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Ford Escape Hybrid Brake Problems



  • Hi escapebrake1, I believe you have the same problem I just had fixed. If its a "brake, slip, engage" type situation, have the Mercury dealer check the "exciter" rings, aka "tone" rings within the braking system. They could be cracked. They seem to be a common problem (at least what I've seen). It feels like when you hit the brakes that the brakes suddenly "give" for a second, then engage, correct? Mine were cracked, I identified this problem to the dealer after checking this site.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    Being a FWD vehicle the FEH is highly susceptable to loss of directional control if regenerative braking is enabled at low speeds on a slippery surface. During braking, actual braking, one wheel hits a bump at low speeds, loses roadbed contact, and ABS will INSTANTLY disable regen.

    What you "feel" is a slight surge forward.

    Obviously a faulty "tone" wheel would result in this happening more often.
  • degu1degu1 Posts: 2
    I have enjoyed my 2006 FEH and have 60k miles. I've followed all recommended maintenance etc. Two weeks ago the brake warning light started coming on occasionally. I checked the emergency problem, the car would brake as it normally would, I checked the brake fluid problem..but the light and alarm would still come on especially when hitting a bump or turning. I thought maybe a sensor and electric problem with the dash. Took it to the dealer who said they couldn't get the light to come on when they drove it..I explained I wasn't imagining it. They took down more info..I became wary of if they knew what they were doing. I was in shock ( to say it mildly) when they said they hooked it up to a diagnostic machine and what I needed was a new master cylinder ($1800.) If the brake light still continued "Ford" recommended a new ABS system ($4500.) Even after they would do this work they couldn't "guarantee" the problem would be solved. I asked why there wouldn't be some other physical evidence that the brakes were bad, ie fluid leak, squeaking, spongy breaks..and was told they didn't know but they had to advise me that this was the "repair" that Ford recommended. I haven't done anything as I want to get a 2nd opinion. After reading what alot of you have said I'm really stumped! Any advice? I too am afraid to drive it!
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    i had the same problem with my 2006. read my previous posts. call ford directly, don't listen to your dealer. mine also said they couldn't reproduce it, so i took a photo of it when it came on and showed them the photo. eventually ford sent someone to fix it (they eventually ackknowleded it was a problem. in one of my posts i listed the fix). they resolved my problem (sort of), the light comes on for me right after i get my car serviced, but then only comes on maybe once more and then goes away. again, call ford directly, go to the website, there is a service number and file a report.
  • to save time, what is the service number. Has happened to me intermittedly. Which means maybe 5 times since I i've owned the Escape Hybrid.
    Probably need to get fixed before the warranty is up.
    I agree that the problem does not involve the master cylinder or any major repair. Has to do with the parking brake or getting the code off of the truck computer - then following the recommended repair outlined by Ford engineers.
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    post #34 explains what they did.
  • I am having the same problem with my 2009 FEH. Purchased car on August 11, 2009. Brakes failed while we were operating the vehicle in mid September 2009. Specifically, no response for first 2/3 of the way that braking foot moved towards floor. In last 1/3 of the distance as braking foot moved towards and touched the floor, only a weak insufficient response. Took to nearest dealer, who kept car for 5 days and replaced a travel booster switch. Dealer assured us the car was safe to drive and that the problem had been fixed. However, the same problem reoccurred while we were operating the vehicle less than a month later. Took to nearest dealer again. They had the car for 18 days. Replaced wiring harness. We are afraid to drive the vehicle.
  • Ford Escape Brake Wear and Service. My 2007 Escape has been a great vehicle: the reliability and mpg are terrific. However, I recently inspected the brakes and found that the brake pads on the right side (outside pad only) were worn almost completely. I had the front rotors reground and the pads replaced, and will tackle the rear brakes soon.
    Question #1: Does anyone know of similar brake wear patterns, or what may cause this unusual wear? (Vehicle has only 24,000 miles).
    Question #2: What are the basic steps for rear brake disassembly, specifically dealing with the emergency brake mechanics? Are special tools required?
    Thank you.
  • It ended up being the front ABS toner rings, which were both broken. The dealer fixed and charged me $548.32 for the job. Last week Ford offered to fix Fusion and Milan Hybrids for having very similar braking problems!,2933,584882,00.html
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    after a year of the message/light coming on maybe once, i took it into ford to see if they could eradicate the problem completely. they said ford has a fix which replaces grounds which cost $300+, and now the message/light comes on every time i drive the car, which is worse than it ever was. has anyone successfully had this problem fixed??? why do i get the feeling noone has (on this forum)?
  • bingo01bingo01 Posts: 3
    I'm new to this forum. I'm the sad owner of a FEH 06 with the dreaded braking problem. At 78k the car is past warranty. Ford says that $5000 worth of parts (replacing abs controller) may fix the problem. Has anyone her had an experience that actually fixed the braking problems? Is there a class action suit yet?
  • bingo01bingo01 Posts: 3
    Finally got the problem diagnosed at our local Ford shop. Apparently my vehicle has a cracked tone ring that is turning off the abs. $600 estimate to fix it. Glad I didn't follow the advice earlier to replace the entire abs module for $5k.

    On these vehicles the tone rings are exposed to the elements. Makes them prone to fouling and breakage. Bad on Ford for this engineering error!

    Are the others FEH owners reporting these problems to NHTSA?
  • I did not report my exact same problem to the NHTSA. What is their contact information, I will definitely contact them. I emailed Ford back in February of this year (and even involved a local news investigative reporter, Susan Wornick, cc'd) and here was their (disappointing) response (and my original inquiry is below that):

    To: steve
    Sent: Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:49 AM
    Subject: Ford Motor Company

    > Dear Steve,
    > We apologized for the inconvenience the situation may have caused you.
    > However, our records indicate that a decision has been made and the CRC
    > can not overturn this decision. However, to ensure our records are
    > complete we have documented your feedback
    > We are sorry that our response could not be more favorable to you.
    > Sometimes e-mail communication does not allow us to gain additional
    > information that may be helpful in responding to your inquiry. Should you
    > feel that we have not adequately addressed your questions, please feel
    > free to contact us via telephone at (800)392-3673 between the hours of 8am
    > and 5pm, local time, Monday through Friday. Hearing-impaired callers with
    > access to a TDD may contact 1-800-232-5952. Upon calling us please
    > provide your reference number - 0465220390.
    > Sincerely,
    > Rex Bryan
    > Customer Relationship Center
    > Ford Motor Company
    > For online support visit us at: which contains
    > answers to frequently asked questions and links to other key product and
    > service information.
    > Ford Confidentiality:
    > --------------------
    > For security reasons, please do not submit any sensitive personally
    > identifiable information, such as credit card numbers, driver license
    > number, SSN, DOB, etc.
    > [THREAD ID:1-525GWZ]
    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: steve
    > Sent: 2/9/2010 07:55:48 PM
    > To:
    > Cc:
    > Subject: Re: Ford Motor Company
    > Hello Rex,
    > Thank you for your prompt reply to my inquiry. I was informed of Ford's
    > recent decision to fix brake problems (re: your Fusion and Milan Hybrids)
    > via the WCVB evening news program in Boston, Massachusetts. Susan Wornick
    > is
    > a consumer investigative reporter that I trust. It was an interesting
    > report
    > and seemed very similar to troubles I experienced with my Mercury Hybrid.
    > So
    > I notified Susan of my circumstances, and she also wanted to understand
    > what
    > Ford's response would be. I have cc'd her here and kindly request that you
    > continue involving her in our communications going forward.
    > The problem -- in 2009 my Mercury Mariner started experiencing an
    > intermittent braking issue during summer 2009. When I applied the brake, a
    > brief slippage occurred. Rather than a full immediate response, the
    > vehicle
    > continued to lunge forward, and then after this lapse, the brake fully
    > engaged. This was a very unsettling feeling. I first brought this to the
    > attention of my Mercury dealer, State Motors, in August 2009. The dealer
    > conducted a vehicle evaluation and were unsuccessful in identifying the
    > problem, so it remained unsolved.
    > However, the problem persisted. After continuous concern about our safety,
    > I
    > researched the issue online and found numerous other Ford Escape Hybrid
    > owners describing similar experiences. Some had noted defective tone rings
    > as the cause. I brought this research to my dealer's attention, which
    > contributed to proper identification and repair of the vehicle. As it
    > turned
    > out, the two front ABS Tone rings were cracked. It seems apparent these
    > tone
    > rings are not designed sturdy enough by Ford's supplier.
    > While my Mariner Hybrid may no longer be under factory warranty, this
    > problem introduced a dangerous driving condition that compromised optimal
    > vehicle control. I insist that full reimbursement is made by Ford for the
    > expenses related to this particular repair. I paid nearly $550.00 for this
    > braking issue in September, 2009. An issue such as this should not be
    > categorized as 'normal wear and tear'.
    > One remark recently made by Toyota this week was -- they consider the
    > company's priority to be on safety rather than sales. I'm encouraged that
    > you emailed me today -- but sincerely hope Ford will do what is right for
    > me
    > and all other Ford customers affected by any safety-related issue -
    > regardless of how many or few that may be. The brake issue experienced
    > could
    > have contributed to an unfortunate road accident for myself and other road
    > travelers. My diligence to research and identify the issue proved to be my
    > best defense, but Ford should not wait for a tragedy to occur before
    > taking
    > action.
    > As requested, here is my contact information along with details about my
    > 2007 Mercury Mariner Hybrid:
    > Name:
    > Address:
    >> City:
    >> State:
    >> Zip Code:
    >> Cellular Phone Number:
    >> Daytime Phone Number:
    >> Home Phone Number:
    >> Vehicle Identification Number: 4M2CU39H08KJ05143
    >> Odometer Reading: 85383
    >> Servicing Dealership: State Motors, Manchester, NH
    >> Has the vehicle been diagnosed by a Ford/Lincoln-Mercury Dealership for
    >> the current issue?: Yes, I have attached copies of the service reports.
    > I trust that you will escalate this within Ford and that a Customer
    > Satisfaction Program will be initiated as a result. Our correspondence on
    > this matter should make a positive difference. I look forward to your
    > correspondence Rex.
    > Thank you,
    > Steve
  • Hi,

    I am new to this forum. I purchased a 2009 Ford Escape Hybrid about 6 months ago. It was a one-owner car with 42,000 miles on it. A couple of weeks ago the check engine light and red brake light came on. I took it to the Toyota dealer where I bought it used, but they couldn't find anything wrong. I drove it without problem for 2 more weeks, then the 2 lights came on along with a beep, and I lost the brakes. Had to use the emergency brake to get home. Took it to a Ford dealer this time. They had to call the Ford company because the technicians had never seen this problem. Ford told them the brake pedal assembly was the problem, and it needed to be replaced at a cost of $1315 (which was not covered under the extended warranty I had been convinced to purchase from the Toyota dealer). I asked how certain Ford was that this would fix the problem and was assured they were confident because my car showed a fault code "C1012."

    So my questions are as follows:
    1. Has anyone had experience with this fault code or having the brake pedal assembly replaced, and did this fix the problem?
    2. Does anyone know of a class action lawsuit or other legal action in the works? Reading through this forum it is clear Ford has known of this problem for years. It's amazing no one has been killed - yet.
  • When I make a left hand turn I get a metallic swishing sound from my right rear tire. Has anyone heard of this? I also have the groaning brake syndrome, alot of noise when applying brakes at low speed.
  • I had the same problem. Turned out not to be brakes but the bearing going out. Front drive side bearing at 36K, front passenger side bearing at 48K, rear driver side bearing at 60K. All had the same symptom. Ford charged me for a brake job the first one and I didn't even make it out of the service bay without reproducing the symptom.
  • Not such good news. What did you have to pay for the bearing replacement?
  • Hard to say. There was the $800 bill they charged me for the brake job which I told them I didn't need. So they "comped" me the labor for both and charged me another $400.

    The second and thrid bearing replacements were $500 - $600.
  • Thanks for the info, I will bite the bullet and take it in this weekend. I will post the results.
  • I've had to replace the brake rotors (front and rear) three times on my 2005 FEH, and it only has 100K kms on it. Ford denies there's a problem with the vehicle. Has anyone else experienced this problem? I've been driving for over 35 years on multiple vehicle types and never had this type of wear.
  • Sorry to hear you were quoted $600 for two new tone rings. My 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid had to have both replaced (at a Ford Dealer) for only $230 total. That was this summer (2010) and I've experienced no problems since. Many report that dealers and repair shops insist on replacing the axles too -- at considerably more expense. It would seem that this isn't necessary if it's only cracked tone ring(s).
    For more info suggest you search the web for "Ford Escape Tone Rings" -- there's much to hear about out there in cyberspace about them.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,760
    edited November 2010
    Rotors are so much thinner and lighter now (I suspect cost-cutting is the culprit) that it doesn't surprise me that on a vehicle like the Escape that you'd be doing replacements like that. So much depends on the driving conditions and type of driving you're facing when it comes to brakes. But back to the rotors, it used to be that it took two hands to carry one rotor, now you can easily carry one in each hand. Less metal means less weight, less cost. It also make the rotors thinner, less able to dissipate the heat, and more prone to warping. So I guess that technically, there's no "problem",, at least not one that has a fix other than to replace rotors when they warp, but it sure as heck is a pain.

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  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    i'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaack. after a year, the CHECK BRAKE SYSTEM message and emergency brake light are back on again. This seems to happen in the winter, not sure if the cold has something to do with this, but Ford just does the same thing as last time, which is fixing a ground. well, that didn't work, again. after 2 days symptoms are back.

    anyone ever have this definitively fixed where it never happened again?
  • feh2005feh2005 Posts: 1
    Dsteak! I will be damned! I have the same issue however it only seems to happen in warmer weather. In winter I did 2 long trips of 1K miles + and had no issues.

    As soon as its spring, and the weather a bit warmer "Service Brake System" and the red light come on. My toner rings appear to be alright!

    The ford dealer could not replicate the issue after charging me $90 + taxes for inspection :mad:
  • dsteakdsteak Posts: 18
    Ford is now telling me I need a new ABS Module ($4K+). They weren't interested when I argued I've had this problem for 4 years and 10 visits to the dealer. My warranty is expired and I'm responsible for the repair, even though obviously the ABS Module should have been the fix 4 years ago.

    My last Ford.
  • winkstartwinkstart Posts: 1
    Total Brake Failure! The story: After 96,500 trouble-free miles, I had the rear brakes serviced at the dealership. They replaced the rear pads and rotors and changed the brake fluid.

    I picked up the car to drive home. After running a couple of errands, starts and stops, the ABS and BRAKE lights came on, a chime and SERVICE BRAKES SOON on display. I stopped immediately, and called the dealer. He said to drive it back to them. When I restarted, the brake pedal went to the floor. NO BRAKES!.

    They towed it back to dealer and kept it for a week. They said the brakes were fine when they re-started it. Now they say it's fixed, it was "a bubble in the brake line." All better now, they say - it sounds bogus to me. If there was air in the line, why were the brakes fine for the first half-hour? Why did they keep it a week? I feel so lucky that this happened to them, not me! So far, they are not trying to charge me. More as this develops.
  • cdwrightcdwright Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 FEH. Went 150K on the original front rotors. Had them replaced at a mom/pop shop w/ 3rd party rotors (even though I questioned since it is a hybrid). Replaced them 3 times, but after the 3rd set warped they gave up and blamed it on "bad driving habits" (depared w/ choice words for the mgr). Went to Ford, and they replaced w/ factory rotors, but not for the hybrid. Then went to a different dealership who finally acknowledged that the FEH requires special rotors. There were 2 on the planet in Japan, but they replaced under warranty. 2K miles later, these are now warping too.

    P.S. Also replaced the steering mechanism at Ford corporate's recommendation. Now $3500 into this and still haven't fixed the original problem.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    It's entirely possible that the "bubble" was in the ABS/TC "loop", side-tracked, as it were, and only after it moved to the "main line"....

    Often results from inadequate oversight of the McD graduates that are assigned these routine (changed the brake fluid) maintainance tasks.
  • Hi there,

    Thanks for all the great info. I wish I did not need it! ;)

    I have a 2005 FEH with 187K miles. I had the front brakes replaced this June (rotors, etc.), drove from Maine to SC - everything great, up to 30mpg.

    Yesterday (11/18/11) I was driving home and the car was lurching, acting strangely. I pulled over and the front right brake was really gushing smoke and hot as a pistol. My shop was near by so I let it cool and limped it over.

    This morning he replaced the caliper and brake hose but said he could not bleed the brakes after trying for nearly 2 hours. He arranged for me to go to the Ford dealer so I did as I have been there before. So $239 for him.

    From his shop to Ford dealer, almost no brakes, pushing down very hard, ABS light on and SERVICE BRAKE SYSTEM displayed, and brake light.

    The Ford dealer had the car for a few hours and said they could not bleed the brakes either. Here is what the 'receipt' said:

    "Tried to perform an ABS bleed with the IDS, can not perform. Codes in system C1323, travel sensor 1 fault. C1524, calibration incomplete, brake travel.C1525, initialization incomplete. These are hard faults. Ford has bulletin for code 1524 to replace master cylinder first before proceeding further. Customer declined repairs. Vehicle unsafe, should not be driven."

    I limped it home on on just reserve brakes - pushing all the way to the floor, really hard!

    I do not trust the Ford dealer, especially that one. After reading this blog I am also concerned that they will charge $1142 for the master cylinder (their estimate) then want another $4K for the HCU.

    OK - How f&^%ed am I?

    Seriously though is there any way an independent mechanic can have a look at this and really determine if I need a master cyl and the HCU? Any in New England?

    Any help or advice would be appreciated. Is it worth taking to another Ford dealer? Is it time to trade it in for whatever I can get?

    My shop guy did pay the $137 Ford charged to look at this so still just $239 into this. I paid $5500 for this car about a year ago, very clean, have driven 20K miles. I really love it besides this.


    Willie in Maine
  • I have the same thing...I just had my 2006 FORD Escape Hybrid in for service on an issue that caused the engine to turn of and ask me to pull over to a safe stop. ($700ish water pump fix) and now I'm getting TOTAL BRAKE FAILURE with the ABS light going on!

    I've been told it is about $5000 to fix!!!!! This is a catastrophic failure that I've I've called FORD to ask for them to stand up and help me out. (My hybrid system is still under warranty, and the service dept says it is so expensive because of the Hybrid system!?!?)

    I am so P.O's and this will be my last Ford! My sister was going to buy one like mine, but after hearing about this she switched to a GMC. I may be driving a GMC or Chevy next week.

    What to you do with a 2006 Piece of junk ford?! Anyone know where I can find someone to take it off my hands? I can't afford to get it fixed. :-(
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