really awful
Crashes / Fires:
1 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
80,255 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

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 (Page 1 of 10)

problem #189

Feb 132018


  • 98,000 miles


My Ford Escape 2008 model auto transmission with mileage of 98000 started giving trouble today and scary too. After turning on the car & once starts moving, I felt like something wrong with shifting gears from first to second (vehicle moves smoothly for few and after that I can hear the accelerator sound, and I see the wrench sign pops up on the dash board so I had to press the gas pedal up and down to move the vehicle, I drove my Escape home and stopped the car and again I turned on that time wrench sign was gone and started moving the vehicle and the same thing repeated - wrench sign & the problem with shifting gears.

- Ashtabula, OH, USA

problem #188

Feb 012018


  • 127,000 miles
Throttle/powertain has went out in car.I read about other complaints concerning the same thing. I was driving down the highway and my car would not change gear and the wrench light emblem came on. I was in traffic and the car was slowing down, I almost got into an accident on I-30 in arlington Texas on 2/1/2018. There was a recall on this part but another year. This is highly unsafe and needs to be recalled. Thanks, for reading this complaint. Linda wafford-469-648-9106.

- Arlington, TX, USA

problem #187

Jan 032018

Escape 6-cyl

  • 93,862 miles
While driving my 2008 Ford Escape and making a left turn, the power steering went out making it extremely difficult to steer the vehicle. I was coming home from work on a city street. When car was turned off and on it cleared out and was ok but it happened again while making a turn. Had car repaired at local Ford dealer and was told it was a bad torque sensor. Said that my car was not included in a recall (which had recalled some Escapes with the same issue) of these bad sensors since car was not manufactured in specific plant. Don't understand this since it is a defective part with nothing to do with the location of manufacture. Dealer gave me no satisfaction so I called Ford customer service and still waiting to hear back. By researching this online, this appears to be a common problem. I do not understand why Ford doesn't acknowledge that they have these defective torque sensors and recall the all vehicles to fix this problem. Are they waiting for someone to be fatally injured? very distressing as I often have my grandchildren in the vehicle.

- Whitehall, PA, USA

problem #186

Jan 162018


  • 92,000 miles


"takata recall" the vehicle is in motion and I was on the freeway when I experience the following problem. My vehicle was not accelerating correctly and the wrench icon light came on signifying that it is a powertrain fault.

- Canyon Country, CA, USA

problem #185

Jan 112018


  • 8 miles
My Ford Escape 2008 model auto transmission with mileage of 72000 started giving trouble today and scary too. After turning on the car & once starts moving, I felt like something wrong with shifting gears from first to second (vehicle moves smoothly for few meters and after that I can hear the accelerator sound, and I see the wrench sign pops up on the dash board and vehicle won't move for a few seconds, so I had to press the gas pedal up and down to move the vehicle, felt like vehicle going to stop in the middle of the traffic light. I drove my Escape home and stopped the car and again I turned on that time wrench sign was gone and started moving the vehicle and the same thing repeated - wrench sign & the problem with shifting gears. I am going to call the dealer tomorrow, because their service department closed already.

- West Covina, CA, USA

problem #184

Oct 122017


  • 93,000 miles
While driving, the carboard noticed several signs and the speedometer dropped to zero. Also, on other days, I could not start the car.

- Ann Arbor, MI, USA

problem #183

Sep 292017


  • 100,300 miles


100300 miles on my 2008 Escape. Car struggles to change from 1st to 2nd gear. Now power, engine revs up but gear will not change, I have to press the gas pedal then lift off, over and over before it changes gear. Car will jerk and almost lose power while in traffic

- Rocky Ford, CO, USA

problem #182

Sep 132017


  • miles
Loss of pressure in the top end resulting in failure of transmission. Was coasting into town (took foot off gas for lower speed limit) engine shifted hard and revs to high RPM and has no power.

- Rome, NY, USA

problem #181

Jul 302017


  • 121,000 miles
Driving on the highway, the "wrench light appeared and suddenly the car jolted forward almost creating an accident by rapidly slowing the vehicle, once control was regained I moved to the side of the road. I was then able to get the vehicle home on "limp" mode, where the vehicle is restricted to prevent damage to the transmission. Upon looking at this site, I found the investigation for the 09-13 Ford Escape throttle body warranty, which the throttle body was diagnosed by a certified Ford garage on my vehicle, the part is the same from 05-13 on the 3L engine Escape models and seriously posed a threat to me while driving however since it is a 2008, not a 2009, Ford will not grant the dealership permission to replace the part free of charge, although the same part and same malfunction is acknowledged in the 09-13 models and is under and extended manufacturers warranty, listed under customer service program code "13N03"

- West Newton, PA, USA

problem #180

Feb 012017


  • 120,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while driving at various speeds, the steering wheel would become hard to turn causing partial loss of power steering. The contact stated that a wrench (power train fault warning) would appear on the instrumental panel. The vehicle was not taken or towed to a local dealer for diagnoses or repairs. The manufacturer was not made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 120,000.

- Carlton, MN, USA

problem #179

Apr 212017


  • 89,699 miles


Loss of 2nd and 4th gear/ limp mode. I purchased a used 2008 Ford Escape with 69,980 miles. No complaints till hit 89,000 miles when all if a sudden there was no 2nd and 4th gear. I was getting ready to pull into traffic. Put foot on accelerator whent to about 16mph and refused to ho faster. Rpms reved up to 4000+ the yellow wrench light came on. Once got to 20mph hard sh*t into gear.and did this again at 40mph except wont shift into higher gear. Was told it is in limp mode. So I did internet research on this. Said over 368 complaints just on this specific problem, specifically on the 2008 Ford Escape. I tried resetting the PCM. Did not fix problem. Replaced the throttle control sensor. Did not fix problem. Now that leaves the 2nd & 4th gear band assembly. I called and got 3 estimates, they ranged fron$1900-$3000. Part cost $89 and a new transmition cost $1700. Replacing this part can be done without having to remove transmition and said to about 2hours. My complaint in if this is a common issue why aren't you replacing part or fixing this? there has been several investigations and still nothing! this is the first Ford I purchased and will be the last! which is a shame because I love my truck. Just can't afford to fix it. So I will park it and pray Ford owns up to their faulty parts and assimbly and fixes this. And I will make sure everyone I know and everyone I meet knows about how Ford knowingly put in defective parts on many vehical so they could make money fixing them. Think about it. All these ( throttle control sensor and 2nd & 4th gear band ) go bad at 89,000 mile

- Bridgeton, MO, USA

problem #178

Apr 092017


  • 124,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. While accelerating from a red light, the engine stalled without warning. The vehicle was not able to restart. The vehicle was towed to a dealer where it was diagnosed that the transmission failed and need to be replaced. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was notified of the failure. The failure mileage was approximately 124,000.

- Burlington, NJ, USA

problem #177

Apr 122017


  • 163,840 miles
On my way to work today, my car starts to slow down when I try to accelerate. The car eventually jerks forward and starts to go faster after the RPM goes up to 4. I thought it was the transmission slipping until I see the wrench shaped light come on. I turn around, put my flashers on since it's happening off and on and immediately take it home because I don't want to get stuck this far away from home. When I get home, I check to see what the wrench light means and find out it's a throttle body issue that for some reason there is no recall for even though it's an on-going issue.

- Ridgely, MD, USA

problem #176

Mar 012017


  • 125,000 miles
Ford won't honor recall 14S05 they did a software update and but now I need an entire power steering torque sensor replaced and they won't cover that. Other consumers have complained on line that Ford won't repair your steering after having your recall software done. A Ford Escape recall gotcha ┐ recall 14S05, Transport Canada... https://medium.com/@joewardpr/A-Ford-Escape-recall-gotcha-recall-14S05-Transport-Canada-201413-7F0D7ca0D84C Mar 17, 2015... Ford ┐closed out┐ the recall after only updating software and won't pay for the... a facebook group exists entirely about Ford not ┐honoring┐ recall #14S05....

- Anchorage, AK, USA

problem #175

Mar 192017


  • 126,000 miles
"wrench" indicator light and vehicle symptoms of high rpms in teh 3.5 to 4 range at low speeds (cycling from 1st gear to 2nd and 2nd to 3rd) on city streets 0-35 mph. Engine codes not yet read, but similar issues reported as a fault in the throttle body. Consumer satisfaction program 13N03 has identified the problem for same make and model starting in manufacturing year of 2009. My car has a manufacture date of 01/07, though it is a 2008 and is only about 126,000 miles. This throttle body fault should be identified in other years of manufacture if the reports are documented.

- San Bruno, CA, USA

problem #174

Mar 062017


  • 97,000 miles
Turning right onto a major intersection, the vehicle would not accelerate to effectively merge into oncoming traffic. After letting off the gas, then reapplying the accelerator, the vehicle finally began to increase it's speed. Took it into the dealer, discovered the vehicle would need it's 2nd transmission overhaul in less than 18 months.

- Olathe, KS, USA

problem #173

Mar 042017


  • 76,260 miles
Shitting cable came off transmission. It said it was in park but when I tried to get out the car continued to move forward.car was on street at time. Could not put car back in park

- Kane, PA, USA

problem #172

Jun 012016


  • 110,000 miles
Takata recall - vehicle transmission slips, engine revs and decelerates while driving, ignition switch will not start car each time. Sometimes it takes twenty tries. I have read hundreds of these complaints on the internet.ev

- Earlysville, VA, USA

problem #171

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 #170

Dec 222015

Escape 4-cyl

  • 46,608 miles
I received a recall notification 14S05 from Ford about my 2008 Ford Escape. The recall was for a faulty torque sensor that would either be reprogrammed or replaced. Instead of replacing the torque sensor, Ford service decided to just reprogram it because it had not failed or produced a service code. Just recently the torque sensor failed and my steering lost power while driving through a parking lot. I did not have the strength to turn the wheel and had to just stop and leave the car in the lot until someone could come help me. I brought my car back to the same dealership that performed the original recall repair and am being told that the recall has been performed and now I must pay them to replace the torque sensor. After spending time researching the issue online I discovered that this is a widespread problem. It is apparent that Ford is only replacing the sensors if they have already failed when you bring your car in for the recall. If it has not failed then Ford only does a reprogramming that doesn't prevent them from failing but allows Ford to close out the recall on your vehicle and save money on a replacement part. I don't understand how this is legal for them to do. I talked to several of Ford's service managers and customer service representatives and they all give the standard rehearsed answer.

- North Las Vegas, NV, USA

Read the next 20 complaints »

Not what you are looking for?