Stuck with a bad car?

I bought a Ford Escape 2005 Limited from a dealership for around $4,000 ‘AS IS’ with only 80,000 miles. Did some repairs and it worked fine for a week. Afterwards, overheating, emission, and starter problems started. Weird because they told me they did an emission and safety check and made me sign an ‘AS IS’ agreement. I can’t afford to pump more money in this car. Can’t drive it because it stopped working on the highway today. I was wondering what I should do next. I can’t resell the car right away because my title hasn’t come in the mail yet and could take awhile. I was thinking of decreasing my insurance, calling the dmv about my title, and after I get the title trying to resell it and get a different car. The only issue with that is that it will take some time. But maybe there are other options out there that I’m not aware of so I thought I’d ask the internet. I definitely learned my lesson and I’m trying my best to dig myself out of this hole that I put myself in. I would appreciate any guidance or help. Thanks in advance!


For the previous repairs : I went to a mechanic who had previous experience with these cars. He checked and said everything looked good but overheating was caused by a faulty thermometer. He changed it and said the engine looked ‘clean’. My car stopped working 2 days after this. It said ‘service emission system warning’ and the starter light turned on. Car slowed and stopped on the side of the road. I restarted the car again and it worked but it kept skidding and struggled to accelerate.

Update 2:

Whenever I drive it, it jumps and rattles. Feels unsafe so I’m scared to drive it.

13 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago
    Favorite Answer

    Firstly.  There is "no lemon law" that applies to used cars. So  forget what anyone says about that.  The car has lasted 16 years too. So well past all guarantees. SO

    Let's look at the car then.  A starter can and many do last over 30 years.  So they KNOW how to make reliable electric motors(which is a starter motor)

    WITHOUT LOOKING AT THE CAR, I basically know "it ain't the starter."  That is $400 saved.  Batteries (the 5 year battery most cars get in N.A. will last 7 years)7+7=14  14+ 2005=2019 ( could be 2020 because maybe there was 1 year missing maybe not driving the car after the first battery failure.  Who knows-it has a history you KNOW NOTHING ABOUT.  It is conceivable something like that happened...or the car was bought near the end of the year of 2005(so almost 2006) so add 14 and that gives you to the end of 2020. Seeing how it is Jan 2021- then the numbers line up.

    . Can't afford $100 for a battery? Go to an auto parts store that pay you for the old battery core (Wal~Mart doesn't do that)  Other shops do.  A new battery may cost $130 and they pay you $30 for the old core so actual price is $100.00  That is "how they roll" They have been recycling batteries since they first started making them.    Just ask.  You HAVE TO BUY THE NEW BATTERY in their shop.  One for one trade. (that way you get rid of that useless box.)

    If the battery died, some alternators stop charging at that exact moment.  So no surprise there.  That is how "that" alternator works.   With this car, the battery must have a charge of 12V or everything shuts down.

    . Car is half fixed. Did you check the coolant level under the hood?  Did a rad hose blow?  Hoses are good for 7 years & after that "you takes your gamble.".  Many do exactly that.  So if radiator is clear in the front of leaves & newspapers and plastic bags which would stop air flow instantly and you "do not tailgate behind another vehicle" so the wind blows through the radiator then it should remain cool.  Also you NEED to use coolant 50/50 mix.  Also check your fusebox for the rad fan fuse and see if it is good.  If it is burnt out then the fan does not come on when you are stuck in Traffic Jams and cars going 15MPH...or excess idling.

    .That will fix the cooling issue, and that normally may fix the emission issues.  So car is fixed for maybe $120(if you had to add coolant and maybe engine oil)?

    A dozen Starbucks. Big "F.N." Deal.   NOT!

    80K is not many miles(considering normal low average is 150K) you got basically HALF THAT.  A "Cherry" car.  Sweet ride.

    . I Definitely would NOT sell it.  You will end up with something FAR WORSE.   They sold as is "BECAUSE they didn't do any mechanical work on it"

    Being a 2005 it needs brake pads very soon. Something that wears out because it is driven. NORMAL. Waterpump will start leaking at some point. Again NORMAL.

    All minor problems that come with age. Some never show up.

    .Had you mentioned the repairs YOU did would be more informative to ME.  Changing the air freshener is not a repair, nor is vacuuming the carpets.

    .Cars are like girl friends.  They refuse to put out unless you put in the effort.

    Mechanic 35+yrs. I have had MUCH WORSE.

    Time to do some reading on general maintenance for your car. Stuff you can keep it in good working order.  Simple inexpensive repairs. Parts from Wal Mart sometimes.  It is all good. 

    You learn about this stuff the longer you drive.

  • 4 weeks ago

    No lemon law will cover a 16 year old vehicle. You got it "with no guarantees", so you are answerable for fixes. ought to have had a repairman examine the vehicle before you got it. Presently it's past the point of no return.

  • 4 weeks ago

    1) Never buy a vehicle unless you are taking the title in one hand while giving the cash in the other hand.

    2) 'they told me they did an emission and safety check' - people will say all kinds of crap to convince people to buy cars - it is up to the buyer to beware.

    3) I would definitely go back and demand my money back - they won't want to do it and will point to the 'as is' thing you signed, but depending on the laws in your state, you may have recourse under 'lemon laws' (ignore the anon that said that it doesn't apply to used cars).

    If necessary, bring some violent friends with you to 'convince' them to see it your way.

  • car253
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You need to repost your question under the category "cars maintenance and repairs". 

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  • L
    Lv 5
    4 weeks ago

    You really need to have someone move your car - now!  If you just let is sit will be towed and you will have to pay for the tow and storage.

  • Anonymous
    4 weeks ago

    Escapes of that vintage are known for bad head gaskets.  Engine is likely shot.  You might need a new engine.  Good luck.

  • 4 weeks ago

    How did the make you sign the as is, you had the opportunity to say no and should have.

  • May
    Lv 6
    4 weeks ago

    Sorry but there are no options that will amount to much.  If the vehicle is NOT financed and If you park the car on your property (off the public street) you can cancel the insurance.

    Have you returned to the Ford dealer to ask if they can provide help to you?  If they thought that their dealership would receive criticism on social media, (wink) they might provide relief.  Watch, however if they say they will provide the parts and you the labor.  Because they may inflate the labor to cover the parts they provide.  Just remember, they are shady.   Have you contacted your states office of consumer protection?  They may find a "loophole" (emissions and safety check?) for you ?

    By having you actually "sign" a "as is" paper, should have told you they knew the car had problems because such a sale is always "as is" anyway and doesn't require the buyers signature to be in effect.

    Maybe a $4,000. + loss is a lesson that will now last a lifetime and teach you to be wary when buying anything, to be a savvy consumer.

    "Caveat Emptor"

  • 1 month ago

    as i see it was ok ..then you did some repairs!?..a week later it started having problems long did you own it before these problems arose ?  you dont say ..and they started after your repairs ..can you see where im coming from?  that will be the garage argument 

  • ?
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    There is a lemon law. Even if you bought it as is, you can still get your money back if you can prove that you were sold a lemon. This is where I’d comes in handy if you know a lawyer that specializes in lemon laws. 

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