Common Ford Escape Problems and How to Handle Them

Common Ford Escape Problems and How to Handle Them

by Zack Norman

If you own a Ford Escape or are considering getting one, it’s crucial to be aware of some common issues that may arise. Understanding these problems will not only help you troubleshoot any potential issues but also empower you to take better care of your car. In this guide, we’ll explore the most prevalent Ford Escape problems and offer some insights on how to address them.

1. Transmission Woes

The transmission is a critical component of any vehicle, and the Ford Escape is no exception. One of the most notorious problems with various generations of the Ford Escape is transmission-related issues. Symptoms of transmission problems include:

  • Low Fluid Level: Many owners have reported low transmission fluid levels, leading to jerky gear shifts and overheating. Regularly checking and maintaining the fluid level can help avoid this problem.
  • Delayed Shifts: Malfunctioning transmission solenoids or the valve body can cause delayed shifts, which may eventually lead to complete transmission failure. Prompt replacement of faulty parts is crucial.
  • Deteriorated Gear Synchronizers: Manual transmission-equipped Ford Escapes are susceptible to worn-out gear synchronizers, affecting smooth shifting. Proper maintenance can prevent premature wear.
  • Gear Grinding: This issue, common in manual vehicles, can arise from a clutch that won’t release or an improperly adjusted shifter. Addressing the problem early on can prevent transmission failure.
  • Shifting into an Intended Gear: In some models, shifting into an unintended gear can occur due to a malfunctioning manual lever sensor. Prompt repairs are essential for safe driving.

2. Engine Troubles

Ford Escape engines have experienced coolant leaks, leading to engine failures, misfires, and even fires. This issue primarily affected the 4-cylinder variants of the EcoBoost engine. Regular maintenance and timely repairs can help prevent serious engine problems.

3. Power Steering Concerns

The Electric Power Assisted Steering (EPAS) system in some Ford Escape models can fail suddenly, requiring expensive replacements of electric motors, sensors, or control units. Ford did issue a recall for the steering torque sensor in certain models, but the problem may still persist in newer vehicles.

4. Door Latch Issues

Early models of the third-generation Ford Escape suffered from door latch spring breakages, which could lead to doors unexpectedly swinging open. Fortunately, Ford recalled over 2 million vehicles to address this safety concern.

5. Rollaway Problems

Certain Ford Escape models produced between 2013 and 2019 faced rollaway issues due to shifter cable detachments. Ensuring the parking brake is engaged can help prevent potential accidents.

6. Corrosion Woes

Older Ford Escapes may suffer from rust problems, especially in the wheel arches, shock towers, and subframes. Regular inspections and proper care can prevent severe structural issues.

Handling Ford Escape Problems

If you encounter any of these issues with your Ford Escape, it’s essential to take prompt action. Ignoring early warning signs can lead to more extensive and costly repairs down the road. Here are some steps to handle these problems effectively:

  • Regular Maintenance: Keep up with scheduled maintenance, including fluid checks and changes, to prevent common issues like low fluid levels.
  • Addressing Warning Signs: If you notice any strange noises, vibrations, or warning lights, consult a qualified mechanic for a thorough inspection.
  • Recalls and Warranty: Stay informed about recalls issued by Ford for your specific model year. Recalls are typically done free of charge and can address safety concerns.
  • Timely Repairs: Don’t delay repairs when you identify an issue. Swift action can prevent further damage and ensure your safety on the road.
  • Professional Help: If you lack automotive expertise, seek the assistance of a qualified mechanic or visit an authorized Ford service center.


While the Ford Escape is a popular and reliable vehicle, it’s not immune to certain problems. By staying vigilant and addressing any issues promptly, you can keep your Ford Escape running smoothly and safely on the road. Regular maintenance, timely repairs, and adhering to recalls are essential steps in maintaining your car’s performance and longevity.

Remember, every car may have its quirks, but with proper care and attention, you can enjoy your Ford Escape for years to come. Happy driving!

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