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Ford Escape Transmission Problems



  • OMG can you believe that after 3 years we are all still having problems with the transmissions in the Fusion (I sold my 2010 to the dealer) and now my 2011 Escape is starting to act the same. I have had more than 22 cars and some were true beaters but not ONE had a bad trans. We as consumers will never get Ford to admit the problem. I am also not a speedster but I will not drive like a snail just to get the trans. to shift correctly(sorta). The high revs (all under 40mph) just can't be good for not only the 4cyl. but the poor gas mileage. I took 2 long trips and honestly kept the speed under 75. The best mpgs. were 26.3. Thank god I am leasing the excape so I won't be stuck with the problems forever. Loved the example about the old Chevy that only cost 175.00. and had to be sold. Maybe some day a brave car expert will expose Fords' secrets, or maybe a few deaths will bring it to light. Getting T- boned after waiting for the confused trans. to work just scares the heck out of me. Can't wait for my lease to be up..still have 18 months left. May so back to GM.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    "..may go back to GM.."

    That will be like jumping into boiling water at a different point.

    All modern automatic transmissions, industry wide, are now using these same fuel saving design techniques.

    The best you can probably hope for is a warning signal, buzzer(?) that re-acceleration should not be attempted due to the lack of sufficient ATF line pressure.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    edited September 2011
    I agree wwest. If I recall correctly, isn't this the transmission that Asain makes for several manufacturers, including GM, Ford and Toyota?
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    "May go back to GM."

    Wow you have a lot of courage saying such oddity. Going back to GM would definately not be moving forward, at the very most a lateral move...if that!
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    New ideas, certainly FE ideas, propagate throughout the industry like wildfire, cross-license, what ever. So anyone building "standard" (non-CVT) automatic transmissions will soon, if not already, incorporate these designs.
  • hello.i have a 2002 escape,3.0 liter front wheel drive.nice vehicle.but,o/d light flashes.if i hold the button in making the o/d light stay off on dash,vehicle drives fine and shifts good(i drive 100 miles a day round trip to work/home.)if button is not held in,i risk trans shifting in and out of o/d.tried replacing with another shifter handle(used)thinking button was bad,but not the case.i can stick a penny in end of shifter handle and not have to hold in while i drive(talk about a one cent repair).i realize this is just a bandaid,and want to fix it right.any suggestions?thx.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    O/D lockup clutch has probably failed, slipping.

    But check ATF level just the same.
  • why would it work when i hold the switch in?no change in rpms when it hits overdrive,dont notice any slipping,i will recheck the fluid level,but how much does it hace to be off to cause this problem?could it be electrical?my brother in law works at ford,says they have had problems with wiring running down the steering column,esp. tilt wheel?im open to suggestions.thx
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I tend to agree with wwest. When the OD light blinks on these cars, it usually means there is a problem inside the transmission, and that's your indicator. Holding the button in probably disengages the OD so it doesn't slip, and I doubt it's electrical.
  • 2007 Escape XLT 4cyl, 76K when engine is cold (sometimes warm) the transmission makes a shuddering sound for the first 5 or seconds when placed into gear. The noise disappears and does not return until vehicle has cooled. This happens going into drive, or reverse, flat or hill.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I have 5 Escapes, and have not had a transmission problem yet, but the first thing I would ask is: is the fluid full, and is it clean. When was the transmission serviced last. If it's been over 30,000 miles, I'd have it serviced. If none of these suggestions resolve the problem, it is an internal issue, but may not be fatal. I had a Sable once that would slip on the very first shift on a cold day, but then never again that day. It never got any worse. The only other thing it could be is the engine, not the transmission. When you first put it into gear, it loads up the engine, which could have a cold temperature miss that goes away quickly when it warms up. Could be a dirty injector, spark plug, or a few other things, but again, not serious. If these simple fixes don't fix it, I'd quit worrying about it unless it got worse.
  • rooslayerrooslayer Posts: 4
    edited October 2011
    not sure if the Escape we are talking about is the Mazda Tribute derivative but, I have one (2001 model) and the O/D light started to flash a few weeks ago.
    A week later I lost all transmission.
    Transmission fluid in radiator and coolant in transmission.
    I had a front end accident about a month before (hit a kangaroo) which necessitated a radiator repair.
    still trying to figure out if the smack from Skippy caused the failure or whether it was just deterioration (car has done 90,000 Km - 55,000 Miles).

    I would not ignore the flashing O/D light knowing what I know now.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Yep, the Escape IS the Mazda Tribute brother. And the OD light on most Fords is the clue that you have a transmission problem. If it starts to blink, failure is generally imminent. In your case, you may have saved had you not had the breech. The collision is very likely the cause, as this phenomenon is unusual, if not damn rare.
  • rooslayerrooslayer Posts: 4
    edited October 2011
    Insurer has assessed the transmission fail as related to the head-on with Skippy (but they did say they hadn't seen it before).
    Yay! Saved me heaps on the repair.
    Lesson here is, if you have any front end hit, get the entire cooling system checked. Damage looked fairly superficial, no warning lights came on, no fluid bleeding on the road - just losing a bit of coolant over time. I suspect a piece of grille plastic may have punctured radiator in just the right(ie wrong) spot.
    I only got about 200km (120 miles) out of it between the O/D light flashing intermittently and the cog-box giving up.
  • jcc11jcc11 Posts: 1
    I just purchased 2009 Ford Escape XLT and have 5 days to keep or return. I already have a problem with the key not going into the ignition hole. It's like you have the wrong key. After moving the blinker lever up and down, the key went in. What's up with that?! There is also a small black stain on the seat which Carmax could not get out. The Carfax report history says something about a shift lever/assembly replaced, automatic transmission check, and battery/charging sytem/starter checked. Carmax says the Carfax report might not be correct info. Is that true?
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Carfax is horribly unreliable! They can only report what is reported to them. Lots of stuff never is, including accidents, frame damage, etc. You have to take Carfax with a grain of salt, tequila and a slice of lime. I run them, look at them, but don't rely on them. My son wrecked his Mustang 4 times, seriously, police reports each time, body shop fixed each time, insurance paid each time, NONE were reported on Carfax. So be very careful with Carfax.

    On the key thing, could just need some graphite sprayed into the lock mechanism, or lock lubricant (NOT WD-40!). Or, based on the repairs noted, may be substandard work when the steering column was repaired.

    I would personally, take this car back and try another one. I have 5 Escapes, none of them act like this.
  • I find the ignition key a bit fiddly, usually trying to extract it.
    It likes the gear selector to be in "N" and sometimes you have to move it in and out of "N" to make it work.
    I also think that sometimes if there is pressure on the steering lock that can cause the ignition key to catch a bit.
  • Is it time for the young fellow to buy a Cannondale F7 (ie a bicycle)? :) :)
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Well.....simpler doesn't break as much. That's for sure. I think running a CARFAX is good, it does give you some history, and there is good info you can use there. You just can't "rely" on it for being at all complete. They can only report what they receive. Most used car dealers, when they retire, buy new. I've often asked them why, with all they know about used cars, and they tell me, that's eXACTLY why they buy new now! All they know. Now, having said that, I have bought a lot of used cars in my lifetime, and have had about as good luck with them as new ones, frankly. But you have to be careful, and there's a factor too about HOW used it is. A one or two year old used car isn't much of a risk. A 10 year old car is a total crapshoot. Better to buy a new Yaris than a 10 year old Avalon, I suppose.
  • Interestingly enough, I have a 2008 Ford Escape Limited and have lost 2nd and 4th gears also. The remedy is estimated to cost between $1,800 and $2,400. My extended Warranty expired 14,000 km ago. Since the warranty has expired, I have had to replace a fuel injector; 2 universal joints and now the transmission. I only drive this vehicle to and from work. I have never pushed or towed anything nor has it seen rough terrain. This is not at all what I would expect from a 3 year old vehicle at all. Makes me wonder what's coming next. I find it very disappointing. For the folks who do not see this as a reason to find an alternative to Ford; I don't get it. We pay premium hard earned $ for these vehicles. They are not disposable. I expect much more.
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