2005 Ford Escape door ajar circuit issues

My 2005 Ford Escape’s alarm goes off intermittently throughout the day and night. This usually occurs after the door ajar light comes on while I’m driving. All doors are secure and I’ve even replaced the latch assemblies on the driver’s door and rear hatch (these are the most used doors). There must be something in this circuit that is causing this to happen. It is frustrating having the alarm go off in the middle of the night when there are no obvious intruders. How can I resolve this issue without replacing any more latches or spending a large amount on diagnostic tools from Ford?

Have you checked the door switches? Maybe one is sticking or just dirty internally. Try pressing on them and see if one is binding.

The switch was built into the door latch on my wife’s 98 Ford Windstar. Occasionally the dome light or door ajar light would come on with the door closed.

I would spray the inside of the latch with CRC Electrical Contact Cleaner while working the door handle. It worked every time.

Ed B.


I sprayed each door latch with the recommended cleaner. The alarm was silent until it got windy and dusty. Then it started up again. I figure as long as I keep them cleaned out it should be fine. Still think it’s a crappy design. Ford should rethink the switches in the door, or enclose it somehow so it doesn’t get dirty and not have good contact.
Thanks for the advice. I’ll keep 'em clean!

Is there anyway to disable the alarm when you lock up the vehicle? A few years back lightning struck within 10 feet of my 2000 Blazer. After that the alarm would go off randomly if it was damp or rainy.

Thanks to the folks on this forum and several readings of the Owner’s manual I learned to disable the alarm by locking the four doors with the fob or door switch and then unlocking/relocking the driver’s side by using the ignition key.

Ed B.

It does seem odd that the switch getting dirt in it is the problem. My 20+ year Corolla has these door switches which the safety system monitors and will issue an alert on the console if the door is ajar, and they have never once in all these years failed to work or trigger false alarms.

hmmm … I’m thinking @Tankmech92 that something remains amiss w/your vehicle. You’ve found a band-aid, but not yet discovered the cure. Let me ask you a question: Is this switch part of the door jam, or part of the door? On my Corolla it is part of the door jam. It’s the same switch that turns the dome light on when the door opens. But if there is some active component to this switch in your door, then the wiring insulation from the car body to the door may have scraped away. So look carefully there, where wires enter the door in the door jam area. See any damaged insulation?

If not that, then you may just have one switch that is bad. An auto-electric tech could use a DVM to test each switch to see if there’s something funny going on with one of them. Or you maybe could just gently hit near the switch with a rubber mallet and see if one of the switches triggers the alarm.

The final area where the problem could be coming from is the connector(s) between the switch and the alarm circuitry (or body computer).

I assume you don’t know which door is causing the light to come on while you are driving. I also assume that the circuit closes a switch to make a ground connection in order to activate the light. If that is so I would disconnect the two front doors from the circuit to see if that stops the trouble. If it doesn’t then move to the rear doors. The hatch would be a real prime suspect also. The process of elimination.

edb1961, your idea gives relief to the alarm for a few weeks until the latches get dirty again. I tried the fob/key disable trick, but the alarm light still flashed. GeorgeSanJose, I may have to take my vehicle to a Ford dealership and let them hook up a DVM. I do not want to spend any more money than I have already.

While I don’t know if it’s applicable to your vehicle or not and keeping in mind that I’m wild guessing as much as possible on this; maybe there’s a problem with the hood switch.

Some years back i was having intermittent alarm problems on my prior Lincoln and traced it back to an iffy hood switch. At times when the wind really got to howling (common in OK) the alarm would go off because of the minor flexing of the sheet metal in the hood.
Theft is not an issue here and alarms are a nuisance to me so I disabled it just like I did my current Lincoln. The latter had no problem; the alarm was just a nuisance best avoided.

The sticky part, in case you decided to go that route, is that I can’t for the life of me remember what I did. It seems like there is an anti-theft module behind the glove box or the right kick panel but that’s guessing also.The fob and autolocks along with the panic button still work; it’s just the annoying horn and flashing lights are removed from the equation.

If you take this in for diagnostics be aware that electrical tracing can get very involved so make sure you’re on the same page with the dealer about how far you go with this as sometimes an answer is not easy to find. This means $; or a vastly expanded plural of that.

I replaced the hood switch too. It’s far less expensive than the door switches ($22 compared to $112). I would really like to disable this issue. I have no plans on taking it to the dealership. My next door neighbor is an ASE certified mechanic working for a Chevy dealership. I will talk with him and see if he can come up with any ideas. It is frustrating to hear the alarm go off during the day. Yesterday, it went off twice in a span of 15 minutes. No wind or anything. I still think it has something to do with a temperature change. Something is making a circuit connection when the temperature rises or falls to about 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have much the similar problem. Computer indicated rear door on drivers side. Cleaning the contact with spray no longer seems to work. Temperature is an issue because when cold, no or little problem but as soon as it warms up, we are making noise and light is draining battery (happened when I traveled & parking lot attendant had to jump vehicle). I found a video regarding a possible bypass but yet to try. Perhaps you are willing to make the attempt on yours? https://youtu.be/uV1r9wUy6_M

BTW I agree, I have heard this from others as well - definitely a design flaw.

oops = just noted the year. Hopefully you found a solution or new car by now. :slightly_smiling_face:

I believe it’s a software bug that was never resolved for the Escape. I replaced 4 of the door latches and the hood latch, one at a time and the problem would go away for about a month then would reappear.
Forget about spraying WD-40 inside the door latch. It’s a logic problem with the PATS system. You can reset the logic by disconnecting the battery but then you’ll have to reprogram your radio stations and clock. You can reset PATS with the ignition key (much easier) by locking all doors from the driver’s side interior door panel. 2. Now close the driver’s side door, the headlights may or may not flash when you close the door. In my case the headlights didn’t flash because the logic was lost so the horn would go off all by itself 20 minutes after you walk away. 3. After locking the car use the key in the driver’s door and turn it to the left once. This will unlock the driver’s door. Then turn it to the left again unlocking all doors. Then continue to turn it to the left 4 more times and you will hear the solenoid unlatch each time. This will reset the logic in the ECU and now you can open the door and hit the master lock and when you close the door again the headlights will flash and the PATS has been reset. When the problem comes back just repeat the reset process.