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First owner (my employer) registered this vehicle March of 2015, a FWD S-model Ford Escape in red. A year ago, they removed it from the fleet and it just sat so the last service was in October of 2017 just an oil change at 250,000 miles. Highway miles, all service done on time, these vehicles go south for the winter so they're never driven in salt or in ice / snow. Here's a screenshot of the maintenance (attached)

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I drove it home today from the office, just a few thoughts. I am a car guy but I only have owned German performance vehicles so I wanted to give an overview of how the car runs.

Starts perfectly, no issues turning over, battery was replaced a year ago and recharged today
I get vibration under braking, likely just needs pads..will inspect tomorrow
Right passenger shock is creaking a bit going over bumps. Needs inspecting I think
wipers are shot
The biggest issue so far is the throttle has some kind of feedback / vibration in it. under normal 40 MPH cruising, it is vibrating a bit, I don't want to ignore a finicky throttle. Under load, the motor got up to speed pretty quickly.
124K miles (2016), the transmission was completely replaced, so this trans has 125K miles. I noticed some sluggishness between shifts, holding gears a bit too long and a thud under the downshift while going down hill, I'm used to dual clutch transmissions or manual I assume this is CVT? Should I just replace the transmission again?
No Check engine light, all of the lights work, it needs a deep interior cleaning as the driver was clearly a smoker.
There are some cracked plastics around the front fender, what's the cheapest way to source these without going to a ford dealer?

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Next steps with my limited knowledge:
1. Full interior steam detailing
2. remove the vinyl corporate wrap (part of the deal of getting this for $800 was that I removed the wrap)
3. Change the oil, check pads, new air filter, cabin air filter, oil filter, maybe automatic transmission fluid?
4. New Wipers
5. New tires (winter rubber since this will be a winter car)
6. Inspect suspension
7. Get it inspected
8. Maybe have a ford tech give me an opinion on transmission health overall
9. Walnut blast the top end due to very likely heavy carbon build up.

It's averaging 23 MPG...not sure if that's good or not.

Anything else I should check on or take up immediately? I'm brand new to Ford vehicles. I got this truck for dirt cheap but It does have a quarter million miles. I really don't know how much longer it has but the paint has been covered from day one and the body and frame has no rust or scratches.

I'd post a photo but it has our corporate logo on it. Will be removing the wrap tomorrow.
 

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Just a few things:-

The vibration you feel when braking is probably due to the rotors needing machining and if this is the case you will need to replace brake pads as well coz they will be worn unevenly.

The vibration you feel under throttle under 40mph is probably normal if it is in top gear as these cars have a high top gear that does not always kick down easily. Mine does this a bit too.

The gear box is not a CVT to my knowledge and is just a normal torque converter automatic but may only need a transmission oil change by the sound of the difficulties you are experiencing.

Just a few things to keep in mind when you are getting it checked out...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just a few things:-

The vibration you feel when braking is probably due to the rotors needing machining and if this is the case you will need to replace brake pads as well coz they will be worn unevenly.

The vibration you feel under throttle under 40mph is probably normal if it is in top gear as these cars have a high top gear that does not always kick down easily. Mine does this a bit too.

The gear box is not a CVT to my knowledge and is just a normal torque converter automatic but may only need a transmission oil change by the sound of the difficulties you are experiencing.

Just a few things to keep in mind when you are getting it checked out...

Thank you very much John! I may go ahead and head to AutoZone and just grab new pads and rotors then. I won't go too fancy, the goal of this vehicle is to be a winter beater for as long as it'll run.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Just out of curiosity - do you mind sharing what you had to pay for this vehicle?
$800

BUT keep in mind this was a raffle of 20 of our fleet vehicles to employees only with the stipulation we can't flip them for profit. They wanted us to actually use them and they estimated about $1,000 per person in work to get them road worthy which I agree with. Just spent $130 on fluids, will send another $600 on tires and $150 for front brake pads and rotors with an additional $300 in labor to have the vinyl wrap removed and $100 for an interior detailing to get rid of the cigarette smoke smell. so around $1150 to get it done right and ready to be inspected.

I'll post up the quote from Ford for any additional work they recommend here.

NADA estimates these cares are worth $3-4K miles if in good condition with 250K miles. So if I can get this thing road-worthy and last me a few winters for $3K out of pocket, I'll be happy.
 

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So the total costs on those lists = $6,443.20; divided by 258,125 miles = $0.025/mile (2-1/2 cents/mile). Though only representing a part of the 'total cost of ownership' I'm guessing that car wasn't a bad value at all for your employer.

That's an interesting repair history, thanks for posting and congrats on your 'new' car!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So the total costs on those lists = $6,443.20; divided by 258,125 miles = $0.025/mile (2-1/2 cents/mile). Though only representing a part of the 'total cost of ownership' I'm guessing that car wasn't a bad value at all for your employer.

That's an interesting repair history, thanks for posting and congrats on your 'new' car!

Thanks! The manager of our fleet indicated nearly every car at 250-300K miles has roughly $20K (+/- a few grand) of maintenance / repairs throughout the life of the vehicles. That's having all work done at Ford Dealerships by the book and as needed. The PDF I posted is just parts cost not labor. I don't know what the MSRP of a 2015 Escape S FWD was but good info for others.
 

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these are drive by wire, so any vibration in the pedal is taking a differnt path.

i would inspect you motor mounts.

as said above, they do vibrate a little at low rpm in 6th gear.

the motor mounts could also be responsible for the thud while downshifting.

they are a traditional 6 speed automatic.

they also shift weird if they are low on fluid. some do show evidence of leaking form the axle seal.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
these are drive by wire, so any vibration in the pedal is taking a differnt path.

i would inspect you motor mounts.

as said above, they do vibrate a little at low rpm in 6th gear.

the motor mounts could also be responsible for the thud while downshifting.

they are a traditional 6 speed automatic.

they also shift weird if they are low on fluid. some do show evidence of leaking form the axle seal.

Motor mounts is a great idea. I'll check for depredation. If they haven't been done yet, it's definitely time.
 

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Finally got my hands on the maintenance log in a way I can easily sort by date to see oldest to newest. ignore the higher ODO figures because this was driven in Canada and they use KM instead of miles so there are some mis-prints. Most important, the miles (when available) and the date and parts.





I bought:
  • Oil / Filter
  • Air Filter
  • Cabin Filter
  • Spark Plugs
  • Transmission Fluid
  • Wiper Blades
Here's the list again with the mile & date it was performed:

  • Oil / Filter 9-22-18 / 256K Miles
  • Air Filter 2-6-2017 / 164K miles (overdue)
  • Cabin Filter (never?)
  • Spark Plugs 11-13-2017 / 226K miles
  • Transmission Fluid 6-23-16 / 124K Miles (new transmission)
  • Wiper Blades 2-28-17 / 168K miles
So, spark plugs are probably over kill, as is oil but it appears they went to a jiffy lube type place so I still feel like I'm on the right path here.

Started removing the wrap and the paint is excellent underneath:





BTW, grand total of that list, $22,000 in parts / labor to keep this quarter million mile beast on the road.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Spent 2 hours total doing a lot of first run of a lot of stuff.





Nasty Cabin Air Filter:


Engine Air Filter:



Also topped off the coolant.

Spark plugs looked okay..not great. hard to tell where oil stops and anti-seize starts (replaced them anyway) but cylinder 1 was more than scorched, there was oil on top of the plug. Will need to keep an eye on it.

Here's Cylinder 4: (2,3,4 looked the same)


Cylinder 1 plug:
 

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looks exactly like our engine in our 17 Escape S. ours a lot cleaner cuz It only has 20K miles on it. yours must have been a good engine to do 250 K. I would not be complaining. lol hope you get all the quirks ironed out and fixed. Enjoy
 

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looks exactly like our engine in our 17 Escape S. ours a lot cleaner cuz It only has 20K miles on it. yours must have been a good engine to do 250 K. I would not be complaining. lol hope you get all the quirks ironed out and fixed. Enjoy
Thanks! Ford has it today and they're giving it a front to rear looks over. They'll be giving me a list of parts needed immediately and over the next few months so I can start working on it.

I am hoping I can use this thread to update my experiences as they happen.
 

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Adding this to the maintenance records. I basically asked them to remove the commercial vinyl that I couldn't get to with the cold temps and fully give the car a once-over so it would pass inspection as well as do the transmission fluid since it was unclear when it was last done (at least 100K miles ago)





Also, floor mats, bolts to re-attach the rear seats, seat covers (front seat is torn and I don't want to spend the money re-upholstering it) and 3 brand new wipers have arrived:



I run WEathertech on all of my vehicles but again, this being a quarter mile car, I'm just trying to keep my cost down overall and get this thing road-ready with as little money as possible but done right.
 

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Looking at all in price:

$800 for the vehicle
$653 in Ford / Auto Detailing work (most of the cost is removing the vinyl wrap)
$125 for glass company to re-install the rear quarter panel removed by my employer but I still have the glass
$45 for NH State Inspection
$380 for 12 months of pretty good insurance coverage
$80 - 4 tires mounted & balanced on OEM wheels
$483 for 4 brand new Michelin X-Ice 3 (after $100 mail in rebate)
$247 for Floor mats, seat covers, rear storage mat and mud-guards
$148 for Oil, Filter, Air Filter, Cabin Air Filter, Spark Plugs, Windshield Wipers (did this myself)
$99 for an alignment (car is pulling hard to the right)

Grand total spent (before state registration) - $3061.

That's my all-in price. If you look at me buying a random high mileage escape on Craigslist, I'm not so sure it'd have all of the maintenance records, one owner, all service done at Ford and there's a lot of things in here I'd still likely have to do like tires, alignment, insurance and a full pre purchase inspection.

The only expense I could have saved myself would be braving the below freezing temps in the dark and removing all of the vinyl myself which would have saved me $350 out of pocket and I could have risked the auto trans fluid, oil and other things and stuck with the current all season tires.

Other than that, I still feel strongly that I'm sitting on a smoking good deal when the body and frame are in immaculate condition. I'll get some photos up on this thread by the end of the week then we can call it quits for now. I know this wasn't completely "all tech" but I wanted to share the experience with others.
 

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Finally, some photos!














The paint is flawless after being wrapped for 3 years.

This weekend, I'll be replacing the valve cover gasket.
 

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Looks great.....now we can all appreciate what a bargain this car was.

The earlier interior pics look good too.
 

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Looks great.....now we can all appreciate what a bargain this car was.

The earlier interior pics look good too.

Thanks again, John!

Once detailed, the interior is aces. i have the seats fully bolted down now, grabbed some weather tech mats and a floor mat for the rear of the cabin. I really love this thing. Have put 500 miles on it so far this week. Nothing about it makes me feel uneasy about a long trip now.

I know the all in price I've spent is high but I think this car will serve me well all year with very little issues. I'll be sure to come back as things break to keep people updated.
 
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