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#95 of 140 2003 Ford Escape stalling and other electrical issues
Nov 22, 2011 (10:38 am)
I have a 2003 Ford Escape 3.0L. My mom bought it brand new from the dealership. A few years ago she was driving on the interstate about 65 mph and it just shut off completely! It cranked right back up, she took it somewhere the next day and (obviously) they said it was the battery. It did the same thing a few more times over the months. I bought it from her about a year ago. It shut off on me a few times within a week, then went months with not stalling out at all. Then it started the random stalling again, shutting off while driving every couple of weeks. Here in the past 6-8 weeks it has become a lot more frequent! It is usually at lower speeds, around 20 mph. It REALLY seems that about 70% of the time it dies while making a 90 degree turn, or literally just before the turn as I press the brakes to slow down (very crappy place to lose your power steering!) It has turned off in parking lots. It also shuts off just going straight, at low and high speeds. Every time this has happened, the lights on the dash flicker just as everything loses power. I put it into neutral and then restart it- usually I let the car slow down so I'm not shifing it into gear at a high speed. One instance about 3 weeks ago, and also one time last week, the car did its normal stall, but when I put it in D and cranked it back up, it immediately died again, and then again, and finally after the 3rd of 4th re-crank it stayed running. One of those instances was while stopped at a red light and the other was while making a right turn.
I have been reading up a lot on this and it seems the most common things people have done are: replace battery, alternator, plugs & wires, coils, PCM. I just now read some stuff in the transmission category- I hadn't thought about that yet.
Also the cruise control doesn't work. The buttons are fine and the green indicator light comes on on the instrument panel, but it does not actually stay at the speed when you set it.
Just a few weeks ago I was driving it and the gas cap light and a few others came on then dimmed out, but the fuel cap light stayed on for a few minutes and went out; the dome lights came on and off once when the other lights flickered on. I don't know if it is all related to the stalling, but I hope and think so. My brother said one of the guys he works with had an escape that did a lot of the same stuff as mine and he changed the ignition switch and it fixed it.
Is there anybody else that has had all or most of these same problems? Please Please Please let me know so I don't go through the long and expensive list of the possibilities. All information will be greatly appreciated. Besides everything I have said above, the car always starts fine from a cold crank no matter how long it sits. But one time I was using the CD player in the car for about 30 min without the engine and killed the battery! I thought that was odd. Last but not least, the car has stalled out with the AC on as well as Off. Somebody please help me pinpoint this issue!
#96 of 140 Re: 2003 Ford Escape stalling and other electrical issues [corey03escape]
Nov 22, 2011 (2:10 pm)
I was going to suggest the ignition switch until I read your post further down...I would definately replace the ignition switch before you get into more expensive fixes.
#97 of 140 Re: 2004 Ford escape/battery drain [woodla]
Dec 06, 2011 (2:33 pm)
I can't believe Ford doesn't know what this is. We also have a 2004 Ford Escape XLT, V6, New battery, both the battery and the alternator test OK. In cool or cold weather, if it sits for more than 48 hours, it doesn't have enough battery power left to crank the starter and I have to hook up a charger. This is getting really old. Also from Arlington Heights Ford, and they haven't found a problem.
Also, one other thing I wonder if we have in common - the dealer installed a remote starter for us when we bought the car (new).
#98 of 140 Re: Ford Escape Electrical? Problems [jyrzygyrl]
Dec 26, 2011 (9:13 pm)
I had the jumping gauges and engine felt like it would miss a few times when this happened. After doing major online research to fix the problem myself, I was unable to find a solution. I decided to just change out all of the spark plugs and coil packs before taking it to ford to run diagnostics. This repair solved the missing engine and the jumping gauges jump no more. The spark plugs were purchased from autozone for 3.10 each and the coil packs from AM-Autoparts.com for 72.00 for the set of 6, way cheaper than the oem's for 100 each. The complete changeover took me about 2 1/2 hours. There are very good instructions for the complete job here http://www.ford-trucks.com/article/article.php?id=281 .
I hope that this will help others that have been having similar issues.
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. - John 14:6
Trust in The Lord
#99 of 140 Re: 2003 Ford Escape XLT - battery light & other strangeness [escapemom]
Jan 13, 2012 (7:13 am)
I had the same exact problem and it is simple to fix. What's happening is that the battery has a bad ground. The cable can be tight to the battery but can be loose some where else. Sometimes there is a smaller wire coming off the battery and is grounded to the fender well or some where thats a ground point. Get a test light or mutli meter and check your ground points.
Tips: If you have a flashing engine light that means a mis fire.
The light can sometimes come on and off. If you have an engine code and are un sure of it, let me know and I can tell you what exactly it is. Having being a Master ASE Certified Mechanic I will help you. Just email me at
#100 of 140 Multiple Issues with 2003 Escape
Jan 17, 2012 (1:58 pm)
I have had sooo many problems as of late.
It started with the Rear Parking indicator turning off when I shifted into reverse last year. Then the ABS light would flash and stay on for days at a time. (It's since stopped) Then the brake warning light came on, and still does randomly. (It's a solid light, doesn't change when I put the EB on.) Recently it has failed to keep a charge. (I was told it was a bad cell) I replaced the battery with one from my boyfriends Ford Mustang that was working perfectly. It worked for a day in my Escape, then the battery light came on. I had AutoZone run a test - they said it was stuck in "Open Phase." (I assumed alternator) I didn't want to drive it, so we moved the battery BACK into the Mustang At startup, the check engine light came on in his vehicle, and it stalled randomly. We had to buy a new battery for that. I fear purchasing a brand new battery if the escape is just going to make it useless. I've also read several forums with people having similar issues and replaced their alternators to no avail.
There are all kinds of crazy small things have been happening since my battery problems started - all intermittent. Rough idles, dead battery, sputtering, cd player died, uneven shifting between gears. Other times it drives like a new car. It is driving me CRAZY.
#101 of 140 2003 Escape Instrument Panel Gauges
Jan 23, 2012 (7:07 pm)
Recent problem with my daughter's Escape. I personnally experienced this last night. All gauges go to full scale right and then back to the correct position (the problem has only happened while in motion). No other issues with any other items/components. The battery was replaced less than a year ago and I haven't had an opportunity to troubleshoot but was hoping to save hours of probing with a multimeter to see if there is a ground (or some other) problem. If you have found a solution to this problem please advise. If I discover my answer, I will post it for the rest of you (obviously, no guarantee that it will be the same solution though)...
#102 of 140 Yep, mine does that too.
Jan 24, 2012 (5:59 pm)
My base model Escape does that gauge full tilt right then to zero then back to normal AND it not only does it to me but to my HUBBY TOO. Now he cannot tell me I am full of crap when I tell him about this problem. He has experienced it. When my car does this it is typically between 40 and 45 mph and typically soon after I have turned the car on and the motor is bogged down (low rpms like when starting up hill before the transmission kicks down a gear and the rpms go up). The car will jerk a little as if the motor is missing. Then boom, all needles peg out high, all go to zero, and then finally back to normal and the car is fine after that. I think I just need a new set of plugs and a good tune-up. I also just bought a Ford Focus so that pain in the ass Escape won't be in my driveway much longer. I put a new alternator on the car and a new battery so I don't think there is an electrical problem.
#104 of 140 Re: 2003 Ford Escape stalling and other electrical issues [corey03escape]
Jan 26, 2012 (8:44 pm)
I can't speak to all your problems but the cruise control problem I have dealt with and personally fixed. If you know how to use a wrench and a zip tie you can fix this problem yourself. Go to this link - http://www.fordforum.com/forum/ford-escape-19/2003-ford-escape-cruise-control-no- t-working-6800/.
I used it to fix mine. I can't believe that car companies get away with this kind crap and still pull a profit off of suckers like us. Thankfully for us there are forums like this to help us all... Best of luck.