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I contacted my local Ford dealer ( a very large dealer) and they said they had heard of no reports of towing the Escape. The service manager said they had not received any bullentins/ He suggested I follow the instructions in the owner manual and tow. I am going to attempt to contact Ford direct. I did before I purchased to be sure it would tow 4 flat and they emailed me that it would with no problems. Unfortunatly the email got erased and I did not print it.

To answer Don's question about the base plate. I installed a Demco as that is the same one I have on my explorer and already had the Demco tow bar. It was an easy install. Just remove the front end and set aside and bolt up. No holes to drill and just cut out about a 2" X 2" section of the baffle to allow the pins to come through. I had to purchase 6 10mm nuts to attach to the frame as only 4 of the holes in the frame were pre-threaded. I contacted Demco and talked with the engineer who was extremely helpful with advise and ideas. The instructions are easy to follow. Took about 2 hours.

I have an SMI Stay and Play brake system I took off my previous toad. I have the Air Force one by SMI on the Explorer.

That is one sweet brake system. Uses air from the motor home to activate and it is soooo smooth.

I will report back after I hear from FORD.

Further to the base plate I looked at Blue Ox and it required moving parts etc and also was lower to the ground by 2". I like Blue ox and have used before, also have a Blue Ox tow bar Aventa II. Personally like the Demco a little better. Seems to be more rugged although never had any problems with the BLue Ox.

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We also bought a '09 Mercury Mariner so we can tow it with out modifications, has anyone addressed this to FoMoCo headquarters? We currently tow an '03 Windstar with a Remco axle loc-out. Works great but wanted to replace our dead Chrysler T & C for something with better mileage and a back-up towable vehicle, now we don't know about our one month old Mariner... :rolleyes:

JohnR in WI

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We just bought a 2009 Ford Escape, auto transmission about 6 weeks ago. We towed it about 500 miles, by the book, and the trasmission is burnt. They are getting us a new one.

They said it got too hot towing it. I wonder if the tow shield is covering up some kind of vent?

Anyone else have trouble?

- Lilly & Marty Schermerhorn

My 2006 Escape could not be towed 4 wheel down or on a dolly because of the transmission. It had to be trailered\

zgerald Crosby

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Bought a 2009 V-6 AWD Escape because it was 4 wheels down towable(per Ford's internet site, manual and FMCA towing guide). Towed it 193 miles and we were flagged down with smoke pouring out of car. We of course followed the instructions to a T in the manual. Car was towed to a Ford dealer in Perry, Fl and the service manage was not aware that the car was towable 4 wheels down. After discussion with the factory it was repaired with some other service modules that also were bad. They told us the transmission was defective, it didn 't have the extra reservior; We towed it home 200 miles without incident. Towed it 1000 miles with the procedure in the manual, run 5 minutes, not over 65 and ACC position. Got an oil change at the Ford dealership. Left on a trip to the North west (from Florida) got to Jennings, Fl and there was transmission fluid all over the car inside and out. Car wouldn't go into Park and we called Ford towing again. This time it went to Valdosta Lincoln Mercury. They did know that the Escape is towable 4 wheels down claimed no problems with the Escape or the Mercury Mariner. Ford again replaced the transmission. This time they told us that probably when we had the oil changed that the serviceman "topped off" the transmission fluid causing the "boil over" that "blew" the transmission. Evidently there is a service bulletin on that subject. Also the new transmission has a different fluid in it that is for higher temperatures. Of course there was also a new dipstick with markings that are lower than the previous transmission. We also were handed a e-mail version of what we are to do to tow the vehicle. Run 5 minutes, put transmission thru all gears, do that again every 6 hours. We asked where this can be found with no luck. Ford's customer service denies there is a problem with this car. So far "knock on wood" we have gone over 24oo miles without "blowing" another transmission. However, we don't let any service manager or tech near the fluid. Upon questioning them, they know nothing about not adding fluid above the lower line on the dipstick.

PS we love the car it goes off road without problems, just wish they would get their stories straight.

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I just took my 2009 Mercury Mariner (same as Escape) to my dealer and got it checked. There is a service bulletin that was issued in June regarding this issue. The manufacture date is important as those made prior to 10/29/08 may have the wrong transmission dip stick and be overfilled, hence the problems that have occurred towing this car.

The TSB is 09-11-4 if you would like to have your dealer look this up and make sure you have the correct dipstick. A new one is available for those who have the wrong one. Part # 7A020.

Thanks to those who have made others aware of this problem before the manufacturer did so. :rolleyes:

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I hope it's permissible to do this, here is the reply we received from FoMoCo, it is a siple "Copy and Paste no alterations on my part, and refers to our '09 Mercury Mariner FWD 4 cyl. with less than 200 miles on the odometer...

Included is the "From address" and time stamp:

From: crcfmc@ford.com

Subject: Ford Motor Company

To: piperjohn2@tds.net

X-Mailer: Siebel 7.5.3.15 [16279] LANG_INDEPENDENT

X-OriginalArrivalTime: 10 Jul 2009 01:37:04.0301 (UTC) FILETIME=[EDB18DD0:01CA00FE]

X-MW-BTID: 104125000020091910582200002

X-MW-CTIME: 1247189820

X-MW-SENDING-MTA: 136.1.7.4

X-Virus-Scanned: ClamAV version 0.91.2, clamav-milter version 0.91.2 on lomwsm16.mwlo.mailwatch.com

X-Virus-Status: Clean

HOP-COUNT: 1

X-MAILWATCH-INSTANCEID: 01030010586beda6-39c8-4d9a-9b62-02cd048a4499

Dear John Randall,

In an effort to assist you, we have researched your inquiry. Our resources indicate that the 2009 Mercury Mariner is can be towed for personal travel, such as behind a motor home or a truck. For more information and proper guidelines, please refer to your vehicle's Owner Guide, under Recreational Towing.

It may also be possible to access an online version of your Owner's Manual through our website at:

www.genuineservice.com

select "Owner Guides"

In addition, please be advised that while we feel that FMCA website may be of assistance to you, this resource is not maintained or monitored by Ford Motor Company. Ford Motor Company makes no guarantees and assumes no responsibility for information, services or materials provided to you through this channel.

We truly regret the circumstances that have prompted you to contact us and we apologize for any misunderstanding in our previous response.

Should you feel that we have not adequately addressed your questions, please feel free to contact us via telephone at (800)392-3673 between the hours of 8am and 5pm, local time, Monday through Friday. Hearing-impaired callers with access to a TDD may contact 1-800-232-5952.

Sincerely,

Shiela

Customer Relationship Center

Ford Motor Company

For online support visit us at: www.customersaskford.com which contains answers to frequently asked questions and links to other key product and service information.

Ford Confidentiality:

--------------------

For security reasons, please do not submit any sensitive personally identifiable information, such as credit card numbers, driver license number, SSN, DOB, etc. Thank you.

[THREAD ID:1-4PK4LA]

-----Original Message-----

From: piperjohn2@tds.net

Sent: 7/8/2009 10:40:45 AM

To: crcfmc@ford.com

Subject: Re: Ford Motor Company

We are NOT towing anything with the Mariner we want to TOW THE

Mariner. This is why we bought the Mariner to be able to tow it and

now we are reading people are having problems towing even when

following what the owners manual states WHAT are YOU going to do to

make this car TOWABLE?? If we knew that it was NOT TOWABLE we would

have bought someone else's vehicle THAT IS TOWABLE

John

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janharmon wrote:

I just took my 2009 Mercury Mariner (same as Escape) to my dealer and got it checked. There is a service bulletin that was issued in June regarding this issue. The manufacture date is important as those made prior to 10/29/08 may have the wrong transmission dip stick and be overfilled, hence the problems that have occurred towing this car.

The TSB is 09-11-4 if you would like to have your dealer look this up and make sure you have the correct dipstick. A new one is available for those who have the wrong one. Part # 7A020.

Thanks to those who have made others aware of this problem before the manufacturer did so.

janharmon,

Can you tell me the full number on your new dip stick? Ours was made in 11/09 and has a complete part number of:

9L8P-7A020-AG followed by M534A.

John

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I was surprized to see a non-hybrid escape automatic could be towed four wheels down. I did look up in the FMCA towing guide for 2009 and it said it could be towed four down, however, earlier models stated regular automatics could not be towed 4 down. I know the hybrid can be towed 4 down as it has a special transmission. I wondering if there was a misprint on the regular auto trans? Something doesn't sound right here. I have the 2008 escape hybrid and it is an excellent tow car and well built as well, we love the car. Good Luck & Happy RVing!!!

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I was surprized to see a non-hybrid escape automatic could be towed four wheels down. I did look up in the FMCA towing guide for 2009 and it said it could be towed four down, however, earlier models stated regular automatics could not be towed 4 down. I know the hybrid can be towed 4 down as it has a special transmission. I wondering if there was a misprint on the regular auto trans? Something doesn't sound right here. I have the 2008 escape hybrid and it is an excellent tow car and well built as well, we love the car. Good Luck & Happy RVing!!!

Jackhal,

The '09 has a new 6 spd. transmission and the '08 and prior has the older transmission. the problem that some are experiencing is the wrong dip stick was installed and Ford issued a service bullitan the replace the dip stick.

We were ready to sing the papers on an '08 and asked one more time if it was towable and found out it was NOT. :) Then we bought an '09 as it was towable only problem is we bought it 15 days to early as we could have qualified for $4500 on the "Cash for Culkers" program.... :rolleyes: We traded in a '98 T & C that had blown a transmission line in the radiator.

JohnR in WI

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[i just read Motorhome magazine and it indicates that the Escape with automatic is not towable.

Joe

Tucson, AZ

Just to let you know, the 2009 Ford Escape, 6 cylinder, automatic transmission IS towable with four wheels down in the neutral position. This is the reason that we bought the car.

We DID have problems with the maiden voyage of the Escape on June 10. We towed it for three hours and stopped to start it at a rest stop.,.It wouldn't start. Transmission blew out.

We had it towed to Wayne Morris Ford in Perry, Georgia for a new transmission. Twelve days later and we got our car back. Ford gave us a rental so that we could be on our way to our destination for our vacation.

Will it happen again???? Sure.....the customer assistance at Ford said that there have been MANY transmission blow outs on this vehicle and they are aware of the problem.

I am taking this matter to my Ford salespeople along with many comments and incidences of transmission problems on this vehicle. I want to be assured that this will not happen again.

I love this car, and false advertising by the Ford company won't make it with me.

Just thought you should know. :-)

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We have now had two transmissions put in our 2009 Ford Escape. Neither made it over 200 miles. Will be testing transmission number 3 while towing within the week. Will post with results. Had to practically beg for the new dipstick even though dealer printed and outlined TSB from Ford regarding this issue. Hoping that's the problem, but not holding out much hope at this point. There are more posts on the Ford Forums regarding this issue.

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Ok -update on towing our Escape. We just got back from our "test" tow. We went about 400 miles. The first 200 we stopped and started it every 50 miles, just to make sure we would have a vehicle when we got where we were going. No problems. Towed it back the full 212 miles, with no stops, and no hot smell, no lights, all looks good. However, it did look like there was a little fluid on the rear of the vehicle. My husband checked the fluid and it was higher than when he and the service manager had checked it. It was within the hash marks and not between the minimum line and the bottom of the hash marks (per SSM 20836) How did that happen? Turns out that when we took the vehicle in for another issue (less than a week after the transmission and dipstick were changed out and the fluid level was checked by our service manager and my husband together), the tech topped off the fluid! AAAGGGHHH. Anyway, at this point no damage seems to have been done. We have it in the shop for yet another issue. (Sigh) The only issue with this test was that we had a lot of mountain driving, and did not really get to tow at speeds up to 65 for many of these miles. We will be doing yet another test tow on Sept. 12th with all flat interstate driving, about 250 miles each way. If it makes it thru that, we will finally have confidence to go somewhere that we actually want to go and isn't just to test out the car.

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Purchased a 2009 ford escape in april, towed it for the first time on Aug. 8th, drove 296 miles, stopped once to run for 5min.when iI arrived in brunswick Ga.discvered tranny was burned up. We spent 12 days getting a new one & also a new up to date dip stick, fluid was adjusted to just above low mark, a new towing procedure was followed, this time running thru all the gears as i used to do our 03 honda crv. We left for lumberton NC. & stopped along the way to run thru gears & run for 6 min. it nwas 306 miles to lumberton, when I went to run car it would not shift, fluid all over the back. I rented a tow dolly & returned to sebring Fl. to our dealer on aug 21st, car will be done tue the 8th of sept.with another tranny. Ford is now saying fluid must be below the LOW mark, they have scratched a new mark on the dip stick. I don't have much faith in this new method .

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Purchased a 2009 ford escape in april, towed it for the first time on Aug. 8th, drove 296 miles, stopped once to run for 5min.when iI arrived in brunswick Ga.discvered tranny was burned up. We spent 12 days getting a new one & also a new up to date dip stick, fluid was adjusted to just above low mark, a new towing procedure was followed, this time running thru all the gears as i used to do our 03 honda crv. We left for lumberton NC. & stopped along the way to run thru gears & run for 6 min. it nwas 306 miles to lumberton, when I went to run car it would not shift, fluid all over the back. I rented a tow dolly & returned to sebring Fl. to our dealer on aug 21st, car will be done tue the 8th of sept.with another tranny. Ford is now saying fluid must be below the LOW mark, they have scratched a new mark on the dip stick. I don't have much faith in this new method .

Do you know if they replaced the cooler as well? They did not replace ours the first time, but they did replace ours the second time. I'm hoping this along with the lower fluid level will make a difference, but I'm probably fooling myself. However, I am just wondering if they did replace your cooler as well as the transmission?

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Well, I started this thread last May. Ford replaced the transmission, and we hauled it a 1000 more miles, no problem.

A week later the car was rear ended and totaled!!!!! It was cursed. So, we bought the new 2009 Mercury Mariner. Here we are on our first trip hauling it, about 150 miles in, and guess what???? Yep, the trany is burning up. We left it at a dealer on the road, and our just heading to our destination.

Question, those of you having problems, so you have a tow shield over the hood?

- Lilly

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Well, I started this thread last May. Ford replaced the transmission, and we hauled it a 1000 more miles, no problem.

A week later the car was rear ended and totaled!!!!! It was cursed. So, we bought the new 2009 Mercury Mariner. Here we are on our first trip hauling it, about 150 miles in, and guess what???? Yep, the trany is burning up. We left it at a dealer on the road, and our just heading to our destination.

Question, those of you having problems, so you have a tow shield over the hood?

- Lilly

Lilly,

Are you talking about a shield in front of the GRILL-- where air enters the radiator?

If so, has that been suggested as a cause of the failure?

If so, I would like to know how the transmission fluid is cooled when the vehicle is towed-- i.e. is the fluid circulated through the cooler???

And, if it is, would adding a large transmission cooler for $100 be an answer???

"Inquiring minds want to know"!

Brett Wolfe

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We just bought a 2009 Ford Escape, auto transmission about six weeks ago. We towed it about 500 miles, by the book, and the trasmission is burnt. They are getting us a new one.

They said it got too hot towing it. I wonder if the tow shield is covering up some kind of vent?

Anyone else have trouble?

- Lilly and Marty Schermerhorn

Lilly - we do not use a tow shield. Please check the other thread about this subject. Supposedly the fluid level is the main problem with these transmissions. It needs to be lower to tow than the normal driving level. I think you will find that you will continue to have problems if the fluid level isn't lowered.

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We purchased a new 2009 Ford Escape XLT 4WD on August 1. It came with a "RECREATIONAL (FLAT) TOWING AND TRANSMISSION FLUID LEVEL SUPPLEMENT". It replaces the recreational towing and the checking automatic transmission fluid sections of the owners manual.

The supplement was first printed in June 2009. The only number I see on it is 9L8J 19A285 AA.

It shows examples of the dip sticks used and shows exactly where the fluid levels should be. It also warns to have your fluid level checked for flat towing by an authorized Ford dealer. This should be done before you tow.

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Ok -update on towing our Escape. We just got back from our "test" tow. We went about 400 miles. The first 200 we stopped and started it every 50 miles, just to make sure we would have a vehicle when we got where we were going. No problems. Towed it back the full 212 miles, with no stops, and no hot smell, no lights, all looks good. However, it did look like there was a little fluid on the rear of the vehicle. My husband checked the fluid and it was higher than when he and the service manager had checked it. It was within the hash marks and not between the minimum line and the bottom of the hash marks (per SSM 20836) How did that happen? Turns out that when we took the vehicle in for another issue (less than a week after the transmission and dipstick were changed out and the fluid level was checked by our service manager and my husband together), the tech topped off the fluid! AAAGGGHHH. Anyway, at this point no damage seems to have been done. We have it in the shop for yet another issue. (Sigh) The only issue with this test was that we had a lot of mountain driving, and did not really get to tow at speeds up to 65 for many of these miles. We will be doing yet another test tow on Sept. 12th with all flat interstate driving, about 250 miles each way. If it makes it thru that, we will finally have confidence to go somewhere that we actually want to go and isn't just to test out the car.

Hello, Kathy and Kim.

I read your messages with great interest. My dealer faxed me the technical bulletins concerning the matter.It looks like the solutionthey gave youlooks ok. You correct this problem by changing the dipstick for the transmission and follow the procedure for operating within the safe level of fluid and a few more details before towing( shift the gears after running the motor idle for five minutes and repeat after every 6 hours of towing+no more than 65 milles speed. I haven't towed my Escape 2009 yet and I will go to my dealer before towing to have the vereything corrected. I'm curioius to know what happened on your Sept.12th trip. Did eveything go well?

I'm from Quebec city and I'm probably one of the first owner to make this changes so your "nightmare" was of great help.

Thank You

Pierre Mathieu

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The dipstick adjustment on the Ford Escape DOES NOT WORK. We needed number 4 tranny put in our 2009 Ford Escape. Ford ended up repurchasing it from us. The last transmission got hot at 106 miles of towing. Ford does not have a real fix for it, other than get rid of it.

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I'm really disappointed that rhino still had the problem after the dipstick adjustment. We did make a second test drive of over 500 miles and did not have a problem. That said, we do think there was a small amount of fluid on the back again, but we hit a little rain and couldn't really be sure. I have a feeling that this is just something to "get by", but will eventually blow up again. Someone on the Ford forum said that they were told Ford is working on a fix, with a different tranny cooler, but that hasn't been confirmed. We can only hope. I've attached a link to the Ford thread for those who are interested.

http://www.ford-forums.com/ford-escape/349...on-failure.html

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This was posted on the Ford Forum - I was incorrect about the cooler - it is something about the reservoir:

"We have our '09 Escape back after 15 days at the dealer for transmission failure after flat towing behind motorhome 300 miles.

Service manager at my Ford dealer stated Ford has a fix in the works. He didn't have good detail but indicated there was a reservoir to be added or revised on the 6F35. He also stated the fix could not be retrofitted to existing transmissions that it would require transmission replacement. He also indicated Ford would only replace transmission w/ retro trans as they fail and not replace preemptively."

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It looks as if this thread might have a long life. It will be especially so as the snow birds begin their trek southward. The dealer in Daytona that replaced my tranny a couple of weeks ago told be he hadn't seen any problems with these transmissions until he saw mine three weeks ago Since then he said he as gotten two more being towed off I-95.

I really hope a fix is found that can be done without experiencing a two week outage while on the road. We full-timers need predictability and dependability. I must say that after buying Fords since 1972 (more than I would care to admit) this experience is somewhat disheartening.

I plan to visit my selling dealer tomorrow to begin a discussion for some resolution.

Thanks to all of you for your candid posts.

John

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We bought a Ford Escape 2009 in December of 08 with the assurance of the owners manual saying that it is flat towable. Ford installed three transmissions for us that winter, and then bought it back in the summer. We now have an 09 Escape Hybrid, since we really liked the car. The hybrid has given us no problems while flat towing. We had to pay the difference in the MSRP's; and of course we were severely inconvenienced while the various dealers installed a new tranny. All the dealers were very good; although there was always a delay in getting the new transmission, they worked hard to get the job done as quickly as possible. Incidentally, we noticed that the hybrid gets several miles per gallon better economy when it is not necessary to use the AC, since the gas engine has to run all the while the AC is on.

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