Which Ford Escape Years to Avoid and Why? (Explained)

Ford Escape is a small crossover SUV that has been on the market since 2000. These vehicles are also known as the Ford Kuga, Ford Maverick, Mazda Tribute, and Mercury Mariner. From 2000 to 2021, about 4,969,836 Ford Escapes were sold just in the United States.

But still, the cars have received many complaints. The door ajar lights staying on, electrical issues, faulty transmission, and engine stalling are some of the most common problems with many Ford Escape years.

In this article, I will inform you about the years that you should best avoid. Also, I will show you how to prevent the most common Ford Escape problems. There is a list to aid you in purchasing the best ones also.

Ford Escape Years to Avoid (With Reasons)

Ford Escape vehicles are available in four generations. These were released in 2001, 2008, 2013, and 2020, accordingly. However, certain vehicles of every age are plagued by several issues.

Some years have so many that it is best to stay away from these Ford Escapes. On the Car Complaints website, there have been 4,576 complaints against the Ford Escape.

Some Ford Escape years performed poorly on the market. These years had the most unfavorable consumer reviews. These are the years:

  • 2005 Ford Escape
  • 2006 Ford Escape
  • 2008 Ford Escape
  • 2009 Ford Escape
  • 2010 Ford Escape
  • 2013 Ford Escape
  • 2014 Ford Escape

Let’s take a look at some of the years’ most prevalent issues.

2005 Ford Escape Problems:

The main problem with the Ford Escape 2005 is the shock tower rust. This problem appeared in many vehicles after 125,000 miles which cost around $1,250 to fix.

Other issues related to the frame were sub-frame rotting, paint flaking off, and rear panel cracking.

This year also suffered from various issues such as electrical problems, engine problems, windows, and windshield problems a lot. PCM failure was also a common issue among many customers. Replacing the PCM or spark plug was a great fix.

2008 Ford Escape Problems:

The Ford Escape 2008 had received numerous complaints about the transmission and the steering system. The main issue with the steering wheel was the power steering failure.

The transmission of the Ford Escape 2008 was susceptible to failure. You will need more than $3,300 to fix this issue on the model by replacing the transmission.

Aside from this issue, this year also suffered from transmission cooler failure, loss of second and fourth gear, lurching into gear, jerking while pressing the accelerator, transmission fluid leaking, and many more.

2009 Ford Escape Problems:

This year also had many issues with the transmission. The main issues were jerking into gear, leaking transmission, and failure of transmission while towing by recreational vehicles.

There were some significant engine problems with the Ford Escape 2009. The check engine light used to be illuminated for many users without any reason. Other than that, bad throttle body, engine stalling, and power loss while driving were very common.

2013 Ford Escape Problems:

The Ford Escape 2013 was the first model from the third generation. There was a frustrating issue complained about by many customers which was the battery dying suddenly. People had to replace the battery every 60,000 miles.

Also, wiring harness fault, horn module failure, dash cluster malfunctioning, and a burning smell were very common engine issues with the Escape 2013.

Many users came to see that their windshield had cracked without a reason. The rear windshield exploding was also pretty common. The cooling system of this year received many complaints also.

These are excessive coolant usage, failing water pump, leaking of coolant, and false overheating resulting in the engine shutting down.

2014 Ford Escape Problems:

Transmission failure at roughly 70,000 miles is the most common problem tendency for the 2014 Ford Escape.

This year also had the windshield issues from the previous years that the company failed to fix yet again. The wipes were also erratic while the windows were complained to be less tinted.

The exhaust system had a problem with the exhaust fumes entering the vehicle with a loud noise.

Other than that, this year also faced issues such as door latch not working, faulty backup camera, AC malfunction, poor mileage, fuel tank pressure sensor fault, fuel pump failure, and bubbling paint.

What Are the Worst Years of Ford Escape?

Some years receive the crown of the worst vehicles from the Ford Escapes. Among the years you should avoid, the ones you should not even look at are:

  • 2005 Ford Escape
  • 2008 Ford Escape
  • 2013 Ford Escape

2005 had many problems with the body, paint, and electrical system. The most notable ones are excessive shock tower rust, computer failure, engine failure while driving, and gas pedal drooping and sticking to the floor.

The 2008 and 2013 was the first car from the second and third generation respectively. Both of these models were plagued with many transmission issues. Other common issues that were mostly reported were steering and engine problems.

Most Common Problems of Ford Escape

Ford Escape automobiles have suffered several issues. Let’s take a closer look at each of these issues.

1. Engine Stalling

The 2013 Ford Escape received many complaints about the engine. Earlier models from the company such as the cars from 2005 to 2011 also had engine troubles.

The engine on the 2013 model was recalled for overheating issues. The defective engine shield had cracked with many cars resulting in leaking oil. As a consequence, people would face engine failure.

Other engine issues were engine stalling and checking the engine light is illuminated. The engines from the third generation were prone to stalling and vibration.

2. Computer Malfunctioning

For numerous customers, the PCM of the Ford Escape failed after 115,000 miles. Cylinders and coils might also malfunction. In that scenario, you should completely replace the system.

The Ford Escape 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, and 2012 faced this issue. But 2005 had an outbreak of the PCM failure.

Rebuilding the PCM after coils and spark plugs fail never addresses the problem permanently. The most typical way to avoid this problem was to replace the PCM. The spark plugs can also be replaced or repaired.

3. Power Steering Loss

The majority of second-generation automobiles, including those from 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011, had power steering failures. The problems were fixed in later variants of the Ford Escape.

The steering pump is the system’s primary component. However, with the models described, these wear out soon. Furthermore, the steering pumps are subjected to a great deal of stress.

In addition, certain years experienced hydraulic fluid leaks from the steering. These were caused by worn-out hoses and seals.

4. Transmission Issues

Various transmission issues were present in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, and the 2014 Ford Escapes. These problems were mainly transmission failure, cooler failure, loss of gear, sticking, jerking intro gear, leaking, and many more.

Which Ford Escape Years are Safe to Buy?

The best of the Ford Escapes were from the first and fourth generations. You are good to go with most of the models from these generations. But some years received many compliments and good reviews. These are:

  • 2001 Ford Escape
  • 2004 Ford Escape
  • 2015 Ford Escape
  • 2018 Ford Escape
  • 2019 Ford Escape
  • 2020 Ford Escape
  • 2021 Ford Escape
  • 2022 Ford Escape

The 2001 sports a powerful V6 engine and plenty of interior room for a first-generation vehicle. The 2004 Ford Escape has lower trim levels than previous versions. The inside is very inviting.

The Ford Escape 2015 features excellent performance and fuel economy. It also has a plethora of high-tech components. The Titanium grade with a turbocharged engine on the 2018 model is known for its rapid acceleration.

The driving and handling of the Ford Escape 2019 have been greatly improved over the 2018 model while retaining all of the greatest features.

With the first debut of the fourth generation, 2020 has experienced significant improvements. It has been completely overhauled, with more power and acceleration.

The 2021 and 2020 Ford Escapes are highly large and comfortable, with the company’s smoothest ride. Many folks advise purchasing these newer models.

Which Years Have the Most Transmission-Related Issues?

The Ford Escape 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2016 had many issues with the transmission. The most common were transmission failure, jerking into gear, and leaking.

Which Years Have the Most Body and Paint Related Problems?

2003, 2005, 2008, and 2012 years from the company had lots of problems regarding body and painting. These were mainly peeling paint, corrosion on the body, shock tower rust, rusting frame, and water leaking.


I’ve discussed the problems that the Ford Escapes experience from time to time. Many year models are especially affected by these difficulties. They should be avoided at all costs.

There are also several models in the Escape lineup that are considered to be the greatest. If you want to buy an Escape, look through the list and choose one.

Related Posts:

Similar Posts