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Old 09-30-2009, 12:10 PM   #15
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I am sorry to hear of your problems with your Escape. I did a lot of investigation prior to purchasing our 2008 Escape Hybrid and all of Ford's documentation, including their towing guides, list the 2005-2010 Hybrid and the 2009-2010 Escape to be 4 down towable. You cannot tow any AWD/4WD Escape with only 2 on the ground, i.e. 2 front on a dolly. Maybe your Escape is an early 2009 and they put in a 2008 transmission instead of the 2009 transmission. The 2005-2010 Hybrid and the 2009-2010 use the same transmission as the Ford Edge. The transmission is the key component for the Escape to be 4 down towable. The 2005-2008 Escape NON-Hybrid uses a different transmission and thus is not 4 down towable.

We just finished a almost 10,000 mile trip to Alaska and towed the 2008 Escape Hybrid all the way without an issue. We had only purchased the Escape a couple of weeks before leaving. It's previous owner was Avis Rental Car and it had a little over 38,000 miles on it. It now has a little over 39,500 miles on the odometer but has an additional 9,800 miles of 4 down towing. I started the vehicle each tow day and let it run for about 15 minutes. Before we left I purchased a non-computer key for the ignition so the vehicle would not start with the key. After running the vehicle for about 15 minutes, I shut if off, put in the non-computer key, turned on the ignition, put the gear shift in netural, turn the key off (which still leaves the steering column unlocked) then shut the door and locked the vehicle.

We had no major problems at all with our Hurricane, Escape or tires on the entire trip. The only problem we had was one of the windshield washer tubes broke. I picked up some vinyl tubing from Home Depot in Fairbanks, AK and fixed the problem within a few minutes.

This was our first major RV trip and we enjoyed all 43 days of it!! Check out our photos at ronniesphotos' Photos- powered by SmugMug
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:03 PM   #16
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Out of pure curisity, I got my owners manual out on my 08 Escape to see what it said about “Recreational Towing.” I’m not going to duplicate exactly what it said but here it is in a nut shell.

Recreational Towing, Page 177.

Paragraph 1: Automatic Transaxle front wheel drive (4X2)--------trailering with tow dolly only. (Drive wheels off the ground.)

Paragraph 2: Automatic Transaxle 4X4 wheel drive------trailoring with ALL FOUR WHEELS OFF the ground. (on a trailer.)

Paragraph 3: Manual Transmission 4X2, 4X4 transaxle, trailering allowed 4 wheels down.

It seems to me that I’d read where Hybrids could be towed 4 down but my book doesn’t indicate anything about hybrids.

To tow 4 down or not to tow 4 down might very well be based on when the vehicle was manufactured. I remember from years ago as with a Ford product, there were the “early” Fords and “late” Ford even though both were classed as the same year model. There were always some changes between the two, some changes noticeable some not.

Regardless what some magazine might say, it would be extremely prudent to check the owners manual about “recreational towing” before going that route.
Marty
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Old 09-30-2009, 11:22 PM   #17
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A 2005-2008 NON-Hybrid with automatic transmission cannot be towed 4 down.

The 2005-2010 Hybrid and the 2009-2010 can be because they uses a different automatic transmission.

Towing guides for 2002-2010 Fords can be found at:

https://www.fleet.ford.com/showroom/...ng/default.asp

I also believe the 2009 that is having a problem may be an early 2009 and have a 2008 transmission installed from the factory. Hopefully the owners will chanllenge Fort Motor Company, not just the dealer, for an answer.
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Old 10-01-2009, 12:16 AM   #18
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I have a 2009 Escape.
The Escape transmission in a 2008 is 4 speed and the transmission in the 2009 is 6 speed. It's an entirely new design including baffeling to facilitate oil circulation for 4 wheel down towing.
Ford claims that the problem is from too much fluid and the oil has to be lowered to near the add mark for flat towing.(Mine came with a very comprehensive booklet describing the oil level and procedure for flat towing" This was a "fix" which they introduced after some transmissions overheated and threw oil out the dipstick tube along with some chunks. There is some sense in this as if it is overful by the slightest amount it can start frothing and once it does that it is game over for lubrication and overheating. Some transmissions where replaced without replacing the cooler which was full of chunks,this in turn could lead to the destruction of the second transmission. I had the dealer lower the oil level to the prescribed level. I towed it for three hours which is about the limit we usually travel without a stop. This would have overheated the transmission if it was going to. I used my heat gun on it and the converter housing was 140 degree F and the transaxle was about 135. Warm but acceptable.
I'm hoping for the best. Other than that is a nice little car to drive.
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Old 10-07-2009, 01:35 PM   #19
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Maiden voyage or towing our '09 Escape came to an abrupt end after 260 miles and a toasted transmission. We we on our way from South Miami to Outer Banks, NC. First stop was about 125 miles into trip and speeds were less than 60 mph. I was waved over by a passing truck around Daytona Beach and pulled to to emergency lane to see what was going on. There was no visible problem on the rear view camera. When I approached the car there was smoke coming from under hood. Check inside showed the tranny still in neutral and key in acc. Called Ford and they towed to local dealer and defined problem as a burnt tranny. They took from Friday until Tuesday to get factory rep to commit problem to warranty, saying they had no information of the '09 Escape having any tow issues. When I later told them of Service Bulletin I found on one of the sites they still wouldn't acknowledge issue. Car is now awaiting arrival of new tranny and expectation is I will have it back early next week. Sure is a bummer to have bought a car with expressed ability to flat tow only to find out now that it appears that will not be the case. Ford continues to insist that it is towable, but it appears from what I'm reading that it is far from dependable in this use. Like others I really like the car but I must have a car capable of towing. Fulltiming is a rough life if the car can't tag along.

I had not paid attention to these particular threads since purchasing the car back in Feb, so when we took off on this trip I had no idea there were tranny issues.

I appreciate the comments many have posted here and on other rv'ing sites.
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:56 PM   #20
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We camped next to a couple a month ago who needed a ride to the local Ford dealer. 09 Escape trans had went out on second time towing. He was worried it would go out again before he made it back home. Sure hope Ford finds the fix soon and treats these folks right. I tow a 08 Ranger 4x4, and have been very happy with it from day one.
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Old 10-07-2009, 10:04 PM   #21
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JOHN44,
Where you aware of Ford's fix of lowering the oil level and limiting the speed to 65mph prior to towing? (you might not want to say??)
Like I mentioned I towed mine 200 miles nonstop and had no abnormal heat in my transmission.
Having the Ford service center say they are not aware of the problem is pure BS as there is a tech service bulletin advising to lower the transmission fluid for anyone that is flat towing.
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Old 10-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #22
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I wasn't aware of the service bulletin, but saw it on one of the searches as I looked on line to see what problems others might have experienced. Speed limited to 65 was outlined in the manual. At last discussion with the service fellow he still doesn't know anything about a service bulletin changing the procedure from the one in the manual. I plan to have a lengthy discussion with Ford Tech before towing again... it at all.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:40 PM   #23
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That's what I was wondering. Hopefully the lowered oil level will let us use it as a four down toad. Like I said I towed mine a couple hundred miles at highway speed with no stops and could find no unusual heat build up. I have a heat gun which works very well and they are pretty cheap. I have used it in the past when we stop to just shoot the tires and hubs to see if there is any heat buildup. Now the first thing I do is shoot the transmission. converter, and transaxle.
Here's hoping they are going to be good to go.
I'm threatning to hang a tow bar on my wife's old Tbird and drag it down south this winter.
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Old 10-08-2009, 07:44 PM   #24
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John44,
If you need the service bulletin number I should be able to get it. I went in to my Ford dealer and the service manager founf=d it right away. And by the way I only bought mine in Sept and there is a whole supplementary booklet describing what the oil level shold be and the towing procedure.
Let me know
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Old 10-08-2009, 08:30 PM   #25
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Stillwater,

Thank you for the feedback. I found the bulletin number on FMCA board. I too hope the 'fix' will do the job. I had purchased mine in Feb and this was the first time I had towed. Usually do it much more often, but we stayed in Miami for the summer. Sure glad it didn't happen as we started to the west coast again. You can bet I will be doing a lot of investigating before I attempt to tow again. I looked up the instructions in the 2010 model and they have changed them quite a bit.

Again, thanks for help
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Old 10-09-2009, 10:15 AM   #26
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1. Is the official Ford instructions to remove trans fluid to the Low mark on the dipstick to tow 4 down, and not exceed 65 mph?

2. Then when you disconnect to drive it are you required to refill the trans fluid to the normal Full mark so you can drive it above 70 mph?

3. Frothing and blowing chunks - Frothing -expanding the fluid to blow it out the overflow or up the dipstike tube. Now the fluid is low so mechaincal breakdown of parts occur. Driving at the Low level, this seems to be counter productive as the fluid level changes depending on the attitude of the vehicle. Would you Fill the engine level to just the ADD level and then head to the Rockys .

I was thinking of the New 09 Escape Toad but now it's not on the list. Thanks to the info of this Irv2 thread.
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Old 10-09-2009, 03:24 PM   #27
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Once the oil level has been lowered there is no need to add and it can be driven normally. I put a sign on my dipstick to not adjust oil level. The official Ford fix is between the lower add mark and the bottom of the hash marks which is between the high and low mark. I have seen no effects on mine from the lower oil level in normal driving situations. Having too much oil in an automatic transmission regardless of make or type is just as bad if not worse than not enough because of the oil frothing and introducing air affecting the ability to lubricate and to engage the converter without slipping.
I don't blame you for crossing it off the list for now but like I said let's hope for the best. Unfortunately they have gotten off to a bad start, it's nice to drive, light to tow and mine seems to be getting good mileage. Mileage was the reason I crossed Jeep Liberty of my list from what the reviews of people who had bought them are saying.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:25 PM   #28
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Actually, what would be nice to hear, is there anyone who has not had a problem towing a 09 Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute 4 down. That might help us gain some hope that it can be done. Then the next thing would be to figure out why some and not others.
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