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.


really awful
Typical Repair Cost:
Average Mileage:
77,850 miles
Total Complaints:
28 complaints

Most Common Solutions:

  1. replace transmission (23 reports)
  2. not sure (2 reports)
  3. replaced transmission (2 reports)
  4. rebuilt by transmission shop (1 reports)
2013 Ford Escape transmission problems

transmission problem

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2013 Ford Escape Owner Comments (Page 1 of 2)

problem #28

May 182020

Escape ES 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 125,000 miles


Replaced transmission twice and I have exhausted my money, my mind, my time trying to fix this car with no help or solution, no break from having Car issues.

- serinag, San Bernardino, US

problem #27

Sep 132020

Escape SE 1.6L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 61,702 miles

Transmission failed. Car will not go in reverse unless it heats up for awhile. We went to Ford and they would charge us $5,000-$6,000 to fix it. We went to a different auto shop and they could do the same job for $3,000.

- Patricia V., Palatine, US

problem #26

Oct 182019

Escape Titanium 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 127,000 miles

Hi, my name is Lars Fossum. I'm reporting a major issue with 2013-2019 Ford Escapes.

Ford is choosing to do nothing about thousands of these Ford Escape models. I had a 2013 Ford Escape Titanium. My son was exiting the whistle stop gas station in Baldwin this past fall. He pulled out was in the middle of a busy road and the car would not go forward. He was in Drive as there was a truck coming and he almost got T Boned. The car jerked forward then finally went forward, and the car crawled into second.

I took car to Rowe Ford where the service advisor said he would check the transmission fluid since I could not (no dipstick). There was no warning that transmission was going to fail. The service person had the fluid checked and said there was a lot of metal shavings in the fluid and I needed a rebuilt transmission, a used one or a new one. Cost from $3600.00-5,000.00. I'm a Disabled Veteran and on a fixed income. I just don't have that kind of money laying around.

I asked service advisor to start a claim with Ford, and he refused to do so because he guaranteed me that Ford would not do anything and it would be a waste of time. I asked what the life expectancy of the transmissions in these Escapes. He said around 100,000-120,000 miles. I almost fainted. I asked him if he knew what the life expectancy was for a transmission in a car he was buying was 100,000 miles - would he buy the car? He said he could not answer that. I took car to transmission shop and was quoted thousands of dollars to fix or replace. He said he doesn't really like to work on these transmissions because they're junk.

The transmission was a collaboration between Ford and Chevy. My car had 127,000 miles on it. So I called Ford 6 times, emailed Ford 4 times, sent 2 letters posted the issue on a forum. No response at all from Ford. No return calls emails texts or written correspondence. NONE. There are hundreds, even thousands of posts and threads on the internet about this same issue, where some owners put new transmission in or had them rebuilt and a lot of them had the same issue again. You would think that this could be a safety issue with Ford. I was so frustrated.

So to make a long story short, I recently had to trade it in. The book value on my car was $8 to 9000.00 dollars. I ended up getting $2,500.00 dollars, due to transmission. So I had to eat the difference over $6,000.00 dollars. I was upside down on the car. I called Ford 1 last time before I signed paperwork on the new used car. I actually talked to a person and she said there's nothing that Ford can or or will do. I posed the same question to this Ford Employee. If she knew a transmission was only good for 100,000 miles would she buy it again same answer, and as before I cannot answer that. There is something rotten In Dearborn Michigan Ford Corporate. Maybe they will address this after some people are killed.

They are just sweeping this under the rug and waiting for it to go away? I'm very disappointed in Ford - I've owned a few over my lifetime and never had an issue until now. Ford has lost me as a customer and probably many others. Not sure what if anything you can do with this information. Since this first happened we have personally known 2 people that this same thing. It has happened to right down to $ 3,000.00-$ 5,000.00 to repair/replace. Ford does not care, that is brutally obvious. It's a very very poor reflection on Ford not returning any of my correspondence. It's irresponsible and just plain wrong. Ford should step up and do the right thing. I had planned to contact one of our senators from Maine.

- Lars F., Parsonsfield, ME, US

problem #25

Jul 242018


  • Automatic transmission
  • 48,000 miles


2013 Ford Escape with less than 48K miles, 3 months out of warranty and the transmission is totally trashed. Ford dealer gave me a $10K estimate to replace the transmission. Ford customer relations says sorry.

Update from Aug 14, 2018: The problem started about a month before the transmission gave up. There was a hesitation then a slight jerk when starting from a stop and intermittent sluggish acceleration like it was in a gear that was too high. We were 3 hours from home and while we were trying to decide what to do the issue stopped so we went home with no more problem. I made an appointment with the Ford dealer to check out the transmission but when I got there was told the transmission guy was out and wouldn't be back until the next day. We're a 2 hour drive from the Ford dealer and the issue hadn't happened again so I let it drop. That appointment was 6/26/18.

On 7/25/18 we were headed to town, a 2 hour drive, when the first 2 issues started again plus the engine revving at times like it was in neutral. It would be running fine then rev or be sluggish. Got to town and headed to Ford dealer. It didn't make it, and had to be towed. Ford said they would check it out and give us an estimate on 8/2. On 8/3 they checked it and said about $10K to replace transmission and oil cooler. I contacted a transmission shop who laughed and said $5K. They said they see CVT transmission failures with relatively low mileage quite often.

- Sue M., Bridgeville, CA, US

problem #24

Jun 042022

Escape SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 97,635 miles

This replacement transmission was done three years and 4 months prior and came with a three year warranty. Ford will not cover it and stated "a date is a date". When asked if we pay for this repair will it go again just after the next warranty and they said "we would hope not" to which we replied, we hoped it wouldn't this time after the transmission should have never gone bad the first time.

This transmission only has 38,809 miles on it and the car itself has less than 100,000 miles on it. The car has been nothing but issues and is unreliable and Ford does not care about their customers and are not capable of making cars that last. We will never buy another Ford and we suggest everyone steers clear.

- Bernadette K., Sayville, US

problem #23

Jan 312019

Escape SEL

  • Automatic transmission
  • 58,826 miles

The transmission failed shortly after the warranty was expired and we have the receipt showing that we paid $6858.06 with tax. This car has been nothing but a problem. The replacement brand new transmission came with a three year warranty (unlimited mileage). It failed three years and 4 months later. Ford will not cover it or help us at all.

- Bernadette K., Sayville, US

problem #22

Sep 302019

Escape SE 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 31,069 miles


I'm tired for go to the service frequently because this transmission is crap. I'm frustrated and sad.

- jaimep, Bogota, Colombia

problem #21

Oct 282019

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 140,000 miles

Bought the car brand spanking new with 6miles on it, within the first year it would sort of skip out of gear when accelerating, causing the car to not move (very scary when pulling on a highway) I would have to turn the car off and open my door (Why, I Dunno) and then it would work fine. I took it to the dealership to have them try and figure it out, but because they couldn't replicate the problem, they couldn't do anything about it, and found nothing wrong with it.

I had another person look at it, who said the same thing, and I figured it was just a weird thing. Fast forward to this past Sunday the 28th, driving up my hill, low and behold it "skips" only this time it never went back into gear. Towed to the Ford dealership. It needs a new transmission, $5100. I was hoping that Ford would help offset some of the cost, as I had documented problems since it was new. Never ever going to buy Ford again.

- Michelle D., Woodstock, US

problem #20

Dec 272019

Escape SEL 1.6L 4 cyl

  • Automatic transmission
  • 130,000 miles

Transmission went out because it downshifted to pass on freeway.

- William W., Kalamazoo, MI, US

problem #19

Nov 032020

Escape 1.6L V4

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,900 miles

This is a 7 year old Ford 2013 Escape. I got dashboard warning - Transmission fault, Service now.

Ford dealer quote "It's gonna be $6,000 for transmission replacement but your car's not worth it. Come and pick it up and pay $314 for the diagnostic. Good luck. Have a nice day."

- linolee2tl, Brooklyn, US

problem #18

Apr 292020

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 63,380 miles


My 2013 Ford Escape SEL That I took the utmost care of, always serviced at the dealership, Synthetic oil changes every 7 000Km and Premium Fuel. Out of nowhere Stalled getting off a highway ramp and illuminated a ''Engine Failure'' message and Check Engine. Vehicle proceeded to shake and would stall at every single stop light. Brought to dealership and was quoted 6 000$ for new transmission, the car only had 102 000KM!

I will NEVER, and I mean this when I say NEVER Purchase another Ford product for the rest of my life. These cars are crap, Ford knows the transmissions are crap and refuse to take responsibility for their failure.

- Jordan E., Montreal, QC, Canada

problem #17

Sep 202019

Escape SEL 2.0L

  • Automatic transmission
  • 77,706 miles

Vehicle went out of warranty at 75,000 miles. 2,000 miles later the transmission COMPLETELY fails during high traffic time. Had to have vehicle towed, obtain a rental for 10 days, while I wait for a transmission and installation. FORD knows there is a transmission problem with the 2013, yet is unwilling to assist in the repair of the vehicle. Did not seem interested in customer service guarantee--just that it was out of warranty and too bad.

- Sharon W., Hendersonville, NC, US

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 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

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