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Escape
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Abnormal Noise From Driveline on Ford Escape

Problem Description and Possible Solution

Ford Escape four wheel drive models may develop an abnormal noise from the transfer case. This may sound like a bearing howling first, but will turn into a clicking noise at higher speeds.

The transfer case on these models is notoriously troublesome, and can become damage from normal use, and the sound of the failure is notably close to the noise heard from mud tires on pavement. 

To eliminate the noise, the vehicle should be inspected, and, if the transfer case has suffered internal damage, it must be replaced, not rebuilt. 

Changing the transfer case fluid on schedule may help, but many failures are before the first fluid change interval. 

Problem Data
RepairPal Verified
Average mileage: 112,131 (50,000–200,000)
Drive Trains affected: 4WD, Automatic Transmission
13 model years affected: 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, more2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
87 people reported this problem
Comments
Viewing 1 - 20 of 32 comments
Noise from the transfer case. Have been told it would have to be replaced at the cost of $3000.00 dollars. Ford Motor Company will not help in any way. Because there has not been enough complaints about this problem. As for me and my family we would not recommend buying a Ford product at any time in our lifetime.
Sounds like rolling metal in transfer case/PTO. And trans fluid leak comong from left side of trans where axle shaft goes into transmission.
Same here. Transfer case. Awd. Still making payments on it to. Waiting to see how much it's going to cost. Single and only income. Seriously have no money to fix it or buy a new car.
What gear should I put my ford escape2003 in when needing 4 wheel drive.
Toothed gear in the transfer case could break loose on it's shaft. It creates a loud noise. Ford doesn't sell internal parts for the transfer case, only seals. Unfortunately you need to replace the entire transfer case.
Make sure your wheels/tires are the same size and rotated in every oil changes. Even a small difference on the tires overall diameter will put lots of stress to the transfer case.
Everything was fine and all of a sudden a bang car would not move easy the was able to crawl home with what sounded like pennies in a coffee can, was told transfer case needed to be replaced. coming at a bad time financially got a used one with 24K on it..... think its going again
Transfer case is junk, needs new one. Ford has a problem!
had to replace rear diff assy
high pitched whine (loud) especially at around 60-65 mph. replaced transfer case
TRANSFER CASE - CAN BE REBUILT... IF YOU TAKE IT APART YOU CAN GET NEW SEALS IN THE USA BUT NOT IN CANADA. MY MECHANIC IN DOMINICAN REP - WHO WAS AMERICAN. REBUILT THE TRANFERS CASE. THE PART THAT WENT WAS A GEAR ON A SHAFT - HE HAD IT RE-LEVELED AND PRESSED AND WELDED AGAIN AND MACHINED IT. WHICH COST ONLY 20 BUCKS IN THE DR. BUT WILL PROBABLY BE 200 IN THE USA. THE BEARING WERE EASY TO FIND AT A LOCAL BEARING SHOP AND WE USED VOLVO PREMIUM GASKET SEAL WHEN WE PUT IT BACK TOGETHER. NOTE- DONT BE CHEAP AND TRY NOT TO BUY THE SEALS - IT DIDNT WORK. I BOUGHT THEM AT FORD FOR ABOUT $150. ITS BEEN 2 YEARS NOW AND ITS STILL A SOLID REPAIR. IT TAKES ABOUT 12 HR LABOUR AND 3 HOURS TO REBUILD THE CASE WHEN U HAVE THE PARTS- AND YOU WILL DEFINITLEY NEED TO USE A LIFT..
I have an awful noise, I can't pinpoint where it is coming from. I have replaced the transfer case, still there and replace the passenger side axle (ford said it was the bearing inside the passenger axle), noise still there. We are looking at the differential and the transmission. We have not been able to fix.....
I have road noise on my 06 Escape. When I replace the tires it is almost gone. The noise gets so bad I would bet my 25 year auto repair reputation (if I didn't know better) that it was a differential problem. I went so far as to take the cover off the diff. and found nothing. I just live with it since I know that on mine it is tire and road noise.
Grinding in transfer when I put it in gear
I had everything new put on my truck. I was told that the trasmissin transfer case was broken. I called every where to check out the price for a new trasmission. The price is the price of a new car. I just paid my car off
Dealer can't part. It's been 4 weeks now and part is still on back order.
I have a 2005 Ford excape XLT 4wd. At low speed it sounded like wheel bearings were bad. Once up to 35mph and above sound changed to sound similar to the sound your bicycle tire makes if it has a card in the spokes. There was no loss of power and transmission shifted fine. It also transferred over to 4 wheel drive with no problem Was told that it was my front differential. So have the differential checked out if you don't think it's the transfer case
the time i purchased this low quality ford explorer V6 4WD and am having grinding/pitch metal on metal noise coming from the transfer case. i live in dubai and guess what, idiots out there who can't fix even a bicycle. am a DIYer which i have only couple of months to do the job before the weather will become a living hell here. am searching for a used transfer case since i dont have the money to buy new one if its available, and fix it by myself. and ofcourse everything is expensive here even the idiots mechanics. this is the first and the last time to buy any ford vehicles, it's worse than chines cars.
heard a loud pop next day sound like a bunch of rocks rolling around loudly somewhere in the engine mechanic couldnt find problem noise stopped week later vehicle barely wanted to mantain speed and got really loud as if i was on a flat with a bunch of rocks rolling inside mechanic said something came loose got lodged and cracked my transfer case tire good and transmission fluid good now its sitting at shop waiting to get fixed need new transmission after seeing all these complaints think il just let dealership have it and il get something better
2008 Mercury Milan Premier AWD.

Sounds like the oil is out of the transfer case. I tried to drain/replace but there is no drain plug! I did manage to get a pint of 75-145 Synthetic gear oil in there but it still makes noise. The fill plug was caked with sludge so I can only imagine what the bottom of the case is filled with. Looking for a used one with low mileage.
Noise when foot off gas coming from engine. Then metal grinding noise with car lurching, failing to accelerate or maintain speed normally. Had it towed in case I was damaging the engine more by driving it. Took it to local shop and they said it is the transfer case. Range is $3-1,400 depending on if I buy a new or rebuilt case.