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Ford Escape Hybrid Engine Problems

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
If you're having a problem under the hood of your Escape hybrid, this is the place to discuss it and work out solutions.


  • snunessnunes Member Posts: 1
    I find that my engine shuts off when I am breaking but then re-starts briefly before I stop, then shuts off again when I stop. This can cause the car to lurch forward when the engine re-starts. This ONLY occurs within the first 5 minutes of driving so I assume it has something to do with engine warm up. Does anyone else have similar experiences? Solution?
  • rocarrocar Member Posts: 1
    I've had my Ford Escape Hybrid of over a year now. I have noticed many quirky things about it. Yes, it does shut down when I stop, and then briefly restarts and it does lurch forward. Sometimes it lurches forward suddenly when I'm starting off slowly.
    My latest problem is a big one. The piston rod went through the engine on Christmas day. Suddenly without warning. No warning lights. This even though the car has been maintained by the dealership on a regular basis. I love this car, even though I have never gotten over 28 mpg, and I wonder if the new engine (replacement) will help?? I wonder if I will be able to trust it?
  • testestestes Member Posts: 13
    The day after my 10,000 mile service, my Mercury Mariner Hybrid died. When I took it in to get the service performed, I told the tech about an error message "Service Emission Sys" on the display. They confirmed and ordered a cylinder head heat sensor. The next day, 2 days before the scheduled sensor replacement, the car failed. The error message read "Stop Safely Now". I had no choice, as the ICE was not working and the car would not exceed 5MPH on the electric motor. Having called FoMoCo's towing line, it was taken to the dealership on a flatbed. Two days later, the dealership still does not know what happened. At first they thought the heat sensor failure made the car go into a "safe mode" to not damage anything. Has anyone else experienced this? I am fast closing in on the 15 days out of service, if I have not already exceeded it. :sick:
  • floyd2222floyd2222 Member Posts: 9
    New to this forum so I hope this is the place to ask this.
    Under any circumstances is it possible to run on electric only such as below a certain speed etc? Being new to Hybrids, I would think they would be useful in an emergency situation such as fuel shut offs from the Middle East if that were possible. Given the world situation this could be an unthinkable reality some day.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Hybrids are currently not designed to fully utilize the capicity of the high voltage battery pack. As such, the distance and speed available for electric only are very limited.

    Also not all hybrids even have full electric launch. Only the Toyotas and Ford/Mercury Hybrids allow for full electric launch.

  • floyd2222floyd2222 Member Posts: 9
    Thanks Mark, Thats what I thought, but was curious. What do you mean though by Ford's full electric launch?
    Thanks again for the speedy answer.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    After almost 30 months on the market...numerous FEH/MMH owners have documented various "tricks" on how to drive to maximize the amount of time in EV mode. Several hybrid forums provide details on: switching back-and-forth from "D" to "L", double tapping the brakes to make the truck go into EV, monitoring battery level and maximizing regenerative braking, etc., etc. - all coming under the category of "hypermiling" -- or getting FE numbers higher than the EPA estimates on the window sticker.

    For instance, if your vehicle is sufficiently warmed up and you take your foot off the gas at 50 mph or higher, then begin to coast (preferably on a downhill)- you can get the vehicle to operate in EV-only from 40mph on down. Lightly touch the gas pedal to maintain the proper speed 30 or 35 mph and you can go for a significant distance on only battery power.

    Remember: the computer determines what power train configuration to use to propell the truck forward - from your inputs - one of which is how far and how fast you depress the gas pedal. :)
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "Thanks Mark, Thats what I thought, but was curious. What do you mean though by Ford's full electric launch? "

    The Toyota and Ford hybrid systems start the vehicle out using only electric motors; the ICE kicks in at a certain speed or when the battery needs charging. Above certain speeds or if you floor the pedal, the ICE kicks in immediately.

    The Honda and Saturn hybrids use the ICE at all times except when stopped at a stoplight. The electric motors only assist the ICE.
  • mworhlemworhle Member Posts: 1
    Sometimes I have to turn the key on & off 2 or 3 times before the engine will start. Is this normal?
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    OOPS forgot to mention that the Altima Hybrid will be a full hybrid also with a system licensed from Toyota.

  • weeksweeks Member Posts: 1
    I own a brand new escape hybrid (2007, just over 22000 kms) and I too am experiencing the mysterious and frustrating cut outs. For no apparent reason the RPMs surge up then drop off entirely, the 'stop safely now' followed by the 'service soon' message appears and I coast to a stop and have to re-start. If I'm unlucky my car won't start until after a few minutes. Not only is this dangerous on the highway, but, to add insult to injury, the Ford garage is increduluous and are patronizing me with questions like, 'you know it's normal for the gas engine to cut out?' They simply have no idea what's wrong. I've had my car in once, got it back... problem not fixed. It's in again now and of course it seems to be working fine to them. Anyone know what the hell is going on here?
  • floyd2222floyd2222 Member Posts: 9
    Mark, do you know when that Altima is due out?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,130
    You might check here:
    Nissan entering the hybrid fray
    for more info on the hybrid Altima.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    For those who may not know, we have a new Nissan Altima Hybrid Group where you can discuss the new Altima.

    Let's stick to the FEH engine issues here ;)
  • msescapemsescape Member Posts: 1
    I have started having the exact same problem with my 2005 escape hybrid. I would get the stop safety soon message and have to coast to the shoulder like you said. The dealership said my car needed a special part (something having to do with a cooling mechanism)and that it would take up to several weeks to get it in. They said my car was safe to drive, however. But no sooner than I picked it up, it happened again. My husband had to practically yell at them to give us a loaner car as it's not safe at all to drive! What has happened with your car since your post?
  • testestestes Member Posts: 13
    Sorry, to leave the forum hanging. I did indeed get my problem resolved. I believe Ford has published a 3rd service bulletin based on my vehicle (the other was brake failure and the "brain" replacement). The problem was a failed heat sensor. When the heat sensor fails, it assumes the ICE has over heated, therefore, not only does the ICE not run, the electric motor goes into a safe mode. That's why it only goes very slowly when that error message comes on. Have your tech person call Jim Kelley at Sentry West LM in Shrewsbury, MA. Jim knows the details, and is the Service Manager. I have had no problems since getting it back January 1. When the car cools down, it is indeed safe to drive... until it heats up again and fails. That is when the car creates a safety hazard. I have chosen to work with the dealership in a polite manner. They have treated me very well, and I am very pleased with the way Jim has responded.

    This is the message from their diagnosis:

    Tech #18 verified concern, then checked for codes with IDS, Codes P0119 and P1289, Performed Pinpoint test, found faulty CHT sensor, ordered one.

    Once the CHT sensor was replaced, it has not had the same problem. I'm hoping this was the last problem... however, one cannot predict the future :)
  • jmw2jmw2 Member Posts: 2
    Considering new FEH and heard rumor battery replacement would be needed within 5 years and would be quite expensive. Appreciate any facts. Thanks.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    Unique Hybrid components are covered under a 8 year/100,000 mile limited warranty and are: HVBattery (High voltage battery), eCVT (electronic continuously variable transmission), and DC/DC Converter. [10 year/150,000 mile limited hybrid battery warranty in CA, ME, MA, NY and VT.]

    From reports on the first three years of production, these components seem to be the best engineered on the vehicle (the least reported problems). The only report I saw of battery replacement was from a fleet of FEH cabs that had been running continuously in SanFran for 3 years. The batteries didn't fail...they just (prematurely) reached the end of their life span.

    No telling what the market will be for replacement batteries in the future...(remanufactured, aftermarket, etc.) but for now the only ones available are brand new - made by Sanyo and purchased only through Ford and the pricing includes installation (labor) by the dealer. (>$5000).
  • jmw2jmw2 Member Posts: 2
    Thanks, if the costs are >$5000 for battery replacement in 3-10 years, the higher upfront cost vs a conventional engine is compounded by a big surprise later. Appreciate your feedback.
  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    Although Ford and Toyota developed their hybrid technology seperately (and have the patents to prove it)....the High Voltage NiNH battery designs are fairly similar. The Prius has been on the road since 2000....and you do not hear a storm of protest from the owners because they are having to replace the HVBatteries....and it would be a big story.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Geeze. did you even read his post? The HV Bat. is covered UNDER WARRANTY for 10 years or 150,000 miles in CA Emissions and Cross border states!

    The FEH only uses a very very shallow part of the battery capacity. it does not "deep discharge" the battery.

    Google plugin hybrid toyota prius to get some info about this.

  • 05xcpe05xcpe Member Posts: 1
    hi, i recently bought a used escape with 62k. on several occasions the temp light comes on, display says motor hot, no signs of overheating, overflow containers only warm. dealer thinks it might be the electric motor coolant pump although it operates properly they think when it gets hot it may be failing. at $500 that seems like an expensive guess. i saw an earlier post that it might be a sensor. is there anyway to install a temp gauge?any suggestions? thanks--bill
  • 650spx650spx Member Posts: 48
    I know this is not a toyota board but the usa actualy got generation 2 of the prius. The generation 1 was in japan, in full production and sold for I belive 3 to 5 years. Toyota is now into generation 3 of the prius. Nissan bought the generation 2 version for the altima. Ok enough toyota talk. Just wait a few years ford is still in gen 1 of production. I actualy might look at the escape when thay go to gen 2. Around here the power company uses them so if the escape can take that kind of abuse thay must be good.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    This post is not correct.

    Prius powertrain is only in its 2nd generation of production. There is no "third generation".

    Escape Hybrid and Toyota Prius are basically at the same level right now. Ford and Toyota both use the SAME eCVT (electronic continually variable transmission) from Aisen. The eCVT is what makes the Ford and Toyota "full hybrids" as opposed to the mild hybrids offered by Honda and GM.

    The eCVT is the only transmission I know of so far that allows power input from 2 different power sources at 2 different levels. Basically it allows the motors (gas and electric) to be connected to the drive shaft in parallel Honda and GM is a series connection to the wheels. Because of that series connection, the wheels cannot get power from the electric motor unless the gas motor is running also.

    At this point Battery Replacement Costs are irrelevant. The warranty is 10 years or 150,000 miles in green and cross border states.

  • mecheng1mecheng1 Member Posts: 161
    "Escape Hybrid and Toyota Prius are basically at the same level right now. Ford and Toyota both use the SAME eCVT (electronic continually variable transmission) from Aisen. The eCVT is what makes the Ford and Toyota "full hybrids" as opposed to the mild hybrids offered by Honda and GM".

    Be careful with how you discuss the eCVTs. Toyota uses their design. The FEH uses a Ford/Volvo design. They both use Aisin as a manufacturer. You are correct in that they both follow a "power split" concept that is unique and essential to the similar but distinctly different Ford and Toyota Hybrid drive trains.
  • larsblarsb Member Posts: 8,204
    As far as Prius generations go, technically, it IS on it's third generation.

    Only the second generation for vehicles available to the USA, but the third counting the original Japan-only Prius as Gen 1.

    So from a technology and engineering standpoint, the current Prius is on the third generation.

    It's only on the second generation if you only consider vehicles available to the USA.

    See this page near the top:

    some Prius history

    And this page too:

    More Prius history
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Thanks for the great info.
  • voyager193voyager193 Member Posts: 1
    Have been getting occasional service light warnings and then the Escape begins to chug, when I stop and turn off and then back on, it runs like normal again, I have taken it to the dealer once, but they didn't find anything. So far, this has happened about 4 times.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "Have been getting occasional service light warnings and then the Escape begins to chug, when I stop and turn off and then back on, it runs like normal again, I have taken it to the dealer once, but they didn't find anything. So far, this has happened about 4 times."

    This could be a serious error with the hybrid powertrain system. Every time it happens take it in to the dealer. If they can't fix it on the third try, go for a lemon law replacement.

    Unless you want to live with the "chug,chug" for the entire length of your ownership...
  • ajoseph1ajoseph1 Member Posts: 3
    My engine also destroyed itself. It was in August I think. I didn't do any maintenance on the car and it has 50K+ miles on it. It's an '06. I had it taken into the dealer in case that recall was causing something to short out and mess up the timeing because the engine sounded a little like it was "dieseling". They dropped the pan and said simply "your piston broke and you need a new engine and it'll be $6300."

    I have since started tearing the engine apart myself. There is definitely a shattered piston in the pan. It is in numerous pieces. There is also a valve in the pan. The top of the piston pieces look like they slammed into the valve quite a lot. I think that the valve just fell out into the cylinder. This all happened without any overheating or warnings with the exception of a short blink of the oil light on the dash. I have a '99 ragner and the oil gage on that drops off all the time and comes back up again. Also, since i've taken the '06 engine apart, is is a lot less gummed up than the ranger engine is and the ranger engine runs like a top.

    I think i'm going to write some letters to Ford and ask them what gives on that. The dealer was no help except to offer to install a new engine for 20% of the cost of the whole car. I have not yet ased about any technical assistance on replacing the engine.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "My engine also destroyed itself. It was in August I think. I didn't do any maintenance on the car and it has 50K+ miles on it."

    I presume you mean you didn't do any maintenance on the car YOURSELF?
  • ajoseph1ajoseph1 Member Posts: 3
    No, I didn't mean that. I meant no maintenance was done.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "No, I didn't mean that. I meant no maintenance was done."

    Besides normal oil changes & etc.?

    Otherwise you have set a record for mileage between oil changes...
  • hybrid11hybrid11 Member Posts: 1
    I have had several problems with this as well on my 2005 escape awd (twice) but the dealer said it was the trottle control chip which was replaced. It ran for quite a while with no problems with 45k for the total miles. The othe problem I have is the check engine light which is on more than off but has no effect on the cars performance. It says the gas cap is not on tight and then the emmisions warning indicator comes on, engine light comes on. I have had this gas tank refill tube replaced twice but the problem is still occuring but both the mpg and running of the engine seems normal and performance unaffected.
  • karenorkarenor Member Posts: 1
    My 10,500 mile Escape hybrid has been in the dealership for a month waiting for an instrument cluster, which is on nationwide backorder. One day I was driving along, and all the "idiot" lights flashed on and then turned off. I brought it into the dealer that day. They could not figure out what happened, then the technician hit the dashboard and all the lights went on. They could not find the "loose wire" so they ordered an instrument cluster. This sounds similar to what was experienced in this thread - service lights turn on, the car chugs or slows, and then recovers. One time I had the cruise control on and it turned off. If this is on nationwide backorder, I imagine this is happening to more than I am finding in my research. Anyone else have this experience?
  • dhuang2dhuang2 Member Posts: 15
    I can't start up the engine as I stopped by my friend's house. I shut off the engine and went inside the house for 10 minutes, then I got into the car again, and tried to start up the engine just as usual. I can't hear any sound from engine compartment (the starter does not run) and engine and oil warning lights are on. The message window shows the oil life has 45%, the electrical pack is OK, Brake system is OK. The car has about 18k miles and there is no sign of any degradation at all. I have been getting 30 mpg consistently.

    Is anyone has same issue as mine? What would be the problems? Any suggestion?

    Thanks in advance,
  • hevincalihevincali Member Posts: 7
    You did change the oil at the regular intervals correct?
    I had a similar problem, my 06 Escape Hybrid engine seized on me a few weeks ago without any warning, no check engine or low oil pressure light. I had just changed the oil 2000 miles ago or so (no where near the 10,000 recommended interval) and it turns out somehow I was left with only 3/4 of a quart left. How this happened I don't know, no evidence of leaks or anything. I have 89,000 miles on it. This is over the powertrain warranty but within the 100,000 unique hybrid components warranty. Technically the engine is listed under the powertrain but this is a unique engine to the hybrids, brand new specifically for them and with a unique engine cycle (Atkinson). I've talked with the dealer and Ford engineering but they're only wiling to drop the price a little. I'm not happy with this situation and am putting this out as a warning to all other Hybrid escape owners to be careful of this issue.
  • hevincalihevincali Member Posts: 7
    So the latest is that the dealer and Ford Customer Service only offered to reduce the labor rate and offered no other assistance. They actually accused me of not performing the scheduled maintenance just because I didn't let the dealer scam me into doing a more frequent oil change. I had it towed home and bought another engine for it. I'm removing the parts necessary to get the motor out and when I take the halfshaft out from the transmission I have Engine oil spilling out from it.
    So bottom line is that the seal between the engine and the transmission blew out.
    I'm in contact with Ford Customer Service again.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    "So the latest is that the dealer and Ford Customer Service only offered to reduce the labor rate and offered no other assistance. They actually accused me of not performing the scheduled maintenance just because I didn't let the dealer scam me into doing a more frequent oil change. "

    Did you perform the oil change intervals mentioned in the owner's manual?
  • hevincalihevincali Member Posts: 7
    Yep, It recommends every 10,000miles and I changed it a little more often than that using Mobile 1 fully synthetic. I have a new engine in it now and am a day or two from starting it up. The Transmission didn't end up having engine oil in it. It was just really dark trans fluid. I'm just having a little trouble getting the left front halfshaft in. does anyone have any recommendations on that? There is a retaining clip that I think I just have to get seated but it doesn't seem to want to go in all of the way.
  • stevedebistevedebi Member Posts: 4,098
    " I'm just having a little trouble getting the left front halfshaft in. does anyone have any recommendations on that? There is a retaining clip that I think I just have to get seated but it doesn't seem to want to go in all of the way. "

    Sorry, I'm not that mechanically inclined.

    Where did you get a hybrid engine? I believe they are different from the normal I4 Escape, being Atkinson cycle rather than Otto cycle...
  • hevincalihevincali Member Posts: 7
    Got the halfshaft in, just gotta slam it a bit, get some momentum.

    On ebay, from a place in North Carolina, shipping was 1/2 the price of the engine. got it for $550. All the others I saw were more like 1700. 60 day warranty,
    It started Wednesday night and I drove it around the block Thursday after bleeding the coolant. Not an easy thing to do either. I'll drive it a bit more today and see how it goes.
  • jimfeetjimfeet Member Posts: 1
    I'm looking for a replacement long block for my 2005 Escape Hybrid. I have located one source that claims to have such an engine but it says it's the same engine as in the standard Escape. I believe the hybrid has an Atkinson cycle engine that is different from the standard Escape. Can anyone point me to a source for a rebuilt engine?
  • hybrids09hybrids09 Member Posts: 1
    Hi everyone!
    I have a 2007 Escape Hybrid with only under 10000 miles. The car is horrible, shuts off after 0 minutes of driving,the red triangle simbol cames on.I took it to 3 different ord dealers, and they charged me over $1000 for nothing.s fine. They just can't find the problem. I was suspected overheating, I checked radiator, radiator fan, everything if good. After 20 minutes of driving
    it's just shuts off, then when cools off, then starts again.
  • sander2sander2 Member Posts: 1

    we also have a ford hyride 2006 and we have exact the same prolems. As we live on Sint Maarten there is no knowledge and they told us that the car can't be repaired anymore. hope you can help us. I can not find your service bulletin on the ford site. can you send us a copy of it so we can go te garage with it.
  • escape6escape6 Member Posts: 7
    I suspect the problem is a pump which circulates coolant to the battery. I had the same problem as you multiple times on my 06 FEH FWD. No codes, no clues, just the red triangle of death, pull over to the side of the road, turn everything off and then restart,. You would have sworn the pig was made by Microsoft. This probably happened 30 times before being towed in a Seattle dealer from dying a dozen times on I-5. The guys at Scarff Ford in Auburn, Washington figured it out right away and solved a problems that 4 different Canadian Ford dealers were no help with. It is a known problem but since my vehicle is a salvage title I paid the bill myself. If your FEH is under warranty they should be able to fix it quick. Parts cost was about $300 and labor was a similar amount. Thank heavens for full service AAA or we could have added a $500 towing bill. The dealer did give me a rental car for a day at no additional charge because he did not have the part in stock. The ironic thing is I drove the car on the wrecker at the I-5 rest stop, and I drove the car off the wrecker at Scarff Motors. My wife was so traumatized by 20 random engine failures on I-5 and Highway 2 in Alberta she refused to ride in car I mile further. Ford dealers have the amazing ability to make you feel you are an idiot with a novel problem Scarff Ford in Auburn acknowledged issues and had the solution and the repair completed within 27 hours of being the recipient of Kermit.
  • escape6escape6 Member Posts: 7
    Dear Jim,

    The engine is hybrid specific, and when you get the replacement engine see if the computer that came with the engine is also available. In the 05/06 series there are 5 different ECMS used, Make sure if you are changing engines the ECM will work with the new engine. I do have a spare that came out when we changed a trans axle and it would not talk to the new one. [email protected]

  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    I test drove a new 2010 FEH and a FFH for the first time today. After the initial start, the RPM's on the FEH were about 1500 during warm up, then after a min or so, it settled down. I have never seen a vehicle rev that high for a warm up. Is this normal?

    Thanks for your help.

  • hennehenne Member Posts: 407
    Found out on another forum this is normal.
  • whitey9whitey9 Member Posts: 138
    It likes the engine oil at "operating temperature", so it gets the oil warmed up, and then shuts down. The oil warms more quickly when at a higher "idle' speed. When warm starting, the engine runs for a little bit to keep engine oil warm.
    Also, the CAT warms more quickly at higher idle speed as well.
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