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Ford Escape Hybrid Brake Problems



  • Sorry to hear you were quoted $600 for two new tone rings. My 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid had to have both replaced (at a Ford Dealer) for only $230 total. That was this summer (2010) and I've experienced no problems since. Many report that dealers and repair shops insist on replacing the axles too -- at considerably more expense. It would seem that this isn't necessary if it's only cracked tone ring(s).
    For more info suggest you search the web for "Ford Escape Tone Rings" -- there's much to hear about out there in cyberspace about them.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    edited November 2010
    Rotors are so much thinner and lighter now (I suspect cost-cutting is the culprit) that it doesn't surprise me that on a vehicle like the Escape that you'd be doing replacements like that. So much depends on the driving conditions and type of driving you're facing when it comes to brakes. But back to the rotors, it used to be that it took two hands to carry one rotor, now you can easily carry one in each hand. Less metal means less weight, less cost. It also make the rotors thinner, less able to dissipate the heat, and more prone to warping. So I guess that technically, there's no "problem",, at least not one that has a fix other than to replace rotors when they warp, but it sure as heck is a pain.

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  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. after a year, the CHECK BRAKE SYSTEM message and emergency brake light are back on again. This seems to happen in the winter, not sure if the cold has something to do with this, but Ford just does the same thing as last time, which is fixing a ground. well, that didn't work, again. after 2 days symptoms are back.

    anyone ever have this definitively fixed where it never happened again?
  • feh2005feh2005 Posts: 1
    Dsteak! I will be damned! I have the same issue however it only seems to happen in warmer weather. In winter I did 2 long trips of 1K miles + and had no issues.

    As soon as its spring, and the weather a bit warmer "Service Brake System" and the red light come on. My toner rings appear to be alright!

    The ford dealer could not replicate the issue after charging me $90 + taxes for inspection :mad:
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    Ford is now telling me I need a new ABS Module ($4K+). They weren't interested when I argued I've had this problem for 4 years and 10 visits to the dealer. My warranty is expired and I'm responsible for the repair, even though obviously the ABS Module should have been the fix 4 years ago.

    My last Ford.
  • winkstartwinkstart Posts: 1
    Total Brake Failure! The story: After 96,500 trouble-free miles, I had the rear brakes serviced at the dealership. They replaced the rear pads and rotors and changed the brake fluid.

    I picked up the car to drive home. After running a couple of errands, starts and stops, the ABS and BRAKE lights came on, a chime and SERVICE BRAKES SOON on display. I stopped immediately, and called the dealer. He said to drive it back to them. When I restarted, the brake pedal went to the floor. NO BRAKES!.

    They towed it back to dealer and kept it for a week. They said the brakes were fine when they re-started it. Now they say it's fixed, it was "a bubble in the brake line." All better now, they say - it sounds bogus to me. If there was air in the line, why were the brakes fine for the first half-hour? Why did they keep it a week? I feel so lucky that this happened to them, not me! So far, they are not trying to charge me. More as this develops.
  • cdwrightcdwright Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 FEH. Went 150K on the original front rotors. Had them replaced at a mom/pop shop w/ 3rd party rotors (even though I questioned since it is a hybrid). Replaced them 3 times, but after the 3rd set warped they gave up and blamed it on "bad driving habits" (depared w/ choice words for the mgr). Went to Ford, and they replaced w/ factory rotors, but not for the hybrid. Then went to a different dealership who finally acknowledged that the FEH requires special rotors. There were 2 on the planet in Japan, but they replaced under warranty. 2K miles later, these are now warping too.

    P.S. Also replaced the steering mechanism at Ford corporate's recommendation. Now $3500 into this and still haven't fixed the original problem.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It's entirely possible that the "bubble" was in the ABS/TC "loop", side-tracked, as it were, and only after it moved to the "main line"....

    Often results from inadequate oversight of the McD graduates that are assigned these routine (changed the brake fluid) maintainance tasks.
  • Hi there,

    Thanks for all the great info. I wish I did not need it! ;)

    I have a 2005 FEH with 187K miles. I had the front brakes replaced this June (rotors, etc.), drove from Maine to SC - everything great, up to 30mpg.

    Yesterday (11/18/11) I was driving home and the car was lurching, acting strangely. I pulled over and the front right brake was really gushing smoke and hot as a pistol. My shop was near by so I let it cool and limped it over.

    This morning he replaced the caliper and brake hose but said he could not bleed the brakes after trying for nearly 2 hours. He arranged for me to go to the Ford dealer so I did as I have been there before. So $239 for him.

    From his shop to Ford dealer, almost no brakes, pushing down very hard, ABS light on and SERVICE BRAKE SYSTEM displayed, and brake light.

    The Ford dealer had the car for a few hours and said they could not bleed the brakes either. Here is what the 'receipt' said:

    "Tried to perform an ABS bleed with the IDS, can not perform. Codes in system C1323, travel sensor 1 fault. C1524, calibration incomplete, brake travel.C1525, initialization incomplete. These are hard faults. Ford has bulletin for code 1524 to replace master cylinder first before proceeding further. Customer declined repairs. Vehicle unsafe, should not be driven."

    I limped it home on on just reserve brakes - pushing all the way to the floor, really hard!

    I do not trust the Ford dealer, especially that one. After reading this blog I am also concerned that they will charge $1142 for the master cylinder (their estimate) then want another $4K for the HCU.

    OK - How f&^%ed am I?

    Seriously though is there any way an independent mechanic can have a look at this and really determine if I need a master cyl and the HCU? Any in New England?

    Any help or advice would be appreciated. Is it worth taking to another Ford dealer? Is it time to trade it in for whatever I can get?

    My shop guy did pay the $137 Ford charged to look at this so still just $239 into this. I paid $5500 for this car about a year ago, very clean, have driven 20K miles. I really love it besides this.


    Willie in Maine
  • I have the same thing...I just had my 2006 FORD Escape Hybrid in for service on an issue that caused the engine to turn of and ask me to pull over to a safe stop. ($700ish water pump fix) and now I'm getting TOTAL BRAKE FAILURE with the ABS light going on!

    I've been told it is about $5000 to fix!!!!! This is a catastrophic failure that I've I've called FORD to ask for them to stand up and help me out. (My hybrid system is still under warranty, and the service dept says it is so expensive because of the Hybrid system!?!?)

    I am so P.O's and this will be my last Ford! My sister was going to buy one like mine, but after hearing about this she switched to a GMC. I may be driving a GMC or Chevy next week.

    What to you do with a 2006 Piece of junk ford?! Anyone know where I can find someone to take it off my hands? I can't afford to get it fixed. :-(
  • I had the same thing with my 2006 FEH. Now they are telling me it will be a $5000 fix! at 75k miles with no other brake problems. Unfortunately, no bubble for me. :-( I am without a vehicle because I can't afford the $5k.
  • Willie,

    I'm getting the same thing, but mine is intermittent which, to me, indicates a computer glitch. Everything works perfectly somethimes. For me it was a $5000 quote!

    I've talked to several local mechanics who spit out their coffee or choke when I tell them the repair bill! They say they can't touch the FORD ABS system. (something about needing a VERY expensive programmer to match the computer to the car ID?)

    I think I've scared off at least a dozen people from buying a Ford with the story of my brake bill. I'm going to tell it to everyone I know and then some. It doesn't look like there will be a happy ending since I have contacted FORD customer complaints and they said basically:

    Yeah, you have a right to be mad about that bill, but you are on your own, we aren't going to help you out one bit.

    What do they think they are, therapists? I have a right to be mad? No kidding sherlock! The vehicle is only 5 years old and I have a repair bill that makes my vehicle worthless unless I pay them the $5000 repair bill so I can sell it for only a couple thousand more if I'm lucky?!?

    No Way, I'll junk it instead! Or, park it on my lot on the side of the main road with a big sign on it saying "for sale...needs a $5000 brake job according to ford!"

    If you get a junk yard to take yours, let me know how much you get in maine, I'll do the same here.

    I'm taking it to a different ford dealer for a second oppinion tomorrow. Wish me luck.
  • Good news (for me anyway)! I took it to another dealer in Waterville, ME (Ray Haskell Ford) and they were able to fix it without the expensive parts. I did not tell them about the first dealer experience, only about the first shop that could not bleed the brakes.

    The receipt says:

    "40 ECC tested 3 codes bled brakes and reprogrammed ABS, did pinpoint test - road tested OK"

    so $176 instead of potential $7K.

    Lesson: if this happens to you don't accept that the master cylinder and HCU are bad. Get other opinions. Make them go back at it.

    Hopefully the fix will last me!

    It seems like this regenerative brake thing is just too dang complex and reliant on computers. It is a scary feeling to know that you are at the mercy of Ford dealers for this rather than local mechanics.



    There is more on this and shop manuals here:
  • degu1degu1 Posts: 2
    I had the same thing happen with my 2006 Hybrid Escape brakes. I went to the manager of the dealership and asked him to intervene with Ford customer service...not much help, but fortunately for me I the manager of the service dept. said he would bleed brakes and see if this would "fix" the problem as the pads etc all looked good on the auto. Basically did the same as your tech, for under $200.00 and the ABS light hasn't come on since. This was back in Jan.2011.
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    Yup. I've had this problem since 1.5 years (18K miles). While my car was still under warranty, they kept changing the ground saying that was the fix. I had it in 10 times. After my car was out of warranty, the fix was then a new computer module ($4,500). Even my dealer was on my side, saying that the fix should have been the computer module from the start, which was what other people were getting, which is what I asked in the beginning, "isn't that the fix, a new computer module?". Ford told my dealer to help me but Ford themselves wouldn't be providing any assistance whatsoever. My dealer told me they would provide the fix at cost ($3500). So apparently Ford makes $1000+ on this repair. Nice for them huh? There is a facebook page about this to LIKE - link title

    Ford didn't want a recall or any negative publicity about their hybrids (the Mercury has the same issue) since times were tough in the auto industry. You can read the history of my posts on this site, but it provides no consolation. I tell everyone Ford hybrids are no good, but gee they made billions last year. This is my last Ford. How about a little class action?
  • I have also had brake failure on a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid. Two weeks ago, at 50,000 miles and just back from the dealer's service, the brakes failed at start-up: very little braking action and a warning on the dash. I drove it around the block and went through four stop signs. I had it towed back to the dealer, where it has been ever since. The technician there found a code for "over-extended brake pedal" -- naturally the result when the brakes fail and the pedal goes to the floor. The service manager says they cannot duplicate the failure despite frequent attempts, and that Ford will not authorize repair unless they can see the failure for themselves. The "Customer Service" Manager at Ford headquarters, implies that Ford's engineers are unaware of this kind of problem and have no explanation for it -- a position that is belied by the many posts at this site. The dealer's technician was more honest: he said "We can't replace the system without Ford's approval, and they won't approve that because of the high-dollar parts." But I have a high-dollar life.

    I agree with those who say that a class-action suit is appropriate. Better now than after someone is killed.

    In the meantime, I am taking my case to the Bureau of Automotive Repair of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
  • Brakes working fine on my 2005. Curious if you can operate the vehicle without any hybrid battery life. Can you disable the hybrid so as to not replace batteries when they finally go?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,788
    "Brakes working fine on my 2005. Curious if you can operate the vehicle without any hybrid battery life. Can you disable the hybrid so as to not replace batteries when they finally go? "

    No. The battery has to be working for the vehicle to move.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    First, "my shop"....

    Second....Siezed/stuck brake caliper piston at 187,000 should be considered a normal failure.

    The calipers should have been inspected/replaced/rebuilt at that initial brake service.

    Lastly..."your shop" began a brake fluid proceedure without knowing, or knowing how, to completely bleed a system as complex as is the FEH.
  • Did you not read that one Ford dealer wanted $1500 for master cylinder to tell me that I then might need a $4000 HCU? And that another Ford dealer figured it out for $176?

    I think our point here is to learn about this problem and how to deal with it without getting in an accident or getting ripped off.

    What is your point?
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