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.Google+
Car Problem Reports
Ford Escape Hybrid Transfer Case Problem on the 4WD models
Ford Escape Hybrid Problem
Drive Trains Affected: 2WD, 4WD
Average Mileage: 93,292 mi (33,000 mi - 160,000 mi)
Visitor, 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 112,000 mi
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?
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.
Visitor, 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 103,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 72,000 mi
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
Visitor, 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 130,000 mi
Had the PTO fail for an "unknown reason". Cost was estimated around 2k for new one.
Visitor, 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 75,400 mi
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..
Visitor, 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 80,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 77,000 mi
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.
Visitor, 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 69,000 mi
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....