My thoughts on the 2013 Escape Recall

For those who are unaware, Ford has recalled several thousand 2013 Ford Escapes with the 1.6L Ecoboost engine due to a fire hazard.  Simply put, the cylinder head overheats causing a stress crack on the back side of it above the exhaust and turbocharger assembly.  The crack allows oil to ooze out onto the hot exhaust system and down into the wiring looms for the crankshaft position sensor and turbocharger controls.  Hot exhaust plus fresh oil can lead to a fire.

In total, this recall is a 48-page novel.  Ford has decided in order to fix this issue, the technicians will install an "oil deflector" on the back of the cylinder head.  This deflector is specially designed to fit the curvature of the cylinder head and calls for the use of copper RTV to seal it.  This deflector shovels oil out an alternate route if a leak does happen to develop.  Obviously, this is just a band-aid as it does not address the actual cause of the concern.

The rest of the correction of the recall involves installing a new coolant level sensor (and associated wiring) to detect when the engine could be low on coolant, re-wrapping the wiring harness located behind the engine, poking holes in the under-body water deflector to allow spilled oil to drain, installing a new designed dipstick that supposedly does not leak as much, and removing a few rows from the active grill shutters. More importantly, on vehicles of certain build dates, the recall specifys that a lower temperature thermostat be installed.

Ford pays the technicians 6 hours to perform the recall.  The time frame seems lackluster at first because of the novel of instructions, but after doing a few of these it becomes quite the breeze. My first run through took approximately 8 hours, and the second time took just 15 minutes shy of 6 hours.