The common problem for ignition misfires are ignition coils going bad. Replacement of the bad ignition coil is necessary. These should be fixed as soon as a problem is detected. Otherwise the misfire can cause damage to other components.
Problems for specific Ford Escape years:
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Newest reported 2002 Ford Escape problems
The DPFE (differential pressure feedback EGR) sensor tends to fail. The DPFE sensor monitors function of the EGR valve by measuring pressure changes in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system. Symptoms of a failing DPFE sensor are hesitation or stumbling when driving along with illumination of the Check Engine Light.
Driving at night and within a few seconds first the lights kind of went dim then bright, next the radio goes off, then the dash goes out from left to right and the headlights go out. I am on a bridge going 50 mph with no lights and it is pitch dark with no shoulders at the end of the bridge on either side of the road it was very nerve racking. Lucky for me, a friendly driver comes along and lets me follow them to next rest stop at a snail pace...