I own a 1998 Escort ZX2 automatic with the Vetec 16V engine at 80,000
miles. I've been having problems with it lately. I noticed about a
week ago, that something up front squeaks when I drive it for the
first time of the day. It goes away after 2 or 3 minutes though. It
sounds like a belt going through a tight spot or something. It only
squeaks when you drive it, not in idle. I had it looked at, and was
told that the serpentine belt needed replaced. It was cracked, and it
hadn't been replaced since I bought it in 2000. I replaced it, and
also had the pulleys checked for about $97.
It still squeaks, but the S-belt needed replaced anyway. Maybe it's
the timing belt, but I heard from someone that it doesn't squeak, or
does it? I really have no idea what's the squeaking about up front.
When I had it cranked up one morning before the S-belt was replaced,
the noise was coming from that area.
Another thing, is that it shakes a little badly when idling. I don't
know if this has anything to do with the squeaking.
Some things I am going to check on is the fuel pump, PVC assembly, and
the fuel injectors. I don't know if these have been replaced or
checked before. If anyone has had any similiar problems with their
ZX2, or have knowledge of what this problem is or might be, please let
me know. Thank you very much.