96 Ford Escort LX Wagon

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Just introduced myself in the other section....i'm new here.


01: First off, I live in NY. There's lots of salt down here, and it's busy right now boring a hole in the side of my car. Rust, Yay! It will probably cost around $200-$300 to have a body shop cut out the affected piece of metal and weld a new piece on. But since I live in NY, is rust prevention even worth it? I'd like to keep this car for a while longer but at this rate i'll be driving around a piece of rust if I don't do something about it. Is this a repair I could make myself? (POR-15?) I really don't know, it might be too difficult for me. Whatcha think?

02: My speedometer has been broken for 2 years. It will cost $600 JUST FOR THE PART and then probably another $200 for labor. What should I do? Whenever I go over 30mph the little pointer starts dancing around all over the place and there is a high pitched grinding noise like a spring is busted or something.

03: My Battery Terminals are constantly corroding. And UGLY AND CAKED UP TOO! Can someone explain to me how I can clean the battery terminals and replace the connectors and use those nice red and green felt things that go on the terminals? What is the general rule of thumb for messing with the battery terminals so i don't electrocute myself?

04: Do those $1.99 Gas Cleaner things you put in the tank actually do anything or are they just a waste of money?

05: There is a small hole in the Rack Pinion power steering component thing. So i'm constantly having to replenish the power steering fluid.It's like $400 for the part. I buy that power steering fluid leak repair stuff but it doesn't really work? Can't I just find the hole myself and put some duct tape on it? I mean c'mon...if it's just a pinhole why do I have to replace the whole thing? Isn't there car part putty or something I can slap on?

06: My check engine light is constantly on. Everytime i take it to the mechanic they charge me $50 to turn it off, and then $200 to fix a bunch of random stuff that probably needs fixing but never actually fixes the immediate repair like, my car doesn't run. What can I do about this? Should I just buy my own engine diagnostics scanner? Aren't they under $100? I know the autoshop doesn't like it if I go to autozone and have them turn it off for free and tell me what the code is but I don't like having to pay $300 everytime I go to the autoshop.

07: How can I make my car run smooth so there are no extraneous ticking noises and gurgling idling, etc. Aside from the RUST my car is in very good condition. I've tried to take care of the exterior as best I could but it is getting old. I'd like to take care of the insides now. What's the deal with washing the engine with steam at the car wash. Is this safe or will it damage all the belts?

08: My brakes make a high pitched squeaking noise. I saw someone replace the brake pads before and it looked pretty easy but I don't really have any tools except hammer and screwdriver. What would be easiest thing to do?

That's all for now, don't want to overwhelm everyone but it's a start hopefully. Thanks.

posted by  fordEscortLXwag

Ok, I'll answer as best as I can seeing as you are waiting around patiantly and I'm the only one online that will probably be able to help you out lol. Here goes.

1. If your car is rusty, what we do in the UK is just weld a patch of metal over the effected area, this is probably the best way to go about things if your car is rusted beyond prevention lol. You will need somone who knows what they are doing to carry this out though!

2. If the speedo's gonna cost you that much to fix (which seems a bit severe to me lol) I'd say leave it like it is.

3. For your battery terminals, simply apply copper grease to them to prevent further corrosion, you can also use a wire brush to clean them off, as for the safesty, just remember, if you are disconnexting the battery, make sure you disconnect the negative terminal first, most of the time it doesn't matter which order you do it in, but the book says negative first lol (read the safety instructions at the top of this board for further measures)

4. They are usually a waste of money

5. I would highly recomend having this repair carried out, I mean, you dont wanna be traveling down the road at 60mph, have to swerve and realise you have no power assistance!

6. Try taking your car to a Ford specialist to find the fault in the system, it seems you're getting nowhere with this mechanic!

7. It's hard to have a car running perfectly, steam cleaning will just make it look pretty, is there any specific noises that are bugging you?

8. When metal rubs against metal, it sqeals, it sounds like your pads need greasing up, some mechanics dont do this, but I've always applied copper grease to the backs of the pads to prevent quealing. It might also be worth checking for wear.

I hope all this helps, good luck! :thumbs:

posted by  Cliffy

Cant comment much about 1 and 2

3. clean the terminals and use vasoline or diaelectric electric grease to prevent corrosion

4. Avoid these

5 the rack and pinion gear is a safety item and needs to be addressed

6. Mechanic is replacing parts instead of troubleshooting the car. Vacume leaks and other thing like that will cause the car to throw codes and fool an inexpenienced mechanic in to thinking he needs to replace MAF sensors or O2 sensors - find another mechanic

7. besure and cover the distributor or coil packs with a plastic bag before washing down the engine - I wash down my engine bay on my cars occasionally

8 Replace the brake pads (and possibly rotors) - If you are not very mechanically inclined, have them done - Not getting the brakes back together right can get you or someone killed

posted by  tbaxleyjr

Ok, i'm not a happy camper now. Just had to pay $300 to get the car to pass inspection and two weeks later car dies and this is the verdict.

#1 & 4 HAVE 100% LEAKAGE
#2 HELD 40 TO 50 %
#3 HELD 100%

The car body is in excellent condition and now I have to consider selling it for $5? The mechanic said it would be upwards of $2000 to fix this. What does everyone think here? Is this legit or should I consider not buying a new car and taking this elsewhere to get fixed. Just doublechecking ya know....

posted by  fordEscortLXwag

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