A plethora of problems

I was on here back in May with a question, but sadly lost my log in info to thank the people that helped me. So, thank you.

I now have a new problem, and am here to ask of your help again.

I have a 2001 Ford Escape with automatic transmission. Back in May, I had problems with an ECM valve and a coil. We ended up replacing all the coils, and the ECM valve. After getting it back, I noticed that something still didn’t feel right with the way it ran, it was losing power on hills and was slow to accelerate. We brought it back to the mechanic who found a wire that wasn’t plugged back in right. After having it plugged back in, it seemed to run fairly well again.

About a month later, the problems started pouring in again. When I first turn the car on, when the temperature is still on “C”, it idles on the rough side, and sometimes it comes close to stalling. Once the temperature warms up to the normal level, it’s fine. About a few weeks later, we noticed that it occasionally still lost power going up hills. We also started to notice that once in a while the brake pedal would vibrate as if the ABS was kicking in, even though it was a dry day, and there was nothing on the road for me to slide and cause the ABS to kick in. Well, both problems became more frequent over the past week, and to add to the issue, we are noticing that it shifts rough once in a while while accelerating or decelerating, even on a flat surface; it’s as if we went over a small patch of bumps, but there were none there.

The other night, when we started up the car, it was idling rough again, but we noticed that, being night and the lights being on, that all the lights in the car, even the headlights, were dimming to the rough idling. Later on that night, we noticed that the lights also did this when the brakes acted up.

Could all of this be connected, or are there several issues going on at once?

I don’t know if this is relevant or not, but I have owned the car since 2007. I have had to replace the battery at least twice in the 4 years I have owned it. Could this all or most of it be linked to an alternator problem?

Is the CEL on?

And, yes, your problems may be linked to a bad alternator. And a charging system test can verify if an alternator is not up to specifications. However, a rough idling engine could also explain this, because the alternator needs a minimum RPM to work, and an engine rough idling below, then above this RPM could cause the lights to pulsate with the chugging. A chugging engine could also make the brakes seem funny.

The CEL comes and goes. It pops on randomly and then it will randomly turn back off.

Thank you so much for that info. I am going to go have that tested ASAP.

Radsaxon, did you ever get this issue resolved. I have the exact same vehicle and likely or almost the same issue. Mine start occurring in September. I just posted about it, like a dummy I didn’t search beforehand :frowning:

One thing I noticed with mine is that the longer my vehicle sits without running the more likely the issue. more than 10 hours sitting and the issue will appear and less than 10 not that I can tell. And I live in the Chicago area, so it gets cold quick this time of year.


Not yet. We are hoping to get it to the mechanic with in the week.

After some extensive research though, we think that manifold gaskets may be to blame for the rough and poor idling. I just read your post and I’m having literally the same problems, and the colder it gets here in New England the worse it’s been getting.

I’ll definitely keep you updated on what the issue was, once I get it fixed!

I got my car back today, finally, from the mechanics and this is what needed to be fixed on it:

  1. The Manifold Gaskets (upper and lower) were completely shot. The mechanic did a smoke test and he said the smoke was just pouring out from both of them.

  2. The battery was faulty. He tested the alternator and said it was functioning normally but the battery wasn’t up to par so he warned me against batteries from Wal Mart (said they were cheap and they never last).

  3. Tone Rings. The front passenger tone ring was broken, causing the ABS to think that my tire was slipping, causing the ABS system to turn on, causing my break problem.