2008 Ford Escape transmission problems: transmission cooler failure - tsb exists

Transmission Cooler Failure - Tsb Exists

2008 Ford Escape (Page 1 of 3)

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

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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
45,400 miles
Total Complaints:
43 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. don't buy an escape (12 reports)
  2. not sure (9 reports)
  3. Ford repairs and replaces parts at no charge (7 reports)
  4. replace transmisson oil cooler (5 reports)
  5. called customer relations 1-800-392-3673 working to discount (4 reports)
  6. class action lawsuit (3 reports)
2008 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2008 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #43

Jun 012014

Escape XLS 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles


I noticed a leaking fluid in my driveway. Had it checked out and was a leak in condenser. Sure hope Ford does a recall on this. Seems like a common problem.

- Crista K., Jasper, AL, US

problem #42

Sep 252014

Escape V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,614 miles

I first noticed the problem, and thought I had an engine oil leak, and some manufacturers have oil coolers in front of the radiators. When I inspected the engine compartment I couldn't find any obvious leaks. Looking at the AC cooler (Where the oil had gathered) I wasn't aware it also acted as a transmission cooler. The oil appeared black, leading me to believe it was from the engine. I got out my pressure washer, and de-greaser to clean the affected areas, to shed some light as to the source of the leak. Next I turned to the web (www) to see if anyone else had suffered a similar problem. WOW. I was amazed at the number I found. The most helpful was a Youtube video that showed me the exact problem I was having.

So I did what most had already done before me, I called my local Ford dealer (Perry Ford) in San Diego. I spoke to someone in service who told me If I searched enough I could find almost any problem on the web, and there was no recall for my vehicle. I then asked If I could at least get a quote for the repair/fix; he told me that with out looking at it he couldn't /wouldn't even give me a ball park figure. I then got transferred to parts so I would at least know what the part would cost me. The gentlemen in parts was a little more understanding, and after telling me the part would be $342.00 plus .tax, and there were three available,to call back and ask for the service manager (Jose), and maybe he could do something for me.

Before I did that, I contacted the person who had posted the video on youtube, his feed is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6xQ2ZyQMOI Mark at http://wwwcarquestions.ca Mark was nice enough to email me a .pdf of Fords tsb document on this recall. I use the word recall lightly, as it was a VIN specific recall.

I then phoned back and spoke to Jose the service manager, who informed me that I was out of luck! He also wouldn't provide me with an estimate for the repair. Finally after much pleading he gave me a ball park of $600.00-$800.00 for the repair which he emphatically said he would not be held to.

My next recourse was to call Ford directly.( Which I knew would be a waste of time) but did so any ways. As expected, I was told there was NO recall on my specific VIN, so the problem was mine. Since there is no warranty, I will get the part, and do the repair myself to save some $$ towards my next purchase. NOT a Ford!

This car has been a gutless wonder. I purchased it wanting something mid range that would also have good gas mileage. This hasn't been the case. Because it still has relatively low miles, I think once I get the repair done, I will detail it, and sell it off. FORD has left me angry, and disappointed in "American Made"

I would love it if some powers that be did a class action suit against them, for this know defect in their design and manufacturing.

- Daren F., Coronado, CA, US

problem #41

Mar 032014

Escape XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles

I've seen all of the other complaints on here about this issue. My wife's Escape started leaking transmission fluid out of the cooler in the upper corner, which I see is a common problem. It appears that there is a defect and Ford should stand by their product and do a full recall.

- Chad H., Simpsonville, SC, US

problem #40

Aug 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 85,000 miles


I bought my 2008 ford escape while being deployed overseas and I left it with my mother til i came back in 2010. Occasionally she would drive it so that it would be a working SUV by time I came back. For the first time in over 6 years I finally come back to the states driving my Ford for only 2 years to find transmission fluid EVERYWHERE, its all underneath my hood, my whole right side, my right tire, leakage every stop I make. I had someone look at it and when I went online to see how much were parts, I notice more complaints about this particular model and it's transmission problem than anything else. I notice there was a recall back in 2010, however I didn't have the problem back in 2010 since I just got back from deployment. I'm still very far away from my family and this Ford Escape is my only way of transportation to work, I spend almost $100 a week just for transmission fulid because I don't have a lump of money saved up for a SUV I'm still paying for which by the way I bought brand new off the lot with only 12 miles on it. I will continue to do my research on any new recalls, if anyone has any new information, please post it for it will be greatly appreciated.

- zdesiderio, Cliffwood, NJ, US

problem #39

Mar 012012

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

What can we say that already has not been said? This problem is ongoing and very well documented. Ford, and their dealer in Waconia, MN just plain don't give a rip.

My advice to all that read these complaints, is to tell everyone that you know, to avoid these like the plague. Ford won't stand behind this, even though it should have been a RECALL, not a TSB (technical service bulletin).

We are currently happy owners of a 2003 Chev 2500HD 4X4, and will be shopping for an additional economical commuter vehicle to replace our Escape in the near future, as it also has other problems not related to this post. It will be a Chevrolet, guaranteed!

(F)ix (O)r (R)epair (D)aily; Now I get it.:(

Yet another, pissed off Ford owner!

- James & Debbie K., Fairfax, MN, US

problem #38

Jan 252012

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,000 miles

After by my 2008 Escape last year, there was a recall on a transmission leak and they fixed it. Then occasionally, I would feel a slip and tonight it was my imagination, but about two weeks ago on my way home from a doctor's appointment that was related to too much stress in my life, my transmission starting jerking and I thought the damn thing was going to explode. I took it back to the dealer and they said it was the converter and that they could fix it for about 700.00, but that most likely the transmission would still go out and I could replace both for 2,500. Of course they said it was not related to the the recall and then I log on here and see all these people with the same problem. My husband is currently out of work and I was paying 470.00 a month on this vehicle. I don't have 2,500 dollars, so I guess my credit will have to go down the drain because I have no other choice but to let them repossess it. If they come after me for the difference, I will have to file bankruptcy.FORD NEED TO STEP UP AND FIX THIS PROBLEM. If there is a class action lawsuit, please let me know, I want to be on it. I think I might call some lawyers myself. This was my first and last FORD. Fix or repair daily should definitely be their new slogan!!!

- Estalene L., Newtown, WV, US

problem #37

Dec 012011

Escape XLS

  • Automatic transmission
  • 46,780 miles


After doing tons of research on line about the trans cooler defect, I see this has happened to 100's if not 1000's of people that owned 2008 Escapes. I was told Ford did do some repairs on these cars that where built early 2008, and that the CSP (Customer Satisfaction Program) expired in August 2010. My Escape was built in Sept. 2007, which should have covered it. Ford sent a CSP #09B10 to owners for a replacement because of the know defect to the cooler. Since I didn't not own the vehicle until November 2010, I had no idea of the problem, and since the original owner never took it in, I have to pay the price. Called Ford Customer Care, and both them, and the Ford dealer acknowledge the defect, but would not cover it. Since there is no recall, and the CSP is over, I had to pay $644.41 out of my pocket. This is ridiculous. I am paying for a defect that Ford knows about. They both told me to hold on to my receipt in case there is a recall I can get reimbursed. I think this is the last Ford I will own....

Ford's GREAT idea of making the transmission cooler, and the A/C condenser all one piece. This adds a big price for the part. When your cooler needs changed the A/C Freon needs to be emptied, then fill again, which adds to the labor cost. Good thinking Ford! Even though this is connected to the drive train, and keeps your transmission from failing, its not a drive train part, and not cover cause its not internal.

Hopefully Ford does the right thing, and reimburses the customer for the mistake THEY made...

- Jack K., West Newton, PA, US

problem #36

Sep 042011

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,550 miles

My 2008 Ford Escape which had 59,500 miles had the common problem of the transmission cooling system leaking. I was told by the dealer that it is caused by normal vibrations during driving that causes the fitting to crack and that my new cooling system now has a rubber gasket to absorb the impact of the constant vibration. This appears to be a design flaw that Ford is aware of since they did redesign them and especially since there was a TSB (owner notification) on this part, but only on certain VIN #'s and of course my car was not in that batch of vin #'s that were being replace at no cost!!!! That is a bunch of crap. Ford should be covering all of these failures not just for certain vin #'s, but for all 2008 Escapes!!! There should be a recall for this part and I should be eligible for a full refund. If enough people complain to the Dept. of Transportation Vehicle Safety Hotline a recall can be ordered and all of these particular problems will be fixed at no cost. A recall does not have an expiration date as is the case with the TSB which are only notices sent out to certain owners of certain cars that might have a possible problem. This is a common problem and Ford recognizes this since they did change the design of these transmission cooling system, but they still keep telling me it is not covered on my car and only certain batches of 2008 Escapes were covered. Please call and complain to Ford and the Dept of Trans Vehicle Safety Hotline and maybe a recall will be issued and those of us that have already paid for this repair can get reimbursed!

Dept of Transportation Vehicle Safety Hotline # is 1-800 424-9393

I wouldn't be so angry if my car had at least 75-80K miles on it, but less than 60K is not normal wear and tear!!!

- Denise S., Danville, CA, US

problem #35

Dec 012011

Escape Limited 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 55,000 miles

Last week my wife stated that her car was making a buzzing noise. After driving it, I diagnosed the buzzing to a idler pully. During the replacement, I discovered that the trans oil cooler was leaking from the upper right hand corner. After some research I discovered this to be a common problem with this year and model. I contacted Ford and they aren't willing to replace the cooler free of charge. The estimates that I received for the replacement are between $800-1000. This is the third Ford that I have shelled money out of my pocket for their poor engineering. I plan on visiting the Honda dealership after Christmas to get a reliable vehicle for my wife. Till then, I won't allow her or my children in it, in case the leak gets worse and the transmission gives out. If it does I will plaster it with lemon stickers and my complaint. Then I will have it parked near my Ford Dealership as a warning to potential buyers. I am curios what kind of bonus a Ford CEO gets for Christmas...cost Benefit Analysis is Job One and Quality is just a word in their eyes!

- rockyt, Pikeville, NC, US

problem #34

Nov 282011

Escape Limited 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,797 miles

I noticed red liquid on the floor of my garage this morning. Took my escape to the ford dealer and was told I has a leak in my transmission and a.c. Condenser. Could not give me any reasons for this and were very vague. Of course no warranty even though it involves transmission. Maybe it's time for a class action..... This problem is very dangerous

- Barb J., Prince Alberst, Saskatchewan, canada

problem #33

Nov 182009

Escape 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,000 miles


One day I found a pool of transmission fluid on the ground. I knew about the existing tsb on the trans cooler. I scheduled to have it replaced. It is seems to be holding up alright now. I think most people are having the same problem around the same mileage or every 30,000 miles. Due to the history of transmission problems and the existing paint problems I am having, I am planning on getting rid of SUV when the extended warranty is up.

- woodtiger99, Munroe Falls, OH, US

problem #32

Apr 062011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,000 miles

Took my Escape in for a replacement of the belt tensioning pulley which is covered under the drivetrain warranty with a $100.00 deductible. The Ford dealer called me while repairing this and said they transmission cooling system was leaking and if I didn't have it fixed it would cause transmission failure. This repair they said wasn't covered. How can that be if it is part of the transmission/drivetrain. I have purchased 3 Explorers and was happy with them. They didn't have significant repair costs until after 150,000. This Escape has now had two significant repairs under 50,000. What is going on with Ford? Are they wanting us to go buy Toyotas? How can they allow this to destroy their brand?

- Geoff E., Dayton, OH, US

problem #31

Apr 012010

Escape XT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

I can't believe it! I worked for a Ford dealership and purchased 2 cars during this time. A while back, we noticed a puddle of fluid under the car. A week later, we noticed that this puddling was consistent, as it was still snowing and thought some of the puddling was just snow. We took the car to the dealership to have it looked at and were told that it was the transmission cooler and that it would not be covered on our warranty as it was caused by us! We were told that it would cost about $600 to fix. My wife had just had a cardiac arrest and frankly we could not afford to fix. We were told that no further damage would be done if we continued to drive the vehicle as long as we made sure that we kept replacing the lost fluid, which we did. A time later the car started to lunge, stall and shifted really hard. Very quickly after this, the car would not go into reverse at all! We took the car down to be looked at, we were told that the transmission needed to be replaced at $5,800. I called the dealership and explained the situation and that we were told that no further damage would occur and now this happened. They explained that this problem would not be covered on our warranty. Here is a car that is 3 years old and very low mileage. Having looked through just briefly the internet, I was shocked at the amount of complaints regarding the very same issues, many of which resulted in accidents, some ending with serious injuries. My wife's brother worked in the auto industry and was as we were, shocked that a problem as serious as this, as many accidents were caused by the transmission just stop working. People driving down the freeway at 60 miles an hour and just stopped. To me, this issue is just as dangerous as other cars that have caused deaths and Ford feels like they have absolutely no liability what so ever. In this economy, we felt strongly to buy a car made in the USA, only to find out that this year the transmissions no longer were made by Ford but by MAZDA!!!! Now I realize that some of these pieces are made here in the states but it is curious to me that I find little issues prior to this major change. I additionally find it shocking that this is a company that I worked for and found that although polite, the answer is consistent, we are sorry but we are not responsible for this issue. Now I drive approximately 15 miles a day to work and 15 miles back. I have taken no trips in the auto, there has been no hard driving of the vehicle at all and having a transmission going out with this light driving, then being told that the cost of fixing this car is because of the placement of the transmission! I am mad beyond belief that Ford would be so irresponsible when other cars that have had this type of issue have caused death. What does it take for Ford to do the right thing? Do they have a magical number that they plug in of people that have died for them to step up to the plate. I wasn't even "researching" this issue on the internet but just plugged in transmission issues of 2008 Escapes and was shocked at how many people have the very same issues, many resulting in very serious injuries. These people were driving down the freeway at 60 MPH and BOOM, the car just stopped, resulting in multicar accidents. Exactly what does it take for Ford to do the right thing and recall the transmission cooler and transmission? Do they have a specific number that they plug in of deaths associated with this issue for them to step up to the plate? I have also done as others on this site and called Ford with the very same response, we are sorry for the problems you are having but they are not covered by warranty! If a car that is driven very lightly, taken good care of the auto and this happens? Trying to do the right thing and buying American made vehicles to support our economy and our company won't stay behind their product, makes it easy to understand why people are buying foreign vehicles. This is our only vehicle and with my wife's medical issues, this only increases the danger of our situation, medically. If anyone has any suggestions I would appreciate any ideas. I see that in further investigation, that there are 2 class action suits, has anyone signed up for this. Additionally, is it worth contacting your local Goverment Reps? Honestly, any help would be appreciated as we are on a very limited budget, having to bus and taxi does nothing more than decrease our ability to pay for these repairs that our warranty should pay for, if it doesn't, what good is a warranty for a car? I appreciate any help that anyone can give!


- mtp, Parker, CO, US

problem #30

Mar 122011

Escape LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Update - customer satisfaction told me they tranny cooler problem was not covered because my escape was not manufactured at the Kansas factory. I just did a VIN check and it WAS indeed manufactured in Kansas, MO. Don't Believe a word they say.

- disgruntld escapee, Bellport, NY, US

problem #29

Mar 122011

Escape LX 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Noticed oil spots in the drive way this past weekend and fluid leaking from the front end of our 2008 escape. Fluid looks like transmission fluid and the cooler is leaking it down the side from somewhere. Called the dealer and the customer service line. They say its is not covered by the replacement program that ended 2 weeks ago because my particular car was not from the specific factory associated with the exact same problem. Then they say my extended warranty wont cover it either. How is this possible?? Transmission issues occur from this problem - so when my tranny goes - will they cover it then??? Of course not. What a bunch of BS. I have owned 2 ranger pickups and this is our second escape - but this will no doubt be our last FORD ever.

- disgruntld escapee, Bellport, NY, US

problem #28

Mar 012011

Escape XLT 2.3L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

I bought this piece of garbage 3 years ago and paid $25,000 for it. I drive a lot and take care of my car. I come outside and notice a puddle and thought it was melting snow. I get to work and they heavily salt my parking lot and its dry, I come out theres a huge puddle under my car. Its my transmission cooler dumping my transmission fluid out by the quarts. I never had to bring this piece of crap in before for anything and now one major thing goes wrong and FORD MOTOR COMPANY'S only offer was a apology and both customer service rep and supervisor telling me they are not liable and the bill will be on me. I am so mad especially when I search the internet and find that thousands of other people are having this same problem. I call FORD MOTOR COMPANY back and get the same song and dance they will not fix it I am out of warranty, I tell them I don't care about a warranty its a faulty part that they manufactured and they should stand behind it. I would not care if it was just my car I would chalk it up as bad luck but this is a problem that thousands are having and I will not pay for this. I will get a lawyer I will get every other person on the internet having this problem together and sue FORD MOTOR COMPANY. It is absolutely ridiculous that I have to pay for something that is clearly a defect with their manufacturing and they don't even offer anything. They got my $25,000 and now where's the loyalty. I suggest to the thousands who are having the same issue keep emailing, calling, and writing complaints and maybe a lawyer will get wind and help us. TO ALL THAT ARE READING THIS DO NOT BUT A ESCAPE THEY ARE JUNK WHAT 3 YEAR OLD CAR NEEDS OVER $1000 REPAIRS AND NOT JUST MINE SEARCH THE WEB ITS ALL OVER AND A COMPANY THAT WILL NOT STAND BEHIND THEIR CARS OR MISTAKES. I WILL NEVER IN MY LIFE BUY ANOTHER FORD AND I DO HOPE THAT I AND ALL THE OTHERS WITH THIS SAME ISSUE GET SOME TYPE OF RECOURSE ON THIS ISSUE. FORD CARS ARE HORRIBLE, FORD MOTOR COMPANY IS HORRIBLE, AND FORD CUSTOMER SERVICE IS THE WORSE. DO NOT BUY FORD!!!!!

- natny, Cairo, NY, US

problem #27

Feb 192010

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


This says it all. First and last Ford.

- Michael L., Cornelius, NC, US

problem #26

Oct 242010

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 49,307 miles

On Sept 2,2008 Ford dealership repaired(they assured me) the leak in my transmission cooler . I took my '08 Escape in to the Team Ford dealership in Marietta,Ga, Nov 1, 2010, again, as I found a huge wet dark spot in the exact same area as the one two years before. After waiting 2 hours before anyone bothered to tell me what the problem was, I had to seek someone out. I was told the cause is transmission cooler leaking. I was beside myself as this 'cause' had already been repaired (which should not have happened @ 20,000 mile range in the first place.) I then mentioned @49307, powertrain will cover repairs. The service person advised me it isnt a part of the transmission so the cost to me w/b $891. He was unabled to explain to me how this can be a 2nd REPAIR for the SAME PROBLEM & THEY WONT COVER IT??? They will NOT be receiving this money from me. I'm about to contact consummer advocates from the local news television stations.

- rob325b4, Marietta, GA, US

problem #25

Aug 302008

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,847 miles

I purchased my '08 Escape June'07 after totaling my 2000 BMW 325. I had previously replaced the transmission, motors in 3 of the windows & numerous other repairs that shouldn't happen to a car of this caliber. So I thought I'd 'buy American' this time, get a new Ford Escape, & no major problems for a few years(WRONG!) Aug 2008 I noticed an oily stain on my garage floor, took the vehicle to the dealership. I was advised the transmission cooler was leaking & would be repaired under warranty@20847 miles. I inquired how something this serious could be a problem so soon.(got no satisfactory response. I didn't know the best was yet to come. How about a repeat performance!

- rob325b4, Marietta, GA, US

problem #24

May 032010

Escape V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 54,681 miles

I also had the transmission problem but didn't know until the recall. Mine was very bad. Now i am havng another problem. My axle broke for no apparent reason. I was making a left hand turn from onne street to another and heard a noise . The rest of the way home my truck was vibrating and not working well at all. I am a visiting nurse and work in the county areas so I drive all day everyday and I have 88,000km on it but it has been babied by my husband and I. It is my vehicle for work. before this I was buying jeep Chereke's and then when Chysler took over jeep I swithched to Ford. This truck just doesn't have the endurance the Jeep had. My last jeep was a 1999 and had almost 300,000km on it and I would trust it to go anywhere. i don't think this is going to last me at all. very disappointed.

- abarry, Sydney, N.S, Canada

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