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Old 05-24-2013, 04:04 PM   #1
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Escape

On Mother's Day, just north of Williams Lake, B.C., our Escape was smoking. Someone in traffic waved at us and caused us to investigate; I couldn't see anything wrong in the rear camera.

Tranny appeared dead and engine would not start. Called Ford, which took a long time, and they sent a tow truck. Took it to Williams Lake Ford Dealer.

They said everything inside was melted. Ford replaced everything including the cooler. Took four days to do the work including getting the transmission shipped in. Everyone was very helpful both at Ford and the campground!!!

Hooked it up and towed it the rest of the way home without further incident.

We previously had the TSB performed, and followed the procedures in the book. Had been towing about 2.5 hours on that stretch when it failed. Had about 8K miles towing on it.

We aren't happy that it happened, but things do happen. Everyone treated us very well, and thanks to all of them.
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Old 05-24-2013, 05:02 PM   #2
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Sorry for your troubles but it sounds like Ford really stepped up.

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Old 05-27-2013, 09:57 PM   #3
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The 6F35 transmission that is in the Escape has been giving a lot of problems Ford lowered the fluid level to try and solve the problem but they are still failing, Ford also pulled the OK to tow sometime in 2011. The 6F50 that is in some of the larger Fords such as the Edge is holding up good so far, I think Ford would do something extra to get you out of the Escape in a trade.
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Old 05-28-2013, 04:38 PM   #4
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The 6F35 transmission that is in the Escape has been giving a lot of problems Ford lowered the fluid level to try and solve the problem but they are still failing, Ford also pulled the OK to tow sometime in 2011. The 6F50 that is in some of the larger Fords such as the Edge is holding up good so far, I think Ford would do something extra to get you out of the Escape in a trade.

The transmission durability has been very good in normal use. Only flat towing has there been some major issues. However, most failures can be linked to towing at a higher than recommended speed or not allowing the cool down period. Some fail even if the proceedures are done but most failures are do to being towed incorrectly. The heat is tremendous when towing and no one seems to think about this. A build date of April 2012 is the cut off for flat towing a vehicle with the 6F35.
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:11 PM   #5
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The transmission durability has been very good in normal use. Only flat towing has there been some major issues. However, most failures can be linked to towing at a higher than recommended speed or not allowing the cool down period. Some fail even if the proceedures are done but most failures are do to being towed incorrectly. The heat is tremendous when towing and no one seems to think about this. A build date of April 2012 is the cut off for flat towing a vehicle with the 6F35.
James you are right about normal usage but we were talking about towing 4 down and there have been too many failures to say its the procedure at fault. Acording to the info I googled Ford published amended info concerning flat towing the Escape and fusion on Feb 2012 that they could not be flat towed also the 2010, 2011 and 2012 that has been fitted with a ford recommended Remco pump are still having problems ford will replace the transmissions until the warranty runs out, Some have hired a attorney but ford does not want to buy them back on the Lemon Law as when they sell them at auctions and they wont bring anything close to value so they try and give a cash settlement and let you trade for a different car with non Lemon Law attached to the car,
I think I would either get a attorney or a tow dolly but I would not tow 4 down unless it was the Hybrid version. JMT
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Old 05-28-2013, 08:25 PM   #6
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James you are right about normal usage but we were talking about towing 4 down and there have been too many failures to say its the procedure at fault. Acording to the info I googled Ford published amended info concerning flat towing the Escape and fusion on Feb 2012 that they could not be flat towed also the 2010, 2011 and 2012 that has been fitted with a ford recommended Remco pump are still having problems ford will replace the transmissions until the warranty runs out, Some have hired a attorney but ford does not want to buy them back on the Lemon Law as when they sell them at auctions and they wont bring anything close to value so they try and give a cash settlement and let you trade for a different car with non Lemon Law attached to the car,
I think I would either get a attorney or a tow dolly but I would not tow 4 down unless it was the Hybrid version. JMT

I will add this, with customer with multiple failures, FSE's have been sent out on trips that they say the failures occur. After multiple trips, no failures at all. There have been cases on every trip the transmission as failed from flat towing. Honestly, this is obvious disregard of the flat towing procedures. When I was working for Ford, there was one Escape that received 3 transmissions in a week and a half with a total accumulation of 5 miles on the odometer. I do agree that I would not flat tow a vehicle with the 6F35 (Fusion, Escape, 4cyl Edge and Explorer). It generates a lot of heat when flat towing. There was testing performed that it could be flat towed but I think it was to close to the edge. Once in the general public that may not follow the exact directions, this will push it over the edge.

I stopped a family on the expressway that was flat towing an escape. I matched their speed and they were under the max towing speed. I told them who I was and where I worked. They admitted that they knew of the directions and kept the speed under but have been driving longer than recommended between cool off periods. The engine compartment felt like the engine has been running the entire time. The PCM was in transmission overheat protection mode. One thing I noticed was the heat coming off their motorhome. They had a diesel pusher that might have been a rear radiator. The heat was pretty intense behind the motorhome. I couldn't help but wonder if the heat coming off their coach was limiting the amount of cooling air going to the escape.

I am by all means not saying it is 100% customer induced, but a lot of what that has been seen seems to point to that direction. Ford will warranty the transmission replacement with a cooler though.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:43 PM   #7
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The day it happened to us, the weather was cool, in the lower 60's if I remember correctly. Speed was between 55 and 60; when I get to about 60, I am thinking about using the service brakes to slow down (down hill).

It is a diesel pusher, rear radiator. I didn't know that was a problem in the information that I have.

We had previously towed in much warmer weather, to and from the southwest US.

That day, we had been towing no more than 2.5 hours since running the engine, and again had followed the procedures in the manual.

We plan to continue towing it, as we have a lot of warranty time left, and places to go and things to see!
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:54 PM   #8
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We have towed our 2011 Escape about 10,000 kilometres since that fall of 2010. Ford does not require a lube pump for those that were sold prior to the Feb 2012 decision that they would no longer be towable.

There are many issues involved that have not been mentioned.

First, when the transmission fluid is adjusted down to the flat towing marker on the dipstick, the fluid must be in the are of 185 degrees. Well, that is darn difficult to do in normal driving. When I took ours in for the lowering and dealer certification I drove it around the neighbourhood for an hour and shifted the auto transmission into lower gears to work it harder. The tech made the adjustment of the fluid and the service rep and I checked it.

I then followed the TSB's to a T - and the later one required that the engine be run for at least 5 minutes and that for the full five minutes the transmission be run through the gears - not just at the end.

Our four prior MHs had rear dirt skirts but I decided not to put one on the Winnie so that air flow under the motorhome to the Escape would not be impeded.

Whenever we stopped (well within the time suggested) I'd head right for the Escape and raise the hood and with an infrared thermometer check the readings of the transmission housing, pull the dipstick and check the temp and so on. My feeling was that this was not highly accurate. It was also a PITA.

We have a ScanGauge II but it is the earlier unit without the transmission fluid temperature. So I borrowed my son's ScanGauge II that has the transmission temp. During normal driving I could not get the fluid temp up to the 185 range so I then realized that what I did to drive the temp up when the fluid was lowered was the right thing. I wonder how many of the units that have failed had the fluid level lowered adequately? Also, whenever we go in for service I make the same declaration at the desk. "The tech MUST NOT TOUCH the transmission fluid level subject to a penalty of death if he does and the transmission fails." I wonder how many good intentioned techs have checked a toad fluid level and thought "oh, this is low, and then topped it up."

Now, for the next year we used my son's ScanGauge when towing and the results were interesting. All over the map. My process on stopping was automatic. Out the door of the Itasca in a flash and back to the Escape, turn on the engine and read the fluid temp. Varied from 165 to 200. The 200 scares the hell out of me frankly. Ambient temp that day was in the 80s. Makes one wonder how towing with no torque going through the drive train can provide such a high temperature.

Recently I started getting annoyed. We have not been using our Winnie (which to our surprise has been virtually flaw free) very much and it dawned on me that we are "transmission shy." Given the number of tranny failures we travel in fear it will happen to us. If you read all of the stories on all of the boards you will find some transmission replacements have taken over a month. Sone owners have gone through four transmissions.

I decided we had to correct the situation. I concluded that we should put a Remco Lube Pump on the Escape if the price is not unreasonable. Questioning those who had them installed the price ranged from $1450 installed to $1600. Went to the Remco site and found that they will NO LONGER sell a lube pump for an Escape and you MUST purchase it from Ford.

So, I contacted my dealer and provided them with all of this material including the statement on the Remco site. I did not ask for Ford assistance but said it would be nice given that they KNEW we would be towing and that was clearly understood at the time of purchase and confirmed by the saleswoman. Ford turned down the dealer's request for assistance.

I then pointed out that what I wanted was three things:

1) Would Ford sell us the pump through our dealer and how much would it cost?

2) Would our dealer install the pump and how much would it cost?

3) Would our warranty remain intact if they installed the pump?


Well, here are the numbers.

Lube pump $4,000.51. Dealer agreed to discount it to $3200.

Installation $1400.

Warranty will still be good.

So, with tax and the discount the pump and installation will ONLY cost $5200.

My first thought was that Ford must think all of its customers are foolish or stupid. This cost is what some have reported the cost to be for the replacement of their transmission.

Now, we are going to go ahead and use it and fully in accordance with the TSBs. If it breaks then Ford fixes it - period. (What amazes me is that many who have had their transmissions replaced reported that part of the replacement was the Lube Pump at no charge.)

When it is five years old and the power train warranty expires you'd better believe we will think long and hard before replacing it with another Ford. In the fall of 2010 we went from 3 bowties to three blue ovals. 2007 Kodiak based Grayhawk towing a 2007 Tahoe LTZ and my wife driving an Equinox (not towable) - to an Itasca Impulse on E450, the Escape as a toad and a Flex to replace the Tahoe. Needless to say we spent a few bucks (all cash deals) and I'm now realizing Ford doesn't appreciate such purchases. BTW, we found the Flex to be an outstanding vehicle.

I'm very tempted to take the Escape and trade it for the new Cherokee that has a transfer case and is safely towable. I suspect it is going to be very popular and obtaining one will mean a long wait and virtually no discount.

Now, a last bit on the lube pump. Ford is only using Remco's pump (a version modified with Ford concurrence) and Ford adds its owns hoses and other accessories. But, is that justification for the huge price increase? Not a hope. They simply applied their typical markups for accessories (after all, what would a car cost if you bought it part by part) and figured the sheep would pay the price. I talked to Remco and they wouldn't even commit to the time of day for fear of offending Ford.

So, I guess we will start making good use of the MH again and let the chips fall where they may. :(
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Old 07-09-2013, 08:47 PM   #9
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Shadow what a imfrmatide post on the Escape and the trans problem, I agree Ford was a lot greedy and they should try and help. Why not tow the Flex you have or do you have the same problem that i have, I bought a 11 Flex Limited for my wife and to tow and bought the tow brackets to install when i took it to my shop to install she informed me she didn't want them on her car ( crap) so I bought a 11 Chevy Equinox 4 cyl and installed brackets on it but it also has a problem on some of the 4 cyl engines can have a oil usage problem and my Equinox sometime would use up to 1 qt in 500 miles and sometime would not use any oil for a few thousand miles and Chevy says that the quart in 500 miles was normal or accepted amount I got tired of fooling with them and bought a 11 Ford Edge and this is a great tow car. The best service I have got from a auto company when i had a problem has been Honda and Lincoln.
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Old 07-09-2013, 09:11 PM   #10
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Walt, Flex is gone. I was kind of broken hearted to trade it (it was AWD Limited) but when we decided we'd no longer take the Itasca and Escape to Florida for the winter I had to get something with a huge capacity since DW takes so much quilting and craft "stuff" to FLA. I got a 2012 Town and Country almost a year ago and I have to say we've been really pleased with it. With the stow and go seating we have a ton of room for "her stuff." Three of us go south (DW and I and our NO.3 son who is 39 and has Down Syndrome) and with only one seat up in the second row the space is great.

My plan was to return to Ford with a Lincoln MK T in a few years but I'll have to think hard about that. When we got the Escape I had planned to get an Equinox but the deal offered was simply awful (and it was an employee purchase on top of it). I tried to do a double header - 2006 Equinox for 2011 Equinox and 2007 Tahoe for 2011 Caddy SRX. Discounts were so low it was laughable. Ford was much much better. But, that got us this pain in the neck. The other problem was getting a Equinox LTZ AWD 3.0 V6. Production was running around the clock and most were being shipped to the US (they are built in Canada). Dealer said an order would be three months or so and they could not really give me trade in prices until the delivery date approached. Worst experience I'd had with GM in 14 years - but it shows what happens when they have "hot cars" that are in demand.

Our first toad was a Colorado which I didn't like at all from a driver's point of view - terrible leg room for right leg. Transfer case and neutral made towing a nothing. Second was the Tahoe and it was great as 2007 was the year they really updated the suspension. I'm now wondering if I shouldn't just stick to a vehicle with a transfer case and a neutral. When we looked at the Ford range I would have preferred DW get an Edge (now I can really be critical since I can tell her we would have had no problems) but she said NO it is too big (which still makes me laugh given that her vehicles over the years have included a Dodge Caravan, Olds Silhouette, Ford Aerostar, Ford 500). I was leaning to a MK X until I drove the Flex and much preferred it.

OH, DW thinks it would be nice if we traded the Itasca for a travel trailer like our son recently bought. That will mean narrowing the next vehicle to a Silverado, F150, Ram or perhaps a Durango or Grand Cherokee with the 5.7 hemi - or a Tahoe again. But my choice (while "she who must be obeyed" still permits me to vote) is to stay with the MH.

Don

ps. I guess I shouldn't be critical of DW for wanting a smaller unit. Our 5 MHs started at 34 ft gas, then to 39' 6" DP, then 40' 10" DP, and down to 32' 6" gas and now 27' 10" fas. Gee, I guess I'm guilty of the same thing.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:29 PM   #11
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Well, for now we are going to continue to tow ours. Lots of warranty left. BTW, it was about $12K Canadian to fix it in Williams Lake. Escape runs good now, and seems none the worse for the experience.

But, time will tell... Before the warranty runs out, DW and I will probably be looking seriously at a replacement.
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Old 07-18-2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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I've had the Jeep dealer configure a 2914 Cherokee for me - the Limited with Active Drive II (has a neutral for flat towing) and every option available - and the price was way under a Grand Cherokee configured with the same options. We believe they will be starting production shortly. AND DW appears to like it based on photos and the options list.

One last step. I have to take the Escape in for appraisal and I think that is where the deal could fall apart - too low a value for the Escape.

Our Ford dealer has a 2013 Edge AWD Limited with almost every option and they are quoting a "decent" price. If the Jeep doesn't fly we'll see if the Ford dealer offers a better trade value.

OH, whatever we buy has to be WHITE. That narrows things down when one looks at inventories. The Jeep dealer will be able to modify an existing order for stock for our (her) colour choice and all the options provided we do it before production starts.

Don
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Old 07-22-2013, 11:34 AM   #13
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Our transmission in our 2011 escape just failed. Dealer will put the pump in for 3500. My question is should I pay that and hope it works or am I better off to cut my looses and move to another toad. I don't want to spend the money unless the consensus of opinion is that this pump will fix the problem. Ford will replace the transmission under warranty either way. What would you guys do?
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Old 07-22-2013, 12:07 PM   #14
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Bill, I decided that I wasn't going to reward Ford for doing such a lousy job on the Escape transmission by paying a bundle to perhaps save them from having to replace it again before the power train warranty expires.

I thought of moving to an Edge but then concluded that would also be rewarding Ford. If they were as smart as they think they are at Ford they would have issued RVers a discount cert for a few thousand bucks off a new vehicle that should not have transmission problems flat towing.

We've run into a stopper on the Cherokee purchase - they don't want to give us a reasonable buck for the Escape, which only has 19,000 miles on it and has 2 months full warranty and 26 months power train left. Unless they sweeten the deal we will stick with the Escape or perhaps move to a Honda CRV.

If the transmission burns out then Ford will regret not making the lube pump available for $1600, which is what those who bought one before Ford took over the program paid, and that included installation. I'm very disappointed in Ford. Actually, I doubt that Ford will ever regret anything. I thought GM was in chaos the way they resolved the Cruze flat towing problem - but at least they came to the party. Ford is not, other than replacing transmissions.

Don
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