Ford Escape Transmission Problems: Which Years Are Safe?

Ford Escape Transmission Problems: Which Years Are Safe?

The Ford Escape, a staple in the crossover segment ever since it hit the ground running in 2001. The Ford Escape is a comfortable, roomy, and well-balanced SUV crossover. Many are happy with their Ford Escapes. But, some couldn’t wait to see the back of it. The Ford Escape transmission problems are a nightmare to deal with.

They plague quite a few years of the 2 decades this car has been on a production line. Here, we’ll take a closer look at which years to avoid if you are looking at buying a Ford Escape. Moreover, we’ll then discuss the best model years that you could consider if you’re buying used. In addition, we’ll look at these problems in greater detail.

This entails looking that the Ford Escape’s gearbox issues and analyzing what’s wrong. On top of that, we’ll look at how you can fix these issues, and what Ford’s done so far to remedy them. This, alongside plenty of other details, such as the symptoms of these issues. And, insights on the technical service bulletins and recalls

A Short History Of The Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is a small front-wheel-drive SUV crossover that was first introduced in 2000. Ford introduced it for the 2001 model year. It was later known as the Kuga or Maverick. It was a joint venture with the Japanese car manufacturer, Mazda, with the Mazda version being the Mazda Tribute.

The Escape and the Tribute were largely similar under the shell, only the roof and floor pressings called both cars their home. The Ford Escape has had 4 generations to the present. From late 2006 these were only available in the North American market following the termination of the collaborative approach.

Ford issued a number of recalls for the Ford Escape. The most prominent was a recall of over 380,000 units in 2014 due to a faulty subframe design that was susceptible to rust. This applied to models made between 2001 and 2004. However, this isn’t the only issue that Ford has had with the Escape.

Since its inception, the Ford Escape has been pained with transmission issues. Gearbox problems were most apparent in the first generation. However, new generations did not completely strip the likelihood of the Ford Escape transmission problems.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems

The most common fault that owners have reported with their Ford Escape is transmission problems. But what issues were people having? Well, the stories vary but the majority of owners (60%) reported that, at one point or another, the Escape would suddenly stop whilst it was being driven.

13 owners reported that this happened alongside the transmission warning light coming on. To further add to these reports, most users stated that these issues were occurring with 80,000 miles or lower on the odometer. With some unlucky users having issues at 20,000 miles, long before most transmissions are due to fail.

The other proportion of reported issues were also gearbox-related issues, namely the car not changing gears as desired, losing all acceleration, and other miscellaneous issues. Many stories related to the car stopping whilst being driven. Some owners reported this both in traffic and in the middle of a highway.

Others had to make their way to their destination in intervals as their car would repeatedly cut out with no warning. An unfortunate few had to make the final leg of their destination in the passenger seat of a tow truck.

How Do Ford Escape Transmission Problems Compare To Other Models

So, we have established that Ford Escapes have frequent transmission problems. But how does this compare to similar models? If we compare the Ford Escape transmission problems to other SUVs like the Pathfinder and Enclave, it does turn out that the Ford Escape is typically less reliable than other models of similar use.

With less than half the number of total issues reported in regard to the car, the Pathfinder is found to also be much more reliable with its gearbox. While some owners reported having to replace their transmission, a lot less of the proportion of total issues were found to be in the gearbox.

The Enclave gearbox problems occurred at 80,000 miles, similar to that of the Ford Escape. If you are in the market for an SUV, it is worth investigating these models too. This will ensure you get the best value for money.

Symptoms Of Transmission Problems

While all these symptoms could suggest potential transmission problems, the best way to confirm it is by seeking professional help. Having your Ford Escape regularly inspected by a qualified mechanic can identify minor issues before they escalate, saving you from significant expenses and ensuring your car’s longevity.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #1: Subtle Shifting Changes

A well-tuned transmission should shift smoothly and effortlessly, whether you’re in automatic or manual mode. If your Ford Escape suddenly starts exhibiting changes in its shifting behavior, like jerks during gear changes or hesitation when shifting, these could be signs of potential transmission issues.

These symptoms often precede more severe transmission problems, so addressing them early can save you from costly repairs down the road.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #2: Unusual Noises

Your Ford Escape’s silence when shifting gears is a testament to the car’s solid construction and meticulous engineering. But if you start hearing whining, humming, or clunking sounds when the vehicle shifts, it might be a telltale sign of transmission troubles.

These noises can be due to worn-out components, improper lubrication, or internal damage. Never ignore these sounds; instead, consult a mechanic promptly.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #3: Abnormal Fluid Leaks

It’s always good practice to check your parking spot for fluid leaks. Transmission fluid is often red or brownish in color and has a distinctly sweet or tart smell. If you notice puddles of this fluid beneath your parked Ford Escape, it could suggest a transmission fluid leak, potentially due to faulty seals, gaskets, or a cracked transmission pan.

Regularly check your transmission fluid level and refill it if necessary. Remember, low fluid levels can lead to overheating and severe transmission damage.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #4: Check Engine Light Illumination

The check engine light is a valuable indicator of many potential issues with your vehicle, including transmission problems. If this light illuminates on your Ford Escape’s dashboard without an obvious cause, consider it as a possible sign of transmission trouble. A diagnostic scan can help identify the specific issue triggering the warning.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #5: Delayed or Missed Shifts

A properly functioning transmission should seamlessly shift into the correct gear as per your driving conditions. If your Ford Escape delays shifting or even misses the gear entirely, it’s a strong sign of a transmission issue. This could mean the transmission control module has a problem or it might signify internal transmission wear or damage.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #6: Overheating Indicators

Transmission fluid serves two main functions: lubricating moving parts and cooling the transmission. If there’s a burning smell emanating from your Ford Escape, it might mean the transmission fluid is overheating.

This usually happens when the fluid level is too low or the vehicle is under undue stress. An overheating transmission can cause severe damage, so it’s crucial to address this symptom immediately.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Symptoms #7: Erratic Behavior While Driving

If your Ford Escape exhibits erratic behavior like surging forward or lagging while accelerating, it might be due to a faulty transmission. A “slipping” sensation—where the vehicle accelerates slower than normal even with increased engine output—often indicates a transmission issue.

Similarly, if you notice an uneven or lurching motion while the car shifts gears, this is another telltale sign.

Did Ford Fix The Escape Transmission Problems

Well, no. Unfortunately, not. The Ford Escape’s transmission problems were a puzzle to even the Ford mechanics at first. Whilst some attempted to resolve the solution with a new set of spark plugs (have you ever trusted a mechanic less without ever meeting them), others merely refused to believe the issue existed at all.

For Ford to come out and admit there is a problem with the Escape transmission would mean they would have to issue a recall. They would have to spend a lot of money on this process. Due to the issue not being an inherent safety risk, Ford denied any responsibility for the issue. This left owners to spend their own money to get these issues fixed themselves.

And it’s not cheap to fix or replace a transmission.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems

Ford Escape Transmission Repair Cost

One owner had to spend over $2,000 to have his transmission issue resolved. This is what they had to say about the matter:

Owner Number One – 2002 Ford Escape, XLT, V6

So, we head out on our trip and the transmission acts a little funny (jerky) but nothing real major. Had a great weekend with no further issues. We start driving home and the car begins to shake a little here and there and is getting lazier and lazier with each stop (rest areas, tolls). We are about 3 hours from home when the OD light begins to flash and the car seems to be getting worse. Oh, God! All we could do was pray that we made it home safely. There were a few close calls because we couldn’t get out of our own way and was almost hit but we did make it home safely.

The owner had a transmission specialist check the car and the owner was told that the transmission was gone. The owner adds that the Escape was “…[no]longer safe to drive, and $2,000 to rebuild”. With an added note of ‘by the way, we rebuild an average of 3 a week of this exact transmissions’. Ford seemed to rush production and these are known to fail.”

How About The Other Model Years

That was for the 2002 model, states that the 2006 and 2014 models are no cheaper to repair. The website states that the 2006 model is pained with “solid trends of engine failure — $4,500 to fix at 85,000 miles average — AND transmission failure — $3,000 to fix at 75,000 miles average”.

They go on to state that they wouldn’t recommend the Ford Escape of this year to anyone but their “worst enemy”. With 85 complaints (at the time of writing) with the severity rating getting a 9.2 out of 10 for this specific issue on the 2006 Escape.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t get any better for the 2014 model either, with the same source stating that transmission problems are the “top problem” for the Escape happening at around 70,000 miles. With this being relatively low mileage for a transmission and costing upward of $4,500 to fix.

The website awarded the 2014 Escape with the “Beware of the Clunker” badge. Over 50 complaints have been documented on the website, just for Ford Escape transmission problems for the 2014 model.

Ford Escape Transmission Repair

For those who are experiencing any Ford Escape transmission problems, here are some fixes that might typically help to get your car going again…

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Fixes #1: Diagnosing the Issue

Understanding Ford Escape transmission problems begins with keen observation. Erratic or rough shifting might signal issues with your drive shaft’s joints or insufficient transmission fluid.

Use a dipstick to measure the fluid level, which you can locate near the engine compartment’s top. Should the fluid level be low, refill it to the required level. If your Escape still struggles, a drive shaft joint replacement might be necessary.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Fixes #2: Replace or Fix a Leaky Gasket or Bearing

One common problem is a leak, often indicated by a reddish-brown fluid beneath your vehicle. Typically, a faulty gasket or bearing is the culprit. To address this, remove the faulty part and replace it with a new one. This task requires some technical know-how; you may want to rely on a professional mechanic.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Fixes #3: Purchasing a Used Transmission

If your Escape transmission continues to malfunction, consider replacing it entirely with a used transmission of a similar model. This approach provides a speedy solution. However, bear in mind the potential risks of this option.

The used transmission’s condition may be unknown, potentially leading to similar problems down the line. It’s wise to have a mechanic inspect the used transmission before you proceed with this course of action.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Fixes #4: Cleaning or Replacing Clogged Filters

When your Ford Escape transmission underperforms, a clogged filter could be to blame. Carefully remove the filters from their housing and clean or replace them as necessary. Your car owner’s manual should provide specific instructions on this process.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems, Fixes #5: Addressing Excessive Gear Tension

Gears and clutch with excessive tension can trigger sudden transmission failure, leading to slow or non-existent shifting. If this occurs, you may need to replace the transmission.

Ford Escape Transmission Maintenance

Now, before you do experience Ford Escape transmission problems, here are some preventive maintenance tips to minimize the chance of them reappearing again…

1. Regular Check on Fluid Levels

Regularly monitoring your transmission fluid levels plays a crucial role in preventive maintenance. As mentioned earlier, use the dipstick method to keep track. Low fluid levels can lead to erratic shifting and eventual transmission damage.

2. Frequent Inspection of Gaskets and Bearings

Frequent inspections of gaskets and bearings are paramount to detecting leaks early. If you notice any leakage, addressing it promptly prevents further damage to your transmission.

3. Keeping Filters Clean

Regularly cleaning or replacing clogged filters helps maintain optimal transmission performance. Sticking to the cleaning and replacing guidelines in your car’s owner manual ensures you handle this correctly.

4. Regular Professional Inspections

Scheduling regular inspections with a professional mechanic can help identify potential problems before they escalate.

Mechanics can check elements such as the control module – essentially the transmission’s computer. If this component malfunctions, it can compromise the shifting process. Fixing the control module might resolve the issue without needing a full transmission replacement.

In conclusion, Ford Escape transmission problems can range from minor issues like low fluid levels to more significant concerns requiring a full transmission replacement. Regular maintenance, including fluid checks, filter cleaning, and professional inspections, can prevent these issues and extend your transmission’s life.

Ford Escape Transmission Technical Service Bulletins

Following all the transmission problems. Ford issued a series of technical service bulletins or TSBs addressing certain model year Escape vehicles with known transmission failure.

1. Transmission Recall: Shift Lever Disconnection (15V606000 / 15S28)

Ford Motors issued a recall in October 2015 due to a fault with the shift lever bolt on the CD4E transmissions installed in Ford Escapes and Mercury Mariners manufactured between 2001 and 2008. In specific cases where these models had received a remanufactured CD4E transmission built between June and July 2015, the shift lever bolt could be improperly tightened.

The danger here is that if the shift lever disengages from the transmission, it could trick drivers into believing their vehicle is in Park when it isn’t, leading to unexpected vehicle movement, and potentially resulting in property damage or personal injury.

In response, Ford directed its dealers to tighten the shift lever bolt or, in some cases, to replace the shift lever assembly entirely.

2. Rollaway Risk: Faulty Shifter Cable Bushing

From 2013 to 2021, Ford had a recurring issue with a faulty bushing that connects the shifter cable to the transmission, resulting in several recalls. This flaw primarily affected the 2013 to 2019 Escape models. This faulty bushing could mislead drivers into believing their vehicle was in Park, even when it wasn’t, thus presenting a risk of vehicle rollaway.

Over the years, four recalls related to this problem were issued, impacting nearly a million vehicles. The faulty bushing, made by automotive supplier Hi-Lex, seemed to fail due to exposure to humidity and heat, although the precise cause remains undetermined.

In response to this risk, Ford dealerships are replacing the faulty bushings and adding a protective cap, free of charge.

3. Transmission Technical Service Bulletins

Ford has issued various Technical Service Bulletins (TSBs) to address transmission-related issues.

  • TSB 388560 for 2013-2016 models highlighted hydraulic pressure loss in the transmission, causing a shift hesitation from 2nd to 3rd gear.
  • TSB 378464 identified a potential leakage of transmission fluid from the left side axle seal in 2009-2014 Escapes built before Oct. 14, 2013, equipped with the 6F35 transmission.
  • TSB 373466 discussed the occurrence of sticky, honey-colored fluid at the bottom of the transmission housing, which was likely residue from the assembly process.
  • TSB 07-5-6 covered issues with engine stalling when shifting into Drive or Reverse or coming to a stop in 2005 – 2008 models, traced back to internal wear in the torque converter.
  • TSB 12-4-8 reported a sudden loss of 2nd and 4th gears in 2007 – 2008 models, affecting both four-cylinder and V6 models.

The solutions proposed ranged from replacing components, such as torque converters and overdrive bands, to merely acknowledging and monitoring the occurrence.

4. Ford’s Solution To The Escape Transmission Problems

Ford’s proactive response to these transmission issues, as evidenced by its recalls and TSBs, demonstrates its commitment to safety and customer satisfaction.

While these problems may deter some potential buyers, it’s crucial to remember that the majority of Ford Escapes do not experience these issues and the models that do have generally been remedied by the manufacturer at no cost to the owner.

So, while Ford has since acknowledged some issues, they are not issuing a recall and only recommending to owners how to prevent these issues. If you are in the market for a new SUV, and you settled on the Ford Escape, you may want to take a look at which years you should avoid and which years you are best to look at purchasing. Lucky for you, we have compiled such a list, below.

Best & Worst Years Of The Ford Escape

Many cars are plagued with issues, with some versions and model years being more affected than others. This can be due to changes in the design process, the manufacturing process, or even the areas in which they were sold.

For example, just a small change to the manufacturing process can leave thousands of vehicles with faulty components, warranting the need for a recall. The Ford Escape is no different, with a plethora of issues being apparent over the 20 years. However, transmission problems always seem to prevail.

Transmission problems were the top problem in 8 of the last 20 years of the Escape. Even when it is not the top spot, it is up there with the rest, with it being the 2nd or 3rd most reported issue in 7 other years, getting it on the podium of problems for 75% of the last 20 years!

Which Ford Escape Years Are Bad?

But which years should you avoid to avoid the pain of transmission issues in your new SUV? In short, our research says to avoid many model years of the Escape, not only due to transmission problems but due to engine issues as well (some of which were resolved by the 2014 recall, mentioned earlier).

Transmission issues were present in model years 2001-2003, 2006, 2008-2011, and 2014-2016, with these being our recommended years to avoid at all costs. A mention here should also go to the 2013 model, the first year of the third generation.

Within less than a year of release, Ford recalled the car 3 times due to fuel line and antifreeze issues. Some of these issues result in fires. Avoid 2013 at all costs. has rated plenty of these years of the Ford Escape as “Avoid like the Plague”. Here at MotorVerso, we agree.

We have been researching heavily into the Ford Escape and rather than give you an avoid list, we have a few model years that we would recommend you stick to if you are certain the Ford Escape is the one for you.

Which Ford Escape Years Are Safe?

2004: The 2004 Ford Escape experienced engine issues which were finally acknowledged in the 2014 recall. With the other largest complaint for this model year not being mechanical but instead issues with body or paint problems, we would recommend this year if you are looking at older Ford Escapes. However, proceed with caution as a few owners still reported transmission problems, electrical issues, and issues with the wiper mechanism.

2007: Another Ford Escape model year that looks promising compared to other years is 2007. The trend of transmission problems is significantly lower this year, there is still data to suggest that this is still apparent on some cars. Be careful and be sure to ask about the history of the vehicle.

2012: The 2012 Escape is the best one we are yet to look at it, with a far more acceptable complaint history. The main complaint with this model is that the rear window experienced an issue of frequent leaking in bad weather. As mechanical issues go, the 2012 Escape has experienced considerably fewer complaints compared to the preceding years.

2017-2021: Data is limited for these years, with the cars being out for less than 5 years. But there is still a trend of transmission and engine problems for the Ford Escape between 2017 and 2021. Due to this we cannot recommend nor rule out these years, make sure you do full background checks before you purchase a Ford Escape from one of these years.

Ford Escape Years To Avoid

If you are thinking of buying one used, given the frequency and seriousness of these Ford Escape transmission problems, here are the worst model years to buy (avoid these entirely)

2005 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2005 Ford Escape is notorious for transmission failures, often requiring a complete transmission replacement. Owners typically reported shuddering, slipping, and sudden failures, often during highway driving. What starts as difficulty shifting can quickly turn into a total inability to engage the transmission, effectively rendering the vehicle inoperable.

These issues are most commonly caused by internal component failures, such as worn seals and gear degradation, likely due to a design or manufacturing defect. The repair requires a complete transmission overhaul or replacement, which can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000, depending on labor rates and part prices.

2006 Ford Escape Transmission

Transmission problems continued into the 2006 Ford Escape. Many owners experienced harsh or delayed shifting, especially in lower gears. There are also reports of complete transmission failure, similar to the 2005 model.

A key culprit of these problems was often the torque converter. If the torque converter fails, it can cause damage to the transmission fluid pump and ultimately cause transmission failure. Repairing these issues typically requires a new torque converter and, often, a complete transmission rebuild, ranging in cost from $1,500 to $3,500.

2008 Ford Escape Transmission

In 2008, the Ford Escape’s transmission issues often manifested as erratic shifting, transmission whining noise, and severe jerking during acceleration. Owners reported that the transmission seemed to struggle with finding the right gear, causing significant discomfort and raising safety concerns.

These problems were often linked to faulty transmission control modules and solenoids, which affect the transmission’s ability to shift gears properly. Repairing these issues generally involves replacing the faulty parts, which can cost between $500 to $1,500 depending on the extent of the problem and the mechanic’s labor rates.

2013 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2013 Ford Escape experienced a resurgence of transmission troubles, with many owners complaining about grinding noises and shuddering during acceleration, and a lack of response from the gearbox. In more severe cases, the transmission was reported to stop working entirely.

Many of these issues stem from defects in the transmission’s clutch packs or, in some cases, the control module. These components directly impact the vehicle’s ability to shift gears and, when they fail, can cause serious damage to the transmission. Repairing these issues often requires part replacement or a complete transmission rebuild, with costs ranging from $1,000 to $3,000.

Overall, these Ford Escape models pose a significant risk of transmission failure, requiring costly and extensive repairs. If you’re in the market for a used Ford Escape, it may be worth considering other model years or seeking out an extensive vehicle history and pre-purchase inspection to avoid these potential pitfalls.

Best Ford Escape Years

However, if you are thinking of getting a Ford Escape on the used market, here are some of the safer and better model years when it comes to the Ford Escape transmission problems…

2001 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2001 Ford Escape generally exhibited fewer transmission problems than some of its successors. Most owners reported minor issues like harsh shifting or a slight delay in gear engagement, particularly in older or high-mileage vehicles.

The majority of these problems were attributed to regular wear and tear, requiring typical maintenance procedures like fluid changes or transmission flushes. More serious cases might have involved replacing solenoids or valve bodies, which could cost between $200 and $600. Overall, the 2001 model year has proven to be relatively reliable, especially when regularly serviced.

2002 Ford Escape Transmission

Like the 2001 model, the 2002 Ford Escape also boasts fewer transmission issues. Owners reported intermittent problems, such as slipping between gears or occasional difficulty shifting.

Many of these issues were traced back to worn transmission bands or clogged fluid filters. The standard fix usually involves adjusting the bands and replacing the filters – both relatively simple tasks. The repair costs could range from $100 to $500, depending on the specifics of the problem and the location of the repair.

2003 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2003 Ford Escape is considered a good year for the model in terms of transmission reliability. While some owners reported rough shifts, these problems were often related to aging vehicle parts and regular wear.

Typically, these issues were resolved through routine maintenance such as fluid changes or replacing transmission mounts. In more severe cases, a transmission control module might have been replaced, a task that usually costs between $500 and $1,000, depending on the mechanic’s rates.

2004 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2004 Ford Escape also reported fewer transmission problems than the following years. Common issues included mild slipping or a slight delay in gear changes, especially in vehicles with higher mileage.

The root causes ranged from regular component wear to software glitches. Usually, a fluid change or a software update resolved the problem. However, in more serious cases, the transmission control module might have needed replacement. The cost to fix these issues could range from $100 for a fluid change to up to $1,000 for module replacement.

In conclusion, these four Ford Escape model years are deemed safer options in terms of transmission-related problems. However, like any used vehicle, it’s essential to conduct a thorough pre-purchase inspection and maintain a regular service schedule.

2007 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2007 Ford Escape is considered a reliable model year when it comes to transmission issues. While some owners have reported minor problems such as difficulty in shifting or occasional slipping, these issues are often due to normal wear and tear.

Many of these problems can be traced back to simple factors like low transmission fluid levels or old, dirty fluid. Standard procedures like fluid changes can usually solve these issues, costing between $75 and $150. In rare cases, transmission solenoids may need replacing, which can cost up to $600 including labor.

2009 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2009 Ford Escape continued the trend of relative reliability in transmission performance. Some owners experienced issues with rough shifting, but these cases are significantly less common than in problematic model years.

Again, many of these issues were attributed to typical factors like dirty transmission fluid or worn-out components. Regular fluid changes and replacing worn parts such as solenoids or sensors can rectify these problems. The costs for these repairs can vary between $100 and $700, depending on the severity of the issue and labor rates.

2010 Ford Escape Transmission

In the 2010 Ford Escape, transmission complaints were few and far between. Most reported problems were mild, such as a slight delay in gear shifts or an intermittent “hard shift”.

Regular maintenance such as transmission fluid changes usually prevented and resolved these issues. If a component such as a solenoid or a sensor failed, replacement typically resolved the issue, with repair costs ranging from $200 to $600.

2011 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2011 Ford Escape is another model year that stands out for its reliability. There were occasional reports of erratic shifting or transmission slipping, but these cases were relatively rare.

As with the previous years, these problems often resulted from normal wear and tear. Regular fluid changes and replacement of aging components typically solved the problem. If a transmission sensor needed to be replaced, it could cost between $200 and $500.

In conclusion, the 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Ford Escape model years are relatively safe bets when it comes to transmission reliability. Always remember that proper maintenance is key to preventing these problems, and a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection is highly recommended when buying a used vehicle.

2012 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2012 Ford Escape stands as one of the most reliable years in terms of transmission performance. Some owners reported issues like difficulty shifting gears or transmission slipping, but these complaints were far less common than in the problematic years.

Most of these issues are associated with regular wear and tear or with software glitches. Usually, solutions range from a simple transmission fluid change to updating the transmission control module software. Repair costs can range from $100 for a fluid change to around $500 for software updates and labor.

2014 Ford Escape Transmission

After a problematic 2013, the 2014 Ford Escape bounced back with fewer transmission issues. Owners occasionally reported rough shifting or a slight delay in gear changes.

These problems were often resolved through regular maintenance, including fluid changes and software updates. In more severe cases, the transmission control module might have needed to be replaced. Repair costs can range from $100 to $1,000, depending on the specific issue and labor rates.

2015 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2015 Ford Escape also enjoys a reputation for good transmission reliability. Minor issues like rough shifting were occasionally reported, but these problems were typically resolved with basic maintenance.

Regular fluid changes and periodic software updates can solve most of these problems. In the rare case of a transmission sensor failure, replacing the sensor should resolve the issue. Costs for these repairs can range from $100 to $500.

2016 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2016 Ford Escape is considered one of the safer years in terms of transmission issues. Most problems reported involved minor delays in gear shifting or an occasional “hard shift”.

These problems often stemmed from routine issues such as dirty transmission fluid or a software glitch. A standard fluid change or a software update usually resolved these issues. The cost of such repairs could range from $100 for a fluid change to up to $500 for more extensive work.

In conclusion, the 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2016 Ford Escape model years are relatively reliable when it comes to transmission performance. Proper maintenance, including regular fluid changes and software updates, is key to maintaining transmission health. Pre-purchase inspections are always recommended when buying a used vehicle.

2017 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2017 Ford Escape is generally considered a reliable model year in terms of transmission performance. Some owners reported minor issues such as hard shifting or occasional jerking, but these were not widespread issues.

Most of these problems can be traced back to software issues or dirty transmission fluid. A simple transmission fluid change or software update usually rectifies these problems, with costs ranging between $100 and $500.

2018 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2018 Ford Escape continued the trend of reliable transmission performance. There were occasional reports of transmission hesitation, but these problems were not widespread.

These problems were generally attributed to software issues or faulty sensors. An update to the transmission software or sensor replacement generally solved the problem. Repair costs can range from $100 to $600, depending on the extent of the problem and labor rates.

2019 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2019 Ford Escape is another solid year for transmission reliability. Some owners experienced minor problems like intermittent jerking or delayed gear engagement, but these were relatively uncommon.

Typically, these problems were due to software glitches or worn sensors. In most cases, a software update or sensor replacement can fix these problems. The cost of these repairs usually ranges from $200 to $700.

2020 Ford Escape Transmission

The 2020 Ford Escape is widely recognized as a reliable year when it comes to transmission issues. Some owners reported mild problems such as erratic shifting, but these cases were relatively rare.

Mostly, these issues were linked to software problems or minor component wear. Regular maintenance, software updates, or part replacements can usually rectify these issues. Repair costs can range from $100 to $800, depending on the severity of the problem and labor rates.

In conclusion, the 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020 Ford Escape model years are generally reliable in terms of transmission performance. Despite the occasional problem, proper maintenance, including regular fluid changes and software updates, can prevent or rectify most issues. As always, a comprehensive pre-purchase inspection is recommended when buying a used vehicle.

What To Do About The Ford Escape Transmission Problem

Most owners have reported issues where their car stops randomly in the middle of a journey, or their car won’t move up from a certain gear. If this happens to you then you will need to know the right things to do. There are also some things to let your mechanic know.

If your car stops while you are driving, you will need to pull over at the earliest point. At this point, you can try to start your car again. This may work if your Ford Escape is having transmission problems, as some owners have reported that the car will start again. They have then had to complete their journey in multiple parts.

If this does not work you will need to stay pulled over. Call a tow truck to come and pick you up.

What If You Are On A Highway

If on a highway or busy road and in a position where you could be in the way of traffic then you will need to put on your hazard lights. This will alert other road users that you are not a moving vehicle and keep a wide berth.

Stopping on a busy road can result in accidents if the road user does not take the necessary precautions, to find out more about what to do if your car stops while driving, click here. Once you have got your car home, you will need to get in contact with your mechanic. If you are contacting a Ford mechanic then they will have most likely experienced this issue.

They will have seen it, being a common problem in multiple model years of the Ford Escape. We recommend that you make sure all mechanics are aware of the common issues with Ford Escape transmissions. Especially if they are a local mechanic and they don’t specialize in Ford.

At this point, 3 options will be presented to you and the route you go take will depend on you and your budget.

Option 1: Buy A Used Transmission

The quickest solution in this list is to buy a transmission from another car and have this transferred into your Ford Escape. This will bypass any issues that your current transmission has. This will get you back on the road as soon as it’s fitted.

However, you are not sure know the state of the transmission that you have now got. This means you could experience the same issues within the next few years. This can be quite expensive and typically only come with a 90-day warranty at max.

Option 2: Have The Transmission Repaired

Your next option would be to have the current transmission repaired, call up your local transmission shop. They will be able to let you know what they think. The technical ability and experience range from technician to technician and shop by shop, meaning that it may be a good idea to call a few shops to get an idea of price. Repaired transmissions typically come with a 1-2 year warranty.

Option 3: Buy A Remanufactured Ford Escape Transmission

If you want your car to be a daily driver and to be confident every time you start it up in the morning, this is the best option for you. The most expensive on the list, it will provide peace of mind to any driver experiencing Ford Escape transmission problems.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems: In Conclusion…

The Ford Escape is an affordable, roomy, comfortable SUV. It has been a part of the crossover segment since its launch in 2000. However, it has not been without its problems throughout the last 20 years. With multiple recalls and myriad complaints for each model year, buying a Ford Escape can be a daunting task.

It can often feel like walking out into a minefield with no detection equipment. Mainly transmission problems, these issues have caused a lot of stress for past owners and have resulted in a lot of money being spent on repairs. This has also started a distrust being built between Escape owners and the Ford Motor Company. With some owners stating that they will never own a Ford again.

Following all that has been mentioned above, the recommended years to look at for your used Ford Escape are 2004, 2007, and 2012. While there hasn’t been an unusual number of complaints about the newer models (2017 – present), there has still been a trend with the type of complaints.

Transmission and bodywork issues have been apparent, so we recommend proceeding with caution if you are looking at newer models. It is best to avoid all other model years where possible. If you are currently in possession of a bad model year then replace it as soon as you can.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems Essential Knowledge

The Ford Escape, a compact SUV, is known for its practicality, fuel efficiency, and affordability. Despite its popularity, it is not immune to mechanical issues, most notably automatic transmission problems. These issues can range from minor sensor errors to complete transmission failures, leaving drivers stranded.

The 2005, 2008, and 2013 models have the highest owner-reported transmission issues. Complaints often mention the 2014 and 2008 models as problematic. The 2008 Escape is notably riddled with a variety of transmission problems, from complete failure to lurching into gear and gear hunting.

Fixing transmission issues is costly, averaging $4,000 due to frequent new transmission requirements. Most repairs occur within the 80-120K mile range. Compared to full-size SUVs like the Pathfinder and Enclave, the Escape’s transmission is less reliable.

Clunking sounds, a burning smell, sluggish response, fluid leaks, and a check engine light are signs of transmission problems. If you’re considering buying a used Ford Escape, test drive it and have a local mechanic inspect the vehicle to avoid transmission issues.

Lastly, based on owner complaints, 2001-2004, 2007, 2009-2012, 2014-2020 models are more reliable. It is suggested to avoid the 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2013 models.

Ford Escape Transmission Problems: FAQs

Here are some popular frequently asked questions (and answers) about the Ford Escape transmission problems…

How Much Does a Transmission Cost

The cost of a new transmission varies greatly depending on the model of the car and the type of transmission. On average, for a Ford Escape, you might expect to pay anywhere from $1,800 to $3,500 for a replacement transmission. The cost could even reach up to $5,000 if it’s a more complex issue or if other parts are also damaged. These prices generally include the cost of the parts and labor.

How Much Are Transmissions

Just like the previous question, the cost of transmissions can differ greatly based on the make and model of the vehicle, the type of transmission (automatic or manual), and whether it’s new, used, or rebuilt. For the Ford Escape, a new transmission could range from $1,800 to $3,500, while a used or rebuilt transmission might be less costly.

How Long Do Ford Escapes Last

The lifespan of a Ford Escape largely depends on the level of care and maintenance it receives. Generally speaking, a well-maintained Ford Escape can last for over 200,000 miles. Regular servicing, including timely oil changes and transmission fluid replacements, can significantly extend the lifespan of the vehicle.

How to Fix Transmission

Fixing a transmission can be a complex task and it usually requires professional help. The process may involve checking and replacing the transmission fluid, adjusting the shift cables or linkage, replacing solenoids, or even overhauling the whole transmission. If you’re experiencing transmission issues with your Ford Escape, it’s recommended to bring it to a professional mechanic for a thorough diagnosis.

How Many Miles Do Ford Escapes Last

As mentioned earlier, a well-cared-for Ford Escape can comfortably reach over 200,000 miles. Some owners have reported their Ford Escapes running smoothly even beyond 300,000 miles, but this typically requires diligent maintenance and servicing.

How Long Can You Drive With Transmission Light On

Driving with the transmission light on is not recommended. The light is an indicator that something may be wrong with your transmission system. It’s best to stop driving as soon as you can and get your car checked by a professional to prevent further damage. Prolonged driving with the transmission light on can lead to more severe and costly repairs.

Can a Transmission Go out Without Warning

Yes, a transmission can go out without warning. However, it’s more common for there to be signs of a failing transmission, such as strange noises, gear slippage, difficulty shifting, or the transmission warning light appearing. Regular maintenance can help catch these symptoms early and prevent a sudden transmission failure.

What Year Ford Escape to Avoid

Based on consumer reports and recall history, it’s generally advisable to avoid the 2001-2004 and 2013 Ford Escape models. These years had more reported issues, including transmission problems. Always remember to research the specific model year thoroughly before purchasing.

How to Reset Ford Escape Transmission

To reset the Ford Escape’s transmission, you would typically disconnect the battery terminals and then reconnect them after about 30 minutes. This will reset the car’s computer system, including the transmission settings. However, it’s advised to consult with a professional or your vehicle’s manual before attempting this.

What Does Transmission Fault Mean

A transmission fault indicates that there’s an issue with your vehicle’s transmission system. This could be due to low transmission fluid, overheating, worn-out components, or more serious internal damage. It’s important to have your vehicle inspected by a professional as soon as possible when you see this message to prevent further damage.

How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Transmission Slip

Fixing a transmission slip can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the root cause of the problem. Simple fixes, like replacing the transmission fluid or adjusting the shift cables, could cost around $200 to $600. However, if the transmission needs to be rebuilt or replaced, the cost could rise from $1,800 to $3,500 for a Ford Escape.

What Causes Transmission to Go Out

Several issues can cause a transmission to go out. These include lack of regular maintenance, low transmission fluid, overheating, worn or broken parts, and aggressive driving habits. Over time, these factors can lead to transmission failure, which may require significant repairs or even a complete replacement.

Why Does a Transmission Go Out

A transmission goes out primarily due to internal wear and tear over time. This wear can be exacerbated by factors such as poor maintenance, aggressive driving, or towing heavy loads. Overheating, insufficient transmission fluid, or the use of incorrect fluid can also lead to transmission failure.

What Transmission Do I Have Ford

The type of transmission in your Ford vehicle can be identified in several ways. You can find it in your vehicle’s manual, on the identification plate or sticker often located in the engine compartment, or by contacting a Ford dealership with your vehicle identification number (VIN). Common types in Ford vehicles include 6F35, 6F50, 6R80, and 10R80.

How to Check for Recalls on My Ford

You can check for recalls on your Ford vehicle by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website and entering your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Additionally, Ford’s official website also has a recall information section where you can input your VIN to get recall details.

What Is the Biggest Problem with Ford Escape

The Ford Escape is generally a reliable vehicle, but like all vehicles, it has had some issues. The most reported problem with the Ford Escape, particularly in the 2013 model, is related to the engine, including stalling and engine failure. Transmission problems have also been reported, especially in the early 2000s models.

How Do You Know If You Have Transmission Problems

Signs of transmission problems can include difficulty shifting, slipping gears, delayed vehicle response, transmission noise, burning smell, or the check engine or transmission warning light coming on. If you notice any of these signs, it’s recommended to have your vehicle checked by a professional mechanic as soon as possible.

Can a Clogged Transmission Filter Cause No Drive

Yes, a clogged transmission filter can cause no drive. The filter is responsible for keeping the transmission fluid clean. If it gets clogged, it can restrict fluid flow, causing the transmission to not work properly or not work at all.

What Is a Car Worth With a Bad Transmission

The value of a car with a bad transmission can vary significantly based on factors such as the vehicle’s age, model, mileage, and overall condition. However, the cost of replacing or repairing the transmission is often subtracted from the car’s total value. Some dealerships or potential buyers might offer only the salvage value for a car with a bad transmission.

How Much Does It Cost to Rebuild a 4L60E Transmission

The cost to rebuild a 4L60E transmission, commonly found in Chevrolet and GMC vehicles, can vary. On average, it can range from $1,200 to $1,800, including parts and labor. This price can increase if there are other related issues that need to be addressed.

What Does a Clogged Transmission Filter Sound Like

A clogged transmission filter can cause the transmission to make a whining or buzzing noise. This is due to the lack of sufficient transmission fluid reaching the components. The sound is often more noticeable when shifting gears or when the vehicle is in idle.

How to Make a Bad Transmission Last Longer

If your transmission is going bad, there are a few things you can do to prolong its life. Regular maintenance is key, including keeping the transmission fluid clean and at the right level. Driving smoothly, avoiding heavy loads, and not riding the brakes can also help. However, it’s always best to consult with a professional if you suspect your transmission is failing.

What Does a Blown Transmission Sound Like

A blown transmission may produce a number of sounds indicative of serious issues. These can include grinding, buzzing, or whining noises when changing gears or a loud clunking sound. A failed transmission might also cause the vehicle to make a humming or whirring noise while driving.

Do Ford Fusions Have Transmission Problems

Some Ford Fusion models have been reported to have transmission issues. Most notably, the 2010 and 2012 models have had reports of erratic shifting, delayed engagement, and complete transmission failure. As always, maintaining regular service intervals can help in preventing these issues.

How Do You Know When You Need a New Transmission

Signs that you might need a new transmission include slipping gears, grinding noises during gear changes, burning smells, transmission fluid leaks, and the check engine or transmission warning light turning on. If the transmission is severely damaged or has multiple issues, replacement might be the most cost-effective solution.

How Long Can a Bad Transmission Last

The lifespan of a bad transmission can vary greatly and is largely dependent on the extent of the damage and how the vehicle is driven. With minor issues and careful driving, it could last for several months or even a year. However, severe problems could cause the transmission to fail almost immediately.

What Kind of Transmission Do I Have Ford

To determine the type of transmission in your Ford vehicle, refer to the vehicle’s manual, the identification plate in the engine compartment, or contact a Ford dealership with your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). Ford uses several types of transmissions, including the 6F35, 6F50, 6R80, and 10R80.

How Much for a Transmission Rebuild

The cost for a transmission rebuild can vary greatly based on the make and model of the vehicle and the extent of the damage to the transmission. On average, a transmission rebuild can cost between $1,800 and $3,500. More complex cases could increase the cost.

How to Jump a 2013 Ford Escape

To jump-start a 2013 Ford Escape, first connect the positive jumper cable clamp to the positive terminal of the dead battery. Then, connect the other positive clamp to the positive terminal of the working battery. Connect the negative clamp to the negative terminal of the good battery. Finally, connect the other negative clamp to an unpainted metal surface on the car with the dead battery. Start the working car, then try to start the dead car.

How Expensive Is a New Transmission

A new transmission can be a significant expense. The cost depends on the vehicle model and the type of transmission. On average, a new transmission for a Ford Escape can cost between $1,800 and $3,500. This includes the cost of the parts and labor.

Where Is the Transmission Dipstick on a 2016 Ford Escape

The 2016 Ford Escape doesn’t have a traditional transmission dipstick for checking fluid levels. Instead, fluid level and condition are checked by a technician using specific procedures during a scheduled service. Always refer to your vehicle’s manual or consult a professional for advice on maintenance.

How to Diagnose a Transmission

Diagnosing a transmission involves identifying the symptoms of a problem, such as noise, slipping gears, or fluid leaks. A professional mechanic will typically use a diagnostic tool to read any error codes from the vehicle’s computer. They will also inspect the transmission fluid level and condition, and may perform a test drive to replicate and diagnose the problem.

Do Ford Escapes Have a Lot of Problems

While the Ford Escape is generally considered a reliable vehicle, it has had some issues. Certain model years, like the 2013 model, have had engine-related issues, including engine failure and stalling. Transmission problems have also been reported, particularly in the early 2000s models. Regular maintenance and care can help mitigate many of these problems.

1 Comment

  1. buy transmission

    The Ford Escape is a popular SUV that has been produced for many years, and while it has many positive attributes, some model years have experienced transmission problems. Here is a breakdown of which years are generally considered safe from transmission issues:

    2008-2012 Ford Escape:
    2013-2016 Ford Escape:
    2017-2021 Ford Escape:

    It’s always a good idea to do your own research and consult with a trusted mechanic or dealership before purchasing a used Ford Escape Transmission. Be sure to ask about any known issues with the specific year and model you are considering and have a pre-purchase inspection performed. Regular maintenance and servicing can also help prevent transmission problems from occurring.


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