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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,

I have been on this site reading many of the problems and found everyone to be quite knowledgeable, so I am hoping someone can help me with my issue..

I love Ford Escapes, and now that I have a decent job it was my goal to get an XLT before the winter sets in. I have been looking at gently used ones because so I don't immediately experience the "driven right off the lot" depreciation, yet also get a newer car that is under warranty.

I have been looking at an 09 XLT FWD. @ 17k miles and still under the bumper to bumper and powertrain warranties, it is priced very well at $17,900 and is in apparently great condition. The one caviat of the car is that it was previously a rental, albeit a one owner car, never in a wreck. I have been working a premature deal out on it over the phone with the salesman, and we were close to making a deal, after the test drive and an inspection (I'd already driven the same model XLT many times and new it's what I wanted). The only problem? The car is 4 hours away from where I live. I had a well reviewed mechanic in the area of where the car is go do an inspection on it for me and he found a transmission fluid leak. No big deal right?

The dealer was made aware of the issue by the inspector and notified me over the phone after they looked at it also that this was transmission fluid leaking from the left front axle through the axle seal. He said that the axle was not tightly in place and moved around and loosened the seal. He also told me that under the warranty, both the axle and the seal would need to be replaced, and this would be no problem. Ok, I can handle that..

The next day, I get a call from the salesman informing me, "Well, I didn't want to make this call, but I feel like I should tell you... While replacing the left front axle and axle seal there was a problem that was discovered." The bushings in the transmission were shot and also needed to be replaced (not sure if it was one or several), but it was the bushing/s related to the transmission. The mechanic told him that the transmission would have to be somewhat disassembled and put back together, etc. with the new bushings, then the axle would be fixed. Although I don't know much about engines or cars, I do believe this is all resulting from the same problem and that the axle being loose also somehow damaged the transmission bushings, and I would think this resulted in other damage to the transmission, but I have no way of knowing. He also assured me there was no other damage resulting from this problem and that the other parts of the transmission were fine.

MY questions to all of you is, is this a normal problem with these 09 escapes? Looking through the internet I have seen some mention of the transmission in these reporting problems, but this just seems ridiculous. Also, for those of you who know about cars.. should I believe no other damage was likely done from the axle being loose to either the transmission, tires, engine, alignment, etc.? IS an escape with these replaced factory parts going to be similar to what it was like in newer condition? SINCE THE DEAL HAS NOT BEEN DONE YET, SHOULD I STAY AWAY?

Thanks
 

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I would stay far clear of this Escape. I've read some people's 6F35 transmission have experienced oil leaks, but my '09 Escape's been fine.
 

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I would stay away from anything that was a rental. Rentals are beat down with very little care or even maintenance in some cases. I too would look elsewhere. Used with low miles from a one owner is far better than a once rental then one owner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I just t off hehone wi a longe family friend, mechanic / garage ower and he told e he would still buy the car. He said rentals are well maintained and usually. Not driven harder, justmore frequently. Also he said thisis is a fairly common problem and is not the result of being driven hard. Furthermore the car still has a ton of warranty. Also there was lkely no other damage becauseit was caught early. Does anyone else who knows cars / engines very well share his opinion? If your not knowledgabe about this subject or unfamiliar please let me know in your response. Thanks so much
 

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An honest rental company should be able to produce all the maintenance and repair records for the vehicle. That's honestly the only benefit of buying a fleet vehicle. They do get driven harder - they aren't beat up and driven at WOT by all drivers, but they aren't babied like a personal possession, either.

With a long warranty, and if the price is right, buy the car and then decide whether or not to trade it again just before the warranty is up.
 

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My recommendation is never buy a rental. Simply because I know how I treat a rental...

However, if this vehicle is in great shape and you can't locate any other 3rd Gen models with low miles than just go into the deal knowing it might need extra care down the road. Also, if you do come to an agreement - try to negotiate with the selling dealer for a FoMoCo extended warranty to help cover any other issues that might pop up in the long run. [say this transmission leak comes back in 30K miles....]
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Another Update from the salesman..

The bushing that needs to be replaced is the one between the transmission case and the axle. This bushing is part of or attached to one side of the transmission housing, so they are replacing this half of the housing. Apparently to do this they have to take apart this part of the transmission (left side?) to correctly install it and then put these parts back together. The dealer is promising me that if any other damaged parts are found during this process they will be replaced as well, but so far they have not found any reason to think there is. The dealership again was the one who found the bushing problem after the private inspection turned up only a leak, so I have no reason to think they are lying.. but it worries me that some transmission damage could have occurred still..
 

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I would not have any problem buying it, Most dealers I think would not have volunteered that other info to you so it sounds like they are at least honest about it. If you buy this one at least you know the problem is documented if anything else happens and also you have all new parts in the rear. The one owner refers to the registration the rental company owned it therefore 1 owner. Nope sounds good to me besides if you find another one you have no way of knowing if it will develop the same problem though I doubt it would at least you know this one has been fixed. Good luck.
 

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iWANTanESCAPE said:
but it worries me that some transmission damage could have occurred still..
Which is why I recommended that you get an extended warranty. Sure there's a tad more risk with the rental, but that's not to say that the Escape I just bought won't have similar problems after I put some miles on it. Just get a warranty that covers you for as many miles as possible [i.e. that you can afford] and this will put your mind at ease.

It sounds like the dealer has removed the output section of the transaxle to replace the seal at the output to the left half shaft and while they are at it, the dealer is installing a new half shaft rather than just reinstalling the old one. The bonus to this is that the CV joints on that side will be all fresh and new. That's all well and good.

The bushings you refer to are the actual powertrain mounts for the engine / transmisison to the body. Or at least that's how it reads to me. Those could have just worn out from constantly going over the speed bumps that you find in the rental lots.
 

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Doesn't seem to be a way to attach a file or I would but there is a TSB 09-22-07 about a leak from the half-shaft seal.
 

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If it makes you feel better, I got mine with just a few single digits on the odometer new. Changed oil for the second time at 8k. Noticed trans fluid leak at same left seal as you're referring to. First dealer sucked and just did seal and leaked still. There's a TSB to replace at minimum seal and half shaft and possible the case. I pick mine up tomorrow as they got me a whole new trans.

So basically, don't sweat this leak based on it being a rental. Get the extended warranty if you're worried and be happy that the dealership is being honest. I would tell them you would like them to push for a new trans but maybe with the more miles you have over mine is why they're not. My dealer pushed Ford to get me the whole new trans.

I say go for it and good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
UPDATE..

Well, the dealer continued with the honesty. I was contacted and told that there was metal shavings in the transmission and half of it was being rebuilt. I still haven't entered into any kind of agreement to buy the car.. i just wanted this particular one. I asked if they could completely replace and it does not look that way..

Its a shame such a nice car like the 09 escape has such a bad problem with its design. He said 3/10 of the other escapes in his lot were experiencing the same problem with the seal/transmission currently and other recent model fords with this transmission were having the same issues as well. Who knows when the other 2009 escapes out there will start to develop these transmission problems. I feel like even if they rebuild and replace these transmissions, what's that really going to do?? Probably nothing because now its only a matter of time before these replacement transmissions run into the same problem and need to be replaced themselves. Its definitely a design problem and it needs to be fixed.. I think I will have to look at different cars now.

Anybody have any thoughts on the 08 xlt's vs the 09's? I know there was an engine change between these 2 years and also no factory sirius radio as an option on the 08s.. but at least it has this 4 speed transmission that, as far as i know, didn't run into any of these crazy problems the 6 speed transmission is. Any thoughts?
 

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Metal shavings in the transmission, of a former rental car. :shock:
Sorry, but i would not finalise the deal.

Shavings in the gearbox, of what is basically a new car can not be good.
Metal filings in transmission of an 09 escape. :shrug:

My escape is an 06 assembly model.
The mechanic ,checked my gearbox the previous year.
He examined gearing and bands, but also for any unusual wear.

This was, before pumping in new trans oil.
Service tech indicated, there was no appearance of metal shavings.
The tech explained that metal filings in gearbox of new cars, is not exactly a good situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks for your response.

What I was trying to say in the previous post is this.. This "shavings in the gearbox" seems to be an 09 escape design problem. I have talked to several people on this site with that problem, there is a TSB from ford on the issue, and the dealer I spoke with said many of their fords with 6 speed transmissions (escapes, fusions, edge, etc) had this same problem, and many of them were not rentals and had less miles than this previous rental. My point is is that I think it has very little or nothing at all to do with the fact it was a rental, and much more to do with that ford has a flaw in the design of this 6 speed transmission..

Now what I am trying to figure out is if any of you out there think an 08 w/ a 4 speed automatic is still real close to an 09 or if they are a lot different, better/worse. I no longer trust this 6 speed automatic transmission that ford has put out.
 

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There is a fuel mileage loss with the 4-speed (though it still gets around 22-25 MPG with the V6) and there is less power with the older engine options. Otherwise, I think they are both great years. The 4-speed used to have shudder issues and didn't like Mercon V very much, but those problems seem to have been ironed out. We don't hear of transmission problems nearly as often as we used to. Around the time Ford discontinued Mercon, I think we had a transmission failure around every two weeks. Now I can't even remember the last time someone had a transmission failure.
 

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Honestly working as a Ford tech, I will tell you that the transmission in the 3rd gen escapes are pretty tough, havent seen one yet with this prob. I also will tell you that being a front wheel drive vehicle and the fact that it was a rental I assure you that it was driven hard, just look at the moron in this video.
If it were me I would look else where, I know that the vehicle will be under warranty but you also don't know if it will have future issues that will have to be dealt with, and time lost having to fix them. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Not a problem , it is documented and Ford are really good about warranty work . I have never had a prob getting warranty work done .
Was this car a rental or leased ? Either way service records should be available .
 
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