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Old 03-09-2011, 07:54 PM   #1
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2011 Escape

DW and I are looking at a 2011 Escape 4WD V6 automatic for a toad. Anyone have any experience with this particular vehicle?

Thanks,

Dan
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:02 PM   #2
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I'd be interested in responses to that as well - we have a '05 Escape, and like it vey well - but it wasn't until the last year or so they have been rated as an all-wheels-down toad - and even then, transmission failures were still pretty common last I heard...
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:19 PM   #3
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Dan,
We tow an 07 Mariner Hybrid 4WD. We love it ! It is simple to hook up, just put transmission in neutral and good to go. The only issue has been finding a supplemental braking system that works with the Hybrid system. We found that Roadmaster has a system that works and I'm having it installed next week. I had not heard of any transmission problems and we have about 52,000 miles on ours.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:43 PM   #4
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we just bought a 2011 escape 4wd limited and had the base plate put on it we will be towing it behind our Georgetown. just check the owners manual it gives you a procedure to follow when towing.
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Old 03-09-2011, 08:46 PM   #5
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There was a problem with transmissions burning out if the fluid level was off. I was looking into this or the CRV and I went with the CRV as it was too much a risk with the escape.
Price point of the escape was better and the ground clearance of the escape is higher than the CRV but the resale of the honda may be better. I have had the CRV almost a year now and I really like the suv.
Check into the transmission issues first, you don't want to be stranded on the road.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:41 AM   #6
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It was my understanding that the transmission problems were fixed about mid-year of 2010...

Haven't purchased yet...
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Old 03-10-2011, 12:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mccorklera View Post
we just bought a 2011 escape 4wd limited and had the base plate put on it we will be towing it behind our Georgetown. just check the owners manual it gives you a procedure to follow when towing.
And that "procedure" can get pretty intrusive - something like stopping alongside the road every hour or so, go back to the Escape, start the engine for 10 minutes or so, move the shifter thru all the ranges a few times, then head on out for another hour or so...

And even at that, a fairly high percentage of tranny failures last I heard. I think we'll wait until the dust settles and Ford has a bullet-proof setup for toad usage with the Escape - or else get something different if we choose to go the toad route...
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Old 03-31-2011, 01:41 AM   #8
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I was interested in the Escape also until I talked with some folks out of Tenn at our rv park in Yuma. They have 2010 Escape and ran into some folks on the road who gave them a copy of Fords Service Bulletin on the Tranny problem. It says to make sure that the tranny fluid is at the lowest safe point when towing. This is supposed to prevent Tranny problems. Think I'll pass on the Escape until Ford has a better solution.
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:30 AM   #9
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Well, we ordered one. I'll let you know how it works out when we get around to towing it...
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Old 03-31-2011, 07:48 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ktnhog View Post
Well, we ordered one. I'll let you know how it works out when we get around to towing it...
Thanks from a FORD Retire.

The money is staying in the USA.
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Old 03-31-2011, 08:05 AM   #11
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That was one of my main issues, and I have a local dealer!
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Old 04-07-2011, 03:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary - K7GLD View Post
And that "procedure" can get pretty intrusive - something like stopping alongside the road every hour or so, go back to the Escape, start the engine for 10 minutes or so, move the shifter thru all the ranges a few times, then head on out for another hour or so...

And even at that, a fairly high percentage of tranny failures last I heard. I think we'll wait until the dust settles and Ford has a bullet-proof setup for toad usage with the Escape - or else get something different if we choose to go the toad route...
Gary, that is a bunch of garbage and you shouldn't spread false info like that - shame on you.

For the 2011 Escape the transmission fluid dipstick has the upper and lower brackets for towing marked on it very clearly and my dealer lowered the level properly and gave me a work order showing it was done. After that, the process is no different than other Ford unit with this family of transmissions - warm it up for 5 minutes before towing, run it through a described gear pattern and then turn the engine off and tow it. You should go through the same routine whenever you stop for gas or at least every 6 hours.

We towed ours 1225 miles to Florida in October. We have a infrared laser thermometer that I use to check tire heat and occasionally when we stop I lift the hood and check the temperature of the transmission housing. I also pull the dipstick and feel the heat of the fluid on the end to make sure it seem reasonable. So far no problems.

The key to making sure you have a valid warranty is to get the dealer certification that the fluid level was lowered properly. All of this is described thoroughly over a couple of pages in the operator's manual. Our dealer did not charge to do the work. When we bought the Escape AWD Limited (also bought a Flex AWS Limited at the same time) we made it very clear to the dealer that we were buying this solely for the purpose of towing it behind a motorhome.

In Feb 2010 Ford put in either a new or revised baffle. To date we've only heard of one 2011 that has burned out the transmission but we've been unable to find out from the owner if he had the fluid level lowered as specified by Ford. If we are able to get that info I'll post it here.

As to the CRV, well, our dealer told us that when someone drives on to the lot with a NEW CRV to have baseplates installed, they shudder because of how difficult the task it compared with others.

Don

From Ford Manual (photo of dipstick not included)

RECREATIONAL TOWING (from a couple of sections)
Follow these guidelines for your specific powertrain combination to tow
your vehicle for personal travel (such as behind a motor home or a truck).
Note: Put your climate control system in recirculated air mode to
prevent exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle. Refer to the Climate
Controls chapter for more information.

If you tow your vehicle with all four wheels on the ground:
• For vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, have your
transmission fluid level checked by an authorized dealer. For the
correct transmission fluid level when flat towing (all four wheels on
the ground), refer to Transmission fluid in the Maintenance and
Specifications chapter.
• 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 65 mph (105 km/h) if the vehicle is equipped with an
automatic transmission or 70 mph (113 km/h) if equipped with a
manual transmission.
• For vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission, start the engine
and allow it to run for five minutes at the beginning of each day and
every six hours thereafter. With the engine running and your foot on
the brake, shift into D (Drive) and then into R (Reverse) before
shifting back into N (Neutral).

Checking transmission fluid level for recreational flat tow
operation
Before recreational flat towing your vehicle, the transmission fluid level
may need to be set to a lower level. These guidelines are designed to
prevent damage to your transmission. Before you recreational flat tow,
your fluid level must be verified by an authorized dealer.
This fluid level is within the normal
operating fluid range and does not
require that you have your fluid
level readjusted after recreational
flat tow operation.
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Old 04-07-2011, 04:16 PM   #13
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We have a 2006 Escape Hybrid and tow with a Master Tow Dolly with surge brakes. Problem solved, tow as far as you want and never have to check the temp of fluid level, or buy a special brake syatem.

Dick
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Old 04-23-2011, 08:50 AM   #14
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Quote:
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We have a 2006 Escape Hybrid and tow with a Master Tow Dolly with surge brakes. Problem solved, tow as far as you want and never have to check the temp of fluid level, or buy a special brake syatem.

Dick

BUT, I assume yours is 2WD. We wanted AWD and you can't put ANY AWD vehicle on a dolly to tow -must be a trailer with all four wheels off the road. When we bought our 2011 V6 there was not a Hybrid Escape to found at any dealer in Canada so it was not even an alternative.

Update. We've now towed our 2011 V6 AWD Escape Limited over 2500 miles and it still running just fine.
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