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 / 2
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
67,128 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 engine problems

engine problem

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2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #15

Jul 102011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 90,046 miles


While out of town Sunday July 10th 2011, 300 miles from home my 2005 Ford Escape caught on fire, od 90046. We got in the car started it up and then when looking at the map I looked up and smoke was pouring out from under the hood. As I jumped out the door came back and gouged my nose open. While bleeding all over the place I opened the hood and poured water over the fire. The car had caught on fire just under the rear side of the intake manifold. After extinguishing the fire, I called the local santa maria Ford dealer, who only offered our service department will be open tomorrow. I had the vehicle towed to the dealer that day and while there decided to have my wife look at a new car. Regardless of the fact that I put the flames out early and I as a maintenance officer with 24 years experience I could have fixed the car, I wanted my wife to have a new car so when I leave her behind for my next duty station in the marine corps and deploy, I would not have any worries. The sales experience was what I expected but my biggest issues were that, although the service department was closed, out of luck, yea right, the service manager stopped by to work on his rv and assisted in the appraisal of my 2005 Escape then left before I knew he was there. Due to the Ford defect, fire damage, they offered my $2,000 for a trade in. I talked them into around $4,200. I had a car that cost me $28,000 six years ago and due to a defect I got around $4,200 for it in great shape, except the very small fire damage> luckily we had the fire in a parking lot not while on a back road, off road, traffic jam. From research earlier Escape models have a history of engine fires, and some of the later, but nothing to date on the 2005. Ford corporate has yet to contact me about my complaint, I am asking them to acknowledge the problem and hope they would compensate me for the lost value in my trade in due to some type of obvious defect in their product. Case # [xxx] information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Twentynine Palms, CA, USA

problem #14

Apr 292011


  • 54,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving on the highway the vehicle stalled. The vehicle was taken to local mechanic who diagnosed that two of the plugs and coils were defective as a result the computer was damaged and needed to be replaced. The manufacturer was notified of the failure but offered no assistance with the repair. The vehicle identification number was not available. The vehicle was not repaired. The failure and current mileage was 54,000.

- Gettysburg, PA, USA

problem #13

Apr 042011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 146,300 miles
I started my car at work and left to go pick up my daughter, I wasn't driving hard or fast just going slow, and all of a sudden I heard a large explosion, I had to pull my car over because it had become loud and unable to drive. I opened the hood and found that a spark plug had shot out of the hole in the head of my car. The spark plug had actually dented the hood of my car when it shot out. My car has been very very well maintained. This has never happened before. This is an unsafe and scary experience. They say that it could cost $3500 to $4000 to fix by replacing the head because the threads stripped and Ford knows this is a problem. Ford needs to fix this, before someone does get hurt!

- Springfield, OR, USA

problem #12

Mar 142011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 84,312 miles


While driving our 2005 Ford Escape, we were on the highway, in the acceleration lane, traveling approximately 45 miles an hour accelerating up to 55, the vehicle suddenly shuttered, and then died, the check engine, overdrive, ABS, and airbag lights illuminated on the console. I had to hit the hazard lights and put the vehicle into neutral narrowly avoiding being hit by a tractor trailer truck. I was able to maneuver the vehicle to the shoulder. I attempted to restart the vehicle and while it restarted it was misfiring and check engine light was on. The vehicle was unable to move under its own power. We were on the side of a highway with our 4 year old daughter in the car during morning rush hour. Thankfully we were not hit and killed by this Ford engine failure.

- Lexington, KY, USA

problem #11

Dec 142010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 79,000 miles
In December 2010, my 2005 Ford Escape limited starting misfiring at 79,000 miles and the service emissions system message came on. I took it to a Ford dealership and they couldn't get the light to come back on or any error codes to appear. The next day, the misfiring happened again and the Ford dealership diagnosed it as a bad prc computer. Ford replaced the main computer, under warranty, at about 79,900 miles. The misfire went away for about 3 weeks and then recurred at 82,000 miles. This time, the car dramatically lost power, will not properly shift into gear, shakes when idling and maxes out at about 30 mph on any hill. The service emissions message and check engine light are constantly on. I took it to the same Ford dealership and they stated the coil packs are all misfiring and causing the main computer to fry. They stated that all 6 coils need replaced at a cost of $900, and the main computer also needs replaced again. The computer replacement will be free, because it was just replaced 3 weeks ago when the part was still covered under an 80,000 mile warranty. The regular cost to replace the computer would have been around $950.

- Williamsport, PA, USA

problem #10

Oct 202010

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 89,362 miles
Traveling at highway speeds, 2005 Escape with under 90,000 miles began missing and cutting out. Was able to limp in to Ford dealer (sam scism Ford) where diagnosis indicated # 2 # 6 misfires with further diagnosis indicating no signal to coil. Dealer determined need to replace PCM and did so at over $1100. Less than 30 days later, similar symptoms and different dealer diagnosed #6 coil problems. Replaced coila at $240.

- Jefferson City, MO, USA

problem #9

May 212010


  • 79,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving 65 mph, the vehicle began to vibrate. The contact drove onto the emergency lane and inspected the vehicle; yet, there were no visible failures. The vehicle was taken to a local mechanic who stated that a coil in the engine failed. The vehicle was being repaired by the dealer when the complaint was filed. The current and failure mileages were approximately 79,000.

- Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #8

Feb 272010


  • 147,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. While the contact was driving approximately 8 mph. Suddenly, the vehicle swayed across the road without assistance; and smoke was coming from underneath the hood. The contact was able to gain control when pressure was applied to the brake pedal. The vehicle was driven to the side of the road. The engine was turned off and restarted. The vehicle was able to resume travel normally. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated the vehicle required a new water pump and a timing chain. The failure mileage was 147,000. The current mileage was 148,089.

- Naylor, GA, USA

problem #7

Oct 192009


  • 96,500 miles
Over the past year, my vehicle would occasionally shake, stutter, and hesitate upon acceleration. Each time this happened and I immediately brought it to be serviced by the dealership, it required a new coil pack and spark plug. Depending on which one of 6 failed, the cost for repair varied greatly. I was told that it's not worth replacing all 6 at once, to wait until each individual one showed signs of having an issue or needing replacement. Then, one day, I am driving on the highway at the posted speed of 65 miles per hour, when I noticed the car didn't have as much pep or pick-up as usual. As I was exiting from the left lane onto an on-ramp for a toll, the car completely died. With no warning, no indications, no stuttering as described above, no lights on the dashboard, nothing - it just died. This required all 6 coils and plugs to be replaced (including the 3 new within the past year) in addition to the PCM (power control module). I am told one of the coils/plugs failed, sent out a radio frequency, and caused damage to the entire system.

- Framingham, MA, USA

problem #6

Aug 082009


  • 43,000 miles
2005 Ford Escape with 43,000 miles and the engine has a bad piston, lifter or valve knocking.

- Baltimore, MD, USA

problem #5

Jun 162008

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving 45 mph, the vehicle began making loud, horrible noises from the engine compartment. It sounded as if the engine would fall apart. The contact pulled the vehicle over and turned off the engine. The vehicle was towed to a dealer and they stated that a new engine was needed because the connection rod shattered in the engine. The dealer was convinced that the vehicle was not well maintained; therefore, they did not assume responsibility for the repairs. The contact believes that this was due to a manufacturer defect and they should be responsible for the repairs. The engine was removed by her husband and replaced with a new engine. The current and failure mileages were 62,000. Updated 6/22/09 the engine failed. Updated 06/25/09.

- Allentown, MI, USA

problem #4

Sep 152006

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,000 miles
: the contact stated while driving various speeds, the vehicle stalled without warning on several occasions. It was maneuvered off the road and later started. The vehicle was driven to the dealer, the first few times the stalling occurred, however the last time it was towed to the dealer. The dealership could not duplicate the problem. Updated 10/18/2006 -

- Astoria, NY, USA

problem #3

Jul 092006

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles
New 2005 Ford Escape has numerous issues that are not being addressed by multiple dealer shops: - intermittent stalling, similar to problem causing recall of 2001 - 2003 Escapes. Car will suddenly lose power, resulting in loss of power sterring and brakes. Dealer cannot reproduce, so will do nothing about it. - gasoline smell and loud knocking from engine in hot temperatures. - extremely low gas mileage, almost 50% below advertised mileage. These complaints appear in other reports as well, so this is not isolated. Ford is doing its best not to address any of these issues and telling people to just deal with it.

- Sherwood, OR, USA

problem #2

Mar 052005

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles
While driving down the road vehicle shuts off without warning. As a result the steering wheel locked up.

- Cleveland, NC, USA

problem #1

Jan 022005

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 1,400 miles
Two times when I was driving under slow conditions (in parking lots) the engine on 2005 Ford Escape XLT lurched forward accelatorating on it's own. The first time I had just released the brake as I was turning a corner in a bank parking lot. The engine immediately reved up high and the vehicle "took off". I quickly applied the brakes which after a couple seconds seemed to knock the engine back down to a normal idle. The second time, again I was coasting in a parking lot, attempting to turn into a parking space, when the engine reved up high and the vehicle again took off. I slammed on the brakes and the engine returned to normal idle. But for the luck of no other vehicles or people around when the incidents happend, no accidents occured. I reported the problem and took the vehicle into the dealership service department but because the problem did not occur for the technician, no action was taken. I am reporting this, because I know the problem occurred, not once but twice and it is a very dangerous condition.

- Allen Park, MI, USA

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