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Ford Escape Brake Problems

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  • My 2003 Ford Escape does the exact same thing! We have put about $600 into it so far. New calipers, rotors, and brakes. New wheel barring. Still does the same thing. Nobody seems to know what is wrong with it. We are so frustrated right now. The only other thing we have been told is to check the CV and the axel. If you find anything out please let us know. We will do the same!
  • Would you post pictures?
  • Brake issues with a 2002 Escape XLT FWD 103k miles, even split between highway and city driving.

    Several months back I had a small tranny hose leak that sprayed fluid on the inside of the left front tire, the brake light came on at this time. When I applied the breaks at that time, they were very spongy and pulsating. A mechanic friend replaced pads and rotors (L & R front) at the time of the tranny hose repair due to warping from the fluid. Brakes were still spongy and now grinding after this "fix." Took it to a certified mechanic for a second look. He said the ceramic pads that were installed were inferior and he replaced with a higher quality, more compatible set. He also swapped out a break line, replaced the left caliper and replaced an ABS sensor as there was an excessive pulsating in the brakes. When I picked up the Escape, it seemed to be braking just fine. Off and on I could feel a slight pulsating in the pedal but nothing major.
    Over the course of about 2 weeks (the car is driven infrequently) I am experiencing on a very somewhat consistent basis: normal braking, spongy braking, a grinding sound when I brake, pulling hard to the left then the right when I brake as well as standing on the pedal and the brakes taking forever to respond. These incidents can happen all in the same 10-15 mile drive or over the course of several drives. It may be spongy only on the drive or the metal-on-metal grinding alone. If I feel the brakes are not really responding or the car is pulling to the left side, I can pump them several times and "feel" they are going to catch and know to apply them on that pump. Both left and right front brakes are making varied sounds: grinding and groaning. It almost feels like they are not catching or catching and holding. When I do stop, on occasion there is a hot or acrid smell, from either one or both of the brake areas. They are extremely hot to the touch when these problems have presented.
    Any ideas? I will be calling the mechanic to re-visit, I just would like an idea of what I am looking at here. Thanks.
  • Two questions...were all parts replaced with genuine Ford/Motorcraft parts? If you used aftermarket parts your problem may be there.

    Did the tech bleed the system, the spongy feeling and pull may be related to air in the lines. Make sure he/she purge the lines.
  • Everything was Motorcraft parts and he did purge the lines. I have had to quit driving my Escape because the last time I applied the brakes, responsiveness was very low.
  • I would check the following in no particular order:

    -Master cylinder
    -Brake booster
    -Proportioning valve
    -Brake hoses
    -Calipers
    -Rear slave cylinders
  • I have an ABS light on again, last year the right ABS was repalced, now the light is on again., The front end is noisy and 2 weeks ago we replaced both front wheel bearings. What is going on with this car, It has 43, 000 miles on it??
  • I am the owner of a 2008 ford escape ~ bought vehicle off lease with 30K have already redone brakes with top of the line napa parts ~ ford has already reshimmed my rotors ~ car makes awful sound when braking from high speeds ~ front end feels all loose and wheel shakes ~ anybody have any ideas???? HELP please.
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    I bought my '08 with 25,000 miles last year (it now has 48,000) and it seems to have the typical Escape problems - seats that look like I have four toddlers (I don't), noises from every corner of the cabin, bad tires that have been replaced (I thought the front end was going out), just something all of the time, and now it's the brakes. Last week as I was driving on a two-lane road, hills and curves with no shoulder. I braked going down a grade into a curve and had a pretty unnerving experience as I wondered what in the world was going on with my brakes. it was like there was nothing there, then the pedal engaged again and the next immediate sensation was like that of running over a very rough "rumble strip", including the noise. I felt the vibration in the floor board. It actually felt like it made the car hesitate ever so slightly so I even wondered for a split second if it would go forward. At 11:00 p.m. on a dark road by myself 30 miles from nowhere, this was a pretty scary event, especially knowing I had lots of hills and curves ahead. The same thing happened one more time. My speed was probably 40 mph both times. When I got into town, the next event was at a stop light. I depressed the brake pedal, it engaged, then let go completely, then re-engaged and made the same noise/vibration. Of course, when I took it to my dealer, nothing is wrong. They think it might be in the anti-lock braking system, but no code showed up, so I'm out of luck until something fails. I called my insurance company to warn them...
    I'm about ready to trade. I want my truck back.
  • Good to know someone else has the same problem, I got this vehicle brand new (2008 model) as a company car in Apr 2007, within the first 5k on start up and within less than 1/2 mile the front left vibrates with a feeling that the brakes are pulsing on/off and when you apply the brakes they suck. Exactly the same symptoms as you describe.

    I had it towed to the dealers asap and no error codes where found, that was Jun 07, since then it has happened 5 times until approx Dec 08 but only on start up after 100 - 200 yards of driving but clears after 1/2 mile as usual, every time.

    I have just lived with it as it is a company car although it happened today and the brakes/traction control on the left groaned for a longer time than before , brakes grabbing and brakes where crap when applied. Sure enough it stopped after 1/2 mile (as usual) and the traction control light came on. I had to stop at a store and when I came out the traction control light was off and everything is all good.

    I called my fleet maintenance company and its scheduled to go in to a different Ford dealer on this Saturday, hopefully they will find something along its going to be hard to find as it is unpredictable. There is 48k on it now and :confuse: my company changes every 65k

    Weird Ford!!!!!!
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    It's great to know I'm not the only one - it is really frustrating when no one will believe you. Oh, by the way, I happen to be blond. lol
  • "really frustrating when no one will believe you", now there is 2 of us with the same issue/story. They probably won't find anything unless someone gets in a wreck or worse killed.

    Its going into the dealer on Saturday for investigation, I will let you know the outcome.

    Happy 'T' day!
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    Good Luck! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you too.
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    Here is a new one - just happened today. Driving at very low speed coming into my townhouse complex. Braking to round the corner and it felt like two metal plates sliding against each other for a moment, a slight "catching" sensation and then release. No grinding noise this time, just the feeling through the brake pedal. Have you had anything like this?
  • This is the problem I have, I am picking up my Escape in a few minutes but as usual Ford couldn't find the what is causing this issue.

    They did however for the first time see an error code stored in the system that shows the on-board computer turned of the "YAW Sensor". The YAW sensor I believe monitors the traction control movement and is somehow tied to the ABS brakes. The bad thing is they diagnosed the "YAW Sensor" and everything is OK.

    They are going to drop a message to FORD Engineering on Monday for advice but for now its tough luck for me and you until something permanently fails :(

    Back to square 1
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    Thanks so much for the update. I drove almost 400 miles this weekend and I just had a couple of issues at very low speeds like I explained before. So strange. Now it seems to be when I am braking and turning at the same time. I've given up trying to explain all of this to the service manager. I'll probably end up trading it off before a resolution to this problem is found.
  • 2001 Escape with 100,000 miles. When the temperature gets close to or below zero the brake pedal becomes hard. It feels like the pedal will only move about an inch or so. I have no braking ability. If I pump the pedal hard then the pedal returns to normal and I have power assist. In the below zero temperatures, when the car is parked in the garage there is no issue (it is probably 30-40 in the garage). But as I drive on the freeway to work I will loose braking. It is worst when it is sitting outside at work all day and then I will not have brakes right away when I start the car. Again if I pump the brakes the come back to normal. Not a good situation when you live in Minnesota.
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    The problem is the brake booster or the line going to the booster. Moisture could also be trapped in the booster or vacuum line to the booster and freeze.
  • Thank you for your response. Would a change out of the brake fluid possibily eliminate this problem? Or possibly replacement of the booster pump. Is this something that the average mechanic could detect with some testing?
  • typesixtypesix Posts: 314
    Changing the brake fluid will not correct the problem. Describe the problem to the mechanic and he/she should be able to look for the problem, as this is not an unusual problem and can occur in any car with power brakes and is older. The booster may need replacement, or possibly the hose to the booster.
  • Well you are not alone - I have been dealing with the very same problem since shortly after I purchased my 08 escape over a year and a half ago!! I have had it back to the dealer 4 times only to be told that they cannot find anything, so I finally gave up on them. It always happens after I have slowed down to take a corner and then start to excellerate again. I am getting ready to file a complaint under the PA Lemon Law - I am taking the chance of having an accident especially if I am on slippery roads. I also have a problem with my 4-wheel drive - it doesn't want to kick in and only two of my tires will spin.
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    Thanks for your reply - Its nice to know there is someone else out there that understands, but I'm also sorry you are having to deal with this. I just have no confidence in this vehicle and after all of the years and hundreds of thousands of miles I have driven, this is first time I can say that. It is a mystery every time I step on the brake as to what reaction I will get - It is just unnerving to say the least. We have had terrible road conditions lately and stopping has been a nightmare. Like you, I am not impressed by the 4-wheel drive either. I have always driven a 4-wheel drive truck that has gone anywhere, not so much with this. Now I seem to be having electrical problems. What is next?
  • tlg144tlg144 Posts: 1
    My ford escape has 92,000 mi on it. Today I pressed down on the brake pedal and it went all the way to the floor. The brake light was on and I filled the brake resevoir up. It was low. Light went out but still had the problem. The car would stop, but you had to push it all the way down. I figuring it has something to do with the power brake booster maybe. Any help appreciated.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    Have you had your brake pads checked? Usually low brake fluid and light on means that the fluid is low because your pads are very worn, thus the piston in the caliper is extended. Never add fluid to reservoir unless it is to top it off "after" brake pads have been replaced or to flush out brake system. If the low fuid light is on your vehicle is trying to warn you that attention is needed to the brake system. Have your pads and entire brake system inspected or serviced, your life depends on stopping in time.
  • I've noticed in the recent snowfalls that when my Escape is starting to skid and traction control system activates it makes a really harsh noise....does everyone have that god-awful grinding sound?
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    That is the ABS pump doing what its suppose to do. Pumping/Pulsating very rapidly to slow the vehicle down without locking up the wheels. Normal operation.
  • dmeecedmeece Posts: 4
    I have an 05 Escape FWD and my ABS light has been on for s couple of weeks now. I get severe shuddering in the brakes every time I brake. I know that the ABS system is "thinking" that it needs to kick in and pulsating the pads to help me stop. The problem is I am just barely moving when it happens. Of course this occurs only when the light is off which is when I first get going from a stop. Once I get moving the ABS light comes on and the shuddering stops happening. I am assuming that there is a sensor that is going out that is causing this. I removed the fuse to drive without that occurring but once on the road I found that fuse also controls my mileage and speedometer.

    I was wondering if anyone knew how much this may cost me to fix?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Doug
  • Good luck on finding the root cause!!! I have brought my Escape back to the delaers 4 times over the last 3 years and each time "no fault found", it again happened on Saturday past. I pulled over, turned off and on the ignition and the problem went away. This even reset the warning light. :mad:
  • My 2004 escapes breaks great if you are driving in reverse...will stop on a dime. Going forward is another story. At slow speeds (under 25mph) it stops just fine any faster there is delayed breaking. After depressing the break pedal all the way if feel vibrating and the breaks just don't seem to grab. It feels like ABS but my mechanic tells me I do not have ABS on my car. My car goes approximately 10-20 ft before it evens feels like it will stop. Had a complete break job approx. 6 months ago, still did not seem right after break in period. Went back to the mechanic who then replaced the master cylinder, no change. Waited again to see if there would be an improvement during a break in period...none.

    I took my car back to my mechanic today, explained the continued problem, after checking the break system out completely and replacing the pads, turning the rotors, bleeding the lines, he thought I would be happy. To his disappointment I told him I noticed no change when test driving my car. He is stumped!

    If anyone has any ideas please let me know.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    Are you sure you don't have ABS? It sounds like ABS system acting up. What is the last 8 numbers of your VIN, I will check for you if you have ABS or not for sure.
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