Notes: The 2004 Ford Escape looks pretty good compared to other Ford Escape model years, but still has a trend of transmission problems, and engine problems from the NHTSA complaint data — so it's not a model year we can recommend.


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,291 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2004 Ford Escape drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #11

Nov 012016

Escape 6-cyl

  • 72,000 miles


ABS light and engine light came on while driving and vehicle shut down completely. Towed to shop to have replaced the alternator and battery bad. Since then 3- alternators, 2- batteries, 3- O2 sensors, and an airbag light that blinks on and off and illuminates when you honk the horn on the steering wheel. Also when turning on headlights, all dash lights and stereo console lights dim to almost invisible. Took to 4 different Ford dealerships and no one can figure out the problem!!!! this company should realize this car is a lemon, and back their workmanship. And blow this car up !!!

- Jackson, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 242016


  • 150,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. After driving the vehicle and shifting into park, the gear shift indicated that it was in the park position. However, the vehicle was still in the drive position and would not shift out of the drive position. The VIN was not included in NHTSA campaign number: 15V606000 (power train). The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 150,000.

- Linwood, NJ, USA

problem #9

May 022016


  • 133,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for diagnosis; however, the failure could not be duplicated. The vehicle was then taken to an independent mechanic where it was diagnosed that the power train control module would need to be reprogrammed. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 133,000.

- Round Lake, IL, USA

problem #8

Jan 212016


  • 81,200 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. While driving at various speeds, the vehicle failed to accelerate when the accelerator pedal was depressed. The failure occurred constantly. The vehicle was not diagnosed or repaired. The contact mentioned that the vehicle remained idle when the gear was placed in the drive position. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 81,200.

- Mukilteo, WA, USA

problem #7

Oct 012015


  • 120,000 miles
At intermittent times vehicle will stall and die. After driving at 45mph and stop car will die in the intersection. Driving at 70mph on the highway vehicle will stall woth cruise control on. When it stalls at highwau speed it jerks so violently that kids in the back seat get bounced around. It doesnt stall when idling. Only in drive when start to take off from a stop or if your maintaning a steady speed. Then try to speed up or speed down.

- Fond Du Lac, WI, USA

problem #6

Apr 182013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 52,000 miles
The car stalls after putting it in gear /

- Rochester, NY, USA

problem #5

Jun 052007


  • 45,000 miles


The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the check engine warning indicator illuminated. The vehicle was taken to a private mechanic who diagnosed that the transmission needed to be replaced. The vehicle was repaired, but the failure recurred. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 45,000.

- Hillside, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jun 052012

Escape 6-cyl

  • miles
I first noticed a surging and squeal type noise while coming to a stop. Spouse had repaired 3 times yet it continues. During this time I also heard a clanking noise from rear end as if hatch (window/door) was not securely closed but then assumed it may be related to the aforementioned issue. I mentioned noise increased, loud, frightening (steering difficulties). He contacted Ford by phone (X3) and emailed however their reply was no fatalities or incidents had been reported therefore we have 2 options. 1) take it to a Ford dealer for repair at our expense, 2) trade in for a new Ford vehicle. Both school/city/govt employed and cannot afford $2000 to repair. Yesterday my husband removed the entire right shock when I returned home from work after a 12 hr day & told him I felt as if the back end was going to fall off & clanking sound intensified. At 8pm he was laying under car on garage floor and found the shock hanging! he was forced to remove as I had to work the next day at 6am. I am driving without one shock, new tires, rusted rear frame and surge continues. I would appreciate any suggestions as to other avenues for reporting. I have 2 coworkers with similar issues, both Escapes. The removed shock is rusted, near crumbling of sort but saved along with several photos. Thank you in advance for reviewing my lengthy email and look forward to any input and recommendations. [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6). Updated 1/21/15

- Crown Point, IN, USA

problem #3

Oct 152008


  • miles
Transmission broke in the year2008 and then again in less then 18 months later. The car we as not even 5years old. Two transmission job. Ford need to do recall on the transmission. Spoke to other owners and they had problems too. I will let themknow where to file complaint. Ford knows their is problem with the transmission but won't admit to it because it is a so costly for them to fix it.

- Peekskill, NY, USA

problem #2

Jan 072014


  • 155,000 miles
Driving down road and the rpms on my 2004 Escape jump up. So I try to slow down and car keeps accelerating. Throw car into park because brakes wouldn't slow it down. Ever site I read says it is the accelerator cable. Supposedly this was replaced by dealer while in for air bag indicator light repair in December 2012. Under recall. Now when I start vehicle rpms jump, and get burning smell from motor. Cars rpms jump while driving down road also. Battery and alternator were replaced in May 2013 but since they were replaced battery indicator light is dimly lite upon accelerating. I have spent a fortune on this vehicle and every time I turn around it needs more work. I also after getting battery and alternator replaced had to put a new throttle body component in because motor was racing to 3000 rpms while in park or while foot was on break. Please help. I am scared to death to drive this vehicle like it is. Can not afford to put anymore money into it either.

- Milford, DE, USA

problem #1

Nov 162012


  • 75,000 miles
The problem started when the car was driving and all of sudden the car starts struggling and then shuts off. It would take a several attempts for the car to restart but eventually it would. Now the cars just idles and runs really rough and shuts off while driving. Took it to Ford and they said all it needed was a new cat-converter manifold, not stating why. We replaced it ($1500) but the problem still repeated. Took it to a repair shop and they said it needed to replace 6 ignition coils and plugs and possibly the PCM. They also said the ignition coils caused the cat-convertor manifold to malfunction in the first place. So we replaced all coils and plugs for $1600 but they said the PCM was fine for now but it was a matter of time for the PCM to fail. I'm not sure if Ford deliberately neglected this ignition coil issue but it is suspicious. My commute is mainly interstate hwy and I'm afraid this problem is might cause a major accident while on a major interstate hwy.

- Virginia Beach, VA, USA

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