2004 escape 3.0 very poor gas mileage

Asked by Sep 25, 2010 at 11:57 AM about the 2004 Ford Escape XLT 4WD

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have  a ford escape that is only getting 13 MPG aroung town and 16-17 mpg on the highway. a far cry from the 23 MPG   I have changed the plugs, used injector/valve cleaner and no improvement.  I have read, in other forums, that the DPFE sensor (Delta Pressure Feedback Sensor) can impact fuel milage.  My question is:  Is this true and where is this sensor so I can change it.  Other ideas are appreciated, too.  respond here or to:    walkabout222@hotmail.com  thank you

22 Answers


You dont want to throw parts at it. Take it to a professional that can access fuel trim and O2 sensor data from the computer and find out what is causing it.

7 people found this helpful.

if it is not showing a check engine light,a scan will do you no good,fuel milage problems are hard to figure out on any computer car,i would replace the fuel filter,have the timeing checked,you never know if the timeing chain and gears have been replaced and be off on the timeing,this will also mess with your milage,but agreed stop throwing parts at it,you just waisting your money.

5 people found this helpful.

The check engine light will go on ONLY when 3 times OVER EPA specs - 2 times over will give you bad gas mileage. Timing is NOT adjustable - Its a COP(coil over plug) system learn the car before commenting Fuel filter is a good idea but thats why you would check fuel trims to tell you if you have lack of fuel or and intake leak. You may also want to check the misfire counter as you may have an intermittant misfire from a bad coil. This car does have a recall for excessive engine speeds at idle / the repair is either a accel cable or an Idle air control motor. Either would cause bad gas mileage also.

10 people found this helpful.

I know the timeing is not adjustable,but it can be checked with a scanner,also you should do your homework,if it had a intake or any other leak vac included,it would have rough idle,the idle air control motor would cause the same problem.

7 people found this helpful.

keep on googleing your answers,I speak from 37 years of ASE experience.

7 people found this helpful.

please this site is very helpful us users.Don't turn it into pissing matches.Thanks.Anyhow just be thankful your escape isn't throwing oil out the crank seal.I switched from conventioal to 5w-20 synthetic.Big mistake,now it takes a liter every 2500 km (1q every 1500miles lol) It's an 05 xlt and runs great. 30 mpg thanks Ray

5 people found this helpful.

HAY the other guy started it.I been here a long time and helped others,and will contiue to,but I dont take crap.just look at the number of answers i have done.

2 people found this helpful.

Hi, I was going the Escape threads and saw you replied to some related topics that I am interested in solving myself. I have an 01 v6 and has rough idle when its below freezing outside after siting all night. it barely runs and sometimes stalls while I'm letting it warm up. I have replaced the Idle Air Control valve when this happened last year but now its back and I'm unsure where to go next, I have replaced the plugs just because they were worn anyways. have a K&N fiter, changed fuel fiter about 2 years ago but I could try that. Any suggestions? Thanks!

4 people found this helpful.

try cleaning the EGR,use carb cleaner spray it good let dry,they build up carbon inside and dont work right,also time for another fuel filter change,also clean the TB with carb cleaner,the inside of it,u will have to remove the cover,look inside it see if a black carbon ring of buildup is around butterfly,if so spray the heck out of it do this while ideling,you will have to throttle it by hand,just get it good and clean,it will smoke while doing this is normal,when done if any carbon is left around butterfly,clean with a rag,what happends is the buildup wont let it close and cause a rough,no idle.

6 people found this helpful.

i dont know a whole lot about these vehciles but my sister has one. she has idle problems and issues such as you described. her cat/cats (not sure if it has one or two) is/are constantly having issues. maybe this will help to look into maybe it wont. just thought id throw it out there for you

2 people found this helpful.

I had the exact same problem in my 2004 escape limited. Are those the original set of general tires on the escape. I changed to a set of michelins and am now averaging 22 on the highway and 18 in city driving

1 people found this helpful.

Hi, I am in canada and I owne a 2004 escape xlt. I am having similar problems with it. I am getting 17 to 20 litters per 100 kms. even worse, i got 270 km. out of a full tank. I have replaced spark plugs, 02 sensors (up and downstream), gas filter, air filter, and used injector cleaners almost every tanks. oh I just also tried the transmission conditioner just two days ago. there are no check engine light on even before i replaced the check engine. Is there anything else I should be considering at this point? beside taking it to ford?

25 people found this helpful.

I had a 05 AWD and there's is little you can do about the mileage...these are very bad for fuel mileage, you can however make a small increase in your mileage by changing your stock air filter to a K & N filter, better plugs (I recommend E3 plugs) I did this to mine and averaged another 100km/60miles per tank more mileage. Again I must say these vehicles are horrible on fuel, I traded mine in for an 08 F150 supercrew 4X4 (5.4) and its gets much better fuel mileage then these 07 and older escapes. I recommend anyone who is looking for better fuel mileage to change your stock air filter for a cold air intake system such as AirRaid or K&N (if available for your model if not do the filter alone), changing plugs to something better (E3) and swap out your stock muffler for a straight threw flow these will increase your mileage noticeably ect...my new 08 F150 (back in 2009) would only get around 700-800 kms per tank, after mods I now get 900-1000kms.

7 people found this helpful.

Why is the escape 05 xlt so jumpy. you touch the gas pedal and jumps like a jack rabbit, i have hard time getting used to it. bad gas mileage 22mpg combined. has 215/70/16 tires (supposed to be 235/70/16). can anything be done so it is not so peppy? i'd rather have better mpg than power. the t/b is clean, new regular filter, oil change 5k km (3k miles)

11 people found this helpful.

there is a spout from your intake duct that feeds your air filter box . there is like a down spout branch of the intake duct that goes down between your wheel well and your front end. you must remove your plastic bumper shield to get to where it is going. that down spout duct goes to a plastic triangular piece that blocks the air feed to the duct'' remove it its just an air block. and replace your guards to get at it. your mpg will go up. If you want even more mpg remove the fog light and run a vacum cleaner hose setup to the lower duct for ram air''. When it rains just disconnect the duct going to your air cleaner box'' so you will not damage your filter. FORD originally want to set up some form of high mpg through the ductwork pre air filter box, but thanks to our oil companies crying with greed'''' they never did. but almost'

6 people found this helpful.

I have a 2001 ford escape xlt, v6 4x4, with the most horrible gas mileage i have ever seen. i sold my tahoe to buy this suv and i have regretted everyday i've owned it. my tahoe had better gas mileage than the escape. no check engine light is on, runs beautifully, but the bad gas mileage issue has me thinking of selling it. just traveling on the highway 20 miles wastes about a quarter tank. does anyone know what i could do to get better gas mileage? if so, please email me at ymrdz at aol dot com.

21 people found this helpful.

Just bought an 05 escape xlt 124,000 miles with the 3.0. 1st tank of gas. 13 mpg. Cleaned throttle body and did a sea foam intake cleaning, changed oil ( mobil synthetic 5w20 and air filter. Next tank 15 mpg. Changed plugs and replaced upper and lower intake gaskets. Next tank 17 mpg. Had transmission flushed. 18 mpg next tank. Noticed bank one fuel long- term fuel trim was showing a -10.5% (rich) pulled intakes to remove fuel rail and injectors. Turnef key on to pressure the fuel line. 2 injectors were leaking. Replaced them next tank 21mpg. Did a cat back exhaust with a flowmaster 40 series. Last 3 tanks 25 mpg. Hope this helps

27 people found this helpful.

I see a lot of people that have done their own work on the car and not seen good results from it. Something as simple as having done your own tune up could cause these problems. The gaskets on these need to be changed at some point. And even if they're in good condition, putting your old bolts back in and not torquing them properly could cause air to leak around them. Might not be everyone's problem. I'm also not reasonably close to a certified mechanic. Just happened to have gone through this myself. I found out in my research that these bolts they put in are factory tightened far past their tension limits. So if you ever take them out, you absolutely have to replace them.

2 people found this helpful.

I have a 01 escape and have had all of the above mentioned problems at some point in time...not a good car for someone that doesnt like to tinker! The irregular idle when cold ended up being lower intake gaskets. The Idle air control was replaced at 75K and was causing crazy idling and terrible mileage all the time. Easy fix there... tap on the top of it with the engine running and it will probably change the idle of the engine immediately. Cheap and easy part to change there. My mileage usually averages about 18-20 around town and 24-25 on the highway and i drive pretty fast usually. I just replaced all of the motor mounts,a cv axle,valve cover gaskets, and while i was in that far i went ahead and did new plugs. I forgot the golden rule on this truck! Anytime i have ever changed any electrical part on this truck i have had to remove the ground for about ten minutes to reset the computer. This is the case even with no codes showing or dealer sub codes. I drove it for a day right after doing the last round of repairs and in 90 miles i had burnt 1/2 a tank of gas! I do love this truck even though it can be a pita sometimes. 250K and still going strong!

3 people found this helpful.

I recently had my 05 escape limited V6 4X4 at brakemax. they put on new oil and valve cover gaskets, plus platinum plugs. Now I get 14.8 MPG in town and on the freeway. It runs and sounds smooth, no check engine light.This sucks! I cleaned the MAF sensor and put lucas ejection treatment in the tank. I'm out of ideas.

1 people found this helpful.

First off depending what year of Escape & what engine. Poor gas mileage seems to be a big problem. Generally it all depends how one drives (jack rabbit starts, showing off your the bad ahole on the road, tail gating or always in a real big hurry to no where). These all lead to poor gas mileage are good start as to figuring why you have such poor mileage. Once you correct those issues, see if that all helps ! If it still a problem, Then & only then check out the other causes of poor gas mileage (maintenance, oil changes, weak fuel injectors, air leaks, worn out spark plugs or even a brake dragging caliper, over adjusted rear brake shoes, too tight adjusted emergency brake lever, clogged converter(s), loose baffle in your muffler or even poor quality gas from local gas station). Some of the ideas from Robert seem to be great suggestions as well. Changing spark plugs don't always correct a miss fire or poor idle with new & upcoming vehicles today or yesterday. If your not savey enough to working on your own vehicle, take it to well trusted certified mechanic & accredited with BBB or who have great online reviews in the make of your vehicle your driving now or future ! Mind you, there are a few crooks in the industry out their and few that truly honest mechanics out their as well too. You'll need to do your own homework in these difficult times with labor rates of a $100 hour or more shops out their, choose carefully.


Purchased a 2011 Ford Escape with 65K on it. The vehicle was well maintained and owning previous Escapes I was familiar with the bad boy mileage, especially in the winter months. Still and all, I love the vehicle and other than a coil blowing on vacation with one of my previous Escapes. They are very reliable. Getting back to the 2011 I just purchased, the first 60-90 days of purchase I was getting between 17.5-18.9 a gallon around time and 22-23 on the highway. I brought the car into the dealership for a few oil leaks which involved changing 3 or 4 different gaskets. Since the car returned from the dealership, the mileage has been poor at best. 13-15 around town and 17.5 on the highway. I know the weather has turned much colder and my previous older model Escapes and Tribute all did poorly in cold weather. Just wondering if replacing gaskets could have set something off? I honestly would have stayed away from this vehicle even with my love for the Escape if I had known it was going to demonstrate such poor economy. I've come to terms that Ford 6 cylinder is a pig and nothing much has changed with improving it's economy through the years.

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