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Malia's Miles Home Page

Ford Escape
Flat Towing
Problems
Pages

Main Pages:

Flat Towing Problems

Battery Issues

Remco Pump

Technical Service Bulletins
(TSBs)

Transmission Issues


My Blog Posts:

2009 Ford Escape Dinghy -
Flat Towing Problems

(5/4/11)
My blog post when
issues began

Ford Problems Worse Now!
(8/1/11)
My axle fell off!

Why, Ford, Why?
(8/2/11)
Melt down after the
fallen axle

Ford Finally Fixed?
(8/3/11)
I wish I knew...

My letter to
William Clay Ford, Jr.
(5/16/11)
Suprise - no answer!

Timeline of my problems

My Escape from the Ford
Escape!
(4/30/13)

 

6F35 Transmission

Ford Escape - Flat Towing Problems:

Transmission Issues

Malia's Miles Home Page

Forum Posts

Interesting reports from people
about their experiences towing
the Escape, getting conflicting
information from Ford dealers,
inserts sent by Ford to Manual
of 2012 Escapes stating it is
no longer flat towable despite
what the manual says, conflict-
ing and canned responses from
Ford Customer Relationship
Center where they basically
recite the manual and never
address the real questions or
even seem to be aware of the
subsequent bulletins.

Flat Towing Problems

(RV.Net thread I started)

Ford Escape Report
(Open Roads- 4/5/12)

Towing 2009 Ford Escape
(FMCA.com)

Flat Towing 2009 Ford Escape
(3/24/11 - Ford Forums Online)

Flat Towing 2009 Ford Escape
(5/21/10 - Ford Forums Online)

2009 Ford Escape Transmission
Failure While Towing

(CarComplaints.com)

Problems Flat Towing
2009 Ford Escape
- (Car Gurus)

2009/2010 Auto Transmission
Issues
- (Ford Forums Online)

2010 Ford Escape
Transmission Failure
(CarComplaints.com)

2010 Ford Escape
Transmission Failures

(RV.net - 8/31/10)

2011 Escape 6f35
Transmission Problems

(Escape City - 6/22/11)

Flat Tow 2011 Ford Escape
(RV.net - 6/29/11

Ford Escape Transmission
(Good Sam Club - 3/12/13)

Ford Escape Toad
(RV.Net - 5/1/12)
(includes info from Ford rep)

It's Official - Ford Escape
No Longer Towable

(iRV2 - 4/19/12)
(includes suppl. bulletin for
2012 models)

2013 Escape Flat Tow
(Woodall's - 1/19/13)

2013 Ford Escape Manual
(page 195 states
not flat towable)

Hybrid Models :

2012 Ford Escape Towing
(FMCA - 5/19/12)
Although this post was started
from an Escape owner with the
6F35 transmission, others
report no problems with hybrid
since it has a completely
different, sealed transmission
(eCVT). However, Ford no
longer makes the hybrid.

In May 2010, I received a letter from Ford with a booklet entitled "Recreational (Flat) Towing and Transmission Fluid Level Supplement." Other than the new advice about putting the air conditioner in recirculated air mode to prevent exhaust fumes from entering the vehicle (which again is misleading because if you push that recirculate air button, it turns the A/C on, and you don't want anything on when towing), the rest of the supplement was all about the transmission fluid level.

There were pictures provided indicating too low, too high, and "just right" levels and how to read the dipstick. There are separate, different instructions and pictures for "Checking transmission fluid level for recreational flat tow operation."

The pictures below show the proper fluid level for recreational flat tow operation. The booklet says,

"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."

The booklet referred to two different types of dipsticks and showed how to check for both kinds.

When I first checked, I had the Type A dipstick. When I first started towing, I had 3 different techs check the level at different times when I started having problems and it was almost comical - all of of them reached different conclusions - one said too low, one said too high, and the other "looks right to me."

None of them followed the instructions on how to get an accurate reading according to this booklet, though.

The booklet is very specific about the instructions on how to check the fluid to get an accurate reading:

  • Check after driving the car 20 miles (to reach normal operating temperature)
  • Park on level place, put in Park, engage parking brake and leave engine running.

Transmission fluid expands when warmed. If car has been operated for extended period at high speeds, in heavy traffic or during hot weather, turn off car for 30 minutes to allow fluid to cool before checking.

  • Foot on brake pedal, start engine and move gearshift lever through all gear ranges, allowing time to fully engage in each gear.
  • Remove dipstick and clean with dry, lint-free rag.
  • Reinstall, making sure fully seated; remove & inspect for level.

The only tech who explained that you will get different readings if the car is not properly warmed and if the motor is not running while checking was Tim at Lugoff Ford, who performed the last repair that included the redesigned left axle assembly that had failed on me before.

He also installed the new dipstick, and it was only then that I realized it was a bigger deal than just a new dipstick, but included a newly redesigned tube assembly.

He explained that during flat towing, fluid expands and comes up through the vent and instead of venting into the tube it's now vented outside, preventing siphoning of the fluid and overflowing.

The new dipstick is so much easier to read. Here he showed how it reads a little higher when the car is not warmed up. I checked later using the proper procedures and it read perfect!

Another person I talked to at Ford's Customer Relationship Center who made a difference was Kathy, the representative for the Lugoff, SC region where I was at the time. Since I was certainly dissatisfied with the response from the corporate office from the email form I submitted from their website, I asked Kathy for procedures I could share to get help from Ford as quickly as possible.

She said if you can't get all the help you need from your local dealer, your first call should be to Customer Service at 800-392-3673. That opens the case and you are assigned a case number for follow up and escalation as needed from there.

When I asked for a contact at Ford that I could access from anywhere in the country I travel instead of having to start over every time if I continue to have the same problem, she explained that they are set up by region, but that she would continue to be my first point of contact and get me the help I needed no matter where I am.

I truly am hopeful that Ford engineers have figured this out and this fix is a final one for me!

I also hope that anyone experiencing these issues with towing the Ford Escape will share info on my blog with any comments, suggestions, etc.

RVers, let's stick together!

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