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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
2 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
63,392 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #11

Feb 072015


  • 110,000 miles


I purchased a 2004 Escape a little over a year ago. My cousin had the same car. We both had to take a few thousand loss and sell these vehicles due to severe, unsafe wheel well rust.not to mention catalytic converters on both cars were bad. Two on each Escape. I was ready to do repairs, until a friend with the same Escape had just repaired the body in his for the same issue. So we all took loss. Who is responsible for this?? I had family that worked, and retired from Ford. I had several Ford's over the years. This has put me in a hole..bought it for 6,000. Just gave it away for 1,000. Help.

- Richfield, OH, USA

problem #10

Nov 012013


  • miles
2004 Ford Escape. Consumer writes in regards to vehicle accident and safety recall notice. The consumer stated the vehicle was totaled. She believed the accident, was due to the safety recall.

- Hackensack, NJ, USA

problem #9

Aug 292013

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 25 mph, the steering wheel seized and the brake and accelerator pedals would not respond to pressure. The contact was able to move the steering wheel after much effort but shortly after, crashed into a utility box. The contact was not injured. A police report was not filed. The vehicle was destroyed. The failure and current mileage was 90,000. Updated 04/22/14 MA when the consumers daughter crashed into the electrical box, it caught on fire, and spread to the vehicle. Updated 04/24/14

- Del Mar, CA, USA

problem #8

Jun 062013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 102,000 miles


I want to bring to your immediate attention a serious safety concern I have with my 2004 Ford Escape. We have owned the car since 2007 (mileage 102,000) and have recently experienced intermittent stalling while the car is in motion. I have had 4 experiences where the car would stall while in motion. It appears to occur when outside temperatures are above 80 degrees and I have traveled in the car for >30 minutes and have made a short stop (for gas or shopping). After continuing my drive after a short stop, the car suddenly shuts off at some point on the way home while the vehicle is in motion, losing all power to the steering and breaking system. The car will start up again (while coasting) with no issue but stall again after a short while. These have been very harrowing experiences on busy roads and fortunate that it was me and not my pregnant wife, as I don't believe she would have had the strength to execute these emergency actions with no power. The car has been at the Ford dealership for >1 week but they have failed to replicate the problem. The car remains at the Ford dealership until the cause can be determined.

- Greensboro, NC, USA

problem #7

Mar 012012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 58,000 miles
All three of the catalytic converters failed to operate in the car. We were initially told that the converters were under warranty both for mileage and time (8 year/80,000 mile warranty). Dealership requested car be bought, which we did. After the car arrived, we were told that the car was manufactured in January 2004 and that the warranty expired in January 2012. Additionally, they want to charge us over $3,000 for the repairs. I also advised them that we purchased an extended warranty in November 2007 when the car was purchased from carmax. We were advised that the extended warranty would not cover either. My car remains at the dealership because we can not afford to repair it, however, we are still making the car payments on it. I contacted Ford motors, filed a report and was later advised that they could not do anything for me.

- Upper Marlboro, MD, USA

problem #6

Aug 302010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 114,500 miles
The #5 spark plug blew out of cylinder head on my 2004 Ford Escape while I was driving approx 30 mph. This was the second time this happened to me in a year (it happened 1st time in Aug 2009). These were both the original factory installed spark plugs, not replacement parts.

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

problem #5

Dec 052010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 118,500 miles


The #5 spark plug blew out of cylinder head on my 2004 Ford Escape while I was driving approx 30 mph in August 2010. This was the second time this happened to me in a year (it happened 1st time in Aug 2009). It happened again 12/5/10 and I am awaiting report on which spark plug it happened to this time. The first two were the original factory installed spark plugs, not replacement parts.

- Hewitt, NJ, USA

problem #4

Jan 202008


  • 37,400 miles
Ford Escape 2004 idling problems with only 39,000 miles engine starts to misfire while running on the highway at 40 miles an hour. While idling it also misfire keeping the engine unstable. Have taking it to the mechanics for electronic diagnosis and some tell me it is the engine gasket that has to be replaced. Help

- Penuelas, PR, USA

problem #3

Feb 182007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 56,910 miles
Engine would remain at full throttle after highway driving and would not return to idle. Found that there were ping pong size yellowish ice chunks stuck in throttle body keeping it held open. Also found that throttle body was severely iced. Removed throttle body and removed ice and cleaned throttle body. Concern has happened 4 times within 9 days.

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #2

Nov 012004

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,000 miles
The engine stalled at 55 mph, causing consumer to lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to the dealer for checkup four times, but the cause was undetermined. The consumer experienced 3 additional failures. The consumer was told to press a button whenever the failure occurred. The dealer installed a special computer.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #1

Aug 152004

Escape 4WD 8-cyl Diesel

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles
Consumer complained about intermittent stalling at low speed that when the accelerator pedal was applied from a stop position or coming to a stop. Vehicle had been to the dealer on eight occasions, and dealer unable to resolved / duplicate the problem.

- Corona, CA, USA

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