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2020 Ford Escape Hybrid Titanium
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Shortly after picking up my 2020 titanium hybrid in May 2020, I started a thread about the passenger side door intelligent access not working. There wasn't much information out there about this issue then, and I don't see much activity here about this. At the time, there just weren't that many 2020 hybrids out in circulation.

By now, Escape hybrids must be out in force, and I'd be interested in knowing whether this issue is common or not. In my case, the passenger side intelligent access fails to work pretty much all of the time. After having the car for a year, I can say with certainty that the only time it works is immediately after a road trip of 50 mph or above driving for about two hours. That is also the only time that I don't get the message "System Off to Save Battery" EVERY time I get into the car. And it's also the only time that I can listen to the radio after turning off the car for more than about 5-10 minutes before the car shuts the radio off.

I'm sure all these described phenomena are related. I presume it's the 12 V battery whose charge state is low, and the car is shedding load to keep the battery from getting TOO low.

Most of my driving is relatively short trips in suburbia. But, even getting on the highway for 30 to 45 minutes is not enough to get the intelligent access feature to work on the passenger side, or to stop the "System Off to Save Battery" issue.

I've taken the car to a couple of dealers, and they've both pretty much shrugged their shoulders and said, "Damned if we know...it's probably the way the car was designed to operate."

Do a lot of 2020 hybrid Escape owners have this issue? Or is it more likely that something is amiss with my 12v charging system, or perhaps the battery?

Aside from driving a long way to another dealer, is there any recourse within Ford I can pursue to either get a fix or a more definitive "Yeah, we built it this way on purpose, knowing that many owners won't be able to use intelligent access on the passenger side except rarely"?
 

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We have the same car but mine came off the line Jan 8, 2020 if that matters. I came from a C-Max, which has many of these same operational characteristics. I routinely drive both short and long (2 hr.) distances, so I should see the same things you report.
  • touch locks were sometimes intermittent, especially the rears door in 2013's. A recall was applied with some benefit. Escape doors always unlock, but sometimes you have to hunt for the right "touch." No pattern, unlike yours.
  • Many C-Max owners had battery issues substantially identical to what you and others report. It was trim-specific, mostly SE's and almost no SELs (titanium-level). Low-level drain pulled the 12v battery below "minimum boot voltage." Escape has not shown the "System Off..." message without a long radio run to cause it; never in daily driving.

In addition, C-Max 12v battery had a neat characteristic: radio run time after stop predicted battery condition. A good, new battery would run the radio for 10 minutes. As the battery aged normally, the time would fall. When it had fallen to about 2 minutes, it was time to replace the 12v battery. My 2013 got down to ~2.5 minutes and was not replaced before trade-in. The 12v followed the expected age track for cold regions.

I think the Escape has a similar 12v issue in some cars. I bought a cigar-lighter voltmeter to see what readings might come from a car that was "functioning properly." Readings all look like what I've expected from 12v starting batteries over the last few decades.
  • running: 14.8-15.2v
  • running a long time: 13.1v (rarely seen, perhaps maintenance/trickle mode?)
  • turn off car: rapidly falls into 12's, settling at 12.1-12.3v
  • a "while" after turning off car: still 12.1-12.3v
  • eventually the voltmeter turns off (socket power off) and while I haven't timed it, it seems longer than 10 minutes. No idea what voltage a disconnected battery might read.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We have the same car but mine came off the line Jan 8, 2020 if that matters. I came from a C-Max, which has many of these same operational characteristics. I routinely drive both short and long (2 hr.) distances, so I should see the same things you report.
  • touch locks were sometimes intermittent, especially the rears door in 2013's. A recall was applied with some benefit. Escape doors always unlock, but sometimes you have to hunt for the right "touch." No pattern, unlike yours.
  • Many C-Max owners had battery issues substantially identical to what you and others report. It was trim-specific, mostly SE's and almost no SELs (titanium-level). Low-level drain pulled the 12v battery below "minimum boot voltage." Escape has not shown the "System Off..." message without a long radio run to cause it; never in daily driving.

In addition, C-Max 12v battery had a neat characteristic: radio run time after stop predicted battery condition. A good, new battery would run the radio for 10 minutes. As the battery aged normally, the time would fall. When it had fallen to about 2 minutes, it was time to replace the 12v battery. My 2013 got down to ~2.5 minutes and was not replaced before trade-in. The 12v followed the expected age track for cold regions.

I think the Escape has a similar 12v issue in some cars. I bought a cigar-lighter voltmeter to see what readings might come from a car that was "functioning properly." Readings all look like what I've expected from 12v starting batteries over the last few decades.
  • running: 14.8-15.2v
  • running a long time: 13.1v (rarely seen, perhaps maintenance/trickle mode?)
  • turn off car: rapidly falls into 12's, settling at 12.1-12.3v
  • a "while" after turning off car: still 12.1-12.3v
  • eventually the voltmeter turns off (socket power off) and while I haven't timed it, it seems longer than 10 minutes. No idea what voltage a disconnected battery might read.

Hope this helps!
Thanks for the detailed reply. This is helpful, particularly your observation that you don't get the "System Off..." message with normal driving, including short distances. I get it ALL the time with short distance trips. I'm guessing that either my 12V battery isn't in good shape or else perhaps there is something wrong with the charging circuit, leading the battery only to get a full charge with extended drive times. The frustrating thing is that two different dealerships have said that they don't know what causes this and can't find anything in the internal database the tech searched. I'm not sure where to turn next to get this resolved.
 

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Start reading voltages?

I recently did the OTA map upgrade to NA 2 20. I forced updates, and I left the car running to the 30 minute limit - twice - before it completed the installation. I saw no change in operation, no messages displayed regarding voltage.
 

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I have had the same failure of the passenger side intelligent access not working in my 2020 Escape hybrid bought March 2020. I also used to frequently receive the "remote features disabled for battery optimization" Ford Pass message. For some unknown reason the messages stopped last October. I finally took the car to the dealer for the intelligent access problem this past March. They said it was inoperative door handle electronics. They had to remove and replace the door handle (damaging the door in the process but they fixed that). they also found a crack in the door latch cable bracket. They also said the battery was low, functioning at 60%. They replaced the battery. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago the intelligent access stopped working again. I haven't had time to take it back or try another dealer. However, if I don't get what seems like an intelligent assessment of the intelligent access problem, I will call the Ford Motor Co customer relations department at 800-392-3673. If you find out anything about the fix, please report what you learn and I will do the same.
 

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2020 Ford Escape Titanium/AWD
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I've also had this problem too. I took my 2020 Escape Hybrid into my dealer. They replaced the battery, but the problem came back after a few days. Reading other threads, it seems like the fix for the battery draining problem - which appears to be the underlying cause for why the passenger side intelligent access fails, is a software update to the ABS module.

SSM 49574 - 2020 Escape With 2.5L HEV/PHEV - No Crank/Discharged Battery - Built On 09-Jun-2020 And Through 16-Nov-2020
Some 2020 Escape vehicles with 2.5L HEV/PHEV may exhibit a key off battery drain which results in a no crank/no start condition. The vehicle may also exhibit a yellow electric parking brake (EPB) warning lamp, Park Brake Fault and/or red EPB warning light Illumination to the instrument panel cluster (IPC). This may be due to the ABS module communicating with the IPC resulting in illumination draining the battery. To correct this condition, update the antilock brake module using the latest software of the appropriate Ford diagnostic scan tool. For claiming, use causal part 2C219 and applicable labor operations in Section 10 of the Service Labor Time Standards (SLTS) Manual. APPLICABLE VEHICLES 2020 CAR: TC CX482N ESCAPE

Next time I go into the dealership, I am going to ask them to perform the above and see if it is also the fix for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks, @SirTrini and @Bemije for your contributions. My 2020 Titanium Hybrid was build in Nov, 2019, so the SSM described won't apply to my vehicle, alas (although the symptoms are pretty much the same...).
I have had the same failure of the passenger side intelligent access not working in my 2020 Escape hybrid bought March 2020. I also used to frequently receive the "remote features disabled for battery optimization" Ford Pass message. For some unknown reason the messages stopped last October. I finally took the car to the dealer for the intelligent access problem this past March. They said it was inoperative door handle electronics. They had to remove and replace the door handle (damaging the door in the process but they fixed that). they also found a crack in the door latch cable bracket. They also said the battery was low, functioning at 60%. They replaced the battery. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago the intelligent access stopped working again. I haven't had time to take it back or try another dealer. However, if I don't get what seems like an intelligent assessment of the intelligent access problem, I will call the Ford Motor Co customer relations department at 800-392-3673. If you find out anything about the fix, please report what you learn and I will do the same.
The fact that a new battery helped for a while but then the problem recurred suggests to me that perhaps it has something to do with the 12v battery charging circuit rather than the battery itself. Since my intelligent access passenger door handle works perfectly after the car has been driven for a couple of hours at highway speeds (and continues to function for a few days thereafter) supports (but hardly confirms) that hypothesis, I think.
 

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I just measured 11.91v with the engine off after the car had been parked for a day. What should the reading be?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
No diagnostic voltage readings anyone?
I'd be happy to take diagnostic voltage readings, but I have no idea how to do so....

Do I need anything other than a volt ohm meter? And where should i take the readings?
 

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see photo:
79568
Under the hood, the hybrid has a ground post near the fender on the driver side. The positive post is under a red rubber boot. I just remeasured and it was 11.65v. Interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do I want to measure the voltage with the car turned on off? (i.e., under load or not?)

[As an aside, does anyone know if one can buy jumper cables with clamps suitable for these threaded posts as opposed to battery cable terminals? The clamps that are big enough for battery terminals are too big to clamp around the posts in the Escape because there isn't enough space for the large jumper clamps]
 
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