2018 Ford Escape Problems and Complaints


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2018 Ford Escape SUV Problems, Issues, Complaints, Recalls, and Which Year to Avoid

Updated on: April 28, 2022

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Nathan Dyer 

Senior Editor

The Ford Escape is a highly ranked SUV among the compact SUVs segment of the car market. With its large cargo hold, premium interior, lively handling, and performance, it is no wonder that the Ford SUV garners attention. But the vehicle has a few issues when it comes to reliability and this can be reflected in the number of complaints made. To be fair the particular model has sold over 220,000 units. The numbers per official information for the 2018 Ford Escape include 2 recalls and 184 complaints. The troubles related to the engine are the most common ones, especially with the coolant and other fluids leaking, while the electrical system is the second most common problem. In its segment, it competes with the likes of the Honda CR-V, the Mazda CX-5, and the Hyundai Tucson.

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User Complaints and Problems for the 2018 Ford Escape

Mechanical Problems

  • Engine has a leaking issue- From anti-freeze leaking to the most common one; the coolant leaks, the Ford Escape engine has too many problems, with a fair share of the complaints registered being from the engine by numerous users. The coolant leaks all over the engine bay can cause havoc as it leaks into the cylinders and spark plugs. As a result of coolant leaks, the engine has overheated, blown head gaskets stalling, and finally lost all function. Subsequently, the users had to do a total engine rebuild to make the vehicle viable again.
  • Service Brakes defective -. Multiple users have reported an incident where the brakes, when compressed went all the way to the floor, took a significantly longer time to properly bring the vehicle to a halt. This can be a major safety concern, as such Ford has initiated recalls and you can refer to NHTSA id: 18V104000 for more information.
  • Transmission failure - Users have stated that the transmission part of the powertrain failed to do as needed for them. The vehicle tends to jerk and rev a lot. As a result, most users had to either change or fix the transmission prematurely.

Electrical Problems

  • Electrical issues like random activation of auto-stop function - The most common error message was the "auto start/ stop the shift to park, then restart the engine", “POWERTRAIN MALFUNCTION/REDUCED POWER", "MALFUNCTION INDICATOR LAMP - REGULATORY". "ANTILOCK BRAKE FAULT", and the "RESTRAINTS INDICATOR LAMP WARNING" Especially the autostart function would cause trouble to the user, as this would result in the vehicle stopping mid-operation and a failure of starting up manually by the users again.

Recalls for the 2018 Ford Escape

S. No



Issues Noticed

Additional remarks.



12 February 2018


Defective or incorrect brake hose might leak brake fluid.

Some vehicles might be equipped with a defective or incorrectly installed brake hose that may in time chafe with the other components and possibly result in a brake fluid leak.

Upon inspection the dealership will change the incorrect or defective brake hoses free of charge.


18th December 2017


Inflator component may detach during deployment of curtain airbags.

Ford has noticed that when the curtain airbags were deployed, certain component(s) would detach and deploy as well, and potentially cause injury to the occupants.

The dealership will replace the driver and passenger side curtain airbags free of charge.

Should you buy the 2018 Ford Escape

The verdict is still uncertain for the Ford Escape, being so highly ranked as the vehicle provides plenty of features and good mileage in the compact SUV section. But the reliability issues mentioned, especially with the engine stopping mid-operation or the entire engine needing to be rebuilt are not something you can just brush past. But the irony is that the competitors are no better. Certainly, the Ford Escape is way better in terms of safety and reliability when it comes to Mazda CX-5 or the troublesome Honda CR-V (which has over 900 complaints). So when it comes down to it the Ford Escape is the lesser of the two evils. Make sure to double-check the head gasket and any other components related to the coolant and other fluids, make sure the brakes have no defects in them, and you are probably good to go.

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