Abnormal Noise From Driveline on Ford Escape Hybrid

An abnormal noise may develop from the transfer case. At this time parts are not available to repair internal damage to this type of transfer case, replacement is the only option. It is not uncommon for irregular tire wear to cause a similar noise. Diagnoses should be performed to confirm the actual cause of the driveline noise. Tire noise can be reduced by rotating the tires at least every 5000 miles.

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Average mileage: 94,190 (33,000–178,000)
Drive Trains affected: 2WD, 4WD
6 model years affected: 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, more2009, 2012
48 people reported this problem
36 people shared problem details
2005 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD112,000
What an expensive repair! I've been given the option of a new transfer case around 2k or a used one around $800. What a bummer. Like others, I've heard a clunk when in reverse and thought nothing of it. Today on the highway, I wondered if I was going to make it to the repair shop. While the vehicle was on the lift, I heard it for myself. Why isn't Ford stepping up on problems like these?
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD72,000
Transfer case failed. Car has been well maintained. Sounds to me like a design flaw. Called to order the part and found its on its tenth redesign. You would think Ford would stand by their product and repair these since it is a design flaw
After front tire wore off to the core, I changed 2 front tires at the dealer. Right after collecting car the problem happened: Rubbing(like too metal plates rubbing to each other) noise from front side ONLY WHEN CAR DECELERATES or REVERSE. The does not go away for all gear positions (N/D/L), and does not matter the road is smooth or rough, hard left/right turns etc. However the noise disappears when car accelerates. Did a check on the hoist, found noise comes from Transfer Case (or PTU as Ford calls it), and was advised to change transfer case. Changed Transfer Case and so far no issue. So be careful to rotate and change tires frequently to avoid damaging Transfer Case.
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD99,000
I successfully sued FORD. Went to the local magistrate and got a judgement against FORD for over $1,500 for the repair of the POWER TRANSFER UNIT. Claimed it was a design defect. Even though FORD had a TSB out on the problem (throwing our lubricant when traveling down the road) FORD failed to notified its customers affected. With the JUDGEMENT, FORD sent me the check for over $1,500. If you think you are right, take the matter to the local Magistrate!
2005 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD103,000
Same noise and problem as others described with the transfer case. I do not drive vehicles hard and take very good care of my vehicles. Never off road. Ford dealer quoted $4,400 to replace with a new transfer case. Almost the value of the car.
2007 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD75,400
Heard basically the "tin cans tied under the car" and completely lost power to back up all at once. Have new tires and replaced (supposedly) the Transmission Fluid just months ago. Dealer says Power Take Off unit has to be replaced. I asked what could've caused this - said he has no idea.. Says parts and labor are $1312.44 which sounds better than what others are reporting but also sounds like the dealer or Ford should be taking some responsibility..
2005 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD80,000
Suddenly developed loud noise like dragging tin cans. Took it to AAMCO. They opened the transfer case and reported catastrophic failure of a bearing. New transfer case and labor will run to $1750 plus tax.
2005 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD130,000
Had the PTO fail for an "unknown reason". Cost was estimated around 2k for new one.
2007 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD77,000
Took the car in for a brake check and the dealer told me that the transfer case needs to be replaced because it is leaking. I have experienced a clunk like noise when in reverse but thought that had to do with the regenerative brake system.
2007 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD42,000
My 2007 Ford Escape XLT experienced PTU failure at 42,000 miles. Repair is costing me about $1500. I have researched this problem from my home in South America and ordered a new transfer case from the States. Now I am wondering if I should also replace the Transfer Case Shift Control Module during this repair. Can anyone advise me...has this been part of the failure problem?
2008 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD95,000
Showed up out of literally nowhere. I had just had a bunch of fluids replaced (transmission, differential, power steering) Shortly after I started to hear a strange noise. The issue was it kept changing, one day it would be high pitched and squeal, the next it sounded like a murmur of tire tread, then it wouldn't sound like anything at all. It would be louder when I accelerated and then quieter when it accelerated. I took it to 4 different places and kept getting different answers. At first they said my front brake pads were thin so I got those replaced. Then they told me my tread levels were very different front to rear and that could be creating some noise issues so I had them rotated. Every time they worked on my car it's as if the sound changed and got louder. After about a month of driving and 3 long road trips, a horrible grinding noise arose. It was terrible and concerning, eventually my car started grabbing and pulling while I was trying to drive. Started smelling fluids (probably differential) in the car. I took it in again and it took them (Lithia (STAY AWAY)) 28 hours to diagnose. Bad transfer case and they wanted 4700$ for the fix. I said F that and took my rattle trap home. We have since called LOCAL mechanics around town and found one that says it will be 800$ for the part and 3-400$ for labor. Guaranteed us it won't got over 2,000$ in repairs. That brings us to now, I haven't gathered enough money just yet but will be taking it in in a month or so to have it accurately quoted and then HOPEFULLY fixed. (I just am hoping it isn't going to fall apart on the way to the repair shop.) This has been an ever loving NIGHTMARE and I am FURIOUS that FORD doesn't own up and fix it/reimburse everyone with this issue. In the course of 2 months I have gone from perfectly well maintained and running car to scrap metal and bus riding. I will never buy a Ford again.
2005 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD178,000
We had a whining noise coming from under the car and basically occurred all of the time. I thought it was perhaps a bad CV joint but turned out to be the transfer case. It actually locked up at a stop sign and we had to haul the car home. The car has given us fairly good service over the years but is starting to get expensive to keep going. We haven't decided what to do with the car yet.
Had the same issues as others on this thread. The car would make a little thud when switching into reverse. One time there was a large thud and the car would only roll three feet and make a really loud grinding noise and it felt like a sudden speed bump. Repair was about $2,500. Was not 100% satisfied with the repair, the car still makes a very slight thud occasionally but the dealer wasn't interested in getting it right. They must know there is a design flaw.
2007 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD94,147
dealer is telling me $4500 for a new transfer case! Might need to replace the brakes and tires too!
Mine turned out to be abnormal noise from irregular tire wear, as I was only having them rotated about every 3rd oil change.
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD69,000
Noise - precursor to failure of transfer case. Quoted $2600 or $1700 used. Never off-roaded. Really unimpressed that it is having this problem with such low mileage. Not repairing, just getting rid of it.
I recently took my ford escape with the 3.0L engine and the automatic transfer case to ford and they told me it was a hanger bearing on the driveshaft... i changed it and a u joint...backed it off hoist in my shop was even worse when i backed it off... (it jolted like the rear end was gone) so i looked closer and its the transfer case ... so far i have pulled tires off...pulled tie rods.. pulled lower control arms... pulled axles...exhaust chunk that unbolts with o2 sensor on front and driveshaft where it unbolts in middle right before hanger bearing... had to pull alternator to get upper intake manifold off and crossmember with the four bolts... what a dumb setup i must say...and i went to ford to buy a new trasfer case (ptu) and they wanted upwards of 5 grand for a new 1 and over 2 for a rebuilt 1 so i bought one from a auto wrecker for 500$ and honestly would not recomend a ford escape to anybody... dont even have 20000 km since i bought it and ive had to replace starter... abs sensor... transfer case... tires ...hanger bearing... 2 u joints...a frame on driver side rear... and alot more nothing but troubles with it... paid 7 grand also for it... and have over 10k into it....
2008 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD100,000
Transfer case had to be replaced.
2006 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD46,600
Yep. At the unbelievably low mileage of 46,000 mi, mine has failed now too. Whats shocking as well is that I observed all standard maintenance visits. My mechanic is helping me out with a $1000- job> but thats a $1000-/job.... Considering how much of the time this vehicle sits still in the parking lot> Im furious about this event. Come on, Ford! Get Right!
2007 Ford Escape Hybrid- 4WD111,000
What a fine Christmas gift. We never missed a single maintenance schedule.
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