2013 Ford Escape cooling system problems: excessive coolant consumption

Excessive Coolant Consumption

2013 Ford Escape

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

CarComplaints.com Seal Of Avoid Like The Plague

CarComplaints.com Notes: The 2013 Ford Escape has been in the news quite a bit and for all the wrong reasons. Within a few months of its release the SUV was recalled three times, twice because of engine fires.

In July 2012, due to a fuel line that could split and leak, Ford told owners to park their cars because even driving to the dealership for repairs was deemed too dangerous. Instead, in a somewhat unprecedented move, Ford sent tow trucks to pick up the affected vehicles and handed out rental cars while the owners waited for repairs.

A few months later the Escape was recalled again because antifreeze could leak out onto the engine due to a freeze plug becoming dislodged. As the coolant hit the hot engine there was, once again, a threat for fire.

The 2013 is the first model year of the Escape's 3rd generation and proves once again that you want to avoid the first model year when at all possible.


pretty bad
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
60,650 miles
Total Complaints:
10 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (8 reports)
  2. replace radiator (1 reports)
  3. replace radiator and reservoir (1 reports)
2013 Ford Escape cooling system problems

cooling system problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #10

May 012020

Escape SEL 1.6L 4cl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,000 miles


Notification came up reporting low coolant. I replaced the coolant. Within a week of light commuting, it was low again. I repeated this with no signs of coolant to be seen anywhere under the car. I have replaced 1 gallon of coolant now within a month. I took it to a mechanic who reported he could not find a leak anywhere after a pressure test was performed. 76,000 miles on the vehicle. So frustrating. Now Its going into limp mode reporting that it's overheating after about 100 feet of driving.

- Bryan L., Snohomish, WA, US

problem #9

Nov 112015

Escape SE 1.6L Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 52,817 miles

Have had coolant problems with this car since get go. The original 2013 Escape recall fixed nothing. In and out of garage numerous times and no solution ever found. They replaced water pump, they replaced different hoses and now they are saying it's leaking coolant on the cylinder heads. If so, this is probably caused by long term coolant loss resulting in overheating, etc. What should I do next. Cylinder head job quoted at several thousand $$$.

- Terry L., CLARENVILLE, NL, Canada

problem #8

Dec 102017

Escape SEL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Coolant seemed to be just below the MAX line on coolant.

We replaced it before heading on the highway, seemed fine at the time...

- Rachael R., Port Charlotte, FL, US

problem #7

Apr 232018

Escape SEL 2.5L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 78,000 miles


Second time in about 2 months that the coolant was below the MIN line. I have heard a sound, but it's not loud enough to understand where it's coming from just yet.

- Rachael R., Port Charlotte, FL, US

problem #6

Apr 062018

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,726 miles

Originally, the problem began December 2017. Because I purchased this vehicle used, I just assumed it was just a "low antifreeze" issue. It reoccurred in February 2018 and then again, April 2018. During the refill of the antifreeze in April, I realized that it reoccurred three days later. This time, the antifreeze was below the "minimum" marking. I had it checked and replaced both the radiator and reservoir tank.

In addition, I decided to have the hoses checked for cracks. There is no visible sign of leakage. However, I can still smell the antifreeze as I exit the vehicle. Suspiciously, I believe it is a more serious problem. My research have shown it is more of a common occurrence on this vehicle. The research has concluded cracks in the head.

- Joanne H., Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #5

Nov 232015

Escape SE 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 47,109 miles

The car has a low coolant level and was leaving a puddle 3 days after dealer servicing.

- Wayne S., Victorville, CA, US

problem #4

Oct 152016

Escape ES 3.2L V6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles


I bought this car in October from a used car dealership. The very next day the low coolant light came on. I took it to the Ford dealership, they topped the coolant off and told me everything was fine as long as the light didn't come back on. It came back on a week later. I was adding about a gallon of coolant to it a week until the original used car dealership I bought it from took a look at it. It left me stranded on many occasions as it would go into safety mode and not let me drive any further until I added coolant. There was no "low coolant" warning, just refusal to drive for another second.

The used car dealership took a look at it and told me that there was a leak in 2 hoses, and that it was covered under a recall. I took the car to the Ford dealership the same day, and they told me that they'd already repaired the hoses once, and the recall only covered fixing the problem one time. So basically Ford replaced crappy hoses with more crappy hoses, and I got hosed in the process. The used car dealership agreed to fix the problem just this one time, but obviously couldn't continue fixing it, since it's a reoccurring issue. 2 weeks later the low coolant light went on again, and it continues to do so. I haven't had a chance to take it to a different mechanic, so I continue to pour coolant into it about once a week. (which is better than the once a day I was having to do it before the used car dealership "fixed" it).

I'm so mad. I will NEVER buy another Ford. This is not a good way to take care of your customers. You can't "fix" a recall, only to have the same issue continue happening, and not stand by your work.

- Julie U., Bozeman, MT, US

problem #3

Apr 202016

Escape SEL 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 82,000 miles

While on vacation discovered a pin whole leak in my radiator that had to be fixed by replacement of the radiator and cost me 3 days during my 7 day vacation. After researching the 3 recalls ford has had on this model and year,for unexplained coolant lost and reviewing other people's descriptions on unexplained coolant lost also posted on line I am convinced this is an issue that ford has with a bad batch of radiators. Radiators normally last 10 years or more but my vehicle is only 2 1/2 years old! This was a fleet vehicle maintained by ford for 2 years I bought of my roommate. I wrote ford and got told there was no warranty or procedure that would cover my reimbursement for my repair. They completely forgot about the procedure of taking care of there customers. They forgot about the power of 10 which states that if you warn 10 family and friends and they warn 10 suddenly their cars will not be popular. That's why the post here to encourage you not to buys cars from a company thT will not stand behind the vehicle they make. I actually own two ford vehicle and have been a loyal ford customer for a long time. But I see now that means nothing. I will be selling both cars. Thanks for your attention

- Penny G., Sarasota, FL, US

problem #2

Jan 052014

Escape SE 4wd Turbo 4/1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles

I'm sick of my coolant sensor coming on repeatedly and causing my car to go from 60 to 20 mph while I'm on the highway. Almost got rear ended couple of times. Sometimes the sensor resets when I shut the car off, but keeps happening and Ford says it can't find a problem most times

- Rhonda C., Athol, MA, US

problem #1

Nov 122013

Escape SEL 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 12,427 miles

After finding out in a newspaper article in Nov 2013 that there were more recalls for my Escape and one of the issues was overheating of the engine causing engine damage I parked the car as recalls would not be sent out until January. Called dealer in Jan and was told that not only could I keep driving the car but the parts would not be available until April. Finally received a recall letter and one of the items was for the customer to verify that the level of coolant in the expansion tank is at proper level. My tank was empty, which means my engine is consuming coolant. Not a good thing. Went to Ford to purchase a bottle of the 'special' coolant. No where on the recall letter does it say Ford will replace the engine. A new car that I am unable to drive. In my over 40 years of driving this is my first Ford and this will be my last Ford.

- frankamaral, Brampton, ON, canada

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