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 Train Affected: 4WD
Average Mileage: 88,229 mi (33,000 mi - 141,000 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?
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
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, 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, 93,000 mi
Sound of tin cans dragging under the car at slow speeds. High speeds problem was not apparent. Brought into local Ford dealer and they said the PTO needed replacing. Costs: $844.91 parts; $711.09 Labor (1hr Diagnostics, 4.5hr Replacement) ; $59.75 Disposal Fee; $96.96 Tax; Total: $1712.70
Visitor, 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 125,000 mi
My transfer case came apart driving on the highway. I got a used one for 400 and it cost me 600 to install but 8,000 miles later I can hear it happening again. I am getting a loud humming noise from under the car. When it went the first time it was like driving a bucket of bolts shaking. This sound is smoother not metal bouncing off metal. It seems Ford has a problem with these units
Visitor, 2005 Ford Escape Hybrid, 4WD, 110,000 mi
I had the oil changed and tires rotated at Richmond Ford West in Richmond, Va and noticed immediately and gravely noise somewhere underneath the front of the car. I live an hour away so it took a week and a half to get back into the dealership. Before the problem was even checked out I was told emphatically that whatever it was, rotating the tires could not have caused it. Since it was the last hour of the workday the service department refused to put the car on a lift and investigate further.
Today the grinding noise became serious and I was forced to go to Battlefield Ford in Charlottesville to have the car checked out. They said the PTU needed to be replaced and it would cost $3,400.00 for the part and $500.00 for labor. Based on what I am reading on this site it is clear that this is a common problem with this make and model and that the price quote provided by Battlefield Ford is way out of line.
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.