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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I have a 2013 Escape 1.6L with the original transmission. My car's transmission just started giving me problems the other day. First, I noticed that when I accelerate from a stop light it hesitates and it just moves forward very slowly like there no power. The car will finally engage after a second or two and move forward and shift normally from there until I stop again. There are no transmission error messages showing on the screen.

I have also noticed that a few times when I put it in reverse it feels like its not in gear at all. If I shut the car off and on again or go back to park and then reverse it goes into gear and backs up fine. I tried some Lucas but that didn't seem to help. The Transmission oil needs changing but it has high miles so I was hesitant because I've read that changing the transmission fluid can cause shifting problems with a high mileage car. I'm just wondering if this Is maybe caused by a transmission shift solenoid or something worse requiring a rebuild?

Update:

I had AAMCO look at the car. They said the fluid is burnt and it isn't shifting properly in a few gears. They pulled out 2 error codes relating to the transmission, P0735 and U0140. The first, (P0735) is related to the intermittent shifting and the second (U0140) has to do with Lost Communication with the Body Control Module. They want $4,100 to do the rebuild. I spoke to another transmission shop and they said I had to fix the U0140 error first. They suggested getting the computer flashed before I go ahead with the rebuild. I don't see and posts on the U0140 error. I'm curious if anyone has flashed the computer and had it solve their issue.
 

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I doubt you can make things worse by renewing the transmission fluid. If it has high miles and possibly has never been changed it should only improve the situation.
What you read may be referring to a transmission flush which you do not really need to do as it can sometimes cause issues.
Just change the fluid or get your dealer/mechanic to do it.
You probably know there are threads here regarding that if you intend doing it yourself. You may have to drain and refill 3 times to get all the old fluid out.
It certainly could be something more serious but if you try this first please let us know if it solved your issues as that helps others here who may have similar problems down the track ...:)
 
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There is a defect in your trans that Ford is not telling you..IMO I had my 2015 1.6L trans oil analyze it contained large amounts of Aluminium .. (the rest was in spec).. There is a bearing (or something) rubbing on the Aluminum case, contaminating the oil.. I drain and refill my trans oil every 7K miles.. Would suggest changing your oil..
Here is a link to another forum I belong to.. and more info on changing the fluid..
Transmission oil Analyzed - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums (ford-trucks.com)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Today, I drove about a mile a nd I got the "Transmission Needs Service" Warning message so I let I let it sit for 45 minutes and when I started it back up the message was no longer on my info panel when I started my car. I was able to drive it 3 miles home without the error message coming back on. The last time this happened I took it to AAMCO they couldn't find the problem but they let some fluid out of the transmission case because I over filled it and it didn't give me any problems for 2 months.
 

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There is a defect in your trans that Ford is not telling you..IMO I had my 2015 1.6L trans oil analyze it contained large amounts of Aluminium .. (the rest was in spec).. There is a bearing (or something) rubbing on the Aluminum case, contaminating the oil.. I drain and refill my trans oil every 7K miles.. Would suggest changing your oil..
Here is a link to another forum I belong to.. and more info on changing the fluid..
Transmission oil Analyzed - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums (ford-trucks.com)
Considering the number of components in the tranny that are now made of aluminum instead of steel I wouldn't be surprised at finding trace aluminum in a fluid analysis just from normal wear and tear (and no I'm not saying aluminum flakes or shavings would be normal if found)..
Both Ford's 6F35 and GM's 6F40 have their own different problems due to company preferences and they share the same design.

My question here would be how many miles were on the tranny when the analysis was done and what the vehicle usage history was like.

The OP hasn't had his fluid was maintained so it may just be a case of being low.
 

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To answer your question about mileage during the oil analysis (Blackstone Labs)... it was done at 26,600 miles.. oil was real dirty looking.. It still dirty.. and I have drained and filled it 5 times now... Got 73,000 now.. no problems yet.. The Escape is my wife's car.. pretty normal driving..
 

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For what it’s worth I’ve heard AAMCO will more likely “find” transmission problems since that’s what they do. I would probably do the re flash and see if it helps, along with a drain and fill. I believe most fail because the internal filter clogs but since yours almost sounds like torque converter engagement it could be unrelated. Could also just be low on fluid?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
It looks like the transmission is shot and will need to be rebuilt. With 188K on my car is it worth it to put close to 3K into this car? I'd probably try to sell it right away before something else goes out if I fix it. I don't see a lot of 2013 Escapes online with such high mileage so it's hard what I'd get for it if I sell it with a rebuilt tranny but I've seen a few listed around $7K for the same year with similar mileage.
 

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To answer your question about mileage during the oil analysis (Blackstone Labs)... it was done at 26,600 miles.. oil was real dirty looking.. It still dirty.. and I have drained and filled it 5 times now... Got 73,000 now.. no problems yet.. The Escape is my wife's car.. pretty normal driving..
Black tranny fluid is normal for the 6F35, it turns from pink to black in about 15k miles, the days of what colour it is being a way of determining good vs bad are long gone.
The bigger question is does it smell burnt or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Black tranny fluid is normal for the 6F35, it turns from pink to black in about 15k miles, the days of what colour it is being a way of determining good vs bad are long gone.
The bigger question is does it smell burnt or not.
I didn't smell it but AAmco said it was burnt so I assume they smelled it but I'm not sure. It's also not shifting into 6th gear on auto mode although I can use the sport shifter and cycle though all of the gears. I took it to another shop for a second opinion and they ran a ODBII scanner and got the P0735. They seemed to think it was a bad clutch causing the problem.
 

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Bad clutch could cause the code, it's a bad 5th gear ratio code.
Sport mode manual you're telling the tranny to shift instead of relying on the pcm logic
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Bad clutch could cause the code, it's a bad 5th gear ratio code.
Sport mode manual you're telling the tranny to shift instead of relying on the pcm logic
The shops I took it to just ran a diagnostic through a scanner, got the P0735 code and determined the transmission had internal issues and recommended a rebuild. Neither shop wanted to drop the pan to further investigate or manually test any solenoids other than by checking for codes on the scanner. They both seemed sure it was something mechanical probably due to the mileage on the car.
 

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This tranny isn't one where you can just drop the pan.
If they're going to pull the front case you might as well have them put in a new separator plate kite and a valve body, the labor is going to be the same.
 

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I have a 2013 Escape 1.6L with the original transmission. My car's transmission just started giving me problems the other day. First, I noticed that when I accelerate from a stop light it hesitates and it just moves forward very slowly like there no power. The car will finally engage after a second or two and move forward and shift normally from there until I stop again. There are no transmission error messages showing on the screen.

I have also noticed that a few times when I put it in reverse it feels like its not in gear at all. If I shut the car off and on again or go back to park and then reverse it goes into gear and backs up fine. I tried some Lucas but that didn't seem to help. The Transmission oil needs changing but it has high miles so I was hesitant because I've read that changing the transmission fluid can cause shifting problems with a high mileage car. I'm just wondering if this Is maybe caused by a transmission shift solenoid or something worse requiring a rebuild?

Update:

I had AAMCO look at the car. They said the fluid is burnt and it isn't shifting properly in a few gears. They pulled out 2 error codes relating to the transmission, P0735 and U0140. The first, (P0735) is related to the intermittent shifting and the second (U0140) has to do with Lost Communication with the Body Control Module. They want $4,100 to do the rebuild. I spoke to another transmission shop and they said I had to fix the U0140 error first. They suggested getting the computer flashed before I go ahead with the rebuild. I don't see and posts on the U0140 error. I'm curious if anyone has flashed the computer and had it solve their issue.
I have a 2014 escape and mine is doing same thing EXCEPT this my 2nd transmission with 35,000 miles on my vehicle- ford replaced this one at 26,814 in 2019 under warranty and this same thing is happening to me, brought it in and they said it’s internal transmission failure AGAIN with less than 10,000 miles on this replacement transmission and they won’t cover it!! Gave me a quote for 8,900.00 w 3 year warranty or 7500 used no warranty! This would be 3rd transmission with 35,789 miles driven- I am only owner as bought brand new and have never even towed anything. I am looking for more people with same problems because it’s frustrating and not right. I have case open with bbb auto line, just not right. My fluid is brown as well, and it’s down right scary when it loses power and very unsafe! Thought I would share because I got the answer and a Big problem with basically no mileage on my vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a 2014 escape and mine is doing same thing EXCEPT this my 2nd transmission with 35,000 miles on my vehicle- ford replaced this one at 26,814 in 2019 under warranty and this same thing is happening to me, brought it in and they said it’s internal transmission failure AGAIN with less than 10,000 miles on this replacement transmission and they won’t cover it!! Gave me a quote for 8,900.00 w 3 year warranty or 7500 used no warranty! This would be 3rd transmission with 35,789 miles driven- I am only owner as bought brand new and have never even towed anything. I am looking for more people with same problems because it’s frustrating and not right. I have case open with bbb auto line, just not right. My fluid is brown as well, and it’s down right scary when it loses power and very unsafe! Thought I would share because I got the answer and a Big problem with basically no mileage on my vehicle.
If you're going to buy factory direct why not get a re-manufactured trans for around $2,800 + Labor with a 3 year warranty. Street Smart, Best Buy and Power Train are three I saw online with decent reviews.
 

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Considering the 6F35 has an aluminum case I'd expect aluminum.
Ford considers the fluid being dark as normal, it's a matter of what the LTV fluid is formulated for, so the colour could even be a normal chemical change that occurs from something as simple as a dye breaking down.
You can't use the old rules for fluid from back in the 1960s-2007 period for newer designs, the rules are different and the technology is different..
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
I changed the fluid three days ago and found it was black with some metal at the bottom of my drain pan. Not surprising since it hasn't been changed in a while. I put in synthetic this time to see if it helped. I took it for a short 6 mile test drive (2nd day) and it shifted much better than before the fluid change but there was still some slippage in first gear at the light. On the third day I was able to drive it further, (16 miles) without any slippage, service transmission light or it going into limp mode. I will change the fluid again and see if it continues to improve. If this works I may install a new cooler for further improvement.

Just an update: I spoke to soon. After the initial test drive I let it sit for 2 hours before driving it again. This time the transmission violently kicks just driving at low speeds and it jerks hard when I put it in reverse. Whatever I did seemed to exacerbate the problem.
 
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