2013 Ford Escape transmission problems: transmission failure

Transmission Failure

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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
72,200 miles
Total Complaints:
16 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (15 reports)
  2. not sure (1 reports)
Get free help with your lemon!
close ad
2013 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

Find something helpful? Spread the word.
Get notified about new defects, investigations, recalls & lawsuits for the 2013 Ford Escape:

Unsubscribe any time. We don't sell/share your email.

2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments

problem #16

Feb 042019

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,000 miles


At 58,000 miles my transmission failed on my way home from work. Stuck in 1st gear with no reverse. No warranty due to over 5 years. Cost $7,100 to replace the transmission and replace a seal on the power transfer unit, as well as service the power transfer unit so that wouldn't be the next thing to fail, except it did 5 months later.

- hawkeye8534, Sayville, US

problem #15

Jun 262019


  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,000 miles

Add me to the list. Not too much to add too all the others. Bought this car from used car lot as a fleet vehicle with Carfax of all maint and recalls done. We probably drove it about 1,000 miles in total since purchase 3 months prior. Went on a road trip and the transmission light came on and the car stopped moving not too long after. We were in the middle of nowhere so was too much we could do when the light went off. We ended up getting towed to a small town staying the night and renting car to get home. We bought a new transmission and had it shipped to the small town where they installed but couldn't get a new light to go off. We read about this new light and decided to pick up car and drive back home as it was another issue reported all over online and had nothing to do with transmission. The car made it about half way and the same transmission light is back on that showed when the transmission blew. We were closer to home than going back to small town. Biggest mistake ever. Suck it Ford you've lost me as a customer and I will share my story with anyone that will listen because hurting a company with bad press is the only payback I can give. We now have two lights on dash indicating problems.

- Valerie H., Reno, NV, US

problem #14

Feb 012019

Escape 1.6L Gtdi Ecoboost

  • Automatic transmission
  • 106,000 miles

So far the dealer replaced the motor, kept calling it a "NEW" motor, when I discovered it was remanufactured.after it had the recall on the head and blew the engine at 48000. Next they replaced the turbo after 86000 miles, when I had been complaining about the problems for months. Quirk Ford belittled me because I'm a woman. Now at 106,000 miles the transmission has failed. My local mechanic said Ford should have replaced the transmission with the "NEW" motor. Ford is giving me the runaround saying I don't have the right vin number for their transmission recall. Even though it says the 6 speed automatic which was mine. I'm retired on a fixed income and will never be able to save $5000 to fix it. I'm waiting for an escalated.call to customer service tomorrow will help. I read on line that Ford was fined 10M dollars in Australia because of their deceitful coverups with the transmission issues and were told to replace or refund.. What can I do? Don't buy a Ford.

- Doris S., Readfield, US

problem #13

Aug 182017

Escape 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,409 miles


Driving along the intercity highway and the tranny starts to shake and make the car stall. Restart the car and keep moving because if you stop it will stall. Turns out it was the torque converter seized and the dealer had to rebuild it. It would have cost $5000 cdn to fix, but he warranty was in effect for another 3 months. It ran well up until the one day it acted up. Good dealer service, I cannot complain about them.

- Larry W., Ottawa, ON, Canada

problem #12

Oct 232017

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 102,000 miles

This was my first of three major issues with this POS vehicle. Should have listened to my gut and sold it after that.

- Mary H., Annandale, US

problem #11

Oct 252017


  • Automatic transmission
  • 60,000 miles

I had extended warranty but I had to pay out of pocket also. The transmission had to be replaced, before that it kept jerking and leaving me stranded several times

- Dennise V., Los Alamos, US

problem #10

Jun 192018

Escape Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,000 miles


Bought brand new and only had 77,000 miles on the transmission and Ford would not replace because it was past 5 years so no warranty. I had to replace the transmission at my own expense and have had little success in getting feedback from Ford.

- Norman L., Anaheim, US

problem #9

Aug 142018

Escape ES 3.2L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,000 miles

Car was in and out of the shop several times chasing a ghost (Car surges under load). Replace this, replaced that, problem persisted. "Master Mechanic" said it was a failing turbo. Saved money to replace Turbo ($1,800) and had it done along with 70,000 mile service (ahead of schedule but it cost less than an oil change and included one). Took the car home (2 miles), drove to work the next day (10 miles). Car, again surging. By the time I got to the dealer after work (total of 22 miles after replacing the turbo), shifting was very sporadic and slipping at lights. Transmission light turned on as I pulled into the dealer.

Dealer response: The transmission needs to be replaced, $6,500. Ford Corporate response: We're sorry, there aren't any recalls on this. You don't qualify for warranty repair (61,382 miles vs the 60,000 warranty) There isn't anything we can do for you.

My response: It would have been under warranty if it was diagnosed correctly the first time.

Case still pending and I'm betting they will not step up but doing research and ran into this site. More people need to know about these issues. I would not consider a transmission failure on any vehicle under 200,000 normal. 60,000 is outrageous. Turbo going out so early... No! Will I fix this? Yes. Will I sell this car immediately after? Yes. Will I or anyone in my circle ever by Ford again? Not if I can do anything about it.

Avoid this vehicle Avoid Ford.. They don't have any pride in their products.

- Patrick W., El Cajon, CA, US

problem #8

Dec 262017

Escape LX 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 80,000 miles

We live on a fixed income and saved a long time for a down payment for this car. 8 months after purchase the transmission went out. This cost me $5,000.00 that we do not have so we went into debit right at Christmas time.

The valve body went out and fired the transmission.

I have almost always bought Ford cars but they are becoming just like the other manufactures building them to brake down.

Do not purchase the Escape from Ford.

They should be a recall on the automatic transmission of these cars.

- Jeremiah R., Everett, US

problem #7

Oct 212017

Escape SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 76,100 miles

Transmission failed while traveling on the Skyline Drive. I had to rev the motor and shift into Sport mode in order to go from a stop into "first" gear. Once the transmission caught, movement wasn't an issue and I would shift into D. I was 3.5 hours from home so needless to say, not a pleasant trip.

First the dealership said it was a solenoid and ready in 2 days then it became a 2nd issue so ready early the next week. Today I get a call saying there is still a problem so it would be another week in order to get authorization of who was paying what as well as a cap.

I understand there are multiple complaints regarding the transmission so this should be a recall item. Thank goodness I have a 2nd vehicle since it will be nearly 2.5 weeks without the Escape.

I am quite hardheaded so nothing less than a complete transmission replacement with extended warranty is acceptable!

- Mary D., Roanoke Rapids, US

problem #6

Jul 242016

Escape SEL 2.0L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 62,000 miles


The transmission died at 62,000 miles and of course the warranty only covered 60,000 miles. I had to have the transmission rebuilt for $3500 out of my own pocket. When I contacted Ford regarding this issue, I was given a very generic response of "we're sorry this happened but usually our products are higher quality."

- Susan C., Atlanta, US

problem #5

Sep 192017

Escape S 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 66,000 miles

I had had little trouble with my 2013 Ford Escape. We were very careful about maintenance since I have a long, daily commute. Recently, I was driving down the Merritt parkway when the car completely lost power. I suspected transmission because the engine began to race. I barely made it off the road without striking another car.

If you know the Merritt parkway in Connecticut, there are abrupt on ramps and limited shoulder space. I managed to get off the road onto the side, but was in a precarious situation. It cost $140 with Triple AAA to get it towed back to a mechanic. $4600 later I had a completely rebuilt transmission. We continue to operate a 2003 Ford Expedition.

We have always bought Ford automobiles; it's part of supporting American made products. Ford needs to do right by it's customers and recall these transmissions and reimburse customers like me who unfortunately, bought these defective transmissions. We have stood by Ford for our entire adult lives. Ford now needs to stand by its name and stand by us.

- Donna L., Madison, US

problem #4

Feb 142017

Escape SE

  • Automatic transmission
  • 84,091 miles


- Larry G., Spring, TX, US

problem #3

Jan 192017

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 37,282 miles

My 2013 Ford Escape SEL suffered a complete transmission failure with only 60,000 Kms of light duty service. I do not tow anything with the vehicle or drive with heavy loads. I live in Canada and the Ford Dealer has to bring a new transmission from California, so not only do they inconvenience you with a major failure but a lengthy downtime of my vehicle. So far I am renting a vehicle at my own cost with no end in sight. 😡

Update from Feb 1, 2017: A drive axle also failed on the 2013 Ford Escape and the Dealer in Winnipeg (River City Ford) just dioes not seem to be able to get this vehicle repaired. It has been two weeks now without my vehicle and no firm date when the work will be completed.

- Paul S., Winnipeg, MB, Canada

problem #2

Oct 142016

Escape ES

  • Automatic transmission
  • 71,000 miles

I purchased a used car from Old Saybrook Kia and was given a 2 month warranty. I did not purchase the extended warranty because it would have increased the loan by over $9,000. I went back to the dealership service department two times because the car felt funny. It shook and ran rough. Both times, they took the car for a test drive and did nothing. They never did a diagnostic. And I was told that because I had come in saying there were issues if something happened they would take care of it. Needless to say the transmission developed a leak and all of the fluid leaked out. They did not keep their word and did nothing to help me. All of the fluid had leaked out of my 3 year old car with only 70,000 miles on it. I will get the transmission replaced but it will cost me almost $2,000 to do so. I will not go back to the dealer to do it. I keep dumping fluid in it until I get the money together to fix it. After this all happened I find out that there were major issues with the transmission in the Ford Escapes.

- rlharris5610ct, New London, CT, US

problem #1

Dec 232015


  • Automatic transmission
  • 59,000 miles

Transmission was replaced in Dec.2013. Same problem happened in Dec. 2015, mileage 59000. Dealer diagnosed the problem as bad lower control arm ball joint, cost around 400.00. Had car towed to dealer in March 2016 because of transmission problems, 62000 miles. Dealer diagnose was a bad coil, another 550.00. Returned car two weeks later, when dealer realized it was a transmission problem. Dealer replaced the transmission at a cost of 5500.00, 62000 miles on car. Ford says too bad car is out of warranty at 60000 miles. Is it my fault that the dealer could not diagnose the problem right in the first place. Thats what they tell me. By the way this was my first time that I bought a Ford. Apparently Ford can't wait for the warranty to end to resolve them of any defective parts that they use.

- Harold W., Jordan, NY, US

Not what you are looking for?