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Ford Escape Electrical Problems



  • karina409karina409 Posts: 1
    edited May 2013
    I have had issue with my Ford escape for the past year and I thought I would share because it was the weirdest issue. My battery started draining overnight and while I was at work so I would have to jump it to go work and jump it to get home. If I started it everyday it seemed to ease the issue but really the car spent more time parked then on the road. In addition the gear indicator always showed that I was in D1 as opposed to drive. This past week I was at the point I was going to take it into Ford and it thought I will go over the car one more time before I have to spend a lot of money for troubleshooting an electrical issue. I started pulling out fuses and using a voltmeter. Well as I kept getting out of the car closing the doors and waiting for the lights to go out I noticed the dome light cover was really dusty underneath so I took off the cover and notice that there was brown burn mark above the light bulb. The light bulb was still working normally but when I removed this bulb not only did my phantom battery disappear but also the gear indicator for the transmission corrected itself. 2 issues fixed because of a light bulb. I don't know why but it worked. I can only guess that the light bulb was defective and causing all the issues. So since it has been so much of a headache to me I thought I would post this in case it helps someone the time and aggravation. Did I mention I had to call a tow truck 3 times after getting stuck with a dead battery? Good luck!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 51,359
    Geeze, amazing the hassle a little bulb like that can cause. Thanks for the post; someone is very likely to find it searching for their phantom battery drain issue.

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  • rayman10rayman10 Posts: 2
    I have a 06 escape that was giving me fits. The batt light kept comming on and discharging my battery, then the car would not even try to start. I changed 3 alternators , new belt, new computer still not help. These NEW cars are not friendly to people that like to work on their vehicles, howeber I think I may have a fix for this at least.
    Ford has a history of the neg side to cable from the battery losing continunity with either def wiring or oxidation causing no connections to the engine for starting and charging.
    possible fix: under the battery the neg side of cable is tied to the frame and thus supposed to be to the engine also. Buy a battery cable from big box store, connect one end to the same lug and the other end under the engine to the bottom bolt of the starter. This will ground the starter and the alternator since they both are attached to the block. Hope this helps
  • seanboy03seanboy03 Posts: 1
    i've got the same problem and i cna't figure it out. i'm about to freak out! did you ever fix it?
  • rayman10rayman10 Posts: 2
    Ford has a history of grounding problems, follow the neg side of batt to side terminal of vehicle. Go and purchase a two ended battery cable from auto box stores, one that has open terminals on each end, abour $10. place one side on the vehicle terminal and the other to the bolt holding the starter on the engine. This should give you start all the time and the alternator a good ground to power the vehicle . Hope this helps :D
  • My fiances 2004 Ford Escape is having the same issues described, battery is draining and will not allow car to start randomly, often her car will not start after getting gas for 20-30 minutes, ca stereo will not shut off unless done manually, air bag light goes on and off and now the car alarm does not work. I am not getting any error codes or check engine lights on either.

    I have had all spark plugs replaced recently as well.

    After a lot of research and testing here is what I have found.

    1.I had battery, starter and alternator tested for free at O'Reilly's Auto Parts with no issues found. Auto Zone does testing free too.
    2. I had my mechanic tell me to check the under dash fuse box by the drivers left foot alongside the door as my fuses looked corroded. I took fuse box off and apart tonight, took hour and a half total, and found severe corrosion to the fuses and especially to the internal circuit board. I am in the process of replacing the fuse box to see if this solves the issue. I found one used on ebay. I think this issue may be related to the negative battery cable issue described as well but not sure?
    3. I was told the car alarm is known to short and wires can corrode and cross causing electrical issues and battery to drain as well. I am in the process of disconnecting the alarm to see if it makes a difference.

    I will let you know the results but will not be taking it to Ford for repairs or buying another Ford.
  • I recently took my 2003 Ford Escape (5 speed stick) in to have the AC repaired. I had taken it in last year about the same time and was told I needed a new compressor. (I chose not to have it fixed because I just didn't have the money.) This time however (at the same place) they told me my compressor was fine, but that it wasn't getting any electrical charge. They said they cleaned out my fuse box because it was corroded. Today, my daughter was driving the car and it wouldn't start. She said she had been using the AC, so she stopped and the car was running, but that she still needed to get a jump in order to get it to start. I haven't been using the AC myself, because after a year of not having it, I actually prefer the fresh air and the windows down.

    My question is, Should I take it back to the shop that did the AC, should I take it to the dealer, or should I take it to a shop that specializes in electrical? I've been reading through the posts on the 2003 Ford Escape and it seems to have more than one electrical issue... although I didn't find a post (yet) where the electrical is tied to the AC.
  • hello i,m in the same boat as a few others with the ford escape problem .... my fix was changed out the ignition switch .fixed it right away ... think as too how many different things are attivated by just turning on the key ...65.00 fix talked too my electrical guru and as for the miss in the engine when did you change the plugs last .taking off the plenim is the most of the work too get to the back 3 plugs .they lean out around 2500.3.000 rpm .ok too al for now
  • My 2001 Escape XLS has the same problem. The battery is completely dead after a week. We used to drive the car everyday and we did not have these problems. We now use this car as a backup and the battery keeps draining. The dealership replaced the battery, and I am still having the same problems.

    I will be installing a knife switch to cutoff the battery when the car is in storage. I do not want to invest a ot of time or money into this.

    I tried a solar panel, but evidently the rate of discharge is much higher than the few amps that the solar panel can produce.
  • I've had my 2008 Escape for 4yrs. The dashboard is usually lit up like a x-mas tree with the abs/emergency break/traction light (which don't seem to cause a problem). The newest addition on the dash is the orange wrench light which is accompanied with an erratic/high idle which is affecting the performance. It starts up no problem and idles at 2000/mph, goes into gear (drive) no problem however when I accelerate it idles between 3500-4000/mph before kicking into gear which is obviously too high. It will eventually kick into gear itself at 4000/mph or if I ease off the gas. Also, I attempted to bring it up to 100km/h and it was continuously idling at 3000/mph. My husband topped up the transmission fluid which was slightly low and no change. I have been neglectful in having the oil changed however we keep it topped up - would that even be a factor with this situation?
  • My key off current drain was found to be the GEM module, which is located under the center console. This went on for a number of years until I took it to a service manager who had the same problem and was familiar with it and actually understood what I was talking about. The GEM module controls a number of items. What is a Generic Electronic Module?

    The Generic Electronic Module (GEM) is found on Ford vehicles and is basically a Body Control Computer. It controls many of the following functions on most Ford vehicles:

    Warning chimes and warning lamps
    One-touch down driver's side window
    Daytime Running Lamps
    Heated rear window
    Windshield washers and wipers
    Battery saver
    Remote keyless entry
    Illuminated entry with remote keyless entry
    Interior lighting
    Perimeter anti-theft
    Four-wheel drive . About 40 minutes After you turn off the key and interior lights it's supposed to go in to standby mode which reduces the key off current to approx. 25 ma. Mine was staying at about 90 ma thereby draining my battery in approx. 10 days. When they install a new one or a used one it must be programmed so it has to be done at the ford dealer. After years of replacing batteries, alternator and keeping the battery hooked up to a charger mine finally is working properly. Hope this helps as not all symptoms are the same fix. Two Independent garages and the first Ford dealer couldn't figure it out. I was at the point of trading it.
  • bourbondogbourbondog Posts: 4
    edited November 2013
    Drove it last Tuesday. Everything fine. Thursday night horrible beeping noise, it was the radar detector flashing "Low Voltage". And dome light was flashing. Pulled the radar detector. Charged the battery the next day. Started that night. Wouldn't start the next day. Found that the radio was coming on after the car was shut off. It's the original Ford radio. Has a mind of its own. That is what was draining the battery. Have now pulled the fuse for the radio. But now, the cruise control sometimes works, sometimes doesn't. The dash lights where the radio is now flash on and off when the right turn signal is on. And the remote locks the doors, but will not arm the alarm. This happened in TWO DAYS. I don't know what's going on. Can you help me?
  • Alright my mom bought me a 2001 Ford Escape XLT in May of 2012. Car worked perfectly fine till she had borrowed it one day in July 2012. Still don't really understand what happened to it but it had to be towed and was taken to this shady repair shop. Ended up putting $6000 into fixing it their over the course of July 2012 till april 2013 (On and off) had the engine, transmission rebuilt, new alternator, spark plugs, battery, air compressor, belt. Pretty much everything in this car has been fixed, rebuilt or brand new. Now its to the point Its getting really dangerous (since its winter in Michigan) My car will drive perfectly fine for weeks or months at a time and it dies. It started in April of this year (2013) This is what happens ritually, everytime. First the radio whether I have it on or off the clock is still on, the radio will turn on and off then stay off for good, then at some point the ac/heat goes, the lights in my car will dim as well, then the ABS light will turn on and off, then off for good, next; the Passenger Airbag light will come on. Then I usually have anywhere from 1-5 minutes till it dies. The car will start reving and going slower (don't really have too much control of speed at this point), then I lose all control of speed, and then my power steering will go right before it dies. -Occaisonally though all of the gears will be boxed as if I have it in every gear, but that doesn't happen often. my car will die on average 3-4 times a month if im lucky. but I did go 2 1/2 months without a problem till October it started up again. This past week it has died on me 3 times. Very rarely will it start up after this happens. Though a few times ive waited about 30 mintues to an hour and it has started up fine. 95% of the time though it takes about 30 minutes of having my dad charge it up with his car to get it to start and allow me to get home. sooo.. if anyone has any suggestions it would be greatly appreciated !!
  • My clock was staying on when my car was off. After two weeks on the internet researching, I found that it might be the accessory relay. It is in the fuse box to the right of the fuses, right in the middle. I have a 2004 Ford Escape. I used part Standard V13081 RY612. It cost about $15. It worked.
  • joan3705joan3705 Posts: 1

    We have a 2004 Escape 4x4 xlt. Our dome light will not go out and our door ajar light (which is a picture of a car, and it's all red and there is no indication which door is ajar) is not going out either. Has anyone had this problem.

  • I have a 2009 Ford Escape. Last winter I had problems with the battery and as the vehicle was over 4 years old I figured I need a new battery. I had it replaced and thing were fine for a month or so. Then, I went out one day and new battery was dead. I went back to the place I bought it; they gave me a loner battery, kept mine for a few days and determined the problem was not the battery but that there was a draw from something else draining the battery. I had a diagnostic done and it was determined that the main draw was from the instrument cluster - mainly fuse #26 which is attached to the anti-theft device. But, they also thought that perhaps there were phantom draws as well but could not determine exactly from where. I contacted Ford Canada and asked if they could do something for me. This was back in late May or early June. As yet (mid October) I have not heard from them. The company that did the diagnostic said I could have the circuit (cluster) replaced but he would not guarantee that this would eliminate the problem. The only way I can counter-act the problem is to attach a trickle charger to my battery every night. Bit of a pain! So, I am looking for suggestions??? Should I just go ahead an replace the circuit (cluster?)
  • Have a 2006 escape with 290k miles.  Bought new and no big issues other than basic wear and tear.  Recently when I go to turn the key to start, nothing happens, it just sits and if I keep it turned it then just suddenly starts.  If engine is warm it doesn't happen.  Typically after it sits for several hours.  Sometime it will start after 2 seconds and sometime I could have the key turned for 5-6 seconds and then it turns over and starts.  So the question is: starter? Relay? Ignition switch? Or wire connectivity?  Thanks!
  • Mr_ShiftrightMr_Shiftright CaliforniaPosts: 53,078
    Here's a response from a auto technician on another website about a similar problem on a Lexus:

    "Sounds like the starter contacts are sticking then. Before replacing the starter I recommend you perform 1 quick test. Look at the starter, there are 2 wires going to it, the big fat wire is the constant hot wire from the battery that provides high current to turn the starter motor, be sure that the connection is clean and tight. The small wire that "plugs" in is the signal wire that is powered when in the "start" position to engage the starter solenoid, when you turn the key to "start" you should have power to this small wire, if you do have power here and no starter response then YES you have a starter issue."

    And (this is me again...) if you get no power to the small wire when you are turning the key to start, then I would suspect the ignition switch or a connection to it.

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  • deetee22 said:

    Have a 2006 escape with 290k miles.  Bought new and no big issues other than basic wear and tear.  Recently when I go to turn the key to start, nothing happens, it just sits and if I keep it turned it then just suddenly starts.  If engine is warm it doesn't happen.  Typically after it sits for several hours.  Sometime it will start after 2 seconds and sometime I could have the key turned for 5-6 seconds and then it turns over and starts.  So the question is: starter? Relay? Ignition switch? Or wire connectivity?  Thanks!

    was this ever soveld
  • parks123parks123 Posts: 2
    We have a 2001 escape and it was idling when it quit. It would burl a little. We changed the starter  and it still will not start. Does anyone have any suggestions
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,119
    Is anything happening when you try to start it? Is the starter turning the engine over? "It would burl a little" a typo? Not sure what you mean by that. Is it making any noise when you turn the key?

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  • parks123parks123 Posts: 2
    No noise at all when you turn the key. When we tried to start it  it would burl a little but then you could hear a click under dash you tried to start it. We put another starter on it today and it still won't start but when u turn the key on to start it it clicks under the dash
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,119
    That sounds like weak/dead battery. How old is the battery?

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  • CandiJ, I can explain what happened to your vehicle. The valves have burnt out the seats and are allowing the fuel to reach the cat where it gets hotter and melts the cat. My mechanic says the vehicle runs at such a low rpm that the crud doesn't get burned out of the cylinders anymore. I saw my valves and they were definitly covered in crud. Poor design, vehicle is a 2010 and had 120,000 kms on it.
  • I have a 09 escape. When the air conditioner is on, it will randomly kill when I come to a stop (usually at red lights and stop signs) and no one seems to have any answers as to why. Has anyone dealt with anything similar?  I currently have 86k miles. 
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,119
    Does it stop blowing completely or just stop blowing cold air?

    Since you said it will randomly kill, I'm assuming that means just shutting off. The only condition you say it happens under is when you come to a stop, so it could be some kind of electrical power connection problem. Something like a power connector that might be going bad or a cracked wire that moves when you stop and disconnects the power.

    Not a lot to go on...

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