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really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
100,779 miles
Total Complaints:
44 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (18 reports)
  2. replace power steering column (14 reports)
  3. shut down engine and restart (12 reports)
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2008 Ford Escape steering problems

steering problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #44

Jun 212013

Escape 3.0L,L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,817 miles


Lost power assist while driving to work. Scared the bejesus out of me as it came out of the blue. By the time I stopped the car had traveled across the left lane into oncoming traffic and it forced the oncoming cars to stop.

Luckily this was on a two lane street and the speed limit was 50 klms. My dad had mentioned to me about a lot of complaints regarding this problem so I turned the ignition off and on and the power assist worked again so I drove to work.

I had extended warranty on the vehicle and it was about to expire within the next two weeks so I wanted to get it checked out. The dealer refused to to do it unless I agreed to pay for it and I refused. Then I called the Ford customer complaints department who basically said take it to the dealer and they'll check the steering out. I didn't do it so I decided to keep driving it and hope that there would be a recall and limited my driving with that vehicle. I checked out the cost of the steering column about $1450.00 Canadian and found out there were 13 changeups for that model since 2008. My escape only had 85,000 kilometers on it.(June 2013) In the last two months I have lost the power assist three times and have received a 14S05 they call a notice from Ford Canada that a defect that relates to motor safety exists in your vehicle. So on thursday my dad took the vehicle to the ford dealership to have the safety issue repaired. The dealer said there was no codes and had updated the PSCM and Chime Module behind the dash cluster. My dad was furious and the service manager and him left each other in exchanging pleasantries and at the end my dad asked him for a kiss. My dad didn't believe that the few commands uploaded to the PSCM would eliminate this problem as he thinks these losses of signals should have registered a code. He knows it could have been other causes too such as heat, amperage draw on the steering motor,a worn wire rubbing, bad connector connection, bad gears in the rack and pinion, lose wiring and other things. but the dealership refused to deal with him but asked my daughter to make another appointment and I suggested she doesnt. The next day my dad called the Ford customer relationship line in Oakville Ontario (for Recalls and Safety) ( 1 800 563-3673) The rep said to take it to another dealer and the Ford Rep. opened a case file for me and suggests my dad to confirm the outcome with him. I suggested to the rep if they cant satisfy me that I will purchase a steering column and take Ford to court in small claims and his reply was you shouldnt have to go that far. Well my dad is too familiar with the system and hope he keeps his word. So I have an appointment with this other dealer on Friday Sept 19. They have already told my dad if there is no hard codes that they will only update the PSCM and Chime Module. Today my dad called Transport Canada (Road Safety-Defects and Recalls) (1 800 333-0510 Canada) and left a message which they will hopefully get back to my dad on Monday. It was closed for the day 8;00-4;30 pm. Ontario. My dad is adament that if the PSCM doesnt get the signal it cant send a command to the steering motor to do its job and that updating the PSCM wont correct the problem. Anyone want to comment as maybe my dad is barking up the wrong tree. I love my dad and he`s only been a Certified HD and Auto Mechanic for forty years but he always has a open mind and knows he may be wrong. Please comment

Update from Sep 20, 2014: Took 2008 escape to another dealer and they tried to make a hard code but failed. they reprogrammed the software and warranted for a year so if it loses assist they will look for another code again. Have not had time to confirm this with ford customer relations yet but the 2nd dealership did not charge to reprogram the 2nd time. They may have talked with ford customer relations. I couldn't talk with the ford dealership service manager about this as it was late Friday and he left for holidays and I my schedule won't allow me to talk to ford customer relations or service manager for another three weeks but my daughter will keep driving the vehicle. With the reprogramming of the computer (they extend the time of the signal to the steering motor to allow you time to get to the side of the road safely if the computer senses a problem that senses a CODE.) Also a check engine light (wrench and warning chime) should come on. Also called a soft landing by Transport Canada mechanic. They also claim that if you cycle the ignition over 20 times the hard code and check engine light may disappear. Hence should check for codes if concerned. Here is a eye opener as I (MAY) have understood from Transport Canada regarding Recall and Bulletins. I seem to understand that Transport Canada cannot force any Auto Corporations to pay for any repairs for recalls etc. This only applies to Canada but in the United States the law says they have to repair the vehicles. So the auto corporations only do this for Public Relations and if it involves a large number of vehicles. It seems that Transport Canada uses moral persuasion. WOW. So if this is true it bodes bad for the consumer. In Canada we have paid lobbyists to prevent the regulations from having any teeth. In the U.S. you seem to be luckier even thou your lobbyists try to do the same thing. I will continue to confirm my case file with the ford customer relations to try to bring some other kind of action and will update in time. For legalities this information (May) be true.

Remember that if your battery voltage is too low you will also lose power assist as this system relies on direct battery voltage to your ignition switch.

Will update on the final solution.

- , Victoria, BC, canada

problem #43

Jul 312014

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,389 miles

click to see larger images

power steering failure

On July 31, I had a accident with my 2008 Ford Escape. The steering locked up on me. Because I had no collision on it, ICBC doesn't want to deal with it. Unless I have proper documentation of the steering defect, Ford Canada doesn't want to deal with it. Can anybody give me advise where to go????

Help?? 1-604-316-3903

Thanks Peter.

- , Chilliwack, BC, canada

problem #42

Jan 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,633 miles

I have my Escape sitting at a dealership, failed power steering, i was in mid repair (put in a new torque sensor, waiting to calibrate it) when the recall was issued so took it in thinking they'd automatically fix it. No. They are saying the issue is because I didn't take it to a Ford dealership for repair, that my mechanic broke my car and they won't repair it. horrible customer service- I am driving a car with no power steering, they issued a recall and are penalizing me for not using a dealership for repair. Unreal.

- , Stratford, Ontario, canada

problem #41

Jul 262014

Escape 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,923 miles


I was making a right turn; all of a sudden, I couldn't turn the steering wheel any more. It was locked. Thank God traffic was light so no one was hurt.

- , Vancouver, BC, canada

problem #40

Feb 082014

Escape 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

Ford 2008 Escape has been a pain since i purchased it. Had severe cooling system failure in 2012. Power steering just went out during a major snow storm. Ford needs to take full credit on this failure. Being quoted $1500.00 to fix. Someone is going to die because of this issue.

- , Batavia, OH, USA

problem #39

Feb 012014

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 200,000 miles

I can't afford the fix for my vehicle. It will cost me between $1500-1700. So I drive my car without power steering waiting for an accident to happen.

- , Oakdale, MN, USA

problem #38

Feb 212014

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles


I think this a problem that needs to be looked into by Ford. A recall is definitely in need due the seriousness of this matter.

- , Goldsboro, NC, USA

problem #37

Apr 112014

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles

Daughter drives estimated 300 miles back and forth and while at school, power steering goes out while driving, with NO INDICATIONS it's about to happen. So far it kicks back in when she does a re-start, but this makes for a very dangerous situation for her and those in traffic.. 4-11-2014

- , van Buren Twp, MI, USA

problem #36

Mar 262014

Escape XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 126,000 miles

Electronic power steering goes out while driving without warning. When stopped at a light, the steering wheel will move back and forth on it's own as if it is possessed. Sometimes it happens when starting the car, and other times it just happens while driving making it very difficult to turn the car. You can either stop or put the car in neutral (while coasting) to turn the engine off to reset the on-board computer for the power steering to come back on.

Very dangerous while driving on the highway when the power steering goes out unknowingly if needing to make a quick lane change.

Should definitely be a Safety Recall Issue!!!! I have heard it is a predominate problem only with the 2008 year model of Escapes.

- , Chesterfield, MI, USA

problem #35

Mar 132014

Escape LX V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 107,000 miles

steering got stiff all of a sudden

No option for recording or taking picture o the problem. This happened in a d cold morning day on tthe way to my daughter'sschool . It was so hard to steer the wheel I th o ught it was the belt. I turned car off and started back on almost inmediately and didnt solve tthe problem right then. My daughter had a school fiel trip which I volunteered for and didnt know whether to cancel the trip o tak my car to a garage early morning. I decided to drive it BUT the experience of a stiff steering wheel was awful and painful specially when turning leftor right. I had to risk my life goin to this special evsnt for my daughter(since she was in 3rd grade- she is in 5th grade now)

I managed to arrive to the location o the fieldtrip and all day was thinking about what was I going to do if car doesnt wo r k? I couldn't even park straight. I asked on of the parent whom were helping ou too and he helped me to check the c a r. Odd l y enough after being parked for5.5 hrs, the Escape workred fine as nothing didnt happened. It has been a scary experience.

- , Bexley, OH, USA

problem #34

Mar 242014

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 146,000 miles


While driving at highway speeds the steering wheel begins to pull and shake to the left and right. The power steering also shuts off completely while driving, and when starting the car. The car is incredibly difficult to steer when this occurs making it almost impossible for my fiance to drive. Shutting off and restarting the car will sometimes unlock the wheel, but it still shakes harshly.

- , Fort Worth, TX, USA

problem #33

Oct 012013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

My steering just gives out, i have to shutdown, then restart the car for power steer to resume. this should be a recall. so many others are having same issue. obviously a known issue.

- , Bayonne, NJ, USA

problem #32

Mar 112014

Escape Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,200 miles

This condition of the Assisted Electronic Power Steering in the 2008 early Escapes-Limited , XLTs and etc, , has been reported to Ford by many-also to Federal Transport Safety Departments and similar Departments in Canada. Ford has done nothing to correct the problems. We have stopped buying Ford and have purchased A new Equinox LTZ. We told Ford Customer Service of our intent if nothing done -we hope so many other original happy ford owners do the same. This was the first year -2008- of the Power Assisted Electronic Steering and evidently had some troubles until corrected them-and they do not want to now make a Recall on them;We still have the Escapdel-not fair to sell to anyone and endanger that family. We use it sparingly and locally only.

- , MaysLanding, NJ, United States

problem #31

Mar 022014

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 93,000 miles

Same complaints as everyone else...locks up and has to be shut off and restarted to work. It is the newest and most reliable vehicle we have and its in the worse shape. Our mechanic had to call a Ford mechanic and explain the problem, he told him he was working on one and the entire steering column needed to be replaced and electrical rewired, costing about $1500. My husband has banned my son and I from driving it. He drives to work and back, about 4 miles each way and it locks up anywhere from 4-6 times on him. Repairs are too costly. FORD NEEDS TO ADDRESS THIS PROBLEM BEFORE SOMEONE GETS HURT!!!

- , Berea, OH, USA

problem #30

Nov 042013

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 136,000 miles

Ford needs to have a recall and fix the issue.

I am hearing it will cost me around $1500.00 to fix.

- , Canton, GA, USA

problem #29

Feb 122014

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

As with numerous others here, steering froze without warning when driving. Shutting off and re-starting the car seems to HAVE TEMPORARILY solved the problem. Steering wheel vibrates when sitting at stop signs or lights. FORD NEEDS A RECALL FOR THIS PROBLEM !!!


- , Ashby, MA, USA

problem #28

Mar 212014

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Felt like someone grabbed my wheel to the right, then let go. I thought , what the hell was that? I started to turn left & could barely turn wheel either direction. After at least an hour of trying to locate steering pump or belt that may have broken I got ahold of my dealer. Guess what? NO STEERING PUMP. All electric stuff.

Tow it to Ford to see for sure what it is. Started it to back it up for tow truck & steering works fine. Decided to get it towed anyway. I love AAA. I had it fixed but I don't think the car needs me for an owner much longer. No one at dealership said these had this problem , not that they had ever heard of. After reading what I have about these cars tonight I am not very secure about driving it. I'll be on the phone to Ford in the a.m. to file a complaint. This is a definite safety issue. I am really pissed that they haven't recalled or re-reimbursed their customers. They haven't heard the last of me for sure. Oh yeah, I'm still making payments.

- , Lake Stevens, WA, USA

problem #27

Mar 192014

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

I purchased this 2008 Ford Escape XLT for my 16 yr. old son to drive for school. Recently he complained about a steering problem with his car. The Steering locks up when you are driving. When parked, the whole steering column vibrates uncontrollably. So, I drove it myself. And....yes, it's all true. You lose control of the power steering while driving! You have to stop the car, which then the whole steering wheel shakes, then restart it to get the power steering back. This is RIDICULOUS and DANGEROUS! After reading numorous other complaints on the internet with the same exact problem, you'd think Ford would recall this issue before someone gets killed! If there isn't someone already! What are you waiting for Ford? You are obviously aware of this problem but choose to do nothing? Really? So, how many accidents or deaths will it take before you do recall it? This car is NOT SAFE TO DRIVE! This may be the last Ford I buy if you don't fix the problem!

- , Mason City, Iowa, USA

problem #26

Feb 122014

Escape 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,108 miles

I am so glad that I was not on the highway or on a trip when my power steering went... I only live 10 minutes away from the Ford dealership and drove to them but it was very hard to turn the wheel. I was not happy with the almost $2000.00 repair bill and shocked that this could happen - it is definitely a safety issue and really feel that Ford should have a recall on this problem, as I discovered from this website that it has happened to a lot of people. I am going to take this to my lawyer and get an opinion on this issue.

- , Edmonton, Alberta, canada

problem #25

Mar 082014

Escape Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 129,000 miles

After realizing there was a problem with my power steering I took it to my garage where they sprang the bad news that I need my steering column replaced to the tune of $1,400.00. I then did some research and was shocked at the number of people who have the very same problem. Due top the high mileage on my vehicle I'm not sure whether its worth the $ to fix but in the mean time I'm now scared to death to take this on the road. This certainly should be a manufacturer's recall and honestly if I do decide to purchase another vehicle it probably will not be a FORD. I certainly hope that someone doesn't have to loose their life before Ford does something about this......

- , Zionsville, PA, USA

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