120k miles, now what...


Old 03-07-10, 12:14 PM
DBR35's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: USA
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120k miles, now what...

I have a 2005 Ford Escape with 120k miles. I get regular oil changes every 5k, and my last major service was a 75k scheduled maintanence. The thing is running terrific, and I want to keep it that way. I'd like to put some money into it to keep it running as best as possible, as I don't plan to get a new car in the near future. I can put about $500 into it, what should I have done?
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Old 03-07-10, 02:54 PM
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I say keep your $500 and keep doing what your doing. If your Escape is due for any maintenance, do that.
Old 03-07-10, 03:06 PM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 6,126
120k miles, now what...

If it was me, and it never had a major tune-up, I would opt for new plugs, wires and a rotor/cap if a used.

you know they are not as good as new and will continue to deteriorate and cost you some money until you have a unanticipated failure.

If you have a regular, honest mechanic, tell him to watch for other things like fuel filters, serpentine belts, hoses etc. when he does any other associated work.

I was worried about a bad serpentine belt, but he said it O.K. When I had an unexpected problem with the legendary GM manifold gasket problems, he replaced the belt for the cost of the belt since it was easy at the time.

Do what you should and try to look ahead.

Old 03-08-10, 02:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Owen Sound Ontario Canada
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I would stick to the basics
Transmission fluid change and filter
Brake fluid change.
Old 03-08-10, 04:15 AM
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Took a peek at the Gates site for timing belt info and it only lists 2001-04, so I would assume you have a chain - good news.

FWIW I've towed very few Escapes, although I did an '05 last week with a blown tranny @ 150,000 miles.
Old 03-09-10, 10:34 PM
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Washington State
Posts: 312
Here is Fords 120k service sched.

Brakes and Traction Control
Inspect brake pads, shoes, rotors, drums, brake lines and hoses, and parking brake system for all operating Conditions.

Cooling System
Inspect cooling system and hoses.

Drive/Propeller Shafts

Exhaust System

Heat Shield, Exhaust

Steering and Suspension
Inspect steering linkage and suspension.

Wheel Bearing Notes
Inspect wheel ends for endplay and noise.

Control Arm Notes
Lube front lower control arm and steering linkage ball joints with zerk fittings, if equipped.


Air Filter Element

Cabin Air Filter
Replace cabin air filter, if equipped.

Engine Oil
Replace engine oil for all Special Operating Conditions.

Fluid - A/T
Replace automatic transmission fluid on all transmissions.

Fluid - M/T

Fluid - Transfer Case
Replace transfer case fluid.

Fuel Filter Notes
Replace fuel filter. All Operating Conditions.

Oil Filter, Engine Notes
Replace oil filter under all operating conditions.

Spark Plug (E) Notes
Replace spark plugs.

Tires Notes

(S) = Service Warranty Requirement
(E) = Emission Warranty Requirement
(B) = Both Service and Emission Warranty Requirement

Hope That Helps ya out
Good Luck
Old 03-10-10, 07:52 AM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 4
Service checks

Usually your factory service manual will only identify maintenance schedule to a certain mileage (100,000 miles for instance). After that point you can just start from the beginning of the maintenance schedule again.

there a are a few things you can look for that might not be in the maitnenance schedule but will extend the life of your vehicle. Look through your schedule and see if these items have been taken care of or not.

Fluids: Fluids deteriorate over time and need to be replaced to extend the life of the vehicle. If there's a fluid you've never flushed and replaced then go ahead and do it

Pumps: pumps will eventually go bad. Water pumps are the worst cause they're expensive and leave you stranded with no warning. If it's still your original I'd replace it.

Idler pulley: Idler pulleys automatically adjust the tension on the serpentine belt. If the pulley gets worn the belt will jump and could cause damage. Get it replaced at least every 10 years

Radiator caps can go bad without warning and leave you overheated on the side of the road. Keep a spare in the glove box.
Old 03-10-10, 09:15 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Northeast Kansas
Posts: 733
I turned over 300,000 miles on my 1999 Mercury last week, and it is running great. My secret? Other than mostly highway driving (100 miles daily to work), I have faithfully followed the service recommendations in my owners manual. I have the automatic transmission serviced every 30,000 miles and the coolant changed at the same time. For the first 250,000 miles, I had the oil changed every 3,000 miles, since then, I've increased the interval to 5,000 miles.

I have had only factory parts installed on my car. I don't have a lot of faith in aftermarket parts, as many of them appear to be made overseas nowadays.

I drive sanely, at or under the speed limit, with no hard acceleration. I keep the rev's under 2000 until the engine warms up, and even then, I have a self-imposed "red line" of 4,000 rpm on the engine (tach redline is 6,500 rpm). I've never given the car full throttle in its life. "Spirited driving" translates to higher maintenance and less life in my opinion.

At 300,000 miles, the only unscheduled repair I've had to make is to replace the alternator one time. Brake pads have been replaced once, as have rotors. Exhaust system is original, as are all hoses.

I don't use any fancy synthetic motor oil. I've always used Motorcraft semi-synthetic 5W-30 along with Motorcraft filters. My dealer has done all the servicing, as that is the most convenient for me.

I think almost any vehicle is easily capable of at least 200,000 miles nowadays and 300,000 miles or more is reasonably attainable in my experience. And this can be done with ALL brands of vehicles, not just Asian ones. My prior car, a BMW 325e had 253,000 miles on it when I traded for the Mercury, and it looked and ran flawlessly. I probably traded it in far too prematurely.
Old 03-16-10, 07:35 PM
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Beachboy, you sound like the Mother Teresa of vehicle ownership...
Old 03-18-10, 04:26 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NW Ohio
Posts: 188
Beachboy, you say you have had 1 brake job inside of 300k miles? I think that's incredible.

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