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Old 01-16-2016, 08:49 PM   #1
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2013 Ford Escape (front wheel drive)

I searched the forum and didn't find a specific answer. Sorry if this was asked before.

We just bought a 2013 Ford Escape, front wheel drive (automatic). My neighbor has a tow dolly he will sell us at a very good price. We prefer to do this over 4 down because of the cost savings with the dolly. I read that towing 4 down on older escapes required lowering the transmission fluid. Not sure if this is true. Regardless, for towing a front wheel drive, automatic 2013 Escape on a dolly... is there anything to be concerned about. We have never had a toad to worry about and just wanted to ask those with more experience.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:03 PM   #2
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DD you are correct that a Ford Escape is not flat towable according to FMCA. Some cars can be made to be by adding a transmission lub pump. Obviously that is not a cheap or easy thing to do.
As for dolly towing make sure the car fits between the fenders. This may seem silly but it happens and then you are stuck with a dolly that will not work. As for towing they tow fine. A bit of a pain dealing with the dolly and some CGs will make you park the dolly in the storage area.
Once you get the straps all adjusted and get the hang of driving onto it you will be fine.
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Old 01-16-2016, 09:17 PM   #3
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You cannot tow a 2013 Ford Escape FWD, or all AWD, with four wheels down for more than 50 miles at 35MPH. You can tow it with a dolly with no issues. See Page 195 of the Owners Manual for Recreational Towing instructions. You can download a Owners Manual Here if you don't have one.

Towing with the front wheels on a dolly shouldn't raise any concerns with your Escape. We use an Acme Dolly for our 2015 C-Max.

Hope this helps!
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Old 01-16-2016, 10:34 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies, it eases the worries. Now... c'mon spring.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:13 PM   #5
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My 2013 c max Manuel says it can be towed 4 down, no modifications required. . It has auto trans. 2 wheel drive.
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Old 01-17-2016, 01:41 PM   #6
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My 2013 c max Manuel says it can be towed 4 down, no modifications required. . It has auto trans. 2 wheel drive.
CMAX has a CVT transmission. Some post-2011 and all 2015 Fiesta and Focus (with auto) have a DCT and can also be towed flat 4. Escape has a conventional torque converter transmission and can't be towed flat 4. And adding an auxiliary pump to make some torque converter type transmissions tow flat 4 can void the warranty. Just bought a 2015 Focus, but really wanted the Escape, but... Hope this helps.
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Old 01-17-2016, 02:44 PM   #7
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My 2013 c max Manuel says it can be towed 4 down, no modifications required. . It has auto trans. 2 wheel drive.

What's a C max?
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:08 PM   #8
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Just to round out the information, Ford Escapes were sold as 4 on the ground towable up to and including 2012. 2013 and up specifically say not towable (for any appreciable miles).

I have a 2010 Escape specifically purchased for 4 on the ground towing. Yes, you need to lower the transmission fluid to a specific point. I've burned up one transmission (warranty replaced it). I've also had a bubbling smoking overflow occur until Ford put a loop on the overflow tube back into the transmission. I'm also limited to 65 mph.

I can't recommend any Ford escape for FROG towing. I'm stuck with mine until it's useful life is used up.
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Old 01-17-2016, 03:29 PM   #9
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My 2013 c max Manuel says it can be towed 4 down, no modifications required. . It has auto trans. 2 wheel drive.
Yep, it can be... But if you go to the C-Max forums you will find tales of dead batteries due to flat towing. If you are going to flat tow a C-Max for long periods, as in several hours, you need to run a power feed from your RV to the C-Max's 12VDC battery to keep it from totally discharging. That is the same for any current Ford hybrid...

To avoid the battery issues, and screwing up the electronic grill shutters when installing a tow bar, I went with a dolly. Plus if I change TOADs the dolly only needs to be adjusted to the new vehicle instead of buying a whole new system.

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What's a C max?
A small Ford hybrid car. See Here.
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Old 01-17-2016, 06:34 PM   #10
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Yep, it can be... But if you go to the C-Max forums you will find tales of dead batteries due to flat towing. If you are going to flat tow a C-Max for long periods, as in several hours, you need to run a power feed from your RV to the C-Max's 12VDC battery to keep it from totally discharging. That is the same for any current Ford hybrid...

To avoid the battery issues, and screwing up the electronic grill shutters when installing a tow bar, I went with a dolly. Plus if I change TOADs the dolly only needs to be adjusted to the new vehicle instead of buying a whole new system.



A small Ford hybrid car. See Here.
Not just the C-Max getting dead battery I think any Ford will. I had the same problem with a Ford Edge. Owners manual states that you should not leave the cars in neutral when parked as the battery might drain. You tow in neutral, hence dead battery. Solve by installing 6 pin connector on the toad and run hot wire to toad battery. Until I did that I carried and used a portable jump starter.
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