Ford Escape Manuals

Ford Escape: Suspension System - General Information / Diagnosis and Testing - Suspension System

Symptom Chart: Suspension System

Diagnostics in this manual assume a certain skill level and knowledge of Ford-specific diagnostic practices.
REFER to: Diagnostic Methods (100-00 General Information, Description and Operation).

Condition Actions
Wander   GO to Pinpoint Test A
Front bottoming or riding low   GO to Pinpoint Test B
Abnormal/incorrect tire wear   GO to Pinpoint Test C
Sticky steering, poor returnability   GO to Pinpoint Test D
Steering wheel off-center   GO to Pinpoint Test E
Sway or roll   GO to Pinpoint Test F
Vehicle leans to one side   GO to Pinpoint Test G
Vehicle drifts/pulls   GO to Pinpoint Test H
  • If an obvious cause for an observed or reported condition is found, correct the cause (if possible) before proceeding to the next step.
  • If the fault is not visually evident, REFER to Symptom Chart or REFER to NVH Symptom Chart.
    REFER to: Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) (100-04 Noise, Vibration and Harshness, Diagnosis and Testing).

Global Customer Symptom Code (GCSC) Chart

Diagnostics in this manual assume a certain skill level and knowledge of Ford-specific diagnostic practices.
REFER to: Diagnostic Methods (100-00 General Information, Description and Operation).


Symptom Action
Stop/Steer/Ride > Steering/Steering Wheel > Appearance/Clear Vision > Alignment GO to Pinpoint Test E
Stop/Steer/Ride > Steering/Steering Wheel > Feel/Wander/Pull > High Speed GO to Pinpoint Test A
Stop/Steer/Ride > Steering/Steering Wheel > Feel/Wander/Pull > High Speed GO to Pinpoint Test H
Stop/Steer/Ride > Steering/Steering Wheel > Performance > Sticks/Binds GO to Pinpoint Test D
Stop/Steer/Ride > Ride Quality > Lean/Height > Front GO to Pinpoint Test G
Stop/Steer/Ride > Ride Quality > Soft/Float > Front GO to Pinpoint Test F
Stop/Steer/Ride > Wheels/Tires/Spare > Tread Performance > Appearance GO to Pinpoint Test C
Stop/Steer/Ride > Noise > Front > Over Bump GO to Pinpoint Test B

Pinpoint Tests


PINPOINT TEST A: WANDER

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Improper loading
  • Damaged components
  • Loose, worn or damaged fasteners or components
  • Wheel alignment

Visual Inspection and Pre-checks

  • Inspect for loose, damaged, contaminated or incorrect components.
A1 CHECK FOR SIGNS OF OVERLOADED, UNEVENLY, OR INCORRECTLY LOADED VEHICLE
  • Question the customer on vehicle loading and visually inspect the vehicle.

Can signs of overloaded, uneven or incorrect vehicle load be determined?
Yes NOTIFY the customer of incorrect vehicle loading.
No GO to A2

A2 INSPECT THE BALL JOINTS FOR DAMAGE OR WEAR
  • RAISE the vehicle on a suitable frame contact hoist.
  • INSPECT the ball joints for damage and or excessive wear.

Do the ball joints show signs of damage or excessive wear?
Yes INSTALL a new components as necessary.
REFER to: Lower Arm (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to A3

A3 INSPECT THE FRONT STRUT MOUNT BEARINGS
  • INSPECT the front strut mount bearings for damage or wear.

Do the front strut mount bearings show signs of damage or excessive wear?
Yes INSTALL new front strut mount bearings.
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Disassembly and Assembly).
No GO to A6

A4 INSPECT THE FRONT WHEEL BEARINGS FOR LOOSENESS, DAMAGE OR WEAR
  • INSPECT the front wheels bearings.

Do the front wheel bearing(s) show signs of looseness, wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL a new front wheel bearings.
REFER to: Front Wheel Bearing and Wheel Hub (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to A6

A5 CHECK FOR LOOSE, WORN OR DAMAGED FRONT SUSPENSION COMPONENTS
  • Check the the front suspension components for looseness, wear or damage.

Do the front suspension components show signs of looseness, wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL new suspension components as needed.
No GO to A6

A6 CHECK FOR LOOSE SUSPENSION FASTENERS
  • VERIFY all suspension component fasteners are tightened to specifications.

Are any loose fasteners noted?
Yes TIGHTEN or REPLACE the effected fasteners as needed.
No GO to A7

A7 CHECK FOR LOOSE, WORN OR DAMAGED STEERING COMPONENTS
  • Check the steering system components for looseness, wear or damage.

Do any steering system components show signs of looseness, wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL new steering system components as needed.
REFER to: Power Steering (211-02 Power Steering, Diagnosis and Testing).
No GO to A8

A8 VERIFY CORRECT WHEEL ALIGNMENT
  • VERIFY wheel alignment.

Is the wheel alignment with specifications?
Yes The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.
No ADJUST the wheel alignment as necessary.
REFER to: Front Toe Adjustment (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).

PINPOINT TEST B: FRONT BOTTOMING OR RIDING LOW

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Worn, damaged or incorrect springs
  • Worn front strut(s)

Visual Inspection and Pre-checks

  • Inspect for loose, damaged, contaminated or incorrect components.
B1 MEASURE THE VEHICLE RIDE HEIGHT
  • Measure the vehicle ride height.
    REFER to: Ride Height Measurement (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).

Is the vehicle ride height within specifications?
Yes GO to B2
No INSTALL new springs as necessary.
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).

B2 CHECK FOR DAMAGED OR WORN FRONT STRUTS
  • Check the front struts for excessive wear or damage.

Do the front struts show signs of excessive wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL new struts as necessary.
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.

PINPOINT TEST C: ABNORMAL/INCORRECT TIRE WEAR

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Safety Precautions - Overview (204-04A Wheels and Tires, Description and Operation).

Possible Sources

  • Incorrect tire pressure
  • Incorrect tire rotation intervals
  • Wheel alignment
  • Suspension components
C1 VERIFY TIRE PRESSURES
  • VERIFY the tire pressures are within specifications.
    REFER to: Wheels and Tires (204-04A Wheels and Tires, Diagnosis and Testing).

Are the tire pressures within specifications?
Yes GO to C2
No ADJUST the tire pressures to specification. REFER to VC label.

C2 VERIFY THE TIRES HAVE BEEN ROTATED AT THE RECOMMENDED INTERVALS
  • Verify the tires have been rotated at the recommended intervals.

Have the tires been rotated at the correct intervals?
Yes GO to C3
No REFER to Owners Literature for correct tire rotation intervals.

C3 CHECK THE FRONT AND REAR WHEEL ALIGNMENT
  • VERIFY the front and rear wheel alignment is within specifications.

Are the caster, camber and toe in within specifications?
Yes GO to C4
No ADJUST the caster, camber and toe in the the recommended specifications.
REFER to: Front Toe Adjustment (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).
REFER to: Rear Toe Adjustment (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).
.

C4 CHECK FOR LOOSE, WORN OR DAMAGED SUSPENSION COMPONENTS
  • INSPECT the front and rear suspension components for signs of damage or excessive wear.

Do any front or rear suspension components show signs of damage or wear?
Yes REPAIR or INSTALL new suspension components as necessary.
REFER to: Front Suspension (204-01 Front Suspension, Diagnosis and Testing).
No The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.

PINPOINT TEST D: STICKY STEERING, POOR RETURNABILITY

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Strut mount bearings
  • Ball joints
  • Loose or damaged components
D1 INSPECT THE FRONT STRUT MOUNT BEARINGS
  • INSPECT the front strut mount bearings for damage or wear.

Do the front strut mount bearings show signs of damage or excessive wear?
Yes INSTALL new front strut mount bearings.
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to D2

D2 INSPECT THE BALL JOINTS
  • CARRY OUT a ball joint inspection.
    REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Do the ball joints show signs of damage or excessive wear?
Yes INSTALL new control arm(s) as necessary.
REFER to: Lower Arm (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to D3

D3 CHECK FOR LOOSE, WORN OR DAMAGED STEERING COMPONENTS
  • Check the steering system components for looseness, wear or damage.

Do any steering system components show signs of looseness, wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL new steering system components as needed.
REFER to: Power Steering (211-02 Power Steering, Diagnosis and Testing).
No The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.

PINPOINT TEST E: STEERING WHEEL OFF CENTER

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Wheel alignment
  • Steering components
E1 CHECK THE FRONT AND REAR WHEEL ALIGNMENT
  • VERIFY the front and rear wheel alignment is within specifications.

Are the caster, camber and toe in within specifications?
Yes GO to E2
No ADJUST the caster, camber and toe in the the recommended specifications.
REFER to: Front Toe Adjustment (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).
.REFER to: Rear Toe Adjustment (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).

E2 CHECK FOR LOOSE, WORN OR DAMAGED STEERING COMPONENTS
  • Check the steering system components for looseness, wear or damage.

Do any steering system components show signs of looseness, wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL new steering system components as needed.
REFER to: Power Steering (211-02 Power Steering, Diagnosis and Testing).
No The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.

PINPOINT TEST F: SWAY OR ROLL

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Incorrect vehicle load
  • Loose wheel nuts
  • Struts or shock absorbers
  • Loose hardware
  • Worn stabilizer bar bushings or links
  • Damaged or broken stabilizer bar
  • Worn springs
F1 CHECK FOR SIGNS OF OVERLOADED, UNEVENLY, OR INCORRECTLY LOADED VEHICLE
  • Question the customer on vehicle loading and visually inspect the vehicle.

Can signs of overloaded, uneven or incorrect vehicle load be determined?
Yes NOTIFY the customer of incorrect vehicle loading.
No GO to F2

F2 INSPECT THE WHEEL NUTS
  • INSPECT the wheel nuts for proper torque.

Are any of the wheel nuts loose?
Yes TIGHTEN the wheel nut(s) to specification.
REFER to: Wheel and Tire (204-04A Wheels and Tires, Removal and Installation).
No GO to F3

F3 INSPECT STRUTS AND SHOCK ABSORBERS
  • INSPECT the struts and shock absorbers for signs of leakage, damage or excessive wear.

Do the struts and shock absorbers show signs of leakage, damage or excessive wear?
Yes INSTALL new struts or shock absorbers as necessary
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
REFER to: Rear Shock Absorber (204-02 Rear Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to F4

F4 INSPECT THE STABILIZER BRACKET TO FRAME BOLTS
  • INSPECT the stabilizer bracket to frame bolts for proper torque.

Are all of the fasteners tightened to specification?
Yes GO to F5
No TIGHTEN the stabilizer bracket to frame bolts to specification.
REFER to: Front Stabilizer Bar (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).

F5 INSPECT THE STABILIZER BAR BUSHINGS AND LINKS FOR DAMAGE OR EXCESSIVE WEAR
  • INSPECT the stabilizer bar bushings and links for damage or excessive wear.

Do the bushings or links show signs of damage or excessive wear?
Yes INSTALL new stabilizer bar bushings or links as necessary.
REFER to: Front Stabilizer Bar Link (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to F6

F6 INSPECT THE STABILIZER BAR
  • INSPECT the stabilizer bar.

Is the stabilizer bar damaged or broken?
Yes INSTALL a new stabilizer bar.
REFER to: Front Stabilizer Bar (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No GO to F7

F7 INSPECT THE SPRINGS FOR DAMAGE OR EXCESSIVE WEAR
  • INSPECT the springs for damage or excessive wear.

Are any of the springs damaged or worn?
Yes INSTALL new springs as necessary.
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Disassembly and Assembly).
REFER to: Spring (204-02 Rear Suspension, Removal and Installation).
No The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.

PINPOINT TEST G: VEHICLE LEANS TO ONE SIDE

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Improper vehicle load
  • Suspension components
  • Incorrect ride height
G1 CHECK FOR SIGNS OF OVERLOADED, UNEVENLY, OR INCORRECTLY LOADED VEHICLE
  • Question the customer on vehicle loading and visually inspect the vehicle.

Can signs of overloaded, uneven or incorrect vehicle load be determined?
Yes NOTIFY the customer of incorrect vehicle loading.
No GO to G2

G2 CHECK FOR LOOSE, WORN OR DAMAGED FRONT SUSPENSION COMPONENTS
  • Check the the front suspension components for looseness, wear or damage.

Do the front suspension components show signs of looseness, wear or damage?
Yes INSTALL new suspension components as needed.
No GO to G3

G3 MEASURE THE VEHICLE RIDE HEIGHT
  • Measure the vehicle ride height.
    REFER to: Ride Height Measurement (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, General Procedures).

Is the vehicle ride height within specifications?
Yes The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.
No INSTALL new springs as necessary.
REFER to: Front Strut and Spring Assembly (204-01 Front Suspension, Disassembly and Assembly).

PINPOINT TEST H: VEHICLE DRIFTS/PULLS

Normal Operation and Fault Conditions

REFER to: Suspension System (204-00 Suspension System - General Information, Diagnosis and Testing).

Possible Sources

  • Improper vehicle load
  • Suspension components
  • Steering components
  • Tires
H1 CHECK FOR VEHICLE PULL/DRIFT
  • Road test the vehicle.

Does the vehicle pull or drift?
Yes
REFER to: Power Steering (211-02 Power Steering, Diagnosis and Testing).
No The system is operating correctly at this time. The concern may have been caused by an intermittent component concern.


Component Tests

Ball Joint Inspection

  1. Prior to inspecting the ball joints for wear, inspect the wheel bearings. Install a new wheel bearing as necessary. Wheel Bearing and Wheel Hub
    REFER to: Front Wheel Bearing and Wheel Hub (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
  1. NOTE: In order to obtain accurate measurements, the suspension must be in full rebound with the weight of the vehicle supported by the frame.

    Raise and support the vehicle by the frame to allow the wheels to hang in the rebound position.
    REFER to: Jacking and Lifting - Overview (100-02 Jacking and Lifting, Description and Operation).
  1. Inspect the ball joint and ball joint boot for damage.
    • If the ball joint or ball joint boot is damaged, install a new lower control arm as necessary.
      REFER to: Lower Arm (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).

NOTE: Carry out Steps 4 through 6 to inspect the lower ball joint.

  1. NOTICE: Do not use any tools or equipment to move the wheel and tire assembly or suspension components while checking for relative movement. Suspension damage may occur. The use of tools or equipment will also create relative movement that may not exist when using hand force. Relative movement must be measured using hand force only.

    NOTE: The weight of the wheel and tire assembly must be overcome to obtain an accurate measurement on the dial indicator.

    Inspect the ball joint for relative movement by alternately pulling downward and pushing upward on the lower control arm by hand. Note any relative vertical movement between the wheel knuckle and lower control arm at the lower ball joint.
    • If relative movement is not felt or seen, the ball joint is OK. Do not install a new lower control arm.
    • If relative movement is found, continue with Step 5.
  1. NOTE: In order to obtain an accurate measurement, the dial indicator should be aligned as close as possible with the vertical axis (center line) of the ball joint.

    To measure ball joint deflection, attach a suitable dial indicator with a flexible arm between the lower control arm and the wheel knuckle or ball joint stud.
  1. Measure the ball joint deflection while an assistant pushes up and pulls down on the lower control arm, by hand.
    • If the deflection exceeds the specification, a new lower control arm must be installed.
      REFER to: Lower Arm (204-01 Front Suspension, Removal and Installation).
    • If the deflection meets the specification, no further action is required.

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    Master Access Code

    What Is the Master Access Code

    The master access code is a factory-set five-digit entry code. You can operate the keypad with the master access code at any time. The master access code is on the owner’s wallet card in the glove box and is available from an authorized dealer.

    Displaying the Master Access Code

    To display the factory-set code in the information display:

    Ford Escape. Master Access Code

    Remove the rubber mat. Insert the first programmed key in the backup slot. Press the push button ignition switch once and wait a few seconds. Press the push button ignition switch again and remove the key. Within 10 seconds, place a second programmed intelligent access key in the backup slot and press the push button ignition switch.

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