2005 Ford Escape Problems: Should Be Aware Of

2005 Ford Escape Problems – If you’re in the market for a compact SUV that offers a blend of sedan-like driving and SUV-like capability, the 2005 Ford Escape might catch your eye. Released as part of the first generation of Escapes, this model aimed to combine comfort, power, fuel efficiency, and affordability.

However, like any vehicle, it’s not without its share of issues.

Despite its attractive price point, some 2005 Ford Escape owners have reported encountering problems and issues.

One of the main issues reported by owners of the 2005 Ford Escape revolves around transmission problems. Whether it’s hesitation when shifting gears or outright transmission failure, these issues can impact the driving experience and require costly repairs.

2005 Ford Escape Reliability

When it comes to reliability, the 2005 Ford Escape holds its own in the competitive SUV market. With an overall rating of 7/10, this compact SUV may not stand out as exceptional, but it certainly doesn’t disappoint either.

2005 Ford Escape Problems

Let’s explore the details to understand why the 2005 Ford Escape is a solid choice for those seeking a reliable ride.

Reliability Rating: 8/10

One of the standout features of the 2005 Ford Escape is its reliability, earning a commendable 8/10 rating. While no vehicle is entirely free from issues, the Escape proves to be a dependable companion on the road.

The main concern for owners revolves around premature rust, particularly in the struts and shocks.

However, with proper maintenance and care, this issue can be mitigated, allowing owners to enjoy years of trouble-free driving.

Interior, Comfort & Cargo: 6/10

In terms of interior comfort and cargo space, the 2005 Ford Escape earns a respectable 6/10 rating.

The rear hip room comfortably accommodates two adults, and there’s ample cargo space for most road trips.

However, potential early corrosion in the struts and shocks detracts from the overall score in this category. Despite this drawback, the suspension provides a smooth ride, enhancing the driving experience for passengers.

Safety: 7/10

Safety is a top priority for any vehicle, and the 2005 Ford Escape delivers a solid 7/10 rating in this category. While the safety technology may be dated by today’s standards, it was considered decent for 2005.

Crash test ratings are favorable, providing drivers with peace of mind on the road. However, owners need to remain vigilant and adhere to regular maintenance schedules to ensure optimal safety performance.

Gas Mileage: 7/10

Efficiency is key, especially in today’s environmentally conscious world.

With an average gas mileage of 22/25 miles per gallon (city/highway) for the base model and 20/25 miles per gallon for the high-end Limited model, the 2005 Ford Escape earns a commendable 7/10 rating in this category.

While there are more fuel-efficient options available, the Escape holds its own with respectable gas mileage figures.

Value: 8/10

Value-conscious consumers will appreciate the 2005 Ford Escape’s exceptional value proposition. With a solid 8/10 rating in this category, the Escape offers a compelling combination of affordability and reliability.

Its low cost of ownership, decent fuel economy, and longevity make it an attractive option for budget-conscious buyers. Additionally, with a quarter-million-mile life expectancy, the Escape proves to be a wise investment for those seeking long-term reliability.

Read Also: Ford Escape Years To Avoid

2005 Ford Escape Problems

When it comes to the 2005 Ford Escape, while it boasts some attractive features, it’s not without its fair share of problems.

2005 Ford Escape Problems

Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common issues reported by owners, ranging from structural concerns to engine and powertrain problems.

1. Structural Issues

One of the most prevalent issues plaguing the 2005 Ford Escape is severe rust, particularly in the subframe and suspension components.

With 456 complaints filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, this problem poses a significant safety risk, especially in states with cold winters and heavy road salt usage.

The rust can compromise the integrity of the subframe and suspension, leading to clanking sounds while driving over bumps and potentially causing severe damage if left unchecked.

2. Transmission Problems

While engine and powertrain complaints are relatively few, transmission issues are a significant concern for 2005 Ford Escape owners. Ignition misfires and stumbling while driving are common complaints, often accompanied by the check engine light illuminating.

These issues can be attributed to faulty ignition coils, which may fail during high humidity or hot summer months.

Replacing the ignition coil is relatively affordable, costing anywhere from $125 to $200, but repeated failures can lead to additional damage to other engine components.

3. Transfer Case on 4WD Models

For owners of 4WD-equipped models, a common problem arises with the transfer case. Over time, these vehicles may develop a loud noise resembling a failed bearing at low speeds, transitioning to a clicking noise at higher speeds.

This issue necessitates the replacement of the entire transfer case unit, with costs ranging from $111 to $280.

Unfortunately, this design flaw affects many 2005 Ford Escape models and requires a complete replacement rather than a simple repair.

Read Also: Why Are Ford Escapes So Cheap?

4. Rusting / Structural Integrity

Severe rusting is a widespread issue among 2005 Ford Escape owners, particularly in the wheel well and shock tower areas.

This excessive corrosion can compromise the structural integrity of the vehicle, leading to squeaking and banging noises from the rear passenger wheel well.

Repairing this issue can be costly, with estimates ranging around $1,260 to repair or replace the affected components.

Was 2005 a good year for Ford Escape?

2005 was a mixed year for the Ford Escape. While it offered competitive features and performance for its price, there were significant concerns regarding premature rust in the subframe and suspension. Despite being moderately comfortable, roomy, and powerful, these rust issues could detract from the overall ownership experience.

How many miles will a 2005 Ford Escape last?

The longevity of a 2005 Ford Escape largely depends on proper maintenance. With regular upkeep, it’s not uncommon for these vehicles to last well beyond 100,000 miles. Many owners have reported reaching over 250,000 miles without encountering major problems, showcasing the potential for durability and longevity with proper care.

What is the recall on the 2005 Ford Escape transmission?

A recall related to the transmission on the 2005 Ford Escape involves a shift lever bolt that may not be adequately tightened. This issue could lead to the shift control lever disengaging from the transmission without warning, posing a potential safety risk. Owners need to check if their vehicle is affected by this recall and take appropriate action to address the issue.

Why does my 2005 Ford Escape smell like gas?

If your 2005 Ford Escape is emitting a gas odor, several potential causes could be responsible. Common culprits include issues with the gas cap, fuel system, or emissions control system. It’s essential to inspect these components thoroughly to pinpoint the source of the odor and address any necessary repairs or replacements to ensure the safe operation of the vehicle.


The 2005 Ford Escape presents a compelling option for those in the market for a budget-friendly SUV. While it offers a blend of comfort, power, and reliability, it’s essential to be aware of potential issues that may arise.

By understanding the common problems associated with the 2005 Ford Escape, prospective buyers can approach ownership with caution and take proactive steps to mitigate any potential headaches.

The 2005 Ford Escape has its share of problems, but with proper maintenance and care, it can still be a reliable and enjoyable vehicle for many drivers.