Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Why do the wheel wells rust on Ford Escapes?

Why is there rust in the rear wheel wells of the ford escapes. How can you stop it from spreading without replacing the panel.

Because it traps debris and salt.

You can’t. Sorry. Rust never sleeps…

1 Like

Can you post pictures, please?

Unfortunately, this seems to be common on certain Ford Escapes, probably in areas that see heavy road salt

30+ years ago Syracuse University did a study on why cars rust and how to prevent it. Syracuse was the perfect since it holds the title of the snowiest city in the US.

The biggest factor they found that caused rust were areas where dirt and rust can settle. By eliminating those areas you could drastically reduce cars from rusting. Within 5 years after that article most manufacturers were doing what was suggested and cars saw a drastic reduction in rust.

I think this was an old discussion. While sure cars traps salt and debris, this appeared to be a particular Ford problem. I myself believe it had something to do with the Chinese steel used that was more prone to decomposition. But what do I know except to avoid buying one?

I just looked, and it was started yesterday

@Bing. There was a discussion some years back about rust problems with the Ford Escape Hydrids. It seemed to me it had something to do with the venting of the battery. I can’t remember whether it was the big battery that helped propel the car or the other battery.

Because they are made of steel and they got wet.

Yeah, I meant this had been discussed a while back ad nauseum with no apparent explanation but I like the idea of battery fumes, although I didn’t think it was always the hybrid that had the problem.

Personally, I think it has absolutely nothing to do with battery fumes, or anything battery-related

I still think it has to do with road salt usage, failure to hose off the undercarriage thoroughly, and a poor design on Ford’s part

I do vaguely remember googling this a few years back, and discovering some truly horrifying pictures . . . of rear wheel wells so rusted out that the shock(s) actually broke through

Dorman even sells a replacement right rear wheel well. Why only one side, I don’t know, but the fact it exists may tell you something . . .

1 Like

It’s hard to stop rust from spreading once it starts. Especially on salted roads. Taking the Escape to one of those self-service car washes with a pressurize spray wand and thoroughly cleaning the wheel well areas out as needed is about the best you can do. I did that on my truck after every major snow storm when I lived in Colorado snow country; sometimes I’d spray out the wheel wells 2 or 3 times a week. Just took 5-10 minutes and a few quarters is all, not a big deal. So what are the results? No only one minor rust through in the wheel wells – not too bad yet anyway.