Ford Escort Zx2 Problems
In 1997, the Ford Escort Zx2 was brought in as the third generation of the Ford Escort. It was considered as the replacement for the Ford Probe when it was redesigned as a sports coupe. However, the Escort Zx2 was mostly marketed to the youth and as the successor of the Escort GT. It was powered by a 2.0-L engine capable of generating 130 horsepower. The Ford Escort Zx2 enjoyed a laudable reputation during its entire run, but having problems with any automobile is just inevitable. The following are the usual defects that Zx2 drivers observe in this car:
The most common issue regarding the Ford Escort Zx2 engine is the problem with the valve seat. This component easily gets separated from the cylinder head, causing an unusual sound that resembles lifter noise. What's causing the valve seat to move, though, could be its poor design. If this problem remains unfixed, the valve seat would eventually loosen and bits of shrapnel could possibly drop into one of the engine cylinders. As a result, the motor becomes at risk of serious damage.
Another problem that may be apparent in the Escort Zx2's engine is the oil, which quickly turns into black after just a short span of time.
The problem with the Ford Escort Zx2's AC/heater is due to the failure of the circuit to engage the AC compressor clutch. If it would be looked at more closely, the root cause is actually a poor or broken connection that one of the circuit board relays developed. Thus, the AC/heater operation gets affected and becomes intermittent. Sometimes, it even fails completely. However, don't be disheartened because this problem can still be corrected. The CCRM (Constant Control Relay Module) can either be repaired or replaced. This unit is basically a metal housing that contains the circuit board and the relays.
Defective seat belt
Ford initiated a recall for the Escort Zx2's seat belts that wouldn't lock. This flaw was definitely a threat to safety and could mean the lives of passengers. Seat belt buckle assemblies were also found to be improperly heat treated and failed to meet the load-bearing requirement.
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Ford Escort ZX2—2-Door Coupe from One of Ford’s Bestselling Models
Since the oil crisis hit the American shores in the ‘70s, the US started a love affair with Japanese-built vehicles. American car owners developed strong feelings toward more fuel-efficient cars that may be a bit smaller than standard American automobiles but still deliver the performance needed for a day-to-day drive. Ford, best known for its muscle cars and all-American vehicles, wasn’t about to watch America fall head over heels with Japanese driving machines without fighting for the lost affection towards American auto makers during the time. Out to complete with the smaller economy cars from Japanese brands was the Ford Escort, which first came out in 1981 as a two-door hatchback and as a four-door wagon. In the late ‘90s, a sports coupe version came out. The Ford Escort ZX2, with its flashy body and pumped-up engine, was manufactured in the US in 1997 and debuted as a 1998 model.
1980s: And then came the Escort, one of Ford’s best-selling vehicles
Its predecessor, the Ford Pinto, unfortunately had to face some crucial blows during its time. It was confronted with quality and safety issues, and its reputation was marred by a publicized fuel tank defect. Ford made a rather successful comeback with the release of Pinto’s successor, the Ford Escort. Compared to the Pinto, the Escort was designed with a modern front-wheel drive system. The vehicle came with independent suspension and rack and pinion steering and an overhead cam 4-cylinder engine. It was surely a winner as the Ford economy model became a top-selling car in America during the greater part of the ‘80s. It won the hearts of some Ford lovers and car enthusiasts because of its build quality and reliability.
1998-2003: Along came the Escort ZX2, a replacement to the sporty Escort GT
The third generation Escort came with a 2-door coupe to replace the old Escort GT. The ZX2, a sporty version of the Escort, was released in the market as a 1998 model. The coupe was designed with a flashier body and exterior and a more powerful engine—a 2.0-liter 16-valve "Zetec" engine. The Ford Escort ZX2 can churn out up to 130 horsepower and can go from 0 to 60 mph in just about 7.8 seconds.
As tuner models became a hit in the late ‘90s, Ford came out with the ZX2 S/R, a high-performance model to go head-to-head with other performance compact vehicles such as the Honda Civic Si and the Dodge Neon ACR. It made its first appearance in 1999 at SEMA's Import Auto Salon in Pomona. The optional S/R was more powerful than the ZX2. It could generate 10% more engine power, with a rate of 143 bhp (107 kW; 145 PS). The S/R package included more rigid suspension components, a more efficient intake, better braking power through rear disc brakes, a more solid clutch, and other enhancements.
In 2001, the Escort ZX2 was simply called the ZX2. The last units rolled out in 2003. In its final year, the ZX2 was designed with a new front fascia and 15-inch 5-spoke wheels. The deluxe and premium versions also featured an in-dash CD player. The Ford Escort was then replaced by the Ford Focus. In the new lineup, no other model took the place of the ZX2 coupe.