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Old 03-12-2012, 02:46 PM   #15
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Well.. I'm going to tell you I won't be taking your advice exactly.. I mean if Ford was the only auto maker on the planet.... I'd tow a horse trailer.
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Old 03-12-2012, 02:53 PM   #16
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In a 400 mile trip and making two or three stops I guess I don't understand how there could have not been smoke billowing out of the wheel wells when you stopped. I would also think that when you started the vehicle and ran in thru whatever it called for there should have been some unfamiliar smell inside. I feel bad for what happened but there definately should have been some kind of sign of something going wrong.

I was looking at one of these vehicles for a future toad and may still consider it. We tow with a dolly and as long as it's a FWD Escape there shouldn't be a problem, unless of course I leave the emergency brake engaged. Nah, why would that ever happern. UHHH, yea I've made that mistake before when being distracted in the loading process.
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Old 03-12-2012, 03:03 PM   #17
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I dunno....but I suspect this situation has more than just a few loose ends. Brakes burned up in 400 miles?? What in the world within the Escape brake system would cause such havoc in 400 miles that went completely unnoticed prior to towing the vehicle? Curious on how many miles were on the Escape before you pulled it the first time. 1000? 5000? 15000? Did the brakes hang up or show any problems at all BEFORE towing it? If not, why now? What changed from "before towing" to "after towing"? Is there something external that could have caused this? (Quite a few things, it seems, based upon comments made by other posters.) IMHO, these are important questions the OP needs to answer, objectively, to uncover the core issue to avoid a repeat. And without finding out the REAL reason, there will be a repeat. Do we REALLY want to find out what caused the problem, or do we just want to point a finger at Ford?

Wonder who paid for the brake repair. Ford? And, if the REAL problem is not discovered, who will pay for it next time? That is something the OP really needs to consider. I know for a fact that Ford has replaced transmissions in cases where folks have not followed the recommended towing guidelines for these vehicles....in the interest of customer satisfaction. Did they pay for the brake repairs here for the same reason?

Unfortunately, there is no mention by the OP of WHAT actually could have caused the problem....just a conclusion that it must have been that the Ford Escape's brakes burned themselves up! Interesting conclusion. The comments regarding transmission service responsibility and future owner actions are also interesting. And Mustang clutches? God knows I've burned up more than my share....most in less than a 1/4 of a mile! And not one of 'em were the OEM's fault! Live and learn, I guess....sigh.
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:26 PM   #18
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What does the owner's manual say about towing four down?
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:32 PM   #19
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I hope the problem gets figured out in this thread because....our Escape was/is going to be my car and toad when necessary.....:facep alm:
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Old 03-12-2012, 05:56 PM   #20
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ON my chevy I had the dealer install a different brake system, 2,000 miles later I had to ahve the brakes re-done. Dealer had messed up the install.

NOTE: This was not the car's fault, it was the dealer's.

Brake buddy is a class of braking system I recommend against, Because it has to be installed EVERY TIME you tow, and there is way too great a chance of just what happened to the O/P happening. There is also way too great a chance, on a short tow, of the owner saying "oh it's too much trouble, I'll just skip it" and then needing it.

Invisible brake, US-Gear, Air Force One, any installed system (Pedal pullers all) or the Ready Brake (Surge brake system, also a pedal puller) or the M&G air system Does not even use the pedal) these are the best. NOT necessarly in the order listed.

Still. I would not buy a new ford, I might buy a used one in a couple of years if I can't find a used "other" that I like, but I'm not a ford fan, I've owned too many Fords.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:18 PM   #21
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Will try to answer some questions posed

First, never thought there would be so many responses. Allow me say I'm not anti-Ford or on some crusade to badmouth the car maker. I respect Ford for being the only auto maker that didn't take a bail out and I'm impressed with the good looking line of cars they have. One son is on his third Mustang, another had a F-150 for 10 years that gave no problems, and my two youngest have the F-150 and Explorer I mentioned.

I was impressed with the Escape, except when it came to towing. I bought the 2012 in August last year, only towed it one previous time prior to the 400 mile trip, that was 20 miles down the road to change RV parks. I had no indication of any braking or transmission problems prior to this episode. It just turned 6K miles.

I'm not a new RVer, been doing it for over 10 years, many trips towing Jeeps and much experience with the Brake Buddy. Those who question the Brake Buddy use and suggest that I was not using it properly apparently are not familiar with that system. It wedges between the seat and brake pedal and there's no way for it to cause the brakes to be engaged, even slightly as long as the brake lights are not on - which I always check at hook up and when making stops. It's like a piston driven system that applies one rapid stroke to the brake pedal and then completely releases. When applied, the warning light inside the MH comes on, an when it is released, the warning light goes off. There was never any indication the system was not working properly, and as I mentioned, it only activated two or three times the entire trip. There was no odor of brakes burning or smoke coming from the wheels.

I have no idea what caused the brakes to burn up - since I posted the message earlier this morning, I got an update from the Ford dealer. Rotors have to be turned and new pads installed. Right front pad was almost totally burned up. Now, logic says that if the damage was caused by the brake buddy, then both pads would have been worn almost equally. That was not the case.

As a side note, part of my frustration with Ford and this vehicle in particular, is not only the brake failure, but also the fact that Ford will not authorize a recommended modification to the vehicle (that is lowering of transmission fluid if towed four wheels down). To top if off, I have a pinging sound in the engine when it's first started that lasts for about five minutes. Ford has advised the dealer to tear the engine apart to try to determine the cause. This vehicle is tracking to be declared a lemon. I mean who wants a current year model NEW vehicle that has already had rotors turned, new pads, has had the engine torn apart, and maybe suffering damage to the transmission because Ford will not authorize a recommended procedure?

I'm sure that this could be an aberration that could have happened with any brand name vehicle. I'm glad some have had positive experiences. But, again, Google towing Ford Escape and you won't see problems about the brakes or engine, but you will see case after case where the transmission has burned up. Is that because people are driving over 65 or not following procedures? I don't know. I'm just sharing my experience and if people want to take it into consideration when looking for a toad, great. If not, that's fine too. Thanks
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:46 PM   #22
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I guess if I were you I would get the brakes fixed and lick my wounds and trade for a Jeep as it sounds like that's what you want.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:51 PM   #23
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I tow a 2009 Escape V6 4WD. Been towing it going on 4 years. I have now towed it 12,000 miles or more. I have not have any problems with anything. I am well aware of the transmission issues and have seen the attempts by Ford to correct the overheating problem. I have followed different forums and been involved in several different discussions. Number one, I have never heard of any brake issues at all, zero, none. You need to determine what is the cause or you will be going through this all over again. Number two, The oil level is absolutely critical. Mine is reduced to the very minimum that ford recommends for flat towing, not an 1/4 ounce more. Any more than that then the oil heats while being towed, expands then gets caught up in the upper gears then foams which leads to the loss of lubricity which overheats the transmission more and causes catastrophic failure. Number three Ford is incapable of doing an adequate job of getting the oil level correct. Do not trust them. They do not take it seriously and have the attitude that if it overheats and destroys itself it's covered under warranty. It is very difficult to get the level correct. The oil is very clear and almost invisible. The car must be driven at least 20 miles to get it warmed up enough. Do it yourself or have someone else (you trust) do it for you. Worrying about a few dollars to adjust the oil level is pretty much misguided. You don't want a transmission failure 400 miles from home and wait 3 weeks for Ford to authorize, then repair your car. BTW get Ford to adjust the level so that it is documented that it was done then either do it correctly yourself or get someone else to do it correctly. I also use a heat gun every time I stop when I'm towing and my transmission temp never goes above 165* on an 85*- 90* day. A 70* day will only get temps up to 145* I also tow under 65mph mostly 60-63. I'm not a big fan of the Escape but I sure am impressed with the V6 power and yet it gets really good mileage. That's one reason I stayed away from Jeep there are a lot of people who complain about the mielage.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:40 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillwater View Post
I tow a 2009 Escape V6 4WD. Been towing it going on 4 years. I have now towed it 12,000 miles or more. I have not have any problems with anything. I am well aware of the transmission issues and have seen the attempts by Ford to correct the overheating problem. I have followed different forums and been involved in several different discussions. Number one, I have never heard of any brake issues at all, zero, none. You need to determine what is the cause or you will be going through this all over again. Number two, The oil level is absolutely critical. Mine is reduced to the very minimum that ford recommends for flat towing, not an 1/4 ounce more. Any more than that then the oil heats while being towed, expands then gets caught up in the upper gears then foams which leads to the loss of lubricity which overheats the transmission more and causes catastrophic failure. Number three Ford is incapable of doing an adequate job of getting the oil level correct. Do not trust them. They do not take it seriously and have the attitude that if it overheats and destroys itself it's covered under warranty. It is very difficult to get the level correct. The oil is very clear and almost invisible. The car must be driven at least 20 miles to get it warmed up enough. Do it yourself or have someone else (you trust) do it for you. Worrying about a few dollars to adjust the oil level is pretty much misguided. You don't want a transmission failure 400 miles from home and wait 3 weeks for Ford to authorize, then repair your car. BTW get Ford to adjust the level so that it is documented that it was done then either do it correctly yourself or get someone else to do it correctly. I also use a heat gun every time I stop when I'm towing and my transmission temp never goes above 165* on an 85*- 90* day. A 70* day will only get temps up to 145* I also tow under 65mph mostly 60-63. I'm not a big fan of the Escape but I sure am impressed with the V6 power and yet it gets really good mileage. That's one reason I stayed away from Jeep there are a lot of people who complain about the mielage.
Or, after all of that, you could simply buy a dolly and not have to worry about brake wear, transmission overheating, and damage.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:46 PM   #25
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There's always somebody isn't here. If you will notice I have a 4x4 which negates the use of a dolly. I also did not buy the Escape to put it on a dolly. It will be flat towed.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:49 PM   #26
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There's always somebody isn't here. If you will notice I have a 4x4 which negates the use of a dolly. I also did not buy the Escape to put it on a dolly. It will be flat towed.
Nope, that's when ya get out yer socket wrench and a bungee cord. A quick unbolting and strapping of yer rear drive line to to your undercarriage solves the 4x4 issue for dollying and is still less hassle than fiddling with transmission fluid levels and needing to find a Ford service center everytime you stop somewhere new and want to use your toad.

If ya choose to flat tow on a vehicle that requires several dozen hoops of jumping through to make it marginally assured that something won't grenade, that kind of makes that vehicle a poor choice for flat towing.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:18 PM   #27
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I have towed a 2004 and 2008 Explorer with absolutely no issues. Ford's neutral tow device works great.

We've been interested in the 2013 Escape as a potential replacement for the 2008 Explorer but wonder if Ford has made any mods to the transmission to make it more suitable for towing. I like Fords and have had many. However, I agree with one of the other posts....if you have to jump through so many hoops (diddle with tranny oil level, run the engine every so many hours, never exceed a certain speed, etc.), that is not an ideal toad, IMO.

Decent toads for flat towing seem to be getting in shorter supply every year.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:19 PM   #28
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The OP was not asking for opinion of how he should tow. Crawling under your vehicle and unbolting the drive shaft is really not very handy as well, especially when you stop in a town and unhook to have a look around. We who chose to flat tow do so for a reason.
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