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2002 Ford Escort shakes on idle

I just bought a used 2002 Ford Escort with 70,000 miles. When stopped at a light, the car shakes quite a bit. Once you start driving, it goes away. It may be the idle setting but I’m not sure. I’ve heard other people have had the same problem with this model car. Do you know of any solutions or fixes? Thanks! -Ray in Tucson

I Drove One Of These. They Are Little Cars, Like Enclosed Motorcycles. You Can Buy A Larger Car Or Live With It.

The car shouldn’t shake at idle. Is there a tachometer? If so, at what rpm does the engine idle?

Maybe the Idle Air Control valve is dirty and the idle is too low.

Manual or auto? Does it creep ahead if you take your foot off the brake.

If, like most used cars, this one did not come with maintenance records, then it would be impossible to answer this question, but I will ask it anyway:
When was the last time that the car had its spark plugs replaced?

If the maintenance of the engine is not up to date, that would definitely cause more shaking than normal at idle. It is even possible that there is a problem with the motor mounts. Mcparadise’s suggestion of a bad IAC valve is worth investigating also.

Since I suspect that you did not have this car inspected by a mechanic prior to purchase (a major no-no!), I strongly suggest that you get it to a well-reputed mechanic a.s.a.p., just on the chance that you have a broken motor mount or two. A broken motor mount can lead to other problems, such as a stuck throttle and problems with the transmission linkage, so this is not something to ignore. While the car is there, have the spark plugs inspected to see if–as I suspect–they are long overdue for replacement.

Thanks for all responses so far. I’ll check into the IAC valve. To answer the above posts: no tachometer; it is automatic. It did come with maintenance records and the spark plugs have been replaced at 44,000 miles. I did take it to a mechanic recommended on this forum before purchasing for my daughter as a Christmas present. The mechanic did a thorough inspection and replaced one of the motor mounts along with oil/oil filter/air filter replacement, transmission fluid/filter replacement, radiator flush. According to the maintenance records, a motor mount was replaced earlier.