Ford Escape 2001 - Paranoid or Problem?
I got my first car, a 2001 Ford Escape XLT 2WD back in May. It has been running like a charm, however I have noticed a few issues. I may just be paranoid, as I know little about cars and what is considered 'normal' operating.
First: My engine idles at around 900RPM when in park. When I drop it into Drive, it goes down to 300-500RPM. The gauge isn't jumpy, it sits steady there but that seems a bit low to me and I don't remember it always being that low. Again, I may be imaging a problem.
Second: When I turn my wheel, it at times makes a 'clunking' sound. Like a 'clunk clunk clunk' when turning it. This comes and goes, and from what I have picked up, seems to happen more when it is hot outside (80+ degrees maybe). It will happen for a while, then the next morning it will not do it at all. Any ideas on this?
Third: The engine doesn't seem to have the kick it used to (a few months back). When I am stopped on a flat surface and release the brake, it starts to slowly roll forward, but it is very slow, maybe 2MPH without applying any gas on a flat surface. I am wondering if this has to do with the low RPM's when in park and not applying gas. If I recall correctly it used to roll at around 5-7MPH without gas before. And if there is even a slight incline it often won't roll in drive at all.
When accelerating it also appears to have lost its kick. It still reaches good speeds but the gas needs to be pressed down much further than before. When I first got the vehicle, people always said I accelerated too fast, because just pressing the gas a little would take it to 20MPH quickly. Now, it takes a lot more pressing on the gas to get it up to speed.
And once going a good speed, when I release the gas it almost feels like the car is applying breaks. It doesn't coast very well after a few seconds. Say I am going 40MPH, the vehicle will coast fine when I let go of the gas as long as the engine stays above 1500RPM, once it hits 1000RPM it starts to slow quickly, 2MPH a second roughly, then the RPM's drop back to 300-500 when I am stopped.
Sorry for the rambling list of questions. As a college student I don't really want to take it to ford and pay $100+ for a diagnostic alone if I am just going crazy and there are no problems. And if there are issues, I would like to have some general ideas of what may be going wrong before I bring it to the mechanics, so they don't give me a laundry list off issues and try to rip me off.
Thanks in advance for any help!