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:
51,300 miles
Total Complaints:
46 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. not sure (37 reports)
  2. replace fuel sensor (2 reports)
  3. replaced coolant bypass valve (2 reports)
  4. wiring harness repair (2 reports)
  5. repaired main wiring harness (1 reports)
  6. replace electronic throttle body (1 reports)
2013 Ford Escape engine problems

engine problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 3)

problem #46

Apr 132018

Escape SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles


I own a 2013 Ford Escape. Ran fine for the first 2 1/2 years. Then it would give me hard starts. Dealt with that. Realized that the gas estimated reader was off and when it got to a 1/4 tank it was pretty much on empty. Without a gas light illuminating. After another year the hard starts were a frequent occurrence. Had to park on hills with my car facing down hill or the car would not start. Now it stalls on me while driving. I could be going 30 or I could be going 55. After pulling over the car would completely shut off with all the warning signs coming on.

But I could restart it immediately and it seemed to behave. Two days ago that was not the case. Got stranded on the highway after doing 55 mph. The car would not restart. Tried waiting a little and turned the key again..... Nothing. Ended up towing it to the dealership. The same Ford dealership, that two months prior I took it in for with the same complaints. They informed me everything was just fine. Just needed a new battery..... Frustrated, and scared to drive my 2013 Ford Escape.

- Lea K., Murphy, US

problem #45

Dec 132021

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 81,150 miles

I had purchased my 2013 Escapse SE AWD (non-turbo) last January 2021 at 59k miles (currently at 81+k miles) and haven’t had any issues – I do my regularly scheduled oil changes and such. I’m about 1050 miles away from my next oil change but that’s about it. The check engine light came on and I got the danger of overheating/low coolant warning and the engine just died and all the dash lights came on. So I luckily was able to pull over safely and turned off the car. When I started it back up, the temp gauge was almost to the the top, but very quickly came back down to normal, the coolant light warning was off with just the check engine light on. I pulled into a gas station promptly purchased coolant and much to my surprise it wasn’t low at all and was just slightly above the Minimum mark. I put a little in after makeshifting a long neck funnel out of a water bottle and a regular funnel (it was all the place had) and put a little bit in. Was able to get it to the mechanic but they can’t look at it until tomorrow as they were about to close. I have no leak marks in my garage so I have no idea what’s going on.

- James P., Hackettstown, US

problem #44

Mar 012019

Escape SE 1.6L Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 70,000 miles

Vehicle would stall unpredictably usually in intersections. Apparently the problem was solved for 2014 recall but not 2013. Regardless if that's a fact or not. It was seriously scary dangerous. Ford should really do something about this before people get hurt or worse.

Update from Aug 17, 2021: After $3500 repair of timing belt still losing coolant, p0302 misfire code is back. Latest this morning extreme overheat red light warning to pull over immediately. Dead at side of road. Waiting for tow again.....

- canford, Dundas, ON, Canada

problem #43

Sep 012019

Escape LX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,000 miles


Like many others, this Escape stalls out at idle and when pulling out into traffic. We have had it into the shop 5 times for this problem and it still has not been fixed. We have had the fuel pump replace twice, the fuel sensor, and the low pressure fuel sensor. Car continues to stall. This is my wife's car and she is scared to drive it. Ford needs to put out a recall for this problem. Crazy scary when it happens. Someone is going to get hurt or killed.

- Richard G., Punta Gorda, FL, US

problem #42

Jun 062018

Escape ES 6.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Love my Escape, but not this issue. Bought it in 2015 with only about 20,000 miles and in 2018 started having this problem of cutting off after being cut off for about 10 to 15 minutes. Only have 65,000 on it now. Someone please help!!

- Mable H., Oxford, US

problem #41

Feb 172019

Escape SE 1.6L Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

I purchased this car exactly 6 years ago during President's Day Weekend Sale. I bought an American car because I care about our jobs!

I'm very disappointed at this automaker. Enough is enough my next car will still be American but not a Ford.

Supposedly the engine had almost NO oil so the cylinders have all compression issues, hence engine needs to be replaced. Service was done at Ford dealership one year ago! No sensor ever reported any type of oil issue. So the technician recommended to get a new engine for $7000 which I refused anyways.

I'm very disappointed at FORD. DON'T BUY FORD GUYS !!

- Karim A., Los Gatos, CA, US

problem #40

Jun 172018

Escape SE 2.6L Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,989 miles


Driving along at the 45mph speed limit and engine suddenly shut off. An "ENGINE FAILURE" notification popped up in the center of the area where it shows the fuel mileage, etc. Was able to restart the car to barely make it the rest of the way home. Check engine light is staying on, however. Afraid to drive it now. Previously, before this all happened, we loved our Escape SE :(

- Stan B., Nashville, TN, US

problem #39

Jul 232018

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles

Don't know what caused my 2013 Ford Escape to stall, buck and not want to drive while I was in a rainstorm. When I went to stop at a red light, the car didn't want to go when I put my foot on gas. I want to find out if there is a recall or something for this. I noticed multiple people have had this problem with this vehicle and I haven't heard from the dealer of any recall for this problem. This is very dangerous, feels like it has something to do with the throttle. The dash came on and said "service engine now engine fault" that is just great.

I think Ford needs to make this a recall on these vehicles. I have had Fords forever, but I think it's gonna be time to look into a Honda. Now I have to have my car towed to the dealer because I'm afraid to drive it, especially on the highway. Definitely a non reliable and not a very safe vehicle. Someone at Ford or BBB needs to step in and put this out as a recall.

- Rose G., Chepachet, RI, US

problem #38

Dec 052017

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 100,902 miles

The problem started last year with the Engine Coolant Low light coming on, then graduated to the Engine Temp Dangerously Hot - Stop Safely as the car goes into limp mode. Numerous times it has been to the shop, sometimes towed, and sometimes driven. Many times was told that a sensor confirms the warning light came on, but they couldn't replicate the problem.

In May, took it to a non-dealer shop, where they replaced the Coolant Level Sensor Assembly ($980.43 part/$178.80 labor) and the Coolant Bypass Valve ($120.69 part/$285.89 labor), which lasted until the end of June, when it occurred again. Took it to the dealer, who tested it and kept it for days, charging only $9.03 for a new radiator cap. Yesterday, it happened AGAIN!

Each time I've called Ford Motor Company customer service only to be told they can/will do nothing and I should take it back to the dealer, again. I have filed a complaint with the National Highway Transportation Safety Board since the car randomly shuts down, it is not safe nor reliable to drive the car.

I found an article that only 40 other 2013 Ford Escape 1.6L engine owners have filed reports with them, but they have agreed to investigate the problem.

If you have this car/problem, please call/email them to report this issue. It will take far more than 40 of us to get Ford to respond in any meaningful way. Today I was told by Ford that my car is to old and out of warranty, so they will not buy it back from me - even though we have now reached a point where they cannot figure out why this is happening and have no idea how to fix it!

- dianeu, Centennial, US

problem #37

Oct 092017

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

10/9/17: Engine Overheating warning light came on after 2-3 minutes of driving. This shuts down the vehicle, causing it to jerk, stall and limp to a stopping place. Went to Ford dealership, they supposedly replaced a part and said it was fixed.

12/27/17: Same warning message after 2-3 minutes of driving. 3 weeks in Ford dealership. They supposedly fixed it, but did not know why the message came up. (wondering about the IQ of the mechanics!)

2/23/18: Same overheating warning. Taken to Ford dealership for repair. They said it was the water pump, so replaced it. Had to argue with them, telling them it was a sensor problem because the engine was in fact never overheating. Replaced the battery. Said it was fixed. Argued some more, finally, their "expert elec. techs" decided a module needed to be replaced! They supposedly replaced the module. Car fixed.

Except after getting the car back from a month in the shop: 4/16/18: Engine Overheating warning again. Owned the vehicle 7 1/2 months, time it was either shutdown or in shop: 3 months.

What is wrong with Ford?? There are so many of these same complaints. How are they allowed to continue selling these cars and not fixing them? Are they waiting for a certain number of deaths from accidents before doing something about this? I don't know why they are allowed to get away with this.

- Barb M., Eastpoint, FL, US

problem #36

Oct 142016

Escape SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles


I had the car for only two months. While driving on the highway to a weekend getaway in my same state, the engine light came on, warnings came on, the engine cut out. Right on the highway. I pulled over, letting the vehicle cool off. I started it again after about an hour and continued to my friends. We popped the hood and looked at the coolant overflow bucket. It was a hair under the minimum amount. I mean literally, a hair. We tried to put coolant in, but the fixed bonnet over the engine was a pain in the ASS! We had to remove the clips, then realized we still couldn't remove it, we needed the right size ratchet to remove the bolts. NOT A FUN DAY. Finally after my friend called AAA they were able to fill the coolant. I thought the dealership would have topped off the coolant??? I mean two months after buying it I had to top it off. It seemed to be fine after that and I guess the shut down is to prevent warping heads and blowing the engine. Still very upsetting. It happened again almost exactly a year later. I had just had the coolant checked the week before at a station. They said I was good to go. It must have not been under the minimum then. Same exact thing happened. I will be putting in another complaint.

- ruaf0xx, Brimfield, US

problem #35

Aug 082017

Escape LX 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 88,000 miles

Own a 2013 Ford Escape and have trouble starting the car after getting a full tank of gas. That issue has been going on since day 1 of owning the vehicle. In the past 8-12 months there is a low groaning noise that occurs randomly - the noise repeats a few times lasting for 5-6 seconds . . . stops . . . . and then repeats again . . . THEN - the engine just shuts off in the middle of driving ???

I have read about this on a few other posts on a few other websites " . . . Ford designed the main wiring harness route to clip to the transmission pan. To open the air box this wiring harness needs to be removed. If the mechanic is not careful to return the harness into the connector clips or if the plastic connector clips get broken (PLASTIC clips) the wiring harness can be ripped open causing the car to quit and your life put at risk . . . "

This is quite scary as my 17 year old drives this car and a stalled engine in the middle of traffic or the highway can be very dangerous . . . you can shift into neutral and start the engine while continuing to roll . . . however that is difficult for even an experienced driver to do in the middle of traffic. I am concerned that this is going to cause a serious issue, accident and/or injury, if it has not already.

Any feedback on issues with this would be appreciated . . . .

- David G., Longwood, US

problem #34

May 092017

Escape SE 1.6L Eco Boost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 79,623 miles

Vehicle was driven away from a mechanics shop for a fly wheel repair. After approx. ½ mile of driving, the temperature warning light illuminated without the gauge showing a high temperature. I stopped at a red light. When the light turned green, no matter how I pressed on the accelerator the car would not accelerate over 5 miles an hour. It drove for less than 50 ft and the engine completely shut off. I had to navigate across 3 lanes of traffic to get into a parking lot where I had to push the car into the lot as the forward momentum had been used up. Mechanics came, looked over the car then it started normally. They drove it back to the shop and hooked it to a computer but no codes were thrown. We could not recreate the issue. Mechanic said it must have been a fluke. After reading all the blogs about this issue I am now concerned that it can happen and result in an injury. I am afraid to drive the car now.

- Alicia C., Asheville, NC, US

problem #33

Mar 152017

Escape SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,478 miles


- Larry G., Spring, TX, US

problem #32

Apr 072017

Escape SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,500 miles


- Larry G., Spring, TX, US

problem #31

Mar 062017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 65,000 miles

Vehicle stalls out when accelerating after starting. Pulling out of driveway or parking lot, car loses gas pedal functionality, starts to shake then stalls. This is very dangerous because it happens when first starting car and pulling into traffic. Have to shut off and restart. This is a hard problem to fix because it doesn't happen every time. Only about 1/4 the time. Took it to ford and they put in a new fuel sensor.

- Caitlin W., Sioux Falls, US

problem #30

Jan 042017

Escape SEL 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,500 miles

Having the same problem as many that I've seen on this sight. Drive the Escape - get to destination - go to leave, Escape starts right up. Put it gear and drive about 20 yards and the vehicle stalls. Starts right back up and runs like nothing is wrong. It's been in an independent shop for 5 days now. The mechanic was able to re-create the problem but no diagnostic code shows when this happens. Seems to be the same symptoms of the 2.0 wiring harness issue, but mine is a 1.6L. I'm at my wits end. It's only a matter of time before I get rear ended or the car leaves me stranded somewhere. HELP!

Update from Mar 20, 2017: Took the vehicle from the independent shop to a Ford dealership. First the service guy tells us that he's never heard of this issue. Really? Do you live in a cave? Than they were unable to re-create the problem, but did complete 2 additional recalls that were outstanding. They re-programmed the computer(?) and said that might help the stalling. It did not! the car stalled 6 times in 2 days. Returned to the dealership today and dealt with the service manager. He acted as if he knew what we were talking about when we described the issue. They replaced a fuel sensor that was bad and some other sensor that was leaking (I will let you know what sensor that was as soon as I get the car picked up and look at the paperwork). Because of the extended warranty our cost is $100 deductible. I hope this resolves our issue. I will most definitely let everyone know. Keeping our fingers crossed.

Update from Mar 29, 2017: ok - so took the Escape back to the dealer because the problem of stalling was still there, if not worse. They replaced the line to the fuel sensor and a leaking E-vap valve and (fingers crossed) it seems to have fixed the problem. Luckily, we have an extended warranty on the Escape so we only had to pay a $100.00 deductible. I'm not sure of the cost without the warranty. I will surely keep everyone posted -but I hope that everyone who is having this problem reads this and gets some resolution.

- Patti C., Baltimore, MD, US

problem #29

Oct 142016

Escape SEL 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 67,638 miles

So like many other Ford Escape owners on here and all over the internet, this has happened to me countless times. The car will run fine but once we stop at a store or whatever when we go to leave and are pulling out of the parking lot the car will start to spit and sputter then just die. Sometimes it starts right back up and is like nothing happened, other times I can start it 5 times and it will die as soon as I put it in gear and give it gas. When it's not doing this the car drives like it is brand new. I will not take the car more that 10 miles from my house now. I shouldn't have to worry about a car with less than 100,000 miles on it making it more than 10 miles away from my house. Not to mention the numerous recalls this car has had. It goes in the shop on 2/27/2017 I am having them replace the wiring harness to see if that stops the stall and dying I will keep you informed.

P.S. I will never buy another Ford that is newer than a 1978

- Steve O., Vevay, IN, US

problem #28

Jan 132017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 50,000 miles

My 2013 Ford Escape stalled again while driving through a parking lot. The engine loses power and stalls. Red oil lamp and battery sign come on. No System Check message shows. Dealer replaced engine and after picking it up from there it still loses power all of a sudden. The dealer hooked it up to computer and no codes were showing but there is clearly something wrong.

- Erica M., Palmdale, CA, US

problem #27

Apr 042016

Escape SE 1.6

  • Automatic transmission
  • 43,000 miles

Since Nov 2015 I've taken my Ford Escape to the service dept at the dealer 7 times and this will make 8. The dealer has replaced everything from the water pump to the coolant valve and my suv has malfunctioned again today. The Ford tech contacted my dealers service dept in an effort to help resolve the problem but what I've determined is this issue is not resolvable. How is it that the manufacturer cannot determine an issue that multiple Escape owners are having and have reported. Iam keeping all of my service records emails correspondence etc so that if something deadly happens my family can sue. I've had 4 SUVs and this Ford Escape is the worst purchase ever and I will NEVER buy Ford again

- nomoford , Oklahoma City, OK, US

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