Last post on Oct 11, 2012 at 8:32 AM
You are in the Ford Escape Hybrid Maintenance & Repair
What is this discussion about?
Ford Escape Hybrid, Brakes, SUV
#50 of 179 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid Brake Problem
Nov 18, 2007 (9:39 am)
I bought my 2008 Escape Hybrid two days ago, on 11/16/07. I had driven it 30 miles when my wife and I went to Charles Town, WV, about 35 miles from home. When we tried to start the car to come home, the engine would not start. There was a warning message that said "Regen Brake Disabled". I called the Ford 24/7 road service, but they could not find me in the computer. I was able to convince them that I needed a tow, and when they could not find a tow company in Charles Town, the permitted me to do so and they would reimburse me. Now I am waiting for the dealer to come to my house to get the car.
Any ideas what happened? I love driving the Escape (all 70 miles so far) but I am worried about this.
#51 of 179 POOR BRAKE PERFORMANCE
Nov 20, 2007 (11:23 pm)
I have a 2008 FEH with 900 miles and 30 days old.
One of the first things I noticed while driving is the fact that FEH's have poor performing brakes even when they are working as they are supposed to. They just don't bring the vehicle to a stop in the same amount of distance that other vehicles I drive on a regular basis do. (One of those vehicles is a 2004 F150 V-8 Lariat which has excellent solid stopping ability) The 2 other vehicles I drive on a regular basis all have very good stopping ability and have disc brakes on all 4 wheels. My experience with disc brakes (including the F150) has been that they tend to dirty your wheels immediately with black brake dust that must be cleaned often to prevent buildup on the wheels. This of course is just an appearance issue and has nothing to do with performance, but I have also noticed that although the FEH has 4 wheel disc brakes it DOES NOT produce the brake dust probem, and that's great for keeping the wheels clean, BUT could it be that the FEH poor stopping performance (as pointed out in several car magazine tests) is due to the type of disc pads that Ford is using? Could it be that the disc pads are extremely hard (thus producing very little brake dust) compared to others, and as a result the stopping ability is affected? (Seems to me the harder the disc pad the less wear and production of brake dust, but the harder disc pad won't have the stopping ability as that of a softer one) (sort of the same with tires-----the better stopping performance tires that have soft tread, wear out a lot faster but help in better road hugging performance as compared to conventional ones)
Could it be that the hard type disc pads being used are required due to having something to do with the needs of the recharging system?
My point here is that in my opinion on a scale of 1-10 (where 10 is best) the FEH stopping ability would score about a 4 compared to other vehicles, and I suspect this low score may have something to do with the hardness of the factory equipped disc brake pads.
#52 of 179 Brake Performance
Nov 21, 2007 (6:33 am)
Most likely our Escapes come with ceramic brake pads which last much longer and have low dusting.
Our brakes deffinetly feel differently than a normal car because the first portion of the brake pedal travel activates the regenerative braking which is using engine braking to slow the vehicle. If you apply more pressure than the actual hydralic brakes will start to kick in. I have not tried this yet but if you just crammed on the brakes you should see that the brakes work pretty well due to the fact that we have 4 wheel ABS. I will admit though that the brakes do feel spongy, you should get used to the feel though after a while.
#53 of 179 Re: POOR BRAKE PERFORMANCE [rnarg]
Nov 21, 2007 (7:56 am)
The FEH brake system is significantly different than the typical brake system. It is a "brake-by-wire" design in that a computer senses variables such as vehicle speed, vehicle deceleration rate, brake pedal position (driver command to slow or stop), wheel slip (ABS), as well as others. The computer then decides how to stop the vehicle through use of some combination of: the regenerative system (motor/generator), the engine rpm, and the traditional hydraulic brakes.
In action, this is very different than the traditional brake pedal that directly engages a hydraulic master cylinder. Ford engineers have worked rather hard to make the system act, feel, and perform like a traditional braking system - but observant folks will notice the differences (can you hear the hydraulic pump pressurize the system every time you unlock the doors with the key fob?). I am not surprised that performance would suffer. Once a driver understands the differences they may be able to adjust their braking to improve overall stopping performance. [While coasting in "N" the regenerative system is off so if you hit the brake pedal you will engage only the foundation (hydraulic) brakes. Likewise, regenerative braking in the m/g is heavier in "L" than in "D", etc., etc.] Be safe.
I don't think what you are sensing is due to some slight difference in friction at the disc pads. In your particular case I would recommend you be more aggressive with pushing the brake pedal (and driving in "L") - to get a better sense of stopping ability.
#54 of 179 Reply: to mperski (#52) and mecheng1 (#53)
Nov 25, 2007 (7:18 pm)
Thanks for the good explanations.---- There really does seem to be much more sophistication in many of the mechanical systems of the Hybrid compared to non-hybrid vehicles. Hopefully, as time goes on, I will become more aware of these areas so that I can at least identify them and begin to understand the reason they are different from the conventional systems. I hope the engineering efforts and complexity added to these systems turn out to be worth it in the long run.
#55 of 179 Re: Reply: to mperski (#52) and mecheng1 (#53) [rnarg]
Nov 26, 2007 (10:11 am)
"Hopefully, as time goes on, I will become more aware of these areas so
that I can at least identify them and begin to understand the reason they
are different from the conventional systems"[marg].
That is really the best attitude to have. Again, the Ford engineers have worked hard to make the vehicle act like a "non-hybrid" in many ways.
"I hope the engineering efforts and complexity added to these systems turn
out to be worth it in the long run."[marg].
An excellent question and one we are all wondering about.
#56 of 179 Re: 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid Brake Problem [johnsapienza]
Nov 26, 2007 (5:33 pm)
I had the same thing happen. I bought mine on Saturday 11/24 and 23 hours later, after I had driven it about 69.9 miles the exact same thing happened. 24/7 roadside service did come tow me to the dealer, which spent all day today trying to figure out the problem. They just told me that they still aren't sure and will call me tomorrow.
Has your situation been resolved???
#57 of 179 Re: Braking problem need help and comments [rearend]
Nov 29, 2007 (2:51 pm)
I am new to this and just wanted to thank all of you for posting your msg's about these chronic brake problems. I am sorry to hear about these safety issues. The postings have made me reconsider my FEH selection. I would be doing a lot of mtn driving and don't want to be on the James Bond Highlight real going over the cliffs edge in a hairpin turn, w/ Ford saying "No Code, No Problem"....
I am a big hybrid proponent but will take the Escape off the list because my families safety is more important that Gas Mileage and there are several other Hybrid alternatives on the market with more coming.
Note to Ford: No FEH for this guy
#58 of 179 Re: Braking problem need help and comments [bubkis]
Nov 29, 2007 (3:53 pm)
I live in the mountains of southern Alberta and haven't had any problems whatsoever with my 2008 FEH. The 4WD mode works great on the snowfall we've had thus far, braking performs fine and overall fuel economy is on par with the sticker ratings.
No regrets about my FEH.
#59 of 179 Re: Braking problem need help and comments [bubkis]
Nov 30, 2007 (8:31 am)
the basis for your concern may be a little misguided....you are reading a forum that discusses technical issues....therefore a high percentage of postings will report problems and issues....but that does not automatically translate to ("chronic")occurance in a high percentage of the 40,000 FEHs on the road [kinda like those FoxNews on-line polls that report over 50% approval of GWBush when properly sampled polls report approval ratings in the 20s)
if you use that logic.....you may never purchase any vehicle...because none of them are perfect and they all may have some technical/design weakness the can sound widespread and dangerous when discussed in detail
conversely, you may be safer in an FEH if you purchased it and knew to have the brake system checked (?) when you purchased it
I have read many postings from folks that live in the mountains of Colorado and have owned their FEHs safely for over 3 years now.