I am considering buying my grandfather's 2002 Ford Escort 4-door which
has 50,500 miles on it. I have not had the chance to check it out yet
and am asking if there is anything in particular to this design that
may be troublesome. A cursory Internet search reveals some problems
with automatic transmissions and rattling noises, although I would
expect these issues would be corrected by the 2002 models.
AC failed on our 03, had no idea it was in the AC module and I might have
fixed it myself, dealer charged $750 I think.
A rattle that sounded like a rod knock around 100k, dealer told us it was
flex plate, I have always trusted them and let them fix it for $1400, then I
the same retainer nut on the trans side wheel as before, in the exact same
position, makes me wonder what they really did to the car.
Anyway, I am into it for $2200 or so in repairs at 120k, I put a new timing
and pulleys and water pump in it myself to avoid another $800 from the
The rattling is probably the heat shields on the exhaust. They are
often mistaken for a transmission problem. At 50K miles the
transmission should be fine, espically if it was driven by your
grandfather. Now if it has been driven by a teenager, anything goes.
FWIT, my 1995 Ford Escort at over 194,000 miles still has it's
original automatic transmission.
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