really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
78,615 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 drivetrain problems

drivetrain problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 9)

problem #170

Jan 172017


  • 80,000 miles


Car will not start unless the key is forcibly inserted into the ignition. This has to be done several times. When exiting the car, it will ding to alert the driver that the key has been left in the ignition but the key has been taken out of the ignition.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #169

Dec 202016


  • 108,000 miles
Wrench light on... trouble shifting... higher rpms when shifting

- Camdenton, MO, USA

problem #168

Dec 052016


  • 87,000 miles
Pulled into driveway, stopped, put the car in reverse - car would not move, engine just revved without moving; put it in D and nothing again. Turned off engine, restarted it, put it in gear and it kinda jerked backward. Sometimes the gears would engage, sometimes not. Noise coming from transmission area sounds like a blender on low speed. Mileage is 87,000. It is a 4WD. Have not yet determined whether it is the transmission or the transfer case - I'm nine miles from a dealer/garage and don't think I can make it there. Would probably have to tow it. I've parked it in a garage until a mechanic can respond to my residence. Had no problems with drive train until this happened. I've read that 2008 Escapes have had some problems, but this one is not under recall at this time.

- Salem, OH, USA

problem #167

Oct 242016

Escape 4-cyl

  • 120,000 miles


I own a 2008 Ford Escape. My wife was at work and when she started to drive home noticed the steering wheel difficult to steer. Luckily she was driving straight on the highway on the way home. She did notice vibration of the steering wheel. I took it for a test drive and noticed it was very difficult to steer or turn at low speeds. Also the steering/powertrain wrench light had come lit. It was evident the steering assist had malfunctioned. After some research I became aware of an electric power assist safety recall on 2008-2011 Ford Escapes. Which is the exact same issue I'm having on my 2008 Ford Escape. I contacted the local Ford dealer and was told that according to the VIN number there was no recall announced for my vehicle. This makes exactly no sense to me because its the exact same issue and vehicle for which the recall was made. I'm basically on my own to fix at this point.

- Connell, WA, USA

problem #166

Sep 252016


  • 115,000 miles
I put my 2008 Escape in park, removed the keys from the ignition and exited the vehicle. I walked approximately 60 yards and was informed by a bystander that my vehicle was rolling away. The 2008 for Escape rolled approximately 200 yards down hill into a tree. I went to the vehicle and the gearshift was now in the "R" position after striking the tree. I know there was a recall for such a problem on certain Ford Escapes. According to Ford my VIN number was not included in the recall.

- Collegeville, PA, USA

problem #165

Aug 152016


  • miles
I purchased my 2008?Ford Escape last year 2015. I have replaced both cv axils on each side and I had my steering column replaced. I purchased the car with 95,000 miles on it at a great deal of $8,900. I then found out why it was so cheap from such a trusted dealership. The dealership was closing in the next 2 weeks. It closed shortly after my purchase and a new Ford dealership opened in its place. Through out the last few weeks my car has not been driving correctly, especially on the highway. I took a closer look and noticed that no matter my speed my car will not go above 3rd gear. My power tran light came on today. I have read on other sights that there were recalls on this issue. I do not think these issues were fixed while being recalled. The related I've done so far have not been cheap by any means. After a year (even less 2 of the above cases) I should not be having these issues. M.carcomplaints.com/Ford/Escape/2008/recalls/ the above sight was my reference tara

- Minerva, OH, USA

problem #164

Jul 252016


  • 75,000 miles


Have to force the key into the ignition really hard and turn the key many times before the vehicle will start.

- Knoxville, TN, USA

problem #163

Jul 122016


  • 122,000 miles
Vehicle power train light came on. Vehicle began to shutter then lose power on the highway without a shoulder. Vehicle reduced speed to max 20mph.

- Houston, TX, USA

problem #162

May 312016


  • 160,000 miles
Truck is accelerating and switching gears on its own. While at a traffic light, a wrench light pops on and the truck begins to switch gears. Once the truck is turned off, the wrench light goes away but returns after driving begins again. Truck is not getting enough power when driving as if it is going to shut off. There are also jerking motions while driving.

- Columbus, OH, USA

problem #161

Jun 012016


  • 108,000 miles
The mecs coolant pump fails without warning causing the DC-DC inverter and hybrid drivetrain to instantly shut down without warning at interstate speed. You get the red triangle and stop safely now with the engine turned off leaving you to coast across 4 lanes of the interstate to get to the shoulder. You must completely stop and put it in park before the car will restart. This is such an important hazard to life and limb that there needs to be an immediate recall. This is a well-documented problem that Ford knows about. Online it says they recalled them but the dealer said that they did not recall them. If you touch the brake with the engine shut down the car comes to an immediate stop automatically in 3 seconds. Leaving the interstate traffic to veer around you. Mine failed intermittently last summer. Now every hot day the car just turns off on the interstate 5-6 times a day. Someone is going to get killed over this. It needs an immediate recall to avert a loss of life. I checked my coolant pump and it is not functioning. The recall I see says they are removing the dorman brush rotor pumps and replacing them with Bosch brushless rotor pumps. The hybrid drive only fails at interstate speed when it is a warm day. The car started doing it last summer when it had 70000 miles on it. It is no longer intermittent but occurs daily now.

- Urbandale, IA, USA

problem #160

May 042016


  • 105,000 miles


When starting to accelerate from a traffic light, the engine raced to over 4K rpms and the car was barely at 20 mph. No acceleration and the wrench light was lit on the dash. Rpms randomly fluctuated and only after reaching 3,500 rpms would the transmission shift gears. After shutting the engine off and restarting the wrench light is gone but returns after a minute. 105,000 miles.

- San Mateo, CA, USA

problem #159

Apr 242016


  • miles
I notice about a week ago that a wrench light signal came on my dash. I checked my owners manual and google the information and then I check to see if there was a recall. I can feel my car doing a pull when I try to accelerate and when on the freeway I am not getting not power it seems like I am moving slower than what my speedometer says, I see that there has been a recall for this issue but not for my VIN number. I guess I don't understand how centain VIN # an be excluded from a recall but you have the same issue. This is the same thing that happen about 1year ago to my power steering there were recalls but not for my VIN. I was out $1000. Now I have I have get this fixed and my mechanic can not do it because he said something about you need a computer and I need to take back to Ford which is going to cost and arm and a leg. I am so done with Ford I have always had Ford cars/trucks but I am at my end with them.

- Minnetonka, MN, USA

problem #158

Apr 252016


  • 118,888 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. While at a stop and attempting to move forward, the accelerator pedal was depressed and the vehicle jerked before moving forward. The failure recurred on numerous occasions. The vehicle was not diagnosed nor repaired. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The failure mileage was 118,888. The VIN was unavailable.

- Cleveland, OH, USA

problem #157

Apr 132016


  • 21,000 miles
A wrench warning sign.

- Kansas City, MO, USA

problem #156

Apr 122016


  • 71,000 miles
Transmission - the service wrench dash light came on and the transmission started to shift badly. A quick trip to the Ford service center indicates that gears 2 & 4 need to be replaced (at 71,000 miles). Ford has issued a tsb on the problem, and there are multiple posts on the internet concerning this issue. This needs to be upgraded to a warranty recall as it does effect the safety of the vehicle.

- Allen, TX, USA

problem #155

Apr 052016


  • 100,000 miles
2008 Ford Escape failed to accelerate while making turn into traffic. Examination revealed significant leak of transmission fluid from transmission fluid cooler resulting in "slippage" of transmission. Investigation of issue found that leakage was a cracked tube at right hand mounting bracket of transmission fluid cooler. This condition is covered by Ford csp 09B10, but had not been brought in for mitigation by previous owner. Ford has expired csp 09B10 as of August 2010, even though the condition appears to be a certainty (based on abundant internet commentary) relatively early in mileage life of vehicle (my Escape has very moderate mileage). Rapid and unexpected change in transmission performance is a safety issue, and should be subject to appropriate recall as opposed to a "fix-it" bulletin. Ford has indicated that they will not provide remediation of this problem.

- Clinton, TN, USA

problem #154

Apr 082016


  • 134,080 miles
Wrench light appears on lower left dash. Car has a difficult time getting into gear. Slow to engage, though high RPM. Happens while in motion. Or taking off from a stop.

- Chesapeake, VA, USA

problem #153

Nov 042015


  • 143,241 miles
Transmission will not go in drive only go in drive two one and reverse.

- Crivitz, WI, USA

problem #152

Feb 082016


  • miles
The steering wheel motor is not working

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

problem #151

Feb 182016


  • 87,000 miles
Truck has 87,000 miles, riding down the road tranny not shifting properly, almost causing me to hit another car when I tried to accerlate.took to shop, transmission needs to be replaced. My god you got to be kidding me.terribly designed SUV. No more Ford for me.unheard of.

- Essex, MD, USA

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