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Ford Escape Hybrid Battery Pack Questions



  • imcooknimcookn Posts: 7
    That is very interesting. Did you know that Ford is demo testing Escape Hybrids with an additional battery for plug-in operation? I did find that Flex fuel models have also been evaluated I think in California. Now if they could include operation with Natural Gas that would be great! :)
  • mseitz1mseitz1 Posts: 1
    Did you ever get any resolution to this problem? I have an '06 Escape Hybrid and it is doing the same kind of thing you described. My local mechanic has punted and is passing the buck to a nearby Ford dealer. My local mechanic 'thinks its either the battery or the computer' but after reading all this on the Escape Hybrid I'm thinking it's the battery. My only hope at this point is that the mileage is only 96,000 and we're supposed to be under extended warranty. I don't want to think about Ford coping out and telling me I have an $8,000-$10,000 repair ahead.

    How was your situation handled?
  • imcooknimcookn Posts: 7
    Please take a look at Wikipedia's article about nickel-metal-hydride batteries. It notes that virtually all the hybrid vehicles are using NMH batteries. I have not heard of any major problems with Toyota, Honda, etc.

    As I suspected the article points out that the life of the battery is largely dependent on how it is charged and the handling of their temperature. Most of us probably thought that the job of the computer was to handle the balance between the electric and gasoline power sources. While it does do that, more importantly with regard to the batteries, it handles the recharging of the batteries and control of temperature. That said, there should be a method to check to see if the CPU is doing a correct job. There may even be a monitoring program with history that could be viewed.

    I will spend some time to see what the IEEE publications report about this since I am a lifetime member.
  • You might check a TSB for this (battery problem msg on dash display). I found out about one that fixes a false positive with a battery problem. It seems that something is wrong with the harness (they replace it for free up until August 09) and, if not repaired, can give the exact same symptoms that you describe even tho there is not really any problem. This TSB is not one that notifies owners -- you have to find out about it yourself.
    Check it out.
  • ajsparkajspark Posts: 1
    This reply is re: alice612's post:

    "according to FORD PR people - I am the first consumer to have a ford escape hybrid battery die on me- I have 120 thousand miles on my car. Its 4 years old. One day last week a triangle with an exclamation mark popped up and the message was- pull over safely- I turned off the car and when I turned it on again the message disappeared- this happened 4 more times for the next 50 miles till I got to my Ford dealer- 165 dollars and an hour later I was told the battery was going and it would cost $8,000.00 to replace."

    I second both the last post and the one before it, regarding the recall for the HV battery harness and the necessity for temperature control.

    I purchased a 2005 FEH with 37K this past December (becoming its 3rd owner) and it now has just over 40K. Within a month of buying it, I got the message "Stop Safely Now" on the display, and one morning it just plain wouldn't start. We replaced the regular battery (which is a special "low voltage" battery, available only from Ford dealers for over $100). That fixed the problem (but I sure I wish I'd known about the DC-to-DC downconverter that's covered by the 100K warranty - that may have been the problem, and will have it checked Monday to make sure it's working).

    Anyway -- two days ago, while driving on (Thank God) a deserted 2-lane freeway with shoulders, 30 miles from my destination, the engine stalled with the aforementioned red triangle and exclamation mark. I coasted off to the shoulder, switched off the engine, sat for 10 seconds, turned the key, it started. 5 minutes later, same thing. Every five minutes, or even less, I was pulling off, turning off, turning on, continuing. SAME SYMPTOMS AS ALICE612.

    I noticed that my HV battery charge was pretty low, however. So I decided to try just driving on the shoulder at a lower speed to charge the HV battery, but then the engine got too hot. So I let it cool, went back onto the freeway at normal speed. I made it to my destination after 6 or 8 pullovers, and called the local Ford dealership.

    The Ford dealer immediately said, "Were you aware that THERE'S A RECALL for your FEH? STALLING ISSUES ALMOST ALWAYS INDICATE THAT THE RECALL WORK HASN'T BEEN DONE YET." They apparently notified the original owner (see link below), but he either didn't tell the 2nd owner, or 2nd owner failed to inform me.

    I made arrangements to take it in the next day (i.e. yesterday), with the understanding that, if the recall work hadn't been done yet, it would take a half-day to do that (they need to pull out the HV battery to replace the harness). The diagnostics would cost about $150, and if my problem was JUST the harness, I wouldn't even have to pay that.

    He called me a few hours after I took it in, with "good news and bad news". Good news, the recall work hadn't been done yet, but was done now. Bad news, that wasn't my only problem. I had 2 other issues: 1) the HV battery needs to be vented to keep the temperature down, and the pump wasn't working. 2) there's an "actuator" that senses the system's status and controls the various components, and it wasn't working, either.

    So my problem was multi-faceted, maybe more complex than yours.

    There's more info and good discussion here:

    Bottom line: FIND A FORD DEALER THAT KNOWS HYBRIDS, and can give you a knowledgeable analysis of your $165 diagnostic readout. And make sure you get that recall work done ASAP. Good luck!
  • bow45bow45 Posts: 21
    I recently found out that Ford Extended Service Plan (ESP), even with the most expensive plan (PremiumCARE), doesn't cover high-voltage battery :confuse: (it does cover other hybrid engine components though). So Ford ESP is useless in this regard. :sick:

    Does anyone know the aftermarket extended warranties that cover high-voltage battery?

    Thanks. :)
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "I recently found out that Ford Extended Service Plan (ESP), even with the most expensive plan (PremiumCARE), doesn't cover high-voltage battery (it does cover other hybrid engine components though). So Ford ESP is useless in this regard.

    Does anyone know the aftermarket extended warranties that cover high-voltage battery? "

    The traction battery carries a federal warranty of a minimum of 8yr/100K, and 10 yr/150K in CARB states. That is longer than the ESP runs under most circumstances. So there is no point in having it covered under ESP.
  • >> After 1/2 hour or less of driving the vehicle will no longer go into EV mode.

    I've had this same problem, twice. 2005 4WD 56K miles. The first time it was the air conditioning compressor, the second the rear AC line. The compressor was covered under ESP, but the rear AC line was an uncovered $750 repair.

    The AC is required to keep the battery cool when outside temps get above 65 or so. When it overheats it goes into a 'limp-home' mode until it cools again. That's what you're seeing, but maybe not for the same reason.

    I'm trying to convince Ford that if a part is vital to keep the hybrid operating, it should be covered under the hybrid warranty. Ford won't sell a hybrid without AC, for this very reason.

    Wish me luck, I wish you the same.
  • wisillwisill Posts: 9
    Your posted message indicates your electronic coolant pump (found on the passenger side of the engine compartment not far from the hood brackets and is black in color and a little bigger than a soda can) has failed--a known issue with these vehicles after 50,000 miles. The second issue is the blend door acutator failure. This is the device found on the driver's side of the rear cargo area that opens and closes the vent on the drivers side rear cargo window. This is a known issue also. The hybrid battery is designed to be maintained at a certain temperature and if it goes out of specification, the vehicle can go into limp mode.

    Other owners have reported on these issues at other forums.
  • bartbbartb Posts: 2
    just got back from FOMOCO about the same problem, the vehicle shut down without notice, a stop vehicle safely, message came on. got it to dealer the cooling pump for the ev computer had burnt out (not covered) I asked how can this be, It got to hot was the answer I checked around in the manual to find out about a cooling unit for the pack in the rear. On the outside drivers side rear disguised as part of the rear window is a vent, this give fresh air to the battery what the fail to tell you is that there is a filter about 6x4" that fills with all sorts of stuff, it is located inside on drivers side upper quarter panel there are 2 covers to remove (snaps in/out) and there is at least some of the problem. It is refered to as a cabin filter. The dealer didnt even check it
  • bartbbartb Posts: 2
    Many hybrid owners seem to be having the same symptoms as I do. Not being able to find answers to what should be routine problems, after all the techs are trained to find all the problems -right.
    Something that is overlooked often is a "cabin air filter" that is not really a cabin filter, it is for the fresh air to the bat pac. On the rear drivers side is a vent disguised as part of the window - that gets air to the actuator and to the bat pac There is a filter accessible inside the rear drivers side panel below the outside vent its about 4x6" and must be kept CLEAN this can also lead to the fan failing and also, Im told, the computer pump failing. Most service people ignore it or do not know about it. When you remove the 2 covers it is supposed to slide out, be prepared -be very prepared for what you may find in there. After getting a new one at a local parts store (about11.00) replace it and close up the covers, remove the rug and see if any thing is in the bottom, there is a plastic cover that has to be removed (easy) check its not clogged and replace.I hope this may help many out there from a costly repair Purolator Part number C25571
  • I just got my 2005 escape back from Ford garage after getting same message. I couldn't get it to run at all. They replaced the switch on the battery pack in the back($700) the coolant pump behind the bumper in the front ($300) the 12 volt battery ($115) and the harness on the rear batteries ($17). The harness also had a $300 labor charge, In total it was $1764 to get it back and took 2 weeks.
  • Sorry that should have been 2006 with 53,000 miles
  • I found this article that gives you some idea of the possible lifetime in miles that FEH can last.
    Company Information
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    Ford Motor Company’s year-to-date hybrid sales are 73 percent higher
    than the same period in 2008, fueled by the introduction of hybrid
    versions of the 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan
    More than 60 percent of the sales of Fusion Hybrid are by non-Ford
    owners – with more than 52 percent of those customers coming from
    import brands

    Numbers of Ford Escape Hybrid taxis growing on streets of San
    Francisco and New York where vehicles in service have exceeded 300,000
    miles since their introduction
    Ford hybrids help “green” federal government fleets
    DEARBORN, Mich., Oct. 14, 2009 – Ford Motor Company’s hybrid
    vehicle sales have risen 73 percent this year in sharp contrast to a
    14-percent decline in hybrid sales across the industry.

    The fuel economy and durability of hybrid versions of Ford Fusion and
    Escape, Mercury Milan and Mariner also are winning over large numbers
    of conquest customers, many of whom are previous import owners.
    Through September, Ford has sold 26,016 hybrid vehicles, up 73 percent
    versus the same period in 2008, according to figures from Autodata Inc.

    “Hybrid customers increasingly are considering Ford,” said David
    Finnegan, Ford hybrid marketing manager. “More than 60 percent of
    Fusion Hybrid sales have been from non-Ford owners, and more than half
    of those are customers coming from import brands, mostly from Toyota
    and Honda.”

    Ford’s strong 2009 hybrid sales have been fueled by the introduction
    of the Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan hybrids, the most fuel-efficient
    midsize sedans on the road. Both vehicles deliver a certified 41 mpg
    rating in the city and 36 mpg on the highway, topping the Toyota Camry
    hybrid by 8 mpg in the city and 2 mpg on the highway.

    Durable and fuel efficient
    While the introduction of the Fusion Hybrid has spurred sales from non-
    Ford owners, Ford’s longest-running hybrid nameplate, the Escape
    Hybrid, has proven particularly popular with Ford customers operating
    taxi, lifeguard and government fleets due to the combination of fuel
    efficiency and durability. The front-wheel-drive Escape Hybrid
    delivers 34 mpg in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway, making the
    most fuel-efficient SUV on the market.

    In 2005, San Francisco became one of the first cities to adopt hybrids
    into taxi service, with hybrids accounting for 14 percent of its
    current fleet. Each of the original fleet of 15 Escape Hybrids
    exceeded 300,000 miles per vehicle before being retired and replaced
    with more Escape Hybrids. There are almost 200 Escape Hybrid taxis on
    San Francisco’s streets today.

    New York has more hybrid taxis in service than any other city in North
    America with 13,237, of which more than 2,000 are Escape Hybrids. The
    Big Apple recently has begun retiring its original fleet of Escape
    Hybrids put into service in the 2005 model year after accumulating
    300,000 and 350,000 miles per vehicle.

    “We’re extremely pleased with the performance of the Escape Hybrid
    in taxi service,” said Gerry Koss, Ford’s fleet marketing manager.
    “Not only have they proven very reliable, they’ve also saved taxi
    drivers money on gas and contributed to lower tailpipe and greenhouse
    gas emissions in the cities that use them in taxi fleets.”

    “Greening” the federal government fleet
    Government fleets also are seeking cleaner, more fuel-efficient
    vehicles and hybrids are filling that need. In 2009, federal agencies
    have purchased more than 3,000 hybrids from Ford, more than any other
    automotive brand. Included in the sales were 1,900 vehicles acquired
    through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for the purpose of
    improving the fuel economy of the federal fleet. The U.S. Army was
    the single largest purchaser among the government fleets, acquiring
    400 Fusion hybrids.

    Saving lives and conserving fuel
    In 2008, Ford began delivery of a fleet of 45 Escape Hybrids to the
    Los Angeles County Lifeguards, a division of the Los Angeles County
    Fire Department, for use on rescue patrol along 72 miles of Southern
    California coastline. After the first 11 months of service,
    lifeguards reported that Escape Hybrids had played a crucial part in
    thousands of rescues and more than a million rescue preventions at
    L.A. County beaches.

    The Escape Hybrid fleet enabled L.A. lifeguards to reduce their entire
    fleet’s fuel usage by 25 percent – more than 5,000 gallons of gas
    – during the first six months of service. That fuel cost savings has
    helped L.A. County to maintain its critical front line staffing
    despite the economic downturn.
  • My grandfather was a foreman at Ford dating back to the 1920's. I am a huge supporter of new technology and had no problem paying more for my 2006 Ford Escape to support Ford in its development of the hybrid vehicle. However, I was just informed today, after taking all maintenance recommendations of Ford dealers for 4 years regarding the hybrid battery that at 120k miles (with $10000 left of financing) that my hybrid battery needs to be replaced to the tune of $8000.00!!!!! t $8000.00 is significant and absolutely unacceptable for any auto repair or replacement at anytime!. I was supposed to close on a house on May 15th but my downpayment may be made to a Ford dealer instead! for repair so I can get to work! Unacceptable. Ford needs to step up and support it's early supporters of its new technology.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    edited May 2010
    "However, I was just informed today, after taking all maintenance recommendations of Ford dealers for 4 years regarding the hybrid battery that at 120k miles (with $10000 left of financing) that my hybrid battery needs to be replaced to the tune of $8000.00!!!!! "

    If you live in a CARB state, the battery has a 150K warranty. If you live in one of these states you are in luck.

    Map of CARB states.
  • kratekinkratekin Posts: 2
    Does anyone know where the fan is that cools the rear battery my 2005 escape hybrid has a noise that sound like a clutch fan going bad and it does it when it hot out and i am thinking maybe it is the rear fan but i don't know where its at.
  • kratekinkratekin Posts: 2
    I have a 2005 ford escape hybrid and after reading some of the post on this site i have found out that there is a fan that cools the battery in the back.Every now and then in the summer months i hear a sound that sounds like a clutch slipping on an Ac compressor but the Ac up front is fine.I am now thinking it is the fan for the back battery but i don;t know where it is if anyone has an idea of where it is at please let me know.Also if you had the same problem and know of something else it could be please let me know, I also did not know there was a filter for this in the back but i did check it and it was dirty.Please email me with any information that will help.
  • What is a CARB state and which states on the map you provided are carb states.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "What is a CARB state and which states on the map you provided are carb states. "

    The CARB states are in color on the map. Those states have a longer hybrid system warranty (10 years / 150K miles).
  • Sorry for the loss unaccept1able. It is unfortunate that you owe that much after four years.

    Might I suggest closing on the house, then telling the car finance people to come get their car (as not to wreck your credit until you have the house).

    Then you might have to get a bike to ride to work, much greener way of getting there.
  • aeromech1aeromech1 Posts: 1
    edited August 2011
    The following is a "how to" on changing the battery fans in a 2005 FEH. The fans ARE NOT under the battery warranty at this time. The kit that was purchased from Ford is 5M6Z-10C659-A. The price is around $250 for both fans.

    Here's the narrative:

    My buddy Darrin owns a 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid. Recently, his wife experienced an error message while driving that ultimately lead to a fault with the battery cooling fans in the rear of the vehicle. These two fans actually live inside the large (220 pound) battery pack under the rear cargo floor. For this vehicle the fans are not under the battery warranty and the dealer wanted more than $800 to replace them. Darrin and I decided to give it a try ourselves. The fans cost Darrin around $250 from the dealership and the part number for the replacement kit is: 5M6Z-10C659-A. Inside the kit you get the two fans, some ty-raps, and a couple other small items. Detailed instructions are also included. We read the instructions but ultimately didn't follow them word for word.

    We saw that the instructions called for removing the battery assy from the vehicle but we did find a way that the battery fans could be replaced without taking the whole assy out.


    Notice the top of the battery. It has two separate top covers. The rear cover is above the two fans and can be removed with the battery in the vehicle. The first thing you will want to do is turn the orange switch to the off position which disables the battery power. Then you can lift straight up on the switch now and rotate it further CCW to the shipping position.



    There is an exhaust duct on the aft left side of the battery that needs to be removed before the rear cover comes off.


    Now you'll need to remove several self tapping screws from the top rear cover. They are T30 tamper resistant torx screws


    Once you get the top rear cover off you'll find that it is attached by two grounding cables. Remove these so that you have better access.


    Now you should see that two fans and their top cover. Remove the top cover from the fans.



    The two fans are mounted the same on each side. You'll find 4 nuts holding them down. Remove the nuts with a 10mm socket. Looking at the forward part of the fan you'll see a thin top cover held down by two small self tapping screws. Remove this cover. Cut several ty-raps securing the wires and then disconnect the quick plug for the fan. Each fan also has a green ground wire you'll want to remove as well.


    Now, here's the tricky part (it's not that bad). You're at the point where you want to pull the fans out but they won't come aft because in front of the fan exhaust is a 4 inch tall black plastic stanchion that supports the top lid. Simply grab the stanchion with some channel lock pliers and pull it loose to get it out of the way.



    The fans should now come out of the battery assembly. Installation is the reverse. If you need help or have more questions you can email me at
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 4,098
    "The following is a "how to" on changing the battery fans in a 2005 FEH. The fans ARE NOT under the battery warranty at this time. "

    The fans ARE covered under the hybrid warranty. Ford dealers were inputting the wrong codes for the repair, and it was coming up as unauthorized. In fact, Ford lists the fans as a part of the battery pack, and their manuals say to treat them as one item. When that is input into the Ford system, it comes up as a covered item. I believe that Ford has updated the information to dealers, but I have some doubts; they would rather have the customer pay than to cover the repair. Anyway, if the dealer input the battery pack (which includes the fan), then it was covered, if they just listed the fan assembly, it was not covered.
  • Not sure if this message is read by many, but I used these instructions to replace the fans in my 2005 Escape Hybrid (with 276,000 miles on it) and they were 99.9% accurate! The only issue I found is the removal of the self taping screws on the fan shrouds. The instructions don't make it clear that you remove those screws AFTER you remove the fans out of the battery pack, other than that, great instructions! kudos to kratekin for the great detail! Thank you, my Escape is now operating at peak efficiency again!
  • wilcoxwilcox Posts: 583
    edited August 2013
    Thanks to stevedebi for their great posting. Also to chartierpw.
    FORD will give you a diagnostic saying your fans need work, but watch out.

    We started a road trip and the STOP SAFELY message appeared. We'd wait a while and restart and drive like 20 miles and it would reappear. We turned around and limped back home...about ~20-30~ miles each time we let it rest for a while and restarted.

    I slightly suspected maybe it was a water cooling/pumping problem...due to touching some rubber hoses under the hood. Anyhow, we got him home and morning of next day I drove it to Dealer (with no incident).
    The gave me report that we needed water pump and fans needed replace.

    The estimate was astounding! $1,400.00 I couldn't believe it. I took the vehicle home and did some internet research. Found in another hybrid forum discussions about this phenomena and made decision that the lack of coolant caused system to overheat, thus I think the computer listed cooling fans not working - replace.

    Made several attempts to try and get the fans performed under warranty - no dice. Like above, the computer does not want to recognize the fans as Hybrid unique. (but they are really).

    Well, I bought the water pump ($125) and installed it. It is an electric pump unit and bolts on to body under the radiator. A 12 yr. old could replace it with proper tools.

    After replacing h2O pump everything has been okay. I hear the fans whirr and we have had no more STOP SAFELY messages for a year and a half since then. Everything seems to be okay, even in these hot summers.

    Ford Service people should be reminded about the post above this. The fans are inside the Hybrid Component (battery pack) and are suppose to be covered, but it's like pulling teeth to convince a Service Dept. whose never come across how to look it up properly. They think the computer is always right.
  • Thanks aeromech1! That saved me a lot of $$ (about $800) on Ford labor. I've now replaced all the battery cooling componets I can think of. They include:

    1) Electric coolant pump (by radiator)
    2) The cooling fans (thanks for the pics)
    3) The cooling door actuator (known as blend door actuator)

    If anyone else needs to change the door actuator. Here are the steps (sorry forgot pics):
    a) Pop off the lower rear hatch plastic (no screws, just pull up)
    b) Pry the driver rear plastic towards the inside (no screws, just pull)
    c) Use block to hold plastic covers back

    You'll need a 7/32" or 5.5mm wrench to get to the small screw in the back (there are 3 altogether). The last one (top left, towards the exterior) is tricky, not really enough room to work.

    Anyway, once screws are out, pull the actuator motor out (again, tight squeeze but it will come out). The white keyed plastic lever will fall out, this is OK. Now, here are the 2 "tricks" to get it back together.
    1) Turn interior positioner fully counter-clockwise with screwdriver
    2) Reposition the white lever in the down position (about 8 oclock) against the positioner. TRICK: Use a small piece of scotch tape to hold it

    Now you'll be able to put it back together. Without the tape to temporarily hold it in place, it will never work.
  • CARB stands for California Air Resources Board and is obviously only California.
  • OK. I want to thank all of the posts here. It is now 2016 and I have a 2007 Escape Hybrid. 2 years ago I purchased this vehicle at a very discounted price because of the "wrench" trouble light. This was fixed for about $25 plus a couple hours of my labor to replace the blend door. A few months ago I started to notice reduced MPG and occasionally really sluggish response from a full stop. Using Scangauge II the DTC of P0A81 showed up. I replaced both fans in the HV Traction Battery compartment per aeromech1's instructions and everything is now great!! The replacement took me about 2 hours without removing the entire battery per aeromech1's instructions.
  • My 2008 Hybrid battery is dying at 55,000 miles. I drove in L for a month to see if I could get it to charge better. These batteries are a bunch of cells in tubes. Some of the tubes fail. My advice DO NOT BUY A FORD HYBRID of any type. The batteries are sub standard and Ford will not stand behind them. Mine ran out on time. (8 years). Ford knows the batteries will fail and are ignoring the problem. Other hybrids are getting 10+ years and over 250,0009 miles on their batteries. If you have a Ford Hybrid you are a guinea pig for their battery experiments and on your own. Make sure you take your dog with you when you drive your FORD. That way you will have company when you have to walk home.
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