection laws view disconnecting automatic seat belts. I bought my 92 wagon 2 years ago with 82,000 miles for $1800.00 and just turned 115,000 miles. I have cruise control on mine which was a strong selling point for me. See if the automatic transmission oil looks red and not like mud. If it was changed a couple times it should be ok. There are plenty of escorts out there, make sure this is the one you want. Wagons seem to be harder on rear coil springs. No big deal.