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Ford Escape Electrical Problems



  • greg_bagreg_ba Ottawa, ONPosts: 4
    greg_ba said:

    Great vid. I think 1st I'll double check the ground & maybe tie a new one to an area on or near the the starter. I'll test for drainage via the fuses & failing that maybe add a toggle switch for the battery...Tks again..

  • greg_bagreg_ba Ottawa, ONPosts: 4
    edited December 2016
    Since this Escape has almost 400000 km on it, less $$ & thought the better. Installed a kill switch on the NEGATIVE Terminal and enough length of cable to make it inconspicuous, outside of the vehicle. Added a "keep alive" (for PCM, Radio clock, etc) which plugs into the accessory port (same as lighter) has a 9 volt battery included. All works well....we'll see..., and about $50.00 Canadian for everything.
  • I just recently bought an '02 Escape to replace my older Subaru Outback that I used to run around town. I went about 3 days without starting it and found I had an almost dead battery. I had just replaced the junky after market radio the previous owner had put in it with a OEM radio I found on Ebay. I noticed in the dark, through the window, that the little green lights that illuminate the face of the radio were on with the key off. I went through all the recommendations here to find the problem, but still had about a 350 milliamp drain without the key on. When I pulled the radio and pulled the connector loose, the drain dropped to about 80 milliamps, they say 50 or below is ideal. When I pulled fuse F2.27 (inside fuse panel, driver side to the left of your left foot) and plugged it back in (key off) I heard the radio hum for a couple of seconds like the cd player was loading. (Note that the radio did not work with the key off, but you could press the clock button to see the time telling me that another wire other than the hot wire was used to give the radio a signal to turn on) My solution: I pulled out the cigarette lighter socket next to the radio hole, unplugged it, taped the connector with electrical tape. I bought a little toggle switch at Advance Auto ~$4, AutoCraft #AC85924 (Home Depot has them, diff. number) that would snap into the 1" hole left by the lighter socket. I found the hot wire ( key off) on the radio connector, disconnected negative terminal from battery, cut the wire behind the connector leaving enough room to crimp on two inline connectors and ran the hot wire through the toggle switch. (I had all the crimping connectors) Now to turn on radio with the toggle switch. My battery has held a 13 volt charge for about 24 hours after charging it overnight the night before. I noticed when I turn on the radio with the new switch the time reverts back to 12:00, and the station reverts back to 530AM. Based on that, I believe the radio is supposed to have power to it to maintain the time and last station, but my radio may have a fault in it that keeps it illuminated and maybe activating the CD or Cassette player, thus draining power. A better solution may be to find a wire from the ignition that only becomes hot with the ignition on to power the radio. That setup may required an inline fuse for safety. There may be another problem besides a possible fault in the radio, but I'm a cheap skate and not going to the dealer to have them change parts to find it.
  • So I ended up having to replace the engine I had the top end redone on last year. Cylinder #2 died and that was it for that engine. I managed to pick up an engine with only 36K on it. I was just starting to like this car again and now the alternator is going. The usual ABS light came on, radio started turning on and off and lost all dash lights story. I can honestly say I have sunk 10Gs into this vehicle over the last 2 years. I hate this vehicle, I only drive it in winter to keep my Cadillac off the road till summer. Escapes are a joke, I think if I left the keys in the ignition and a case of beer on the seat, only the beer would be missing the next morning!
  • I have a 2005 ford escape came back from cleveland and the battery light came on and off and it started putting up hills and over 55 now i go to drive arpund the corner battery light comes on and off then all the guages go no radio or turn signals i park it disconnect battery and my altenator is still working but my windshield wipers go haywire. .but when i go to turn the key back on with the battery hooked back up its fine but once it idles for 2 min guages go radio goes again and battery light comes back on please help what is wrong with this truck?
  • I have a 2006 Ford Escape hybrid. I have lowered gas mileage around 26 mpg. When turning key off I have a shutter then shut off. Recently replaced battery and spark plugs. Now I’m hearing a tapping noise after driving for a while when I’m idle coming from rear. 
  • To escape_solved, a word of thanks. I think I'm now the 3rd person to verify that your "sweeping gauges" fix worked for them. I have a 2003 Ford Escape and its instrument gauges would randomly sweep full scale, then back to zero, then back to a proper indication. The engine seemed to misfire when this happened. It took it to Autozone and their OBD reader showed no record of misfires, nor did I have an engine-check light on. I went to one website that gave me a Ford generalized maintenance bulletin about various electrical issues. Testing the grounds is what they had you do. I did it all to no avail. I did have excessive ripple across my battery (AC voltage) of around 100 mV. Autozone said the alternator tested bad. I replaced the alternator, then Autozone retested it and found it good. The ripple came down to about 30 mVolts. The sweeping gauges issue did not go away after that. (Bummer). Then I saw your post about replacing all the coil-on-plug packs. I became convinced that it was probably the cause since two other people thanked you for helping them also. I replaced all 6 coil packs and Bezinga!, the instrument gauges sweep no more! Apparently these old coils (one person said on a site that their ancient spark plugs caused their gauges to sweep, but mine were only 1&1/2 years old) somehow strobe the drive control computer with RF Interference up the control lines and cause it to go into a power-on reset state. That's why the gauges sweep, they behave as if you just turned the ignition key and started the engine. Anyway, thank you very much for your help.
  • papapdmpapapdm Posts: 1
    My 2012 Ford Escape. (Flex Full)
    Issues with dash lights, air conditioner and radio.
    Dash lights get brighter or turn off and on perioticaly.
    Factory radio and cd player gets all staticie when it rains and both play and sound normal when it is sunny.
    My ac; below 70 degrees ambient is the only time the compresser turns on. full of refrigerant, all relays and sweitches are good. The brain thinks it dosen't have a turn on signal , as if the switch is off.
    I was wondering if there is a common wire to all these components that could be loose or corroded?
    I also had a trail hitch put on along with a U-Haul wiring harness, put in by a U-Haul shop.
    I disconnected it from the power source.
    No Joy.
    Any help out there?
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,278
    The dash lights getting brighter and turning off and on, is this occurring during the day or at night? Maybe both?

    The sun load sensor circuit reports to the body computer and HVAC systems (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) how bright the sunlight is and of course whether it is day or nighttime. While it's need to inform the system when to turn the headlights on and off is easy to understand, it also is an input for the dash lights as well as the AC system. This is far from the only input in these systems but it is common to all of them. You'll need a technician who has a scan tool (preferably the O.E. Ford IDS or an Autel Maxi-Sys) that can communicate with all of them to see just what the modules are getting from their various inputs and how effectively they are sharing that data.
  • StuMStuM New YorkPosts: 1
    sandral1 said:

    I have a 2009 Ford Escape. Last winter.... Should I just go ahead an replace the circuit (cluster?)

    For anyone reading this, my Ford Escape 2001 V6 has lots of quirks, and I've solved all of them. Mine had a parasitic drain overnight on the battery, which turned out to be in the dashboard instrument cluster. More specifically though, it was this:

    When you put the gearstick in PARK, the little digital display on the cluster has a rectangle that's meant to move over the "P" to indicate PARK has been selected, so you can then remove the key and exit the car. But in mine, as it's an old car with 200,000 miles on it, the little rectangle often doesn't stay over the "P" anymore and instead with the weight of the worn gearstick, drops down somewhere between "P" and "R" and disappears from the display. When this occurs, the car computer fires up systems because it's being told the car's still active. So overnight, the battery gets drained. Just because of this stupid little rectangle on the dash not staying locked on the "P" symbol. Was a nightmare to eventually track it down, but without the worn gearstick staying in "P", it instantly becomes a clear cut battery drain and drains my new battery over a day or two. The solution is to pull the top plastic cowell off the steering column, and access the tiny flimsy switch at the base of the gear stick itself, and find a way to fix or replace it (not something I managed to ever figure out - complex and hard to access) which is meant to tell the display the car's gear selection ACCURATELY, and replace it. But if you go to Ford, they'll just rip the whole steering column out and replace that at huge cost for one tiny switch, which I can't justify on an old pig like mine, so I just make certain the gear stick ALWAYS shows the digital rectangle over the "P" before I am happy to leave the car for the night, so there's no battery drain. One solution that did work for me was to gum it up with even more very thick grease than was currently there, and it made it stick better for a time.

    I hope this helps someone.
  • joan3705 said:

    We have a 2004 Escape 4x4 xlt. Our dome light will not go out and our door ajar light (which is a picture of a car, and it's all red and there is no indication which door is ajar) is not going out either. Has anyone had this problem.

    The open doors on the car picture indicate what side of the car and the position the switch is on. I have the same issue and cleaning the door locks doesn't work. Also new door lock actuators are expensive and they are where the door ajar switches are housed as they are a single unit.
  • ronbo77ronbo77 Posts: 4
    jelco145 said:

    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.

    had the same issue -- turned out to be the RADIO. replaced with a used one from salvage yard --- all good now!
  • ronbo77ronbo77 Posts: 4
    replace your Radio --- I had the same issue
  • Dash Going Blank under high RPM. Why? 2005 Escape 6cyl, 4x4, >150k miles. After much (kinda fun) testing, I have narrowed it down to RPMs ~3500-4000ish. The entire dash cluster goes down - LCD screens are blank, all needle gauges go to zero. Stays like that until RPMs drop. I originally thought it was when the auto trans downshifted, then just "under acceleration", but after dozens of experiments in various gears, the only constant is high RPM. Right about ~3500 RPM it all goes dark. Engine runs smooth throughout, automatic shifts (up and down) are normal, no loss of steering or brakes. When RPMs drop, it all comes back on.

    Battery was replaced in November (so almost 10 months). I loosened/re-tightened terminals and both ends of cables just to be sure it wasn't a loose ground, no change. No Codes, no Check Engine Light.

    Any thoughts appreciated
  • thecardoc3thecardoc3 Posts: 5,278
    I like your handle. When you make a living wrenching you learn that tackling issues that you have never seen before is normal and most attempts to simply guess what is wrong with a given car based on what may have been seen before without doing any testing is a sure way to fail. What you need to learn is to be disciplined, gather information and use critical thinking skills as you develop a plan for the problem at hand. There are some steps that will be repeatable portions of any routine. The first one is to connect a scan tool and pull codes from every module on the car. So, has this been done and if so what codes were found and in what modules?

    Critical Thinking Skills. The next step is to take the codes (if any) and see how they relate to known system behaviors as well as the behaviors that have been observed. Your description of the problem based on a given rpm range is part of the direct observation portion, learning (knowing) things like that if the system voltage goes too high or too low can cause different modules to shut themselves down is the other. One of the things that needs to be discovered is how well does the instrument cluster communicate information to other modules and the scan tool both under normal conditions and when the trouble occurs.

    So this sets the stage to gather the first round of information. Tell us what we would have found and know at this time and I'll help you figure out what you need to do next.
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