Ford Escape Brake Problems

obie1946obie1946 Member Posts: 3
edited June 2015 in Ford
My 2003 Ford Escape has a brake problem. The mechanic has removed a rotted emeregency brake cable, blead the brakes and that did not last long. I lose brake peddle and it goes almost to the floor. I can still brake but scary. There is air getting into the brakes some how and no one can figure it out. It is a 4x4 xlt. Help me to help my mechanic help me!!!

See Also:
Top 10 Ways To Make Your Brakes Last Longer
How To Change Your Brake Pads


  • tb123tb123 Member Posts: 1
    Tell him to look at the master cylinder (part of the breaks under the hood. If that is leaking there will not be enough pressure for the breaks to work.
  • obie1946obie1946 Member Posts: 3
    Thanks: I had them bled twice and this third time he just bled them again and I did mention the Master Cylinder and he saw that it may be leaking. He did not think it was the master cylinder since the mileage (43,000) was low. But it is a lot of city stops and goes so that may have worn it out sooner than highway miles? Thank you very much for the feedback, Bob
  • markiesmark45markiesmark45 Member Posts: 1
    My 2007 AWD 2.3 Escape makes grinding noises on the last
    part of the braking process. The Ford dealers mechanic
    says this is normal,It happens virtually every time I
    come to a stop unless I gently apply the brake and have
    plenty of room to stop.
    I find it hard to believe Ford would allow such a nerve
    racking sound to be "normal".
    Anyone had this problem and any advice?
    Thanks for any help. Mark
  • gumpfgumpf Member Posts: 1
    my 2005 escape started making a high pitch whine when I release the brake pedal. It stops when I press on the brakes. It sounds like air being released. The sound is inside the vehicle around the brake pedal. I have been told that it is the power brake that multiplies the force from the brake pedal to stop the car without having to press so hard. The brakes operate normally and the rotors and shoes have been checked. The price ticket is $400 to repair and I just want to make sure that it is legitimate. I have been told that when this fails I will have a hard time pushing the brakes because the power brake system will eventually fail. Anyone else ever deal with this? I have 61,000 miles on this escape.
  • mcamillimcamilli Member Posts: 2
    I have the same problem. I let go of the brake and hear a hissing noise (like air pushing through the brake pedal) until I apply the brake again. Noise is driving me nuts! Took it to the shop - they said it was the brake buffer box??? located directly behind the brake pedal and would cost $300-400 to fix. I was told that it would get harder and harder to apply the brake as this box wears out. I trust my mechanics. They are repairing it as I write this. I have appx. 80,000 miles on my 2002 escape and haven't had many problems with the car.
  • mcamillimcamilli Member Posts: 2
    My brake problem was from the brake "booster box" (not buffer box). mcamilli
  • jrindyjrindy Member Posts: 1
    My brakes on my 01 escape (88k miles) just started leaking air thru the break peddle a week ago and also at same time the dash warning light for radiator came on but it is full of anti freeze. I am thinking there is not enough vacuum for the radiator. Luckily I do have a extended warranty that covers this problem and it is going to shop very soon.
  • missyhmissyh Member Posts: 1
    My 01 Escape (89k miles) is in the shop right now too to fix all of the above: brake vacuum booster (to fix the hissing noise), leak in the master cyclinder, and to check the radiator light. The light though has been off & on for the last 5 years. It's nice to know I'm not alone. She's paid for, so I don't want to get a new car right now. Good luck everyone!
  • 2004escape2004escape Member Posts: 2
    I have the same problem with my 2004 Escape. The dealership told me that there is nothing wrong with them. They told me it is because I had after market brake pads on.
  • olcrankolcrank Member Posts: 5
    Why is it that car dealers don't or at least act like they don't know what the problem is? I've noticed this dumb act is common at American auto dealers from the sales floor to the shop. They pull it even when there is an existing service bulletin for a problem. This doesn't wash on a safety issue as serious as brakes. Gee, I Wonder why Americans are leaving American Dealerships? :mad: :confuse:
  • bdymentbdyment Member Posts: 573
    Believe me this lack of concern is not unique just to American manufactures. I have had imported cars and domestics. There has been no difference in knowledge about a problem or now to solve it between the two types of dealers. Often import dealers are owned by domestic dealers and vice versa. The employees of both dealerships are equally good or equally incompetent. No difference between imports and domestics.
  • beeraybeeray Member Posts: 2
    I'm having the same problem with my 2005 escape. The brakes make a terrible grinding noise. I was told by two places my pads needed to be replaced. Had them replaced twice in 2 months - problems still happening. Since then, I've had 3 shops look at the brakes and they couldn't find the problem. I finally took it to Ford (I was told $19.99 for inspection but they CHARGED me $102.93). They told me I had 'chatter marks' and need to replace all 4 rotors for $700. (Funny how none of the other places saw the marks.) Called Ford and they said can't do anything because I took it to another shop. I've been buying Fords for 20 years! They just lost a loyal customer - I'll never buy a ford again!!!
  • mooney99mooney99 Member Posts: 1
    Anyone know where to get info on changing front and rear disc brake pads on 2005 Escape (not Hybrid)-was told at auto store that some require a special removal tool-THANKS !
  • angrybritangrybrit Member Posts: 1
    Ok Ford Escape Brakes
    When they start to grind (about once a month) take your car to the car wash and power wash the front and back wheels this will stop all the grinding.
    Keep them clean !!!!
    All the AIR noise you can hear is the (brake booster)
    this is a vacume assisted device that helps push the brake piston in the master cilinder.
    The part that goes bad is a rubber seal behind the brake peddal that blows out.
    When it blows out you hear the air or vacume sound.
    It costs about $800 at a dealer to get fixed.
    It costs about $125 at NAPA for a new brake booster and $50 deposit for the core unit (this is returned to you when you return the broken part)
    The brake booster comes with full clear instructions that i was able to follow with no problem.
    the only thing extra i had to buy was brake fluid $4.50 and a brake bleeding kit $4.50 (Dont be scared brake bleeding is 4 nuts and 15 mins and 1 friend)
    I have very little DIY knowlage and the whole process took me 2 hours
    Hope this helps if not enough info will post more would even post a DIY Photo step by step posting it was that easy.
    Good luck
  • beeraybeeray Member Posts: 2
    I'm afraid the grinding was not because they were dirty. I take my truck to the car wash all the time and it never stopped the grinding noise. The grinding was SO bad that I finally took my Escape into a Ford dealership. I had all 4 rotors and brake pads replaced. $800 later I'm not hearing the grinding. It's been a few weeks so I'm hoping that solved the problem. When it's time for a new vehicle I still will not buy another Ford!
  • obie1946obie1946 Member Posts: 3
    I intially inserted a message regarding the brakes on my 03 Ford Escape. They, the brakes, or break peddle would go all the way to the floor. I had the brakes blead twice to no avail, then they suddenly began to work okay and it has been about 6 months. I "knock on wood".
  • jrobbleejrobblee Member Posts: 2
    I own a 2005 Ford Escape here in Ontario, Canada. I bought it as a lease return with 11,000 kilometres on it(Aug. 16/2005). I have had nothing but problems with the brakes pretty much a year from the exact date of purchase. At 32,000 kilometres, the front brake pads, both rotors because they are corroded, and brake calipers all seized and needed to be replaced(Aug. 15/2006). Since the replacement was under warranty, I had the Ford dealership replace the entire front end brake system. However, they tried to stick with the bill for the brake pads, but I argued it and won! They paid for everything!

    Jan 2007- the rear braking system let go. I had to have the brakes replaced as well!

    April 24, 2008- I am now just over 56, 500 kilometres, and again the front brakes have seized yet again! I am now out of warranty!!! I have to have the front left caliper replaced, brake pads on both front sides, and the rotors are corroded again!!!! I have gone into Ford with many complaints about the brakes when I brought this SUV in for service and while under warranty I was always told THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOUR BRAKES!!! Funny how now that I am out of warranty, all of these brake problems have once again surfaced after my many attempts to have them replaced while still under warranty. I had to meet with the service manager at the Ford dealership and express my outmost frustration with their services up to now! They were making me pay for the entire brake system replacement! I have now gone to Ford Canada, who only covers their brakes until 20, 000 kilometres... I am at a lost for words now!!!!!!

    If there is anyone else out there, that is having the same poor luck with theirs.. I would appreciate some input... thanks again :mad:

    Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
  • jrobbleejrobblee Member Posts: 2
    Hi Mark,

    I had the same problem with my 2005 Ford Escape Limited 4x4.... I was told by the dealership that this was totally normal.. haha.. I have had nothing but problems with my brakes. They squeal, pulsate and grind when I begin to start braking! Obviously, there is something wrong with the service tehnicians when they tell me this!!!

    Look at my post above..and you will see the problems I have had! Apparently, FORD will not do anything for this!

    Jill :confuse:
  • lmaz806lmaz806 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Ford Escape XLT. Front disc and rear drum brakes. We went to visit family in Pennsylvania and my brake peddle went right to the floor while we were there. My cousin replaced the master cylinder and blead the four wheels and all was back to normal until yesterday about 2 weeks after the repalcement, back to the floor with the brake peddle. The MC reseviour is full and there are no signs of any leaking. My mechanic seems to think the MC is defective but I was wondering if anyone had any other ideas how air could be getting into the lines with out an obvious brake fluid leak. Thanks in advance for any imput to my problem.
  • tobymiketobymike Member Posts: 1
    I just bought a 2005 and am loving it. I do have a brake noise when leaving my driveway. I have to back up and then turn hard left and go downhill. There is a squeaking noise at this time which goes away when I straighten out the wheels. It seems to come from the right rear wheel. Anyone else notice this noise when turning hard left?
  • inslady26101inslady26101 Member Posts: 1
    I had the rear brakes replaced on my 04 Ford Escape, now I have vibration in the right rear tire when I first take off in the vehicle. I have checked the lug nuts and all of them are tight, can anyone tell me what is wrong.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Escape stock tires are crap unless you get the bigger wheels.

  • moose1958moose1958 Member Posts: 1
    Over the past three years my 2003 Escape has hopped through intersections, red lights, and stop signs about a dozen times. First time was at the end of the first year. When my wife put the brakes on the pedal doid not want to depress even with two feet on it. The vehicle hops, shudders forward and doesn't want to stop. The one time I was a passenger I flippedthe gearship into nuetral, the engine reved, and finally stopped roaring when the accelerator was depressed five or six times.They told us the first time it was an accelerator cable problem, which they checked/changed because of a recall on that subject. The continuing problem has been sporadic and unpredictable and both the dealership and Ford Customer service say, " Can't do anything until we can reproduce and observe the problem." It has been getting more frequent in the last year. They claim to have gone over the accelerator cable etc. with a fine tooth comb and nothing is wrong with it. I don't know if it is a problem with brakes or what. Have found at least two other people on the internet who have experienced the same problem with Ford Corporate basically saying, "too bad, not our problem."It is damn scary when you come up on a red light and you don't know if the damn thing is going to stop or not. Any ideas?
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757

  • bluegoose62bluegoose62 Member Posts: 2
    When I set the parking brake the vehicle drives off as if there was no tension on the cable.The pads/shoes are fine (plenty of thickness left) so how can I adjust the brake to hold the vehicle still for inspection process ?
  • abide01abide01 Member Posts: 3
    i only have this problem after a rain storm. rust get's on the drum from the rain, but once i hit the brakes the first time and clean them off, the noise goes away. i'm loving my escape as well. bought mine in oct. 07. :shades:
  • jaz7jaz7 Member Posts: 4
    I recently had the ball joint replaced on the driver side. Now when I lightly apply the brakes there is a knocking noise. I have taken it back to the dealer and they can't find anything wrong. There is also a metalic sound all the time the car is moving. :confuse:
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Check the backing plate, it may be rubbing up against the rotor creating the metallic noise. Just bend it back a little so that it clears the rotor.
  • jaz7jaz7 Member Posts: 4
    thanks, i'll try that.
  • jcd2jcd2 Member Posts: 1
    I own a 2002 Ford Escape XLT all wheel drive with 103,000 miles. It has been a very reliable SUV. It is regularly serviced at required intervals. At 100,000 the spark plugs were replaced and all of the fluids were checked. Since then I have experienced an unusual brake problem. Without any warning my pedal goes all the way to the floor accompanied with a pounding feeling in the pedal. I have to use the emergency brake to stop. When I start out again in the car the brakes act normal. I took it to a Ford dealer for service. They checked the rotors, drums and pads and said nothing was wrong with them. They said there is a screen that the fluid goes through when the brakes are applied and it may have debris built up on it. So they drained all the fluid, ran cleaning agent through it and took the master cylinder and reservoir off, afterwards they replaced the fluid. For about a week we didn't have any problems. This weekend we went on a 500 mile trip and experienced the problem 3 times. My brake fluid is not leaking any place that I or the dealer can discover.
  • kelandkevkelandkev Member Posts: 1
    My 2003 Ford Escape does the exact same thing! We have put about $600 into it so far. New calipers, rotors, and brakes. New wheel barring. Still does the same thing. Nobody seems to know what is wrong with it. We are so frustrated right now. The only other thing we have been told is to check the CV and the axel. If you find anything out please let us know. We will do the same!
  • ima757hokieima757hokie Member Posts: 1
    Would you post pictures?
  • monjonmonjon Member Posts: 2
    Brake issues with a 2002 Escape XLT FWD 103k miles, even split between highway and city driving.

    Several months back I had a small tranny hose leak that sprayed fluid on the inside of the left front tire, the brake light came on at this time. When I applied the breaks at that time, they were very spongy and pulsating. A mechanic friend replaced pads and rotors (L & R front) at the time of the tranny hose repair due to warping from the fluid. Brakes were still spongy and now grinding after this "fix." Took it to a certified mechanic for a second look. He said the ceramic pads that were installed were inferior and he replaced with a higher quality, more compatible set. He also swapped out a break line, replaced the left caliper and replaced an ABS sensor as there was an excessive pulsating in the brakes. When I picked up the Escape, it seemed to be braking just fine. Off and on I could feel a slight pulsating in the pedal but nothing major.
    Over the course of about 2 weeks (the car is driven infrequently) I am experiencing on a very somewhat consistent basis: normal braking, spongy braking, a grinding sound when I brake, pulling hard to the left then the right when I brake as well as standing on the pedal and the brakes taking forever to respond. These incidents can happen all in the same 10-15 mile drive or over the course of several drives. It may be spongy only on the drive or the metal-on-metal grinding alone. If I feel the brakes are not really responding or the car is pulling to the left side, I can pump them several times and "feel" they are going to catch and know to apply them on that pump. Both left and right front brakes are making varied sounds: grinding and groaning. It almost feels like they are not catching or catching and holding. When I do stop, on occasion there is a hot or acrid smell, from either one or both of the brake areas. They are extremely hot to the touch when these problems have presented.
    Any ideas? I will be calling the mechanic to re-visit, I just would like an idea of what I am looking at here. Thanks.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Two questions...were all parts replaced with genuine Ford/Motorcraft parts? If you used aftermarket parts your problem may be there.

    Did the tech bleed the system, the spongy feeling and pull may be related to air in the lines. Make sure he/she purge the lines.
  • monjonmonjon Member Posts: 2
    Everything was Motorcraft parts and he did purge the lines. I have had to quit driving my Escape because the last time I applied the brakes, responsiveness was very low.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    I would check the following in no particular order:

    -Master cylinder
    -Brake booster
    -Proportioning valve
    -Brake hoses
    -Rear slave cylinders
  • lynnt2lynnt2 Member Posts: 1
    I have an ABS light on again, last year the right ABS was repalced, now the light is on again., The front end is noisy and 2 weeks ago we replaced both front wheel bearings. What is going on with this car, It has 43, 000 miles on it??
  • madmomof4madmomof4 Member Posts: 1
    I am the owner of a 2008 ford escape ~ bought vehicle off lease with 30K have already redone brakes with top of the line napa parts ~ ford has already reshimmed my rotors ~ car makes awful sound when braking from high speeds ~ front end feels all loose and wheel shakes ~ anybody have any ideas???? HELP please.
  • prgalprgal Member Posts: 6
    I bought my '08 with 25,000 miles last year (it now has 48,000) and it seems to have the typical Escape problems - seats that look like I have four toddlers (I don't), noises from every corner of the cabin, bad tires that have been replaced (I thought the front end was going out), just something all of the time, and now it's the brakes. Last week as I was driving on a two-lane road, hills and curves with no shoulder. I braked going down a grade into a curve and had a pretty unnerving experience as I wondered what in the world was going on with my brakes. it was like there was nothing there, then the pedal engaged again and the next immediate sensation was like that of running over a very rough "rumble strip", including the noise. I felt the vibration in the floor board. It actually felt like it made the car hesitate ever so slightly so I even wondered for a split second if it would go forward. At 11:00 p.m. on a dark road by myself 30 miles from nowhere, this was a pretty scary event, especially knowing I had lots of hills and curves ahead. The same thing happened one more time. My speed was probably 40 mph both times. When I got into town, the next event was at a stop light. I depressed the brake pedal, it engaged, then let go completely, then re-engaged and made the same noise/vibration. Of course, when I took it to my dealer, nothing is wrong. They think it might be in the anti-lock braking system, but no code showed up, so I'm out of luck until something fails. I called my insurance company to warn them...
    I'm about ready to trade. I want my truck back.
  • irishgixxeririshgixxer Member Posts: 5
    Good to know someone else has the same problem, I got this vehicle brand new (2008 model) as a company car in Apr 2007, within the first 5k on start up and within less than 1/2 mile the front left vibrates with a feeling that the brakes are pulsing on/off and when you apply the brakes they suck. Exactly the same symptoms as you describe.

    I had it towed to the dealers asap and no error codes where found, that was Jun 07, since then it has happened 5 times until approx Dec 08 but only on start up after 100 - 200 yards of driving but clears after 1/2 mile as usual, every time.

    I have just lived with it as it is a company car although it happened today and the brakes/traction control on the left groaned for a longer time than before , brakes grabbing and brakes where crap when applied. Sure enough it stopped after 1/2 mile (as usual) and the traction control light came on. I had to stop at a store and when I came out the traction control light was off and everything is all good.

    I called my fleet maintenance company and its scheduled to go in to a different Ford dealer on this Saturday, hopefully they will find something along its going to be hard to find as it is unpredictable. There is 48k on it now and :confuse: my company changes every 65k

    Weird Ford!!!!!!
  • prgalprgal Member Posts: 6
    It's great to know I'm not the only one - it is really frustrating when no one will believe you. Oh, by the way, I happen to be blond. lol
  • irishgixxeririshgixxer Member Posts: 5
    "really frustrating when no one will believe you", now there is 2 of us with the same issue/story. They probably won't find anything unless someone gets in a wreck or worse killed.

    Its going into the dealer on Saturday for investigation, I will let you know the outcome.

    Happy 'T' day!
  • prgalprgal Member Posts: 6
    Good Luck! Happy Thanksgiving Day to you too.
  • prgalprgal Member Posts: 6
    Here is a new one - just happened today. Driving at very low speed coming into my townhouse complex. Braking to round the corner and it felt like two metal plates sliding against each other for a moment, a slight "catching" sensation and then release. No grinding noise this time, just the feeling through the brake pedal. Have you had anything like this?
  • irishgixxeririshgixxer Member Posts: 5
    This is the problem I have, I am picking up my Escape in a few minutes but as usual Ford couldn't find the what is causing this issue.

    They did however for the first time see an error code stored in the system that shows the on-board computer turned of the "YAW Sensor". The YAW sensor I believe monitors the traction control movement and is somehow tied to the ABS brakes. The bad thing is they diagnosed the "YAW Sensor" and everything is OK.

    They are going to drop a message to FORD Engineering on Monday for advice but for now its tough luck for me and you until something permanently fails :(

    Back to square 1
  • prgalprgal Member Posts: 6
    Thanks so much for the update. I drove almost 400 miles this weekend and I just had a couple of issues at very low speeds like I explained before. So strange. Now it seems to be when I am braking and turning at the same time. I've given up trying to explain all of this to the service manager. I'll probably end up trading it off before a resolution to this problem is found.
  • 2fordmn2fordmn Member Posts: 2
    2001 Escape with 100,000 miles. When the temperature gets close to or below zero the brake pedal becomes hard. It feels like the pedal will only move about an inch or so. I have no braking ability. If I pump the pedal hard then the pedal returns to normal and I have power assist. In the below zero temperatures, when the car is parked in the garage there is no issue (it is probably 30-40 in the garage). But as I drive on the freeway to work I will loose braking. It is worst when it is sitting outside at work all day and then I will not have brakes right away when I start the car. Again if I pump the brakes the come back to normal. Not a good situation when you live in Minnesota.
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    The problem is the brake booster or the line going to the booster. Moisture could also be trapped in the booster or vacuum line to the booster and freeze.
  • 2fordmn2fordmn Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for your response. Would a change out of the brake fluid possibily eliminate this problem? Or possibly replacement of the booster pump. Is this something that the average mechanic could detect with some testing?
  • typesixtypesix Member Posts: 321
    Changing the brake fluid will not correct the problem. Describe the problem to the mechanic and he/she should be able to look for the problem, as this is not an unusual problem and can occur in any car with power brakes and is older. The booster may need replacement, or possibly the hose to the booster.
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