2008 Ford Escape accessories - interior problems: have to push key in ignition very hard in order to start

Have To Push Key In Ignition Very Hard In Order To Start

2008 Ford Escape

This problem may be covered under warranty. Ask your Ford dealer.

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
95,134 miles
Total Complaints:
17 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. push key switch in hard to start 2nd time (3 reports)
  3. ignition housing has to be replaced (2 reports)
  4. modify ignition cylinder (1 reports)
  5. new ignition switch (1 reports)
  6. replace ignion/duct tape (1 reports)
2008 Ford Escape accessories - interior problems

accessories - interior problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2008 Ford Escape:

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

2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #17

Jun 162016

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 86,000 miles


dude I literally made an account to bitch about this. My cars a 2010 but its the same thing just two years better. ANYWAY, this sh*ts so annoying I swearta god. I gotta push that sh*t in like Hercules or some sh*t. and it don't help when I'm driving some bad jawn around (not that it happens often) and the goddamn thing won't start. The only good thing is people probably can't steal it cuz nobody knows whats up with it. my escapes the best one out there don't get me wrong but sh*t can't it just start without all that extra sh*t?

- , Killadelphia, US

problem #16

Oct 032016

Escape XLT 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 143,000 miles

This was an occasional issue. Sometimes will start without any issue. However problem is becoming more than like an every other day problem. It will come down to the ignition parts being replaced, (which I can't afford) however per the net, it is a Ford issue. Wish they would take care of the problem. Wife is tired of listening to me gripe, rant, and yell.

Update from Sep 12, 2017: Well had wife call dealer to see how much it would cost. Was told had to Diag issue ( she told them the problem) Cost $98.00. Then was told there are so many components and that it could cost $500 to $600 to replace. Go figure. Wife works for auto parts store, and the parts cost less than $125.00.

- , Raymond, OH, USA

problem #15

Jun 302015

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles

IGNITION had to turn several times take key in and out. Then one day just would NOT start. Took to mechanic. he replaced my ignition. Only problem was he said it will happen again because Ford made to much play inside the housing which causes ignition to go out. After I paid for it to be replaced about 2 weeks later again take key in and out turn ignition several times. So my mechanic came to my house, pulled ignition out, put duct tape inside and so far its still starting. I believe Ford needs to come up with a solution for the housing on ignition and I should get reimbursed for having to replace ignition !!!!!

- , Arlington, TX, USA

problem #14

Sep 022015

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 110,000 miles


We knew shortly after we got the vehicle that you had push in fairly hard and turn while pushing to get it to start. I would have servicemen ask me if something was wrong with the vehicle because they couldn't start it until I explained this to them. This afternoon was the last straw. I spent almost 2 hours trying to start it. We even tried to jump it thinking the battery was dead. I let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes. It still wouldn't start. Then by some miracle my fiance comes along and with one turn is able to get it start? When I am going to work at 3 am, I don't want to have to worry if I will be able to get home because my vehicle won't start.

Update from Sep 14, 2015: We purchased an ignition switch and replaced it. The car is now functional enough that my Fiance can still drive it. It apparently doesn't like me. Every time I take it to work I get stranded when it is time to go home. After he gets there to see it, it will start right up. We still have to place slight pressure on the ignition switch while starting the car and pull down just slightly on the key to get it to start if it doesn't right away. For most the ignition switch will fix it. Our next step is to replace the lock housing assembly or the ignition lock cylinder. For the time being we are leaving the covers off until we get this fixed so we have easy access to the ignition switch. So far we have spent $70 in parts and tools.

- , Beckley, WV, USA

problem #13

Apr 202014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,270 miles

I've been a Ford man all my life and I'm not real happy at this point. Can use car for a few days with no problems but than when I try to start it, It just clicks, starter doesn't turn. Nothing wrong with battery. Let car sit over night and it starts fine, works OK for couple of days and repeats. Sometimes just wait an hour and it starts but sometimes doesn't. Use to you could jump past started solenoid but can't even locate it on this engine. Very frustrated.

- , Converse, TX, USA

problem #12

Aug 012014


  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

I have the 2008 Ford Escape, I noticed about a month ago that the only way I could start the car was to push the key in really hard. At first, it would start after one hard push but gradually it got worse. It got to the point to where I would be somewhere and it would take me 5 or more minutes to get the car to start. Well, 5 days ago I tried for 2 hours to start it and it wouldn't do nothing, no matter how hard I pushed the key in or how many times it would not start.

I had to have it towed to a mechanic and I still do not have my car back. He said he has had to take the steering column all apart and that there is a part inside that is just completely worn out. He is trying to find the part so that it can be replaced. I have no idea how much this is going to cost, but I think Ford should do a recall on this issue because I am not the only one that has had this issue.

- , York, SC, USA

problem #11

Feb 102014

Escape XLT 6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles


Notice that I had to push the ignition switch in harder and harder than one day it wouldn't start, had to get truck towed to shop where they called and said the ignition switch was bad. It had to be replaced along with having to have a locksmith make me another key, this totaled $397.32

- , Houston, TX, USA

problem #10

Jun 012013

Escape XLT 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

click to see larger images

have to push key in ignition very hard in order to start have to push key in ignition very hard in order to start

To solve your starting (cranking) problem for the Ford Escape 2008. Remove the ignition cylinder assembly (plenty of videos on YouTube on how to do that). Remove the service cap of the cylinder. You can pry it with a small screwdriver. Place your car key in the cylinder. Remove the retaining ring on the other side. Slowly remove inside sub assembly together with key out of the cylinder (housing assembly). Do not remove key from sub assembly as the tumblers and springs will jump out (that would be a real headache). As shown on the pictures file about 2 to 3 mm off the "turning stop" so that the sub assembly can turn a few more degrees in the housing assembly.

Re-install sub assembly into housing. Attach the retaining ring and re-install the service cap and clamp it.

Re-install ignition cylinder assembly onto your car and your starting problems are over.

Good luck

- , Willemstad, Curacao, Netherlands Antilles

problem #9

Apr 132014

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 36,000 miles

it started running again on Monday eve, but since I don't know what its problem is---I am afraid to drive it any where. Driving my husband's 07 Escape puts him in an inconvenient position for him to get to work, was considering the new body style Escape, now I don't know????????

- , Kingston, OH, USA

problem #8

May 012013

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 103,000 miles

The ignition switch on my 2008 Ford Escape randomly turns over -- apparently when it feels like it. I have tried reinserting the key and jamming it as deep as I can and sometimes it works; sometimes it doesn't. There does not appear to be any problem with the battery because as soon as it does turn over it starts immediately without any hesitation from the battery. It appears I'm not the only one who has this problem.

Is there a recall on this issue? After the SNAFU with GM's ignition I am a bit concerned about it. Bit = A LOT. I'm a single woman -- what if I need to start my car immediately and it won't turn over? This could pose security risks I don't even want to think about.

- , Fort Wayne, IN, USA

problem #7

Oct 092012

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 75,000 miles


on my wife's 2008 escape you have to push the key in so hard that it actually hurts your hands to get this stupid thing started and the from time to time it doesn't want to shift into gear.

- , Pasadena, TX, USA

problem #6

Sep 242012

Escape Limited 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Have a 2008 Escape that we like, BUT-most recent problem serious -and a safety issue-Enough that have contacted Ford and they have responded and are doing a review of situation both at Ford and my Dealership where have purchased many vehicles-all new; might add also very good service department and co-operative in past. Issue--in the last two months or so 0n four different occasions vehicle went into a loss of power steering while on roadways -and last time just two days back when driving into my park space at work-and a co-worker saw the occurrence. I have not left my wife drive the car-she uses my 2000 SEL Ford Van-it is safe.

In same issue the ignition has over the past year gotten more loose--to the point won't connect-start- unless push in real hard- also battery failed-three days back on Sunday-sent my wife up to Hammonton -a Advance Auto -they checked it and said battery tested fine-(I had only put a short charge on it -and of course the 15 mile ride to Advance (Dealerships closed on Sunday-and I did not need battery failure in addition to the messed up ignition-loose. On last service a month back or so Dealership service dept. said would possibly cost $400 to replace -IF More than a module--as labor involved with pulling steering column apart, etc.

I await Ford.com additional replies promised in a 4 or 5 day period before acting--it can only be used locally-to work --just do not trust the vehicle. Will return to Auto Beef with results--it is a great place for folks to check on people having same problems--and let there be no doubt about it -you are not the only one having a similar problem--those that worth writing about are happening to more than just you. Thanks for way to share this problem--it might help others to know that one problem can also create others -in their computer type vehicles today.

- , MaysLanding, NJ, United States

problem #5

Jun 282012

Escape 3.0lV6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 120,000 miles

My cars ignition has been fixed 3 times already, and it is going out again. Doesn't this fall into the lemon law issues when it comes to fixing a new car. My car only had 4 miles on it when I bought it. Come on ford, I am needing a running car, not just a car that sits in the yard. also the electrical system has been messed up in the car due to a recap of a big truck hitting my front end. I HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS CAR AND I WANT IT TO BE RUNNING!!!!!!

- , Groveoak, AL, USA

problem #4

Dec 152009


  • Manual transmission
  • 42,500 miles

As a "Mom" that hauls children around quite a bit plus I take elderly people to appointments, I purchased a "Ford" escape thinking that Ford was the "Best" in Texas! Boy was I wrong. The key switch is hard to start and I have to push it in and wiggle it to make the car start. I have already had it replaced one time. What is up with Ford. Do I need to trade it in for a Chevy?

Angry Mom

- , San Antonio, TX, USA

problem #3

Feb 042011

Escape XLS 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,000 miles

The thing is its December 2011 and i'm having the same problem again. There should be a recall on this vehicle.

- , Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA

problem #2

Aug 082011

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 68,000 miles

My wifes 2008 Ford Escape will not start. I do not think it is the battery, but I am not sure. It sounds like it starts to trun over, but instantly stops and gives a brief clicking sound. Also, it will not come out of park now. I am at the end of my limited mechanical knowledge. Please help if you can

- , Apo, AE, USA

problem #1

May 092011

Escape XLT 3.0

  • Automatic transmission
  • 182,500 miles

click to see larger images

have to push key in ignition very hard in order to start have to push key in ignition very hard in order to start

This is down right ridiculous. I've been through 2 blow-outs with Ford's Continental noisy tires, 3 trans-coolers,transmission jerks a little forward after a stop at light or sign, seats that stain from something underneath its covers and can't get stains out, peeling paint from in-between door windows, power-steering giving out suddenly (has happened 3x-have to restart truck for power-steering to reactivate), head-liner coming down underneath sun visors, unpleasant smell from vents when running the heat, A/C blowing hot, very low quality floor mats, rear wiper does not lift to clean window, visors are too low to use in sun glare, and now this problem with trying to start the vehicle!!!!!! So much for having a new micro truck!!!! I bought this vehicle in June '07 and everything mentioned above started as early as 4 months from purchase!!!!! My older previous cars had way less problems than this new one, and 4 of them were at least 12 years old.

I do love the road handling of this truck and it's size for me. But I do not think I will ever buy another new one. I am disabled and don't need this headache from a new vehicle. It would have to be at least 3-5 years old and have owner reviews to look into before making a decision. Feel free to reply in the near future if you've experienced the same or similar issues with this '08 Escape

Update from May 25, 2011: I had the same problem 7 mos ago in 10/2010. The electronic ignition switch had to be replaced ($230). The key had to be pushed in very hard then turned. It would take at least 5 tries to get the ignition switch to start the engine. I believe the "housing" that was replaced this May 2011, is the reason for the ignition switch to have gone bad in Oct 2010. The spindle / housing seems to be made of very weak aluminum blend made material that looks like plastic metal if you ask me!

- , Stockbridge, GA, USA

Not what you are looking for?