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 12 of 13)

« Read the previous 20 complaints

problem #37

Jul 052013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 11,500 miles


Driving approx. 15/20 mph on a side street. Went to backup and turn around and the engine just shut down. I was able to restart with no issues. I'm glad I wasn't on the highway when this happened. On 08/02/13, went to my driveway to start the car. I got a "engine fault service now" error. Vehicle was jumping and seemed like it was struggling to go past 25/30 mph. Seemed as though you were driving with the parking brake on along with the jumping of the vehicle. I parked it back in the driveway and had to drive my daughters reliable 05 Honda to work. Called Ford to tow my vehicle in for service. Purchased in Nov/2012. Has approx. 13000 miles.

- Crosby, TX, USA

problem #36

Jul 292013


  • 4,850 miles
1st incident: While driving thru a store parking lot at about 10 mph and further reducing the speed to park, the engine quit without warning. After engaging park, I was able to restart the engine normally. No check light remain lit. Vehicle mileage 4850 - weather condition: About 85 deg - humid - 10:00~11:00 am - second week in July 2013 2nd incident: While driving at approx 25 mph and reducing speed to turn into a parking lot the engine stopped. No previous warning or symptoms. Car was in the middle of the street facing oncoming traffic. I was able to safely pull over into a safe spot. After engaging park, I was able to restart the engine normally. No check light remain lit. Vehicle mileage 5100 - weather condition: About 85 deg - humid - 19:00~19:30 pm - last week in July 2013 today 08/02/2013 car was checked by Ford dealer. After a full morning checking the car, no fault or code error detected. I am afraid of a potential safety hazard while driving on highways. Web has many reports of this type on brand new 2013 Ford Escapes. What is going on?

- Miami, FL, USA

problem #35

May 092013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 3,000 miles
The "engine fault service now" light came on and vehicle chugged and lurched. Brought to dealer the next day and computer diagnosis showed nothing appeared. I even took a picture of the light. This has happened numerous times since. This matter should be investigated further since I have noticed many complaints on this. Thank you.

- Rothschild, WI, USA

problem #34

Mar 252013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 5,817 miles


2013 Ford Escape sel 2.0L. Recurrent issues with "engine fault service now" displaying when car is started (first instance at 5817 miles, now at 11K and still happening). Results in rough idle, poor shifting, harsh acceleration. Can be reset with restart so the error must be visible and the car driven (in terrible and unsafe condition) so the dealer can validate the condition. Condition validated at dealer twice (has occurred five times total) computer has been reset twice, map sensor has been replaced. Issue still occurring with no proposed repair to resolve.

- Palm Beach Gardens, FL, USA

problem #33

Jul 222013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 22,000 miles
Started ignition and automatically displayed message - engine fault service engine now. Pulled out of home driveway and when accelerated on the gas, vehicle jerked severely. Pulled over and turned off the vehicle and restarted, the same message and jerking occurs. Later that day I started the vehicle, the message went away and had no jerking upon accelerating. This "engine at fault" is a serious concern if this occurs while driving. Took the vehicle a couple weeks ago about the same issue to a dealership and told them the situation, however the message did not appear on display. Their conclusion was if the engine fault message was not on display, then the vehicle should be fine.

- Roswell, NM, USA

problem #32

Jul 152013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 6,800 miles
Vehicle displayed message service engine fault service engine now on start up. Immediately shut down and restarted. Message went away. Next day vehicle displayed same message and then began jerking severely. Taken to Ford dealer. Forced to pay for rental! vehicle has 6800 miles! dealer never gets back to me when they say they will. Tried telling me to take vehicle back without them fixing it. Serious safety risk as vehicle jerk and hesitates uncontrollably. Very dangerous if occurred while on roadway.

- Cumberland, RI, USA

problem #31

Jul 092013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 3,982 miles


Vehicle with approximately 4000 miles stalls while driving. The vehicle has stalled 3 times in the last 15 days, twice while driving on major roads with average speed being about 45 mph. The vehicle literally just turns off. It doesn't shake, jerk, make any noise, nothing, just turns off. I get a message that says "engine fault service now." It is a very scary situation to experience. Since the car just dies at full speed the momentum of the car keeps the car moving but obviously at a much slower pace. This last Sunday, July 14, 2013 the car stalled on a very busy, major road, so I was in a very close call for an accident. The cars behind me did not see my hazard lights on and didn't realize I had stalled. All I heard was the screeching of brakes behind me. I was getting yelled at, flipped off, you name it, but there was nothing I could do but hope that the momentum would be enough to allow me to pull over to right lane until I could come to a stop in a safe place. On July 11, 2013, I took it to the dealer, they replaced the map sensor and said the problem was fixed. When it stalled again on the sun, 7/14/13, I took another day off work to take the car back to the dealership. They tell me it needs another 2 parts due to technical service bulletin 137-5. now I'm waiting for the parts to come in as they are on a nationwide back order. I understand lemon law requires the same thing to happen 3-4 times however I don't want to risk the 3rd or 4th time being the time I don't make it. Please help. What can I do?

- Altamonte Springs, FL, USA

problem #30

May 132013


  • 2,500 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the engine was started and the engine fault message warning light illuminated as the vehicle hesitated and jerked. The failure was experienced several times. The dealer performed a diagnostic which located the failure at the engine sensor. The dealer cleaned the engine sensor however, the failure was not corrected. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 2,500 and the current mileage was 2,700.

- Vienna, VA, USA

problem #29

Jun 052013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 17,000 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that while at a stop light, the vehicle stalled as the engine failure service soon warning message illuminated. The failure recurred intermittently. The vehicle was taken to a dealer for diagnostic testing. In addition, unknown repairs were made to the vehicle. The manufacturer was not notified of the failure. The vehicle was repaired but the failure recurred. The approximate failure and current mileage was 17,000.

- Mathis, TX, USA

problem #28

Jul 122013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 731 miles
The cam phazor used in the 2013 Ford Escape variable valve timing system failed after only one week and 750 miles. We noticed the vehicle was hard to start, idled rough, and hesitated. This is a brand new vehicle. We purchased this car in East Tennessee on July 4, 2013, and it was in the shop a week later for a major engine repair. So glad it did not break down on the interstate and leave us stranded, but the potential is there if Ford has a bad batch of cam phazors on 2013 Ford Escapes.

- Gainesville , FL, USA

problem #27

Jul 052013


  • 14,687 miles


For the fourth time in 4 months the"engine fault. Service now." Message displayed. Another day of work missed to being the vehicle into the dealer. Thankfully I bought the service package but it was for 'just in case' not a monthly visit. The dealer staff has been very close-lipped about the history of this event happening on many other of these same vehicles.

- Apple Valley, CA, USA

problem #26

Jun 242013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 2,200 miles
While driving, in humid weather conditions the vehicle lost power and began lurching, shuddering and jerking. Center, driver side screen (behind steering wheel) displayed "engine fault - service now". was able to drive about a mile back home in "limp mode". I shut off the engine, waited and then restarted and all seemed ok. Next day I went to the Ford dealer's service and explained the problem. They could not pull any codes and said it was probably just a "fluke".... it's happened again twice more this week since then. It's not a "fluke". Ford engineers need to get involved here to determine the cause of the problem, and communicate with the dealer service centers, and issue a tsb fix or recall. It's become a serious performance and reliability concern, and a very serious safety issue as well. I can find similar complaints to mine all over the internet, yet Ford claims ignorance of any problems."??"

- Batavia, IL, USA

problem #25

Apr 012013


  • 4,558 miles
The contact owns a 2013 Ford Escape. The contact stated that the engine failed with the illumination of the check engine light. In addition, the information screen center advised that the engine needed service and that the vehicle surged and stalled simultaneously. The failure was experienced numerous times. The vehicle was taken to the dealer to have a diagnostic performed; which located the failure at the map sensor. The map sensor was replaced several times however, the failure was not corrected. The vehicle was not repaired. The manufacturer was made aware of the failure. The failure mileage was 4,558 and the current mileage was 5,769.

- Harrisburg , PA, USA

problem #24

Jun 222013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 7,000 miles
My car has overheated twice after the recall fix. My coolant was violently boiling over. My transmission is also grossly shifting incorrectly. I almost got hit by another car when I was trying to merge onto the freeway since it wasn't going to the next gear. The transmission redlined and then shifted. I checked my obt and I'm not getting any codes for these problems. I'm not sure what to do anymore since anytime I've brought my car in they haven't found any issues. I've brought my car in several times about the engine and transmission and no issues have been found. I drive through the santa cruz mountains every week and I'm afraid one day my engine will catch on fire (hilly roads and low speeds cause the engine to run hot). It would be disastrous for the state of California if a wildfire was started due to this car.

- Palo Alto, CA, USA

problem #23

Apr 232013


  • 11,500 miles
Had regular oil change on 4/15/13 and about a week after. While coming to a stopped the vehicle just stalled without warning. Had to come to come to complete stop to put car in park and restart. Ran vehicle health report--nl. Went to dealer who did oil change and said they never heard of this car doing it. If happened again call roadside. 05/29/13 at 545pm car stalled again no warning. Called crown Ford set up appt for mon. 06/10. 6/7/13 558am car again stalled at about 35 mph no warning had to put in neutral apply brake to restart since I was on road with no shoulder and mid curve. Keep appt for mon. At about 423pm that day started car and engine fault noted on start tried to drive out of parking garage. Car was missing and barely moving. Transmission made loud clunk noise. Coasted car down parking garage so tow truck would be able to access it. Towed to crown Ford. Offered vehicle health report I ran stating it was powertrain issue. They declined needed it. Checked and replace map sensor. Picked up on 6/11/13 and 06/12/13 stalled again early in the morning about 600am and then I was advised to bring back to dealer. Stalled again on way to dealer approximately 1130 am. Advised service dealer they ran diagnostic for the next week which all came back normal. Service manager drove on 06/17 and stated problem reproduced and would replace throttle body.this was done and I picked up on 06/21. 06/23 at approximately 204 pm car stalled again...restarted after putting in neutral unable to come to a stop vehicles behind us...restarted when restarted engine missing again when pushed gas the transmission seemed to make a clunk noise and stalled again.the vehicle without notice stalls and is a great safety issue and after last stall the RPM seems to rev up some.this is a major defect and life threatening defect. Vehicle randomly stalls & now revs rpms.

- Clarksville, TN, USA

problem #22

Apr 172013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 3,100 miles
In April, while proceeding through an intersection, the vehicle lost all power and stalled out in the middle of the road. I was able to quickly restart the vehicle. Once the vehicle was restarted and engaged into drive, it seemed to get a surge of power, accelerating at a faster speed than normal. On 6/16/2013, I was driving my vehicle to the store. During the trip, it felt like the vehicle was lagging, as if I was driving with the parking brake on. I verified that the parking brake was not on, and the vehicle was in drive (not the "S'" manual shift position). On the way home (approximately 45 minutes later), while pulling away from a stop sign, the engine lost all power, stalling the vehicle. I was going downhill, so I was able to navigate to the side of the road. The vehicle was difficult to start. The vehicle usually starts immediately with the push button start, but this time it did not, I had to hold the push button down for approximately 5 to 7 seconds before the vehicle started. While driving home after this, it again felt like the vehicle was lagging, or as if the brake was on while I was driving.

- Sparks, NV, USA

problem #21

Dec 032012


  • 786 miles
Car was recalled in December with 786 miles on it due to recall notice 12S41 and was kept in the shop for repair from December 3rd, 2012 to December 20th, 2012. While getting an oil change on May 17th, 2013 it was discovered that the engine has an oil leak as well as the stereo buttons working intermittently. The car is now being brought in today for an unknown time of repair. The car was brand new when purchased on November 24th, 2012 and only had 6,428 miles at the time the recent oil leak and stereo malfunction was discovered.

- Marina Del Ray , CA, USA

problem #20

May 222013

Escape 4-cyl Diesel

  • 2,800 miles
Was driving doing 40mph when out of no where I received a message instructing me to immediately pull vehicle over and shut down due to engine overheating. Never received a "low coolant" light, just a sudden warning to pull over. Had to be towed from the incident. Luckily no one was injured and there were no accidents as it was a two lane, one way, street with no shoulders. Opened the hood and I had absolutely no engine coolant. Also noticed that the engine was in fact very hot. I am concerned that this has caused engine damage on my brand new vehicle.

- Cypress, TX, USA

problem #19

May 022013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 100 miles
I just leased a new car, a 2013 Ford Escape with a 2.0 L ecoboost engine. I had only filled the tank once before I noticed serious problems; whenever I came to a stop, the Escape would shudder and stall or simply turn off. It happened on multiple occasions daily for about a week before I could take it to the shop. As a surgeon, I typically get off much later than the Ford dealership was open. They have taken it for repair, but it was pretty scary because it would shake and rattle when accelerating sometimes and I was concerned it might stall mid intersection. Luckily it only stalled when I had come to a stop.

- Royal Oak, MI, USA

problem #18

Apr 102013

Escape 4-cyl

  • 1,749 miles
The engine has died and shut off while driving down a highway at 40 miles per hour twice. Took the vehicle to dealership and no problem was found. One week later on May 17 the vehicle died while pulling out into traffic. The driver had to veer unpowered off the road to avoid a head on collision. Engine has shut down four times while driving in one week.

- Indianapolis, IN, USA

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