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Why Is Ford Escape Braking Criticized Here and in Consumer Reports?

oceana143oceana143 Posts: 38
edited October 2014 in Ford
I am looking at an Escape to replace a Chrysler minivan. But the review in braking is giving me second thoughts. Is the Flex a safer vehicle? Don't need seven seats but also don't want older, drum brake technology.


  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    I thought the way you do about rear drum brakes but the 2009 Escape had so much to offer I bought one in Sept. Never looked back. The brakes are very good. My 2009 seems to brake better than my 2009 Limited that had four wheel disc brakes. The rear brakes only do a small percentage of work compared to the front I am more than satisfied. Granted I haven't gone down Pike's Peak. Probably more fade than 4 wheel disc. brakes. Under normal situations they are fine.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    I prefer rear drum brakes. They are usually cheaper to maintain and the rear brake shoes last longer than rear disc pads in my experience.

    The old tech wouldn't bother me; I'd focus on braking distance and brake response.
  • IMO, there are pros and cons for either braking system.

    -Drum brakes are an older design.
    -Disc brakes are a newer design.
    -Drum brake shoes can last somewhere in the 100-150k miles.
    -Disc brake pads last somewhere between 20-30k
    -Drum brake shoes are difficult and expensive to replace. .
    -Disc brake pads are easy and cheaper to replace.
    -Drum brakes provide adequate performance.
    -Disc brakes provide good performance.
    -Drum brake system emits very low to no brake dust into wheels.
    -Disc brake system emits brake dust into wheels.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Good list.

    I think a case can be made that modern drum brakes provide good performance (i.e., more than just adequate).

    I still have the original drums on my minivan at 129,000 miles. The rear disc pads on my wagon have been changed at least once at 69,000 miles. The rear discs aren't so easy to change on my wagon because of the emergency brake stuff in there.
  • Steve,

    I fully accept your comment on that modern drum brake systems provide good performance. It is clearly proven by the addition of ABS in rear drum systems, longevity of shoes, and the fact that they are still widely used and chosen by car manufacturers.

    You are also correct on the DIY friendliness on "some" rear disc brake systems. Systems that use the same read pads to apply force for parking purposes can be a little tricky and difficult to work with. On the other hand rear disc systems that use a built in drum and dedicated shoes for parking purposes are a much friendly DIY set-up.

    I honestly think that for the duty that the rear brakes do any option whether it is drum or disc will be more than efficient to slow and/or stop a vehicle. My wife's 2004 Escape Limited 4WD has drums, my 2006 Mazda5 Wagon has discs and I do not feel inadequacy from either. I beleive that the disc set up is really put in place to make the vehicle "look" nicer and to sell replacement parts more often, hence the fact that pads do not last as long as shoes. Just my $0.02
  • travis03travis03 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know if you can swap the drum brakes for disc brakes on the 2003 escape, and if any one sells a kit ??
    I :shades: like the look of disc brakes and i plan on up grading the wheels thanks.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314

    I am almost sure that you can swap drum brake system to disc brake system. I have never done it nor heard of someone doing it, so the information I am providing it is solely based on my parts catalog. I work for a dealership and based on my catalog the rear trailing arm, knuckle (spindle), and hub assembly are the same for drum or disc brakes. You will have to replace, brake hoses, caliper mounting brackets, calipers, parking brake shoes, and of course rotors. Here are the part numbers and total list price for this swap. These are from a 2005 Escape, since it was the first year rear disc was offered. (again this information is for reference only and I am not liable for anything that comes of it)

    6L8Z-2553-A (RIGHT CALIPER)
    6L8Z-2552-A (LEFT CALIPER)
    5L8Z-2C026-BA (ROTORS) (QTY. 2)

    Total cost new from dealership for all these parts...about $975
  • I am interested in buying a 2009 Ford Escape but I noticed that this SUV has some metal bars attached to each of the back tires (you can see them from behind) , These bars look too close to the road. In the event I mount on a sidewalk or go over a bumper or just if I pass over a big rock, it could damage the bar . Also I noticed that my Jeep Liberty and others SUVs dont have such bars.
    Can somebody help me out.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    The bars you are referring to are lower suspension control arms and most independent suspension (without a solid axle, and body-on-frame) SUV's and cars have them. Some are just more noticeable then others. Your Jeep is a independent front suspension but it has a solid rear axle in which the control arms run from front to rear rather then center of vehicle to outer part of the vehicle (the rear suspension is not independent).
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    I wondered about the control arms that you mentioned. However, we have had our two Escapes, 2007 and 2009 on some fairly rough trails and no problems with them at all regarding contact with rocks, etc.
This discussion has been closed.