Notes: With solid trends of engine failure — $4,500 to fix at 85,000 miles avg — AND transmission failure — $3,000 to fix at 75,000 miles avg — we can't recommend the 2006 Ford Escape to anyone except your worst enemy.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
87,900 miles
Total Complaints:
37 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace engine (30 reports)
  2. not sure (7 reports)
2006 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2006 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #37

Aug 092017

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 128,000 miles


My car didn't have enough oil in it to run. Yes, I'm a girl and have no idea what noises my car makes or any car for that matter, other than when it runs. I rely on my dummy lights. Well, I never got a warning, no oil light or even check engine light for that matter. Yes, the issue was totally my fault, but a little warning, one of the lights, would have given me a bit of a heads up that something was wrong. Now I have no vehicle and it makes me mad. I don't know what to do with it. I know it has to be worth something, but how much?

- barbyuu, Melbourne, US

problem #36

May 052016

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 87,567 miles

On 5/5/2016 was driving my 2006 Ford Escape the engine light came on I pulled over had it towed. One person said my engine blew, another said it did not but can figure it out. It's knocking bad lifters. It's been a week still no car and I have all ready replaced the transmission in October. At loss. Any one have a answer on what the hell is wrong with the engine, please help.

Update from May 17, 2016: Yes, my engine blew. No warning, no light ever came on. Just engine light that day, May 5. So now I'm out of a car. Not happy with what happened to my 2006 Ford Escape.

- mrszx2, Coventry, RI, US

problem #35

May 232015

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,381 miles

Same as many here it seems, first and only owner/driver. Carefully maintained car with regular oil changes, SUV never consumed any oil all the years i had it. 2 days ago i do a 200km drive, engines dies on highway with clanking sound. I check the oil, engine is bone dry and there's broken metal in the engine. undercarriage is clean, my driveway is clean and engine made zero smoke. Where did the oil go? I now have to buy a new engine or scrap the car as it is a 2006. Will choose Toyota or Nissan for next SUV, sorry Ford. bye bye.

- Daniel B., Brossard, QC, Canada

problem #34

Dec 242014

Escape XLT 3.2L LmV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 111,000 miles


The Ford Escape PCM Failure does not only affect the 2005 models, but also the 2006 models. Therefore, Ford knew there was a serious concern; yet, used the same PCM in the 2006 models! Why did they not seek to FIX such a serious issue? Could there have been a serious accident? Most assuredly, as the car just stopped running after I had entered traffic. Simply, I was lucky. Today, the dealership informed me that it would cost me about $2500 to replace the PCM with a NEW improved PCM...they determined that a rebuilt PCM was not an option. Also, all 6 coils, and the spark plugs have to be replaced. I am wondering, if, after all this, whether the timing chain will give up the ghost. Has anyone experienced this? This is not an issue where your car gives you an indication that something is going day you are driving blithely down the road, and the next MOMENT, you are not. Apparently, Ford has issued a bulletin to the dealerships on this issue; however, it has not reached the crisis point of the GM ignition fiasco, and a recall has not been issued. Save your paperwork, might happen, someday!

- L. M. B., Lake Helen, FL, US

problem #33

Aug 232014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,000 miles

Sad to say I can see this is not the first or probably last time Ford will get a complaint about their 06 Escape. My grandfather, now on disability, no longer has a car to get around after his engine blew at only 52,000. After noticing oil was disappearing quicker then normal, we had it checked and they said there was no leak and to top it off here and there. Then one day out of nowhere we started the car up only to hear a loud crashing and banging. We turned it off and the car wouldn't start up again. After bringing it to a shop again and being told oil was found inside the engine and that we'd have to pay at least $6,000 for a new engine, the car now sits in the driveway.

My poor grandfather is now out off a vehicle he worked very hard to pay off. Its disappointing and I hope Ford soon owns up and recalls this horrible car. Money right down the drain.

- kirs, Newport, RI, US

problem #32

Aug 212014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 161,000 miles

I bought my 2006 Escape brand new with only 126 miles on it. It's been pretty awesome...that is, until yesterday. I drove to work as always with no problems, things are going great. Go out to my car to check my phone on my lunch break and turned it on for the AC...this gosh awful clanking, stalling, sputtering, knocking. You name it, it was doing it. Checked the oil and it was bone dry??? wth? Anyways, got a ride to the store and put oil in it...mind you there was no oil on the ground where I was parked. Got it started and attempted to drive home. Smoke from under the hood, the exhaust, it slows down and totally dies out. Luckily, I was able to coast into a driveway and not the ditch. No warning lights came on at all, no low oil light. I mean NOTHING! Got it towed home and it had thrown a rod so total engine failure.

Now, I have a lot of miles on my Escape so I cannot complain about that and it's paid for which is great but I feel that Ford is somewhat responsible because obviously, this is an ongoing problem with these vehicles and there was no warning lights or anything to tell me about the oil issue. BTW, there was a small amount of oil spattered underneath the carriage of the car but nothing in any way to suggest the whole damn oil was gone. I have always bought Fords and they have always been good to me but this is very disappointing. What little I could've gotten if I traded it in is gone because of the engine. Not looking forward to buying another one though.

- ethansmomwendy, Wauchula, FL, US

problem #31

Apr 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 90,000 miles


I bought this car used from a dealer. Carfax showed it was one owner prior. I kept up with all maintenance on the car and the engine just blew. Ford refused to honor the warranty and i had to go to court to have them repay me for the used engine i had to put in which they finally did, 2 years later. the used engine just blew again. i had the oil changed every 3000 miles and I can't believe it went again. I still owe on this car and have no workable car to show for it.

whenever i had the oil changed I asked them to look for a leak, they could not find one but in between oil changes i had to put oil in it. Very frustrating. I will not buy a Ford again. First the car loses oil, then the engine blows.

- peggy99, Bangor, PA, US

problem #30

Jun 242014

Escape 4 Cl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles

This complaint is not only for engine failure in June 2014, but also transmission failure in April 2014. When I had the transmission failure, I decided to fix at cost of $2700. At this point it was still worth fixing because the car was paid off. I did regularly scheduled oil changes through the life of my Escape. Bought brand new in Feb 2006, with no problems until I hit $74K miles. After the transmission was fixed, I had my oil changed. My son took the Escape to a concert that was approximately a 300 mile round trip. I still had 600 miles before the oil change was due. 2 days after he returned from his trip, the car began making noises. He pulled over and the oil was checked, only to discover it was empty. How does that happen??? The oil light never came on to say it was low. He put 3 quarts of oil in and drove the car home, less than 5 miles away. The next day when I started the Escape, the engine sounded horrible. I decided not to drive it and it still remains in my driveway currently until I can figure out what to do with it. After reading about the transmission and engine failure, I'm sadly disappointed in Ford's products and have decided not to purchase another EVER. With 77K miles this SUV should have last well over 100K and then some. We are investigating this with Grease Monkey because when the plug was checked, it was found to be hand tight.

- Stephanie P., Shoreline, WA, US

problem #29

May 312014

Escape XLT 3.0L V7

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,560 miles

Bought the car when one year old, less than 10,000 miles. Excellent vehicle until a few weeks back. 78,000 miles and VERY well maintained. Driving from California to New Mexico. 120 miles out of LA, just before Victorville the check engine light comes on, horrific noise from the motor. Power almost completely gone. And it was 1 am. Lucky, lucky, lucky this happens right a the only off ramp for Victorville. 2 miles sooner or 2 miles later and I in the CA desert on a busy truck highway in the middle of nowhere.

Bottom line is the timing chain broke, rods thrown, engine ruined. Over $5,000 to replace the motor with a new one. Not from Ford. I am fortunate to have the money to repair it, however it is not right and this was no fault of mine. I read this forum and others and see this is a systematic problem. I'm in the letter writing and contact stage with Ford, NHTSA.....will see what happens. I want my money back! The car is worthless without a working motor. Now I have a 3 year unlimited mileage warranty so we drive it for a year and them sell it.

I to am shocked at the sudden engine failure and at least reading that others have the same issue, means I didn't do anything to cause this problem. I will update as responses come back from my contact with Ford.

- Dan C., Rio Rancho, NM, US

problem #28

Aug 122013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Like others, my engine magically made oil disappear. Less than 3 months from my last oil change, my vehicle engine blew. car was adequately maintained, however, I did begin to notice that the oil was disappearing rapidly around 80,000. I took it to several mechanics who didn't know where the oil was going... they didn't see a leak. They recommended just keeping it topped off between changes, which I did.

To replace my engine would be between 4-6000. Obviously, it's not worth it at this point to replace the engine.

Once you get past 35,000 miles, the car becomes ridiculously expensive to maintain.

I will never buy a ford again.

- jillindiana, Zionsville, IN, US

problem #27

Jul 192013

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,778 miles


Well, I Guess my Escape is added to the list of defective "Ford don!t care" safety violations. As seems to be the norm, it's been regularly maintained, and without any prior indication, and 100 percent failure of any possible warning sensor system, it voided itself of all oil, plugged the cat converters, and blew. Instant stoppage of the engine. As I said, my conversation with Ford Co was fruitless. I took it one step further and reported it to Transport Canada as a vehicle safety issue. I suggest you all do the same, after all, if they feel they are not responsible for the 100 or so who at least take the extra incentive to complain online, then lets see them fix 100,000 by order of the US and CAN regulatory bodies.

- Zee Z., Toronto, Ontario, canada

problem #26

Nov 052012

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 189,000 miles

I was returning from NJ (Sandy storm) to Syracuse NY. Slowed to get off ramp, Car stalled .no noises,no ck engine light, no warning. just would not start again. OBII code po340 Cam sensor failure. Replaced sensor no Difference. Off to dealership, was told failure of timing tension pulley. Goodbye engine!!! Really ? Build an engine that self destructs if a timing chains jumps a tooth . Why would you do that? Unless your in the business of selling and repairing cars at a high price. There goes the gas savings I was suppose get. The joke of it all , is that I just made the last payment 15 days ago . Thank You Ford for the memories: Fix Or Repair Daily

- b13029, Brewerton, NY, US

problem #25

Jul 042013

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,000 miles

Just gave this car to my daughter and she was driving to work and the engine blew. Only 84,000 miles on it! Co workers dad was buying a used one and dealer told him they are good for about 85,000 miles before things start to go wrong. Boy, guess he was right!!! Wish I knew this before I bought one! Really didn't need this expense. Husband out of work with stage 4 lung cancer and I'm trying to hold everything together. Daughter in college so she can't afford to fix it.

- Cynthia R., Oxford, MA, US

problem #24

Nov 272012

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

All of sudden when I was driving my Ford made some noises then stopped running. I had to roll to a nearby parking lot. Turns out that there was no oil in my car but that's impossible because my husband had recently done an oil change. No lights like check engine or oil ever came on. The truck just died!!! I had it towed to my mechanics and he said something in the interior motor/engine broke and that I would need to replace the engine. So I had him search a good used engine with low mileage. I called Ford but my warranty had conveniently expired 1 month prior and they were not willing to help me. I only recently got my car back because I had to save some money so I could afford the $3500 for the used motor. This was such a horrible experience and I will never buy a Ford again and I had previously owned a 2001 Ford Escape with no problems. My mechanic even warned me that there are issues with the motor Ford is using. Once I can recoup a bit of money, I will trade it in for a different car and certainly not a Ford!

- maggienj, Matawan, NJ, US

problem #23

Dec 092012

Escape LX 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,657 miles

Engine completely blew up leaving us stranded. There was no warning light at all. All service had been kept up and maintained on schedule. New engine was going to cost over $5000. Used engines cost as much as a new one and are very hard to find because this vehicle, as I've found out after the fact, with this motor is really bad about blowing up. Payoff on this vehicle was over $7000. We couldn't afford to get it fixed and was afraid even if we did that it would blow up on us again. Ended up trading it in on a 2007 Ford Explorer (which we are already having engine/transmission problems with and we haven't even had it a month). We got $3000 out of it as a trade in and that was the best trade in offer we could find and we had to eat the $4000+ of the payoff that was still owed against it. My husband and I both work slightly above minimum wage jobs and this about financially ruined us and the fact that the Explorer that we traded for is now messing up after 3 weeks of us owning it is going to financially finish us off. I loved my Escape but I am done with Ford! I want a reliable vehicle that I know will get me home and as long as I take care of it then it should take care of me. There was no reason why the motor should have blown and no sense in the new "disposable" motors costing so much. (I was told that the motors Ford uses are considered disposible, you just use and throw away because they cannot be rebuilt) I have a 22 month old son that I am trying to support plus now I have 2 vehicle payments to make on 2 pieces of Ford junk. Lord help me cause I am going to need help to make it thru this somehow!!!

- Jennifer M., Grantsville, WV, US

problem #22

Oct 132012

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Driving down highway in major city and the 2006 Ford Escape engine with only 55K miles suddenly blew out rod #5 out the bottom of the V6 3.0L engine creating a gaping hole and also piercing the oil filter causing a small fire and major traffic jam. Two fire trucks, one police car and a tow truck, car examined by dealer to confirm cause. Original owner, and all repairs outside of warranty period. Ford reman engine installed cost is $6200. What a shame that Ford has an awful engine in such a beautiful car. I won't ever buy another Ford, as my Ford Excursion V10 gas engine blew out a spark plug last year due to a faulty spark plug thread design. Why is this company still in business given no customer service for any of their products?

Update from Nov 7, 2012: The vehicle is actually a 2006 Mazda Tribute (identical twin to the Ford Escape) built by Ford in the USA for Mazda, using the Ford Duratec 3.0L engine platform. VIN code shows the Mazda vehicle was built at a Ford USA plant.

- Dan K., Denver, CO, US

problem #21

Nov 132012

Escape XLS 2.3L I4

  • Manual transmission
  • 161,487 miles

Wife was driving her 2003 Ford Escape 2.3L XLS (FWD, 5-Spd Manual) at 65MPH, practically coasting down a hill. 26 minutes after engine start and nearly halfway to work she heard a loud Bang and subsequent popping sounds. This was followed immediately by severe power loss from the engine. She says she had to rev it up quite a bit to make an intersection to get to the gas station where the car rolled to a stop.

That loud Bang turned up to be the NBR 3 CYLINDER blowing its Spark Plug clean off the Spark Plug Bore. The subsequent popping sounds were due to the Spark Plug not being on the NBR 3 CYLINDER as the fuel that continued to spray into the Cylinder was burning off. The immediate power loss is a direct result of the engine loosing 25% of its chugga-chugga and the loss of the CHT Sensor Signal which both then caused the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) to go into LIMP MODE and further reduce engine power.

First thing I did was plug in my OBDII Scanner and check for codes. I found the following three: P0303 - Cylinder 3 Three Misfire P0353 - Ignition Coil 'C' Primary/Secondary Circuit P1289 - Cylinder Head Temp Sensor High Input (A.K.A. Sensor Signal Greater Than Self-Test Range)

I then performed a KOEO (Key-On/Engine-OFF) check with my OBDII Scanner and found the following two codes: P0119 - Engine Coolant Temperature Circuit Intermittent/Erratic P1289 - Cylinder Head Temp Sensor High Input (A.K.A. Sensor Signal Greater Than Self-Test Range)

When I inspected the engine compartment all looked normal except that the little rubber cap/boot that covers the CHT Probe (Cylinder Head Temperature) was popped off the plastic Engine Camshaft cover.

Picture this configuration: The NBR 1 Cylinder is on the far right when you are seated in the Driver's Seat facing forward and the NBR 4 Cylinder is on the far left when seated in the same position. So, the NBR 3 CYLINDER is just to the right of the NBR 4 Cylinder. Well, the CHT Probe is placed right between the NBR 2 and NBR 3 Cylinders (square between the two spark plugs).

I took a closer look at the rubber boot and found that the Electrical Connector for the CHT Probe was not on the inside of the rubber boot, in fact, the Electrical Connector was still attached to the ECT Probe - the two wires from the CHT Probe Electrical Connector had been ripped right off and the only reason why the little rubber boot did not drop out of the engine compartment was because it was secured to the ECT Probe wires/harness. I thought this would be no big deal since I would be able to splice these wires back to the Electrical Connector.

As I took a look into the cavity in which the CHT Probe was, I realized that I was looking at an Ignition Coil Spring and Spark Plug Terminal. I removed the NBR 3 CYLINDER Ignition Coil Pack and found that its Spark Plug was not there. I proceeded to pull the tangled Ignition Coil Spring out of the CHT Probe access hole and the Spark Plug was then extracted from the NBR 3 CYLINDER Ignition Coil Pack/Spark Plug access hole.

The Ignition Coil Pack was further inspected and found severely damaged, as the rubber boot that housed the Ignition Coil Spring was ripped apart (looked like an exploded cigar, cartoon style), which explains how the spring ended up in the wrong neighborhood. As I took a closer look at the Spark Plug itself, the Terminal (thick metal tip) dropped out as I turned the plug around to examine the Ground Electrode and Threads. Aside from the departed Terminal the Spark Plug looked just fine except that I noticed the Threads on the Spark Plug being a bit rough. I figured it had just rattled itself free from the Bore and popped off when it got to its last Thread. I cleaned off the Spark Plug Threads and found no actual damage to these Threads.

I temporarily repaired the CHT Probe wiring and was able to get a temperature value from the CHT Probe via the OBDII Scanner. Now, instead of seeing -40 degrees Fahrenheit for ECT (Engine Coolant Temperature), I now was seeing actual ECT (96 degrees Fahrenheit at the time, 90 minutes after the incident).

Apparently, the ECT (Engine Coolant Temperature) is a value obtained when the CHT (Cylinder Head Temperature) Probe Signal is processed by the PCM (Powertrain Control Module). In other words, if your OBDII Scanner is telling you ECT Probe for this make/model/year, it probably is referring to the CHT Probe which happens to be the primary source of Engine Temperature. There is an actual ECT Sender/Probe and it is located at the back of the engine and is only used for the Instrument Cluster Gauge.

I figured I’d buy a new Ignition Coil Pack and Spark Plug and save the day. Well, when I came back and attempted to install the new Spark Plug I suddenly realized the gravity of the situation when I could not get the Spark Plug to thread on to the Spark Plug Bore. Yes folks, I took a flash light and with my own eyes I was able to see that all Threads in that Spark Plug Bore were gone – completely. It was nice and smooth.

Game over. I walked over to my wife and quietly told her that her car was dead in the water and that her car’s repair bill would be at the least $1,000 and more than likely beyond that. She called AAA to have the car towed to our garage. At $9 per mile I am so glad we have AAA Plus, as this provides us with up to 100 miles of towing per instance at no additional charge to our annual premium. Yes, we love AAA.

Looking at those codes a little closer:

P0303 logged because Cylinder # 3 was misfiring and in this case quite obviously.

P0353 logged because Ignition Coil ‘C’ (#3) was destroyed by the blown Spark Plug. Remember the exploded cigar.

P1289 logged because the CHT Probe was exposed to a temperature higher than hot coolant (approximately 180 degrees Fahrenheit), in this case the hot gasses from the open Cylinder #3 Spark Plug Bore. The CHT Probe Electrical Connector (Yellow) was exposed to enough heat to make it brittle where some parts of it broke off as I removed it from the CHT Probe Receptacle.

P0119 was present during the KOEO check because the primary ECT Signal, which is the CHT Signal, was not there. Remember the cut wires to the CHT Probe and the ECT Signal showed -40 Degrees Fahrenheit.

P1289 was present during the KOEO check because the CHT Probe was no longer connected to the PCM thanks to the cut wires. Remember the Input is now out of range.

Unless I can get the bore threads repaired or cylinder head replaced, that engine will not run again. I see that there are bore thread repair kits aplenty for the Ford Trucks, but no kits available for the Ford Escape.

By the way, The Ford Motor Company should be more than just ashamed of themselves. This is a catastrophic failure of one of their well-maintained engines. Apparently it happens to far too many of their engines, mainly the F-150s, and they refuse to acknowledge their flaws. They offer no help here.

Maybe it is time that government stepped in with a new Administration, the FCAA (Federal Consumer Automotive Administration). When stuff like this happens with an aircraft, you can bet your sweet precious dollar that the FAA is all over the incident and the manufacturer is already looking for a solution. The Ford Motor Company needs to be above situations like this, make it right for their loyal customers. This is obviously poor engineering that was signed off as acceptable manufacturing.

- clutchnshift, Palmdale, CA, US

problem #20

Dec 212012

Escape XLT 2.3L V6 Not Hybrid

  • Automatic transmission
  • 123,000 miles

I have had many problems with this car but this was the worst. The check engine light didn't come on and the car jumped timing, bent the rods and god knows what else. Cost me $4,000 to replace with rebuilt engine. Gave the car to my daughter and both motor mounts broke and now needs a new engine again. Can't say I will ever buy another ford again!

- Kim D., Kittery, ME, US

problem #19

Jan 022010

Escape LT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 45,000 miles

I took a road trip from milwaukee to Chicago and back to take my mom to the airport. I was about 500 miles over my scheduled oil change but all previous oil changes were all on time and the car was working fine. On the way back we got stuck in traffic and at one point I heard a bang - it sounded like I had run over something. We kept driving because I didn't notice any problems. As we got closer to home I started hearing a knocking noise. It progressed over the next several days getting louder and louder. My husband checked it out and there wasn't a drop of oil in the car. There were no signs of leaks anywhere - there is NO reason why there shouldn't have been no oil. The check oil light wasn't lit, there weren't any leaks, it was a fairly new car, but it too was just past the warranty. We took the car to the dealership only to learn that the rod was about to bust. It didn't yet which is why it was still drivable. Again no warning lights. NO check engine light. My escape sat for 6 months before we decided to get a new vehicle. Now I am paying the 5000.00 we still owed on it plus the cost of the new vehicle. I called FORD and they were no help at all. All they said was that I should have had my oil changed on time and that there was no explanation for the oil and engine lights not coming on. I loved this vehicle and it was very upsetting to have this happen. We weren't in a place at the time to be able to get another loan for another car as my husband was laid off. FORD didn't offer any help at all. When i spoke to a mechanic friend of mine he said it's very common in this engine.

- Kathy D., Milwaukee, WI, US

problem #18

Jun 012012

Escape Limited 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,898 miles

I bought my 2006 Ford Escape about 2 years ago, the mileage was low and ran fairly well. The first problem I experience is when me and my husband were taking a road trip to pick my son up from college. I did the regular maintenance on the car like change the oil when it was supposed to be changed,even got a full tune up. We were driving on the interstate and all of a sudden the car shut off. Well to say it was a scary situation and a 18 wheeler was right behind us and only for the quick thinking of my husband did our lives get spared that day. Called the dealership we bought the car from told them the situation they responded by saying we can't do anything for you. I replaced 3 alternators on this piece of junk. Never feeling fully comfortable in this car after the interstate incident. I still was paying on this car and the final straw that broke the camel's back was when the engine went. No indication I ever had any type of engine problems. Did everything maintenance wise and still it went. I still owe money which I feel I should not be paying for a piece of crap car like this. What horrible quality and shabby parts. Ford was always an institution of quality in our home since I was a kid. This has woke me up. I won't buy a ford ever again. It should be a recall on 2006 Ford Escapes. People who own this car should be getting free engine replacements for this trash.

- makmani, Robbins, IL, US

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