05 Ford Escape Starting issue mystery



did you have any accidents where you allowed it to be drained below “dim lights” level?

it could kill even a fresh new battery

by the way, it is under 2 years, so likely you still have a warranty on it


Nope, nothing left on overnight. Only issue we’ve had with random was the alarm going off for no reason at random. This was awhile back we stopped locking it for that reason.


how far you drive in one trip on average?
1 mile, 5 miles, 10 miles?
I’m really asking to check if you drive long enough to replenish what you drain when starting the vehicle.

you reported before that a floating/overnight voltage is at 12.19, it seems to be too low, it has to be closer to 12.5V, so it suggests it is not charged enough in first place


About 2 miles one way, have a 96 astro that makes the same average trip with no issues. As for time, it runs about 10-20 mins.


I think we are getting somewhere

I will let other experts here to comment 2 miles one way, but for me it seems to be on the low side

still, you have 10-20 minutes of run-time on every start,so presumably it is mostly idling

why don’t we check the voltage your alternator can produce at idle, then compare to voltage at around 1500-2000 rpm?

I’m basically suggesting to check if alternator is able to charge battery at idle or only when driving under load


I’ll have to check when I get it charged or jumped tomorrow, unfortunately it won’t start till either one is done if successfull. That’s where the confusion for me is lol. It’ll start as long as I wait but once I try to rush it it won’t start again till either or happens.


Does your escape use an engine compartment mounted starter solenoid ? Most cars other than Ford just use a starter motor that includes it’s own solenoid. But Fords are sometimes different in the starter circuity configuration. My Ford truck is configured with a separate starter solenoid bolted the engine compartment for example. And I’ve had to replace of fix it a few times over the years. If so, perhaps that’s your problem too. Your symptoms sort of suggest something is getting stuck on and short circuiting the starter current somehow. The starter motor would be the most likely reason for that, maybe a shorted pull-in coil, but since you’ve replaced that, maybe it is the engine compartment solenoid. Usually those are mounted n the firewall or the fender in the engine compartment.


Would it be the black end with the bolts? Unfortunately nothing comes up for the escape when I do a search for the solenoid itself, but that part looks similar to one’s that popped up for other vehicles


From what I see here, there’s no separate starter solenoid on either the I4 2.3 or the V6 3.0. There is a separate small starter relay in the battery junction box. The symptoms don’t seem like it would be that though. To know for sure would require the voltage measurement test at the starter I mentioned above.


Your first video shows a very poor state of charge in the battery, 12.16 volts before cranking. The third video shows a nearly completely discharged or failing battery.

The battery voltage should be 12.5 to 12.6 volts in the morning after sitting over night. You should investigate why the battery is so low, is the daily driving too short, something drawing on the battery over night or are you starting the engine frequently to see if it will start?


It’s been around 12.16/19 since Sunday after getting it home from being stranded in a parking lot after trying to see if it was running fine. It’s been out of comission for about two months now. First issue was starter needed to be replaced, or so I thought was the only issue. With a charged battery it would only make a clicking noise. Since then it will only start if you let it sit in the “on” position till the lights on the dash come on and go off, only figured this out monday. That third video is what happens when you get in and try to start it right away. At that point it won’t start till jumped or charged.


It seems that you drove home with a dead battery and did nothing to correct the problem. Why was the battery dead and why did you not recharge it?


Battery had about 70% charge when I got it jumped at the parking lot, it wasn’t dead the issue was if you dont let it sit in the on position before trying to start it does this and won’t start afterwards. Even fully charged it has this issue


Batty has been off the charger for about a hour, voltage was 12.6 according to the stores tester.


All these posts.
The reason it starts after letting the lights go out is you’ve cut the demand on the battery significantly after the lights go out. Your battery is marginal at best. Any ancillary load is enough to cause it to fail to put out enough current to start the engine.

Jump starting and then running for 10-15 minutes or a store charger for an hour is not enough to restore a fully depleted battery. Likely your battery has been running partially charged for some time causing it to sulfate and lose capacity. It’s a vicious cycle of deterioration. This one may LOOK fully charged but likely not close to capability when new.


I tend to agree to @TwinTurbo that battery was regularly undercharged and it made it to get sulfated.

Some of the chargers have a special discharge/recharge cycle to dissolve some of sulfate crystals, but it never recovers in full, and in my experience, it is a 50/50 chance it will kill the battery.

Hey… it is literally dead already.

Going forward, since the regular drive is only 2 miles, once battery is replaced, it might make sense to add a solar charger on the dashboard, so it gets some extra juice into the battery on a regular basis.


Be as that may unfortunately until their machine says it’s bad I can’t get it replaced under warranty.


Ask them to make a load test.

Your car should have a spec,something like 500 CCA it requires from the battery.

If battery shows 450 CCA at a specked voltage, even if it shows “69% capacity”, it clearly fails to deliver the amperage ratting your vehicle requires, thus you have a fail-to-start condition.

“Autocaft” is from Advance Auto I bet. These guys are not necessarily very knowledgeable, so you have to give them the well-presented case for why it is already in failure zone, but, really, it is not either battery manufacturer or store fault.

If you have Costco membership - buy battery from them. They have a “no questions asked” replacement for 3 years or so.


Do they need the whole car for the load test or can they do it with just the battery? That I do not have, closest costco is about 40 mins away. If no traffic.


usually what I do with costco:

  • as I get there, I remove battery (10mm wrench what is needed) and load it into a cart
  • I get to tire section, present an old battery, buy a new one ($15 refunded in the spot)
  • roll the cart back to the car, 10mm wrench comes handy again
  • done

having 2 disposable rubber/nitrile gloves helps a lot to keep hands clean

I had to do a warranty replacement only once, same steps but no payment :slight_smile: