Ford Escape Electrical Problems

beakerkitbeakerkit Member Posts: 1
edited July 2015 in Ford
I have a 2004 escape and the running lights (just the head lights) are flickering, when I turn the lights on full the problem goes away. It's a constant flashing even when I step on the gas. Can anyone help? Thanks

See Also
How to Diagnose Car Electrical Problems by Tracing Voltage Drops (Popular Mechanics)


  • 2escape2escape Member Posts: 2
    I have an 06 Escape XLS FWD 5-spd mnl w/37K on it. This morning, my wife goes out the car and hears a faint beep/buzzing sound. She opens the door and there is a steady high-pitched buzz. We open and close the doors, turn the engine on and off, activate the security system and then deactivate it. This goes on for about 20-30 minutes (may have been going on all night). Then, it stops.

    Anyone have any similar experiences? Thanks.
  • 2escape2escape Member Posts: 2
    duh, replying to myself on the "beep, buzz" problem. The problem occurred on the second consecutive day, same problem, same time, same result. On the third day, I unlocked the car manually with the key in the door, the same noise appeared. We figured it out! In the back section of our Escape was a box of old bicycle parts in which there was a "horn" that was going off. Duh.......sorry to anyone trying to help us out with the problem.
  • jelco145jelco145 Member Posts: 5
    My 2004 Ford Escapes battery , if not run will go completely dead in 2 to 3 weeks. I hooked up an amp meter to find that .12 amp is being drained. I then removed all fuses one at a time. The only one to make a difference was #27 which has the following in it's circuit:audio,cluster lamps,interior lamp,maplamp,cargolamp,datalink connector and GEM. After removing that fuse the current dropped to .02 amp. Observations: the radio is off,no lites are on. I do not know what the datalink connector or the GEM are. Thats where my troubleshooting ended. Any information/advise would be appreciated. JEL.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    GEM stands for General Electrical Module and it controls pretty much all the dash electrical functions. I am not a technician so I dont know whats causing your problem, but I do work for a Ford dealer and we sell quite a few GEM modules that go bad. Not necessarily for Escapes only but modules non the less. I would get it checked by a Ford dealership, perhaps that is the culprit of your problem.
  • mfennmfenn Member Posts: 3
    I have a Ford Escape with no owners manual. My rear wiper stopped working and I wanted to check if it was a blown fuse. There is a fuse box under the hood as well as at the foot of the passenger. There is no diagram showing the back wiper and either fuse box lid. Does anyone know which fuse box and which fuse it may be so I can check it.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    What year is your Escape? Trim?
  • mfennmfenn Member Posts: 3
    It is a 2006.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Sorry, mfenn my part catalog does not tell me what fuse goes to what, you will have to do it the hard way and pull every single fuse out and check if any of them are blown. sorry!
  • mfennmfenn Member Posts: 3
    No problem, thank you for replying and trying to help, I appreciate it.
  • ksmartksmart Member Posts: 1
    We just bought a 2001 escape and have the exact same problem! Did you ever solve the problem?
  • 68pony68pony Member Posts: 1
    2001 Escape would not start (could not even turn key in ignition) Was told to push the "manual" gear shift to turn starts! We took it to the shop and were told to have a fuel pump installed...did. Same fuse continues to blow (not right away, sometime 2 weeks, sometimes 2 days) We were told by a guy at Autozone that we needed a new alternator, maybe. Took it to the shop they agreed, butbefore doing the work, they called and said no not alternator, you better take it to the Ford dealer, because..... Help
  • lorrainellorrainel Member Posts: 1
    My 2008 Escape started on FIRE due to an electrical short in the headlight area. The car had been off and parked for 2 hours and just started on fire on the front drivers side area. We put it out with the hose. When the fire dept arrived and looked it over as best they could at 10:00pm they believed it was caused by an electrical short. Our Insurance agent claims he couldn't find anything that could cause it to be Fords Responsibility. Why would a 2008 just start on fire and it not be covered under a warantee? Any thoughts on this?//
  • ladydi081565ladydi081565 Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Escape. While driving, everything electrical shut off. It made this wierd clicking noise. The battery was completely dead at this point. Replaced it. Then we were told to change the alternator. Did that. The shop we have it does not know why it still has the same problem. Something is draining the alternator. Ford can't even explain it. Can anyone please help me out? :cry:
  • brattanyabrattanya Member Posts: 1

    Hopefully someone here will be able to help me. I bought a Ford Escape 2006 with 44 000KLM on June 11th 2009. July 1st 2009 the alternator blew. The dealer changed it no cost. August 15th the alternator blew again... I noticed every time I use the remote starter (Ford manufacture installed) this seems to happen. The first time the alternator blew, a few days before the battery light would blink on and then shut off. This time, I automatically started the truck, walked up to it and herd a ticking sound in the engine, about 10 mins later my ABS light came on, my gages all stopped working, my cd exchanger was flipping from one cd to the next. I stopped the car in the shopping center and it would not start up again. Half an hour later my husband started it up, got it home. Our dealer is saying its the alternator, but what car blows two alternator's in 2 months???? Anyone else had this problem?
  • nikpttnikptt Member Posts: 1
    We have a used 2006 ford escape xlt (v6 and at 76 000 KLM ) and it won't start. It was working fine all day with the battery light going quickly on once. Then my gf used it to go to the store and came back without problems (although she did say she went over a bump on the way back home). Just as she turned off the ford she noticed the battery light, so she got curious and tried to start the car. Turned the key and all she was that dying battery sound and then a cranking noise, then nothing. If it was the battery, nothing in the car would be able to turn on....riiiiight??

    We researched on the internet and couldn't believe how many people are having problems with the alternator O_O
  • jelco145jelco145 Member Posts: 5
    Update on my battery drain problem (sept.28,2008) Dealer replaced the GEM module, but if not driven for about 2 weeks, the battery will be so deplete that it will not operate the door locks! This is the third battery, GEM replaced, and the alternator replaced.The ford garage suggested hooking up a trickle charger ! They said they cannot find a problem.. I have owned many vehicles and have never experienced any thing like this. No help from Ford either>I had two vehicles in storage last winter from november untill april, and they both started after sitting nearly 5 months. Anyone out there with the same problem?
  • woodlawoodla Member Posts: 1
    Wonder if your dead battery problem was solved. This is my second Escape and both had exactly your complaint. After 2 weeks parked the battery is guaranteed completely dead. My 2001 had the same issue. Dealer can not solve either car's same problem. So much for Arlington Heights Ford shop. Am on the 3rd battery but only a battery tender keeps it starting. Winter is really scary without the tender since it sits on my driveway. I believe I drive frequently enough although not every day. Dealer would only keep my 2001 for 5 days & refused to wait 2 weeks. They said they checked everything and I've metered for a passive battery drain but found nothing unusual. You mentioned the GEM module. What is this? We left on a vacation for 2 weeks last summer, came back to my completely dead Escape and my wife's 2004 Crown Vic started instantly. And she's on her original battery.
    I've like Fords but this is my last Escape, for sure. Maybe my last Ford. I must have been nuts to get the second one but figured the 2001 was a freak. They I have found they must have made alot of them! And apparently dealers are no help.
  • raa1raa1 Member Posts: 16
    Hello, anyone had problems with the Airbag light flashing on and off for about a minute then staying on while driving. Sometimes it stays on while driving for weeks only to go off by itself and stay off for a couple of weeks. The patern repeats itself all the time. Help please!
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Two things that come to mind from personal experience.

    1) If you travel without a passenger in the front seat but set stuff down there (i.e purse, bag, lunch box, lap top, etc) the OPDS (Occupant Position Detection Sensor) thinks there is a small child or a passenger lighter then 60lbs in the passenger seat without a seat belt.

    2) I know that on my 2004 Escape Limited there was a recall done pertaining to the SRS light flashing or staying on back in 2004 or 2005. The fix was as simple as intalling a believe a new connector underneath the seat.

    Hope this helps.
  • raa1raa1 Member Posts: 16
    Thank you, will check with Ford and see if there is a recall on this for the 02 models.
  • marrinabmarrinab Member Posts: 1
    The 02 Escape had a recall on the ABS module melting down and causing a fire.
    Type "ford escape electrical problems" in you search bar... the problems are outrageous at best.
  • tstimpfletstimpfle Member Posts: 2
    I am having the exact same problem as you described. I was wondering if you ever got this taken care of? I just had an alternator put in and a new battery. If you would let me know how yours worked out it would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks and Merry Christmas ( if you celebrate it )
  • ashley44ashley44 Member Posts: 6
    Our Escape recently started to have a power blip while driving, it wants to stall, but doesn't. The first time it happened the "Theft" and the "Check Emissions System" light came on. Several days have gone by and it has happened twice again. Seems to be electrical? I ran the diagnostic "push SET to check systems" button and it came up okay. Then, while parked I ran it again and the messages started scrolling automatically (you usually have to hit the button for each check message). Two messages beeped: "check Emissions" and "Charging System". Any clues for what is causing this? I've made an appointment with the Ford dealer, but they are booked until after New Year.
  • aremparemp Member Posts: 1
    I am having similar issues with my 2005 Ford Escape.

    I have about 130,000 km on it. Got my battery replaced for the first time last winter.

    However, since the summer, I have had to replace the same battery 3 times now. (All under warranty, so that is ok.) The current battery is less than 3 weeks old now and if the vehicle sits more than a day it wont start.

    I noticed that taking short little trips wears out the battery it seems. It turns over when I start it, but it struggles. If I take long (200+ km) trips, then it will start no problem.

    I also noticed on the highway that my lights dim. They seem to fade out (not off) slowly and gradually so that it is barely noticeable, but then for whatever reason they kick in again and I realize I have been driving with my lights on at about half strength.

    The altenator was checked a few months ago, and they found nothing wrong with it.

    I was going to have it replaced, but am worried this may not solve my problems.

    Wondering how anyone else here made out with getting their altenators replaced.

    If you could email me, it would be much appreciated.


  • steverstever Guest Posts: 52,454
    Please don't ask for "personal" help via email. We all benefit when a problem is discussed on the open forum. Thanks.
  • ashley44ashley44 Member Posts: 6
    Just to let everyone know what has ensued: After taking the Escape to a Ford dealer, they seemed eager to check out the alternator ... go in that direction. Frankly, after reading much on the web about people and similar Escape situations, I shot over to an AutoZone, had them read the codes and none appeared...none. The person at AutoZone said that the majority of issues like this she'd seen over her tenure were all traced back to faulty plugs. I then decided to hold on the Ford service until my next scheduled maintenance--a few weeks from now--when they'll be changing the plugs anyway. Incidently, the problem hasn't occurred since the last episode. But I did call Ford and share the Autozone comment about the plugs with them, and they agreed saying that if Autozone's code check hadn't produced any faulty codes then Ford's wouldn't either. When I mentioned my service documentation not ever showing a change of plugs in over 5 years, save a problem I once had just after purchasing the Escape--a bad #6 plug was replaced and its coil sprayed cleaned (was causing horribly bad starting and sluggish acceleration after only 10 or so thousand miles) Ford did offer up the fact that they use 100K plugs and that would have been the reason for no plug changes. For now, I'm going to put my money on the plug change which will occur in three weeks or so. I'll also, as a matter of course, have Ford check out the starter--a diode was mentioned as a possible culprit, also battery, which in my case is pretty new--and then I'll check back in here and share with the chat folk.
  • emagpiesemagpies Member Posts: 1
    Just had this same thing happen to my wife's '05. Had the battery checked, it was okay. Was just about to tackle changing the alternator and thought I'd better read a little to be sure something like this wasn't out here.
    I guess I'll take the alternator back and see what the local Ford place has to say and get back.
  • tstimpfletstimpfle Member Posts: 2
    I put in a second battery and it ran for about 2 hours. The shop ( licensed Ford Dealer ) has it now and there are changing the alternator again. This is the third in about 4 months. The first was bad out of the box. I also purchased the supposed top model alternator. They have run diagnostics and say that they cannot find a problem. Having read about other people with similar problems I believe it is something wrong with the Escape and will more than likely trade it in. I would like to mention that all of the replacement parts have been covered by warranty , so I guess it is a good thing that it burns things out so quickly. lol
  • bobbiebryantbobbiebryant Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Escape and on 2 or 3 occasions, I would be driving and suddenly all of the dash and headlights would noticeably dim for just a few seconds. Then everything would go back to normal. I have tried to force this to happen by turning all the lights on and the radio all the way up. The battery is new. can anyone help?
  • vg33e powervg33e power Member Posts: 314
    Looking for someone that knows for sure what could be wrong with my Escape. I installed an HID kit on my Escape and it works great, I lost my high beams because I got the non-hi/low HID kit. However now my foglights do not work. I checked the fuses and I know for sure that the installation is correct because I followed it step by step. The HID bulb is using the low beam connector/power because when I switch it to high beams the HIDs turn off meaning that they are not using the high beam connector to get power, therefore, it is not a matter of my switch being in the high beam position which turns off the foglights.

    There is power to the foglight switch because it still illuminates and all other lamps (parking, turn signals, stop, back-up and HID (headlamps)) are in perfect woking condition. Any help or suggestions???
  • dimefandimefan Member Posts: 1
    I'm working on a 2005 Escape 3.0l one of the coil packs has been replaced but the miss returned, I was asked to look at it, the miss is on the #4 cylinder I have tested it with a known good coil and have no spark, I have power at the connector but no spark at all. I can unplug the connection and it does not change the miss, if I unplug any other coils it get worse so I have traced it to this spot, but even with a known good coil it makes no difference. Any suggestions?
  • sara28sara28 Member Posts: 1
    Not sure If you had the problem resolved, but I had something very similar happen to me. I had driven to Texas over the Holiday and on my way back the engine light came on and started flashing. I thought maybe I had gotten some bad gas because the car would drive fine for a while but then it would sputter. Made it about 30 miles from home the theft light came on and the car stopped in the middle of the highway. My mechanic determined that my catalytic converter had burnt out all but 2 coil packs. Once I had everything replaced, the car was been fine. Unfortunately I was about 2000 miles past my warranty (78,000 ). I read some place else in this forum where there was a similar problem around 78,000 mi.
  • ashley44ashley44 Member Posts: 6
    Thank you for the info. I meant to post what ultimately fixed my "theft light and engine cut out," which continued to unpredictably happen, that I and others have wondered about here in this chat room.

    For my particular problem, it was this simple:

    I had all six plugs changed. Ford installed new 100 kmile platinums. The old ones made it to over 95,000 before konking out. Along with this, to avoid a large bill in the future, just in case, and at the suggestion of the Ford rep I dealt with, we replaced the three rear spark plug coils. It has driven perfectly since.

    There is one thing I can alert everyone to: make certain your Ford dealer has connected everything correctly when finishing up. Mine didn't! I got the check engine light this time, one day after picking the Escape up from Ford. Kind of threw me. But after reporting the light to them--just a light, no engine problems whatsoever--Ford said bring it back in. I did, and I have to say they were honest about this--the mechanic who had done the job left one wire dangling and disconnected. I was charged nothing, and the truck runs almost as good as the day I purchased it (2005). That's it ... that's all!
  • toby36toby36 Member Posts: 1
    My daughter has an 05 , 75k miles, same problem as dimefan, #3 coil pack. New plugs , checked wires etc. no change
  • erich101erich101 Member Posts: 1
    Problem: 2005 Ford Escape 3.0L, V6 started having shifting issues, especially when shifting between 3rd and 4th gear...more like an stuttering motion, miss, or hesitation. The anti-theft lamp came on while registering a diagnostic trouble code (DTC) B1601. Problem became more pronounced when traveling long distances or when in heavy traffic. A few times when close to the final destination, the car would stall when coasting about 35mph at the moment the accelerator was pressed.
    Solution: There where actually 2 problems that needed to be addressed, though they work to perform the same function. 1. Ford has a service proceedure for this hesitation/anti-theft light issue. Without going into too much detail about what was done, ultimately all (6) spark plugs need to be replaced and the code cleared from the system. 2. Found 1 of the ignition coils failed to respond properly to the PCM/ECM similar that of the spark plugs. Both issues were responsible for the engine failure while driving. No DTC code was present for this issue because there was no power, the DTC simply thought the car was turned off.
    I hope this helps those of you who have similar problems, which may save you both time and money.
  • macpropsmacprops Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 ford escape that just got a new battery and alternator. Now the dome lights, map lights radio, remote door lock don't work.The door locks only work with the key in the ignition and when I start the car both the speedometer and rpm gage needles swing over to the extreme right, then settle back to the left. And lastly when I remove the keys from the ignition, the trip meter returns to zero. Any thoughts?
  • 412escape412escape Member Posts: 1
    I've got the same issue. Other than the lights dimming I don't notice any loss in power, but, it seems to cycle (dim a bit then back on) and I only notice it at night. It may be happening all the time, but, the lights give it away for me. Did you learn anything about the possible cause? Has it escalated? I know I shorted a CD changer remote years ago and I always thought that was the cause of my electrical weirdness.


  • gregugregu Member Posts: 2
    I have a 2002 Escape. Battery dies if car sits for 10 days to two weeks. Some evidence that drain is coming from CD/Instrument cluster but no proof. Lights on dash dim. One Ford dealer had no clue, but alternator is working and the battery is onle 4 months old. Seems that the problem is common and no one has a solution!
  • jelco145jelco145 Member Posts: 5
    I have the same problem with the battery going dead. I charged my battery 9 days ago (100%) and it is dead. I've gone thru three batteries, one alternator and had the GEM module replaced, and it continues to occur. My local Ford dealer is of no help. The service manager told me to hook up a trickle charger when it is parked and I told him that I stored two other vehicles from November until April in a non heated garage and they both started without charging or jumping. I know that it's not all escapes but I cannot resolve this issue. Mine is a 2004 Escape XLT and has only 19000 miles.
  • apdehnapdehn Member Posts: 1
    So my problem started a few days ago. It has not been consistant so I am having a hard time getting it diagnosed. I am very stressed because I am a single mother and can't afford much. My car has alot of miles about 90,000. It is an automatic 2005 ford escape. I put my car in park and went to take the keys out. The keys would not come out of the ignition. Then, I was able to move the gears from park to drive without pushing on the brakes and the car was turned off. Once the car turned off (after a couple minutes the radio turned off) then I was able to take the keys out and the shift was locked. I need some ideas. The shop told me it would cost atleast $400 to find out what is wrong because of diagnositc testing. Help me!
  • normkolnormkol Member Posts: 135
    It could be the shift interlock failing, that would have to be checked.

    Also, the ignition cylinder on the Escape is known to fail, the sidebar locks up.

    It should definitely NOT cost $400 to diagnose the problem. Find a good mechanic, or even a good automotive locksmith to look at it.
  • reklaw2010reklaw2010 Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem from a drained battery. I didn't try the remote door locks though. I did notice that the ding for leaving your key ignition does not work either. My Escape is a 2003 XLS. I've owned the car for 4 years not and seem to remember the guage needles swinging to the extreme right once before but i don't remember how i solved the problem. I did check all the fuses labeled "lights" or "radio" and they were good. Soon as i find my meter i am going to check the rest of the fuses. I do remember having blown fuses once before but I don't remember if i had this problem during that time. Any help from anyone would be great or macprops if you figure this one out please let me know.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 North Central OHMember Posts: 17,742
    i would look for a fuse that is related to those functions and test it. you can look in the owners manual to find out which fuse.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • ping84ping84 Member Posts: 3
    edited July 2010
    i just had to replace my battery now then battery light want go off and my radio stopped working along with theft alarm>anyone had this same problem?
  • ping84ping84 Member Posts: 3
    mine seems to be close to your problem. i had to replace battery but now battery light wont g off and my stero stopped working and theft system took it by advance auto to test it and they couldnt get nothing so i dont know what i need to do.
  • gregugregu Member Posts: 2
    similar meltdown. dash lights flashed, radio went on-off, car died. Towed to dealer. Dealer said alternator was bad--had it replaced --no problems since then.
  • ping84ping84 Member Posts: 3
    ok i have replaced battery alternator and all bad fuses but my battery light still want go off but everything is running fine any help with this would be greatful. dealship cant seem to find nothing wrong. it died on me so i reolaced everrthing!!!
  • hopeful12hopeful12 Member Posts: 1
    my '05 Escape as of yesterday stopped shifting. The Gear shift moves fine but no matter what gear i shift it to it remains in First because the gear indicator on the dash reads its in first weather its in park or drive or whatever.and at times the gear indicator will quickly flash from first to second and back or first to reverse and back or first to park and back all the while its sitting in park.It drives but only in first so no acceleration over 20MPH. I checked all fuses and have been told possibly it could be a sensor but no lights come on saying check engine??Does any one know of this happening, please help I absolutly cannot afford to buy a new transmission and this is my only source of transportation. :sick:
  • davichodavicho Member Posts: 190
    Could it be your transmission position sensor...#6L8Z-7F293-AA $80.11
  • jp1980jp1980 Member Posts: 1
    I'm currently having the same problem with my 2004 Ford Escape. Trip meter resets every time the ignition is turned off; auto door locks only work when key is in the 'on' position or engine is on, radio doesn't work; dome light do not work; and all dials swing from minimum to maximum than back to minimum before settling at their normal resting point (for example with gas). Checked fuses - all good. Any help to lead me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated as I don't want to get done in by a garage "looking" for the problem. macprops - were you able to resolve your issue?
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