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Ford Escape Electrical Problems

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  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    Well this is my wife's truck. So we already discussed the "battery tender" option. If it comes down to that to keep our battery charged we both agreed....Carmax here we come.
  • ruggieruggie Posts: 1
    '04 escape XLT 4wd / battery drain
    My son's Escape has the same battery drain issues that many of you are describing. It could sit for a week and start, or sit over night and not start. I don't want to just throw expensive parts and labor at this vehicle. I've done all the tests and everything points to fuse/circuit #27. I've spent 3 hrs a day for the last week on line looking for some definitive cause for a problem that probably exists on thousands of these vehicles. I've been told by three trusted mechanics in the last three days to get rid of it. 'Not an option at this time. PLEASE, someone help with some real answers/ free advice other than what I've already been told. Thanx
  • candijcandij Posts: 3
    My 2004 Ford Escape XLT started having issues about 2 weeks with the guages jumping all the way up and down. My battery light had come on flashing and the next day it was off. I had taken to the parts store and they tested it telling me my alternator was only charging 30 amps. should be 100. I took it to the mechanic they run a power system check, (starter, battery, and alternator) Their finding was that the alternator was bad. After having the new alternator put in the guages are still "freaking Out" Any Advise????
  • toadietoadie Posts: 3
    One thing I do not consistently see in these posts is the mode/bodyl type. My Escape is a 4WD v6 XL base model. I am having the faint glowing theft light, high-pitched whine that gets worse when accelerating, stalling out, radio buzzing, dash dials pegging out to max then going to normal, battery dying, air bag light flashing (3-7 at first, now 4-6 if I remember right) then staying on, turning the car off and then trying to immediately re-start and all I get is a click-click noise, etc, ect, ect.... I have replaced the battery twice, just had a top of the line new alternator put in. The high pitch whine is now barely audible but still there. My husband and I, on two different occasions, have each gone to start the car and it turns but doesn't catch, but after you try to start it about four times it finally does catch and start. I have not driven the car in over a week after it did the "try four times to start" thing. I went to start it today and it protested a little but did start. It was running rough so I turned it off and walked away. The airbag light is still flashing (4-6 I think). No check engine light YET. I am sooooo tired of this who-ha. I don't trust the car so I won't drive it. I was told that the ROOM fuse controlled electrical stuff associated with the XLS/XLT/Limited versions (lighted visors, power seats, etc.... All that good stuff I don't have). So, that may not be my problem. As I said in the beginning, I don't consistently see model types listed, so I have a hard time figuring out if we are all really discussing the same problems. Having written my dissertation on this, has anyone gotten more info yet?? thanks.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    Sorry to hear your story. MY wife's Escape is a 2004 Escape Limited V6 4x4, and it was doing all of the above that you listed minus the radio buzzing but that may be because it has an aftermarket radio. I had the alternator replaced with a factory Motorcraft unit and the whine has gone away and everything is good (knocking on wood, fingers crossed) after 4 weeks. Everything seems to be back to normal. If you still have a whine, I would put my money on the "quality" alternator you got installed, it sounds like you may have gotten a faulty alternator. Hope this helps...
  • I have the same issue right now. I too have a 2004 escape and had a new alternator and battery put in a few months ago and all of a sudden the other day my gauges jumped around and I notice that at night when I accelerate the battery light comes on faintly but goes off when I let off the gas. If you get any answers please post and good luck! :)
  • I'm having the exact same problem!...Escape 2003 LTD. after replacing the alternator and the battery a few months ago, still have problems with it. I could event start the car this morning. Radio shutdown, light, ABS sensor was on, air bag always blinking 3-7 time, etc, etc... after trying for a couple time, finally the car started. When I accelarate the battery light comes on faintly and goes off when let of the gas. ELECTRICAL PROBLEM = FORD.
    I hope someone out there will find THE solution!
  • clearh2oclearh2o Posts: 1
    edited October 2011
    My 2003 Ford Escape XLT (2WD, v6, 112k miles) is at the dealership again - literally, as I type, for some sort of ongoing electrical issue.

    My battery light came on a couple years ago. It randomly turns on and off. Only recently did I see something strange happening with the gauges. As of now I've been through at least one alternator and two batteries. It turns on an off while driving, while stopped, while devices are on (under load), and while devices are off.

    Took it in, they said it was a bad alternator. Had that replaced, went on my way, and less than a day later, the light was back on. Took it in again, this time, they blamed the battery. Had that replaced. Belts and connections look good according to the mechanic. They hooked up to the device that reads error codes...nothing showing. Alternator is new factory (not reman) and is now 16 months old. Battery is now two days old, but the light still turns on and odd. Solid - not a dim glow or anything like that.

    I sometimes convince myself I can affect whether the light is on or off by turning the Max AC on or off. I've often noticed that just tapping the brakes will often shut the light off...like it somehow changes the voltage or current and resets the sensor or something like that.

    Dealership had to drive the car 20 miles today just to see the light turn on and off and experience what I've been trying to tell them for 2 years. Usually they've just driven it around the lot and saw no problems (duh). Hopefully they find something this time around.

    I've been chasing this ghost for two years and haven't had any luck. It's been four trips to the dealer, and countless checks and double checks at stores that do the free testing of alternators and batteries for you.

    I feel like at some point we'll hit dumb luck and finally see that a fuse or something isn't seated correctly and is triggering the light. (I wish!!)

    I like my Escape...but it's going to cost me what's left of my hair and, if I keep buying new batteries and alternators, all of my savings!!!!!!
  • Clearh2o, what did your dealership find out? We have a 2000 XLT 4X4 V6 82K with the same issues. Replaced Alternator, belt with problems still existing. Thanks!
  • There is a connector under the passenger seat that comes undone all the time. I had to drive 6 miles of washboard gravel road each day and had to push it back together constantly. That worked though. I found the answer on a forum like this, it's a fairly common issue
  • I am not sure if this helps at all but, my cousin put mine on a tester, and he tells me that it is the ignition switch going bad that is causing the guages to jump around and such. However that is the least of my worries, It is now sitting in a shop needing at least 2 cat's and has 2 dead cylinders for some reason.. So frustrating. Good luck to you!! I will not purchase another Ford as long as I live!
  • I have a 2003 Ford Escape 3.0L. My mom bought it brand new from the dealership. A few years ago she was driving on the interstate about 65 mph and it just shut off completely! It cranked right back up, she took it somewhere the next day and (obviously) they said it was the battery. It did the same thing a few more times over the months. I bought it from her about a year ago. It shut off on me a few times within a week, then went months with not stalling out at all. Then it started the random stalling again, shutting off while driving every couple of weeks. Here in the past 6-8 weeks it has become a lot more frequent! It is usually at lower speeds, around 20 mph. It REALLY seems that about 70% of the time it dies while making a 90 degree turn, or literally just before the turn as I press the brakes to slow down (very crappy place to lose your power steering!) It has turned off in parking lots. It also shuts off just going straight, at low and high speeds. Every time this has happened, the lights on the dash flicker just as everything loses power. I put it into neutral and then restart it- usually I let the car slow down so I'm not shifing it into gear at a high speed. One instance about 3 weeks ago, and also one time last week, the car did its normal stall, but when I put it in D and cranked it back up, it immediately died again, and then again, and finally after the 3rd of 4th re-crank it stayed running. One of those instances was while stopped at a red light and the other was while making a right turn.
    I have been reading up a lot on this and it seems the most common things people have done are: replace battery, alternator, plugs & wires, coils, PCM. I just now read some stuff in the transmission category- I hadn't thought about that yet.
    Also the cruise control doesn't work. The buttons are fine and the green indicator light comes on on the instrument panel, but it does not actually stay at the speed when you set it.
    Just a few weeks ago I was driving it and the gas cap light and a few others came on then dimmed out, but the fuel cap light stayed on for a few minutes and went out; the dome lights came on and off once when the other lights flickered on. I don't know if it is all related to the stalling, but I hope and think so. My brother said one of the guys he works with had an escape that did a lot of the same stuff as mine and he changed the ignition switch and it fixed it.
    Is there anybody else that has had all or most of these same problems? Please Please Please let me know so I don't go through the long and expensive list of the possibilities. All information will be greatly appreciated. Besides everything I have said above, the car always starts fine from a cold crank no matter how long it sits. But one time I was using the CD player in the car for about 30 min without the engine and killed the battery! I thought that was odd. Last but not least, the car has stalled out with the AC on as well as Off. Somebody please help me pinpoint this issue!
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    I was going to suggest the ignition switch until I read your post further down...I would definately replace the ignition switch before you get into more expensive fixes.

    Part# 98AZ-11572-A
    MSRP $70.53
  • jlt3jlt3 Posts: 1
    edited December 2011
    I can't believe Ford doesn't know what this is. We also have a 2004 Ford Escape XLT, V6, New battery, both the battery and the alternator test OK. In cool or cold weather, if it sits for more than 48 hours, it doesn't have enough battery power left to crank the starter and I have to hook up a charger. This is getting really old. Also from Arlington Heights Ford, and they haven't found a problem.

    Also, one other thing I wonder if we have in common - the dealer installed a remote starter for us when we bought the car (new).
  • I had the jumping gauges and engine felt like it would miss a few times when this happened. After doing major online research to fix the problem myself, I was unable to find a solution. I decided to just change out all of the spark plugs and coil packs before taking it to ford to run diagnostics. This repair solved the missing engine and the jumping gauges jump no more. The spark plugs were purchased from autozone for 3.10 each and the coil packs from AM-Autoparts.com for 72.00 for the set of 6, way cheaper than the oem's for 100 each. The complete changeover took me about 2 1/2 hours. There are very good instructions for the complete job here http://www.ford-trucks.com/article/article.php?id=281 .
    I hope that this will help others that have been having similar issues.
    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
    Trust in The Lord
  • demonwizarddemonwizard Posts: 1
    edited January 2012
    I had the same exact problem and it is simple to fix. What's happening is that the battery has a bad ground. The cable can be tight to the battery but can be loose some where else. Sometimes there is a smaller wire coming off the battery and is grounded to the fender well or some where thats a ground point. Get a test light or mutli meter and check your ground points.

    Tips: If you have a flashing engine light that means a mis fire.
    The light can sometimes come on and off. If you have an engine code and are un sure of it, let me know and I can tell you what exactly it is. Having being a Master ASE Certified Mechanic I will help you. Just email me at
    www.DementedMotorsports@msn.com
  • I have had sooo many problems as of late.

    It started with the Rear Parking indicator turning off when I shifted into reverse last year. Then the ABS light would flash and stay on for days at a time. (It's since stopped) Then the brake warning light came on, and still does randomly. (It's a solid light, doesn't change when I put the EB on.) Recently it has failed to keep a charge. (I was told it was a bad cell) I replaced the battery with one from my boyfriends Ford Mustang that was working perfectly. It worked for a day in my Escape, then the battery light came on. I had AutoZone run a test - they said it was stuck in "Open Phase." (I assumed alternator) I didn't want to drive it, so we moved the battery BACK into the Mustang At startup, the check engine light came on in his vehicle, and it stalled randomly. We had to buy a new battery for that. I fear purchasing a brand new battery if the escape is just going to make it useless. I've also read several forums with people having similar issues and replaced their alternators to no avail.

    There are all kinds of crazy small things have been happening since my battery problems started - all intermittent. Rough idles, dead battery, sputtering, cd player died, uneven shifting between gears. Other times it drives like a new car. It is driving me CRAZY.
  • Recent problem with my daughter's Escape. I personnally experienced this last night. All gauges go to full scale right and then back to the correct position (the problem has only happened while in motion). No other issues with any other items/components. The battery was replaced less than a year ago and I haven't had an opportunity to troubleshoot but was hoping to save hours of probing with a multimeter to see if there is a ground (or some other) problem. If you have found a solution to this problem please advise. If I discover my answer, I will post it for the rest of you (obviously, no guarantee that it will be the same solution though)...
  • toadietoadie Posts: 3
    My base model Escape does that gauge full tilt right then to zero then back to normal AND it not only does it to me but to my HUBBY TOO. Now he cannot tell me I am full of crap when I tell him about this problem. He has experienced it. When my car does this it is typically between 40 and 45 mph and typically soon after I have turned the car on and the motor is bogged down (low rpms like when starting up hill before the transmission kicks down a gear and the rpms go up). The car will jerk a little as if the motor is missing. Then boom, all needles peg out high, all go to zero, and then finally back to normal and the car is fine after that. I think I just need a new set of plugs and a good tune-up. I also just bought a Ford Focus so that pain in the [non-permissible content removed] Escape won't be in my driveway much longer. I put a new alternator on the car and a new battery so I don't think there is an electrical problem. :confuse: :sick:
  • I had the same issue. Read my post here escape_solved, "Ford Escape Electrical Problems" #98, 26 Dec 2011 9:13 pm . This worked for me and it is still running fine.
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