2010 Ford Escape transmission problems: transmission failure

Transmission Failure

2010 Ford Escape

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

CarComplaints.com Seal Of This Might Hurt


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
30,550 miles
Total Complaints:
19 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (14 reports)
  2. not sure (3 reports)
  3. according to the dealer (to date) replaced seals and gaskets (1 reports)
  4. throttle body (1 reports)
2010 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2010 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #19

Aug 062018

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 74,500 miles


I noticed my transmission had a delay in switching into reverse or drive. It should be instant but it took maybe a second longer. The transmission place also informed me there was a hang up between 2nd and 3rd gear, which I noticed as well. The transmission fluid was also black and showed signs of damage. The transmission company recommended a rebuild and it was covered under my 3rd party extended warranty. It didn't fail, but it was close to failing so I got the repair done.

- Christopher C., Westford, MA, US

problem #18

Feb 272015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

2010 Escape. While on vacation the car stalled on the highway. Took car in and there is an issue with gears 1, 2 and 5. Wish I knew of these issues before I bought this car. Have been reading that the Escape has transmission issues and Ford knows but will not fix.

- Dawn S., Litchfield, NH, US

problem #17

Apr 012012


  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

I took it to the dealer because I was having trans problems, they called me crazy after having my car almost 8 hrs and sent me on my way. A week later on the freeway, during my morning commute with my kids in the car the trans went. Causing me to swerve nearly getting into an accident. I went back to the dealer, they fixed it and provided me with a rental car free of cost.

- Shanan M., Madison Heights, MI, US

problem #16

Mar 042010

Escape Limited V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 11,000 miles


First, we had a situation where the key would come out in any gear. The car rolled back striking my wife in the face knocking out her teeth. The force knocked her down, landed on her tail bone and hitting her skull on the pavement. Doctors have said her brain hit the top of her skull causing erratic behavior and memory loss.

The dealer fixed the ignition switch right away. They knew right away what to fix.

But we also had a transmission problem...I believe the clutches are slipping. Ford has refused to fix even though this was under NEW CAR warranty for only a few months. It has sat on a dealers lot for over 4 years. We are suing Ford and the dealer under the Ohio Lemon Law.

They are offering Nothing for medical charges. They are offering Nothing for 3 -1/2 years of rental cars. They are offering Nothing for refusing to fix our car. At this point, I guess this trial will go on for years. In the meantime, their lawyers are charging plenty, Ford is losing Nothing. WE are the victims, we have done nothing wrong but continue to pay for car payments and a rental car.

- Alan M., Mason, OH, US

problem #15

Oct 152013

Escape XLT V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 89,000 miles

Still owe $19,000 on the blasted thing, quote of $3500 to replace transmission. 89,000 miles. Always had serviced. Absolutely ridiculous!!!

- Christy S., Guthrie, OK, US

problem #14

Jul 072013

Escape XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,898 miles

I was driving on the expressway in the left lane at around 100km/h when my vehicle went “thunk” and pressing on the accelerator resulted in no acceleration of the vehicle. The motor would still idle higher with pressure on the gas pedal, but no acceleration would occur. After the “thunk” the wrench light on the dashboard illuminated. I was fortunately able to coast across three lanes of traffic and onto the shoulder where I placed the vehicle in park, turned the ignition off, pulled the key out, waited thirty seconds before restarting the car at which point it worked fine. This is the second time this has happened and both times I've had my toddler in the car with me. The first time the dealership tried to tell me it wasn't a powertrain issue. I'm near the end of my warranty (and my rope)

- csontario, Mississauga, Ontario, canada

problem #13

Jun 252013


  • Automatic transmission
  • 64,597 miles


Ford has a recall for transmission failure, only a few vin number are on the list! this car is 3 years old! I have an MDX with over 130000 miles and no such problems. If you email Ford they go luck getting a response. Their slogan needs to be amended "going forward as long as your not driving a ford!"

- godinez, Oxnard, CA, US

problem #12

Jun 112013

Escape XLT

  • Automatic transmission
  • 30,600 miles

While driving on the expressway again going about 60 mph, I lost the ability to accelerate, began losing speed rapidly and the wrench light on the dashboard came on. I again had to pull over to the shoulder while semi's and cars flew past me. I waited a few minutes and restarted the car in which the wrench light was off again and I was able to get home. For the second time I was so very grateful my now 19 month old was not in the car at the time. I will be taking it in for service again but I'm sure they will tell me again that everything is fine. Very frustrated as this is absolutely terrifying when it happens and I almost always have my young daughter in the car with me.

Update from Nov 6, 2013: Luckily the second time I brought my car in, I had a very knowledgeable service tech who knew right away it was the throttle body. The main issue with getting it diagnosed is that when the problem happens, it fails to store any codes. Long story short the throttle body needs to be replaced.

- Jacquelyn R., Frankfort, IL, US

problem #11

Apr 232013

Escape Limited 3.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 32,000 miles

We went 367 miles total and stopped after 3 hours before continuing with this Escape being towed by my motor home. I never disconnected the car because it was an over night at a campgrounds before a 4 month cross country trip.The next morning I went to take the car out of park to tow out of campgrounds and could not get the transmission out of park. Tow truck came and said transmission was fried. I bought this specific car because it said in the manual it could be towed. A 1 night lay over has now taken 8 days and counting. Ford replaced the transmission at no cost BUT I am now waiting for a transmission pump which the Ford Manager tells me I must have or I will fry another transmission. He knows this because he has a customer who went through 5 transmissions before adding the recommended pump.The pump will cost over $3200 plus labor not to mention the $43 a night at the campgrounds. The Ford manager has been very helpful and is hoping to get the pump tomorrow and then install it in the car and then I have to bring the motor home there so they can install a remote for the pump. I am very disappointed and now must face (ASSUMING everything gets fixed properly) a 4 month cross country lifetime dream with, to say the least, DOUBTS!!!!!!!!

- Tom S., Port Saint Lucie, FL, US

problem #10

Apr 232011

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,600 miles

The second day with a new transmission, the vehicle was towed behind motorhome about 5 hours, stopping every 2 hours to run engine,the vehicle began smoking again. Called roadside assistance. Towed vehicle to Ford dealership in Ocala Florida. Waiting for a new transmission, the second one in a weeks time.

The vehicle was towed according to manual for flat towing.

- rsomers, Bradenton, FL, US

problem #9

Jun 052011

Escape Limited 3.0L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,000 miles


We purchased our Ford Escape in 2010 and towed it to Colorado on our return trip home we could not put the car in gear and it would not start. Had it towed to the dealership and they had to replace transmission at 6,000 mile.

In June of 2011 we drove to southern OK and when we returned home the same thing happened again and both times there was a oily substance on the back of the car. It is taking another new transmission. The local Ford dealership does not accept any blame and tells us that they have updated the transmission with new towing instructions. The mechanic does not feel that the transmission has been updated.

Where do we go from here short of getting an attorney! Each time proper towing instructions were followed.

- jimviv60ok, Enid, OK, US

problem #8

Apr 142011

Escape Limited 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,600 miles

After towing my Ford Escape for 4 hours behind my motorhome, on Interstate 95 North in Georgia, the car started smoking. Called roadside assistance, waited 1 hour, towed vehicle to Ford dealership. A new transmission had to be installed.

- rsomers, Bradenton, FL, US

problem #7

Feb 162011

Escape XLT 3.0L V6 Ffv

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,511 miles

The transmission was finally completely replaced after four (4) attempts to identify and isolate the source and fix for "hard and erratic" upshifts when the transmission was either in a cold or warm condition. Persuing a 100K mile powertrain warranty guarantee with Ford Motor Company through my dealer, no resolution to date. As you know the "fourth time is the charm" wrt to the State of Michigan Lemon Law, this will be my final option in this new vehicle nightmare.

- Paul H., Wixom, MI, US

problem #6

Jan 032011

Escape XLT 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,031 miles

Initially I reported a problem to the selling dealer. NADA, No Comment, My imagination. Secondly, I received a recall and it was installed (PDM Update).

I again reported problems after highway driving, when operating in traffic, transmission was "Balky"

I have never towed with this vehicle. I told the NEW dealership about the problem. They couldn't find a trouble. Second time same results. Finally after nearly having an accident, I drove the SUV to the dealership with the code (wrench, idiot light on the panel) and they found a trouble code. This is documented!

Now the car is ready (they were able to duplicate the problem). I am told they replaced seals and grommets.

I told FORD Corporate that this transmission is a ("compromise to raise fleet average for FORD vehicles" and is inadequate for the vehicle weight and SUV use.

This is my third Ford Escape, the first FWD drive and my last Ford ever. In my 72 years I have had over 10 Ford products, all of them were compromises, because I couldn't afford more at the time.

If FORD really wants to compare itself to Toyota and Honda they SHOULD MAKE A BEST VEHICLE; they DO NOT!

- Albert H., Milton, MA, US

problem #5

Jan 222011

Escape Limited

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,000 miles

Flat towed our 2010 Ford Escape for approximately 4,500 miles without a problem. Had the ATF lowered by the dealer, had the trans. reprogrammed per the recall, followed the book to the letter. Half way between San Antonio and El Paso I looked at the rear view camera and saw smoke. Called Ford and they had it towed into the Fort Stockton Ford dealer. The service manager and Ford has been great to deal with so far, and says that Ford has modified the transmission for flat tow and we would get a complete new unit. Sitting in AZ waiting for the repair to be completed.

- marinern1, Hillsboro, OR, US

problem #4

Nov 012010


  • Automatic transmission
  • 15,000 miles

2010 Ford Escape XLT, tranny began jerking soon after I bought it late 2009. Got progressively worse, brought it in to the dealer about a year later, they rebuilt the transmission, had to fight with ford corporate to get a rental, they treated me like crap. This was after a recall in which they'd supposedly done a firmware download and also a visit by a third party company who checked the vehicle's computer. Three days after the tranny rebuild, the jerking began again, not quite as bad so I let it go for two or three months, finally brought it back in on 1/25/11, they kept the car the entire day, cost me a day of work, then their courtesy shuttle went missing so I ended up walking three miles to the dealer to pick up my car, the service manager walked out on me, refusing to discuss the car, then someone else said there was nothing wrong with the car and they charged me for a supposedly free oil change. The next day I drove the car to work and the tranny jerked at least twenty times on a 15 mile commute, but for some reason they couldn't reproduce the problem at the dealership. The dealership called and took the oil change charge off my bill, as if that would make up for $400 in lost wages, a three mile walk and a car that has had problems since almost the day I bought it. FORD SUCKS!!!

- Rob T., Huntington Beach, CA, US

problem #3

Oct 012010

Escape LTD 6 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 3,312 miles

they replaced my tranny i towed the escape 200 miles and the tranny was gone again once again ford replaced it. i am getting very tired of this but the saga still continues on the next complaint

- Gary A., Vernon, BC, Canada

problem #2

Aug 172010

Escape ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,400 miles

My 2010 Ford Escape transmission fried itself while being towed behind my MH. I followed all the printed guidelines faithfully. I just towed it 7000 miles up the Alcan, all over Canada and into Montana without a problem. Then, boom, it fried itself in a matter of 600 miles. I continually smelled something of a burning smell throughout the trip but thought it was brakes or something because we we on the Alcan, a really tough road to travel on. I think the tranny was slowly failing as I towed it and it reached its failing point after 7000 miles.

I'm an experienced RVer and know how to handle vehicles. I specifically asked the salesman about the towing issues related to the Escape I was considering. He went to the Service Dept. and assured me that as long as I followed the manual guidelines that it was towable. Not! It is presently at the dealership I bought it from and they are tearing it down but I have no idea if they will consider it to be under warranty or not. I would howl if they tell me otherwise. We'll see what happens. tj

- Tom M., Magalia, CA, US

problem #1

Apr 252010

Escape V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 20,000 miles

I did exhaustive research before purchasing the flat tow system for my 2010 Ford Escape. All manufactures information and all information I could find said that by following the outlined directions for warming up the car, shifting the gears, stopping every 6 hours to run the engine and not towing over 65 mph would be safe for the car. Indeed the first leg of the trip went fine. On the way to New Orleans we stopped the first night and a fellow camper approached us, towing the same vehicle and told us he had lost his transmission flat towing. We had no such problems. However, the trip home proved less successful. We did exactly the same procedure and followed all manufactures recommendation. But when we arrived home there was a tremendous burning smell in the car. The transmission failed. The car was still under warranty with an extended warranty. We had a VERY dissatisfying interaction with a local FORD dealer and ended up having the car towed to the dealership where it was purchased. After much negotiation the car was fixed ($1000 out of pocket). I have made many inquiries about any possible solutions and FORD seems unwilling to help with a resolution.

- lochoa, St. Louis, MO, US

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