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Ford Escape Hybrid Suspension/Steering Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,747
edited January 2014 in Ford
Discuss Escape Hybrid suspension/steering problems here.


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  • I purchased 2006 Escape Hybrid a couple of months ago, and whenever I accelerate, the car keeps pulling to left slightly. I was wondering whether this is normal for hybrid. Does anyone experience the same situation?

    Also, whenever I drive on uneven roads, the steering wheel feels very unstable and sensitive compared to the regular power steering wheel. Is this because that it is electric-assisted power steering wheel?

    If anyone knows about these two situations, please let me know.
  • I purchased 2006 Escape Hybrid a couple of months ago, and whenever I accelerate, the car keeps pulling to the left slightly. I was wondering whether this is normal for the hybrid. Does anyone experience the same situation?

    Also, whenever I drive on uneven roads, the steering wheel feels very unstable and sensitive compared to the regular power steering wheel. Is this because that it is electric-assisted power steering wheel?

    If anyone knows about these two situations, please let me know.
  • Mine pulled to the left also. It required a front end alignment. Have not had a problem since the realignment.
  • We have 2K mi on ours ( Mariner ) - got it 31 Mar. All wheel drive - no pulling ( leading ). The electric power steering lends little feedback to the driver. You just can't feel what you are doing to the road thru the steering wheel. I have noticed that on the new '06 Mercedes-Benz C280 - overboosted power steering. Too light - no feedback.
  • ssentssent Posts: 1
    We've had our FEH since 12/04 and it is our first Ford.
    We generally like the car but have noticed the steering is stiff when making minor direction corrections while driving straight on the hiway. We took it to the dealer and got the same run around others have mentioned. I did call the Ford customer satisfaction 800 number to no avail.
    Has anyone else notice this or am I wrong is believing that it should at lease steer as easy on the highway as my motorhome does? Around town, at low speed, it steers wonderfully.
  • I bought a 2006 ford escape hybrid two years ago. I really loved it and loved the gas saving it gave me. Two major problems. Anyone else notice the seat fabric on the front seats getting loose. Wrinkles in the material and not the underseating. It was so bad that I finally took it in for inspection and repair. The answer the dealershipt gave me and ford itself was : Oh that is normal wear and tear. I could not believe it!
    Second thing that started the first winter was the occasional power steering failure. The tool light would come on and the instruction to seek maint. It would stay on and the power steering would not come back on. Sometimes it would be off a few mintues / other times it would stay off longer. The problem was worse in the cold mornings when it was near 0 degrees. By the time I would get to the dealership it would start working. The problem began getting worse and I almost had an accident three weeks ago when it went out. Ford response was oh well cant find it it must not be happening so they were not going to go any further. I ask what about my warranty? They siad they could keep my car for a week to watch-without a loaner of course. That was the last straw. I will never buy another ford product. I went and sold it that say day . It was a great SUV but such bad customer service. I hope noone else has the same problems.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    All dealers are independant franchises. Ford has very limited control over how a dealer treats you. When you are shopping for a car at a dealer you aren't familar with, you should definately ask about their customer service record.

    Check into it with people you know. All dealers are definately not the same. I use to work at a dealership where the line was "is that your signature? well congratulations, you are an owner and its not my problem." Now I work at a dealership that bends over backwards to make sure we help everybody to the extent we can.

  • maksimemaksime Posts: 8
    Good Day,
    I just had similar issues but with my electric power assist steering...on my FEH 2008!!!!!
    After hearing a small ''tick'' around the instrument cluster, the yellow wrench came on randomly and I was loosing the power steering. It happened to me numerous times, even while turning at a light... with oncoming traffic. :surprise: After manifesting itself for 2-3 days at the time, the problem went away every time I went to the dealer, so no codes were generated for diagnostic :mad: . Only on my 4th visit to the dealer were the techs able to see what was the problem. However, it generated a code which did not allow them to pinpoint the problem. In the end, the whole EPAS was replaced under warranty.

    I love my FEH but I think this situation is unacceptable for such a new vehicle. I hate to say this but I lost confidence in my vehicle’s dependability.

    :lemon: ... Hope not...
  • I've recently experienced the same power steering failure twice in the past month. Both times the temperature was near zero and happened after very short trips (4 miles or less). The problem cleared up spontaneously after the engine was shut down and restarted a few minutes to a few hours later.

    It was kind of hairy trying to maneuver the Escape out of a parking lot with very little steering available. At highway speeds the steering wasn't a big issue.

    I took the vehicle to the dealer and they could find nothing wrong. I was told that there weren't any unusual events recorded on the computer. When talking to me they seemed to be amazed that there wasn't any power steering fluid to blame the problem on. Next time it happened I was to bring it to the dealer immediately. Good luck on that since it happens at night away from home.

    I've had to have the brake control module and right front ABS speed sensor replaced under warranty. Other than that my '05 is a great vehicle.
  • After searching googling and reading tons of blogs it appears that all 2005 Ford Escape Hybrids are experiencing random acts of "power steering failure" and no single Ford Dealership has seen it before. Certainly someone has found the probelm and the repair. I have read somewhere that there is a "switch". I can't seem to get my Ford Dealer on board with that. Anybody have a Ford Part Number?
  • jlcomstockjlcomstock Posts: 14
    I just submitted a complaint to the NHTSB about this. Twice I've had the steering wheel lock up on me while driving. In each occassion, I was going roughly 30-35 mph when attempting to just follow the curve of the road. I'd be going straight, and then go to turn the wheel, and it'd be locked up. Then I'd of course hit the brake, which seemed to release the wheel.

    And when I say lock up, I mean lock up ... like when the car is off, you take the key out, and the wheel literally locks. That type of lock up.

    I'm curious if anyone out there has also seen this. I have an '09 FEH Limited, 20k miles, 4WD, no nav.
  • My husband and I have both experienced similar steering lock-ups, that last until you brake, which you do quickly because you are not going where you want to! Most recently, I was moving into position behind our motorhome at low speed when the steering froze. We have an '09 FEH, 22k miles FWD, no nav.
    Have you resolved this yet?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,747
    Just so it's clear in my mind... you mean a lock up like when you take the key out of the ignition and it feels like the steering wheel can only move a fraction of an inch left and right? Or is it just locked solid?


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  • I can't really say whether there is any movement or not. I just know the steering wheel won't turn where you want it to. It's very scary. My husband has had this 3 or 4 times when driving at road speeds. I had it at parking speed.
  • It's a 100% solid immediate lock, I'd say. I'll be going into a curve, and the wheel won't move a millimeter. Unlike when the car is off and you can still wiggle the wheel a bit, this is a very solid lock. But there's so little time ... from time to lock to when I hit the brake is probably just half a second ... I can't begin to try to wiggle the wheel (nor would I want to take the time to find out).

    It's enough to almost give me a heart attack. It's only happened twice in 26,000 miles. But if it catches me on a curve on one of these fast, two lane roads, I'll be off a hillside.

    No response from NHTSB concern that I submitted many months ago. I honestly haven't even taken it to the dealer. Can't reproduce it. No warning lights. So I seriously doubt they could shed any light on anything.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,747
    Weird. I'm trying to think why touching the brakes would have anything to do with it. There's a little voice inside of me saying it might be electrical/electronic in nature, but that's just a teeny little feeling and not a diagnosis.

    Keep us up to date on this one for sure!


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  • I wonder if it might be by design. Working on mass transit control systems, i'm familiar with many 'fail-safe' mechanisms in the railroad and subway industry. If something like that could shut down steering under some certain conditions that might explain why hitting the brakes fixrs it. It might just be loss of power steering. Andwe cant rule out coincidence and luck the it seems to unlock when i hit the brake.

    Will keep you posted.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,747
    The only thing about a fail-safe system on a train or subway is that the train will generally follow the tracks. I assume you're talking about things like a "dead man switch" to stop a train if nobody is driving. But I'm hard pressed to come up with a reason that locking the steering at anytime when the vehicle is moving would be a good thing.


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  • I agree. One would think locking the steering should never be a safe condition for a car. But I have an example.

    The roll stability control system could go awry. A sensor could be misbehaving and indicating a condition that doesn't really exist ... except the RSC system doesn't know that the sensor is wrong. That would be one instance where the 'safe' condition is to take over and/or limit steering from the driver.

    I don't give that as a fail-safe mechanism though, because that's not exactly. A sensor failing in a safety-critical system would hopefully be periodically tested for correct operation and throw a warning if it were failing. Or if it fails instantaneously during use, the computer should assume the most un-safe condition and act accordingly. That would be fail-safe.

    If some sensor shows a wrong condition in an RSC system, what is the safe condition? To allow steering and let the person flip the truck (as it thinks it will), or not allow steering and prevent the over-correction by the driver?

    This would explain a bit why the brake has an effect in resolving the issue. And I've never felt like I've come even close to roll over at all, but my two instances have been going 25-40 into and out of turns.

    I don't know. I've been trying to just keep my speeds low on those roads to hopefully alleviate the problem and give myself time to react if it should happen again.

    I'm know very little about what cars do for safety. From my experience with trains though, things are designed to what people think is safe, but there's no guarantee their analysis is correct or all corner cases have been covered. I've seen the fallout of a few train accidents that occurred because fail-safe systems didn't behave as such because some conditions occurred that no one ever thought of or tested to.

    Also, many systems on cars a important and safety related, but are not fail-safe. Like your brakes. On a train, the brakes are normally on. If power goes out, the air lines blow, or whatever, the brakes go on. You need power and air pressure to open the brakes.

    On a car, it's the opposite. You need power and brake line pressure to activate the brakes. If you lose brake line pressure and/or power, you lose you brakes.

    So if the steering is fail-safe, it could definitely command a condition you don't want in your case ... and that's if it's even fail-safe at all.
  • Well, I took our Escape Hybrid into our local Ford Dealer (same one we purchased it from 11 1/2 months ago). Of course they couldn't replicate the fault. There were no stored error codes, and they couldn't see anything obviously wrong. They looked for updates from Ford, but found nothing. However they did take it seriously, and have replaced the whole steering column under warranty. It took all day, and they were good enough to get me a loaner car.

    So now I suppose we just wait and see if the problem recurs!
  • bails1bails1 Posts: 1
    Hi there first time on this site and just read your comment about the Ford Escape, we live in Alberta Canada and my wife has a 2010 Escape 6 months old and the power steering has just failed on hers and I agree with you we are talking 100% fail. Luckily it was while we were in a parking lot and not on our way home where we encounter Deer on a regular basis. If this happened at speed I do not want to think about the consequences, Ford needs to look at this NOW or face what Toyota did for their inaction.

    I will be writing letters to the dealership and Ford so they are both aware of the issue so there is no denial later on. I also saw there was another complaint to the NHTSA about a similar problem . We were warned not to buy a Ford because the perception is they do not stand behind their product. We have been over the moon with the Escape until now and I was even thinking about getting aa new F150 but I may have to re-think that decision. I will keep you posted on what the dealer says but they can`t even look at it until Monday and it`s Saturday.
  • I have the same problem with my 2009 Ford Escape. Two times the steering has locked when I tried to turn it. Once I was stopped and attempted to turn left. The other I was driving and tried to steer to the left. Several other times the steering wheel and brakes lost power momentarily and the stability control light went on. The last time, yesterday, I was driving along about 35 miles an hour when the power just went - only for about 3 seconds and then it was fine. I've taken into the dealer three times. It never happens when they take it for a ride. They did something to the steering column once. I have 18000 miles on it. I have another vehicle so I find I am driving it less and less. I don't know what to do
  • Well, this happened a third time. First two times were in 24,000 miles. Now again at 30,000.

    I was going about 20 mph, into a curve. And this time my wife was with me. Again, I applied the brake, and the wheel loosened up.

    Taking it in next week, so we'll see what they say. I'm definitely printed out some posts from on here and other sites from other people so they don't discount me as crazy.
  • Today my FEH is at the dealership. They are replacing the steering column under warranty.

    They just took me at my word and said, "It looks like Ford has been having problems with the steering column in these Escapes." Though they didn't mention any tests or having seen anything awry.

    There's a chance that could fix it. There's a chance it won't fix anything. There's a chance it could actually make the problem worse or more frequent.

    I guess I won't know until it happens again. The steering locks up only about every 5000 - 10000 miles, so I need to go at least a year without it happening before I feel comfortable.

    I would like to get rid of the car. I'm not too comfortable with driving my family around in this thing. But I don't know if I can afford to do that because I don't know if I can get a replacement vehicle for the same cost as just keeping this one. Still owe $17k on something that might kill me.

    Good times.
  • Although I don't have a hybrid, I have had my 2005 Ford Escape for 5 years. I was out today driving down an alley. I went to turn right and the wheel completely locked up, but the engine did not. Luckily, there weren't any other cars around because I had to make an immediate stop. After shutting it off and restarting it I was able to make it home. But this was very scary, especially since I usually have my 1 year old son with me.

    I want to take it in, but like many posts here, I tried to recreate what happenend today, but couldn't, so there isn't much that can be done. Any suggestions?????
  • cretacreta Posts: 2

    I own a 2006 FEH.

    Unfortunately the power steering assist mechanism (electric -not hydraulic) needs to be replaced/repaired.

    I am looking for a top flight mechanic who is familiar with this issue, the dealer has recommended that I buy a new vehicle..... they indicate the repair is too complex, risky and expensive.

    I would greatly appreciate any assitance

    Thank you,

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,747
    It's hard to imagine a repair (even if it's a complete replacement) of the power steering assist unit would be to expensive to be worth doing on a 5 year old vehicle. Not having heard an estimate, I could be mistaken on that. And the word "risky" is really throwing me for a loop. What risk? Is the mechanic not sure if he'll break something else attempting the repair? Too complex sounds like he just doesn't want to be bothered.

    Did he give you an estimate?


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  • My FEH first showed the steering problem less than 4 months after I bought it. The dealership had it for 9 days and replaced part of the steering column.

    A year and 8 months later, the steering problem returned. this time the dealership had my car for nearly 2 months because they were replacing the entire wire harness and it was backordered.

    6 months and 8 days later, the steering problem returned, AGAIN. This time Ford is doing a "repurchase" of my car. They have to follow certain guidelines according to California Lemon laws, they just don't have to follow them fast.

    I have been driving this ticking time-bomb since August 20, 2011. I am going to give them about another week to make good with their buyback before I hire an attorney and go that route.

    If your steering is going out, you need to contact Ford Corporate. Their phone number is on the internet. Ford knows this is a problem. They are responsible to make it right.
  • I've had four instances this summer of my steering locking up temporarily. So far always at low speed. I've got it at a dealer now, but I know from experience with brake failure on the same car that Ford will not authorize any repair that can't be duplicated by the dealer. Indeed, I know that despite all the posts here, Ford will claim it has never heard of the problem. It will take a fatality to get Ford's attention.
  • I just picked up my FEH 2007 after paying $2700 to the dealer for steering repair. It went out (completely) as I was pulling out of a parking spot. Ford does not believe there is a problem with it. For me, it was a HUGE problem. This was my first domestic purchase in 2007 when I bought it brand new. After 5.5 years, I paid over 10% of what I had paid when I bought it new. The dealership says it is new technology that costs a lot more to repair when it breaks down.
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