2001 ford escape riddler

Hey everyone. I’d like to go ahead and say thanks for the help right off the bat.

I have a 2001 Ford Escape with just about 120k on her. I have experienced some low idling in the past, but as of about two months ago it has really progressed. Now it’s even worse! It really feels like it could die at any moment during those dips in the idle unless i keep the rpms at least around 1k. I’ve heard (and read) that it’s caused by a gap/leak in the lower manifold gasket. (She also reads a misfire in cylinder 4… by the way.) So here’s the riddler… I bought a battery back in 09/08 and had to get it replaced in 07/10 under warranty. It just had the thing replaced again today under warranty and it’s only 02/11! I have had the alternator checked and it’s fine.

Do I have a drain that could correspond with the low idle? Are these issues unrelated and I’m in for major pocket drainage? I need some help.

Thanks so much,


Have someone clean and test the Idle Air Control valve. It might solve your idle problem.

I doubt the idle problem has anything to do with the battery.

A decent independent mechanic should be able to solve the idle problem and figure out what’s draining the battery.

How many miles do you drive your Escape each day?

I drive around 20-25 miles normally for work. depending on my second job i might drop another 60 three times a week once a month and another 15 twice a week two times a month. Why?

Do you think cleaning the IAC valve is something I can handle? I am pretty good at working on cars and I like to learn.

Is figuring out what’s draining the battery something that’s going to cost me an arm and a leg? I have only two of each and can’t afford to lose any of them…

Thanks for the info!

Sounds like two independent issues. Start your car and pull off the positive terminal while its running…if she stays running your alternator is most likely not the culprit also if you have a 12v multi meter check batt voltage while running as well as at rest…you want to see at least 12V at rest and no more than 13-14V running…any more or less is a problem…Make certain your batt terminals and cable clamps are clean and greased…This is IMPERATIVE.

The idle issue is a bit more complex. If you have an Air idle control valve then yes this can be the culprit…they get clogged up with oil and carbon…a cleaning works wonders sometimes. Also a vacume leak would make your idle go UP not DOWN… If you have a misfire on cyl 4 try spraying wd40 on the manifold near that cylinder…if you notice a change in running quality or idle quality then you found a leak…that must be fixed… Also take a look at your air filter…u dont want a dirty one in there that would cause flooding and poor idle as well if it is quite dirty