Ford Escape needs new alternator

Rescuing a damsel in distress was not supposed to be part of my weekend last Sunday. My wife had gone about 170 miles from home to pick up our granddaughter for a week in cool Colorado. Her Escape refused to crank after she filled it with gas. Of course she called me. I drove the 170 miles to get her and our granddaughter since nothing was going to get in the way of our leaving the next morning for our week. The Escape was towed to our son’s house since leaving it at the stop & rob for the week was out of the question.

So my question is this. Can I expect to find changing the alternator in our son’s drive way a difficult task? I have a good jack and stands to put it on. I changed one on a DOHC 6 Taurus once, and it was a bear getting the alternator out from between the engine and the body/ frame. The engines are very similar. I’ve been under this Escape probably 30 times to change the oil, but never looked at the alternator from that side to assess a possible future R&R.

Oh, I’m pretty sure it’s the alternator as the engine will start and run as long as it’s being jumped, but dies seconds after the jumper is removed. I brought the battery home and charged it. It tests fine .

The Escape alternator should be far easier to change than that Taurus V6 was. A transversely mounted V6 FWD is a packaging nightmare.

TSM, if you think a transverse V6 FWD is a packaging nightmare you better not look at this transverse DOHC V6 in 4WD Escape. It’s the same engine in a compact SUV with the added benefit of a rear drivetrain.

If I remember correctly the service procedure on the Escape tells you to remove the axle to remove the alternator. But if I recall, you can dismount the alternator, lay it on the axle shaft or exhaust pipe, remove the alternator mounting bracket from the engine, pull the bracket out the wheel well, and then you have room to pull the alternator out from the wheel well as well.

Good luck.

Oh-oh. It appears I may stand corrected. I assumed an inline 4, 2WD. Sincere thanks and a tip of the hat to asemaster.

Well, like I said, the engines are very similar on the DOHC Taurus and this Escape. Both are transverse mounted. Someone told me they would interchange with a few mounts and sensors changed as well. I’m not sure I believe him…

All of the AWD Escapes are FWD until the AWD is engaged either automatically when needed or by a switch on the dash. I’ve never seen a V-6 Escape that did not have AWD. By the same token I’ve never seen a 4-cyl Escape that had AWD. I suppose they could be ordered either way, but hers wasn’t. Her father bought it new in 2002. I have had the honor of doing all of its maintenance since about two years before his passing. It now has 155K miles, and has given very little trouble. This is the first time I’ve had to spend over $100 on it at one time other than tires. I just wish I were spending it closer to home.

If alt died so motor would not crank, than I assume battery was dead/low? But u say it was good? Car runs with jumper pack but dies when u remove it? Jumper has 12.5v? With motor running, u should see 13+v. Did u check?

  • Remove RH intermediate half shaft.

*Remover lower splash shields.

*Remove wiring harness bracket.

*Remove serpentine belt.

*Remove B+ terminal from alternator.

*Remove electrical connector from alternator.

*Remove lower alternator air duct.

*Remove alternator shield.

*Remove alternator stud nut.

*Remove alternator stud.

*Remove the two alternator bolts.

*Position alternator aside and remove the upper alternator air duct.

*Rotate alternator to gain clearance and remove thru the opening in the wheel well.

  • If necessary, remove alternator mounting bracket.


Double post again.


@stoveguy I had nothing to check voltage on my initial trip, but will before I change it out, unfortunately probably per tester’s instructions. The battery was so flat it would not spark with a long screw driver shorted across it. Sorry, that was the only test I had available after 8:00 on a Sunday night. The dash lights would not even come up. I suspect that the bad alternator may have drained what little was left in the battery during my 170 mile drive for the rescue. Sometimes they will do that. I’m just glad it died at the stop & rob rather than in the middle of nowhere on the interstate.

Thanks for your help.

A bad alt and dead battery gets u nowhere. I can see the car running with the jump pack for a bit. Remove it and car dies. Makes sense. I bought a new battery for my jump pack. I still can’t figure out how a 12v/18ah battery will jump a dead car. But they do.

The INTERMEDIATE half shaft should pull out of the carrier, not the tranny, right?

As Roseanne Rosannanna used to say, “nevermind”. It’s on the floor.

Yeah, I’m dating myself.

You were able to recharge the battery? This sounds like a common battery failure.

With an alternator failure the vehicle will stop running before the battery is completely discharged and it won’t happen in a convenient spot.

So tell us…did you have to pull the CV shaft or not?

The intermediate half shaft is the one that comes out of the tranny and with the carrier bearing mounted to the engine.


Before changing the alternator, maybe do an experiment to confirm there’s an alternator problem.

After you fully recharge the battery , it should start and run for a half hour or so, until the battery dies again. When you do this experiment, use a DVM to check the voltage at the battery. If the alternator is no good, after the engine is started it will never go above the initial (pre-start) battery voltage of around 12.6 volt. Instead, as the engine runs, it will slowly drop to below 12 volts.

I finished it up last night in time for dinner with the kids. I did run it by O’reilly’s for them to test the charging system before I started 170 miles home, partly in the dark. Well, that and to return the 32 MM socket I’d checked out on their tool rental program., They were kind enough to charge it to my account, even though I was not local. They simply credited my account when I took it back. I’d brought a 30 MM socket with me, thinking the big nut on the end of the CV shaft was the same as a Taurus.

Yes, I did need to drop the shaft, and I also removed the bracket that is attached to the block before the alternator came out. One of the four bracket bolts was pretty well hidden. This was one of the few projects that went back together faster than it came apart.

Thanks for all your help. I hope I never have to do another V-6 Escape alternator, especially away from home. If I do, it will be far easier than this one. Now I know where the zippers are that are needed to get it apart.

I thought it was the little old lady, Emily latella that used to say never mind.

@steveng you’re right. She was another one of Gilda Radner’s great early SNL characters. Old memories die hard, and sometimes they die too young. .

I saw where her husband Gene Wilder had his 80th birthday this past week.

but I digress.

I grew up on Snl and those early years were so funny. Good tiimes lol.