Specifications | Ford 2000 Escort Automobile User Manual

Table of contents
Notice To 4X2 Utility Vehicle Owners
Vehicle Characteristics
Operation On The Road
Driving Off-Road
Trailer Towing
Tires, Replacement Requirements
Maintenance and Modifications
Hauling Cargo and Vehicle Handling
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Copyright © 2002 Ford Motor Company
Welcome to Ford Motor Company’s
world of Sport Utility Vehicles
(SUV) and truck driving! Your new
vehicle opens up a completely
different and challenging world of
travel unlike what you have ever
experienced with a conventional car. Now, you’ll be able to travel places
where roads don’t. Most importantly, you’ll be able to travel with the
safety, comfort and dependability of a Ford-built vehicle.
The steering and handling characteristics of vehicles may vary and you
must learn and understand the capabilities and limitations of your vehicle
through experience. Take it slow and easy until you get to know and
understand your vehicle and have confidence in your ability to drive it.
Your vehicle, particularly when loaded, may handle differently than an
ordinary passenger car. This is because your vehicle has special design
and equipment features for cargo-hauling or off-road operation.
Familiarize yourself with your vehicle’s operating characteristics. Study
the “Owner’s Guide” and this supplement for specific information and
instructions for safe driving under various conditions.
All occupants should always wear the safety belts provided and
children/infants should use appropriate restraints to minimize the risk of
injury or ejection.
Driving at speeds safe for road conditions and the use of safety belts are
the best means of avoiding the possibility of accident and serious injury.
Ford Motor Company reserves the right at any time to change
information provided herein, including specifications, design or
testing procedures without incurring obligation.
Notice To 4X2 Utility Vehicle Owners
Although this supplement is
primarily directed to 4WD or AWD
vehicle operators, these principles of
safe driving also apply to operators
of two-wheel drive utility vehicles.
Even though you did not select a
4WD or AWD option for your
vehicle, many of its operating
characteristics are similar to those
of 4WD or AWD vehicles. For this
reason, Ford urges you to read and understand the contents of this
Vehicle Characteristics
Your AWD or 4WD (when you select the 4WD mode) vehicle uses all four
wheels to power itself. This increases traction, enabling you to drive over
terrain and road conditions that a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle
can not.
Power is supplied to all four wheels
through a transfer case or power
transfer unit. 4WD vehicles allow
you to select different drive modes
as necessary. Information on shifting
procedures and maintenance can be
found in your “Owner’s Guide.” You
should become thoroughly familiar
with this information before you operate your vehicle.
Normal characteristics
On some 4WD models, the initial shift from two-wheel drive to 4WD
while the vehicle is moving can cause some momentary clunk and
ratcheting sounds. This is the front drivetrain coming up to speed and is
not cause for concern.
Utility and four-wheel drive vehicles are not designed for cornering at
speeds as high as passenger cars any more than low-slung sports cars are
designed to perform satisfactorily under off-road conditions. Avoid sharp
turns, excessive speed or abrupt maneuvers in these vehicles. Failure to
drive cautiously could result in an increased risk of loss of vehicle
control, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death.
Vehicle Characteristics
How your vehicle differs from other vehicles
SUV and truck vehicles can differ
from some other vehicles in a few
noticeable ways. Your 4WD or AWD
may be:
• Higher — to allow it to travel
over rough terrain without getting
hung up or damaging underbody
components, and to accommodate
4WD components.
• Shorter — to give it the capability
to approach inclines and drive
over the crest of a hill without
getting hung up or damaging
underbody components. A shorter
wheelbase may make your vehicle
quicker to respond to steering inputs than a vehicle with a longer
• Narrower — to provide greater
maneuverability in tight spaces,
particularly in off-road use.
These differences that make your
vehicle so versatile also make it
handle differently than an ordinary
passenger car.
Operation On The Road
Basic operating principles
• Drive slower in strong crosswinds which can affect the normal steering
characteristics of your vehicle.
• Be extremely careful when driving on pavement made slippery by
loose sand, water, gravel, snow or ice.
• Do not use 4WD on dry, hard surfaced roads (except models equipped
with Auto 4WD or AWD). This may damage the drivelines and axles.
If your vehicle goes off the edge of the pavement
• If your vehicle goes off the edge
of the pavement, slow down, but
avoid severe brake application,
Ease the vehicle back onto the
pavement only after reducing
your speed. Do not turn the
steering wheel too sharply while
returning to the road surface.
• It may be safer to stay on the
apron or shoulder of the road and
slow down gradually before returning to the pavement. You may loose
control if you do not slow down or if you turn the steering wheel too
sharply or abruptly.
• It often may be less risky to strike small inanimate objects, such as
highway reflectors, with minor damage to your vehicle rather than
attempt a sudden return to the pavement which could cause the
vehicle to slide sideways out of control or rollover. Remember, your
safety and the safety of others should be your primary concern.
Vehicles with a higher center of gravity such as utility and four wheel
drive vehicles handle differently than vehicles with a lower center of
gravity. Utility and four wheel drive vehicles are not designed for
cornering at speeds as high as passenger cars any more than low-slung
sports cars are designed to perform satisfactorily under off-road
conditions. Avoid sharp turns, excessive speed or abrupt maneuvers in
these vehicles. Failure to drive cautiously could result in an increased
risk of loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death.
Operation On The Road
Emergency maneuvers
• In an unavoidable emergency situation where a sudden sharp turn
must be made, remember to avoid “over-driving” your vehicle, i.e.,
turn the steering wheel only as rapidly and as far as required to avoid
the emergency. Avoid abrupt steering, acceleration or braking which
could result in an increased risk of loss of vehicle control, vehicle
rollover, and/or personal injury. Additionally, smooth variations of the
accelerator and/or brake pedal pressure should be utilized if changes
in vehicle speed are called for. Avoid abrupt steering, acceleration or
braking. Use all available road surface to return the vehicle to a safe
direction of travel.
• In the event of an emergency stop, avoid skidding the tires and do not
attempt any sharp steering wheel movements.
• If the vehicle goes from one type of surface to another (i.e., from
concrete to gravel) there will be a change in the way the vehicle
responds to a maneuver (steering, acceleration or barking). Again,
avoid these abrupt inputs.
Snow and ice
Your 4WD or AWD vehicle will have advantages over two-wheel drive
vehicles in snow and on ice by providing increased driving traction.
However, if you suddenly change speed or direction you may lose
control. 4WD and AWD vehicles can slide on slippery roads just like any
other vehicle. Should you start to slide while driving on snowy or icy
roads, turn the steering wheel in the direction of the slide until you
regain control. Avoid sudden braking as well. Although a 4WD or AWD
vehicle may accelerate better than a two-wheel drive vehicle in snow and
ice, it won’t stop any faster, because as in other vehicles, braking occurs
at all four wheels. Do not become overconfident as to road conditions.
Make sure you allow sufficient distance between you and other vehicles
for stopping. In emergency stopping situations, avoid locking of the
wheels. Use a “squeeze” technique, push on the brake pedal with a
steadily increasing force which allows the wheels to brake yet continue
to roll so that you may steer in the direction you want to travel. If you
lock the wheels, release the brake pedal and repeat the squeeze
technique. If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, apply the brake steadily.
Do not “pump” the brakes. See your “Owner’s Guide” for additional
information on the operation of the anti-lock brake system.
Operation On The Road
Before leaving the driver’s seat, you should make sure that the gearshift
is engaged in P (Park) with an automatic transmission or either 1 (First)
or R (Reverse) with a manual transmission. Set the parking brake fully,
shut off the ignition and remove the key.
Some 4WD vehicles include a Neutral mode. When the transfer case is in
the N (Neutral) position, the engine and transmission are disconnected
from the rest of the driveline. Therefore, the vehicle is free to roll even if
the automatic transmission is in P (Park) or the manual transmission is
in gear. Do not leave the vehicle unattended with the transfer case in N
(Neutral) position. Always set the parking brake fully and turn off the
ignition when leaving the vehicle.
Driving Off-Road
When using 4WD or AWD, maintain steering wheel control at all times,
especially in rough terrain. Since sudden changes in terrain can result in
abrupt steering wheel motion, make sure you grip the steering wheel
from the outside. Do not grip the spokes.
Drive cautiously to avoid vehicle damage from concealed objects such as
rocks and stumps. You should either know the terrain or examine maps
of the area before driving. Map out your route before driving in the area.
To maintain steering and braking control of your vehicle, you must have
all four wheels on the ground and they must be rolling, not sliding or
Ford Motor Company designs its vehicles to operate within its intended
use (not misusing the vehicle, not overloading, etc.) and at the tire
inflation pressures specified on the tire decal. It is not recommended
that you deflate the tires for any reason including operation in sand. In
the event you have reduced the inflation pressure to below the specified
pressure on the tire decal while operating in sand, you must reinflate the
tires to the specified pressure before you resume driving on the road.
Failure to do so could result in an increased risk of loss of vehicle
control, vehicle rollover, personal injury and death.
When driving over sand, try to keep all four wheels on the most solid
area of the trail. Avoid reducing the tire pressure. Instead, shift to a
lower gear and drive steadily through the terrain. Apply the accelerator
slowly and avoid spinning the wheels.
If you must reduce the tire pressure for whatever reason in sand, make
sure you reinflate the tires as soon as possible.
Avoid excessive speed because vehicle momentum can work against you
and cause the vehicle to become stuck to the point that assistance may
be required from another vehicle. Remember, you may be able to back
out the way you came if you proceed with caution.
Be cautious of sudden changes in vehicle speed or direction when you
are driving in mud. Even 4WD and AWD vehicles can lose traction in
slick mud. As when you are driving over sand, apply the accelerator
slowly and avoid spinning your wheels. If the vehicle does slide, steer in
the direction of the slide until you regain control of the vehicle.
After driving through mud, clean off residue stuck to rotating driveshafts
and tires. Excess mud stuck on tires and rotating driveshafts causes an
imbalance that could damage vehicle components.
Driving Off-Road
“Tread Lightly” is an educational
program designed to increase public
awareness of land-use regulations
and responsibilities in our nations
wilderness areas. Ford joins the U.S.
Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management in encouraging you
to help preserve our national forest and other public and private lands by
“treading lightly.”
Before driving through water,
determine the depth. Avoid water
higher than the bottom of the wheel
hubs. Proceed slowly to avoid
splashing, if the ignition system gets
wet, the vehicle may stall.
Once through water, always try the
brakes. Wet brakes do not stop the
vehicle as effectively as dry brakes. You can dry the brakes faster by
driving the vehicle slowly while applying light pressure on the brake
Deep snow
4WD and AWD vehicles are unique in that they can be driven in deep
snow that would stop a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle. Shift to a
low gear and maintain steady pressure on the accelerator. This will help
prevent spinning the wheels while maintaining sufficient momentum to
keep from bogging down. Using tire chains will also help.
Never drive with chains on the front tires of 4WD or AWD vehicles
without also putting them on the rear tires. This could cause the rear to
slide and swing around during braking.
Driving on hills
Although natural obstacles may make it necessary to travel diagonally up
or down a hill or steep incline, you should always try to drive straight up
or straight down. Avoid driving crosswise or turning on steep
slopes or hills. A danger lies in losing traction, slipping sideways and
possibly rolling over. Whenever driving on a hill, determine beforehand
the route you will use. Do not drive over the crest of a hill without
seeing what conditions are on the other side. Do not drive in reverse
over a hill without the aid of an observer.
Driving Off-Road
When climbing a steep slope or hill,
start in a lower gear rather than
downshifting to a lower gear from a
higher gear once the ascent has
started. This reduces strain on the
engine and the possibility of stalling.
If you do stall out, do not try to
turn around because you might roll
over. It is better to back down to a
safe location.
Apply just enough power to the
wheels to climb the hill. Too much
power will cause the tires to slip,
spin or lose traction, resulting in
loss of vehicle control.
Descend a hill in the same gear you
would use to climb up the hill to
avoid excessive brake application
and brake overheating. Do not
descend in neutral. Disengage
overdrive or manually shift to a
lower gear. When descending a
steep hill, avoid sudden hard
braking as you could lose control.
When you brake hard, the front
wheels can’t turn and if they aren’t
turning, you won’t be able to steer.
The front wheels have to be turning in order to steer the vehicle. Rapid
pumping of the brake pedal will help you slow the vehicle and still
maintain steering control.
If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, apply the brakes steadily. Do not
“pump” the brakes.
Trailer Towing
Your vehicle may be equipped for towing trailers (or may require a trailer
tow package). The combined total weight of the vehicle and trailer must
be less than or equal to the recommended Gross Combination Weight
Rating (GCWR) and be properly balanced. Refer to “RV & Trailer Towing
Guide,” the “Owner’s Guide” or see an authorized Ford or
Lincoln/Mercury Dealer for additional information.
Tires, Replacement Requirements
Your vehicle is equipped with tires designed to provide for safe ride and
handling capability.
Do not use a size and type of tire and wheel other than that originally
provided by Ford because it can affect the safety and performance of
your vehicle, which could lead to loss of vehicle control or rollover and
serious injury. Make sure all tires and wheels on the vehicle are of the
same size, type, tread design, brand and load-carrying capacity because
it can affect the safety and performance of your vehicle, which could
lead to loss of vehicle control, vehicle rollover and/or serious personal
injury. If you have questions regarding tire replacement, see an
authorized Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealer.
If you nevertheless decide to equip your vehicle for off-road use with
tires larger than what Ford recommends, you should not use these tires
for highway driving.
If you use any tire/wheel combination not recommended by Ford, it may
adversely affect vehicle handling and could cause steering, suspension,
axle or transfer case/power transfer unit failure.
Do not use”aftermarket lift kits” or other suspension modifications,
whether or not they are used with larger tires and wheels.
These “aftermarket lift kits” could adversely affect the vehicle’s handling
characteristics, which could lead to loss of vehicle control, vehicle
rollover and/or serious personal injury.
Tires can be damaged during off-road use. For your safety, tires that are
damaged should not be used for highway driving because they are more
likely to blow out or fail.
You should carefully observe the recommended tire inflation pressure
found on the safety compliance certification label attached to the left
front door lock facing or door latch post pillar. Failure to follow tire
pressure recommendations can adversely affect the way your vehicle
handles. Do not exceed the Ford recommended pressure even if it is less
than the maximum pressure allowed for the tire.
Tires, Replacement Requirements
Each day before you drive, check
your tires. If one looks lower than
the others, use a tire gauge to check
pressure of all tires, and adjust if
required. Check tire pressure with a
tire gauge every few weeks
(including spare). Safe operation
requires tires that are neither
underinflated nor a vehicle which is
Periodically inspect the tire treads and remove stones, nails, glass or
other objects that may be wedged in the tread grooves. Check for holes
or cuts that may permit air leakage from the tire and make necessary
Inspect the tire side walls for cuts, bruises and other damage. If internal
damage to the tire is suspected, have the tire demounted and inspected
in case it needs to be repaired or replaced.
Maintenance and Modifications
The suspension and steering systems on your vehicle have been designed
and tested to provide both reasonably safe, predictable performance
whether loaded or empty and durable load carrying capability. For this
reason, Ford strongly recommends that you do not make modifications
such as adding or removing parts (such as lift kits or stabilizer bars) or
by using replacement parts not equivalent to the original factory
Any modifications to a vehicle that raise the center of gravity can make
it more likely the vehicle will roll over as a result of a loss of control.
Ford recommends that caution be used with any vehicle equipped with a
high load or device (such as ladder racks or pickup box cover).
Failure to maintain your vehicle properly may void the warranty, increase
your repair cost, reduce vehicle performance and operational capabilities
and adversely affect driver and passenger safety. Frequent inspection of
vehicle chassis and powertrain components is recommended if the
vehicle is subjected to heavy off-road usage. Refer to the “Owner’s
Guide” and “Service Guide” for proper maintenance instructions and
Hauling Cargo and Vehicle Handling
When using your vehicle to haul
cargo, make sure it is properly
loaded to help ensure safe handling.
Cargo should be evenly distributed
over the floor of the cargo area,
with the heaviest cargo on the
bottom and ahead of the rear axle.
If you must haul cargo on the roof
of the vehicle, use extra caution
when driving. Cargo placed on the
roof will tend to make your vehicle
top heavy, causing it to lean more
on corners and creating a greater
possibility of vehicle roll over should
you lose control of the vehicle.
Loaded vehicles, with a higher
center of gravity, may handle
differently than unloaded vehicles.
Extra precautions, such as slower
speeds and increased stopping
distance, should be taken when
driving a heavily loaded vehicle.
Loading the vehicle improperly can deteriorate handling capability and
contribute to loss of vehicle control.
Once you have reached the weight capacity of the vehicle, do not add
more cargo, even if there is space available. Make sure you consult the
safety compliance certification label attached to your vehicle and the
“Owner’s Guide” for information on maximum safe vehicle weight limits.
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