2009 Ford Escape transmission problems: jerking into gear

Jerking Into Gear

2009 Ford Escape (Page 1 of 2)

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

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pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
No data
Average Mileage:
19,838 miles
Total Complaints:
27 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (20 reports)
  2. no - the dealership refuses to see any problem (4 reports)
  3. replace axle shaft (2 reports)
  4. "computer fix" (1 reports)
2009 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2009 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #27

Mar 052014

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles


I Googled the problem with the transmission with this 2009 Ford Escape. I was surprised thinking it was probably a spark plug cable or misfire, but there was NO engine light issue, it felt like driving in a manual car with someone who was horrible with the clutch when shifting gears 1 through 4 on the highway, from parking to driving out of a parking lot on the roads.

I would love to say I SUPPORT AMERICAN CARS, but what is wrong? Why can't a country that can spend trillions, give billions of dollars to save the world, build a decent automobile that will last longer than any German, Swedish or Japanese manufacturer sold here in the USA?

FORD, you need to step up your game. If you want to be the butt of jokes for another decade, I am going to call it quits here. The AC fails after 3 years in the Ford Focus, the transmission leaks in the 4th year of Ford Escape, the AC also failed in the Ford Escape in 2013. I may look at Korean's Hyundai or any Japanese vehicle after this repair.

I can't get any answers or assistance about the repairs and repair bill. Something is fishy when ACs burn out in Ford vehicles between months 72 and 76 and transmissions mysteriously begin to leak and the car makes a loud thud noises and jerks forward when shifting gears from 1st through 3rd.

- , Bloomfield, NJ New Jersey, USA

problem #26

Mar 082011

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,743 miles

Still shifting hard - but dealership "couldn't replicate problem."

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #25

Jul 082010

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 24,263 miles

My second visit was due to the recall (recall 10B15) for - what else? hard shifting. Figured that would fix my issue, but alas, it did not.

- , Dallas, TX, USA

problem #24

May 072012

Escape XLT 2.5L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 7,000 miles


UGH - I should've have researched this car before leasing it...but thank god it's only a lease.... The Trans on this car is horrendous, yet it's intermittent so they won't Lemon law it out. My car shakes horrifically when you're at a stoplight or a drive through, the trans has slipped gears so bad I felt I had whiplash, and even the service manager at the Ford dealer said he's had this happen to him! They "reposition the trans mounts" every time I take it in, and I even paid for a rental out of my own pocket so they would take their time to fix it - NOTHING.

I work at an auto parts store, and I talk to the customers when they come in and have an Escape. I've spoken to no less than 5 people who have a 2010 or 2011 and have the EXACT same problems. My dad worked for Ford and I have owned nothing but Fords, and had no problems until this car...I live near Detroit and would love for this car to just disappear!

- , Southgate, MI, US

problem #23

Jul 162011

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 38,000 miles

Again, here I am and this time was the worse off all my transmission problems. It was a Saturday and I was right in the middle of moving to a new home, I headed to Lowes to pick up something and when I exited to the off ramp I felt a huge jerk. I looked behind me to make sure I hadn't hit something or lost something off, but nothing. When I took off from the stop light it jerked really bad and then everytime I would slow to 23 then it would do this major jerk, I was afraid it was falling apart this time. I took it in, was told they couldn't get to it that day because they were really far behind. I said now look, this is the 4th time this has been here for the same problem, I'm getting tired of this, I'm in the middle of moving and I have hundreds of miles to go this weekend and I need it fixed. The service tech was just like well I'm sorry, I don't think we can work it in, but go to the customer lounge and I will see what I can do. After sitting there for a hour I was called and told that they were going to have to keep it and that I shouldn't be driving it at all. I told them I needed a loaner or something and they said no problem (they have always been good about loaners). The guy said they would try and get it done Monday then asked me what I had experienced with it. I told him about the jerking at 23 mph and he told me it was getting worse because when they drove it, it was doing it again between 35 and 38 mph.

Monday I get a call, it's going to be at least Wed. before it's done because they had to order parts. He said it's actually was a good thing that it was being more consistant with what it was doing because it gave them a direction to go in. REALLY????? Maybe a whole new transmission would be a answer???? I have looked and if this repair doesn't fix the issue then this vehicle qualifies for the Missouri Lemon law and I WILL be contacting Fords corporate office to see what they are going to do. I didn't spend $25,000 on a vehicle to have it in the shop every few months.

I almost didn't buy a Ford but went ahead this time because I liked the looks of the Escape. I have had four Fords in my life and I'm sorry to say I've had nothing but issues with all of them. Next vehicle will not be a Ford. I'm going back to foreign vehicles, had most of them for over 130,000 and never a visit to the repair shop.

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #22

Jan 172011

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 34,000 miles

Okay for the third time it's back in the shop for the SAME ISSUE. I had been feeling the transmission slip for a couple days and since it was time for a oil change I took it on it. Again, a computer fix was done on it and I was good to go but I still had to leave it over night because they needed to drive it to make sure it was fixed.

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #21

Aug 072010

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles


Okay, the second time this Escape has been in the shop for THE SAME PROBLEM! When I took it in I was told that there is a computer fix for the problem, so they downloaded it and I was able to pick it up that afternoon, but was also told they were working on a new computer fix and the next time I came in for a oil change to let them know and they would run the "fix".

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #20

Jan 082010

Escape XLT 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 8,000 miles

I don't understand why Ford doesn't do a recall on their transmissions. When I took it in I was told this is a common problem with the 2009 Escapes, bad transmissions. They gave me a loaner to use which was nice but it took almost two weeks to get my vehicle back because there was such a demand for the "fix it" parts. They were almost to the point of pulling a 2010 transmission and putting it in my vehicle but then the parts came in.

- , Columbia, MO, USA

problem #19

Apr 292011

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,096 miles

This is the 2ND time that I have taken the car in for transmission trouble. This time, the Ford company performed a recall #10B15. I have no idea what they did this time. The fix lasted about 1 month, then the transmission started to shift roughly again. I have a feeling that I will have to get rid of this car.

Update from Jan 17, 2012: I took my Escape in for normal service. I complained about the transmission again, and was told to make an appointment and to leave the car overnight. I couldn't get by without my car, so I'll have to bring it back at another time. I noticed that the service writer does not write down my complaint on the trans.(from now on, I will have to bring the car back every-time the trans slips or jerks, to make a history of the problem.) I am getting very disappointed with the Ford Escape.

- , Huntington Beach, CA, US

problem #18

Sep 032009

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 181 miles

Bought my Ford Escape Limited new off the lot. After 181 miles, I got frustrated with the transmission shifting with jerks, and slipping. I was told to bring it in to the Ford dealership and to leave it overnight. I received a call to pick it up the next day. I was told that the mechanic had to reboot the computer that controls the shifting. The transmission still shifts rough intermittently. My wife is afraid of driving the car. I have a feeling that this is going to be a major problem with Ford.

- , Huntington Beach, CA, US

problem #17

Aug 042010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,321 miles


We purchased this 2009 Ford Escape in 2009.From Planet Ford in Brampton.In 2010 it began having problems. First leaking transmission oil----They fixed that, Then sluggish moving and hard gear shift---They upgraded the programming which seems to help.In 2011 it began began jerking violently into gear especially on left turns from a stop position--Took it to the dealer and They changed the solenoid. Got it back and the problem is still there.Took it in a fourth time They say no time to fix it. Will take in a next week again.

How is it problem to fix a transmission flaw when Ford is making thousands of vehicles and hundreds of them are having the same or similar issue.

- , Brampton, Ontario, canada

problem #16

Feb 182011

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 40,000 miles

After having the transmission slip after accellerating from a stop I took it in on friday. The dealership looked at the car and told me that I needed the "updated" axel shaft and seal. But of course so many people are having the same problem that it would take at least two weeks for the dealership to get the parts. After telling me that great news the dealership informed that they would not be giving me a rental car. The refered me Ford Motor Company for my rental issues. After waiting two days Ford decided they would give me a rental. After a week, I got a call from Ford telling me that it would be at least two more weeks. I told them I knew of the problems they were having with the transmissions. The nice lady on the phone told me that Ford had been "working hard" to correct this problem.

I'm still waiting to get my escape back. If this doesn't end well I'll just try and unload it and get something else.

- , Berkley, MI, USA

problem #15

Feb 092011


  • Automatic transmission
  • 22,765 miles

Slipping going up hill, hard shift when passing, hard shift when slowing down for curves then speed up -- all describe my problems.

The specified part was on back-order, so I was stuck with a rental car for over a week. After reading the posts here, I'm wondering if my problems are just beginning.

- , Bellevue, NE, USA

problem #14

Nov 262010

Escape 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,500 miles

Okay, I reported that the transmission of my Ford Escape had to be replaced once already (at the 3000 mile oil change). Well, I just got a notice (recall) from ford about the Customer Satisfaction Program 10B15 outlining transmission problems that could lead to transmission failure. I just brought my escape in for it's 12000 mile preventive maintenance check and have them look at the transmission items outlined in this recall. During the routine check the dealership called me up and said the transmission fluid is burned, again (just like the first time) but instead of replacing my transmission they will address the items in the recall to hope it fixes the underlying problem. With the damage that may have been done already they may need to replace the transmission again (would be 3rd transmission in 12000 miles of driving). I am filing Lemon Law paperwork this time around since not only have they had it 3 times (twice for transmission problems and once for the transmission gasket that was inappropriately installed, so 3 transmission issues).

I like the Ford Escape, I would want to get another one, just one that has no mechanical problems. I know that this isn't a common problem, but wish they would take a more practical approach to keep customer satisfaction job 1, as they used to say.

- , Winter Garden, FL, USA

problem #13

Sep 012009

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 33,000 miles

I purchased my 2009 Ford Escape last year (Feb '09). I started noticing right away that it was rough shifting into gear and would jerk into 2nd and 3rd. I mentioned it to the dealership in Brampton (Planet Ford), and they told me to keep driving it until I had more KMS on it.

Well 6 months later it was still the same, maybe worse. So that is when the many repairs started. Now - 15 months later, a rebuilt transmission, 6 months ago Planet Ford put in a new transmission, or so they say....and then as recently - last week another rebuild.

FORD Canada has done nothing to assist except to remind me that they have gone above and beyond their duty to provide me with a rental vehicle since I didn't purchase the extended warranty - are they kidding me? I didn't realize that after a year of driving a vehicle, I would be needing a rental - I think I have driven every FORD known - my truck has been in the shop 8 times for the same problem.

Just recently I decided to leave Planet Ford and go to Concept Ford in Georgetown, by far a better dealership, even though it is smaller. They have fixed it (I hope) but I am not happy with how Ford Canada has treated me in all of this. They apologize and do nothing. My truck is a lemon, that I do know. But now they say that since I took it to another dealership that it will be more difficult to figure out if it was a mechanic's oversight, versus it being a mechanical issue with the truck. I say a mechanical issue - not the mechanic.

But that is Ford - never wanting to take responsibility. I have spoken to numerous customer service reps who I swear must be reading their dialogue of a piece of paper, they all sound the same. I have sent in many, and I mean many complaints - getting the same caliber of service back from the head office. This is the first Ford I have ever bought, and I can promise it will be my last - FIX OR REPAIR DAILY - my friends weren't kidding when I told them I was buying a Ford. I have asked that Ford cover the costs of an Extended Warranty for my vehicle - to compensate for everything that I have had to endure this past year - I have a printout of all the repairs - 2 pages....for the transmission - won't look good if I post it, will it??

My advice to anyone wanting a Ford Escape is to stay away from the 2008-2009 Escapes! I think they might have gotten it right with the 2010's, but who knows? The worst mistake I have ever made when purchasing a vehicle. Should have stayed with Honda.

- , Mississauga, ON, Canada

problem #12

Aug 162010

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

Have complained 3 times now about the transmission. Now the dealer is saying it is bad gas! OK, I am not an auto mechanic, but if the engine is reeving and vehicle is jerking, why is it the gas?

- , Clarksville, TN, US

problem #11

Aug 072010

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 13,670 miles

We just joined the Ford Escape transmission failure. At one point, the vehicle shot up to 4500 rpm while on cruise at 100km per hour. Had to disengage cruise to slow the vehicle. Almost stalled twice while trying to accellerate to highway speed after entering at merge lane. Dealer has had the vehicle all day to-day and still does not have transmission out due to staff shortage! Dealer won't confirm that a new transmission will be installed because they don't know yet what the failure is and Ford must approve new transmission.

Please keep adding to this complaint site to force Ford to admit this serious problem and get these vehicles recalled. Thanks.

Update from Aug 31, 2010: Dealer would not admit that 2009 Escapes have serious transmissions flaws. However, after a week in the repair shop we have our Escape back with a new tranmission installed. Hopefully, this transmission is an update with the problems solved.

- , Sault Ste Marie, ON, Canada

problem #10

Jul 202010

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,913 miles

Recently decided it was time to buy a family vehicle. My 2001 Pontiac Grand AM SE is still running and has never had a problem, but just isn't big enough.

We bought this 2009 Ford Escape XLT just before our first son was born. Everything appeared to run well until I recently went for an oil change at the Ford dealership. Like everyone else, I was advised that there has been a recall to the transmission. They updated the computer, and said everything would be fine.

Soon after we headed out on summer vacation. My Escape has about 25000 kms. When we got on the highway the vehicle began to shake. It appeared as though the transmission was slipping. Half an hour later the check engine light illuminated and stayed on.

I'm making an appointment this weekend to have it looked at. Just found this site and thought I would share my experience.

From what I've read and experienced I've deduced that my Grand AM is 8 years older and is a far superior product to the 2009 Ford Escape. You suck Ford.

- , Vancouver, BC, Canada

problem #9

Jun 202010

Escape 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles

I bought this Ford Escape 2009 used with 11,000 miles on it. Under manufacture Wrty. The transmission started slipping mornings during right turns. Went to ford dealer service department told there was a recall on this car for the transmission computer program up date. had it up dated and was told that if I had any more problems to bring it back.

2 weeks later turned out on the highway and the clutches in the auto trans. started slipping and engine started reving up, I let up on the accelerator and it shifted ok on the rest of the trip. Next morning going to the ford dealer it started to shift 3rd or 4 to 5 gear and it start sliping and grabing about 5 times and then it start shifting O.K. went to dealer Tues. and set up appointment - taking it in Monday morning. I have a bad felling about this Transmission problem.

I have owned 3 new ford trucks, and 4 new ford cars no problems, Whats up Ford? Let`s fix it or junk it. Your move Ford. maybe it will be fixed. If not I will be back to get support from others and confront ford and the News about this problem with the Ford Escape Transmission.

Thank you from Richard Baas

Update from Jul 9, 2010: 7/5/02 To the ford Dealer, Transmission Mechicanic and I droce my car 10 to 20 miles and the trams- did 1 little jerk betwwen gears, the machicamic call and was told to order parts (Valve body &cylinoids) I was told that parts would be ordered and I would get a call to tell me when to bring it in. I got that call on Wed.7/02 and I will be taking it in Mon.12/02. Much faster than I Expected, I shure Hope it fixes the problem. I will let you know.

Update from Oct 18, 2010: Ford has a Problem with this 6 speed transmission and I bought the problem! Ford needs to Replace my problem with a Good 6 speed trans. Ford Dealer very helpful / they have re-programed the transmission. and they have replaced the valve body and solenoids, But Trans jerks and jumps in low gear and slips and jerks shifting from 4th to 5th gear. intermitent problem. I just want it fixed.

- , Wilmington, NC, USA

problem #8

Jun 262009

Escape LX

  • Automatic transmission
  • 29,000 miles

I bought a 2009 Ford Escape with 7 miles on it. At 6000 miles it started jerking. Took it back to the dealer they told me nothing was wrong, jerking was normal for a new car. At 12000 miles it got so bad I took it to a different dealership. They said at first it was a computer issue and they fixed it. Two days later it was back in the shop.They replaced a part on the transmission, no luck. They hooked a diagnostic machine up to it for me to push a button when it jerked (it shocked me). They finally decided to replace the transmission. They kept the car almost 2 weeks. about 2 weeks after I got it back it started jerking again. During all of this I was in contact with someone from Ford Corporate, we will just call her "nasty". Once the jerking started again I took it back to the service department once more and they said they could not duplicate the problem. They have had an engineer come look at it twice and they tell me nothing is wrong with it. This has been going on since last June. i took it to a 3rd dealer who was FINALLY able to duplicate the problem but has no idea how to fix it and Ford won't send an engineer to this new dealer...only to the one who couldn't fix it in the first place! They refuse to buy it back, replace it or even give me an extended warranty on it. FORD sells you a piece of crap, then says " haha I have your money, now the car is your problem."

- , Hebron, KY, USA

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