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Ford 2008 Escape Hybrid - is it worth $5k of repairs?

I have a 2008 Ford Escape Hybrid with 91k miles on it. I brought it in to the dealer because the ABS light was on. They replaced the tone ring, and said I also need a new fuel filter and front sway bar links (the latter two I declined for the short term). Then the dealer called back and said they discovered major problems during the final test drive.

They said I need to replace the rear end and the PTU, to the tune of $5k. They suggested I think about it for a few days to decide if it makes sense to do that. Since Ford no longer makes the vehicle, it would be used replacement parts in it.

My question is - does it make sense to put $5-6K into the car, or is the money better spent on a down payment for a new car?


You need a second opinion, and maybe even a third

The sway bar links have very low priority, as does the fuel filter

None of these are safety items

What is supposedly wrong with the rear end?

The PTU seems to be the transfer case, which transfers power to the rear end . . . what is supposedly wrong with it?

I’m not familiar with the escape, but it seems pretty early, as far as mileage goes, to be having all these drivetrain problems

Sadly from looking online this is becoming a problem on these vehicles and at around this sort of mileage. Get a second opinion but it’s possible that the PTU needs to be replaced. Find a independent shop and get their opinion and a estimate.

What symptoms, if any, have you noticed?

Get a second opinion. If you haven’t noticed any driveability problems then the chance that you need a new rear end and PTU is highly unlikely.

The dealership mechanic must have noticed something on his test drive to deliver this diagnosis…What exactly was found? Have YOU ever noticed whatever horror they noticed?

Far too often I’ve seen dealership shops tell people they “need” things that they don’t really need at all. Many, perhaps most, dealerships look for everything they can find if given an opportunity, and anything not like-new needs to be totally replaced in their opinion. It’s a great practice for generating new car sales, but not IMHO totally honest.

I’d suggest taking the vehicle to a reputable independently owned and operated shop for a good look-see. Let us know what they say. I’ll bet it’s worlds apart from whet the dealer said.

"My question is - does it make sense to put $5-6K into the car, or is the money better spent on a down payment for a new car?"

If the rest of the car is in good shape, you still like it, and it will meet your needs for the next few years, I’d say fix it. At 30 mpg, you’re saving a lot on gas compared to other 4X4’s. I wonder if a fluid change for the PTU and rear end is all you really need.

You might consider another opinion. I can’t fault the dealer all the time simply because many problems exist that the car owner is not aware of. They often become acclimated to a problem and never realize it’s there.

If those repairs are needed my suggestion would be to price it around at some independent shops considering the amount of money involved.

My feeling is that you need those sway bar links replaced as a broken link could possibly gouge a tire and also affects the handing of the vehicle on rough roads, while cornering, veering, and so on if one decides to snap.

Thanks all!

I took it to a garage for a second opinion. They had the same verdict - it’s toast without (at a minimum) a new PTU. I did not notice any symptoms or sounds until I picked it up from the dealer.

I’ve looked into my options - it seems like salvage/scrapping it will not get me much, nor will a trade-in. One of the kids at the garage offered me $2k for it.

Funny how that works. Take your ride in for other work, and when you get it back, it makes noises that didn’t exist before. Expensive noises.

You could try to sell it, or try to trade it in. I’d probably take the $2,000 from the garage kid who wants to buy it and be done with this problem. Both the dealer shop and an inde shop say the same thing. Time to move on.

I’m sorry, but this sounds very suspicious to me

The shop says thousands of dollars of expensive repairs are needed, yet OP says the vehicle seems to run fine. No noises, everything works

And somebody at the shop wants to buy the vehicle for $2K

hmm . . . sounds like somebody at the shop wants to buy low, sell high

makes me wonder