Huge win for car owners! All TSBs to be made public. The Center for Auto Safety just made the NHTSA (US Government) make public the full text of all TSBs from now on. They are the same organization that has petitioned the NHTSA & filed lawsuits to protect car owners over exploding gas tanks & other major safety issues. Whenever you drive in your car, you are safer thanks in part to a lot of work over the years by this small but very effective consumer advocacy group.

Please take a moment & say thank you by donating $5 or whatever you can to the Center for Auto Safety. 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:
100,580 miles
Total Complaints:
98 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace spark plugs, coils, cylinders and PCM (56 reports)
  2. replace PCM (29 reports)
  3. not sure (13 reports)
2005 Ford Escape electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 5)

problem #98

May 222016

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,700 miles


My 2005 Ford Escape ran OK (Already Replaced Converters) until I was heading to work. I started it up and took off like normal. While of the freeway the car lost power but I was able to get it to the shoulder. I restarted the car it started chugging .... no lights came on to let me know that there was a Huge Problem. I got thru another busy intersection and then lost complete power again. I restarted it and was able to drive at low speed for about 8 miles and then the check engine light came on. My mechanic hooked it up to the diagnostic machine, damage at this point ... at least 3 coils dead, potential wire harness fried, backlash from the voltage to the computer, it is dead. I don't understand why there has not been a recall, car stopped dead on the freeway, Major Safety issue. None of my service lights came on -- there was no warning that there was a problem until it was too late.

- , Placentia, CA, USA

problem #97

May 222016

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,700 miles

This is just greed on the part of Ford Motor Company. What ever happened to a tune up where you could replace the plugs or coil without replacing a dam computer. This will be the last Ford I ever buy !

- , Placentia, CA, USA

problem #96

Jan 102016

Escape XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

Since this is a recurring problem with 2005 Ford Escapes; it is really unfair and piss poor customer service on the part of Ford not to accept responsibility. Purchasing another Ford product is out of the question!!!

- , Decatur, GA, USA

problem #95

Feb 252016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles


Ford does not seem to care that they made a car so bad that it won't even run for 80,000 miles without costing $2.5K. It is a known problem. They changed the PCM in later models I was told but that doesn't help me.

- , Natural Bridge, USA

problem #94

Dec 292015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,144 miles

So I loved my 2005 Ford Escape ran great until I was heading to work with my 3 kids in the backseat. I started it up and it didn't want to kick over, but I thought because it was cold that battery might be going bad. It did kick over and was fine. 1/2 to my kids school at the stop light it started chugging .... no lights came on to let me know that there was a potential problem. I got thru the busy intersection and then lost complete power ... now stuck on the most busiest road in Bowling Green and can't move my car because everything is drained .. I mean my battery isn't working .... I have nothing to steer. My Calvary appeared (aka my dad) to jump me to get out of the road -- after 20 mins of charging still didn't kick it over we called a tow. The tow driver said it sounded like an alternator - ok easy to replace took it to Auto zone where my husband could get one and put it on. Slight problem - it's not easy accessible so ended up having it towed again to a local mechanic. So the mechanic is all set up to put a new alternator on but does his due diligence is checking to see if it's necessary .. the alternator wasn't bad ... the starter wasn't bad .... what could it be? Well they hook it up to the diagnostic machine and not after 5 mins there is smoke coming from under the intake -- the coils are smoldering and sparking .. they shut down the diagnostic and now my computer isn't responding at all. Damage at this point ... at least 3 coils dead, potential wire harness fried, backlash from the voltage to the computer so it is potential dead, and to fix this with no guarantee that it could be driven again without another fail is $5-8K. Looking at the complaints here and the investigations - I don't understand why there has not been a recall -- my family is now stuck with a dead car in the drive way with a lien on it that was to be paid off in 5 months! None of my service lights came on -- there was no warning there that there was a problem!

- , Bowling Green, KY, USA

problem #93

Oct 242014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,500 miles

Had just bought my used Escape in August, everything checked out ok. I bought from original owner, low mileage (they upgraded). The car was driven from Florida to Philadelphia with no problems and it had its regular inspections. Suddenly on the road one night I experienced loud engine chugging over 45mph, a blinking check engine light (intermittent then it was off again), and so I immediately attempted to coast home (less than a mile away) to have a mechanic check it out later during business hours. I didn't even make it home. The engine light went full on and I suddenly lost power completely, with barely enough notice to pull off the highway. It was very unsafe. After the car stalled out it would not restart for a long period of time and when it did it was very sluggish and choking so I had to wait for a tow. Took it to the mechanic the next day and they read me a long list of error codes that had been experienced, and all of them went back to this PCM problem, apparently, as described in TSB 10-18-10. Was told it would cost at least $2,000 to repair, and a second quote from the dealership agreed.

I thought that the vehicle reacted rather sporadically rather than notifying me of an issue, and there should have been a recall by now if these lurking problems are becoming a hazard for many people who bought the 2005 Ford Escape not knowing how the engine could quit at any moment. After getting the necessary repairs to my low mileage vehicle, which set me back a few thousand even after getting a preferred customer discount, I will be following up with NHTSB because what's supposed to happen is there should be some kind of advisement to either steer clear of this make and model completely, or get it checked out before someone gets very hurt. I was fortunate to be able to get out of harm's way by maneuvering the car with its momentum after the loss of power. I will be filing paperwork in hopes that a recall is going to spare the next person the difficulties I've been through in paying thousands of dollars for a car that's worth not even much more than that anymore (in terms of book value). But I am now heavily invested in this car and can only hope that the replacement's 2-year warranty at least holds up so that I have a dependable car to drive in the meantime. I do not want to go through this experience again.

- , Westmont, NJ, USA

problem #92

Mar 212015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,318 miles


I purchased the vehicle on 3/14/15, drove it for several days and it lost power and was running rough, The air quit working, clicker stopped working, I finally managed to get vehicle home. I called dealership where car was purchased (Rainey's in Americus, GA). They had to send wrecker to pick vehicle up and take to their shop.

They replaced 2 ignition coils, spark plugs and a used PCM. They had the vehicle several days, I finally got the vehicle back and it was running fine. I drove it for 2 or 3 more weeks before it started acting up again. It didn't do as bad as the first time but it is running rough. I called the dealership back up and told them the problem. The salesman said he would contact the main office (Saturday) to get them to make it right and to get me a rental car. He told me to call him Monday.

When I called him back he transferred my call to the main office. The guy there didn't mention anything about a rental car, he told me to bring the vehicle the next morning and they would take a look at it. I wonder if they knew about the recall that is listed in all the complaints on this site concerning the 2005 Ford Escape. I think it is wrong that you pay so much for a vehicle and have driven it only a few weeks. I want them to make this right. Either the dealer ship or Ford if there is a recall concerning the same issue I am having.

- , Buena Vista, GA, USA

problem #91

Jan 092015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

I've noticed knocking with the engine, rough idle and issues with slow take off/ delayed shifting over the last few months. I took the vehicle to my local Midas and had a routine tune up done. The spark plugs and ignition coils were all replaced but the car continued to shake and drive fairly rough. I finally took the vehicle to a Ford dealer where I was told the PCM needed to be replaced. Ford wants to charge $1700 for the PCM and additional $800 for the labor. I got the car used from a local dealer in Indy so I'm not sure of prior owners. I am still leasing the car and simply cannot afford the repair. The cost of the repair is more than the remaining amount of my car loan. I've owned the vehicle for 2 years now with no issues bigger than regular maintenance.

I think it's incredibly asinine that Ford is not willing to do anything about this issue. Does someone have to die before anything is done about this ??

- , Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #90

Feb 122015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Apparently from what I've read, FORD put wrong plugs in 2005 & 2006 Escapes causing excessive noise which resulted in PCM & coil failure.

Supposedly they extended warranty to 80,000 miles or no more than 10 yrs old. I believe this was done in 2010. If the car's normal usage is about 15,000 a year that would mean most all 2005 Escapes would already have 75,000 miles on them at that time. So Ford knew the recall, even if owner lucky enough to know about it, had little chance of getting covered under warranty.

I bought mine 2007 with only 10,000 miles on it and No recalls at that time. Ford should have extended at to at least 100K. Mine just started misfiring really bad but I've seen where some had car just die in middle of expressway. Guess Ford's waiting for someone to get killed and lawsuits to start. There needs to be a class action to allow us recover repair cost.

Update from Mar 17, 2015: Still in shop, over 4 weeks without car and down $1,800.00. 👎👎👎👎

- , Hampton, GA, USA

problem #89

Feb 022015

Escape LX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

So I bought this car used from a Ford dealership (Prestige Ford Garland, TX) a few months ago. Didn't seem to have any issues. Well a couple of weeks ago it started to sputter a little bit. I didn't think much of seeing as how I have never owned a new car only ever bought used. I've dealt with my fair share of issues over they year and have become fairly mechanically inclined due to it. The more I read up on the PCM issues the more upset I become.

I took the vehicle in this morning to have it diagnosed and behold it is the PCM. It is going to cost me $1867 to have it fixed. Ford should take control of this ever growing issue, step up to the plate and fix their problem. With the amount of complaints, issues and from what it seems like reading through everything the near death experiences caused by this issue why isn't Ford taking action on this. I was born and raised around Fords but after this will never buy another one. Please anyone reading this let me know if you were able to find any other solutions to fix this other that paying Ford to fix their known issue.

- , Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #88

Dec 022013

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles


I hate this car. Never again Ford. Took it to a Ford dealer to have it checked out (actually towed to dealership) to see if there were any other problems. They said no and that it was worth fixing, so we did it. One month later another 1400 major repair. 10 months after, that wheel well rusted through to the interior of car, 600 dollars. This car is the automobile version of the money pit. Total piece of crap

- , Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #87

Jan 092015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Like many other complaints on here I was driving, I had my 6 yr. old granddaughter with me when it just lost power, almost like it ran out of gas but it hadn't. Got it to coast to the side of the highway, the check engine light was on, it was missing and had no power. A handheld tester showed multiple codes that led to coil packs, plugs, cam and crank sensors. Changed all that it showed.

Continued to have the same problems, had to put it on a diagnostic PC to find out the problem is my PCM. I do not know what the cost is to fix it by the time I replace it and whatever else they have to replace and program, or whatever the cost of labor not counting I already had it hauled home, then had to haul it to get it checked then back home.

I'm stressed, upset, aggravated, etc., need this vehicle back on the road now for Doctor's appointments. I'm even more upset that this car was bought from a Ford dealership, a used dealership with over 100,000 mi. on it! Was a 1 owner and the dealership knew it had already had 1 coil pack changed, but I never knew anything about recalls etc., but I'm sure they knew! I'm so disappointed with them.

I've always drove Fords but now thinking I'll never buy another! I can't afford this, they need to help pay or reimburse us all, like most have said recalls was for vehicles under 87,000 mi. but most aren't doing this until they're over 100,000. My car looks great inside and out but does no good if it's not running. That dealership should fix my car.

- , Hinton, WVA, USA

problem #86

Oct 182014

Escape CLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

There are 85 existing complaints on this site for this specific issue and it is very obvious that we are seeing the same thing. The PCM is failing to signal to the spark plug that it should fire. The mechanic showed this to me using a simple tool that allows one to see the signal via a small light indicator. The signal is visible on all plug wires but one. The wire was confirmed good.

There are many frustrating and downright dangerous issue around this that I argue warrant a recall ... I filed a formal complaint with Ford as well and intend to do so with NHTSA. First, if the computer is bad and sending incorrect signals, it logically follows that it reports incorrect diagnostic test information, leading to who knows how many wasted dollars replacing incorrectly reported failed parts ... Coils, oxygen sensors, etc. more importantly, these bad signals are causing some of these cars to just suddenly die on the highway, such as our case with a young driver who was in heavy traffic at the time. What could be more dangerous than a seemingly healthy car shutting down in high speed traffic? Note..our driver does the Chesapeake bay bridge frequently. I would not wish a disabled car in that situation on anyone.

This issue is very clear from the many postings of the same event. Ford apparently equipped this class of Escape with incorrect plugs, which overtime corrupts the computer, leading to thousands of dollars in unneeded repair and potentially dangerous breakdowns for the drivers. Ford needs to own up to this and recall these PCMs.

I would normally not jump to this conclusion on my isolated event, but all of these complaints are so consistent, the conclusion is obvious.

- , Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #85

Aug 212014

Escape 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My 18 year-old daughter was on her way for her first day of college, when our POS Escape died on the interstate at 70 mph. Luckily she was able to creep it off the side of the highway with out getting plowed. She was able to start the vehicle only to break down 3 miles later on a side street. We had to replace 6 spark plugs, 6 coils and the PCM.

I too find it very convenient for FORD not to publish this known anomaly until years later (once vehicles are past the 80,000 mile mark). FU FORD. Never again. Back to upfront and reliable Toyota.

- , Melbourne, FL, USA

problem #84

Jun 172014

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,500 miles

I've always been a staunch defender of the FORD brand...until now. The more research I did on the link between faulty factory-installed spark plugs and PCM failure, and Fords knowledge of this link from the get-go, the angrier I become. There is a TSB out on this "known" issue however the warranty period only extends up to 80,000 miles. Pretty convenient since the average failure marker is 98K miles. Also convenient that Ford waited until 99.99% of all affected drivers would be outside of their "warranty" period before graciously extending said "warranty". Hogwash. I consider myself fortunate that my failure did not cause an accident (because you know, loss of ALL ELECTRICAL CONTROL at 70 MPH is not high on my bucket list). I will state up front that I did NOT preemptively replace the plugs and coils at 100K miles as recommended. I had no indication of misfire, nor any other cause for concern (little did I know...) and ALL other recommended maintenance had been followed sine MILE ONE (I am the original owner) From the first misfire to complete failure was 36 miles. Within 15 miles of the first misfire, I brought it into my mechanic since I knew it was time to replace the plugs at that point. Diagnostics confirmed plugs 2 and 3 were shot, however the PCM tested good. I opted to replace all 6 plugs AND all 6 coils based on numerous complaints in forums such as this one. $1,009.19 later, and I'm out the door. On the way home from the shop I noticed it was still hesitating slightly, but nothing like it was (I blamed it on the extensive (and intrusive) work that was done and gave it a few miles to 'work out the kinks'). 22 miles later and the check engine light illuminates once again and the engine begins SERIOUSLY MISFIRING. I was able to limp the 6 miles to my mechanic where diagnostics confirmed the PCM was now fried. Awesome. Another $830 and change to replace the PCM and reprogram both keys. Yes my truck has 130K miles. No, it will not last forever but known issues such as these really chap my hide!!! This has soured me off Ford forever at this point. Disappointing, dangerous and downright deceptive. >:-(

- , Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #83

May 052014

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

Same as the others under this heading. Car died on Rte 89 in Vermont. Was driving up a hill with cruise control on, it started to speed up and I tapped the brakes and then all hell broke loose. Coils, plugs, PCM all shot. Towed to Burlington. Now sitting in Ford dealership waiting for PCM - which they have no idea when it will get there.I am renting a car costing me 380 a week. (I live in Maine).

I never had any idea it was coming and was actually thinking up to that point the car had treated me well. In reading the prior entries my outrage has grown - particularly at the cost (2400 buck for everything) and the fact it seems to be a recurring problem (not to mention the issue with finding a part).

I am so frustrated at not only the expense but the powerlessness.

- , Springvale, ME, USA

problem #82

Nov 272013

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

You can spend a week on the Internet to get the whole story for this piece-of-crap vehicle which has a KNOWN problem with the ignition system which ultimately manifests as a PCM replacement. The trail of service bulletins (TSBs or Technical Service Bulletins):

TSB 05-11-1, TSB 09-02-06, and finally TSB 10-18-10 which add to the tale of woe about this failure which goes like this:

Your car starts to run rough or dies altogether - dashboard lights up like a Christmas tree. When you look into it you find that the root cause of the problem was that in 2005 Ford installed sh*tty spark plugs that generate a lot of RF (radio frequency) noise along with a coil-on-plug ignition system that also sucked with respect to suppressing that noise. This causes the PCM (Powertrain Control Module aka 'the computer' or 'brain') to crap out and possibly damage coils along the way. Worse yet, if you have been noticing a little roughness for a while that was your engine misfiring and sending unburned fuel through the top catalytic converters - so they can be possibly be trashed as well in the process.

Got that? You might be completely hosed because of some bad spark plugs and poor design that Ford knew about shortly after they made this car. Now you would think they would have mentioned it somewhere along the way and had you come in for a fix before everything went to sh*t - but no they left it to you to find out when you where in this mess stuck on the side of the highway. The suggested fix is to replace all the plugs, coil-on-plug assemblies ($100+ per, 6 ea.), and the PCM ($$$$). If your converters are messed up, well, just throw that in too.

TSB 10-18-10 was revised from earlier bulletins because the newer COPs where redesigned so that they actually did suppress excessive PCM destroying RF noise the way they should have in the first place.

Also interesting is that if you go to the Ford site - you can't even get a new PCM unit only a 're-manufactured' unit so I think that might be a good indicator of how common this problem is.

~50K miles and FOUND ON ROAD DEAD


Update from Dec 3, 2013: Just looked at top 3 on worse vehicle list - makes perfect sense.

- , North Providence, RI, USA

problem #81

Sep 142013

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,485 miles

See that picture? That's my Escape being towed at 1am after I returned from vacation and was driving home from the airport. Sputtered intermittently then when I got on the expressway and gave it gas about 5 miles into my trip, it simply sputtered a few more times then the middle of an overpass...All the dash lights lit up like a Christmas tree. I kept from immediate panic and coasted to pull off just off of the bridge to the side of the road by an off ramp. I was by myself (female) with my 2 small dogs. I was able to contact my daughter to come and sit with me until the tow truck arrived. I had it towed to Firestone in Akron because that is typically where I have maintenance taken care of....Did I mention I live just outside Columbus? They wanted $300 to tow it home for me so I opted to stay in Akron with it for the fix. The driver ('mechanic) said it sounded like a fuel pump issue. Today Firestone did a diagnostic and said the fuel pump is fine but the readings came back that it was a problem with the PCM unit.....after reading all the posts on this site I'm really nervous about the fix. I plan to have it towed to a Ford service dealership tomorrow so I don't, as of this time, know what the damage will be. Even after it's 'fixed', I'm nervous about driving it back to Columbus after reading of the reoccurring problems.

This Escape had been a really good vehicle and this is the first main issue I've had with it....I'm hopeful it will be taken care of in a professional and honest manner.....any advice on whether I should go ahead and have it towed and fixed locally in case there are problems afterward? I'm not sure another Ford dealer in my area would cover the repairs of another Ford dealer...any insight into this?

- , Worthington, OH, USA

problem #80

Nov 082008

Escape LX 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

April 16, 2012

Escape XLT V6

Automatic transmission

After years of putting up with issues like the battery stalling and getting jumped with my 2005 Ford Escape I am livid! I have spent $$$ time and time again for coils, plugs, and A NEW COMPUTER TWICE!. Now their telling me I NEED another NEW COMPUTER? Come on 3 computers in a time span of 4 years. I bought the car brand new and had no problems until the dealership told me the spark plugs needed changing, needless to say they had to drive me home that day...for some unexplained reason one mis fired and caused the pcu or whatever its called to burn up so it ended up costing me 2000.00. Less than ten thousand miles later I was on vacation in Myrtle Beach and got stranded....less then a year again the same problem...I was told by the dealership there that the other ford dealership should have changed all the coils and spark plugs and the problem would never happen this time the pcu price was up and it was higher so that cost me about 3000.00 due to the rental car to get home. Well guess what its two years later and exactly!!!! the same problem again, only it hasn't broke down sounds like a washing machine and I am driving it until it blows!!!! Then I am painting it yellow and putting a sign on it that says LEMONS FOR SALE IN HONOR OF FORD!!!!! The dealership I bought it from were very ugly to me when I tried to get them to refix it....Ford told me they were sorry but they could not help me and My dad worked 30 years and died working for Ford Motor Company in Norfolk, VA. DON'T BUY AND FORD ESCAPE OR YOU WILL HAVE TO ESCAPE FROM HELL......I wont ever buy any Ford again!!!!! I know in heaven my dad is driving a Jeep, a chevy, a BMW, even a tricycle ....anything but a FORD!!!!

- , Eure, NC, USA

problem #79

Aug 032012

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

Last year I had 4 of 6 coils, 4 of 6 spark plugs and my PCM replaced after my car shut down on the highway. About a week ago, the same thing happened and after inspection, the mechanic told me that I needed to replace 6 coils, 6 spark plugs and needed a new PCM. If I just had all of that replaced last year, why am I needing to redo it a year later? I have been doing research on-line and it seems like I am not the only person that this is happening to.

- , Opelousas, LA, USA

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