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2016 Ford Escape Problems

in Year model comparison

The most common reliability issues reported by owners

Photo of 2016 Ford Escape

Ford Escape by Ryan Hildebrand - CC BY

For 2016, the Ford Escape continues to offer owners a compact SUV that is fun to drive and extremely handy for day-to-day errands. A variety of powerful four-cylinder Ecoboost engines, advanced interior technology with Ford Sync, and a roomy passenger compartment round out the good stuff that allows Ford to sell hundreds of thousands of Escapes every year. 

Although this vehicle is well-loved by most consumers and reviewers alike, the Escape still has some common issues that should be considered before shopping for your next used vehicle. This article will cover the most common issues with the 2016 Ford Escape and help you learn how to avoid the problems in the future. 

Problems With 2016 Ford Escapes

Most common problems:

  • Transmission Failure. Cost To Fix: $3150
  • Engine Stalling and Failure. Cost To Fix: $2100 to $6000+
  • Steering Failure. Cost To Fix: $2,200
  • Head Gasket Failure. Cost to Fix: $1,000 to $2,000


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Most Common Problem with 2016 Ford Escape: Transmission Failure

Cost to fix: $3,150

Unfortunately, transmission issues continue to be a problem for the Ford Escape. Owners of the Ford Escape comment that the transmission will suddenly give up and often leaves the owners of these vehicles stranded on the side of the road.

Shuddering and lurching sometimes precedes a transmission failure. Once the vehicles are towed into a dealer, Ford dealerships are quoting, on average, $3,150 to replace the transmission. 

How to avoid:

To diagnose failing transmission, you’ll want to rapidly cycle up and down through the entire range of the gearbox. Press the accelerator to the floor, feel for each upshift, then let off the gas and feel for the downshifts. Listen and feel for shuddering, hesitation, or jerking during gear changes.

It’s highly recommended that you contact a local mechanic and get a pre-purchase inspection of any vehicle before you buy used - it’ll spot problems that you can easily miss during a test drive.

Engine Stalling and Failure

Cost to fix: $2,100 to $6,000+

Owners of the 2016 Ford Escape indicate a wide variety of engine issues for the 2016 Ford Escape. Among the most common is stalling suddenly in situations where acceleration is called for and putting owners into danger. This specific year of Escape has a frustrating issue with the vacuum pump and coupler. Once the vacuum pump is seized, the bolt and casing break off and throw metal shards into the turbo of the Escape. Issues also exist with the throttle body and downstream at the catalytic converter too. Costs vary due to the range of the problems.

How to avoid: 

Many of these issues may not be apparent to the average car buyer. To avoid these issues, you’re going to want to put the vehicle through its paces while doing the test drive and make sure you take it to a mechanic for the full workup before purchase. A mechanic can utilize their experience and diagnostic tools to check for signs of failures like loss of cylinder compression and emissions. They will also perform a thorough visual inspection. You’ll want to mention the issue with the vacuum pump so they can look up the problem independently.


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Steering Failure 

Cost to fix: $2,200

Steering Issues are commonly reported on the 2016 Ford Escape, and they originate from a faulty steering rack. Owners indicate that they suddenly lose steering ability and that the issue is accompanied by a warning from the vehicle that power steering has failed. These issues often happen out of nowhere and, again, leave owners on the side of the road in an often inopportune situation. 

How to avoid: 

You’ll need to have the steering rack inspected by a mechanic to ensure that there are no issues since the issue comes on suddenly. Beyond that, pay special attention to the test drive and make sure you move your vehicle’s steering wheel to the “opposite lock” by moving the wheel left and right completely. Make a U-Turn. Listen closely for any popping, grinding, or other issues.

Other Problems with the 2016 Ford Escape

Several owners also reported the issue below, but it was mainly less severe than the problems we highlighted earlier.

Head Gasket Failure

Cost to fix: $1,000 to $2,000

Unlike the Escape’s transmission issues, head gasket failure isn’t as prevalent. However, this is one issue owners can’t afford to ignore as it might lead to costly engine replacements – you’ll be on the hook for about $4,000 and $6,000.

When you have a blown head gasket, the coolant inside will leak into the engine’s cylinders, potentially causing it to fail. Unfortunately, most owners won’t be able to catch a blown head gasket unless they know what they’re doing. There are many classic telltale signs that you have a blown gasket:

  • Engine coolant mixes into the engine oil system
  • Rough idling or engine knocking, or both
  • Consistently low coolant levels
  • White smoke coming off the tailpipe
  • Engine chronically overheats

How to avoid:

One of the best ways to prevent head gasket failure is to ensure your coolant levels are at a proper level at all times. Plus, always use the correct mixture as recommended by Ford. If you spot coolant fluid on your garage or the ground, have your Escape checked out immediately.


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How To Avoid Buying A Used 2016 Ford Escape With These Problems

If you’re in the market for a used 2016 Escape, you’ll need to take a multi-part approach to ensure you don’t have issues. The first thing you’ll want to do is take your potential new vehicle for a thorough test drive. Most people take a vehicle on a short drive around the block and avoid things like heavy acceleration, heavy braking, or U-turns. Doing these things ensure that the vehicle can accommodate the types of usage you’ll put it through in an average commute. 

Once this is done, note your findings and set up an inspection at a local mechanic. A mechanic will run your vehicle through a complete inspection that includes diagnostic and visual assessments for a few hundred dollars. They’ll also road test the car to flush out all issues. This is a must when shopping for a used car and can provide ultimate peace of mind to shoppers.

Search All Used 2016 Ford Escapes In Your Area

This all may seem like it’s overwhelming and trust us, we get it. That’s exactly why we created CoPilot! Download CoPilot on your phone to find the best-used cars based on way more than just their price. Whether you’re looking for a 2016 Escape or other similar vehicles, CoPilot ranks vehicles based on their reliability, price, and other factors to show you the best of the best. Rather than wade through listing after listing; let CoPilot make it easier than ever to shop for a used car that will last for the long haul. Never shop alone again, download CoPilot today.