Steering problem on Escape

While the car is in the shop for diagnosis & repair of the steering problem, that would be a good opportunity to find out why those two tires keep losing air. I assume that when you rotate the front tires to the back, they still lose air. Am I correct?


Yes, that’s right. The side walls are cracked here and there so it’s probably a slow leak in them.

Sidewalls that are cracked so severely that they are losing air, are a clear indication that they need to be replaced, rather than being repaired. Most likely they have dry rot as a result of their age. If they are more than 7 years old, they need to be replaced regardless of how much tread might be left. And, the new tires should be mounted on the back.

Here’s a tip for the future:
If you rotate your tires on a consistent basis, and if you keep the wheels in proper alignment, they will wear at approximately the same rate over time, thus allowing you to replace all 4 tires at the same time. When people replace tires just two at a time, that is almost always an indication of failure to rotate them on a consistent basis, and/or failure to correct alignment problems.

Bad front tires - one strut replaced - maybe those are the problem .


Time to start weighing the financial situation.
Either replace the vehicle or get the delayed maintenance done correctly.
Most likely all four tires need replacing. Both front struts assemblies.
As a unibody vehicle it really needs to be thoroughly examined for rust. It may well be no longer structurally safe to drive.


I was thinking the same thing, about the financial aspect of this.

What’s a 20 year old Ford Escape worth? What’s the condition of the rest of the vehicle?

It may not be worth putting a lot of money into. Meaning, you might be better off getting something new, or at least new to you (used).

Well, to start off with, I am not a rich person. I am self employed and things have not been real good during the pandemic. I do a lot of my own work to the vehicles we have; to get them ready for safety and general maintenance to keep them going after that.

On this escape, I have replaced the front drivers side steering knuckle, the control arm. Two rotors, brake pads and two ignition coils. One strut was changed out a year or so ago by a mechanic. The passenger side has not been changed that I know of since we bought the vehicle. I also replaced the fuel pump and the filler nozzle for the gas tank.

The front tires are weather worn and cracked and should both be changed out. The back look in perfect condition. I also had to take out all the fuses under the hood and re-seated them as a few were in crooked for some reason. Believe me, it was nothing I did. So there is a bit of history I guess on the vehicle. Sorry for such a long post.

When I have slow tire leaks and the valve stem has been ruled out, the cause is almost always a rim/bead leak. The solution is pretty simple: remove the tire, wire-brush & sand all the rusty deposits areas on the rim clean to a smooth clean surface, and reinstall the tire. I concur however w/the above comments, tires with visible sidewall cracking need to be replaced asap. That’s a good time to give the rims some TLC.

1 Like