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 (!!)


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
101,542 miles
Total Complaints:
105 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace spark plugs, coils, cylinders and PCM (59 reports)
  2. replace PCM (30 reports)
  3. not sure (14 reports)
  4. replace pcu spark plugs and coils (1 reports)
  5. tone ring replacement (1 reports)
2005 Ford Escape electrical problems

electrical problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 6)

problem #105

Apr 152017

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 158,000 miles


Found out after researching this 2005 Escape that Ford installed spark plugs that were gap too wide and cause the coils to overheat and go out also taking the ECU with it. I have also an alternator problem which the built-in regulator is turning on and off all the time and expecting it to fail anytime. That is what I have found in the research, and one guy finally got, after 3 tries, the third alternator to work. And his is now fixed after replacing everything I did, except I'm riding my alternator out. Ford really failed on this one. Not a Ford fan anymore even though I've been one all my life.

- , Rockwall, US

problem #104

Mar 062017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

This Escape has cost me two transmissions, alternator, starter, and engine cover. Not to mention the money to rent a car and pay for towing. The car just stops running and the steering locks up. I am paying over 10,000 in repair costs and as of today the car is at the dealership. This is unconscionable. Ford does not take responsibility for the computers malfunctioning and shutting down and jeopardizing safety of the consumer.

- , Scottsdale, US

problem #103

Nov 232016

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

So the light kicks on the warnings come across as, 4X4 Issue, ABS Brake issue, and 4X4 Shut Off. Before it shuts off you get that old fashioned 4X4 sticky tire as you turn until it shuts off.. This is not a huge fix but it is a pain in the Butt. Find a store that will check your error. They will say its a bad sensor, ASK THEM WHICH SIDE!!! Then purchase a tone ring. 9 times out of 10 the tone ring has cracked and moved or broke off completely. Now you know which side and you bought that $10 tone ring the real fun begins. They should have a diagram showing where that part goes, just in case yours broke off all together. Clean the rust and re-seat the ring. take some super glue and put it in between the seating surface and the ring, let it dry. If you don't do this step you will be replacing this ring every 3 to 5 months. The super glue will prevent water and debris from getting in the middle and work that ring off again. Use the old ring to tap the new one on. DON'T DAMAGE THE RING!!!

YouTube this fix, They have a great video on this fix, but they don't show the superglue trick. That one stinking ring will make all your issues go away. If it doesn't then it may be the sensor which is like $75. Try the easy fix first it may save you $65 per side.

- , Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #102

Mar 152017

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles


Car started stuttering and ran rough, the engine noise made it sound like the exhaust had a hole in it sending vibration throughout the car. Figured it needed new spark plugs and the exhaust looked over. There was no Exhaust leak but I did find a bad vacuum line, I replaced it with no results. Replaced all the plugs, still no results. Changed individual coils with still no results. Checked all top end seals and gaskets and came up with nothing. I then made the plunge and purchased a new computer online. Proceeded to have the computer flashed and the oil changed. THIS FIXED THAT PROBLEM!!! So in my family we have always done our own automotive work and do not mind getting dirty.This fix is not hard to do by any standards. Its all in the cost.

New Coils = $450 New Computer - $400 New Spark Plugs - $60 Seals - $10 Oil Change - $50 Flashing the Drive - $110 Plus gas - $20 = $1100

There was no way to flash the computer myself, the dealer had to do this. All the rest was done right out of the garage. The dealership knew which car I had just by the description of my problem. They said this is a very common occurrence in there shop often. 9 out of 10 owners trade in their car and swear to never buy FORD again.this was a 30 min fix for me, but the Dealer swears they charge by the hour which confuses me as to why they charge $2500 to $3000 for this fix. Can we say FORD Has a Cash Cow!!! Come on Ford get a fuse option out there to prevent this from happening. If this would have happened while crossing an intersection it could have killed someone. I will not buy another car with this setup ever again.

- , Lafayette, IN, USA

problem #101

Oct 012016

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 133,002 miles

Spark plugs caused ignition coils to fail and then the PCM shorted. Since Ford is using this defect and common problem as a cash cow I had to run around for over a month finding a place that would repair my PCM instead of replace it, so instead of a $1.5k+ new PCM I was finally able to repair the PCM for $400 through circuitboardmedics who confirmed it's a very common problem. Shame on you Ford, this and other major issues have led me to believe your brand is completely untrustworthy and unreliable.

- , Los, WA, USA

problem #100

Nov 092016

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 141,000 miles

Bought this SUV new. Over the years it did go through batteries to often. In July 2016 the alternator was replaced. After that, within a few days the battery light came on (never came on while the alternator was bad.) November 9, 2016 while coming home the ABS light came on, then the radio went off and the engines started running rough. Stopped at the grocery store and when I went to start the car it was like the battery was dead. I was able to jump start it, but while driving home, less than 2 miles thank GOD the headlights and everything else went out, but car was still running. Ok it was dark and I had to shine a flashlight out of the drivers side window just so on coming traffic could see me. As I turned on my street the car started to shut down (engine) so I was trying to play with the gas pedal and then suddenly all lights came back on and the car took off like a bat out of hell. Still when I got my house and the car was still running the window wouldn't even go up. I shut the car off. Then restarted it and plugged in OBD II scanner. Showed NO codes. I checked the alternator and battery and they were fine. The old school way to check the alternator is to disconnect the positive battery post while the car is running. So I did and the car kept running, meaning it's not the alternator. If it was the battery (which checked ok with my volt meter) after the car is started none of these problems would be happening. So it dawned on me "It's the PCM. after reading the complaints on here I was shocked. Until a few months ago the car has been a really good car.

YES Ford needs to address this problem. I can't afford to put this much money into this car. But I have a loan that has a lien on the title, so it's not like I can just go trade it in on a new one. I guess that's life. Good luck to all.

- , Spartanburg, SC, USA

problem #99

Jun 222016

Escape LTX 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


While accelerating onto freeway, engine lost power and ABS and engine warning light came on. Very scary when traffic would not acknowledge emergency lights to get off freeway. Couldn't stop as the exit area was a homeless encampment. Traveled at a very slow rate to a garage. Was later informed I needed all new spark plugs, coils and PCM unit at 4K! Found out about the Ford recall which if it came into service to change out without the customers knowledge. On this site I found out about the 2014 recall. An ex- Master Tech at Ford is familiar with the Escape problem. I contact Ford headquarters and was told that my model was not produced at the factory where the problem stemmed from ergo it is my problem to fix and pay. My daughter was in the car with me at the time, and nothing will cover the fear of losing control of a car on the freeway due to known faulty parts with the potential to have caused a major accident! I plan on getting a written letter from Ford and documents to take to a local news station for consumer complaint problems and try small claims court -

- , Sacramento, CA, USA

problem #98

May 222016

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,700 miles

My 2005 Ford Escape ran OK (Already Replaced Converters) until I was heading to work. I started it up and took off like normal. While of the freeway the car lost power but I was able to get it to the shoulder. I restarted the car it started chugging .... no lights came on to let me know that there was a Huge Problem. I got thru another busy intersection and then lost complete power again. I restarted it and was able to drive at low speed for about 8 miles and then the check engine light came on. My mechanic hooked it up to the diagnostic machine, damage at this point ... at least 3 coils dead, potential wire harness fried, backlash from the voltage to the computer, it is dead. I don't understand why there has not been a recall, car stopped dead on the freeway, Major Safety issue. None of my service lights came on -- there was no warning that there was a problem until it was too late.

- , Placentia, CA, USA

problem #97

May 222016

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,700 miles

This is just greed on the part of Ford Motor Company. What ever happened to a tune up where you could replace the plugs or coil without replacing a dam computer. This will be the last Ford I ever buy !

- , Placentia, CA, USA

problem #96

Jan 102016

Escape XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

Since this is a recurring problem with 2005 Ford Escapes; it is really unfair and piss poor customer service on the part of Ford not to accept responsibility. Purchasing another Ford product is out of the question!!!

- , Decatur, GA, USA

problem #95

Feb 252016


  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,500 miles


Ford does not seem to care that they made a car so bad that it won't even run for 80,000 miles without costing $2.5K. It is a known problem. They changed the PCM in later models I was told but that doesn't help me.

- , Natural Bridge, USA

problem #94

Dec 292015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,144 miles

So I loved my 2005 Ford Escape ran great until I was heading to work with my 3 kids in the backseat. I started it up and it didn't want to kick over, but I thought because it was cold that battery might be going bad. It did kick over and was fine. 1/2 to my kids school at the stop light it started chugging .... no lights came on to let me know that there was a potential problem. I got thru the busy intersection and then lost complete power ... now stuck on the most busiest road in Bowling Green and can't move my car because everything is drained .. I mean my battery isn't working .... I have nothing to steer. My Calvary appeared (aka my dad) to jump me to get out of the road -- after 20 mins of charging still didn't kick it over we called a tow. The tow driver said it sounded like an alternator - ok easy to replace took it to Auto zone where my husband could get one and put it on. Slight problem - it's not easy accessible so ended up having it towed again to a local mechanic. So the mechanic is all set up to put a new alternator on but does his due diligence is checking to see if it's necessary .. the alternator wasn't bad ... the starter wasn't bad .... what could it be? Well they hook it up to the diagnostic machine and not after 5 mins there is smoke coming from under the intake -- the coils are smoldering and sparking .. they shut down the diagnostic and now my computer isn't responding at all. Damage at this point ... at least 3 coils dead, potential wire harness fried, backlash from the voltage to the computer so it is potential dead, and to fix this with no guarantee that it could be driven again without another fail is $5-8K. Looking at the complaints here and the investigations - I don't understand why there has not been a recall -- my family is now stuck with a dead car in the drive way with a lien on it that was to be paid off in 5 months! None of my service lights came on -- there was no warning there that there was a problem!

- , Bowling Green, KY, US

problem #93

Oct 242014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,500 miles

Had just bought my used Escape in August, everything checked out ok. I bought from original owner, low mileage (they upgraded). The car was driven from Florida to Philadelphia with no problems and it had its regular inspections. Suddenly on the road one night I experienced loud engine chugging over 45mph, a blinking check engine light (intermittent then it was off again), and so I immediately attempted to coast home (less than a mile away) to have a mechanic check it out later during business hours. I didn't even make it home. The engine light went full on and I suddenly lost power completely, with barely enough notice to pull off the highway. It was very unsafe. After the car stalled out it would not restart for a long period of time and when it did it was very sluggish and choking so I had to wait for a tow. Took it to the mechanic the next day and they read me a long list of error codes that had been experienced, and all of them went back to this PCM problem, apparently, as described in TSB 10-18-10. Was told it would cost at least $2,000 to repair, and a second quote from the dealership agreed.

I thought that the vehicle reacted rather sporadically rather than notifying me of an issue, and there should have been a recall by now if these lurking problems are becoming a hazard for many people who bought the 2005 Ford Escape not knowing how the engine could quit at any moment. After getting the necessary repairs to my low mileage vehicle, which set me back a few thousand even after getting a preferred customer discount, I will be following up with NHTSB because what's supposed to happen is there should be some kind of advisement to either steer clear of this make and model completely, or get it checked out before someone gets very hurt. I was fortunate to be able to get out of harm's way by maneuvering the car with its momentum after the loss of power. I will be filing paperwork in hopes that a recall is going to spare the next person the difficulties I've been through in paying thousands of dollars for a car that's worth not even much more than that anymore (in terms of book value). But I am now heavily invested in this car and can only hope that the replacement's 2-year warranty at least holds up so that I have a dependable car to drive in the meantime. I do not want to go through this experience again.

- , Westmont, NJ, USA

problem #92

Mar 212015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 124,318 miles

I purchased the vehicle on 3/14/15, drove it for several days and it lost power and was running rough, The air quit working, clicker stopped working, I finally managed to get vehicle home. I called dealership where car was purchased (Rainey's in Americus, GA). They had to send wrecker to pick vehicle up and take to their shop.

They replaced 2 ignition coils, spark plugs and a used PCM. They had the vehicle several days, I finally got the vehicle back and it was running fine. I drove it for 2 or 3 more weeks before it started acting up again. It didn't do as bad as the first time but it is running rough. I called the dealership back up and told them the problem. The salesman said he would contact the main office (Saturday) to get them to make it right and to get me a rental car. He told me to call him Monday.

When I called him back he transferred my call to the main office. The guy there didn't mention anything about a rental car, he told me to bring the vehicle the next morning and they would take a look at it. I wonder if they knew about the recall that is listed in all the complaints on this site concerning the 2005 Ford Escape. I think it is wrong that you pay so much for a vehicle and have driven it only a few weeks. I want them to make this right. Either the dealer ship or Ford if there is a recall concerning the same issue I am having.

- , Buena Vista, GA, USA

problem #91

Jan 092015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 151,000 miles

I've noticed knocking with the engine, rough idle and issues with slow take off/ delayed shifting over the last few months. I took the vehicle to my local Midas and had a routine tune up done. The spark plugs and ignition coils were all replaced but the car continued to shake and drive fairly rough. I finally took the vehicle to a Ford dealer where I was told the PCM needed to be replaced. Ford wants to charge $1700 for the PCM and additional $800 for the labor. I got the car used from a local dealer in Indy so I'm not sure of prior owners. I am still leasing the car and simply cannot afford the repair. The cost of the repair is more than the remaining amount of my car loan. I've owned the vehicle for 2 years now with no issues bigger than regular maintenance.

I think it's incredibly asinine that Ford is not willing to do anything about this issue. Does someone have to die before anything is done about this ??

- , Indianapolis, IN, US

problem #90

Feb 122015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 113,000 miles

Apparently from what I've read, FORD put wrong plugs in 2005 & 2006 Escapes causing excessive noise which resulted in PCM & coil failure.

Supposedly they extended warranty to 80,000 miles or no more than 10 yrs old. I believe this was done in 2010. If the car's normal usage is about 15,000 a year that would mean most all 2005 Escapes would already have 75,000 miles on them at that time. So Ford knew the recall, even if owner lucky enough to know about it, had little chance of getting covered under warranty.

I bought mine 2007 with only 10,000 miles on it and No recalls at that time. Ford should have extended at to at least 100K. Mine just started misfiring really bad but I've seen where some had car just die in middle of expressway. Guess Ford's waiting for someone to get killed and lawsuits to start. There needs to be a class action to allow us recover repair cost.

Update from Mar 17, 2015: Still in shop, over 4 weeks without car and down $1,800.00. 👎👎👎👎

- , Hampton, GA, USA

problem #89

Feb 022015

Escape LX 2.3L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

So I bought this car used from a Ford dealership (Prestige Ford Garland, TX) a few months ago. Didn't seem to have any issues. Well a couple of weeks ago it started to sputter a little bit. I didn't think much of seeing as how I have never owned a new car only ever bought used. I've dealt with my fair share of issues over they year and have become fairly mechanically inclined due to it. The more I read up on the PCM issues the more upset I become.

I took the vehicle in this morning to have it diagnosed and behold it is the PCM. It is going to cost me $1867 to have it fixed. Ford should take control of this ever growing issue, step up to the plate and fix their problem. With the amount of complaints, issues and from what it seems like reading through everything the near death experiences caused by this issue why isn't Ford taking action on this. I was born and raised around Fords but after this will never buy another one. Please anyone reading this let me know if you were able to find any other solutions to fix this other that paying Ford to fix their known issue.

- , Mesquite, TX, USA

problem #88

Dec 022013

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 105,000 miles

I hate this car. Never again Ford. Took it to a Ford dealer to have it checked out (actually towed to dealership) to see if there were any other problems. They said no and that it was worth fixing, so we did it. One month later another 1400 major repair. 10 months after, that wheel well rusted through to the interior of car, 600 dollars. This car is the automobile version of the money pit. Total piece of crap

- , Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #87

Jan 092015

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Like many other complaints on here I was driving, I had my 6 yr. old granddaughter with me when it just lost power, almost like it ran out of gas but it hadn't. Got it to coast to the side of the highway, the check engine light was on, it was missing and had no power. A handheld tester showed multiple codes that led to coil packs, plugs, cam and crank sensors. Changed all that it showed.

Continued to have the same problems, had to put it on a diagnostic PC to find out the problem is my PCM. I do not know what the cost is to fix it by the time I replace it and whatever else they have to replace and program, or whatever the cost of labor not counting I already had it hauled home, then had to haul it to get it checked then back home.

I'm stressed, upset, aggravated, etc., need this vehicle back on the road now for Doctor's appointments. I'm even more upset that this car was bought from a Ford dealership, a used dealership with over 100,000 mi. on it! Was a 1 owner and the dealership knew it had already had 1 coil pack changed, but I never knew anything about recalls etc., but I'm sure they knew! I'm so disappointed with them.

I've always drove Fords but now thinking I'll never buy another! I can't afford this, they need to help pay or reimburse us all, like most have said recalls was for vehicles under 87,000 mi. but most aren't doing this until they're over 100,000. My car looks great inside and out but does no good if it's not running. That dealership should fix my car.

- , Hinton, WVA, USA

problem #86

Oct 182014

Escape CLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 104,000 miles

There are 85 existing complaints on this site for this specific issue and it is very obvious that we are seeing the same thing. The PCM is failing to signal to the spark plug that it should fire. The mechanic showed this to me using a simple tool that allows one to see the signal via a small light indicator. The signal is visible on all plug wires but one. The wire was confirmed good.

There are many frustrating and downright dangerous issue around this that I argue warrant a recall ... I filed a formal complaint with Ford as well and intend to do so with NHTSA. First, if the computer is bad and sending incorrect signals, it logically follows that it reports incorrect diagnostic test information, leading to who knows how many wasted dollars replacing incorrectly reported failed parts ... Coils, oxygen sensors, etc. more importantly, these bad signals are causing some of these cars to just suddenly die on the highway, such as our case with a young driver who was in heavy traffic at the time. What could be more dangerous than a seemingly healthy car shutting down in high speed traffic? Note..our driver does the Chesapeake bay bridge frequently. I would not wish a disabled car in that situation on anyone.

This issue is very clear from the many postings of the same event. Ford apparently equipped this class of Escape with incorrect plugs, which overtime corrupts the computer, leading to thousands of dollars in unneeded repair and potentially dangerous breakdowns for the drivers. Ford needs to own up to this and recall these PCMs.

I would normally not jump to this conclusion on my isolated event, but all of these complaints are so consistent, the conclusion is obvious.

- , Gettysburg, PA, USA

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