Ford Escape: All-Wheel Drive

How Does All-Wheel Drive Work

All-wheel drive uses all four wheels to power the vehicle. This increases traction, enabling you to drive over terrain and road conditions that a conventional two-wheel drive vehicle cannot. The AWD system turns on when needed and does not require input from you.

Note: The AWD feature gives your vehicle some limited off-road capabilities in which driving surfaces are relatively level, obstruction-free and otherwise similar to normal on-road driving conditions. Operating your vehicle in conditions other than those, could subject the vehicle to excess stress which might result in damage which is not covered under your warranty.

All-Wheel Drive Precautions

WARNING: If you are driving in slippery conditions that require tire chains or cables, then it is critical that you drive cautiously. Keep speeds down, allow for longer stopping distances and avoid aggressive steering to reduce the chances of a loss of vehicle control which can lead to serious injury or death. If the rear end of your vehicle slides while cornering, steer in the direction of the slide until you regain control of your vehicle.

WARNING: Do not become overconfident in the ability of all-wheel drive vehicles. Although an all-wheel drive vehicle may accelerate better than a two-wheel drive vehicle in low traction situations, it won't stop any faster than two-wheel drive vehicles. Always drive at a safe speed.

All-Wheel Drive Limitations

When using a mismatch spare tire on your vehicle the all-wheel drive system can become limited in function. To regain full all-wheel drive capabilities have the standard wheel replaced.

Different tire sizes between the front and rear axles can cause system damage, or disable the all-wheel drive system.

All-Wheel Drive Driving Hints

Emergency Maneuvers

In an unavoidable emergency where a sudden sharp turn will be made, remember to avoid over-driving your vehicle, for example, turn the steering wheel only as rapidly and as far as required to avoid the emergency. Apply smooth pressure to the accelerator pedal or brake pedal as needed. Avoid abrupt steering, acceleration and braking changes. Abrupt changes could increase the risk of vehicle roll over, loss of vehicle control and personal injury. Use all available road surfaces to bring your vehicle under control.

In the event of an emergency stop, avoid skidding and do not attempt any sharp steering wheel movements.

Driving In Sand

When driving over sand, try to keep all four wheels on the most solid area of the trail. Shift to a lower gear and drive steadily through the terrain. Apply the accelerator slowly and avoid excessive wheel slip. Do not drive your vehicle in deep sand for an extended period of time. This will cause the system to overheat. A message appears in the information display.

Note: If your vehicle gets stuck in sand, it may be rocked out by shifting between forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts in a steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature, as damage to the transmission may occur.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle for more than a minute, as damage to the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.

Driving Through Mud and Water

Mud

Be cautious of sudden changes in vehicle speed or direction when you are driving in mud. Even all-wheel drive vehicles can lose traction in mud. If your vehicle does slide, steer in the direction of the slide until you regain control of your vehicle.

After driving through mud, clean off residue stuck to rotating driveshafts and tires. Excess mud stuck on tires and rotating driveshafts can cause an imbalance that could damage drive components.

Note: If your vehicle gets stuck in mud, it may be rocked out by shifting between forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts in a steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature, as damage to the transmission may occur.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle for more than a minute, as damage to the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.

Water

If you must drive through deep water, drive slowly. The water could limit traction or brake capability.

When driving through water, determine the depth and avoid water higher than the center of the wheel.

Once through water, always try the brakes. Wet brakes will not stop your vehicle as quickly as dry brakes. Apply light pressure to the brake pedal while slowly moving the vehicle to dry the brakes.

Note: Driving through deep water could cause damage to the transmission. If the front or rear axle is submerged in water, the axle lubricant and power transfer unit lubricant should be checked and changed if necessary.

Driving on Hilly or Sloping Terrain

Although natural obstacles could make it necessary to travel diagonally up or down a hill or steep incline, you should try to drive straight up or straight down.

Note: Avoid turning on steep slopes or hills. A danger lies in losing traction, slipping sideways and possible vehicle roll over.

Whenever driving on a hill, determine beforehand the route you can use. Do not drive over the crest of a hill without seeing what conditions are on the other side. Do not drive in reverse over a hill without the aid of an observer.

Apply just enough power to the wheels to climb the hill. Too much power will cause the tires to slip, spin or lose traction, and you could lose control of your vehicle.

When descending a steep hill, do not descend the hill in neutral. Avoid sudden hard braking to keep the front wheels rolling and to maintain your vehicle's steering.

Note: If your vehicle has anti-lock brakes, apply the brakes steadily. Do not pump the brakes.

Note: If your vehicle gets stuck driving on hilly or sloping terrain, it may be rocked out by shifting between forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts in a steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature, as damage to the transmission may occur.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle for more than a minute, as damage to the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.

Driving on Snow and Ice

WARNING: If you are driving in slippery conditions that require tire chains or cables, then it is critical that you drive cautiously. Keep speeds down, allow for longer stopping distances and avoid aggressive steering to reduce the chances of a loss of vehicle control which can lead to serious injury or death. If the rear end of your vehicle slides while cornering, steer in the direction of the slide until you regain control of your vehicle.

Avoid sudden applications of power and quick changes of direction on snow and ice. Apply the accelerator slowly and steadily when starting from a full stop.

Avoid sudden braking. Although an all-wheel drive vehicle accelerates better than a two-wheel drive vehicle in snow and ice, it cannot stop any faster as braking occurs at all four wheels. Do not become overconfident of the road conditions.

Make sure that you allow sufficient distance between your vehicle and other vehicles for stopping. On ice and snow, you should drive more slowly than usual. In emergency stopping situations, steadily apply the brake. Your vehicle has a four wheel anti-lock brake system, do not pump the brake pedal.

Note: If your vehicle gets stuck driving on snow and ice, it may be rocked out by shifting between forward and reverse gears, stopping between shifts in a steady pattern. Press lightly on the accelerator in each gear.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle if the engine is not at normal operating temperature, as damage to the transmission may occur.

Note: Do not rock your vehicle for more than a minute, as damage to the transmission and tires may occur or the engine may overheat.

All-Wheel Drive – Troubleshooting

All-Wheel Drive – Information Messages

Ford Escape. All-Wheel Drive

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