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2009 Ford Escape, Brake issues

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May 11, 2023, 2:54 PM

Post #1 of 3 (222 views)
2009 Ford Escape, Brake issues Sign In

My vehicle is a 2009 Ford Escape 3.0 V6 200,541 miles on it. I apologize if I've mislabeled something or not given a proper description.

For history so far in the last month. Just in case these are somehow related. It started out as a lower ball joint issue on the drivers side. I ended up replacing the drivers side control arm, tie rod end, lower ball joint, and brake pads. Also replaced the lower ball joint and tie rod on the passenger side. These repairs took place over about 2 weeks. Since then it was still shaking slightly when I drove it. Fixing those things just made it less noticeable.

Also it's worth noting that prior to the first repairs it pulled left when driving. After the tie rods, control arm, and lower ball joints it drove perfectly straight with no hands on the wheel at speed.

Fast forward to last week. Breaks are grinding a lot I can see very small grooves in the rotor on the drivers side and it once again started to pull left slightly. I pulled it apart and could not get the brake caliper to retract with a clamp even with the bleed screw open. (it was also not a turn style one I checked) So replaced the driver's side caliper and replaced the brake pads as well. At this point the passenger side caliper piston seemed to retract fine. Pads on that side were still brand new pretty much but still replaced because you can't just buy 2. Rotors had to wait till this pay check unfortunately.

Now last night. When picking up my kids from school the brakes suddenly lock up and stop my car dead in it's tracks. Super loud grinding noise. After waiting about 30 min car is able to move again. Drive it home with a grinding noise but the brakes work fine and don't lock up again. Get it home pull it apart and its metal to rotor brake contact with deep grooves on both sides of the rotor. Passenger side seems 100% fine again. Replace the Rotors, Brake pads on both sides and replace the drivers side brake caliper because again the piston won't go back. Passenger side's brake caliper piston also now would not retract until the bleeder was opened. However the passenger side rotor had ZERO grooves or uneven wear in the brake pads. (Approx 1/4" of brake pad left but flat and even) Made those repairs, bled the brakes and drove it last night 100% fine. Zero shake, pull, or braking issues.

Now today. Drove for about 15 minutes on the highway. When we arrived at our destination the drivers side was smoking from the wheel well and the rotor was the temperature of the sun. Let it sit for about 30 min before trying to drive it home. This time on slow side streets. About half way home smoke seemed to be coming from both sides. I'm unsure if it was passing under from the drivers side or if they were both that temp. I was assuming the driver's side was the issue since that's where I've been having the issues. Then The car just stopped running. No stall, no sputter just quit and it would not start. It would only turn over even when you let go of the key. You had to physically turn it to off to get it to stop. Otherwise it acted like you were still turning the key and kept turning over. Turns out the fuel shut off valve got tripped it now starts. (Thank you Greg the tow truck driver for showing me that trick) Had it towed home anyway from there just in case to prevent further damage.

Also important to note that the engine temp was 100% fine (at least according to the gauge) but no smoke was coming from the engine compartment when I opened the hood. I also could not push it alone when it happened. About 30 min later I was able to push it to get it to move. Also all fluid levels coolant, brake fluid, and oil are at the correct marked levels. No dashboard lights were lit up either.

A few notes from the previous repairs that looking back may have been signs of issue maybe? When the calipers were removed no fluid was dripping from the lines. At least not the amount I would consider "normal" from what I've worked on. However they seemed to bleed just fine and fluid shot from the line when pushing the pedal with no caliper attached. The excess wear seems to ONLY be in the driver's side but it drives perfectly straight still no pull at all. I also did bleed the brakes and make sure the master cylinder was full every time the brake system was messed with.

So it's sitting out in the road and I have no idea where to go next lol. Master cylinder? Lines that connect to the calipers (The rubber ones)? Could it be a relay? Distribution block? I'm at a loss and would appreciate any help anyone can give me and will clarify literally any question anyone needs to help find an answer so I can stop sinking money into it.

Tom Greenleaf
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Tom Greenleaf profile image

May 11, 2023, 3:26 PM

Post #2 of 3 (210 views)
Re: 2009 Ford Escape, Brake issues Sign In

OK, with the age and miles it needed more back when. Now > wheel smoking with new or newer stuff bleeds out I didn't see the flex hoses replaced CAN CAUSE THIS and /or be intermittent.

Age and miles a 2nd time? What can if just one inside high pressure hose makes a Reed valve effect fluid w pressure go TO caliper but can't release it back.

That or right now if possible (most not) line is all twisted up or rotated caliper and it still went back together?

That should be it - do both sides.

Clues were uneven wear anytime left and right are not worn the same find out why or doing it all over again is the waste,


Hammer Time
Ultimate Carjunky / Moderator
Hammer Time profile image

May 11, 2023, 7:39 PM

Post #3 of 3 (196 views)
Re: 2009 Ford Escape, Brake issues Sign In

One thing that is a possibility here is brake fluid contamination. If anybody added even a minute amount of something petroleum based it will destroy every component in the system and cause the brakes to lock up.

The flex hoses are a possibility but 2 at the same time is unlikely.

If it did get contaminated there is only one way to fix it and any attempt to shortcut will result in doing everything all over again. Look in the master cylinder for any swelled rubber.


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