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.