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Ford Escape Hybrid Care and Maintenance

Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
Discuss your Escape Hybrid's routine care and maintenance here.

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  • stevewastevewa 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 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 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!
  • 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?
  • 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!
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • 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.
  • 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 Posts: 5,095
    Welcome to Forums!

    You might want to start your research by reading through the main Ford Escape Hybrid topic.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • stevewastevewa 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.
  • 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 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...
  • 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 Posts: 142
    Hybrid spending the winter in Florida and looking for a reliable service facility in the West Palm Beach vicinity. Thanks
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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
  • 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.
  • 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 Posts: 1
    The hybrid gives a very bumpy ride. Does anyone have any solutions? Has anyone installed any air shocks? recommenations?
  • 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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