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New Ford Escape Hybrid Owners - Give Us Your Report

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  • My story with a 2008 FEH is not so good. It seems I got one of the ones that was very noisy, and I was subjected to a huge array of whines, whistles, and other strange noises. The noises were so bad they were painful and Ford would not do anything about it. They said, "This is normal hybrid noise, the vehicle is operating as intended, there is nothing we need to do, and nothing you can do."

    BS-lots of people have FEH's they love and get way better gas mileage than I was getting. My car was obviously a lemon. I have read similar stories on the web. The dealer bought mine back at a loss, but I will never buy a Ford hybrid again and I will tell my story to anyone who tells me they intend to buy one. Seems they need to change their definition of what acceptable noise is. When they work, they are great. But when they don't, Ford says you are stuck with it.
  • ekiehnekiehn Posts: 33
    Sorry to here about your problems.

    I don't know your driving conditions but if it was a lot of slow driving in wet conditions I may have had an answer for you.

    I have had my FEH since '05 and it has been great. The only time I had a whine was early maybe not even a month old when I was going through a Safari Park in rainy weather. When I would press on the brakes at or around 5 miles per our I got a 'hum' or "whine". At first a little disconcerting, but when the engine was running the "hum" wasn't there. I chalked it up to some re-generative braking issue and it being new.

    Looks like I was right since it has never done the "hum" or "whine" again and I have over 45000 miles on it (just got back from a trip to the mountains and 12 degree weather and it ran great).

    BTW not to mince words and I'm sure it wasn't what you wanted but the dealer did buy it back so you didn't end up stuck with it.
  • lboneslbones Posts: 1
    Starting in October, my Ford Escape Hybrid mpg began dropping. Up unitl then, I was very pleased with the 34+ mpg that I was getting.

    I took it to the dealer in November and after keeping it all day, they said "the computer doesn't show any problems. The colder weather takes more energy to warm the car up. That's why you are getting lower mileage." Today, I am at 26 mpg!!!!! I also have problems with the transmission not shifting - I am often at 3000 rpms going 30 - 35 mph. Also, when its cold, for the first 5 minutes, the brakes do not recharge the battery! No explanation from the dealer on that issue.

    I often downshift to get the battery to charge in the first 5 minutes of driving since the brakes don't recharge the battery.

    Has anyone else had similar problems or have any suggestions? I would appreciate any input.
  • The transmission doesn't shift like a normal car? The FEH has a CVT, Continuous Variable Transmission? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continuously_variable_transmission

    I'm noticing that the engine doesn't turn off until it's warm (~1100 rpm), but the assist and charge seem the same. I am also getting a lower gas mileage in the Virginia cold. . .

    date miles gallons mpg
    11/8/2007 3647.9 12.15 27.4
    11/18/2007 3948.0 10.90 27.5
    11/30/2007 4233.1 10.04 28.4
    12/11/2007 4479.7 9.72 25.4
    12/21/2007 4765.3 11.64 24.5
    1/2/2008 5072.8 11.15 27.6
    11/3/2008 5365.2 11.11 26.3
    1/3/2008 5586.5 9.07 24.4
    1/8/2008 5917.1 11.71 28.2
    1/18/2008 6251.5 12.74 26.3
    ave mpg 30.0
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    Check the Toyota Camry Hybrid Board. They are having mileage concerns in the colder weather as well.
  • loveakloveak Posts: 10
    Glad to hear I'm not the only one. Sadly to say but trust me it will only probably get worse. In the summers we usually get about 26-28. The dealerships generally speaking do not have techs who are experienced enough in these vehicles and hence the responses we get ie, "give it a few more miles it'll get better" (nope) "you have snow tires" (well duh!) "it's parked in a garage at night" (yep) "it isn't parked in a garage at night" (nope) "you drive it too far" (nope), "you drive it too fast" (nope, wife's car and has a fit if you go over the speed limit) and my personal favorite-"well you have to remember it's a one person car"-Huh? Say what? "Oh and by the way that'll be $90.00 because we couldn't find anything wrong with it. Which is amazing because it went from 11mpg when we took it in to 20 afterwards on the next tank. (Thanks Cal W. for nothing.)
    Have them reset the computer that seems to help especially when the weather changes, I have no idea why. These FEH really do not do well in cold weather, But I will say this-my wife absolutely loves the car. For her it has AWD and she loves the way it handles. For me-last night on the way to a movie some moron in a rice Honda pulled out without looking-(during the summer I Autocross/solo) what this thing did on glare ice was astounding.(swerve, brake, swerve) I though for sure we had him. I had to look to see if we had paint swapped,
    hang in there they are great vehicles despite the faults
    Randy-Alaska
  • I have an 08. In cold weather the mileage drops drastically...usually around 24mpg. Last week with wind chill we were -40 in Iowa. Normal cars also drop in cold weather. Hang in there. It is still better gas mileage than a regular car. In cold weather the electric does not kick in like in normal weather. In cold weather, even when not running the defrost, you will see a drastic drop. The batteries are cold soaked and the gas engine is trying to warm everything up. You will not get battery assist like in normal weather. It is a great mpg vehicle in tepid weather, not too hot...not too cold.

    The RPMs is also normal. The transmission does not shift like a normal car. It is doing what it is suppose to do though. Many times, I am up around 4000RPMs. It may sound like it is revving, but this is where the computer is telling it it should be to get optimal performance. Trust the CVT transmission.

    signed,
    still happy with my 24mpg 2008 FEH
  • I am having very very similar problems. I went from 36+ MPG in September to 26 MPG in December. In my estimation the problem is mostly related to the regenerative braking not working for the first 5-15 minutes of driving. It eventually starts working but when I shut off the car and restart it a while later the problem reoccurs. I find that using "Low" gets it charging at low speeds. When it is really cold I sometimes have the high RPM and slow speed 35-40 mph problem. Also dropping the transmission into "Low" going downhill sometimes causes the RPM to increase dramatically and bounce around. I absolutely loved the car until October/November when this all started happening. The dealer doesn't have a clue! I would appreciate any help as well.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Hang in there. Your performance will come back when the weather warms up. You are probably also fighting the first 3000 - 5000 mile "conditioning" period that has been programmed into the vehicle (not advertised by Ford, but reported by many owners) to fully condition the battery system. Once that is done and you have adjusted your driving habits....next Spring and Summer should be a pleasant surprise. :D
  • Thanks for your response. Actually my best mileage occurred between 3000 and 4500 miles. I am at 6600 miles now. I have been searching on line for others having similar problems and it seems there are at least some. The regenerative braking issue seems to be common with Toyota (and maybe Honda) hybrids as well. It seems that the battery cannot be charged at a high current when temperatures are below 35-40F or so. The colder it is the slower it recharges.
  • I bought a 2008 FEH 4WD with 11000 miles and now it’s at 13000 miles. I live in the Ottawa Valley, ON, Canada and the last couple of days, temperature was around -15 to -25 C (5 to -13F)

    START UP
    I had no problem with startup, only that the normal sounds during startup were louder and became quieter as the vehicle warmed up. (i.e. CVT, ABS unit, click from the battery vent, engine was actually very loud...etc) Instead of the vehicle starting with 1500 RPM, it would reach 2200-2500. The display screen was not as responsive, LCD screen was probably frozen.

    DRIVING
    It would take at least a good 10 min of normal driving around for the engine to run at the normal 1500. I did not put the defroster and left the climate control on ECON and 68F. It took longer trips (i.e. 8-10 miles) to get the electric propulsion. I believe the shortest distance I’ve driven before EV mode was around 5 miles, driving a long stretch, not too much stop and go, -5 C (23F).

    So far, I got on average between 22.3 to 25 mpg (Gas tank full/mileage recorded since fill up). Lower that I would have expected but very decent compared to non-hybrid sedans given these temperatures. I can’t wait for the warmer days to see how it will behave.

    One thing I would like to see the threshold speed for EV to HEV propulsion go up. Now, every time I reach 31 mph, the vehicle goes in HEV.

    Is there anything that can be done to raise the threshold speed i.e. disconnecting the low volt battery in hopes to reset the vehicle controller, owner’s manual p. 224? What about PHEV conversions? Anybody?

    Bottom Line, I love my FEH. ;)
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    Resetting the PCM (vehicle controller) will have the opposite effect. It will erase things stored in the memory and your FEH will re-enter a kind of "break-in" period that allows even less EV mode. When you start to experience less extreme temperatures you will probably learn how to get the vehicle to stay in EV all the way up to 40 mph - use the L gear at appropriate times, switch between L and D, etc. That's about all we can hope for until the Li-Ion battery PHEV retrofit kits come down in price. Then we will be able to go 30 to 50 miles in EV at all speeds before the ICE kicks in.
  • mecheng1,
    Thanks very much for your many inputs for this forum. Could you provide some EASY steps how to switch between L and D for maximizing MPG? What'd be most efficient RPM range for 2008 FEH?

    It looks like I am getting 1~2 MPG boost when I use L for stop and go condition.

    Thanks,
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Posts: 161
    You will want to type "hypermiling the ford escape hybrid" or "Low gear advantage" into your favorite search engine and read through all the various reports of tricks and techniques that can be used to improve FE. THEN, you want to practice with the ones that work for you on your particular routes. I find that keeping RPM between 1800 and 2200, during times when the ICE is on, returns well over 30mpg. (but is hard to do 100% of the time and still keep up with traffic)

    An immediate boost can be gained from running 40-44psi in the tires, BUT NOT during the winter in cold climates where you need the traction. Good Luck and Be Safe.
  • fsbartlettfsbartlett Posts: 3
    I purchased a new 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid 2wd about six months ago. I am very happy with the vehicle. It looks good, gets good gas milage, we had a large SUV before. My only complaint are rattles and the wind noise!

    My Escape has a high pitched squealing wind noise when driven at freeway speeds, that is worse when it is windy outside. The noise seems to be coming from around the dash area. I have had into the dealer two times to see if they could figure out what was causing the noise, I even took a Ford technician out so he could hear the squealing noise. They have not been able to find out what causes the noise. I wrote Ford Customer Service and asked them if they had heard of this problem in any other Escapes. They replied that my dealership is not at "liberty to find this abnormality" and they instructed them not to look for the wind noise anymore, Basically they told me tough luck, if it is that bad, trade it in for something else. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • dhuang2dhuang2 Posts: 15
    I had put 15k miles on my 2008 FEH FWD since last May. I did not experience the excessive wind noise on highway. Actually, the FEH has less wind noise than my 2005 Explorer Sport Trac. I can hear the electric motor wining when accelerating, but it is not an issue for me. Following are something that I can think of:
    1) Does windshield wiper (non-OEM) introduce noise
    2) Does windshield leak air through cracks between glass and vehicle body?

    Good luck :)
  • fsbartlettfsbartlett Posts: 3
    The dealer has replaced the windshield wipers in hopes of getting rid of the wind noise, but it didn't work. They also thought that windshield might be leaking air between the glass and vehicle body, but nothing was tried to seal up the window to see if that got rid of the noise. Ford's stance now is, and this is from corporate, that they tried and they are not going to try anymore.

    The noise when it happens is like a high pitched screeching noise, like a fan belt slipping, or high pressure air blowing across a small hole. I will keep looking, thanks for the ideas.
  • Before a recent trip to Arizona for our daughters wedding, I resealed the windshield with silicone and the wind noise went away. I contacted Ford to let them know that I had fixed it after they refused to look for the problem and they have yet to respond.
  • Karen@EdmundsKaren@Edmunds Posts: 5,028
    A reporter with a large financial magazine would like to speak with hybrid owners and their experiences. If you are a hybrid owner, please respond to ctalati@edmunds.com with your daytime contact information no later than Wednesday, August 6th.

    Karen-Edmunds Community Manager

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