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Old 05-04-2009, 10:10 PM   #1
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2009 Escape Toad transmission burned out

We just bought a 2009 Ford Escape, front wheel drive. After digny towing it for 500 miles, the transmission is totally burned out.

Ford is getting a new one for us, but I am worried it will happen again.

We followed the rules entirely.

But, I wonder out the tow shield? Could it be covering up a vent the transmission needs to cool itself?

- Lilly & Marty
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:10 AM   #2
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IMHO, the tow shield is not causing the problem.

Unfortunately, I don't have a suggestion as to what is.

It is rare to have a problem when the proper procedure is followed.
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Old 05-05-2009, 06:28 AM   #3
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Lilly W, welcome to iRV2. Sorry to hear of the problem. I would have the dealer show you exactly how the procedure to tow is to be done. There should be no cooling issue with the tow shield.

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Old 05-09-2009, 08:33 AM   #4
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I tow an 08 Escape and have over 4,000 miles in 16 months towing this vehicle. It is the hybrid model and that they be the difference. Mine is also all wheel drive.
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Old 05-14-2009, 07:02 AM   #5
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I think only the Hybrid model can be towed. This is how it was in 06. We looked at the ford. This may have changed.
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Old 05-21-2009, 05:57 AM   #6
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I tow a 2005 Focus AUTOMATIC which is not allowed to be towed. I just run the engine while towing and have not had any problems. This does add miles to the odometer and uses gas, but this is a lot cheaper than replacing a vehicle I love and also shows the true miles I have on my tires and suspension components. To warn of possible engine stalling I added an additional Oil Pressure switch to the engine and wired it up to an all ways hot cigarette lighter plug under the hood. I plug a magnetic yellow strobe light into the plug and place the light on the car where I can see it in the rear view camera. If it turns on, I know I have to slow down and pull over as soon as possible to protect the transmission. Never has gone off and I have not had any issues with the toad. Good luck with the new transmission.
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundancer268 View Post
I tow a 2005 Focus AUTOMATIC which is not allowed to be towed. I just run the engine while towing and have not had any problems. This does add miles to the odometer and uses gas, but this is a lot cheaper than replacing a vehicle I love and also shows the true miles I have on my tires and suspension components. To warn of possible engine stalling I added an additional Oil Pressure switch to the engine and wired it up to an all ways hot cigarette lighter plug under the hood. I plug a magnetic yellow strobe light into the plug and place the light on the car where I can see it in the rear view camera. If it turns on, I know I have to slow down and pull over as soon as possible to protect the transmission. Never has gone off and I have not had any issues with the toad. Good luck with the new transmission.
How does this procedure of running the toad engine work with the toad braking system? That would keep the vacuum up for the power brakes. Don't the Brakebuddy style always operate with no vacuum allowed on the brake system?
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Old 05-22-2009, 10:45 PM   #8
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According to MH magazine all models of the Escape with auto transmissions may be towed 4 down. The v-6 and hybrid can be towed at 75mph no distance limit the 4 cyl 70mph no distance limit. Here's a link to MH mag then click on "dingy guide 2009."

MotorHome Magazine: Making your RV travels easier
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Old 05-23-2009, 10:29 AM   #9
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...Hmmmm! Our '05 Mercury Mariner (same basics as the Escape) cannot, in anyway, be towed wheels down...it's in the Owner's Manual. Something must have changed since '05, or some dealers are misinformed

If it were me I'd be checking the Owner's Manual first before taking someone's word that it can be towed "wheels down".
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Old 05-23-2009, 11:41 AM   #10
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We just bought a 2009 Ford Escape, front wheel drive. After digny towing it for 500 miles, the transmission is totally burned out.
Think positive! It may not have been towing related. Probably not in your case but Ford had a recall on certain engines a few years ago where a disgruntled UAW employee was putting extra !#(@#$* in a component he was assembling. It came back to bite him.

Ford is getting a new one for us, but I am worried it will happen again.
That's terrific especially under mfg. warranty. I'm sure they'll let you know what blew and, in their opinion, why.

We followed the rules entirely.
Brain frats happen unknowingly. Happened to me, left the emergency brake on.

But, I wonder out the tow shield? Could it be covering up a vent the transmission needs to cool itself?
I don't think the tranny does enough work being towed to generate any heat.
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Old 05-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expo View Post
How does this procedure of running the toad engine work with the toad braking system? That would keep the vacuum up for the power brakes. Don't the Brakebuddy style always operate with no vacuum allowed on the brake system?
The SMI Air Force One Uses the Vehicle Power Brakes to activate the Brake System. Just don't hook up there vacuum line, Plug it instead. If your brake system uses a dead pedal You might be able to lower the sensitivity to utilize the unit.
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Old 05-26-2009, 08:26 AM   #12
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1. Yes, the 2009 AWD Escape can be towed 4-down. The owners' manual says so. It's a function of the new "Intelli-Trac" drive system with the 6-speed automatic. Max 65MPH, start and idle engine 5 minutes before taking off, and at every fuel stop. (2WD can NOT be towed 4-down!!)

2. We had the same issue. First trip out, 700 miles on toad, and a 700 mile tow. We were overly meticulous in following the rules, since it was our first time with this particular toad. The transmission puked out 2.5 liters of fluid and some ugly looking fibrous chunks (through the filler / dipstick tube). There was a wad of the material blobbed on the dipstick, and the fluid smelled badly burnt. There was an oily film and some small chunks of the material all over the back of the toad.
We refilled the fluid, and it drove OK. It towed OK on the trip home, but we took it to the dealer anyway. Ford's instructions to the dealership were "Don't even drain the fluid. Pack it up, complete, and send it to us. And we're FedEx'ing a new one!" They did.
All in all, it took 8 days to get it back . . . not too bad when the transmission has to come from the factory. It has since made another 900 road miles and a 2500 mile tow with no ill effects.
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Old 07-09-2009, 01:30 PM   #13
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According to the 2008-2009 Escape owner's manual (Page 194 in 2009 3rd printing), BOTH 2WD and 4WD (called AWD by some) can be towed FOUR DOWN. This feature is not limited to 4WD(AWD) only.

Quote:

Front Wheel Drive (FWD) vehicles:
Tow your Front Wheel Drive vehicle with all four wheels on the ground
or with the front wheels off the ground by using a tow dolly. If you are
using a tow dolly follow the instructions specified by the equipment
provider.
Note:
If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground, follow
these instructions:

Tow only in the forward direction.

Release the parking brake.

Place the transmission shift lever in (N) Neutral.

Place the ignition to the accessory position (refer to Starting in the

Driving
chapter).

Do not exceed 70 mph (113 km/h) with manual transmission vehicles
and 65 mph (105 km/h) for automatic transmission vehicles.

Start the engine and allow it to run for five minutes at the beginning
of each day and at each fuel stop.

Tires, Wheels and Loading
194
Four Wheel Drive (4WD) vehicles:
Tow your Four Wheel Drive vehicle with all four wheels on the ground or
with all four wheels off the ground using a vehicle transport trailer.
Do
not tow your Four Wheel Drive vehicle with the front wheels off
the ground (by using a tow dolly) and the rear wheels on the
ground.
This will cause damage to your 4WD system. If you are using a
vehicle transport trailer, follow the instruction specified by the
equipment provider.

Note:
If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground, follow
these instructions:

Tow only in the forward direction.

Release the parking brake.

Place the transmission shift lever in (N) Neutral.

Place the ignition to the accessory position (refer to Starting in the

Driving
chapter).

Do not exceed 70 mph (113 km/h) with manual transmission vehicles
and 65 mph (105 km/h) for automatic transmission vehicles.

Start the engine and allow it to run for five minutes at the beginning

of each day and at each fuel stop.

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Old 09-29-2009, 12:49 PM   #14
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2009 Ford Escape Transmission Burned out twice...so far!

We are on our 2nd transmission being burned out after only 1500 total miles on our 2009 Ford Escape and a 350 mile tow; first transmission went out after a short tow and only 500 miles on the Escape. According to the owners manual and Motorhome magazine, the Escape is completely towable with four down, no problem...that is why we bought it instead of a Honda CRV. (Wanted to buy American!) As of today, 9/29/09, we are stuck 400 miles from home and still no word from Ford about this problem. Our car is 50 miles away at a Ford dealership's service center and they will not keep us posted on what is happening with this problem. Frustrating!! So, the question is: Is the 2009 AWD Ford Escape really towable? That's what Ford needs to be looking at. Any others out there with this problem? There were four others that came in to our selling dealership the first time it went out! Yikes!
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