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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I just purchased a 2005 Escape XLS with Automatic Transmission for my wife. Yesterday and today have been cold in Atlanta with Temperatures around 38 degrees and this morning it was mid 20's (cold for Atlanta,LOL). We are having problems with the cars' transmission not engaging.

Both times, we started the car we put in reverse the car backed out of the driveway. We then put it in drive and the car just sat there. After a minute or so the transmission engaged and there was no problem. It ran with no hesitations or jumps.

I am assuming the cold weather is causing the problems, but, it could be a coincidence. I posted last week about the brake pedal squeaking when it is released and the cruise control switch not coming on at all and never received a response. So, I am unsure if the three are related or not.

Any suggestions or comments would be greatly appreciated!!!
 

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When was the last time the transmission was serviced? IE fluid and filter change. Sounds to me like the fluid level is either to low or not the right fluid, which is in turn not allowing the transmission to engage properly or engage at all.

I would get it into a place like Mr.Transmission and have them look at it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The previous owner told me it was serviced at 65k miles when she had the 60 k service. I have a call into her about who did the work and if I can get a receipt or figure out if the correct ATF was used. I have been reading that only Mercon should be used in these transmissions. Not Mercon V or Mercon Synthetic. There is a small shudder at about 40 mph.

I guess I would need to find someone who could flush the entire system and put the correct ATF into the transmission.
 

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:thumb:
Leeworthy said:
When was the last time the transmission was serviced? IE fluid and filter change. Sounds to me like the fluid level is either to low or not the right fluid, which is in turn not allowing the transmission to engage properly or engage at all.

I would get it into a place like Mr.Transmission and have them look at it.
 

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pburchins said:
The previous owner told me it was serviced at 65k miles when she had the 60 k service. I have a call into her about who did the work and if I can get a receipt or figure out if the correct ATF was used. I have been reading that only Mercon should be used in these transmissions. Not Mercon V or Mercon Synthetic. There is a small shudder at about 40 mph.

I guess I would need to find someone who could flush the entire system and put the correct ATF into the transmission.
This is worrisome.
Not engaging = low ATF
Shuddering - the tranny is on it's way out (or you might get lucky, if it only started because of "old" ATF).
 

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Mine started with that shudder. Luckily, I caught it early. I had my transmission mechanic test drive it and inspect the transmission. He recommended a full flush and that took care of it....whew! I was lucky. That's what I would recommend.
 

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Four_Eyes said:
Mine started with that shudder.... He recommended a full flush and that took care of it.... That's what I would recommend.
Me too... and as soon as possible. The shudder is a common issue but the failure to engage is not... A good flush will usually fix the shudder. Hopefully it will fix the engagement issue too...
 

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The sooner the transmission is taken for a thorough check-up the less accumulation of damage.
Not engaging, as Rob said is the main concern.Cold weather is auto transmission's best friend.But then again I do not know what they put in it.I bet the transmission oil has never been changed and when most people talk about service they neglect the transmission.
I only hope that things turn well in a cheap way and hope to hear from you with your progress.
 

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my escape's tranny wont go into 4th gear without getting up to normal operating temp this time of year (it has been under 40F all week)...it has recently had a flush.
 

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ltlredscape said:
my escape's tranny wont go into 4th gear without getting up to normal operating temp this time of year (it has been under 40F all week)...it has recently had a flush.
I would be very interested to know some more details of what you have described.
I have a sense that this may have to do with the mapping of the transmission for precaution reasons.
Regardless of the engine's temperature you may speed up the temperature of the tranny if you let the engine idle with the lever at Drive for two minutes.
 

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I recently had my trans fluid flushed as well. It's shifting smooth thru all the gears. I don't notice that it's not engaging 4th gear. Our temps dropped here in Southern Ontario (we have light snow). Mine was flushed and Mercon V was put in....if that makes a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello again,

Upon further investigation it does not appear to be a transmission issue. What it does appear to be is a gas pedal issue. As I described previously......Here are my current issues and the current resolutions:

1 Squeak at Brake pedal upon release of brake- The angle of the pedal and the brake switch as it relates to that angle is causing a squeaking noise. The mechanic placed some heavy duty Grease type material on the switch and the pedal. The noise was gone completely and then started to act up a little this morning (once). I am starting to think that the cold weather is a contributing factor

2. Cruise Control not functioning-
There is no communication with the cruise control. It is either the switch or relay. It was suggested that I take it to the dealer for further investigation.

3. Transmission not engaging or not moving forward on cold mornings-As I was taking it to the mechanics yesterday it did to me again. The car was already warmed up. I started to wonder if it was pedal related. When you push down on the pedal it stops about 1/2 way down and that is before there is enough gas to get the car moving. You have to push the pedal a couple of times to get it going. The mechanic noticed that a clip on the throttle cable at the front of the engine was broken in half and he replaced that clip. Unfortunately, it happened again this morning.

At this point, I do not believe it is transmission related. I am starting to believe it is related to the cruise control somehow. The cruise control when engaged has an effect on the gas pedal and I am wondering if that is causing the gas pedal to be stuck in the morning. I sent the "ask a tech" service at my local dealer yesterday describing my issue and they never responded. So, I guess they are not interested in my business. There is another dealer in the area so I will call them this morning. I will keep you updated.
 

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The shudder could also be the ABS system doing its once-per-start test at around 40MPH. Does it happen only once after each engine start?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jpark said:
The shudder could also be the ABS system doing its once-per-start test at around 40MPH. Does it happen only once after each engine start?
Yes......That is interesting.....I never heard of this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have been doing more research on the matter and apparently there is a problem with the gas pedals sticking especially in cold weather. It appears to be the throttle body butterfly valve that gets stuck because it has not been cleaned. It also appears that this is commonly happening around 80,000 miles and this my escape is at that point.

I am hearing two solutions so far.....One is to replace the throttle body completely and the second is to take off the throttle body and give it a thorough cleaning. I found this procedure on ford forum .com.

The can of Throttle Body cleaner cost me < $5 US and about an hour of my time (including road testing). The Butterfly Valve had been collecting fine grime with slight coking around the edge of the valve, all due to normal wear and tear. Clean your Throttle Body every ~20,000 miles. I recommend you remove it to clean it, as opposed to spraying it down while still installed on the engine.

To remove it you will need:
1) Flat-head screwdriver.......................to loosen two hose clamps.
2) ¼"-drive ratchet with a 3" extension...to easily remove the bolts.
3) #8 metric shallow socket...................to grip the 5 bolts.
4) Large Pliers or small Channel Locks......to pop off the throttle cable.
5) Can of Throttle Body Cleaner..............to clean the Throttle Body.
6) Several shop rags.............................to wipe the grime off T/B.
7) Ventilation....................................... to not inhale the T/B cleaner.
8) About 60 minutes..............................to remove, clean & reinstall.
9) A camera.........................................to take before and after pics!
Reply With Quote

I am going to try this out this afternoon and see what happens. I will be post an update later.
 

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Four_Eyes said:
I recently had my trans fluid flushed as well. It's shifting smooth thru all the gears. I don't notice that it's not engaging 4th gear. Our temps dropped here in Southern Ontario (we have light snow). Mine was flushed and Mercon V was put in....if that makes a difference.
Uh yeah, it does make a difference! I have the same model year, and it states in the service manual AND the owners manual to use Mercon......NOT Mercon V, as they are not compatable.
I would be doing a complete flush and reinstalling the correct trans fluid if I were you. Which would be cheaper for you..........new trans or the cost of the proper tranny fluid? :peace:
 

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What I meant was if it makes a difference to the OP.

As for my case, yes, the manual and the dipstick both say to use Mercon. But, to confirm what he and I discussed as to which transmission fluid to use, my transmission mechanic placed a call to a local Ford dealership as well as Ford Cust Serv, and they both told him to use Mercon V.

The old transmission fluid was completely flushed, so there's nothing in my transmission now except Mercon V.

I know there's a lot of confusion out there about whether or not the 2005's should be using Mercon or Mercon V. But most forum discussions that I've found agree, as long as you're running exclusively one type or the other, it's acceptable.

So in my case, for what it's worth, I'm running exclusively on Mercon V, and shifting is nice and smooth, thru every gear.

:thumb:
 

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What Four_Eyes says is true.
One may switch from Mercon to Mercon V without any problem as long as the transmission has gone through a proper and thorough flush.
 

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These days it's true. Used to be a big no-no to change from Mercon to Mercon V. I read a few years back that the V was reformulated and is now compatible with the older Escapes (with a proper flush of course).
 

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SUVord said:
What Four_Eyes says is true.
One may switch from Mercon to Mercon V without any problem as long as the transmission has gone through a proper and thorough flush.
Yeah, that makes sense. It's either one or the other, isn't it......but not a mixture of both. :)
 
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