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
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
39,703 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2005 Ford Escape:

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

2005 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

Aug 082011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 47,000 miles


Complete transmission failure on 2005 Ford Escape. There was no prior warning. While driving is normal traffic at 35 miles per hour the car started lurching, jumping and making all kinds of awful metallic grinding sounds. Vehicle came to a complete stop and would not move forward or in reverse. I tried again a few minutes later and was able to move the vehicle in jumps and jerks around a corner to get it off of a main street. Transmission repair guy said it is a complete failure. I have pictures of the broken parts. This vehicle has less than 50,000 miles on it. We still owe $10,000 on it and are now told that it will cost $3350 for a new transmission. Of course Ford isn't willing to help with this cost even though it is obvious to anyone researching it that Ford is aware of the faulty transmissions they are using. By the way this vehicle was maintained with regularly scheduled maintenance and I have the records to prove it.

- Kettering, OH, USA

problem #27

Jul 012011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles
This complaint is for a 2005 Ford Escape. While driving as about 45mph, suddenly the car turned off, I immediately put it on neutral and tuned the key and it started up again. About 10 seconds later it did the same thing. I parked the car, turned it off and on and it started misfiring and the check engine light turned on. The very next morning I took the car in for a check up to a certified mechanic in which I was told that the coils and spark plugs needed to be replaced. The parts were ordered and installed but still the misfire was present. The investigation continued and after the system wiring diagram fig. 43: 3.0L engine performance circuit page 5 of 5 for 2005 Ford Escape, coil on plug 3 ( C ) wire connection to PCM slot 24 cde not responding. This vehicle has had only one owner and a very systematic maintenance throughout it?S life so far. Online I have found several complaints about the same exact thing and all advised that the PCM was non-functioning. Ford has had issues with these parts in the past but no recall has been made. PCM should be replaced by Ford.

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #26

May 252011


  • 107,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact was driving 70 mph when the automatic transmission slipped out of gear, causing the over-drive light to illuminate. This failure happened while the vehicle was still in drive mode. The vehicle was moved off the roadway and as the contact moved the vehicle, it would not shift out of gear and the engine rpms increased excessively. The vehicle was towed to a mechanic shop where the contact was advised that they could not repair the failure. The vehicle was then towed to the contacts home and was not repaired. The manufacturer was contacted who offered no assistance. The failure mileage was 107,000.

- Pottersville, MO, USA

problem #25

May 112011

Escape 4WD 6-cyl

  • 92,000 miles


Transmission had to be replaced in 2005 Ford Escape (V6, 4WD) XLT. No issues prior to one day driving vehicle and it sputtered and slowed to a complete stop. The car was turned off and restarted just fine. But when the vehicle was put into drive, it only went for about 10 feet before it slowed to a complete stop again. The vehicle was towed on a flat bed to repair shop where owner was informed she must replace transmission totaling $2477. Vehicle has less about 92,000 miles on it with only one owner. Car was purchased September 2004 from Ford dealer. 3 year warranty is obviously no longer valid and dealer offered no advice as to what could be done about it.

- Norfolk, VA, USA

problem #24

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 #23

Nov 262010

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 28,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving approximately 40 mph, the contact noticed that the vehicle was losing power. She then heard a clicking noise and the vehicle would not move faster than 10-15 mph. The vehicle was taken to a local repair shop where the contact was informed that the transmission was defective. The contact called the manufacturer who offered no assistance. The vehicle had not been repaired. The current and failure mileages were approximately 28,000. Updated 03/16/11 updated 03/21/11

- Brooklyn , NY, USA

problem #22

Jul 282010


  • 2,519 miles


2005 Ford Escape.4X4. I backed out of a parking space, put the car in drive and accelerated. The vehicle bogged down, as if out of gas. I shifted out of drive, put it back in drive and drove off. I kept hearing a knocking noise. I drove to my next location and the noise persisted. I took it to a repair site and when they pulled the plug from the front differential there was no draining and a part of a tooth from a gear came out. I took it to the dealership and they tell me it is because I replaced the two tires they kept telling me to change and not all four. They also informed me of black fluids in the power steering and brakes. It's going to cast me approximately $2700 to get all of this done, including the purchase of the two tires needed to make the four tire change. The location where I had the tires installed tell me that a two tire change is normal. The dealership itself wanted to do the same thing. This is messed up.

- Md. City, MD, USA

problem #21

Jan 172007

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. When attempting to accelerate, the vehicle would hesitate and then jerk forward violently. She took the vehicle to the dealership and the transmission was flushed and drained. However, the issue was not remedied. She was then told that the transmission needed to be replaced. She had not spoken with the manufacturer to-date. The vehicle had not been repaired to-date. The current mileage was approximately 71,000. The failure mileage was approximately 30,000. Updated 01/29/10 upadted 01/29/10.

- New Martinsville, WV, USA

problem #20

Jan 012009


  • 72,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. When driving in colder weather conditions, the vehicle will down-shift. He has not taken the vehicle to the dealer to be diagnosed. The current and failure mileages was 72,000. The VIN was not available.

- Philadelphia , PA, USA

problem #19

Jun 222009


  • 49,000 miles
While on freeway Ford 2005 Escape with 49,000 miles had sudden and complete transmission failure. Car lost power and was a safety issue getting it out of fast moving traffic and onto the side of the road. Car needed a complete transmission rebuild.

- West Bloomfield, MI, USA

problem #18

May 272009

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles


The contact owns a 2005 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the vehicle stalled while driving. When the failure first occurred, the vehicle would hesitate while idling. The contact took the vehicle to the dealer, but they could not duplicate the failure. A month later, while driving 25 mph, the rpms increased, but the vehicle did not move forward. She pushed the vehicle off the road and noticed that the override light began flashing on the instrument panel. She restarted the engine and drove for a block, but the failure recurred and the vehicle would not move any further. She took the vehicle to a mechanic and was informed that the transmission fluid was completely black. The mechanic further stated that the transmission needed to be replaced. The contact was informed that the transmission was not the primary cause of the failure; however, it ended up being affected. Through research, the contact found numerous complaints for this same failure. She believes that a recall should be issued. The failure mileage was 68,000 and current mileage was 72,000. Updated 08/14/09. Updated 08/17/09

- Kalamazoo, MI, USA

problem #17

Jun 012009


  • 81,034 miles
Recently took vehicle in for service. Mentioned transmission shudder at 55mph or when over drive took over. They flushed the transmission and updated the PCM and said it was fixed. A week later the Ford Escape is shifting hard and shuddering into over drive gear at 45mph. Now they want to replace the transmission for $3800. I see where many owners are having problems with this transmission.

- Lakeland, FL, USA

problem #16

May 152008

Escape 6-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles
The contact owns a 2005. The contact stated that the vehicle rolls backward when parked on an incline and without the brake pedal being depressed. The failure occurred one year ago at 30,000 miles, but has recently recurred at 39,000 miles. The vehicle has only undergone regularly scheduled maintenance. The VIN was unknown. The current mileage was 39,000 and failure mileage was 30,000. Updated 6/18/09 updated 06/22/09.

- Louisville, KY, USA

problem #15

Apr 082009


  • 88,000 miles
I have previously sent in a complaint about the transmission of my 2005 Escape I purchased from three oaks Ford in 8-2005. The danger involved in the transmission shifting hard is being hit from the rear. When it shifts from reverse to drive it jerks extremely hard and doesn't engage enough to continue forward. I have had three different times that this has happened and I was nearly hit all three times. My original complaint number is 10265230, filed 04-13-09.

- Three Oaks, MI, USA

problem #14

Aug 222007


  • 66,395 miles
From the time I purchased my 2005 Escape on 8/31/05 the transmission makes a loud thunking noise and jerks when shifting from park to drive or reverse. Repairs as follows: 08-22-07 replaced shaft and joint assembly. 03-03-08 replaced torque. Found fluid leak from around the front pump, resealed it. Replaced broken oss sensor. Test drove stated trans operational normal. 6-27-08 replaced trans tone ring that was out of round. 8-11-08, replaced valve cover set due to ticking sound. Work done at midas auto service, not Ford dealer. This was done due to a technical bulletin they received that was originally sent out 2-20-06. Which I never personally received. I didn't know the problem existed until they told me. On 8-22-07 replaced shaft and joint assembly. Road test confirmed repair. 9-9-09 tsb removed P-side valve cover, loosen cam shaft bolts, retorque to spec. Found a loose exhaust manifold torque to spec. As of 4-14-09 the hard shift problem still remains.

- Three Oaks, MI, USA

problem #13

Mar 042009


  • 66,000 miles
Transmission. 2005 my Escape with only 66,000 miles. The transmission's direct cylinder broke and it cost $1600 to repair.

- Dexter, MI, USA

problem #12

Feb 212009


  • 51,150 miles
No major events lead up to the incident. The transmission went out. It was discovered at the dealership that the planetary gear was destroyed, and is attributed to causing all other issues with the transmission. The vehicle had to be towed on a flatbed truck, and now, they are going to replace the transmission. Old parts are available.

- Cuyahoga Falls, OH, USA

problem #11

Apr 262008


  • 4,700 miles
Mine did exact thing as list in ODI id number:10227495- but different for Ford Escape. Mine is not hev. On April 26,2008 I was on my way to a lacrosse game at w.G. high school, camillus, NY, I was on interstate 690, when my car did what the description said, car came to complete halt at traffic light, all power went in vehicle, let car sit for a minute to restart, it did and when home after game. That Monday vehicle did same thing for a second time, this time, didn't restart, car was towed to nearby Firestone store, got fixed and was told about a recall. Call dealer-they didn't nothing after having it two day. Car acted up on thurs. Sat I made appt to aamco to see if they can fix it, they did, found out after 1hr and 30 minutes at work that it was faulty transmission, costing me 2600. Ford didn't send me any card about vehicle because dealer I bought it from was bought out.

- Syracuse, NY, USA

problem #10

Dec 062007

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles
I bought my Ford Escape 2005, when I bought it something didn't feel right. I took it for regular maintenance, the maintenance people never said that there was anything wrong. Last week my transmission blew up, all of a sudden. The vehicle had 52,000 miles, and I have to pay several thousands dollars out of my pocket because its only covered to 36,000 to miles. Talking with the mechanic he told me that he has received several Ford Escapes with transmissions problems, we both think that they have defective transmissions.

- Stafford, TX, USA

problem #9

Nov 142006

Escape 4-cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 27,000 miles
The transmission failed again in traffic. The vehicle shifted repeatedly into other gears while in the drive position.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

Read the next 8 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?