Notes: The 2005 Escape has problems where the engine shuts down while driving. Ford finally issued a September 2014 recall. Time will tell if the recall fix really solves the problem.

However the 2005 Escape also has a defect where the PCM (Power Control Module) fries at around 100k miles. Ford extended the PCM warranty to 80,000 miles, but only after most owners were past the mileage limit. Now owners are on the hook for the average repair cost of over $2,000 (!!)


hardly worth mentioning
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
118,502 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.

2005 Ford Escape drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 3 of 4)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #21

Jul 202012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 129,000 miles


While driving home from work, I went to accelerate. Upon reaching 40. I heard a substantial backfire noise, and the engine shut off in the middle of a busy road causing me to block traffic as I coasted almost into a busy intersection. I was able to put it in neutral and restart the engine after coasting for 100+ feet. After which, the engine began running very rough and rugged never being able to accelerate about 30 mph and causing major traffic problems. I took it to a dealership (varsity Ford in ann arbor, mi) and have been told that my 2005 Ford Escape was in trouble. Apparently, my spark plug after being clogged, caused a backfire which blew my ignition coils and sparkplugs and my PCM. I am being quoted $2,200. At my last oil change (3 months ago) varsity Ford told me I was getting close to needing a tune up but it was not necessary that day and that I could wait until my next oil change. I was planning on going this weekend because I was heading out of town. Had I been told the risk was a $400 tune up vs. A $2,200 blown engine, maybe I would have changed the spark plugs. I'm very distraught at the Ford dealership, and now am questioning whether I will ever buy a Ford or work with a Ford dealership.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #20

Apr 202012

Escape 4-cyl

  • 101,000 miles
Our 2005 Ford Escape was purchased new in May 2005. It has been serviced by Ford technicians at Ford dealerships every 5,000 miles, including a recommended transmission flush last year. On a cross country trip, the SUV's transmission exhibited a problem Ford Motor Company (fmc) knows as engine stalling on engagement/stopping. According to a service bulletin dated March 19, 2007, SUVS with this faulty transmission "exhibit an engine stall when coming to a stop or when engaging the engine into drive or reverse. The condition may be intermittent and often occurs after extended drives. There may be no diagnostic codes stored. This may be cause by internal wear in the torque converter which prevents it from locking." This exact failure caused us to be stranded in dangerous heat conditions for hours as we waited for help. However, fmc has known about this problem transmission since 2007, yet as an owner of a car less than two years old, I was never told about it. If I had been informed, I would have taken it years ago for repair prior to going on an extended trip and putting my family in danger. Instead, fmc knowingly allowed vehicle owners to drive with this faulty transmission. Ford-certified tech's failed to diagnose the problem even though they were given the exact symptoms and the potential problem, the torque converter. After techs told me the transmission was fine, the stall occurred repeatedly until total failure just over 1,200 miles later, again, stranding my family on the highway. I became aware of the fault only after a search of other drivers who experienced the same problem. Fmc behaved negligently in failing to inform customers like me, likely to shield itself from costly repairs. In 2007, my car only had 24,500 miles??well within warranty limits. A recall for vehicles of this model year should be ordered and I should be refunded cost of repair.

- Chattanooga, TN, USA

problem #19

Jun 222012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 94,587 miles
We were accelerating to get on the interstate when the vehicle suddenly died without warning. No telling what would have happened if we were driving at freeway speeds. We coasted to the breakdown lane and had the vehicle towed to the Ford dealer who stated the computer (PCM), all the coil over plugs (cop) and spark plugs were damaged and needed replacement. This is a known issue as it is described exactly in Ford service bulletin tsb 09-2-6. the spark plugs in the 2005 and 2006 cause radio frequency interference with the PCM which damages the PCM and the other components. The least Ford could have done was notify us that replacing the spark plugs could have prevented this very expensive repair. The problems don't end there. A few days after the repair we were again accelerating to get on the interstate when the vehicle lost power and would not go over 50mph. We brought the vehicle back to the Ford dealer who stated the catalytic converters (there are 3 of them) were clogged due to raw fuel coming in contact with the converters probably due to the previous engine problems. The cost to fix the converters is even more than the cost of the initial repair. We've decided to not have the dealer repair the vehicle as the total cost of all the repairs would exceed the value of the vehicle. We called Ford customer service and they were of no help in this situation. I think Ford should cover the costs of these repairs for an issue knew existed. I don't understand why there hasn't been a recall for this problem as I see that it has happened to a lot of other 2005 Escapes listed in your database. I imagine we will more of these failures as these vehicles age.

- Little Rock, AR, USA

problem #18

Jul 092012


  • 24,000 miles


The vehicle has a vibration in the power train around the 45-55 mph. The vibration is present daily and causes the entire vehicle to shake.

- Mauldin, SC, USA

problem #17

May 282012

Escape 6-cyl

  • 75,000 miles
My car stalled on a major highway. Diagnosed with a defective PCM. Ford has been aware of this common problem with this particular vehicle.

- Cohoes, NY, USA

problem #16

Feb 112012


  • 158,000 miles
My wife went to on a trip and the vehicle started to misfire, went to a Ford dealer, mechanic identified the problem; ignition coil #4 failed. She asked what needed done to fix properly so she would be safe and have no more trouble. He said to replace coil, plugs, and wires. That was done. On the way home it happened again, car shut off w/O warning on I95 @65 mph. Problem persisted and finally would not start and had to be towed. My mechanic discovered Ford srb 09-2-6. a problem identified by Ford but not made public. I contacted dealer; he was aware of srb but did not act on it or inform us about it. We are now faced with a bill 2X larger than it would have been if dealer would have followed srb. He put my wife at risk (nearly had a few accidents) and Ford and the NHTSA are putting people at undue risk by not making this info. Public and specific to owners of these vehicles. A failure of this magnitude, identified as a problem from the factory should be recalled and Ford should complete repairs at no cost to the owner.

- York, PA, USA

problem #15

Jun 192009

Escape 6-cyl

  • 130,000 miles


Was diving on interstate motor failed. Was in passing lane had to pull in the grassy media. Very scary. Took to shop was told PCM was bad. Had it replaced. 29000K later it is out again. Was purchased used at a Ford dealer ship in 2007 4X4 has not worked. Took it back was told that the computer said it was ok and there was nothing wrong. The rear wheels do not pull when front spins car is dead in drive way at present still owe 7000 on it. Ford should be made to repair at their on cost. This car is junk and will never owe one again.

- Altamont, TN, USA

problem #14

Nov 042011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 22,800 miles
Rubbing sound coming from left front (driver's side) wheel well. Diagnosed by Ford as a "loose" wheel bearing. Sounds more like a failure. Ford charged $47 to "diagnose" the problem. Seems like maybe they already knew what it might be and let 3 techs soak up some clock time on this one. The original charge was quoted at $95 so I guess we got off better than some.

- Bedford, TX, USA

problem #13

Nov 192011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 96,680 miles
1. on or near November 19, 2011, a spring from the clutch pedal broke. It seems to be one that returns the pedal to its default position as I have to lift up on it from beneath with my foot to get it back to its regular height. I'm concerned that it may cause premature wear on the clutch if it does not return to its standard rest position. The spring broke while the car was parked before driving. --------------------------------- 2. in late 2011, I began to notice the driver's seat belt begin to fray on the bottom (lap side). This is my first experience with a seat belt wearing out, and I generally keep my vehicles at least ten years (all previously owned). I've had this one for only 3 1/2 years and it's a total of 6 years old.

- Los Angeles, CA, USA

problem #12

Nov 082011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 151,000 miles
Driving down highway when engine failed, luckily was able to get restarted & drive into town 10 miles. Only able to drive 40 mph while motor sputtered & tried to die when stopped at light. Towed to auto repair lot & told had 3 ignition coils bad. Computer check later revealed PCM bad in 3 spots & will cost $700 to repair. Other models have had recalls & so should the 2005 for the PCM. Owners should not be forced to have such expense, if part is known to fail.....numerous complaints filed on-line about 2005 Ford Escapes. With 2 minor children, I cannot afford to lose power while driving, or will have a major traffic accident. I was lucky in this case & will never own another Ford. If Ford knows of the problem, please hold them responsible for their actions!! it will take over a month to get the PCM remanufactured & re-installed. What am I supposed to drive in the mean time?

- Palestine, TX, USA

problem #11

Oct 182011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 91,855 miles


This 2005 Escape failed when driving through the mountains in northern California. Ford has documented that spark plugs installed by Ford at the factory can cause all coils and the PCM to fail as they did in this case. Three tsb's have been generated related to this problem. My car was repaired under warranty at approximately 60000 miles and the plugs were not checked and replaced as required in the Ford tsb's. this was an expensive $2300 + repair that Ford should take responsibility for. Good faith was not demonstrated in solving this problem and Ford refuses to acknowledge their responsibility.

- Arcadia, CA, USA

problem #10

Oct 292011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 84,503 miles
Driving along interstate engine suddenly lost power, would not go above 20mph, no check engine light. Took to repair shop and first catalytic converter completely clogged, number 2 converter partially clogged. Vehicle only has 84,000 miles. Warranty expired at 80,000 miles for exhaust. Repair shop this happens a lot for these vehicles.

- Norman, OK, USA

problem #9

Aug 012011


  • 107,741 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving 40 mph, the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was towed to an authorized dealer and they stated that there was a PCM failure. The manufacturer was notified and the vehicle was repaired. The failure mileage was 107,741 and the current mileage was 107,743.

- Brandon, MS, USA

problem #8

Aug 242011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles
Loud squeaky noise from right front end. Took to mechanic. They say both front grease boots are cracked which allows dirt, dust, etc. To get in and up around the ball joints and tie rod assemblies. The right front ball joint had gone bad due to this boot crack so we had to replace it. They recommend replacing both tie rods, boots and ball joints, but we could only afford to replace the ball joint that was bad at this time because we just spent $3350 putting a new transmission in the car. This vehicle has less than 50,000 miles on it. Unbelievable!!!! what is Ford building these cars with"?" I suspect the cheapest parts they can get regardless of their quality so they can make more money. In the meantime the average working family has to pay twice for a vehicle's parts that should not go bad so quickly.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #7

Jan 072010


  • miles
Driving when stopped tried to put vehicle in drive and would not go. The failure is the transmission, have had the vehicle for a littler over a year and has been in the shop for at least 9 months. Rebuilt Ford tranny still cannot get it right. 1st time would not do into drive 2nd time driving down the highway and went into high RPM's and wouldn't shift gears. 3rd time stopped went put vehicle into drive would not engage. 4th time would not engage to reverse. 5th time would not engage into any gear.

- Chandler, AZ, USA

problem #6

Oct 082010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 82,000 miles
I own a 2005 Ford Escape and have numerous issues since I purchased the vehicle in November 2004. The transmission has been replaced and one coil pack. Throughout the time I have owned the vehicle the theft light comes on and tried to shut the vehicle down while I was driving (40+mph). It cleared for a little while after the transmission was replaced, then it returned. Ford changed one ignition coil and said that if we changed the spark plugs it would probably fix the theft shut down problem. Well we changed the spark plugs and the vehicle continued trying to shut down the vehicle while I was driving(40+mph). Now the vehicle will not start at all. There is juice from the battery, all the lights and radio come on, but the car refuses to turn over. We have checked everything possible, including: The battery, fuses, and having it tested by a certified mechanic. The anti-theft system or Ford pats II system seems to be defective which also be connected to the PCM. There are thousands of complaints regarding the 2005 Ford Escape pats II system and PCM. I do not understand why a recall has not been forced. The 2005 Ford Escape were initially released with the wrong spark plugs which causes damage and they did not recall the spark plugs. With these very evident manufacturer defects, and tsbs that have been distributed through Ford - there needs to be a recall and items repaired. Consumers should not have to pay to fix the problems that Ford caused and will not take responsibility for. My vehicle is a 2005 Ford Escape XLT V6 3.0L purchased at ukiah Ford Lincoln Mercury in ukiah, California.

- Fort Bragg, CA, USA

problem #5

Feb 042010

Escape 6-cyl

  • 87,000 miles
I have a 2005 Ford Escape V6 with just over 87,000 miles on it. The vehicle began giving me trouble back at christmas, but I was able to drive until a couple weeks ago when the whole thing shuddered to a stop on the highway on the way to work. I was doing 55 and the car dropped to almost 0. I have been told it is the PCM which was fried because the spark plugs caused rf interference that fried the ground on it and ruined the PCM. This is a $2300 or more repair to an otherwise perfect vehicle. If I hadn't been in the righthand lane at the time of the power drop I could have been in a real mess. I have researched this online and there are literally hundreds of other complaints of the same thing going on all over the world. There is one complaint from ghana. The tsb that came out says the original sparkplugs cause the problem and ruin all the coil packs and the PCM. I think this would make it Ford's responsibility to fix the problem on all these vehicles since it was their original configuration that ruined the system. If this had happened when my wife was taking our son somewhere and she wasn't able to get off the road I am quite sure there would have been a crash.

- Waldorf, MD, USA

problem #4

Jul 262009


  • 93,255 miles
Taking off at a light, my 2005 Ford Escape jerked back and starting making a grinding sound. My Escape does have a lot of miles on it (94,000) to be exact. It was no longer drivable, when put in drive or reverse it would thrust my car backward and forward profusely. Inevitably, I had my car towed to a shop they concluded that my torque converter had blown up and all the pieces from the converter were sucked into the filter causing my trans to lock up, therefore costing me $2200 to fix. I understand that it has a lot of miles on it however, I was googling trying to look for some help as I am 19 years old and don't have that kind of money and I came across a website with over 200 entries from different people about their transmissions in their Ford Escapes. You all need to look into this because a transmission is not cheap and I need a reliable car.

- Nokesville, VA, USA

problem #3

Apr 152009


  • 38,900 miles
2005 Ford Escape gas pedal sticks - dealer advising no issues, I have seen hundreds of complaints about this. What is going to be done as this could cause a safety issues.

- Coon Rapids, MN, USA

problem #2

Feb 062009

(reported on)


  • miles
Letter on behalf of constituent re his 2005 Ford Escape which has 45,200 miles and in need of a transmission replacement.

- Portland, OR, USA

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