2008 Ford Escape Transmission


Since its introduction 20 years ago, the Ford Escape has been a top contender in the increasingly competitive compact SUV space. Shoppers looking for a budget friendly vehicle that is practical, fuel efficient, and fun to drive have found much to love with the Escape. Ford has sold millions of these vehicles over the years, but even best selling vehicles like the Escape are not free of mechanical issues.

Condenser/transmission cooler leaking resulting in transmission damage and/or failure. 2008 Ford Escape. This is 3rd time leak/transmission problem has occurred with the first 2 happening under warranty. Ford motor company refusing to cover the cost of transmission repair d/t the 'condenser' not being manufactured by Ford.

  1. 2008 Ford Escape Automatic Transmission OEM 128K Miles (LKQ265667402) (Fits: 2008 Ford Escape) $375.00. $210.00 shipping. Automatic Transmission 08 Ford Escape VIN H.
  2. 29 problems related to automatic transmission have been reported for the 2008 Ford Escape. The most recently reported issues are listed below. Please also check out the statistics and reliability analysis of the 2008 Ford Escape based on all problems reported for the 2008 Escape.

Among the most common (and costly) issues with the Escape are automatic transmission troubles that range from minor sensor errors, to complete transmission failures that can leave a driver stranded on the side of the road.

Here’s what you need to know about Ford Escape transmission problems – which years are prone to having issues with the transmission, average Ford Escape transmission repair costs, and how to avoid driving a Ford Escape with an unreliable transmission off the lot.

Quick Answer: Avoid 2005, 2008, and 2013 Ford Escapes

Ford Escapes model years 2005, 2008, and 2013 have high numbers of owner-reported transmission problems. Other year models are much more reliable.

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Which Years of Ford Escapes Have The Most Transmission Problems?

According to Ford Escape owner complaints on forums such as carcomplaints.com and Reddit, model years 2014 and 2008 are the most common years for transmission problems in the Ford Escape, although year models 2006-2009 were also more prone to transmission problems than other model years.

Ford Escape Year Models With The Least Reliable Transmissions

2014 is especially notable due to the severity of the issues, with several reports of Ford Escapes ceasing to function while on the road. Ford Escape owners like u/regularfellar on Reddit report that the vehicle suddenly displays a “Transmission Fault: Service Now” which renders the vehicle unable to drive. Other users have reported that the vehicle comes to a complete and total stop on the road without warning.

The 2008 Escape is prone to a wide variety of transmission issues, with users on forums such as carcomplaints.com and Reddit reporting a bevy of issues ranging from complete failure to lurching into gear and hunting for gears on the road. We recommend avoiding any vehicle prone to “in motion” errors such as this that could put the operator in danger.

Additionally, owners of 2006-2009 models report higher rates of transmission problems than other years, so it might be a good idea to steer towards 2010 models and later.


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Do Ford Escapes Have More Transmission Problems Than Similar Models?

Overall, Ford Escapes are slightly more prone to problems (most notably, transmission problems) than similar models of similar years.

The Ford Escape has a total of 4,167 reported issues on CarComplaints.com, with transmission issues accounting for many of those. In terms of reliability by model year, the 2006-2009 Ford Escapes have the highest numbers of transmission issues, with many customers reporting needing a new transmission after approximately 80,000 miles.

When comparing the Escape’s transmission to other full-size SUVs like the Pathfinder and Enclave, the Escape tends to be less reliable than other models.

The Pathfinder has 2,044 total complaints, with the most common transmission-related problems being coolant leaking into the transmission with 424 complaints. This typically requires a transmission replacement at around 80,000 miles. While the severity of the problem is equal to the Escape, the Pathfinder has fewer numbers of reported transmission failures.

The Enclave, on the other hand, tends to be much more reliable than the Ford Escape, with one notable exception. The 2008 Buick Enclave was plagued by transmission problems, with owners reporting the need for a new transmission at roughly 90,000 miles. If you’re looking for a large SUV with a reliable transmission, the Buick Enclave is a better bet than a Ford Explorer – just avoid unreliable 2008 Enclaves.

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What Is The Average Cost To Repair The Most Common Ford Escape Transmission Problems?

Repair costs for the Ford Escape range greatly depending on the diagnosis and type of repair needed. However, average transmission repair costs across all Ford Escape models tend to average around $4,000 (since a new transmission is commonly needed), and these repairs tend to be needed in the 80-120K mile range.

According to OpenBay.com, the average repair cost to replace a transmission on a 2008 Ford Escape is $2950. This is an average cost that is inclusive of complete replacement work and minor repairs as well.

For the 2014 Escape, a user on Fordescape.org reported that her daughter paid $5400 to have the transmission replaced. Several other reputable sites also indicate a replacement cost of north of $5000 is common, with some users reporting costs north of $6000.


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How to Avoid Buying a Used Ford Explorer With Transmission Problems

There are several ways to test for issues with a transmission prior to purchasing a used vehicle. Since most transmission issues can only be detected while the vehicle is moving and shifting through gears, it’s important to set up a test drive before buying any used vehicle that might be prone to transmission issues. During the test drive, pay close attention as the vehicle moves through gears during acceleration and slowing down. If you feel lurching, surging, or shuttering while driving, it’s best to have it checked by a mechanic.

Another common way to tell if the transmission is having issues is if it “slips” during acceleration. Simply put, if your engine is increasing its output but you are not moving forward or you are moving forward at a slower pace than expected; the transmission on that vehicle may need attention. During your test drive, make sure to hop on a freeway/highway where you can accelerate more aggressively than in town.

However, your best way to avoid issues with a transmission on a Ford Escape is always to get it inspected by an independent, local mechanic prior to purchasing. This smart option allows you to have the peace of mind necessary to confidently spend your hard earned money on a vehicle. These inspections are often comprehensive and can unearth other potential issues with the vehicle that you may not catch during a test drive.

Should you buy a used Ford Escape?

Overall, the Ford Escape is a well-loved and reliable SUV, although there are a few older model years that should be avoided due to reliability problems. With a very sharp decline in the number of problems reported by Ford Escape owners of year models 2017 and newer, we absolutely recommend buying a newer-model Ford Escape. They’re proving to be quite reliable, and many of them are still eligible for CPO offers.

2008 ford escape trans problems

Which year models of used Ford Escapes are safe to buy?

Based on complaints submitted by Ford Escape owners, the following models are safe to buy. These year models are less prone to complaints than other year models, and the complaints against them are less severe.

  • 2001 Ford Escape
  • 2002 Ford Escape
  • 2003 Ford Escape
  • 2004 Ford Escape
  • 2007 Ford Escape
  • 2009 Ford Escape
  • 2010 Ford Escape
  • 2011 Ford Escape
  • 2012 Ford Escape
  • 2014 Ford Escape
  • 2015 Ford Escape
  • 2016 Ford Escape
  • 2017 Ford Escape
  • 2018 Ford Escape
  • 2019 Ford Escape
  • 2020 Ford Escape

Ford Escape year models to avoid

We recommend avoiding purchasing the following year models of Ford Escape due to high numbers of user-reported reliability problems.

  • 2005 Ford Escape
  • 2006 Ford Escape
  • 2008 Ford Escape
  • 2013 Ford Escape

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Ford Recall

Ford recalled over 1.3 million vehicles in 2019 to fix concerns with the car’s rear suspension, transmission, and software problems. The largest recall covers over 1.2 million vehicles produced by Ford from the 2012-2017 Ford Explorer years. If the suspension link breaks in one of those affected vehicles, it can cause the suspension to move and cause transmission damage frequently. The Ford transmission repair cost can also end up being incredibly expensive.

If the steering control is limited, this increases the risk of a crash and reduces the driver’s control of the car. Furthermore, Ford also recalled over 120,000 Ford F-150 pickups due to unintentional downshifts that can lead to a high Ford transmission repair cost.

Ford C-Max Hybrid – Ford Transmission Repair Cost

The worst model year of the C-Max Hybrid is the 2013 year, with this car having the highest-reported issue of the battery dying during use. The three most concerning issues across every model year are the power steering failure in the 2013 C-Max, the battery completely dying in the same year, and the engine stalling in the 2013 C-Max Hybrid.

The main categories of concern in the 2013 Ford C-Max Hybrid include the electrical system, interior accessories, steering engine, and transmission. The most severe transmission concerns focus on the loud intermittent rumbling noise, the loud grinding sound from under the hood, and the transmission failure. Fixing the broken transmission typically requires owners to replace the transmission for a hefty Ford transmission repair cost.

Ford Contour

Another model produced by Ford that could be a victim to an expensive Ford transmission repair cost is the Ford Contour, with the most-reported problem in the 2000 model year with the car losing power and dying. Other concerning years of production is the 1998 and 1999, with each of these model years citing concerns with the dashboard peeling off, the car losing power, and the engine stalling while driving.

Regarding the least-reliable 1998 Ford Contour, the main categories of concern are the electric system, transmission, engine, and AC and heater. Owners state that the transmission problems focus on the engine surging, hard shifting, the car losing gears, and the car slipping out of gear while driving. Unfortunately for contour owners, any one of these issues could lead to a high Ford transmission repair cost.

Ford Edge

The Ford Edge has various complaints throughout the years, with the worst model years being 2012 and 2013 due to the high severity and prevalence of issues. For example, the 2013 Ford Edge has the most-reported problem of the door ajar light staying on while driving.

Furthermore, the 2013 Ford Edge is considered the least reliable model due to the doors coming unlocked while in motion, the key fob rendering useless, and the electrical system draining.

Other categories of concern in the 2013 Ford Edge focus on the electrical system, interior accessories, engine, brakes, and transmission. These problem categories increase the Ford transmission repair cost.

Owners cite issues with the car sticking in low gear, the warning message appearing in the vehicle, the car having a burning rubber sound, and the power transmission unit failing.

Ford Escape

The Ford Escape was a popular vehicle throughout production years but suffered from a high Ford transmission repair cost, especially in the 2005, 2008, and 2013 years. The 2013 is often considered the worst model due to the prevalence and severity of problems, but the 2005 has the most-reported issue of excessive wheel well shake.

Regarding the 2013 Ford Escape, the most concerning categories are the engine interior accessories, transmission, and steering. The Ford Escape was a victim of numerous recalls and an expensive Ford transmission repair cost. The worst transmission issues are the primary transmission failure, the transmission slipping and jerking, the transmission shifting unexpectedly, hard downshifting while driving, and no manual transmission option.

Unfortunately for Ford Escape owners, paying for the Ford transmission repair cost in the 2013 Escape is a very expensive endeavor. Replacing the transmission costs around $4,650 to fix at around 72,000 miles.

Ford Explorer – Ford Transmission Repair Cost

The Ford Explorer had many problems throughout the production years, with the 2002-2006 years causing the most issues for owners and mechanics. The 2006 is often considered the least reliable model due to the severity of problems, while the 2004 Ford Explorer has the most-reported issue of the dashboard rear panel cracking.

Regarding the 2004 Ford Explorer, the most concerning categories are the body and paint, transmission, interior accessories, and engine. Owners state that the transmission slips, there is hard shifting, the car can’t go in reverse, the car vibrates while driving, and the car rolls in reverse on a flat surface.

2004 Explorer owners will have to pay for hefty Ford transmission repair costs to either rebuild the transmission, replace the shift solenoid, or replace the entire transmission for around $2,040 and at nearly 75,000 miles.

Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 has been produced for many years – but not without its fair share of owner concerns and reports of an expensive Ford transmission repair cost. The worst model years are the 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, with the 2004 Ford F-150 having the most-reported problem of the windows not rolling up.

However, the 2013 Ford F-150 is often considered the least-reliable due to the numerous engine, breaks, transmission, and window concerns. The main concerns from owners about the transmission system are the erratic shifting, the car losing power, trouble shifting, the car stuck in 1st gear, and the transmission fluid leaking.

The typical repair cost of the erratic shifting is around $960 to replace the connector harness, replace the timing chain, or replace the entire transmission at around 71,000 miles, with owners having to pay the expensive Ford transmission repair cost to fix their Ford F-150 truck.

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus has had a few concerning years, with 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2018 Ford Focus being the worst-rated in terms of owner reliability and the high Ford transmission repair cost. The most-reported problem is the key not turning in the ignition in the 2003 Ford Focus, while the 2012 is considered the least-reliable.

The 2012 Focus has top categories of concern focusing on the transmission, interior accessories, steering, and engine. Owners state the car jerks and hesitate while you accelerate, the transmission lags, the car shifts roughly, the transmission fails, there is a grinding noise while shifting, and there are noises while trying to accelerate.

Fixing the transmission jerking will usually cost about $1,060 to replace the clutch, carry out a software update, or replace the entire clutch mechanism at around 33,000 miles. Unfortunately, owners have to pay this expensive Ford transmission repair cost to keep the car running.

2008 Ford Escape Transmission Type

Ford Fusion – Ford Transmission Repair Cost

The worst model years of the Ford Fusion are from 2010-2013, with the 2010 and 2014 Ford Focus having the most-reported problem of the power steering fluid leaking and the entire mechanism not working correctly. However, the 2011 Fusion is considered the least reliable due to the seriousness of the repairs and the price.

The 2011 Ford Fusion has concerns in the steering, interior accessories, engine, AC and heater, and transmission categories, with the main transmission concerns focusing on the slipping transmission, the car shifting hard, the car lurching, the transmission failing, and the car making loud bumping noises when coming to a stop.

Fixing a slipping transmission typically requires owners to replace the entire transmission, with 2011 Fusion owners having to pay the expensive Ford transmission repair cost of around $3,040 at nearly 50,000 miles.

2008 Ford Escape Transmission Fluid Type

Ford Mustang

The Ford Mustang has a span of problematic years, ranging between the 2007-2012 production years. The 2007 model has the most-reported issue of paint blistering, while the 2010 is considered the worst buy due to the prevalence of issues in all categories.

Regarding the 2012 Ford Mustang, the top categories of concern are the body and paint, engine, suspension, and transmission. The transmission stopping and slipping, the car shifting roughly, and the car going into limp mode and stalling. The typical repair cost of fixing the transmission is usually quite expensive. The Ford transmission repair cost’s repair price is coming to around $1,100 to replace the sensor or the entire wiring harness.

Ford Taurus

2008 Ford Escape Transmission Replacement

The Ford Taurus has concerning problems in the 2003 and 2005 model years of production, with the 2003 being the least reliable and having the most-reported problem of transmission failure. The top categories of concern focus on the transmission, engine, suspension, and AC and heater.

The high Ford transmission repair cost can be attributed to the premature transmission failure, torque converter failure, transmission not shifting properly, slipping transmission, and the transmission fluid leaking. Unfortunately for Taurus owners, fixing the transmission failure typically involves an expensive Ford transmission repair cost of nearly $2,000.

Owners of this specific Ford Taurus model will have to pay approximately $1,930 to replace the transmission, replace the torque converter, or rebuild the transmission at around 93,000 miles.

Ford Windstar

The last model produced by Ford that has had the most user complaints over the years is the Windstar, with the most problematic production years being the 2000 and 2003 options. The 2003 has the most-reported transmission failure problem, while the same model year is also considered the least reliable.

The top categories of concern are transmission, interior accessories, engine, electrical system, and suspension. The 2003 Ford Windstar’s main concerns for the transmission focus on premature failure, torque converter failure, the car sputtering while accelerating, and the car having a strong burning smell when shifting.

Fixing the transmission failure will typically be priced at around $2,000 for the overall Ford transmission repair cost. The most common solution to replace or rebuild the transmission or replace the torque converter at around 102,000 miles.

The Bottom Line – Ford Transmission Repair Cost

The average Ford transmission repair cost is between $1,800 and $3,400 to replace the transmission, between $800 and $1,500 for a salvaged mechanism, and between $1100 and $2,800 to rebuild the transmission. However, the specific price of the repair will depend on the specific Ford make and model that you own!