definitely annoying
Crashes / Fires:
0 / 0
Injuries / Deaths:
0 / 0
Average Mileage:
38,819 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 transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 5 of 6)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #27

Jun 042009


  • 40,000 miles


Transmission coolant leak. Rolls back, engine shuts off, leaks transmission fluid. Accident risk. Ford not going to replace bad part.

- Cincinnati, OH, USA

problem #26

May 072009

Escape 4WD

  • 29,000 miles
My 2008 Ford Escape limited 4WD with approx. 29,000 miles started running a little louder than normal. Then it began shaking while in motion, usually between 35 to 40mph. When it was taken to the dealership they told me it has a bad transfer case. When the part never came in I was informed that there was a stop shipment on the part because of a defect they found in the manufacturing. Almost a month later they have received the part. Had I not still be covered under warranty this would have been a very expensive and upsetting repair.

- Rockville, MD, USA

problem #25

May 112009


  • 44,500 miles
I bought my 2008 Ford Escape in 02/2008. Last week my Escape started sticking when I pushed the gas petal and it would lag then all of a sudden jump and jerk forward. Then I noticed that I had a transmission fluid leak. I called the dealer and took it in for them to check because transmission issues were supposed to be covered under the powertrain warranty. Well boy was I surprised when the Ford dealer I bought it from called me and said that it was going to cost me $1600 to fix because it was the transmission cooler and line was leaking and that is considered to be an external problem with the transmission and hence not covered under warranty, only internal parts. I have done some research on the internet and now see that many many people have had the exact same issues with their 08 Escapes yet Ford is doing nothing about it but ripping off their consumers. The service center at the dealer even told me that this was a common problem they were seeing in the Escapes lately and that they are fixing these daily. What can be done about this? here I thought I was doing good by buying a new car last year and I am having more problems with it than I did with my 10 year old Mazda I traded in for it.

- Savannah, GA, USA

problem #24

May 072009


  • 14,444 miles


I bought a Ford Escape 2008 about 1.5 years ago. The car stalled or died out suddenly when I was driving yesterday. I was almost hit by the car behind me. I then have a Ford dealer to fix the car. I was told that transmission cooler was leaking and the level of transmission fluid was very low. They replace the transmission cooler and the car looks normal now. However, I did brief research over internet, and found transmission cooler seems to be a common problem for Ford Escape. I suspect it is a design defect and recall shall be required to prevent similar failure happen on other cars.

- San Carlos, CA, USA

problem #23

Apr 202009


  • 43,000 miles
The 2008 Ford Escape I own leaked transmission fluid through the A/C condenser. There was no warning lights engaged indicating a problem and the sudden starts began without warning. This is due to a factory defect and provides an unsafe driving environment given that the automobile's transmission does not engage properly due to the lack of fluid and surges forward. There is currently a tsb on this defect. There needs to be a recall before someone is injured since this is a common problem to all Escape's manufactured prior to a February of 2008. The solution was to replace the condenser that has the faulty seam design.

- Algonquin, IL, USA

problem #22

Feb 012009


  • 18,000 miles
I had come back from a business trip and had parked the car at the airport. When I started driving, the car was lurching, feeling like the transmission was slipping. This continued all the way home. The next day, it worsened. Took it to the dealer and they had to rebuild the transmission and do many other things surrounding that as all the fluid had leaked out. Luckily, it was under warranty.

- Washington, MI, USA

problem #21

Jan 122009


  • 35,000 miles


I purchased my 2008 Ford Escape in December, 2008 with 35K miles. I took the vehicle in for an oil change about a month after I purchased the vehicle, and was told that I had a leak in my transmission cooler. I took my vehicle into the dealership, and was told that this has been a very common problem with the 2008 Escape. My extended warranty covered the work that needed to be done, but it still is something that should be addressed if this is a common problem on a vehicle that is less than a year old.

- Park City, UT, USA

problem #20

Mar 032009


  • 50,000 miles
2008 Ford Escape hybrid, complete engine failure with less than 1/4 mile warning. Ford has technical service bulletins on this problem: # 7-25-9 (Dec. 24-07) and 08-3-3 (Feb. 18-08). Repair is a simple calibration. Since this is a serious, potentially deadly defect, why is this not a recall to notify consumers? Ford would not pay for the repair because my mileage was beyond warranty. It was not beyond warranty when the first tsb was issued. If this had been a recall and Ford had been required to notify me, I would have had it fixed then, before it nearly caused an accident. Thank you.

- Annapolis, MD, USA

problem #19

Feb 092009


  • 43,641 miles
I am filing this complaint on behalf of my daughter. Her 2008 Ford Escape started jerking as if the transmission was slipping then engaging. Upon checking the fluid level I found it was showing at the bottom of the dipstick. My daughter is a registered nurse and does a lot of driving within our tri-state area so as strange as I thought it was to be that low, I added 2 qts. Of fluid. Two days later it was the same situation again except this time I had her make an appointment with the dealer. After dealer inspection she was told that the transmission cooler was leaking and needed replaced. I called the dealers service manager to see if was covered under warranty and was told that it wasn't covered under the 3yr. 38,000 mi. Warranty because her mileage was at 43641. I asked about it being covered under the 5yr. 60,000 mi. Power train warranty because it is called a transmission cooler, again I was told no. Now I am sure not a rocket scientist but to me a transmission cooler sounds as if it has something to do with the transmission operation! my arguments with the service advisor proved fruitless. What really ticked me off was when the service manager told me that the mechanic who handled the repair said that the transmission cooler was leaking in the seam (faulty workmanship"?"). the end result is the repair cost my daughter $667.04. When I asked to see the old part the service manager told me that the mechanic held onto it because each mechanic keeps old parts to sell as scrap. I went back and got the old trans. Cooler because I figured if anyone should money out of the scrap aluminum it should be my daughter. The placement of the transmission cooler right behind the grille is the stupidest design. Why wasn't some type of guard installed in front of it?

- Steubenville, OH, USA

problem #18

Feb 192009


  • 41,000 miles
The contact owns a 2008 Ford Escape. While driving approximately 5 mph on normal road conditions, the transmission began to shift improperly. There were intermittent harsh shifts. There were no warning indicators illuminated on the instrument panel. The vehicle was taken to an authorized dealer for diagnostic testing. The technician stated that the cause of the failure was related to the automatic transmission cooling unit and lines. The manufacturer warranty was expired and the vehicle has not been repaired. The manufacturer has been notified. The failure and current mileages were 41,000.

- Brooklyn, CT, USA

problem #17

Feb 182009


  • 41,000 miles


We bought the Escape in March 2008 with 17,000 miles and now have 41,000 miles. The other day it started to not shift right so we checked the fluids and saw the transmission fluid was very low. We filled it and it still wasn't registering and took it to the dealer the next morning. Dealer said there is a slow leak and we would have to replace the entire unit at our cost because we're over the 35,000 mile warranty. Service manager admitted that the leak most likely would have started while still under warranty but could not go back. Called Ford and got nowhere with them. Did research last night and saw all the other complaints along with the technical service bulletin issued by Ford about the problem. Heading back to the dealer this morning to see what they say about the tsb. The vehicle will sit in the driveway until Ford or the dealer steps up and pays for this. Ford knows it's a defect so why should we have to spend the estimated $800 to correct it. Hoping they end up recalling this to save other consumers the hassle we've been dealing with.

- Brooklyn, CT, USA

problem #16

Feb 112009


  • 26,408 miles
This is a follow up to earlier complaint #10256871 dealer was unable to do repairs to vehicle at earlier date because they could not find problem. Vehicle now quit moving in middle of traffic requiring it be towed. Dealer now replaced entire transmission due to complete internal failure which appeared to be caused by lack of lubrication to internal components. Dealer commented that it appears to be a cooler related design problem, which restricts fluid flow in cold climates.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #15

Feb 102009


  • 15,561 miles
Have a 2008 Escape with 15,500 miles and it began shifting hard. Took a short trip and problem worsened. Husband noted transmission fluid leaking, right passenger side. Took vehicle to shop and they determined the transmission cooler needed replaced. Still under warranty so there was no cost to me other than a day without my vehicle and shop was excellent in cleaning my vehicle from all the transmission fluid splatters. Great service but this problem on so many of these vehicles should be a recalled item.

- Avoca, AR, USA

problem #14

Feb 102009


  • 16,650 miles
My 2008 Ford Escape is currently at 16000 miles and I have noticed for about a week that the transmission has been slipping. Then when I put it into reverse, it sounds like it is going to stall but doesn't. however, when then going into drive my car has stalled 4 times. I took it today and that was the second car today brought in for the same problem. They automatically said it would take a couple of days and got me a rental car till Tuesday.

- Mechanicville, NY, USA

problem #13

Jan 042009


  • 40,000 miles
I brought my 2008 Ford Escape into the dealership after noticing it was leaking transmission fluid toward the front passenger-side of the car. Dealer diagnosed the car with needing a replacement of the transmission cooler at a total cost of $1,142. My Escape was purchased in June of 2007 and has just gone out of warranty had just over 40,000 miles when fluid started leaking. Tsb 08-5-7 was issued for this exact issue. Dealership offered 60 (Ford)/40 (me) split of cost, but I think this should be recalled since it is admittedly a design flaw. I've also read of many others having the same experience. Ford should do the right thing and issue a recall for this problem.

- Saint Louis, MO, USA

problem #12

Jan 152009


  • 27,100 miles
Vehicle would not go in reverse after driving about ten miles. Sub zero weather, vehicle was parked in heated garage. It worked ok out of garage, after driven for the ten miles reverse slipped badly. Powertrain light on dealer checked for codes and code read as unknown problem. Transmission now has delayed engagement into reverse. Dealer checked fluid and it is burnt, again no known codes yet light is still on. Vehicle is 4 cylinder with 4 wheel drive.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #11

Jan 102009


  • 48,000 miles
Total transmission cooler failure at 48,000 miles.

- Salem, UT, USA

problem #10

Jan 142009


  • 33,000 miles
I have a 2008 Ford Escape that I have had transmission problems and when put into rev. It would slip and or chatter. When I brought it into the dealership they stated to me that they can not get it to do what it did for me. This happen for a few days. It started to do it when it gets cold outside and after driving it. I have 333000 miles on it and do a lot of out of town driving. I would like it fixed before it leaves me stranded out of town. The dealership has had it for a week now and still can not find a problem with it. It is hard to believe that there is no code set for this problem.

- Burnsville, MN, USA

problem #9

Jan 192009


  • 13,500 miles
The vehicle feels like it does not want to shift into gear when it is put into reverse. The whole vehicle is "chugs" or shakes when it is reversing at slow speeds. Has become worse with time. Vehicle purchased May 2008 and has 14,000km. Currently in the dealership and they are replacing the entire transmission.

- Calgary, 00, USA

problem #8

Jan 162008


  • 5,000 miles
Transmission issues. Doesn't catch into reverse gear and cannot go in reverse. Shifts into what feels like second gear at highway speeds.

- New York, NY, USA

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