Originally Posted by Bees
My husband had a fairly good meeting with the service manager at the Ford dealership here in Davenport. The lube pump seems to be the key. He could not answer the question as to why there was not a recall from a plastic piece in the transmission that melts and causes the problem. A lube pump should have been ordered for all of these Escapes. We'll fight the good fight. It has only been towed about 14,000 of the 73,000 miles on the car.
We had a 2011 Escape and my wife loved it. We bought it because it towed flat and that we'd be towing was made clear to the dealer at purchase and it was clearly stated in the manual that we could tow it flat. Lyle summarized the situation well.
We did NOT put on a rear dirt skirt to make sure airflow was not reduced. We had the fluid level certified by the dealer. Before it was lowered I drove and drove and drove it going through the gears to get the fluid temp up since Ford said it should be lowered when at 185 degrees.
Our transmission did NOT fail. But, when we put a ScanGauge II on it normal driving provide a transmission fluid temp of 160 to 170 in normal driving. That confirmed that I did the right thing in getting the temp up before the fluid was lowered. I believe many Escapes were lowered at the wrong temp and thus the level was not dropped enough.
Now, when towing, whenever we stopped I was out of our Itasca in a flash to check the transmission fluid temp on the ScanGauge. What got really annoying was that with a high ambient temp (even around 80) the fluid was getting to 220 degrees - MUCH higher than when driven. I would also pull the dipstick and could see that when hot the fluid level was right at the position required by Ford - between the special hash marks.
So, whenever we were towing we had that weight on our shoulders causing us to wonder if this is the trip we'd be the casualty and be sitting by the road with a failed transmission. We got down to minimal use of our MH because of this discomfort.
We decided to bite the bullet and get a Remco lube pump. People who had done this early in the game paid around $1700 installed. I called Remco and they said Ford now had sole rights to the Remco pump installations for the Escape an Fusion. OK, I go to my dealer with the info and they have a tough time finding the people at Ford with the info. They then come back to us and say they can get the pump and hoses and install them for us.
Pump and hoses $4,000. Installation $1400, taxes took the total to over $6,000. I WAS REALLY PO'd and he knew it. So, they offered an $800 discount on the pump. Cost would only be $5400.
Our conclusion was NO WAY would we reward Ford with an exorbitant profit because it screwed up. I tried to trade for a new Cherokee but couldn't reach a deal. We then dealt on a 2013 loaded Edge Limited. Reached a price that included installation of the base plates and we were within 2 minutes of leaving home to sign on the dotted line. I then had smoke coming out of my ears. Solely because of Ford not delivering what was promised when we bought, we are now going to pay a bundle for what in a month or two would be a one year old car (2014's due soon) and effectively reward Ford. Picked up the phone and called the Jeep dealer. We'd tried to dance a few weeks earlier but could not reach a decent deal with the trade in value I wanted for the Escape on a new 2014 Cherokee Limited with 3.2 V6, ADII and all the options (except a DVD player and extra speakers). I said, look, for the cash difference I'll come up half way and you come down half way and we meet. They thought for a minute and said OK. We called the Ford dealer and said we'd not be in to sign. Went to the Jeep dealer and it was written up. Only issue was the delay for delivery - it arrived mid November and we were in FLA. We returned home at Xmas and drove it back in Jan.
We LOVE the car. The options are superb (it is DW's car and this is the first time she has way more toys than me). We are really pleased with it and it is far more appropriate for our needs than the Edge. Just the thought of once more having a N in a transfer case thrills me - our Colorado and Tahoe had Neutrals and towing was a nothing - no worries about fluid temps, towing speeds, towing times, running engines, running through the transmission etc. Originally, we'd expected to receive the Jeep in early Sept and had made arrangements with Blue Ox to be first in if we got ours first. Not the case (because of the delays with transmission programming) but we may still drive to Pender NE for installation. They have posted the instructions on the Blue OX site and they look as easy if not easier than the other two suppliers and they have covered off the Adaptive Cruise Control issue like Demco.
Now, we will start to use our MH much more. So, Ford, thanks for nothing with that Escape. Nice car but..............poor handling of the fluid issue. You should have retrofitted every owner who towed with a lube pump for free because YOU, FORD, botched it. Also, given the huge number of transmissions you had to replace, you would have saved money and still have people like us as Ford owners.
Having said that, the Flex AWD Limited I bought along with the Escape was a wonderful car and I'd have one again with no hesitation. We had already traded the 2010 Flex on a 2012 Town & Country since we no longer use the MH for Florida (have two lots and a park model on one and destination trailer on the other) in the winter and DW has a LOT of stuff to pack and only the T&C was going to be able to handle it. But we found the T&C so enjoyable we've put more miles on it in less than 18 months than we have on any other vehicle we've had.
As Lyle pointed out they did purport that the Escape could be towed but withdrew that approval for new vehicles sold after Feb 2012. It took them about three years before they gave up. GM brought out the Cruze, said it was towable, trannys burned out and they yanked that approval quickly. They annoyed owners but in the end did compensate for tow dollies or switches to other GM products that could be towed flat (mind you, some owners had to get lawyers involved before GM did the right thing for them).