I might be buying a ford 1999 zx2 with 87,000 miles. Is this a reliable car? It has a new engine.

Asked by May 10, 2008 at 07:57 PM about the 1999 Ford Escort 2 Dr ZX2 Cool Coupe

Question type: General

I'm buying it from a mechanic. The fact that it needed a new engine, is this a bad sign that possibly the car is one of the zx2's that have constant problems? I've done a lot of research. Some people complain about transmission problems etc, and others say they have never had any problems at all with their zx2. The new engine has 44,000 miles on it. The car has 87,000 miles on it. It is selling for $2800. What do you think? I'm also wondering about it's safety. There seem to be mixed reviews on that. Some people say it saved their lives, others say it doesn't take t-bone crashes well. It is for my 18 year old son.

6 Answers


Did the mechanic say what was wrong with the first engine? It's fairly unusual for them to last that short. Honestly, unless there was a defect in manufactureing the only way I'd see that happening if someone didn't take care of it at all. My old Zx2 was one of the ones that had constant problems though the only one I knew of. so from my experience you got about a 1 in 13 chance of getting a one that is a pain. Granted what broke was never that major. 3 valve cover gaskets, coil pack, 3 water pumps, a radiator, brakes, sway bar bushings(twice), clutch assembly, parking brake cable and attachments(twice), timing belt. All that in 1.5 yrs/ 79,000 miles. In my opinion a pain in the arse, but everyone else I've known to have em loves em, and the person I sold mine to hasn't had a problem with it. They are easy to work on which is a good thing, pop the hood and see for yourself, every regular maintainence item seems to lay out right in front of you with room for access. Only exception might be the fuel filter which is behind the engine and down abit near the firewall, shouldn't be hard to find just sometimes a pain to get off. Another note... Both the manual and the automatic take ATF +3 (Dexron 3 Mercon 3 ect...) If you take it to a quicklube shop they will try to put 80W-90 GL4 in the manual. God only knows why. So make sure if you take it somewhere where they top your fluids off, make sure they don't touch the tranny, or make sure they put the right thing in it. As for the new engine... is it new new, is it rebuilt new, or is it just a junkyard engine shoved in the car? I would decide based on that... Also if you plan to put a after market stereo in you need a special dash insert, and they are a little more than usual installs. If you want one I have one left over... its a little torn up but should work (remnants of a buddy's stereo that was stolen from his car).


I've had my 98 ZX2 since new. It's been a great car. I've never had a problem with it, and still love driving it. Like any car there are lemons, but the ZX2 was much higher quality than the other escorts at that time.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

hey i have a '99 hot coupe and it just hit 140xxx and i have friends who have over 180,xxx on theirs, of course i paid $1200 for mine a year ago and it had 120xxx on it then, at 112,xxx it needed a trans, so the orig owner put a junkyard trans in it that had 85,XXX but so far i have had absolutely no problems with the drive train, and i race the thing all the time, i mean i beat it to death and it just keeps going, its fairly stock and i can still hit 120mph on the highway....so to sum it up you will love the car and it will last you...thats my word on it


Yeah, i agree. Its a great first car, not too fast, but will get the job done.


I just bought one about a week ago. Did some minor stuff but, stuff I knew about already having a friend with one. O2 sensor, plugs, plug wires, tie rod ends, swayback bushing kit, and new lower ball joints. I did all the work myself took me a little over 2 hours. And this thing runs superb. I'll admit I was a little iffy I have always owned and enjoyed Honda products but, working on these things is extremely simple and handy. No regrets.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

I have had my 1998 zx2 and put 250k miles on it. Change the timing belt at 98k and keep the oil clean. I need to change the o2 sensors now, but don't know where they are.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

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