ZX2 noise

I just bought a 1998 Escort ZX2, 118,000. It has a intermitt squeal, much like the sound of a dry belt, dry power steer belt. It starts after about 10 miles of driving. It comes and goes, so loud people turn and stare. It also squeals for about 2-3 seconds AFTER the key is removed. It seems to be on the drivers side, up in the engine. Pushing in the new clutch, working the gas pedal, does not make it more or less. It squeals at 5 and 50, speed makes no difference. My mechanic has listened with ‘scope’ to all parts that the belt moves,new water pump, rad. fan, alt, blower motor, all sound fine. It is a high pitch squeal, like a dry bearing in a small idle pulley. But every moving part as been replaced. With the noise happening with the engine off, car parked, says it’s not wheels, or anything the engine belt turns. and yes, it has a new clutch. any help would REALLY be helpful. thank you

Maybe it’s a vacuum hose leak somewhere. Try stepping on the brake and/or changing the climate control settings while it is squealing. If the pitch changes, it is likely vacuum related.

“With the noise happening with the engine off, car parked”

With the engine off and car parked- and the key in the ON/ACC position??? Assuming the key is turned to ON/ACC in this situation; What I gather is that the cause is something driven by electronics. First to come to mind is the blower motor for the AC/Heating system. Those can be very loud and put up one heck of a noisy fight before finally going out. Does the car make the noise with the blower fan off?

NO, the Key is actually removed, in my hand, we checked the blower motor, no internal noise. The noise is ahead of driver,under hood, like even with the guages, it makes this noise whether the A/C is on or not, whether the blower motor switch is on or off. It does not always make the noise after the engine is shut off,but if it is noisy just before turnng engine off, it will contuine for the length of time it take me to remove key and put it on the other seat.

I did more searching and found Automotiveforum.com and several people were sharing their ZX2 noise experience. It seems from those replies, that the ZX2 squeals a lot due to a plugged Crankcase breather Filter, so I’am off to buy one and install it and hope for the best.

I have dealt with this type of noise for years. Mechanics always telling me that they could not find the source of the sound, the few times it was reproduced. I am not sure what has happened, but after just dealing with the sound, because for me it was not as frequent a problem as you seem to indicate, it only happens every once and a while now; mainly after turning the engine off. I have also heard about this sound from other ZX2 owners so I am assuming that it is some sort of design flaw. Did the replacement have an effect on the sound?

Just FYI… another Ford specific problem that I ran in to, is the sparkplugs can spontaneously explode out of their socket due to a Ford specific problem with the metal that the plugs are threaded into. Usually you will hear this problem happening to Explorers, but that just seems to be because WAY more Explorers have been sold than ZX2s.