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.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
148,694 miles
Total Complaints:
6 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. weld in new wheel well (3 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. auxiliary shock mounting bracket kit (1 reports)
2004 Ford Escape suspension problems

suspension problem

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2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #6

Jan 082016

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • CVT transmission
  • 164,663 miles


Had mine fixed for a bit over $300, God bless my mechanic! Like every others, shock mount has rusted through making it unsafe to drive. The guy said they have done a few ones at the shop and he suggested me to go with the auxiliary bracket kit over the welding solutions. 10 times cheaper and still much more solid than welding the same defective wheel well panel, in his opinion. It took him 4 hours including a finishing job with an anti-rust protective finish. Now this is damn solid and drives great. Honestly, it was worth fixing since my car is still in good shape.

- , Mecklenburg, NY, USA

problem #5

Oct 122015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 169,000 miles

click to see larger images

shocks rusted through

On October 12, 2015 I bought this Ford Escape from a private party for my 16 year old daughter. After her driving it for 3 days we noticed a lot of rattling in the rear right wheel well. When we look we found this rusted out wheel well that had been "temporarily" fixed with metal plates and screws that now came loose. Attached is the picture of what we found when the "temporary" fix was removed. The private party obviously knew about this and hid it from me now after spending $2000 how can this be fixed? After some research Ford knew about this problem in the Ford Escapes from 2004-2006. Shouldn't they repair it because of the safety issues? This is not normal wear and tear on a vehicle because the left side is completely fine.

What are my options without spending more money on this vehicle that is worth sh*t now?

- , Cedarburg, WI, USA

problem #4

Nov 202015

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 108,498 miles

click to see larger images

shocks rusted through

Pretty sad this car only lasted 108K, I was planning on driving it for another couple years. Repair was half the value, so I decided just to sell it. I got $750 for a car that KBB'd in fair condition, trade into dealer, at $3.200, this was the only condition, car was well kept otherwise.

Ford is doing a recall on the front control arm in the midwest, due to corrosion (well I guess it's just cheaper to do a recall for Midwest drivers only). They will not recall complaint in discussion because it involves fabricating a new wheel well, which is too expensive. The suspension busting through the back of the car could be very dangerous, but will probably not result in death because you have to be a maniac to drive the vehicle with the sound it makes once the wheel well rots out.

Normally someone would be upset only getting $750 for a car they took great care of, not me, I was relieved to get this pile of crap out my possession.

- , Chicago, IL, USA

problem #3

Sep 152015

Escape XLT 6 Cylinder DOHC 24 Valve

  • Automatic transmission
  • 138,000 miles


click to see larger images

shocks rusted through

Ford Escape 2004 rusted out right rear wheel well. Highly dangerous and life threatening if not caught. Both my wire and children use this car and other than an occasional loud sound (almost mimicking a blown shock absorber) there was no other indication that this had occurred until I investigated the frame of the car. This was a time bomb waiting to go off. Ford has an issue and it needs to be addressed. Yes, most of the cars are older with good miles, but considering the occurrence rate and the repetitiveness of the same issue across many vehicles, there should be a recall or rebate for fixing the issue.

- , Pepper Pike, OH, USA

problem #2

Feb 112014

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 150,000 miles

Upper shock mount and surrounding metal rotting away off passenger side wheel with holes into the cab area. Repair shop quoted $1,600 for repair but said long backlog for part. Shop has a 2006 Escape waiting for wheel well part.

Searched web and found many other Escapes with same problem. Many on web said flawed design and inadequate sealed sheet metal joints at factory. Ford blew them off stated “past warranty”. Sealed over holes to continue using and slow rusting. Found problem when my son's 2005 Escape upper shock and surrounding area broke loose.

I have always taken good care of vehicles and keep them a long time. Back in the 70s Honda gave my friend a new engine in her 100,000 mile plus Honda Accord. GM replaced rotted front fenders of my Dad's 71 Vega. Ford fixed the same problem with a Ford minivan re-call. So much for Ford being a stand up company. Just web search “Escape wheel well” – u-tube videos, etc. For Ford to say they are not aware of the problem is dishonest.

- , East Moline, IL, USA

problem #1

Sep 112014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 162,000 miles

click to see larger images

shocks rusted through shocks rusted through

This is ridiculous. The shock literally came through the car. The metal or whatever ford use to make this is just too thin. I don't even know how I am going to fix this crap because of ford.

- , Maple Heights, OH, USA

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