definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,604 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.

2008 Ford Escape cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #12

Apr 102011

Escape 6-cyl

  • 64,865 miles


I have a 2008 Ford Escape and it seems there is a part in which the cars transmission could be ruined. This part is the A/C condenser which tends to go out every 20,000 miles which is my experience so far. There was a recall on this part but it seems it did not do any good because even after the replacement part is put in, the part still has to continue to be replaced in order to keep the car functioning as it should be.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #11

Apr 012011

Escape 4-cyl

  • 37,099 miles
My issue began the same as many others I have read about on the internet, which screams, "where is the '08 Ford Escape transmission cooler recall?". I had a routine oil change & tire balancing on fri, 04/01/11 at my local Ford dealership & by the following thurs, had noticed a somewhat large leaking-spot on my garage floor & a friends asphalt driveway. My first thought was to automatically relate this dark oil-like residue, to the recent oil change. At the same time, this leak/spot seemed to be coming from just behind the front bumper on the passenger-side, which didn't jive with the typical location of a more centered oil-leak. Nonetheless, my Ford advisor assumed the same thing I was; that the plug or filter was probably loose & to bring it in for immediate correction. Here's where the shock & utter disbelief began. I was told my issue was not related to the recent oil change, but in fact a transmission fluid leak from a transmission cooler. I was also told this was not covered under the 36K warranty, since I was now at 37,099; nor was it under the transmission warranty. I was then taken back to my car where the tech explained that this "cooler" looks like a really thin radiator, but is actually a separate cooling unit that sits just in front of the radiator. I was then told the leak is a result of the constant vibration of this unit hitting the radiator, which eventually cracks the left (passenger-side) bolt area. He also said this is a common repair & that it only happens around the left bolt, not the right. I then asked how it wasn't going to reoccur if it's a known defect. He replied that Ford knows about it & has now included a small rubber bushing that comes with the new replacement unit that somehow absorbs and/or prevents the vibration. I was initially told this was a $650 + repair, but by the grace of god, the advisor was able to get Ford to approve my cost at $200. It wasn't $0, but better than others; so, "how is this obvious defect, not a recall?".

- Cicero, IN, USA

problem #10

Jan 202010


  • 40,000 miles
I purchased a 2008 Ford Escape 2wd in February 2008. In January 2010, my husband noticed steam coming from my hood and something dripping on a our driveway. It has since been determined that my radiator is leaking where the plastic and metal parts are "sealed" together. Unfortunately I was out of my 36K bumper to bumper warranty & this part is not covered under Ford's powertrain warranty. I continue to drive my vehicle but check the radiator coolant level weekly. There is no guarantee that an identical radiator will not have the same problem. Therefore, we are hesitant to pay the $800 the dealership asked for to fix. Also, the back driver's side door sometimes will not open. It appears to lock & unlock but the door doesn't catch the hook to release & open.

- Millstadt, IL, USA

problem #9

Feb 282010


  • 42,000 miles


My 2008 Ford Escape started jerking during acceleration and shuttering at stop lights. No lights check engine light ever came on, and didn't happen all the time. Finally the car stalled at a red light and I decided to bring it in. My Ford dealership said its the transmission fluid leaking via the ac condenser. They are fixing it, $800 cost.

- Tallahassee, FL, USA

problem #8

Feb 202008


  • 26,512 miles
My 2008 Escape has been to dealer for repair for major issues. 1) I had a problem with the steering wheel 2) I had a problem with the gas pedal getting stuck, 3) I had a problem with the leak of transmission fluid I thank god that the this happen to the car while its under warranty, so the dealer replace the parts for free. I just cant understand with so many complaints with all the same problems the government has not done anything about it. So many unhappy customers has to spend extra money in hard times to get there car repair. I called Ford and they just told me that they will noted in my account. What will that do for me nothing!

- Bushkill, PA, USA

problem #7

Feb 012010


  • 28,000 miles
1) limited use of vehicle, 28,000 miles on a 2008 Escape (used moderately in cold weather situations) 2) transmission cooler failure, leaks cooler fluid and transmission fluid all over engine compartment. Vehicle "springs" forward or stalls after coming to a stop (daily). Vehicle loses a quart or more of fluid monthly. Vehicle shifts very loudly and roughly (daily - is an automatic) 3) repair is quoted at $1000 dollars for replacement cooler piece. Even though vehicle is still under power train warranty and under bumper to bumper warranty (for miles, not time which ended a week ago). Dealer and Ford Motor Company is uncooperative.

- Sammamish, WA, USA

problem #6

Mar 012010


  • 29,000 miles


The ac/condenser that also cools the automatic transmission is leaking. Through research there are many other cars doing this as well. Also have notice my vehicle surging at stops. Vehicle repaired under warranty at dealership. Advised several other vehicles in for the same problem.

- South Pittsburg, TN, USA

problem #5

Feb 132010


  • 43,000 miles
Over the last several weeks I noticed my car running sluggish and jerky with no pep at all going up hills either. On 2 occasions my car almost stalled as I was pulling from a stop sign which almost caused 2 accidents. I also began noticing oil spots on my driveway. I thought I might have an oil leak since I just had an oil change about a month ago. When I called the dealer to explain my situation the Ford tech. Advised it had nothing to do with my oil change but rather a problem with my transmission fluid and A/C condenser. I questioned the tech on how he can diagnosis the problem so quickly with out even looking at the vehicle and he advised Ford has tsb for this. I brought the car in for service and asked if this is a recall or covered under my warranty. I was advised it was neither and that I needed to pay for the repairs directly. The dealer replaced part # 818Z19712J. I did some research on line and found numerous complaints with the same vehicle year and make dealing with the same problem I'm dealing with ie: Transmission & ac condenser.

- Sussex , NJ, USA

problem #4

Nov 132009


  • 49,000 miles
The ac/condenser that also cools the automatic transmission is leaking. Through research there are many other cars doing this as well.

- Bay Village, OH, USA

problem #3

Sep 222009


  • 42,000 miles
My 2008 Ford Escape would slip or stall when accelerating. Looked on web and found out needed new transmission cooler had to have replaced at my own expense since the transmission cooler has nothing to do with the transmission and is not covered under the powertrain warranty.

- Normal, IL, USA

problem #2

Aug 012009


  • 40,000 miles
2008 Ford Escape - I was informed that the fluid line leading from the transmission to the condenser had sprung a leak. After asking two separate Ford dealers and doing a lot of web research, I have come to find that this issue is widely prevalent with this model and is a result of a design flaw. I asked about the replacement part and if it would suffer the same fate. I was told that the replacement part, engineered and manufactured by Ford has been designed differently to accommodate the original flaw. This to me represents a situation where Ford knew of this issue and failed to inform customers or issue a recall. As a result I am out almost $800 for the repair. Ford will not cover it under warranty and accepts no responsibility for the defect. There is a technical safety bulletins issued on this defect tsb -08-5-7 if I recall right. It took me about 30 minutes to discover that this issue is wide spread and that all others affected with this problem on their Ford Escape vehicle have been given the same brush off by Ford. Something needs to be done about this. The resulting issue created by this problem, documented several places is a transmission failure. Some have resulted in the vehicle jumping into gear and others creating a lurching issue which ultimately leads to a potential accident situation.

- Fairlawn, OH, USA

problem #1

Sep 082009


  • 21,776 miles
2008 Ford Escape: Failure mileage 21,775. Engine rev-ed for no reason at < 10 mph. Vehicle stalled while coming to stop. Vehicle leaked large puddle of transmission fluid under right front passenger side. Ford replaced transmission cooling assembly (part #8L8Z-19712-J) under warranty noting tsb 09 09 04. I purchased this Escape on 08-04-09 as a certifed used Ford off a Ford lease with mileage 20,227. I had not yet made the 1st payment. This appears to be an ongoing issue with many 2008 Escape owners and over the long term causes damage to the transmission due to a dangerously flawed design. There is no recall at this time.

- Frankfort, KY, USA

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