92 Ford Escort wagon, stick shift, real world mpg?


I was just given a 92 Escort wagon, stick shift. Cant beat free. The ignition cylinder was broken, so it now starts with a screwdriver. Ive been working on cars for 10 years, so Im not afraid of a heap.

I was wondering what kind of gas mileage has been gotten by actual owners of these. I looked online a bit, and it shows about 30 (but does not take into account transmission type or other things). Seems a bit low for such a small car. My 89 Celebrity V6 typically gets 28-30, and has gotten 32 on the freeway a few times.

If its not going to be considerably better on gas, then Ill probably just fix it and put it up for sale.


30 seems about right for a 1992.

Um…a free car with a broken ignition cylinder that’s been being started with a screwdriver? Do you know the car’s history?


Cars in 1992 were not very sophisticated and gas mileage was not a big issue. The 30mpg sounds about right. This car was not one of Ford’s “Better Ideas”. An equivalent Focus would do better today. I drove this model with a stickshift (it had a carburetor)overseas and the driveability was poor and the gas mileage disappointing. Later Escorts were designed by Mazda and were better in all respects.


Yes I do. It was owned by a lifetime friend of my father in law and his father. He is a minister and he married my wife and I.

Sometime in the last few months, the car quit on him, wouldnt start. It was getting old and rusty anyway. Somebody in town arced the starter solenoid and he got it going. He went home and parked it in the backyard, and disconnected the battery to shut it off. My father in law sold him his really nice 93 F150 (then bought an 05 for himself), which he really liked anyway. Thats the one where I fixed the misfiring problem in another thread.

He thought it was the fuel pump, but admits to not knowing what to do with a wrench in his hand, and wanted me to come look at it sometime. I checked it out and found that nothing ignition related worked, but everything else did, so it was probably the ignition switch. I took off the panels around the switch and checked for power at the switch, which there was. Then I removed the switch and found that the end of the lock cylinder had snapped off. So I left the switch hanging, and used a screwdriver to start it, and it started and ran.

I told him I got his car going, but he said he likes the truck so much that he just wants the car gone, and said why dont you just take it. I said I dont really need it, but Ill think about it if you want to just give it away. Then he said he was going in to finish dinner, and he comes out with a signed off clear title and said its yours, just come get it whenever you want, if you want to sell it for scrap, or fix it and sell it, or drive it yourself, do whatever you want with it.

I didnt want to just take the old guy’s running car. I wondered if he just had a senile moment or something (which he is known for these days). So today the wife went over and told her dad about it and asked what he though, and turns out he wanted to give me the car all along.

So tomorrow we will go pick it up. Looks like its going to give the same mileage as the 3 running vehicles Ive already got. So Ill just fix it up, clean it up, and put it for sale. If I dont sell it, Ill drive it to the scrapyard and get a couple hundred bucks for it.


I had a 93 Escort wagon with standard trans. Don’t recall any significant problems besides needing to replace the engine computer at pretty high miles (wouldn’t fire). I got 32 mpg highway. Actually, a pretty good little car - cornered well - not a whole of poop, though.