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.


really awful
Crashes / Fires:
4 / 22
Injuries / Deaths:
5 / 0
Average Mileage:
26,840 miles

About These NHTSA Complaints:

This data is from the NHTSA — the US gov't agency tasked with vehicle safety. Complaints are spread across multiple & redundant categories, & are not organized by problem.

So how do you find out what problems are occurring? For this NHTSA complaint data, the only way is to read through the comments below. Any duplicates or errors? It's not us.

2013 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 11 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #57

Nov 182013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 12,750 miles


My car is still overheating after bringing it into the dealer 6 times. They have done the recall fix twice now. There appears to be smoke coming out of my hood now with a burnt smell. The burning and coolant smell is triggering my asthma while driving.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #56

Feb 272013


  • 6,000 miles
Very disappointed by the design. Wheel well are extremely difficult to remove ice and slush they are too small and can't remove debris. Wipers in the front is not the greatest. Loses contact on windshield have a heard time seeing where I am going. Terrible wipers when purchased new wipers required. Engine having really odd noise and sluggish. I supposed they replaced the injectors. Had some torque but sounds like timing chain loose or lifters issue. Seats are not comfortable in the rear. Not enough cushion. Windows barely went up and down. Lots of give... too much replaced front window motors.

- Camden, AR, USA

problem #55

Apr 012013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 5,000 miles
My car keeps overheating. Here are some videos."V=xgpiqxzg_ho& you can see it high at the start of this video & starting again around 50S."V=3ktaa6tt_6C& this is an older video from April.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #54

May 012013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 8,000 miles


My Ford Escape 1.6L engine will overheat if I park it by the beach all day & then try to drive over the foothills to the valley. This is a consistent and repeatable problem. I have two videos that I showed Ford but apparently they can't fix it. This car is not safe to drive since my car can overheat when I'm on a road like highway 17, which doesn't have a shoulder.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #53

Oct 132013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 6,258 miles
My 2013 Ford Escape stalled twice while going slow on a local road in July of this year. After the second stall (a week apart) I brought it in for service (levittown Ford) and they could not find nor recreate the problem (they had it 4 days). It stalled again twice on Sunday October 13, 2013, once going through the ez pass lane at the verrazano bridge and again about 45 mins later on a secondary road in NJ, again going slow (under 15 mph). We reported this to levittown Ford service and also to corporate. The service department told me that when it happens again we shouldn't restart the car and call for Ford roadside assistance. Corporate has not returned my call. We are concerned that we may get rear ended in a serious accident if the car stalls again and the car / truck behind us doesn't stop in time (e.g. harry chapin on the lie) I don't believe the break lights would go on since the car completely shuts off. We Transport our two grandchildren two days a week from school / nursery school and are extremely concerned. Is there anything we can do?

- Franklin Square, NY, USA

problem #52

Oct 192013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 13,245 miles
After driving approximately 90 miles without a stop, stopped at traffic signal, vehicle engine went completely dead. Put in park and it restarted. Did this again approximately 11 times during the day. Engine just cut off completely at every traffic stop. Took to dealer. Dealer very responsive but can get no error code and does not know why it is happening. They can not get it to cut off while driving it only a few miles at a time. This it the 2.0 L engine and I see other people are experiencing the same problem with no fix. Dealer has vehicle trying to figure out why it is happening. How about Ford Motor Company stepping up and addressing the problem before someone gets hurt or killed in an accident.

- Troutman, NC, USA

problem #51

Feb 162013


  • 156 miles


The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the engine gases and fumes entered the passenger compartment due to a defective windshield dowing that caused engine compartment seal to fail. In addition, the vehicle stalled several times without warning. The vehicle was taken to the dealer several times for the failures and a diagnostic was performed but did not generate a diagnosis of the failure. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The approximate failure mileage was 156 and the current mileage was 64,000.

- Wilkesbarre, PA, USA

problem #50

Sep 172013


  • 20,500 miles
Within just 3 weeks of purchasing our certified pre-owned 2013 Escape titanium (16K miles), the vehicle stalled twice while stopping at an intersection. Dash lights come on, put it in park, turn it off and restart and I am back on the road. Now 2 months since purchase, it has stalled like this 7 times. A few times, we have gotten the "engine fault take vehicle for service" message when starting the vehicle, but this does not coincide with the days of the stalls. I have taken it to the local Ford dealership twice to no avail. The vehicles computer is not storing any codes to identify the failure. Technicians have driven the vehicle extensively with a laptop constantly diagnosing searching for issues. Nothing. This is truly unbelievable to me that this problem is possible in a new vehicle, let alone that it cannot be diagnosed! I am very worried after reading other complaints on this site that it may just be a matter of time before it stalls in busy traffic.

- Mason, MI, USA

problem #49

Aug 302013


  • 15,655 miles
On August 30, 2013, I was slowing down to pull into a driveway and the car lost all power. Luckily, I was at the driveway and it was downhill so the car rolled in. I couldn't figure out what was going on at first. I called the dealer immediately and was told to bring it in. I did and they said some people had complained of this issue but it wasn't a recall or service bulletin. They did a software update and told me I shouldn't have a problem. Not good enough. They couldn't tell me this would fix the problem. Now I am left to worry that this could happen at any time. Not acceptable. Yesterday, September 23, it happened again as I was stopping at a stop sign. What can I do about this? I have had this car for 9 months. I am past frustrated. The dealership doesn't seem concerned at all about what is going on. $36,000 dollars and I am left with an unsafe vehicle.

- Champlain, NY, USA

problem #48

Sep 272012


  • 471 miles
I have a Ford case # 15607552, I qualify for the lemon law. I cannot get the dealer, dahl Ford, davenport ia or the Ford rep jeff slone, Chicago, il to return my calls. I have all documentation - this car continues to be a safety issue while driving. The engine continues to accelerate and hesitate randomly. Please, help me - I cannot afford a lawyer.

- Hampton, IL, USA

problem #47

Aug 212013


  • 16,269 miles


2013 Ford Escape 2.0 ecoboost stalled at a stop sign 8/21/13. The car stereo shut off first then a oil light went on and the car completely turned off. I was able to put it in park and restart the car like nothing happened. The Ford dealership said there were error codes but they could not duplicate the problem. Nothing was fixed told us to keep driving it until it happened again. We were not happy. Today 9/7/13, this time the car stalled at a stoplight, but the power stayed on oil light was on. There were no rpms. Had to put car in park and restart. We started to drive to the dealership and it stalled a 2nd time about a half mile away same issue every time the red oil light appears. We have no answer to what is causing this problem.

- Tracy, CA, USA

problem #46

Aug 282013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,040 miles
While sitting at a light with my foot on the brake, car jumps/lunges forward. It feels as though someone is hitting it from behind.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #45

Aug 282013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 15,029 miles
While sitting in a drive-thru with my foot on the brake, car lunged forward. It feels as though someone hits you from behind.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #44

Aug 142013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 10,000 miles
The engine air filter assembly is cracking at the holding screws. I notified Ford and they refuse to honor warranty. Regional customer service mgr. [xxx] for Ford based in phoenix is denying claim information redacted pursuant to the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552(B)(6).

- Las Vegas, NV, USA

problem #43

Aug 122013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 9,244 miles
After driving a 1/2 mile from my home my 2013 Ford Escape overheated and said "stop safely temperature high" or something to that extent. The vehicle then became inoperable and I managed to coast to a safe location. The coolant cap had exploded off the tank and my motor was covered with fluid. The dealership keep my car for 5 days and could not find a diagnosis but they did manage to add 100 miles to it and use all my gas. Presently the vehicle smells like burnt coolant while driving it and now idles high in park. I am afraid to drive the vehicle for safety reasons. Ford has not offered any resolution or help. I'm not sure what to do. They say my VIN wasn't part of the recall but I find that hard to believe and I am driving around in a ticking fire hazard.

- Evadale, TX, USA

problem #42

Aug 152013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 14,986 miles
I started the car and an "engine fault failure service now" came one. When trying to back up it would idle very roughly and jump forward. When you turn it off and re-start it, it works fine again. This is the 2nd time this has happened to this car. It was just serviced last week for the exact same issue and a map sensor was replaced.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #41

Aug 122013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 14,100 miles
Twice, while backing up, the engine has stalled. There is no hesitation or warning from the engine that a stall is imminent. The engine just cuts off. Car will restart fine with no issues. It happens either when the engine is warm or cold.

- Orange Park, FL, USA

problem #40

Aug 072013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 6,171 miles
Was driving on manetto hill road in plainview, NY when vehicle stalled. No power to the accelerator. Kept pressing the gas, and the car didn't move. No warning chimes, no appearance of anything wrong-radio was playing, ac, etc. Was able to pull over (roll to the side of the road), put the car in park and restarted it. The computer then showed "engine fault service now" drove to a local gas station, though the car was bucking and difficult to drive. Car was then towed to dealership service station. Have learned that there are multiple tsb's issued for my car, but no recall. Parts are not available so the car remains at dealership service station. I was lucky I was not in rush hour traffic or on/getting on or off a highway when the car died. I shudder to think what would have happened then.

- Plainview, NY, USA

problem #39

Jul 212013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 3,900 miles
First thing in the morning, after car was off for more than 10 hours, I started car to see engine fault service now" error. Backed a few feet out of garage, turned off vehicle. Turned vehicle back on about 5 minutes later. No error. Drove car for about 10-15 minutes. No problems. Turned car off. Restarted car 70 minutes later to see engine fault service now error appeared again. Drove car for 10-15 minutes with hesitation, lurching and nearly stalling. Turned car off. Took to dealer next day. They could not see the error in the computer.

- Madison, WI, USA

problem #38

Aug 032013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 7,400 miles
While driving the vehicle engine stalls. No lights, no warning, if gas is not accelerated I have lost engine 4 times. 3 times it wouldn't start while parked, and 4 additional times while driving the engine stalled completely, no warning on the expressway in Chicago. I drove straight to dealer and left it there, had to put car in neutral if I let off the gas in order to rev engine to keep from stalling a 5th time. This has happened over and over the last few weeks. The dealer (fair oaks Ford, naperville, il) is telling me there are no 'codes' showing anything is wrong. This vehicle is unsafe to drive and has 7,000 miles. I have brought vehicle in twice for the same issues, thus far to no avail. I cannot drive this vehicle in this condition. It's unsafe and there is no remedy.

- Naperville, IL, USA

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