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Old 06-03-2011, 08:58 AM   #1
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First Time towing Ford Escape

Had to make trip to Indiana for long holiday week-end and decided to tow my 2010 Ford Escape instead of my 2001 Hyundai Accent I have been towing the past six years. Have to admit some trepidation as I've read countless reports of Escape transmission problems with towing but happy to report, at least on this 700 mile round trip, no problems.

Had the fluid adjusted per the applicable TSB and was very meticulous about procedures and so far - so good. I like the flexibility now with two vehicles set up as Toads but will probably pick the Escape in most situations as it is more comfortable and versatile. My V-10 didn't really know the difference in towing even though the Escape weighs about a 1000 lbs. more than the Accent and my mileage was virtually the same.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:11 AM   #2
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My father-in-law has been towing his Escape Hybrid for about a year and a half with no problems. He loves the Escape.
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Old 06-03-2011, 11:49 AM   #3
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A lot of the Ford Escape transmission problems were caused by someone using the wrong fluid - and that was even done at Ford shops. A 2001 will take Mercon and Mercon V as long as it is a late version.
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Old 06-03-2011, 02:53 PM   #4
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JohnH59 - My Escape is the non-hybrid model which supposedly had problems. Never read of problems with the hybrid but good to know he has had no troubles. The Escape was getting a bad rep for transmission failures while towing.

IC2 - My 2010 Escape calls for the newer Mercon LV which is what it has.
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Old 06-03-2011, 03:29 PM   #5
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Quote:
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IC2 - My 2010 Escape calls for the newer Mercon LV which is what it has.
Ford in their never ending quest to confuse. My '06 F350 - MerconSP.

And woe to those who don't use the spec'd ATF or mix it. Dang - it really makes me happy with my AVATAR '31 with a C4. F or FA or Mobil Or Amsoil or whatever



Mercon LV


Motorcraft® Continuously Variable Chain Type Transmission Fluid

  • Premium-quality fluid for Ford, Lincoln and Mercury CFT-30 transmissions
  • The only fluid approved for use in CFT-30 transmissions – any other fluid may cause internal damage
  • Provides optimal frictional characteristics and good low-temperature fluidity
  • Helps reduce wear
  • Helps protect against sludge and varnish buildup
  • Dyed blue for easy leak detection
  • Recommended by Ford Motor Company
  • Available in cases of 12 one-quart bottles
  • Warning: Use ONLY in CFT-30 transmissions
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:02 AM   #6
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I tow a Ford Escape on a tow dolly therefore don't have any transmission questions. I used to tow a Honda Civic on the same tow dolly and the only change I had to make was to get bigger straps as Escape has 16' tires and some have 17" tires.

It loads just fine on the dolly and tows equally well and the Rv doesn't really handle any diferently than it did before even though the Escape is heavier.

BTW we really like the Escape Limited FWD and the way it handles and rides for an SUV.

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Old 06-05-2011, 10:28 AM   #7
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A lot of the Ford Escape transmission problems were caused by someone using the wrong fluid - and that was even done at Ford shops. A 2001 will take Mercon and Mercon V as long as it is a late version.
This is not the case. The problem has been the transmissions burning up while being flat towed which Ford has endorsed. Fords cure to the problem is to lower the fluid as per a TSB for vehicles is flat towed behind a motor home. It is not the type of fluid but rather the amount. Several people have been through 2 or more transmissions even after the fluid level was supposedly lowered. Ford has not done an adequate job of getting the message out and very few have paid attention to the critical level. (I do mean critical) 1/2 a pint too much will fry the transmission. Have the dealer lower it so it is documented but CHECK IT YOURSELF to make sure it is at the MINIMUM. I have towed mine about 7-8000 miles without problem but only because I keep my fluid level at the absolute minimum required.
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Old 06-05-2011, 10:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tom-NC View Post
I tow a Ford Escape on a tow dolly therefore don't have any transmission questions. I used to tow a Honda Civic on the same tow dolly and the only change I had to make was to get bigger straps as Escape has 16' tires and some have 17" tires.

It loads just fine on the dolly and tows equally well and the Rv doesn't really handle any diferently than it did before even though the Escape is heavier.

BTW we really like the Escape Limited FWD and the way it handles and rides for an SUV.

To avoid confusion. Only two wheel drive Escapes can be towed on a dolly. Four wheel drives either require flat toweing or on a trailer with all four wheels off the ground. Many people prefer to flat tow without a dolly and beginning in 2009, Escapes are advertised by Ford to have a re-engineered transmission that allows this to be done. Anyone I've talked to really like the new Escapes and the only issue being Ford's fumbling of the flat tow burning up transmission issue. I have the V6 four wheel drive and I'm really impressed with the gas mileage. My biggest complaint is the interior is cheap, the seats seem to mark up with any thing that comes in contact with them and they won't clean up very well.
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Old 06-07-2011, 07:37 PM   #9
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Ford Escape Toad

I just got back from Orlando, Fla. towing a 2011 ESCAPE 4 cylinder 2wd (NOT A HYBRID) and had no problems. I had the fluid lowered at the dealer as per TSB and I stopped once each way and checked fluid temperature and transmission case temp using an infrared temperature sensor. The trip was 380 miles each way and the ambient air temp was 93F. The fluid was barely warm to the touch and the case temperature never got over 145F. As a baseline, prior to lowering the fluid, my wife drove the Escape on a local trip of about 50 miles and I checked the case temperature and it read 180F. Since wed have been back home, I have not noticed any difference in performance ( no hard shifting,etc.). We also followed the warmuo procedure as per owner's manual prior to towing.
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Old 06-08-2011, 08:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH59 View Post
My father-in-law has been towing his Escape Hybrid for about a year and a half with no problems. He loves the Escape.
The hybrid is a different animal than the V6 Escape. That being said I've towed my Escape Hybrid over three years and not a single problem.
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Old 04-02-2014, 03:40 AM   #11
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how or where do I find the Ford TSB guide? I have a 2008 2wd V6 ford escape and really want to tow her behind my 2000 6.8l v10 Chieftain. Any advise is helpful.
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Old 04-03-2014, 10:39 AM   #12
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Looks as though the TSB from Ford applies to 2009 and newer . . .

http://www.maliasmiles.com/RVTravel/...B-11-07-15.pdf

Not sure what the situation is with vehicles older than that.
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Old 04-04-2014, 10:27 AM   #13
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We tow a 2008 Mariner (same as Escape) Hybrid. Only limitations for us are that we are not supposed to go over 75 MPH., which we would never do anyway.
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