2010 Ford Escape - Difficulty starting on chilly days

I have a 2010 which lately has been having difficulty starting on chilly days. That’s saying something considering i live in Memphis, where the cold days are relatively mild. Sometimes it will hesitate on turning over, start and then my gauges flutter and the car shakes a little. Other times it makes a high pitched cranking noise. I haven’t taken it anywhere yet because it seems to exclusively happen in the morning after the car has been sitting for 10 hours. Any ideas?

Isn’t this car still under warranty?
If, as I suspect, it is still covered by the Powertrain Warranty, you need to take it back to a Ford dealer and hold their feet to the fire until they find–and correct–the problem.

You don’t need to give the dealer’s service department any clues, other than a full description of the problem. In fact, if you tell them to replace a particular part and that repair fails to rectify the problem, the cost will be yours to bear, rather than the vehicle mfr. In other words, diagnosis is the responsibility of the dealership’s service department during the warranty period, not your responsibility.

I suggest that you arrange to drop the vehicle off at the dealership the night before your service appt. Then, arrive early the next day at the dealership, and tell the service writer that you want to be present when a mechanic goes out to the parking lot in order to start your car. That way, there will be no question regarding what the mechanic experienced.

If the dealership fails to rectify the problem, then you need to “kick it up a notch” by contacting Ford’s customer service folks at the corporate level. Once a complaint arrives at the corporate level, you are much more likely to get it resolved. The toll-free phone number can be found in your Owner’s Manual.

I have this same problem with my daughter’s car on cold mornings but it is a 2000 Ford Escape and no one seems to know what it is. No engine light comes on

Cold start problems are usually caused by either too little fuel or too much air in the mixture. My guess for you problem is too much air. Look around for any cracked rubber parts, like intake manifold boots, vacuum hoses etc. A mechanic can do a quick check for other vacuum leaks. It could be caused by other problems, but that would be a good place to start.

Normally this is caused by a bad coolant temp sensor. These will rarely set a code. They just tell the engine that it is warm even though it is dead cold and the fuel mix is too lean.