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:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
120,018 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 suspension problems

suspension problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2004 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2004 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 6 of 7)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #25

Apr 082014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 194,000 miles


My wife noticed a clunking coming from the right rear of the vehicle. I was able to identify that the issue is a separation in the wheelhouse where the strut attaches to the wheel well. The factory-applied undercoating failed and caused the metal area beneath it to rust out. There is a visible hole in the structure, and we are able to see into the trunk area. Our body shop advises that the vehicle is no longer safe to drive, and that full detachment of the top strut mount is imminent. After investigation, he also advises us that he found online nearly 100 similar incidents on similar vehicles ranging from 2004-2006, all with varying mileage. In fact, he has two vehicles on his property that share the same concern: One lost full integrity, and the strut blew through the body into the cargo space; the other shares a similar level of failure as our car. It is also his professional opinion that this sort of rust-out is not common nor expected of a vehicle this age. After extensive local research and personal investigation, I have found in my city alone a half dozen Ford Escape-style vehicles of the same years-range with similar issues at various stages of concern. I also have recorded over 200 complaints from several bulletin boards across the internet noting similar concerns. We have yet to personally contact Ford, yet we see from the postings that the response is the same: Ford does not consider this an issue. Ford, however, has slated later this month to issue a recall related to a similar suspension-rust issue in the vehicle's right front wheelhouse. As the loss of an effective strut can cause serious handling, braking and suspension safety issues at any corner of the automobile, this concern from the rear of the vehicle should be no different.

- Rutland, VT, USA

problem #24

May 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 163,309 miles
Right rear suspension shock absorber mount detached and pushed through body of vehicle. Vehicle now is unstable and dangerous.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #23

Apr 282014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 210,000 miles
A rattling from rear passenger wheel area. Upon investigation to see what it was I found that the upper connection point of the shock tower was completely rusted through and was barely connected to the rest of the body. Within a day or two afterwards the upper part had completely separated and the shock was bouncing around freely. I removed the shock yesterday (5/1/2014) as it had pushed up (since it has no resistance or means to hold it compressed) and punched a hole through the plastic interior side wall liner in the tailgate area. There is now an approximately 10" square hole in the side of my vehicle where I can see the tire and road. I will need to seal the opening to keep road water from entering. Photos can be provided.

- Ecorse, MI, USA

problem #22

May 012014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 128,956 miles


As I was driving today a began to hear a loud banging noise. I took it to my mechanic and he said the wheel well is so rusted that the struts are barely attached. He told me the car is not safe to drive. After researching this online I have came across hundreds of people with the same problem. I think Ford should recall these vehicles!

- Wellsville , OH, USA

problem #21

Dec 182013


  • 135,000 miles
Was driving on the highway and noticed a loud noise coming from the rear of my vehicle and noticed the noise was getting louder. I took my vehicle to my mechanic thinking I needed shocks. My mechanic stated to me that I could not put new shocks on my Escape because my inner fender well was rusted out and my shock was no longer bolted to the frame. I then had to take it to a body shop to be repaired. My shock was just bouncing around and could have broken through the back seat or broken off all together. Once I took it to the body shop I was told I would also have to replace the shocks because my right passenger side shock was cracked in half. I just purchased this "used" vehicle in November and my husband really likes Ford products but after this happening to us and finding out that Ford hasn't done anything about this problem for anybody who has had the same issue it is very disappointing. Luckily nobody in my family was injured due to this problem. I realize this problem has happened to most vehicles where there is snow and ice has to be used on the roads, I feel Ford should issue a recall for the vehicles that have had this problem.

- Weirton, WV, USA

problem #20

Apr 212014


  • 120,000 miles
I am writing to inform you of my problem with my 2004 Ford Escape. I have recently noticed a loud clunking noise in the rear of the car. Upon further inspection I saw that around the right rear strut it's completely rusted out and the strut in nearly free. I did research and noticed that I am definitely not the only one with this problem. I would like it fixed or pointed in the direction as to where I can get it taken care of.

- Parma Heights, OH, USA

problem #19

Mar 292014


  • 106,000 miles


I was driving home on the highway and all of a sudden my car pulled really hard to the right side and started making a loud horrible noise. Everytime I would hit a bump, it pulled the car. I made it home and had it looked at. My rear passenger wheel well was rusted so bad that my shock went right through it. All of the other wheel wells are just fine and appear to still be coated.

- Holland, MI, USA

problem #18

Apr 072014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 126,643 miles
I was driving down the road when I hit a pot hole. The body/frame part of the passenger side rear wheel well broke loose around the rear passenger shock. So there is nothing holding the shock in place. It is causing further damage to the area. The body/frame has deteriorated in that area. I cannot drive my vehicle. Ford has issued a recall for the front end rusting prematurely and causing damage. But, I think this is the same reason.

- Romulus, MI, USA

problem #17

Dec 202013


  • 85,000 miles
The right rear wheel housing was totally corroded away. After researching online found many with the same problem. The other three wheel housings were in good condition without rust. I took SUV to woltz & wind Ford in heidelburg, pa where they told me that their supply of this part was used up and Ford was not making any at that time. The rear housings support the rear shocks and "could have" caused a severe accident. It took 3 1/2 months before part was replaced. Of course Ford down plays the severity of the problem and I was given a total run-A-round by the dealership and with Ford customer service. I am 78 years old widow who dreads to think what "could have" happened. Please do not wait until someone gets kills to make this a priority. You may speak to myself or my son-in-law [xxx] who has been helping with this mess. Information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Mcmurray, PA, USA

problem #16

Feb 032014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 192,000 miles
Passenger rear wheel well has completely rusted out and shock and mount have rusted off of frame.

- Westminster, MD, USA

problem #15

Feb 052014

Escape 6-cyl

  • 164,000 miles


The right rear fender well has rusted out around the shock mount causing the shock mount to separate from the body of the vehicle.

- Intervale, NH, USA

problem #14

Jan 092014


  • 58,000 miles
These was a loud bang when driving over small bumps in the rear passenger side wheel. When I was home I checked the wheel well and the top shock mount was totally rotted through to the truck area. The mount house in the body had broken off and destroyed the inner wheel well.

- Dickson City, PA, USA

problem #13

Nov 012013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 93,750 miles
Rattling noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. Daughter took me for a ride and I sat in the rear of the vehicle to try and find the source of the rattling. Checked the storage compartment for the spare, all other parts and could not determine the source. The next day the noise was much more pronounced. Took it to a body shop and they immediately found the source of the problem, that being a totally rusted out shock/strut tower. The body shop manager said he has seen this on multiple Escapes. He refused to quote the job as he did not want to be liable in case it did not work out.

- Saginaw, MI, USA

problem #12

Oct 152013

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles
The contact owns a 2004 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 35 mph, a loud noise was heard from outside the rear passenger's side of the vehicle. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnosis where the technician stated that the shocks and strut mount were completely corroded. The vehicle was scheduled for repairs. The manufacturer was not notified of the defect. The approximate failure mileage was 140,000. Updated 12/4/13 the consumer stated the right rear side of the shock strut mount rusted away. Updated 12/12/13

- Montgomery , IL, USA

problem #11

Sep 272013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 149,000 miles
I hit a bump and the back of my vehicle started making a banging noise afterward any time I went over the slightest bump. I took it to the garage and the mechanic wouldn't even touch it. The rear shock mount plate is rusted out and he said the wheel well is breaking right off the frame. There is nothing left around it - the metal was only held together by undercoating in some places. He said it was pushing down on the brake line, too. I have seen several incidents with this make/model/year and the 2005 as well. This needs to be addressed before someone gets killed. My children were in that vehicle!

- Watertown, NY, USA

problem #10

Sep 132013


  • 97,000 miles
Noticed a loud noise coming from the rear passenger side of the vehicle. After arriving home I checked the muffler area thinking it was loose which it was not. I then checked inside of the passenger side rear wheel well and found that the shock that was attached to the frame of the vehicle had totally rusted out leaving a huge hole in the frame. The hole now leaves the vehicle unstable and exposed to all elements of the weather.

- Avon Lake, OH, USA

problem #9

Aug 302013

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 118,000 miles
The right front wheel began pulling to the right. Upon inspection we found the sub-frame under the right front was rusted and was sagging. I was advised not to drive the vehicle because the frame could collapse and control of the vehicle would be lost. Upon further inspection it was noticed that only frame rusted out where the air conditioner was dripping condensation. The dealer said it was the road salt used in winter. If that was the case why wasn't the whole sub-frame rotted and not just the section where the air conditioner was dripping? I don't think a 10 year old vehicle should have the frame disintegrate like this.

- Strongsville, OH, USA

problem #8

Aug 092013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 82,400 miles
The right rear inner wheel housing has almost completely rusted away causing the right rear shock absorber to break away from its top mounting and cause severe vehicle bouncing and swaying while driving making it almost impossible to drive the vehicle.many other Escape owners I have spoken to are having the same problem and an internet search of this problem confirms my findings.

- Maple Heights, OH, USA

problem #7

Jul 012013

Escape 6-cyl

  • 138,000 miles
The shock mount on the rear passenger wheel is loose because the metal supporting it is rusting away. Whenever a bump is hit there is a loud noise and sharp jolt.

- Berea, OH, USA

problem #6

Jul 122013


  • 90,000 miles
Heard a rattle in rear of car. Thought it was exhaust system related. Upon inspection found rear passenger upper shock connection had rotted completed and the shock was disconnected from the car. Shock is barely hanging on the vehicle and appears incredibly dangerous. Vehicle has been maintained as per Ford requirements at the dealer where it was purchased from. No unusual driving conditions.

- Lancaster, NY, USA

Read the next 5 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?