Ford Escape Hybrid Care and Maintenance

Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
Discuss your Escape Hybrid's routine care and maintenance here.


  • stevewastevewa Member Posts: 203
    Had my first experience with the dealer service on my Escape. I went in at 7:30AM and asked them to do two things, the 10K service (which is an oil change and the regular "multipoint inspection") and try to track down a suspension squeak that i've lived with since delivery.

    I brought my own oil (Mobil 1 5w20) and asked them to use it. Since the capacity is 4.5 quarts, I brought 5 quarts. Technician apparently doesn't bother to check on the capacity so they dump all 5 quarts in. I'm going to have to drain the oil filter to get the level down below the "full" mark.

    They were able to hear the squeak, but could not locate it. They want me to bring the car back when they can have it for a longer period of time. At least they were considerate of the fact I was waiting for them to finish...
  • larneslarnes Member Posts: 59
    Hi. I used to think over-filling the oil was dangerous. My service tech said it's no big deal. I suppose there is a limit, but half a quart is nothing to worry about.

    Sorry this is so late. I'm a new member and just read your post.

    Larry :)
  • stevewastevewa Member Posts: 203
    My experience is that overfilling reduces fuel economy.

    It is certainly possible to overfill to the point that damage to the engine will occur. They put a "full" line on the dipstick for a reason!
  • puravidapuravida Member Posts: 4
    After purchasing my 2006 Escape Hybrid, the dealer told me that if I use the air conditioner, I should only use Max AC and avoid the two settings that cut off the AC when in electric mode. He said that the frequent heating/cooling of that mode will cause a lot condensation in the ductwork and promote the growth of mold and odor. I live in Texas so AC is necessary most of the summer.

    I'm curious if anyone else was told the same or has experienced any problems with using the auto-shutoff AC mode?
  • ewman1ewman1 Member Posts: 2
    Hi. I have a 05 Escape as well and about a month ago I got my first oil change and service. I had to take the car to the dealer 3 times before it was actually ready for the oil change due to misinformation from the sales personnel and service receptionist. I am also encountring a suspension squeak. I bought my car in December of 04 and I have also had that squeak since a little after I bought the car. I mentioned it when I brought it in for the oil change and they told me that any technician can change the oil even on hybrids but for any other problem I would have to schedule another appointment to bring it in to have the Hybrid specialists take a look. I have not had time to do that as of yet. All in all I love my hybrid. I drive in the northern Virginia area and do a lot of highway driving. The pickup is great coming from a four cylinder and I am up high enough to see what's going on ahead of me on the highway. I have not had any major problems but I notice that the car does not seem to do well in the heat. This summer got pretty hot and I had an incident with the car overheating and the dealership said the car had to have a pump replaced. It was covered under the warranty and they said they had only seen it happen to one other car. Since then the car has been doing great and I have about 12,000 miles. Let me know if you find out what the squeaking noise is and I will do the same for you. Enjoy!
  • ewman1ewman1 Member Posts: 2
    I was told the same information about my 05 Escape Hybrid. They said to leave it on the MAX AC setting especially in areas where you have a lot of humidity. I had set it on the regular AC setting and notice what I thought might have been smoke and contacted the dealer. They told me that it was condensation and that because of the humidity levels where I live (Northern Virginia) I should pretty much leave it on the MAX AC setting. Thanks about the tmpeon the mold and odor. They didn't tell me that.
  • steelhmesteelhme Member Posts: 6
    There is no place more Humid and hot as Phoenix Az is during the Monsoon season!
    It will be 115 and 99% No one ever mentiond this. I thnk its just like the mold scare that went through the housing industry.. Anyway You probably only need max when you are at a light for a for a minute or so. So if the blowers going full when you start back up and your back in the other mode I can't see a build up of mold in the vent tubes from condensation. I'm going to really check this out because that would really affect you milage during the summer months. It just sounds like a new self appointed expert out there. PS do you have mold in your AC ducts at home. You have a fan system there that shuts down and blows a while after the condesor has shut off, then the unit shuts down then when the stat calls for the condensor it starts up.

  • puravidapuravida Member Posts: 4
    You've got to be kidding about there being no place as humid as Phoenix in monsoon seaon. I've been there, done that, and it in no way compares to areas like the gulf coast. I believe the mold problem, if there is one, is more likely to occur where there are chronic high humidity conditions, like coastal areas, not seasonally humid areas.

    And yes, mold does grow in my AC ducts at home and they are cleaned out periodically.

    I don't understand what would be the motivation of my dealer to relay the warning about the mold unless he's had to deal with warranty claims or if he was asked to do so by Ford. I don't know why he did it, but it's what he told me. I agree that it kind of defeats the purpose of having a hybrid if you aren't able to use 'electric' mode as often because of AC issues. Personally, I just sweat it out as long as I can take the heat.
  • warlok2warlok2 Member Posts: 9
    Hello, My name is Marcus, and I am doing some intial research before I 'invest' in an Escape Hybrid. I understand the electric motor is run by a bank of lithium ion batteries? If this is true, what is the estimated life and replacement costs of this 'bank'? If I'm going to put that much money in it now only to have to replace them in four or five years at a large cost, is it worth it?

    Also, I think the new federal energy bill this year gives 06 escapes a $2600 tax 'credit'. Anyone else substantiate this? Thanks.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Member Posts: 5,092
    Welcome to Forums!

    You might want to start your research by reading through the main Ford Escape Hybrid topic.
  • stevewastevewa Member Posts: 203
    Invest in a cabin air filter and you will dramatically reduce the opportunity for interesting things to grow on your AC evaporator.

    Every Escape made has a place for a filter, but none are shipped with it. It's a easy DIY job, takes about 15 minutes. You should be able to google your way to a step-by-step procedure to install either the "correct" cabin filter or a much cheaper engine air filter that is a nearly perfect fit.

    When you change the filter (I change mine every 6 months) just spray a shot of lysol spray down the hole before you put the new filter in.
  • ccntampaccntampa Member Posts: 1
    I noticed in the owner's manual that you should not let water get into the battery vent (on the back part of the driver's side). Does this mean that it is not safe to have it washed in a commercial car wash? My concern is that most car washes have high pressure water aimed at the side of the car. I tried to find into about this on the Ford website but no luck. Has anyone had experience with using a car wash for their 2006 model?
  • stevewastevewa Member Posts: 203
    A commercial car wash is OK. The vent is designed so large quantities of water will not get in through normal spraying. What you don't want to do is put a hose stream directly into the vent opening...
  • mauthedogmauthedog Member Posts: 5
    I bought my Escape in June 05.
    I only put about 150 miles per week (max) on it, usually less.
    Growing up I was taught to change the oil every 3K miles.
    I have heard that number is obsolete, but I think the dealer is still using that figure.
    When I went in for the first oil change at the dealer, the Escape computer console said "Oil 74%" (or a figure close to that).
    Can anybody tell me if that computer display is reliable?
    What oil change interval are you guys using?
  • ebony5ebony5 Member Posts: 142
    Hybrid spending the winter in Florida and looking for a reliable service facility in the West Palm Beach vicinity. Thanks
  • canukvetcanukvet Member Posts: 6
    Hello from Canada!
    I am interested in the location of the air filter that can be installed.
    I asked my Ford Dealer but I am happy that they know how to spell Hybred.
    Can you help a Northern Canuk out here? :)
  • subdudesubdude Member Posts: 9
    It is on the passenger side, under the hood, near the firewall. If you go to, in the files section, someone has posted detailed instructions, with photos, on how to install. I think you have to "join" the group to get access. Lots of other information on that board, also.
  • canukvetcanukvet Member Posts: 6
    Thanks from the Very Great White North!
    I'll check it out tonight.
    Might you know of any sites that list help with the Transmission Issues on the Hybred.?
  • subdudesubdude Member Posts: 9
    You are welcome. As it happens, I just installed that filter this weekend. Worked just as the directions said, and took about 10 minutes. What transmission issues? I was not aware of any. There is a wealth of information on that Yahoo board. Also, check
  • cfox1cfox1 Member Posts: 3
    I had my 10K oil change done at a local dealership in Grand Haven, MI. As I stood there waiting for my car for 20 minutes, the service person told me that they didn't have the filter on hand, so they had to go get one at another dealership (shouldn't they check their inventory prior to pulling the drain plug?). I decided to take a seat inside and wait for the change to be done. About 20 minutes later the service guy tells me that they were done with the change and tire rotation. $45. Yesterday I decided to do my own oil change and purchased the 5W/20 synthetic oil, oil filter ($4.25)with proper gaskets (2) from NAPA. Total $28. (Quoted $50 from dealership) As I was changing my oil I discovered that ther was no main/top gasket on the oil filter! And the small gasket was the original green gasket. Ford recommends that both o-ring gaskets be replaced every oil change. I can't imagine not using the main top gasket on the filter housing, as it can leak very easily. It makes sense now. The oil filter housing was torqued down very tight, as to keep it from leaking. (professional) :mad:

    In short, make sure that your service center stocks the oil and filter (with appropriate gasket rings) and actually uses them before you loose your oil. Ask to see the oil filter to make sure it's the right one. Thanks for nothing Re***ker Ford! You just lost a customer and 5 maybe 10 others.
  • dsb1dsb1 Member Posts: 1
    I have a FEH06- I believe the infamous rear squeak is related to the rear air vent for the E-motor, I am not sure how to get there to spray a bit of wd40. But I am very confident that is where it is originating from. The dealer has proven to be completely useless. Love the vehicle fit my wallet and lifestyle just find.
    I can trough in two set of golf clubs, a bicyle, and my boxer- and I am off. Milage is holding at 32-34 mpg- BUT the SQUEAK is killing me... any updates or knoledge on how to get to the vents-
    NOT the vent filters but the vent. Also- the rear air filter little guy about 4x4- dealer does not know where or how to get one... any body have a clue ? thanks
  • drosenthal1drosenthal1 Member Posts: 2
    The squeaks are driving me nuts too so any update would be greatly appreciated. There are definitely two, sometimes it seems like three. One is coming from the front and rotates as the tires rotate. The dealer changed out the axle a few months ago and it worked for awhile but it is back. The other one comes from the back and sounds like a hamster running in one of those squeaky wheels. It is fairly constant, although seems to disappear when it is cold or wet out. The third one sounds like styrofoam rubbing together.

    I am ready to trade the car in on something else if they can't figure it out soon (the dealer keeps telling me there is no "fix" and it doesn't make any sense for me to bring it in until Ford figures something out.) Drowning the squeaks out is impossible. Somehow it is at just the right pitch that it can be heard over loud music.
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    That is pure, undiluted B.S.! Overfilling the oil is hazardous to the life of the engine. If the oil foams, the oil pump cannot pump it. If the oil level is too high, the revolving crankshaft whips the oil into mousse - foamed oil. The oil cannot be pumped and the engine is starved for oil. The engine dies - oil is like your blood. YOU cannot live without blood, your ENGINE cannot live without oil. Get yourself another service tech!
  • yvihybridyvihybrid Member Posts: 1
    The hybrid gives a very bumpy ride. Does anyone have any solutions? Has anyone installed any air shocks? recommenations?
  • jmhendricksjmhendricks Member Posts: 1
    My 2006 hybrid has bad squeaks too. I even had my sister drive it around while I search around the back for the noise. It is driving me crazy. It sounds like it is coming from around the left rear wheel, but I know the sound is not outside the car because when the window is down the noise is only heard from inside the car. If anyone has any ideas or gets Ford to own up to the issue please let me know.
  • larneslarnes Member Posts: 59
    Has anyone discovered where the horn is on the Escape? I can hear it but I can't see it. It's wimpy and I want to replace it. Also, it appears you have to disassemble the entire front end to change the fog light bulb? Could Ford make these things any more difficult?


  • larneslarnes Member Posts: 59
    Buy better tires. I felt the same way. Mine came with Continental. I put a set of Goodyear Fortera on and it's much softer. Also, the Michelin Cross-terraine was another option.
  • shieldproshieldpro Member Posts: 3
    I was a proud 2005 Ford Escape hybrid owner until April when the ABS brake moduel had to be replaced. Which took a week because the specially trained HYBRID mechanic didn't know how to bleed the brakes. Since then, the gas engine comes on at 10 MPH upon very light exceleration all the time now. After explaining that my in city MPG economy has also declined from 31.5 MPG to 27.5 and that now makes my Ford Hybrid a Non Hybrid, since I no longer get better gas mileage in the city, than on the highway. I have taken the vehicle back to the dealer several times and they insist that there is nothing wrong and they have virtually washed their hands of the problem and they sent me home with the Ford Factory service tel. #.I have called that # twice and explained my delima to two different reps. I have also mailed them a dealer maint. survey (not at all complimentary) and have had no response to date. I decided to try another Ford dealership that sells Hybrids and found out from them, that their "Specially Trained Hybrid Mechanic" hadn't gone through the training yet and couldn't look at the problem. I am beginning to get the feeling that the "Dealerships must have a qualified Hybrid trained mechanic in house" in order to sell Hybrids could be a FARCE and that Ford knows it. I am about ready to go to the Media with this issue but I wanted to give your site a try first. Do you or anyone have any suggestions or solutions. Thank You.
  • jl1234jl1234 Member Posts: 3
    I just purchased a new 2006 Escape Hybrid 4WD about 2 weeks ago, and the driver's side door does not unlock with the remote. The dealer has diagnosed this as a smart junction box (SJB) failure, but they're telling me that the SJB is on back order indefinitely and they have no idea when this part will be available. The other 3 doors unlock -- it's only the driver's side door (the one that I care most about!) that doesn't unlock remotely. I can use the key to unlock it, but I have to leave the alarm system disabled in order to use the key.

    The dealer is telling me there's nothing they can do about it except wait until the part is available (they claim the part is too new, so the manufacturer is not even making it yet so it could be months from now), and they have never seen an Escape Hybrid with this problem.

    Has anyone else experienced this smart junction box or door lock problem? I'm very frustrated and wondering how to handle this issue.

  • shieldproshieldpro Member Posts: 3
    It was my understanding from the salesman in 2005 that the warranty on that bank of batteries was/is 8 years. If they go bad and have to be replaced it would run $8,000.00. I dont know how accurate that is but that is a hunk of change. I realize this post is is long after your post warlok2. I didn't see an answer for your post. sorry this is so late, I just found and joined the site.
  • shieldproshieldpro Member Posts: 3
    The Lithium battery pack isn't warranted for 8 years, their projected life is for 8 years. Sorry
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "The Lithium battery pack isn't warranted for 8 years, their projected life is for 8 years. Sorry"

    In CA it is warranted for 10 years or 150,000 miles as part of the hybrid system. However, it is not a Lithium battery, it is a NiMh battery.

    In most other states it is 8 years or 120,000, if I recall correctly. I live in CA, so those are the important numbers for me.

    The replacement cost is one of the big unknowns in the whole hybrid purchase decision. Sure, it will last for your ownership (so long as you don't drive cars "forever"), but what about resale when the battery pack warranty is about to run out? There is a forum to discuss this issue.
  • pilebuckpilebuck Member Posts: 1
    I also am having squeaks that are drving me nuts. It seems to only be heard when i turn left. They are constant until i start to turn right. They will start when i am at a stop and start moving or when im slowing down. They seem to go with the revolution of the tire. I havent gotten it into the shop yet because i hadnt figured out when it squeaked and when i went to take it in i didnt hear it squeak that day.

    If anyone else has had this problem and have had it fixed i would greatly appriciate some info.
  • 8chtee8chtee Member Posts: 3
    I recently purchased a 2006 Escape "Hybird" (that's what one salesman kept saying) and it now has 5400 miles and is ready for an oil change. I found out it does not have a spin on filter and I took a quick look around under the snap-on engine cover and saw nothing that looked like an oil filter. It also just developed the chirping squeak while turning left. Could anyone shed some light on these subjects and also tell me where I can get a shop manual? Helm Inc. says NO at this time. I live in Northern California and after reading some of these messages I'm not real anxious to let these dealers near my new "baby". Thanks for any replies, 8chtee
  • 3screwsloose3screwsloose Member Posts: 116
    Our '06 Mariner Hybrid has just 1 horn - below the left headlight. I too would like to "upgrade" - it sounds "punky" - like our daughters' Focus, not like a $32K should sound I think.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    I purchased a "shop manual" from an outfit in Tennessee. Actually, it is a single DVD with the all the shop instructions for every model 2006 Ford. It was relatively easy to go through the menu and find most of the procedures peculiar to the hybrid (like the pressurized hydraulics). The DVD is dated by Ford so it becomes "out-of-date" every three months. This is easily defeated by temporarily resetting the date on your computer when you want to access the DVD shop manual. [I just printed out the pages I figured I would use the most - like the oil change process]

    The oil filter is front and center under the engine compartment in a hard plastic housing that is the closest thing that looks like an oil filter. (If you are lying on your back under the car with your feet out the front and you head between the axles - it is at 6 o'clock) The replaceable part of the oil filter is actually a paper element (like air filters have always been) and the filter housing is reused. Two o-rings need to be procured with the paper element and Ford dealers that are "with-it" know this and sell them with the filter as a kit (I think I paid $8.)

    The bottom of the filter housing has a drain plug which takes a 6mm hex and uses one of the two o-rings. The hard plastic housing is removed next and is somewhat problematic if you don't have a good strap-style oil filter wrench, or an oil filter wrench that fits the large hex pattern molded into the housing. Even after the drain plug is removed, more used oil will appear when the housing (and the second o-ring) is removed.

    Both O-rings fit tightly into their glands and be careful to use a dull tool (don't scratch the gland surface) to assist in prying them out. Likewise, it helps to lube and stretch the new O-rings slightly before installing.

    Don't forget the regular oil pan drain plug located straight aft of the oil filter.

    The manual calls for exactly 4.5 quarts if the filter is changed with the oil. Note: The 5W-20 oil that Ford sells is a "Premium Blend" of regular and synthetic oil. Probably as good as pure synthetic if you are going to change on a short mileage basis.

    I would be hesitant to trust this job to a "Jiffy Lube" or the like unless they could really show they knew what they were doing.

    Good Luck :)
  • 8chtee8chtee Member Posts: 3
    thanks mecheng1
  • bitt1bitt1 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same problem in my '06 FEH. Very noticeable squeak coming from what I thought was the left front side of the battery pack. Took it to the dealer and they couldn't hear it. They suggested I come back and take them along. Took me about a month to get it back to them. Took the head tech guy along for a ride and the squeak was barely audible! Figures. Set a date, they took it in, and replaced the left rear shock. No more squeaks!!
  • stevedebistevedebi LAMember Posts: 4,098
    "Took the head tech guy along for a ride and the squeak was barely audible! Figures."

    Makes sense if it was the shock. Two people in the vehicle make the shocks ride differently.
  • alektronalektron Member Posts: 3
    I noticed two kinds of squeaks in the 2006 4WD Hybrid. One is a medium pitched sound that occurs when accelerating from a stop (lasts 1 or 2 seconds). It makes me imagine two metal body pieces rubbing together at a metal joint. The other is a high-pitched sound that occurs sometimes, and is clearly occuring in concert with one of the rear wheel revolutions. I'm thinking to make a recording of the sounds.
  • donbarondonbaron Member Posts: 13
    I have a 2006 Mariner Hybrid; The Dealership tells me Running Boards Can Not be installed on these Hybrid SUV due to High Voltage Wiring. (the concern is that 300 volts will possibly effect persons standing on metal or wet running board.) Have any of you been able to install running boards?? If so how and what manufacturer. Thanks Don
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    First its an Ni-Mh battary, nickle metal hydride.

    Second, there are 2 different possible battery warranties. If you have the Federal Emissions that the battery is covered full replacement for 8 years or 80,000 miles. If you Hybrid has "california emissions" on the sticker than your battery is covered for 10 years or 150,000 miles. In either case, the Unique Hybrid Components are covered for 8 years or 80,000 miles.

  • tbrakeltbrakel Member Posts: 3
    I just had a set of the Ford running boards installed on my '06 FEH. Stock holes are already there, just bolt them on. Took all of 20 minutes and part of that was getting the lift positioned correctly. Maybe the Mariner is the same? :confuse:
  • donbarondonbaron Member Posts: 13
    Thanks for your reply, I had a local Truck Aftermarket Store install my Running Boards. (The Mercury Dealership wouldn't do it.) This is even after I offerred to have the service manager speak to an engineer at the Kansas City Assembly Plant. The Running Boards are great for my kids; the installation looks clean and the engineer assured me know one would get shocked. The dealer did make a big deal about how they did not recommend this aftermaker product and after 2 hours of discussion with Dearborn they agreed to change my oil and rotatate my tires. I love the hybrid technology just hope they offer to more vehicles in the near future. I haven't changed the high voltage battery air filter yet but hope to do that at 20k. Don
  • carysblueskycarysbluesky Member Posts: 36
    Anyone have any information about the cover to the Cabin Air Filter? In order to install the filter (an option) for the cabin I had to remove the cover just below the wiper on the left side (standing in front looking at the windshield). Below it was another cover, when removed allows the filter to be seated. Since there is absolutely nothing in the owners manual regarding this "optional accessory filter," :confuse: I'm left guessing whether the cover that orignally covered the intake to the filter goes back over the filter or is it "stored" somewhere else while a filter is installed. Anyone know? And, do you have a reference or idea where I can find this kind of information?
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    It makes a big difference if you have an '05/'06 model or an '07 model. The Cabin Air Filter shape and "holder" were re-designed for '07 FEH and MMH. When I installed a filter in my '06, there was no second "cover" that needed to be removed - after I removed the plastic molding that allows access to the cabin air filter. ['05/06 C.A.F. is rectangular, '07 is a strange triangle/trapezoid shape. ] :)
  • carysblueskycarysbluesky Member Posts: 36
    There was a "cover" over the square where the filter fit, which was under the "cowling" which covered the whole left side just below the wiper blade arm. After putting in the filter, I put back the "cover" then the "cowling." Just didn't know whether the "cover" should go back on and over the filter.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    Sounds fine. On some of these forums I have heard some complaints about airflow from the system once C.A.Filters were installed. [I assumed that is why Ford stopped supplying filters at delivery on all Escapes - and I assumed that was the reason for the change in the 07 models] Could have been related to the cover??? :D
  • gr8escapegr8escape Member Posts: 2
    I have 80,000 miles on my 2001 Gr8Escape and have not had an issue until this winter. My wife started hearing a squeak from the front end while turning the steering wheel. I found the technical service bulletin (TSB) #04-22-10 on the Internet. Although the symptoms from this bulletin where identical to mine this was not the solution to my squeak. I narrowed it down to the tie-rod end on the Driver side. I removed the boot from the tie rod end, lubricated the ball joint with lithium grease and packed the boot full of wheel bearing grease. This solved the problem.

    Other than this the darn thing has been bullet proof.

    Cost of repair $0 dollars, Time spent 1.5 hours,
    Wife satisfied: Priceless
  • gailsgails Member Posts: 1
    I am a new owner of a 2007 4x2. The manual says oil changes are at 10,000. Really? Do I wait that long?
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