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Ford Escape Brake Problems



  • Well you are not alone - I have been dealing with the very same problem since shortly after I purchased my 08 escape over a year and a half ago!! I have had it back to the dealer 4 times only to be told that they cannot find anything, so I finally gave up on them. It always happens after I have slowed down to take a corner and then start to excellerate again. I am getting ready to file a complaint under the PA Lemon Law - I am taking the chance of having an accident especially if I am on slippery roads. I also have a problem with my 4-wheel drive - it doesn't want to kick in and only two of my tires will spin.
  • prgalprgal Posts: 6
    Thanks for your reply - Its nice to know there is someone else out there that understands, but I'm also sorry you are having to deal with this. I just have no confidence in this vehicle and after all of the years and hundreds of thousands of miles I have driven, this is first time I can say that. It is a mystery every time I step on the brake as to what reaction I will get - It is just unnerving to say the least. We have had terrible road conditions lately and stopping has been a nightmare. Like you, I am not impressed by the 4-wheel drive either. I have always driven a 4-wheel drive truck that has gone anywhere, not so much with this. Now I seem to be having electrical problems. What is next?
  • tlg144tlg144 Posts: 1
    My ford escape has 92,000 mi on it. Today I pressed down on the brake pedal and it went all the way to the floor. The brake light was on and I filled the brake resevoir up. It was low. Light went out but still had the problem. The car would stop, but you had to push it all the way down. I figuring it has something to do with the power brake booster maybe. Any help appreciated.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    Have you had your brake pads checked? Usually low brake fluid and light on means that the fluid is low because your pads are very worn, thus the piston in the caliper is extended. Never add fluid to reservoir unless it is to top it off "after" brake pads have been replaced or to flush out brake system. If the low fuid light is on your vehicle is trying to warn you that attention is needed to the brake system. Have your pads and entire brake system inspected or serviced, your life depends on stopping in time.
  • I've noticed in the recent snowfalls that when my Escape is starting to skid and traction control system activates it makes a really harsh noise....does everyone have that god-awful grinding sound?
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    That is the ABS pump doing what its suppose to do. Pumping/Pulsating very rapidly to slow the vehicle down without locking up the wheels. Normal operation.
  • dmeecedmeece Posts: 4
    I have an 05 Escape FWD and my ABS light has been on for s couple of weeks now. I get severe shuddering in the brakes every time I brake. I know that the ABS system is "thinking" that it needs to kick in and pulsating the pads to help me stop. The problem is I am just barely moving when it happens. Of course this occurs only when the light is off which is when I first get going from a stop. Once I get moving the ABS light comes on and the shuddering stops happening. I am assuming that there is a sensor that is going out that is causing this. I removed the fuse to drive without that occurring but once on the road I found that fuse also controls my mileage and speedometer.

    I was wondering if anyone knew how much this may cost me to fix?

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

  • Good luck on finding the root cause!!! I have brought my Escape back to the delaers 4 times over the last 3 years and each time "no fault found", it again happened on Saturday past. I pulled over, turned off and on the ignition and the problem went away. This even reset the warning light. :mad:
  • My 2004 escapes breaks great if you are driving in reverse...will stop on a dime. Going forward is another story. At slow speeds (under 25mph) it stops just fine any faster there is delayed breaking. After depressing the break pedal all the way if feel vibrating and the breaks just don't seem to grab. It feels like ABS but my mechanic tells me I do not have ABS on my car. My car goes approximately 10-20 ft before it evens feels like it will stop. Had a complete break job approx. 6 months ago, still did not seem right after break in period. Went back to the mechanic who then replaced the master cylinder, no change. Waited again to see if there would be an improvement during a break in period...none.

    I took my car back to my mechanic today, explained the continued problem, after checking the break system out completely and replacing the pads, turning the rotors, bleeding the lines, he thought I would be happy. To his disappointment I told him I noticed no change when test driving my car. He is stumped!

    If anyone has any ideas please let me know.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    Are you sure you don't have ABS? It sounds like ABS system acting up. What is the last 8 numbers of your VIN, I will check for you if you have ABS or not for sure.
  • The last 8 numbers of my vin are: 4DA04515
    My ABS light does not light up when I start my car which from what I understand could mean that it is either faulty or I do not have ABS.

    Thank you for your help.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    OK, checked your VIN and for sure you don't have ABS. My other suggestion is to have the brake lines bled to get any air in the lines or have a complete flush of the brake system.
  • vg33,

    Thank you for checking my vin number. I have had my brake lines bled 3 time in the recent past. 1 when I had the complete break job, 2 when master cylinder was replaced, 3 yesterday after another brake job, and my mechanic checking for any other problems he could find. It is so frustrating.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I am sorry that your mechanic cannot find the culprit. Only other components that could possibly be faulty are:

    Rt. Ft. Caliper #YL8Z-2V120-ABRM ($99.37)
    Lt. Ft. Caliper #YL8Z-2V121-ABRM ($70.30)
    Proportioning Valve #YL8Z-2B091-BA ($55.12)
    Power Booster #YL8Z-2005-AA ($210.07)

    These part numbers are specific to your Escape and those are its MSRP's
  • jvdx02jvdx02 Posts: 2
    I purchased a 2010 XLT Escape 2 weeks ago. I got all of 13 miles from the dealership when the ABS and Traction control light came on. Once I pulled over, turned off the car, turned it on again and then made a turn the lights went off. This has happened 8 times now. I brought the car back to the dealership for service. THey kept it over night test drove it all over the place and the best they could say was that they had to clear the lights and reset the trac system. Well on my way home the lights came on again! Does anyone have any suggestions?
  • tyatestyates Posts: 2
    our 2005 ford escape has had the grinding rear brakes we bought it used in '07. we have had them checked many times and told that is 'normal'. we have replaced the front brake pads every six months since buying it due to the pads being wore out. got the brakes and rotors replaced last september. just had them replaced last week (april 2010) due to high pitched noise (not during braking). was told the brakes had 'crystalized'. picked the car up from the mechanic and on the way home still heard squealing. mechanic said wait through 'break in period'. drove the car 20 miles and when got out smelled 'brakes', checked front of the car and no smell. rear brakes we smoking and could smell it really strong. worried that it might catch fire before getting it back to the shop. called the mechanic and he said might let some air out??? wth? a friend said that the back brakes are self adjusting and that i need to drive it in reverse and slam the brakes on a couple of times... doesn't seem safe to me! has anyone had this problem and can i do something about it or should i have it towed to the mechanic?

    thank you for any help! :confuse: :cry:
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    If your rear brakes were smoking and strong burnt brake compound was present after parking. Your rear brakes need to get checked out. Sound like the rear brakes are over adjusted or the rear cylinders are seized up open either way your shoes (asuming you have rear drum brakes) are constantly rubbing up against the drum, definately a fire hazard. One way you can check is by jacking up the rear wheels (one at a time) DO NOT put parking brake on and try to spin the wheel. If the wheel does not move then you have what I just mentioned. If the wheel moves from 3/4 to 1 and 1/4 turn, then your rear brakes are fine. Let us know what you find out.
  • tyatestyates Posts: 2
    ok, jacked suv up and tried to spin wheel, but only with alot of force. Have disc brakes in back, no springs. Can't see anywhere to adjust brakes? Any other suggestions, or should I take to shop?
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    edited April 2010
    Your Escape has rear disc brakes for regular braking, However, it also has separate rear brake shoes that are used for parking only. The center part of your disc brakes also acts as a small drum where the rear shoes are located.

    Were you by any chance accidentally driving with your parking brake applied, even just slightly? Other then that and having the parking brake adjusted too much would cause the smoke and brake burnt smell.
  • michelem1michelem1 Posts: 1
    I have an all wheel drive 2007 Ford Hybrid Escape.
    At 36, 600 miles the master cylinder went out. Brakes squishy, would not hold until pressed almost to the floor, very scary. Some surging and acceleration preceeded this problem. I took it in to the dealer, they said the computer said it was the master cylinder, which they replaced to the tune of $1,800. The car was just off warranty.
    This sucks. I am dubious about Ford escaping liability for replacement of that cylinder and braking.
    I live in Seattle, WA., if that makes it different from South Dakota. Hilly, but not exactly like San Francisco, and in the normal course of driving my routes are pretty flat. Any info about similar issues with your Ford Escape and any basic car knowledge about how long a master cylinder should last would be very helpful! Thanks.
  • We just had the traction control light show up on our 2010 Ford Escape limited. Car only has 5,000 miles. We tried to turn off the light with the manual override button...nothing. Thank goodness we immediately took the car in for service the next day. When the mechanic at the dealer took if for a test drive, the wheels on the right side locked up, car lost control - no joke. They had to replace a few sensory modules: AIr Bag Restraint system module, and the restriant control module. Not sure what those mean, but don't mess around if if that light goes on and won't turn off. Apparently it was so bad when it happened, it freaked the mechanic out pretty bad. Thank god we weren't in the car with the family!
    Hope this helps!
  • has anybody had trouble separating the rubber to metal brake line connection on a 2005 ford escape/mazda tribute? the front passenger side line blew, so we removed the line from the caliper, removed the spring and loosened the strut bolt to release the line, then removed the spring and loosened the rubber to metal line fitting, but we can not separate them, any tricks? or maybe we missed a step? any feedback would be appreciated. thanks 2.3l, auto, fwd, 105k
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    You should just be able to pull off brake line after removing the horse shoe locking clip. Perhaps a few twists to break the seal between the rubber hose and the metal line.
  • Good to hear this happened to a dealer as my brakes failed (only had 30% braking power) about 5 times already over 60k miles when the traction control light unexpectactly come on. Had it to the dealers twice and they where unable to find a faulty component. Sounds like in desperation they replaced a lot of stuff and also didn't find the true problem that causes this failure.

    FORD suck not being able to pin point the failure and letting consumers drive these vehicles, talk about Toyota having issues!

    Good luck, I hope yours doesn't re occur like mine. I am lucky as mine is a company car and we change @ 65k, 1k more to go whoo hoo!
  • $1,200 is a lot of money, but it could be worse.

    I have a 2006 Escape Hybrid with 101,000 miles. The ABS Hydraulic Control Unit went out. OK, 101,000 miles. I can see something going out. The dealer said the replacement part was $4,500 plus 4 hours of labor for installation. I paid $29,000 for the car. If you back out transportation, Dealer profits and overhead costs and Ford profits, SG&A, advertising, etc, I can't imagine the direct material cost on the car when sold was more than $20,000. And this one stinking part - which can only be bought from Ford - is $4,500. It's criminal what they charge. So, sorry about the Master Cylinder, but it could have been worse.

    At least I received a nice form letter reply from Ford when I complained about a part costing $4,500 though. I mean, no money or recognition that they were screwing their customers, but a nice form letter nonetheless.
  • m0582m0582 Posts: 1
    edited November 2010
    I'm having the same problem with my 2002 Escape
    did the master cylinder fix your problem?

    I have put 2 master cylinders, front calipers, front flex lines, front pads and rotors, rear wheel cylinders and rear shoes and I'm STILL having this problem. tha car will have good brakes for a couple of weeks and then one day i go to stop and the pedal goes right to the floor just like i blew a line. i come home crack the bleeder screw on the left front caliper get some air out and i'm good to go for a couple more weeks. the funny part is the brake fluid never goes down. even when i loose the brakes the level is still right on full.

    if someone can help please send advice, before i drive this thing to the scrap yard!
  • Today, my daughter's 2003 Ford Escape rolled out of it's parking stall and came to rest on the vehicle parked behind it. About a month ago, my boyfriend raised concern over the "ease" by which the E-brake applies. (Feels like no resistance when you engage it) I mentioned it to a mechanic who said he didn't think there was any issue with this..... hmmmm OK - I think there is!
    I searched and don't see any recalls. Does anyone have any info on this and is there a way to correct it on my own?
    The emergency brake was pulled all the way up (Between the seat brake) and the manual transmission appeared to be in 1st gear at the time. (When I checked, I had to move the stick-shift down slightly before it "popped" into neutral but, I'm guessing it must not have been completely in 1st gear.....either that, or it had popped out ? ??) Who know's - probably operator error there but, the E-brake clearly didn't perform it's job. Especially being the grade was so slight. Thank God, nobody was hurt! and, lucky for me.... no damage to either car.
  • davichodavicho Posts: 190
    First off I think you need a new mechanic!

    Lastly, you need the new mechanic to adjust your rear shoes. Your e-brake handle should have resistance and only go up about 1/4 of the way up.

    Good luck!
  • Did anything ever happen with your car? The same thing happened to us last night. My husband crashed into a pole to stop the car. He and my four year old daughter are okay. The car is now totalled, going to the scrap yard, and I want answers as to this phantom problem. There was a recall in 2008 on the ABS sensor. I took the car in. They gave the car the green light. I am having trouble digesting this, because the problem seems as if it were cased by the ABS sensor going out.

    I am grateful the only injury was caused to the pole he crashed into. The air bags did not go off either.
  • My husband crashed our 2002 Ford Escape XLT into a pole to stop the car. He and my four year old daughter are okay. The car is now totalled, going to the scrap yard, and I want answers as to this phantom problem. There was a recall in 2008 on the ABS sensor. I took the car in. They gave the car the green light. I am having trouble digesting this, because the problem seems as if it were cased by the ABS sensor going out, as all four brakes did not function at all for that moment. Today, and the vehicle still was full of hydrolic fluid, as well the brakes WORKED!!!

    I am grateful the only injury was caused to the pole he crashed into. The air bags did not go off either.
  • I have skimmed through the postings here hoping to find a solution or peace of mind for my mom. She has had her license for many years and her 'claim to fame' is never having had an accident or speeding ticket and now within 10 days she has had two accidents. The first one we chalked up to bad weather and icy roads (which now I am not sure was the cause), but the second we could not blame on road conditions. In both cases she had to forcefully apply her breaks and the car did not stop. I am wondering if the breaks on her Ford Escape did not engage or any other reason her vehicle did not stop. She recalls a shuddering and vibrating feeling when forcefully applying the breaks, but from what I can read here that would be the ABS kicking in. Does anyone have any answers/suggestions??? I refuse to believe this was careless driver error....
  • Did you ever find the cause? Mom has had what I am convinced is break problems with her 2008 Escape?
  • Is your mom's Escape a hybrid or non-hybrid? The non-hybrid has a regular non-complicated braking system. The Hybrid has a very complicated braking system that (in my judgment) has a bug.
    I ultimately resolved a long conflict about my vehicle (FEH 06). I used it as trade-in on a Focus. I'd filed a failure report with DOT previously. I'm sure any glitches with the brake system will get repaired under the warranty for the new owners.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    I had a mother just like that. Sorry to say, it was always her fault. If she felt the vibration and pulsing of the ABS kicking in, then the brakes were working fine, and she was skidding. She probably didn't know that.
  • psimonepsimone Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Ford Escape that recently blew a front passenger brake line (the rubber one that connects the steel line to the wheel caliper). After closer inspection, it was an accident waiting to happen. The line was cracked and deteriorating, as was the one on the driver’s side – which I also replaced before I ended up in the newspapers. I searched for recall information because I cannot believe I am the only one with this problem. There are no service bulletins, and the local Ford dealer tells me this has not been a problem that they have seen. I do not see this as a routine maintainence item like brake pads. As a side note, however, they did tell me that their parts shop does supply and and sell quite of few of these lines to other car parts stores – somewhat ironic and confirmed by my local auto parts “guy”.

    After a quick search of forum, I found a couple other people with this problem, but they were just asking about how to repair and not if this is an ongoing issue. I think this must be an ongoing issue. What say ye others?
  • gzcgzc Posts: 2
    My 2004 Escape did the exact same thing this week. Front passenger brake line blew. When I told my mechanic that this seemed like a rare occurrence he said he has seen it on other Escapes (this shop services a company with a fleet of Escapes). He recommended replacing all brake lines because the others were also cracked. I've never heard of anyone having to replace all their brake lines for fear of bursting. Is my mechanic right in his advice? Is Ford ignoring a known safety issue?
  • I have a 2004 escape and I have replaced the brakes at 3 times in the last 15 months. The calipers, rotors, lines, most recently the lines were replaced last month. tonight I was going through Mcdonalds stopped at the first windo no problem. Went to the second window and zero brakes!!! I wonder how many people have died??
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    According to NHTSA, looks like nobody has died. I have owned 7 Escapes, still have 2 06s, with 80,000 miles on them, no brake line problems, in hot and dry Las Vegas. Not saying it hasn't happened at all, but not sure it's universal either. Or maybe the problem has been corrected on newer models. The oldest ones I have had have been 06s.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    Are you having your brakes replaced at a Ford dealer? seems to me that they could tell you what is going on. Did you buy the car new? If not did you check it out with car fax? This could be a rebuild. I know if I took it to Ford and it went through 3 sets of brakes in 15 months that they better tell me why and then fix it.
  • Interesting...I also have a 2010 Escape...though it's XLT 4WD 6 cyl. It's got almost 17K on it now. Engine and transmission was pulled at 8K miles for multiple oil leaks. The past few months the traction control light randomly turns on for no apparent reason and the brakes don't seem to want to work upon start up in the morning. They feel "tight"...have no give at all until I frantically start pumping them. Have to cut vehicle sharply to turn when backing out of my garage in the morning and actually hit the a tree to stop the vehicle cause the brakes didn't stop it a few weeks ago! Now I've simply gotten in the habit of pumping them them before even putting it in gear. Last week I get an oil the local Ford Fastlane...and I'm told my battery is dying and should be replaced. Seriously? What next? I absolutely love the ergonomics of this vehicle but am feeling I may have purchased a dud.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That's just awful! I'd be beside myself as well. I've had 8 Escapes since 2006, every one of them has been flawless, and I've had all V-6es but one, plus one Hybrid. I have two 2010s. Not a bit of trouble. But lemons do happen, and I'd try to get Ford to take this one back. It sounds like it just has bad Carma... :P Seriously, Your car is not right.
  • jaz7jaz7 Posts: 4
    I have a '04 Escape XLT. The brake warning light comes on, When the car is started, as it's supposed to. But doesn't go completely off after the car has started. It just goes very dim. It can hardly be seen at night and can't see it at all during the day.
  • canuk3211canuk3211 Posts: 1
    My wife has also had her brake pedal lock up 3 times now on our 2004 Escape 4x4. The most recent incident was a few days ago. As she was approaching a stop sign with cruise control engaged, she tapped the brake pedal to disengage the cruise control and found the pedal would not move even an inch. She attempted to depress the brake pedal 3 or 4 more times using more and more force. On the 4th or 5th attempt the pedal finally responded but she was applying a large amount of force by that time and nearly put our daughter through the windshield as the brakes responded. This is a scary and dangerous situation. Ford dealership and local garage cannot identify what is wrong. Did either of the previous posters find out the root cause of this problem?
  • rwiseman1rwiseman1 Posts: 3
    The brakes on my 2010 Ford Escape 4x4 still periodically continues to 'lock up', however, I've never had it happen while driving forward at any speed. It always happens at vehicle start up when I'm first taking off. I've learned to automatically pump the brakes before I even put the vehicle in drive so I know if it's going to happen. There's absolutely no consistency with the problem. Sometimes it happens everyday for a week and then it'll go a month and not happen at all. I've had one situation where the cruise control wouldn't engage...just simply wouldn't...but then a 1/2 hour later when tried it worked just fine. Ford replaced the battery on mine a few months ago and that seems to have fixed the random traction control issue I was having.
    I had a 1997 Ford F150 that I drove for 13 years prior to owning the Escape and experienced the same brake problem your wife experienced. Ford first claimed it was the mats getting up under the pedal (they were the factory ones!) but then they replaced something to do with the speed control tied to cruise a few times on it and I believe there was a recall with the could catch on fire.
    Sad to say, but I've learned to just keep a journal in my car writing down the date and time of everytime the issue happens. Figure if I'm ever in a bad accident it's documented by me as well as at the dealership.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    its probably just a weak ground< not an indicator of imminent failure.
  • I am just in the process of buying a 2004 xlt-I am taking it in on weds to get it cked out. I did a search for recalls and seen that there was a recall for a wiring connector to the abs module. Maybe that has something to do with it.
  • I have an 08 Escape 4 cyl, 2WD, 88,000 mi. On dry pavement, started having intermittent traction light with very weird feeling like brakes were randomly being applied.... then ABS light came on and could feel brakes pulsating when applied.... intermittently. After doing some research on the Internet, I found the problem to be a cracked ABS tone wheel. Spent a good part of one day replacing it. Since they are prone to cracking due to corrosion, I CAREFULLY sprayed (don't want to get it on the brakes) all of my ABS tone wheel areas with corrosion inhibitor. Hopefully, preventing it from ever happening again.... I may spray them occasionally.
  • Could you tell me approx how much it is to replace front rotors and pads for the 2005 Escape XLT AWD. I'm having them done in a few days and wonder what to expect. Thanks.
  • gzcgzc Posts: 2
    I paid $830 at a local repair shop. The dealer would charge more, I'm sure.
  • gbs1043gbs1043 Posts: 5
    You need to immediately negotiate a buy back on that vehicle..Time to get tough .. Don't let Ford get away with this. That is completely abnormal for those vehicles. I have a 01, 4WD with a V-6, that has 210,000 miles and have never experienced any of the problems you are talking about..If I were you, I would be PISSED !
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