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2001 Ford Escape Rough Idle @ Cold Start

TamaThps TamaThps
New User | Posts: 4 | Joined: 04/08
Posted: 02/06/09
12:34 PM

2001 Ford Escape Rough Idle @ Cold Start
V6 with 130k miles, starting the engine below 35 degrees F will promptly start, idle rough & stall if you don’t manually maintain an idle of 1,000 rpm’s or more for about 4 minutes to which the engine coolant temperature is reading normal operating temperature, at this time the engine will still not idle automatically and will stall. The engine sounds like it’s missing on one or more cylinders. The good news is, turn off the engine – let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, start it and the engine will perform like new for the rest of the day – the forgoing is very consistent & if you don’t mind the wait, the car is very dependable.

Replacement Parts History, the idle problem started last spring – changed out the Idle Air Control (IAC) Valve, 5 minute job – no improvement, a few weeks later the weather warmed up and the car ran great for the next 7 months until the temperature dropped.

The OBD II scan tool, reported PO174, PO171, P1151 & P1131- system too lean Bank 1 & 2, Lack of HO2S11 & HO2S21 switches / sensors. I replaced all 4 Oxygen sensors / no improvement. The following parts were replaced based on 130k miles, ease of installation & cost, Throttle Position Sensor, Front 3 Spark Plugs, PVC, Mass Air Flow Sensor, Engine Coolant Temperature Sensor, Test gas pressure at Injectors, Replaced 6 Fuel Injectors, 3 Rear Spark Plugs, Ignition Coils & upper intake manifold gaskets,
EGR System Sensor & Regulator, Camshaft Position Sensor, checked connection of the Power Control Module.  Replacement parts were individually installed and relearned through the PCM before taking another step. All the parts installed easily (15 minutes or so) with the Fuel Injectors, Plugs & Ignition Coils taking the most time of about 2 hours and replacements recommended with 130k + miles. This process has been fun, a joke & interesting learning about “Emissions Control Systems” fortunately the car gets me where I need to go and warm weather is on the way.

Theory – a component outside the coolant system connected to the engine block or within the engine compartment, when warmed restores operation. Remember the engine still will not idle with the coolant up to operating temperature, it must transfer the heat somewhere, because when you start the engine 10 minutes later the coolant has dropped temperature but the engine will perform like new. I welcome any thoughts and or suggestions, Thanks for your time. Joe W. Dearborn Mich.  

jjkeyport jjkeyport
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/09
Posted: 04/06/09
07:44 PM

I've been having the same rough idle problem for a few months now. Have you found out what the problem is yet?  

simi_ed simi_ed
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 11/09
Posted: 11/27/09
12:15 PM

My daughter-in-law has an '01 Escape 3.o v-6 with the same cold start problems.  It surges to about 1000, then back to >500 rpm while under load (in drive), at idle.  After replacing the IAC valve with no improvement, I tried spraying WD-40 along the intake manifold while the problem was occurring.  It would stop for about 1 minute, then start again.  After a few repeats of this, I decide it was intake manifold gaskets.

Gasket set only cost ~$10 at local auto parts place.  Took a few hours and some deliberate/delicate handling and cleaning to get it all apart & back together.
2 weeks later, still good!  That's all from Simi Valley, Laugh


tugamburn tugamburn
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 04/11
Posted: 04/04/11
02:56 PM

my 01 escape did the same thing and when i tore into it i found the pcv valve was bad it is under the intake and the plentam  

dblisle dblisle
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 06/11
Posted: 06/13/11
09:16 PM

My Escape is starting to have this issue at 178k on the engine after reading what others have posted and doing some research I have potentially to cause 1 a blown head gasket or 2 the PCV Valve needs replacing.  I'm hoping for the later.  

tsibbalds tsibbalds
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 01/12
Posted: 01/21/12
08:57 PM

I had a similar problem. When the temp dropped and the snow flew, my escape (98K miles) would start and want to stall and run rough unless you kept it at about 1.5k rpm. After warming up for 10 minutes it ran fine MOST of the time. After replacing the usual (air intake module, egr valve, etc.) I purchased an intake manifold gasket set from Autozone ($10). I cheated and only replaced the upper set. The easiest. My Bad! It ran the same. I finally broke down and replaced the lower set as well (it also came with one for the trottle body and throttle pos. sensor). I took my time and was very careful, and remembered to disconnect the battery. Disconnecting the battery will allow the Engine Control Module to reset its memory and shut off the Check Engine light if its on. When removing the manifold, bugs and dirt wanted to drop down into the cylinder intakes so I kept a shop vac handy. When all was done, the car had set for 3 hours, engine cold and outside temp of 16, it started ran very rough for a couple of seconds then smoothed out. I shut it off and restarted it. Ran smooth as a new one. The lower manifold gaskets were cracked and badly worn. My advice... If anyone replaces the intake manifold gaskets PLEASE replace both upper AND lower sets. Well worth the time and trouble.   Grin  

robinm1963 robinm1963
New User | Posts: 1 | Joined: 02/15
Posted: 02/14/15
05:15 PM

mine is doing the same ! there is a hose for pcv (i think) that has collapses when running is that a bad pcv valve or hose ? had pcv replaced 2 or 3 years ago when i had a coil pack  replaced on #3 cylinder + plugs . they said they replaced pcv valve .my idle i rough and idles like a i changed to a high lift cam (old hot rod days)  

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