Print this page 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:
31,600 miles
Total Complaints:
18 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (14 reports)
  2. replaced wiring harness (2 reports)
  3. replace turbocharger (1 reports)
  4. replaced sensor (1 reports)
2013 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #18

Jun 012017

Escape ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,000 miles


Had car in 4 times for same problem. Dealer kept it 2 times.

- Hellen M., Philadelphia, PA, US

problem #17

May 202017

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 122,772 miles

I went to a used car dealership on 05/20/2017, saw the 2013 ford escape and was very interested. I test drove the car multiple times, checked for everything I knew to check for and decided that i wanted to purchase the vehicle. On my drive home ( 2 hour drive) because i have always shopped through the same dealer, and halfway home my check engine light came on. I took it to the shop yesterday 05/23/2017 and found out that the turbocharger engine was not working, i wasn't even aware that this car had a turbo charger engine.. Kind of surprised ford would put a turbocharge engine in a SUV. Anyway, i was informed that the part wouldn't cause immediate damage, but eventually the turbo engine would start falling apart and would cause metal debris to shoot into my exhaust, causing a whole world of other issues. The part to have replaced is on back order until august because apparently many people with the same car are having the same issues. Its going to cost me 1400.00 to fix this issues because i bought the car "as is". Not only that, but the mechanic said that the car doesn't even need a turbocharger engine, but since it was built in, its something you have to keep, you cant just get rid of it. AND approximately every 50k miles, its going to need replaced again!!! I was never made aware of any of this when i purchased the car, and am now stuck paying 11k for a car that isn't worth anything to anyone who knows about the major issues it will continue to have. Not to mention the list of insane recalls. I feel like i was lied to, mislead about the condition of the car but unfortunately, as far as i can tell, there isn't anything i can do about it.

Anyone can contact me with suggestions or comments through my personal email :

- ililbitcrazyti, Springfield, US

problem #16

Aug 262016

Escape SE 1.7L I4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 57,955 miles

The warranty doesn't cover sensors. Even after buying a supplemental warranty. A real money pit.

- Wayne S., Victorville, CA, US

problem #15

Mar 012016

Escape SEL 1.4L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 19,000 miles


Check engine light comes on, car goes into limp mode and will not accelerate. I stopped car, turned engine off and restarted car and everything is normal. I have had it back to the Ford dealer six times now for a solution to the problem, but the problem still persists.They have tried numerous fixes within the wiring harness without any success. This last time the car was with the dealer two weeks and they said they replaced the wiring harness.I have had the car back now for four days and have had no problems to this date. I hope it is fixed, but it seems like no one at Ford has the foggiest idea about what causes the problem or how to correct it. It makes me wonder every time I pull out into traffic if the vehicle will operate properly. If not, it could be a potentially dangerous situation for myself, family, and other vehicles.

- bluto2, Hamilton, OH, US

problem #14

Jun 152016

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 21,850 miles

Besides the numerous recalls, this latest problem has to do with the check engine light. Since there has been so many recalls on this vehicle I decided to get me a code reader. I read the codes, the first one is P0234: Turbo overboost and the second is P0234: Vehicle speed sensor a CRT low(all in one reading). They both have come on and turned off twice and I can't afford to take it in to wait for the lights to come back on, since Ford only gives you a discount on rentals.They haven't come on in the last 1,000 miles.But I'm paranoid about it because there is something wrong with it.....thank God I have an extended warranty. But even then they just give me a shuttle to my home from "Carmax".

- Michael K., La Mirada, CA, US

problem #13

Sep 022015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 39,000 miles

A few weeks ago while driving the car just lost power and we crept the few blocks to our house. When the engine was turned off and then on again the power returned. We took it to Sarasota Ford and they supposedly replaced the computer. Prior to this we were getting a break light fault light off and on and also the AC would loose power and smell funny for a minute and then return to cooling. Since the car was fixed those two latter problems still existed which made me wonder if they had actually replaced the computer. Yesterday while driving on a busy fast moving traffic street it suddenly lost power again. We were close to home and made it home. When restarted, it ran again. We took it to the dealership and a block from the dealership it went out again. Today we picked it up and they fixed the throttle. We are afraid to drive the car on the interstate as we feel it is extremely dangerous, we don't trust the repairs, and we could be killed.

- Bonnie A., Sarasota, FL, US

problem #12

May 282015

Escape Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles


The second time this happened, I took it into a different dealership. Where they kept it for days and days (Ford provided me with a rental car, which was decent of them). They ended up replacing some part (can't remember) and off I went. Then I still had a hesitation in the transmission, so I took it to a different dealer (I had moved). They kept it for 3 days and couldn't replicate the problem. 2 months later, engine light comes on and car stalls. I took it to the dealer while the light was on, told them not to shut it off, and they still couldn't fix it.

- Marilyn B., Winston Salem, NC, US

problem #11

May 282015

Escape Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

I have had this car into at least 5 different dealerships. The first time it happened, I was going 65 MPH on the freeway and the car slowed down to a crawl. I was able to limp into a dealership--they reset something computer related in the car and sent me on my way.

- Marilyn B., Winston Salem, NC, US

problem #10

May 282015

Escape Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles day last winter I drive the car to Walgreens, come back outside and the entire dashboard is dark--not working at all. The car is driving, but you can't tell how fast you're going, etc. Took it to the dealer, and the dashboard was replaced. They said that should fix the "Service Engine Now" problem. And I guess it did--it still doesn't accelerate smoothly but no other issues until this past week. At least 3 times I have gotten the Service Engine now message with no acceleration. Turn the engine off, and it goes away. Taking it to yet another dealership today. Will have to see what they think. I think I have a lemon.

- Marilyn B., Winston Salem, NC, US

problem #9

Aug 042014

Escape SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 17,200 miles


- awolfrum, Clarkston, MI, US

problem #8

Sep 122014

Escape 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 35,000 miles


Took car to Southgate Ford service (MI). Had to order part. Took 4 working days - got car back on following Thursday. They said it was a MAP sensor & it was good to go.

- Georgene S., Riverview, MI, US

problem #7

Jul 092014

Escape Titanian 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 23,000 miles

I bought a brand new 2013 Escape Titanium in September 2012. On May 14th my airbag light on the dash was on. I took the car in for 15000 mile service and mentioned the airbag light. They did the service and said they needed an "RCM Module" to fix airbag light. They would have to order the part. I finally called the dealer on June 16th to see if they had the part. Surprise surprise...they had the part (phones must not be working). I made an appointment on July 2nd to have the module replaced. Again...surprise surprise...they ordered the WRONG part.

By now...I had received the RECALL to have the RCM module replaced. Now it was a waiting game because the part wouldn't even be released until July 11th by Ford. Now, I have a bad RCM module that i have been waiting to have repaired since May 14th and TWO new problems arise. 1. My driver seat will not move forward or backwards...its stuck as far back as it will go and 2. My "engine fault light" goes on and the car sputters and shakes as i try to drive it. I turn off engine and restart and the fault light goes off. I made an appointment on July 9th to have the driver seat fixed...but when i mention the "engine fault light" went on...they said I needed to leave car for a couple of days ( 9 days ago )..seems there is some problem with the "turbo". I was given a loaner car (thank goodness) and my last contact with the dealer (7/18) they said ALL issues but the driver seat were associated with the RCM module. I asked if I could drive the car til the part came in and it wasn't recommended that i drive the car. I seems a bit off that the "engine fault light" would be associated with the "restraint control module" that is recalled. In doing some thought is that its more likely a wiring harness issue. Possible two wires which became tangled during assembly. But what do i know....i am just the dumb customer that is letting this dealership hang on indefinitely to my car !!!

- Bill P., Albany, NY, US

problem #6

Jun 302014

Escape SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 25,528 miles

1 day after getting my car back from the dealership for the 3 recall fixes, I thought I noticed my car losing a little power intermittently while driving. this happened 1-2 times but only for a few seconds so I didn't pay it much attention.

But then about 4 days later while driving, my car again lost power but in a more noticeable way and it came up with the error message "Engine Fault, Service Vehicle Now!". Fortunately I was only 1/2 mile from home because I thought the car was going just die on the spot. This was late on a sunday afternoon so the service dept was not open. 1st thing monday morning I drove started it up and the light was gone. But I drove it straight to the dealership which is only 1.5 miles from my home.

The service mgr told me they would check the computer log and fix whatever the problem was. They offered me a rental car, but I figured I would just let them shuttle me to work since I didn't think they would have the car long.

Later they phone me that the car was ready and the problem was the computer board was not reprogrammed correctly after they completed the work on the air bag recall.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ MY SERVICE INVOICE READS:

"Fault S108 Electrical"

Parts: "25528 Fault Calibration Error, reprogrammed PCM, Reprogrammed IPC Modules".

Everything seemed to be fine until last night, the same thing happened again; Engine light came on, car lost power, I had to drive the streets home because not enough power to risk driving on the freeway. this time I was about 8 miles from home. I tried pulling over, and restarting the car. After 2nd attempt over 1 mile, it worked and light went out but power was still weird. After about 10 minutes of driving the power returned to normal.

I phoned the dealership today, they asked me to return the vehicle asap, so I am hoping they can figure out what's going on with this engine.

- Lisa F., Vista, CA, US

problem #5

Apr 292014

Escape SEL 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 14,200 miles

Just bought 2013 Escape SEL from Ford dealer as a certified approved used car. Yesterday as I left work the service engine light came on and my car kind of almost stalled and when I accelerated the car would lurch forward and almost stop. If I could get the car moving at a decent speed the problem was less intense. I live just a few miles from where I work and there are a lot of stop signs and red lights. Needless to say I was a wreck for the fifteen minutes it took to get me to my home.

I had the Ford dealership on the phone while this was happening and they told me to call the Ford hotline and request a tow truck. My car was towed in. The mechanics worked on it all day and could not get the car to do what I said it was doing. Also, the mechanics said that there was no record of the problem stored in the car's computer. To me it felt like the car was not getting fuel which would cause it to shutter and shake and feel like it was going to stall, and, then would lurch forward because it got too much fuel. This is a very dangerous problem.

The mechanics acted as if this problem is news to them. If I could find documentation of similar problems shouldn't Ford be advising their people of the same. My previous car was a 2000 Saturn which ran like a top. There was really nothing wrong with it except that it was 14 years old and I wanted a car I could trust to take trips with. I guess the joke is on me.

- Karen L., Atlanta, GA, US

problem #4

Mar 292014

Escape SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 9,100 miles

One day when I started my car it came up with the error message "Engine Fault, Service Vehicle Now!". I got a fright, restarted the car and the error message was gone and I could drive it home. The next day the message came up again, I tried to drive it and it was clunky and wouldn't go past first gear. I pulled over and restarted the car and it worked fine again. It happened again the following day so I took it into the service center.

The service center was unable to recreate the problem and could not find anything wrong in the car. They looked into the car computer's logs and couldn't find anything there either.

What I am most disappointed with is that the car did not collect logs or records of this. That is very poor system engineering design.

Update from Apr 29, 2014: Update 2014-04-28: The problem has continued and has happened around 8-10 times now. In addition the engine occasionally cuts out when slowing down to a traffic light. The car is undriveable while the Service Engine message is on, but the service team say they cannot fix it unless the message is there. How am I supposed to get it to the dealership if I can't drive it while the error is occuring.

Finally the Engine warning light has become permanently illuminated so I took it in to the service department at the Ford dealership. I'll update once I have a result.

I consider the car quite unsafe at this point and I am very unhappy with Ford.

- Simon R., Overland Park, KS, US

problem #3

Mar 192014

Escape TIT Ecoboast

  • Automatic transmission
  • 6,500 miles

My Escape has 6550 miles on it and I bought it last Feb. Engine just stalled on it's own on Monday. Yesterday, (Wednesday) I drove it about 1 1/2 miles, went to eat. Came back out to my vehicle and started it and the check service engine light came on. All fluids were good and I started to drive home and the vehicle couldn't get power and was leaping forward and running rough. Called Roadside Assistance and wanted a few hours to get the vehicle towed to the dealership. Waited at the dealership for about 1 1/2 hours and was told they couldn't look at it and I had to leave it. They will try to look at it today or tomorrow. It's my only vehicle so I'm waiting on Ford to let me know what they find.

- David A., San Antonio, TX, US

problem #2

Jun 132013

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 4,500 miles

The "engine default service now" lighted box comes on and if you keep going the car jerks and shakes. Brought to dealer twice. Both times I was told their computer states no warning messages appeared. I have pictures on phone. Dealer answer was "must be bad gas".

Really? Really?

- John B., Rothschild, WI, US

problem #1

May 222013

Escape Titanium

  • Automatic transmission
  • 2,000 miles

"service engine now" message - repeated occurrences

service engine now message, accompanied by lurching and inability to accelerate. i drove the car directly to the dealership. they had it for almost two weeks, saying that the part was backordered, as it is such a new model and not many parts available. they replaced a pressure sensor and said it was fixed. less than two weeks later, the same thing happened; so i again took it in to dealer. they had the car 3 days and said they were unable to diagnose anything, as the problem did not show itself while there. one week later, same thing. hubby turned off engine, waited 1 minute, pumped gas pedal three times; and the car started and acted "normal." this is very inconvenient and disappointing to say the least. 30k + is too much too spend for these kind of problems - AND less than 6 months driving, with barely 2000 miles! you cannot be serious...

- Jane H., Littleton, CO, US

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