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CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2005 Escape has problems where the engine shuts down while driving. Ford finally issued a September 2014 recall. Time will tell if the recall fix really solves the problem.

However the 2005 Escape also has a defect where the PCM (Power Control Module) fries at around 100k miles. Ford extended the PCM warranty to 80,000 miles, but only after most owners were past the mileage limit. Now owners are on the hook for the average repair cost of over $2,000 (!!)


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
122,911 miles
Total Complaints:
35 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (19 reports)
  2. replace wheel well (13 reports)
  3. repaired effected areas (3 reports)
2005 Ford Escape body / paint problems

body / paint problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #35

Dec 012014

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,992 miles


I was shocked to find exact descriptions of my vehicles problem, posted as common for this model.

Initially in December, some rust was found that we thought would be a quick fix once the weather was a bit warmer, to let the materials set better. The sudden banging in February surprised us, and upon investigation, we discovered the wheel well had nearly shredded, with the shock held in place by bits of rust. The vehicle now shimmies when we go over bumps, since the shock isn't stabilizing anything other than the tiny bit of rust.

Strange that this is the second time I have discovered that I have a problem that Ford lists as common for this model, and yet it was never dealt with by the company. I had to replace the computer less than two years ago, as well as 3 damaged coils at a cost of $3500. Now I have scrap metal with a good computer. It is no longer safe to drive, as I am expecting the pieces of rust to give way at any time, and the shock to shift, with the potential of causing an accident as the shock bounces against the tire.

- , Simcoe, Ontario, canada

problem #34

Mar 072015

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,900 miles

We purchased the SUV new in 2005 and had just replaced the shocks and other suspension components with new parts in January 2015. We are a Ford family. The Escape has been great for us and we use it almost everyday so we maintain excellent maintenance on it.

On Mar 7, 2025 we started hearing a rattling/thunking sound and took it back to shop as we thought it was an issue with the new shocks. The mechanic showed us the completely rusted out rear passenger wheel well and the shock is attached nothing and is broken away from the car. This is now undriveable unless I want to play with death! The thud noice is apparently coming from the shock coming in contact with the radio speakers. The lower rear passenger door area had been rusting as well. This is a huge expense of $1000-$3,000 estimates. I contacted Ford customer service and basically got the brush off. They have to know about this issue because it's too common. I am ready for a class-action lawsuit here. Anyone with me?

- , Palos Heights, IL, USA

problem #33

Jan 142015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 121,167 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

I have the same problem as everyone else...excessive rust in the passenger rear wheel well. I've contacted several repair & body shops and most don't even bother dealing with rust issues anymore here in Toronto. So the best I've been able to do so far is have a few people tell me over the phone that it's not worth even looking at it and I should just scrap it.

It all started with a tiny rattle in the rear passenger well and escalated to a full blown thud within 4-5 days. The strut/shock is left exposed and the rust has eaten up almost the entire well now. The pictures I've posted are from nearly a month and a half ago.

With the blue/black book value being what it is, it wont be worth repairing the vehicle. I'm now looking at either donating or scrapping it as those appear to me my only feasible options.

- , Toronto, ON, canada

problem #32

Jan 162015

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 115,000 miles


We just replaced the shocks and other suspension components that had to be destroyed to be removed. This was to the tune of about $1000. The Escape has been great for us since we bought it new in fall 2004 (2005 model, now has about 115k miles) so I was OK with spending this hefty amount after all this time.

A few weeks later, I started hearing a rattling/thunking sound on occasion, which definitely struck me because this was a big part of what we had finally resolved with the suspension work. My wife came home the other night and told me her wheel was coming off the car. I thought it couldn't be that, it's probably something minor. I went out with a flashlight and was completely shocked. I checked again in the daylight and was even more horrified than the night before... Practically the entire rear passenger side wheel well was severely rusted and a large section of the wheel well, which the shock is attached to, had broken away from the car. You can now see the fabric insulation layer and that's pretty much all that is now between the inside and the outside of the vehicle in this area.

The rear passenger door area had been rusting for a few years (also rather unacceptable) and I had planned to finally get it fixed this year. Now I have a massive expense (not sure how much yet, but from other posts in the neighborhood of $2000) to swallow for something that should not have failed. From even a few minutes of web searching it is clear that this is a known flaw with the Escape and I can't believe there hasn't been some sort of class action lawsuit over it yet.

The shock is now attached to nothing, bouncing around when driving, so the thing is basically not driveable. If we don't fix it the car will be worth practically nothing so we really have no choice. Hopefully a bunch of other things don't start crumbling apart on us after this... I'll have to ask the body shop to make sure to check the thing with a fine-toothed comb so we hopefully have a really good picture of everything that is in bad shape.

I was bummed out to find the rust on the lower portion of the rear passenger door well, but now this? I really can't fully express my disgust.

Update from Jan 22, 2015: I went out and got 3 estimates for the work. The first was around $3k but hard to say until they really got started and knew how much would have to be cut away and so on. The second was $4k+ saying the whole quarter panel piece would need to be replaced also (just to get to the wheel well to replace it). The third said they wouldn't even touch it.

Having already invested $1000 in suspension work (shame on Belle Tire for not bringing this to my attention) and almost $1000 in new tires, I wasn't fond of the idea of investing another $3-5k, when the vehicle could probably only be sold for $5k or so (Limited, AWD, good condition other than this horrific problem), so we went out and bought a different vehicle. We had planned to get another Escape (newer model), but after this problem and all the posts that Ford does nothing to make the situation right we decided we can't buy another Ford. And this comes from a Ford family -- we have always bought Ford vehicles. The Escape has been an excellent vehicle for the 10 years we've had it but for it to now be unusable and trash due to a defect in workmanship/design is completely unacceptable and utterly disgusting to me. We went with a Subaru Forester this time.

At this point my follow-ups are (1) to contact Belle Tire about their taking my $1000 for new suspension without telling me about the completely obvious and severe rust issue, (2) to contact Ford corporate and get blown off, and (3) to contact the dealer we bought from and complain to them. I'm sure that I'll have to be persistent, which takes time and patience, but I will do it because I am so completely disgusted. In the end I fear it will make me feel only slightly better and my options for the Escape will be limited to donating to charity or selling for scrap. So sad, considering everything else about the vehicle is fine and I had expected at least another 60k miles out of it. :(

- , Pleasant Ridge, MI, USA

problem #31

Jul 152014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

I heard loud cluncking noises in the rear end of my car. Thought I had a shock gone or going. My sons looked at it and saw that both of the rear wheel wells were totally rusted out. The shocks were hanging on by a thread. Took it to a reputable mechanic and he said it was un safe to drive and need to be picked. He replaced both wheel wells to a sum of 950.00. I called Ford and they told me they had no complaints recorded dealing with anything like this. It is a shame that Ford does not stand behind their vehicles. The shop did take pictures of the wheel wells as they said they had never seen anything as bad as they were.

- , Stillwater, Minnesota, USA

problem #30

Jan 142015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 186,000 miles

I did not realize this was an issue with this vehicle when I bought it. I have taken great care of the car and took it in due to noise in the rear right hand side. They told me the entire wheel well is rusted out and needs to be fixed to the tune of $2500.00......WHAT!!!!

When I called Ford to complain, they took my information and told me there is no recall, nothing they can do for me. I looked online and OMG....this is a HUGE problem. Called Ford back, told me there is no recall, nothing they can do for me.

If you have had this problem....call Ford and complain so maybe, someday, they might do something about it!!!

Update from Feb 17, 2015: Found a great local body shop who took this on for me. When he started to pull the trim and got to the wheel well, the shock assembly pretty much fell off the vehicle….sorry Ford but this IS a safety issue. I had him check the drivers side and while it wasn't as bad….it would need to be fixed within a year.

I am one of the lucky ones? as it is only? going to cost me $1500 to do both sides, including new shocks. Because I cannot afford to buy a different vehicle at this point, I am having it fixed and will be paying it off over the course of the next year or so.

Lesson learned, I will never buy another Ford.

- , Lakeville, MN, USA

problem #29

Dec 012014

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 72,101 miles



- , toledo, Ohio, USA

problem #28

Sep 252014

Escape Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 132,000 miles

Add me to the list of people with an un-drivable 2005 Ford Escape, due to excessive rust in the right rear wheel well and the shock tower detached from the frame. We have not attempted to fix this yet due to lack of funds. I am going to contact our Ford dealer but it will probably be a waste of time. They are not very good about taking care of their people. I think I'm headed to KIA!!

- , London, Ohio, USA

problem #27

Dec 052014

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 116,000 miles

I started hearing a rattle, that escalated to a nasty noise that sounded like my car was falling apart. We checked it and found that the shock is thru the rusted wheel well and only fabric is holding it from going thru. I loved this vehicle and now it is worthless because of rust? That is just plain wrong. I'm looking for a different vehicle but am really not going to buy a Ford because this should not have happened. I wash & wax my car often, I do maintenance with my dealer every 3 to 5,000 miles and this is what I get back.

- , Amana, IA, USA

problem #26

Oct 022014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles

Dons Welding Service in Depew NY fixes the common problem of a rotted out passenger rear wheel well. Typically it happens on the 2005s but it has been known to happen to other years as well. Stop on in and get a quote to have it fixed!

- , Depew, New York, USA

problem #25

Nov 062014

Escape XLT 3.0L 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 91,500 miles


Just bought a 2005 Escape XLT and it is in immaculate condition with one glaring exception. Rust is showing in both rear fenders and bubbling the paint. It seems whenever you buy a car, you start noticing how many other identical cars are on the road and I happened to notice that every Escape of this vintage has visible rust in the rear wheel well/fender areas. I called Ford Customer Service and had a friendly chat with a representative who took down my information and said she would forward it to the appropriate department. This is clearly not an isolated problem based on the fact that so many others have reported it on this site and I have to believe there are probably 100 times more owners out there who are not aware of this specific complaint site. To get Ford to wake up, I would recommend everyone call 866-436-7332 and give your information to them so some critical mass can be achieved. There should definitely be a manufacturers recall for this.

- , Heber City, UT, USA

problem #24

Nov 142014

Escape 3.2L

  • Manual transmission
  • 198,000 miles

For the last few days I have heard a horrible rattling coming from my passenger side rear. I figured it was just the equipment I had in the car. However, it continued after I removed it. I noticed inside of the car that the plastic wall had popped out. So, I figured that some winches I had stored in the compartment had gotten wedged in there and were rattling around.

I just took the car to a mechanic yesterday to have the exhaust fixed. 400 dollars for that. He said everything else on the car looked good. Well, I can't blame him for not seeing the problem. I didn't see it, either, and you wouldn't see this unless you were looking right at the wheel well.

A huge piece of metal just BROKE AWAY (about 8x8 or more). The shock is still in tact, attached to the middle of this broken piece. The metal was bouncing through the compartment, which is why the inside wall was popping out.

I'm furious about this. I just had an alternator replaced. I just had the exhaust fixed. I put about $1000.00 or more into the car last year. Now this.

Then I go to google just to see what I can find as far as this issue. I type into "Google" "Wheel well rust" and Google automatically populated this: "Wheel well rust Ford Escape". Really? So, Google has seen this typed in so often that it automatically populates it?

Then, the first thing in the results is this site.

I see that Ford doesn't think they have a responsibility to their customers regarding this issue.

I will be taking this car to my local Ford dealership, after filing an insurance claim for it. If my insurance refuses to fix it, I will be informing the dealership of this site, and the numerous people having this problem, and that they will give me a reasonable price for the work, or find me a garage that will---at the risk of my attorney getting involved.

That's all I have to say. I'm angry. I have a child on the way, trying to put away as much money as possible, and then this happens.

- , Buffalo, New York, USA

problem #23

Jul 252014

Escape Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 137,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust excessive wheel well rust

I am having the same issues that everyone one in this link is having. I work really hard for my money and saved many years finally replace a car I had for 14 year. I bought a 2005 Escape at the end of 2011 trusting Ford and the dealer. Maybe I should have done my homework regarding this issue first but it wasn't until I had the issue that I realize so many others have had the same issue. A recall would be the right thing to do. Trying to fix it is costly and buying another car right now isn't in the budget.

Heard loud sound when driving over bumps in the road. Thought it was an something in the back shifting. Double check and that was not the issue. Looked at the right back wheel house and found it was so rusted out and the strut was disconnected from a bolt that held it up. Took it to the dealer to have it checked to see what it was and if I should be driving it. Service man looked at it and said "oh my', he in turn takes me to the body shop and the manager says "Oh Jesus, I've never seen anything like this before". They go on to tell me it would cost apx $6k to fix it if they could and start naming everything they would have to replace or remove. They suggest I look at purchasing a new car because the car wasn't worth the cost to fix. (It is a 2005 Ford Escape Limited, leather interior, sunroof and all). I ask if it was in my best interest not to drive it and they said eventually the strut would break loose from the rusted frame and the sound would get worse. They never told me not to drive it and that it could cause harm to me and I asked that point blank.

I'm taking it to another body shop and hoping they can replace the wheelhouse and seal it at a reasonable price since buying another car isn't in the budget and borrowing someone else's to get back and forth to work and church isn't either. Pray that this fix is quick, doesn't cost an arm and a leg and works.

- , Kansas City, KS, USA

problem #22

Oct 012014

Escape XLS 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

My story is like many others here. I began to hear a noise from the passenger rear side of my Escape, sounded like something was loose. I checked the space where the jack is stored thinking it or something near was loose. When that didn't work I checked again, sticking my hand in the area looking for something loose, and, surprise, my hand went right through to the tire. The wheel well is completely rusted through. I have called Ford and a local dealer to no avail. I think the only thing we can do is keep making noise, filing complaints, etc. and see if a recall will be forthcoming.

In the meantime, I cannot drive this vehicle for fear that the shock absorber will become detached completely. I am waiting for a price from a local metal fabrication shop to see if I can afford the fix. I'll update this when I get more info.

Update from Oct 29, 2014: Update.......I took it to a body shop, which then referred me to a custom metal fabricator. There is also rust on part of the frame near the wheel well. Using a wheel well from a junkyard the fix will be $1050 to replace the wheel well and repair the rusted frame. I will have to decide whether this vehicle is worth this kind of repair with the mileage it has on it.

- , St. Louis, MO, USA

problem #21

Oct 212014

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 160,800 miles

While driving home from a weekend trip - noticed quite a bit of clunking in the right rear of the car. Took the car to my mechanic and he immediately saw the problem - there is barely anything holding the area over my right rear tire together. He sent me to a welding service -they have seen so many of these problems in the last couple months they have a template made!!!!!!!!!!!! I have always thought that part of my car seems "noisy", like there was insulation missing. We need a rebate for this - there is SOMETHING WRONG!!!


problem #20

Aug 202014

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Contacted Ford and warranty company and all they said was sorry.

- , Oswego, IL, USA

problem #19

Jun 012014

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,754 miles

I purchased this very clean car from a dealer with slightly over 100,000 miles with new tires in 2012. I also purchased the power train warranty as I intended to keep it for years. Fast forward to summer 2014,the car now has almost 116,000 and is unsafe to drive. The continental tires have at least 50% tread left. I also owe a considerable amount of money on the loan. I understand my problem is not unique but Ford motor doesn't acknowledge it in this year Escape.What is going on is the rear right wheel well to the back of the car completely rotted away. This problem is not to be confused with the brace recall for the underside suspension.This is significant as according to my mechanic there is nothing left to support the flexing driving creates. The escape has been repaired twice.The first time all rotted metal was removed and a new patch panel installed, sealed up and rustproofed with undercoating. The horrible slapping noise stopped for about 250 miles. Back to the shop, this time they re-spot welded the panel 30 times. This lasted 900 miles. The shop says there is not enough metal left in the back to provide the integrity needed against metal fatigue. They say the solution now would be an entire new rear quarter section before the shock tower collapses.I have read on forums that dealers are unwilling to address this problem and I can hardly blame them,it is my hope Ford motor steps up as unlikely as that sounds. As it stands now I am stuck holding the bag as I'm not a fraud kind of guy,call it karma or whatever. Here's the math- $8,500.00 car, 30 months into 6 year loan,14,000 miles driven, less than half worn tires,car unsafe to drive. So what can I do? Fix the car for an OMG amount,dig into my retirement account again,sell it for parts?maybe roll car and loan into something else possibly repeating history. Guys at work tell me the state attorney general might help.Looks like I'll have to exhaust all avenues. Ending note, the car is now nick named "slappy" and for anyone checking this out don't be as naive as I was believing that a vehicle considered a durable "sport utility vehicle is anything more than a rust bucket. These kind of problems are probably why Ford is making all aluminum trucks coming soon[thanks to the profits made from sloppy uni-body trash}.

- , Dearborn, Michigan, USA

problem #18

Aug 282014

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 119,000 miles

click to see larger images

excessive wheel well rust

So frustrating! I took excellent care of my 2005 Escape Limited through 19k miles. Hoped to have it a lot longer. Estimates by phone from local body shops are $3-5000 IF it can even be fixed. There might be too much corrosion to replace just the well. AND Ford attached the shock to the wheel well, extremely poor design with their improperly sealed metal. Come on, Ford, time to issue a corrosion recall on the '05 like you did on the 01-04!

- , Chardon, OH, USA

problem #17

Aug 172014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

The rear wheel wells are completely rusted out now driving without a rear shock estimate was 6400.00 to fix escape not even worth that much. What a piece of crap. Paid 12000.00 foe this vehicle in 2010 it was only 5 years old then and has been nothing but a money pit. All because of the rusting. Vehicle is not safe to drive.

- , Ashland, Wisconsin (WI), USA

problem #16

Feb 262014

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 210,000 miles

This last winter my back wheel wells rusted out completely. And I missed the recall by a year!

- , Grayling, MI, USA

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