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John Crouch
John Crouch, Ford Mechanic
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 1835
Experience:  22 years of Ford service, and Ford senior master certified in diesel, gasoline and hybrid vehicles
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2005 Ford Escape: grinding noises from the back end..engage..parking

Resolved Question:

Waiting for word from you; must make decision soon--

Our 2005 Ford Escape was making grinding noises from the back end (?) and then yesterday something broke. I coasted to a stop. It seems to have an intact drive train as I was able to engage and modify the parking postion OK. I also notice, before it did this, that some weight shifted when backing down the driveway--that's what it felt like. I think a brake shoe broke but maybe it is more serious. I wonder if I should risk driving it across town--slowly--to the garage. What would happen if it is the shoe; what might happen if it is something else, and what might that be? It has @ 85 K on it. New tires, current oil maintenance. Squeaky suspension on driver's side.

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Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  John Crouch replied 7 years ago.
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will answer your question. First and foremost should be the safety of yourself and your other occupants. Do the brakes still stop the car safely? Does the car drive in a way that it is hard to handle or control? There were grinding noises from the rear wheels the problem is either a rear wheel bearing has failed or a brake spring or shoe had failed and is getting ground up inside the brake drum. If you can tell what side the noise was coming from I would recomend using a jack and lifting that wheel off the ground and rotating it and seeing if the wheel has any wobble to it, grab it at the 9 oclock and 3 oclock positions and try to move it back and forth, if the wheel has any play in it most likely the wheel bearing has failed, if this is the case it is possible that the bearing could totally sieze up and snap off the spindle and the wheel and drum could come off of the vehicle. If it is loose like this I would seriously recomend getting it towed in to the shop.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I did not drive it far enough after the sound of something breaking-just more or less coasted to a stop. I will have it towed since whether it is the brake shoe or the bearing it will just continue to be ground up or worse if I drive it. I wonder if it should be on a flatbed, since the way they usu. tow them is on the back wheels; that doesn't sound good. What do you think?


The hesitation and cluck sound when backing down the driveway--does that ring any bells? It had just started to happen before the thing gave out.


Driving across bridges and everywhere around the bay area recently I was a bit worried, but the sound seemed to go away when accelerating. Doesn't that sound like the brakes? Since it is a hybrid, with, I suppose, regenerative braking, is this an issue more than the usu. brakes? Do you think the squeaking on the driver's side means anything? It seemed to be not in the front area. When getting in and out of the car on the driver's side it would squeak terribly. It was suggeated that the shocks be replaced as there might be a leak but that leak proved elusive.


Tire noise has been an issue ever since we got new ones about a year or less ago.

Expert:  John Crouch replied 7 years ago.

regeneritive braking will not have anything to do with this, when stopping this way, the brakes arent even applied until you get down to approx 10 mph. when using regen brakes the transaxle is used as a generator to recharge the traction battery the load is what slows down the car.


as far as towing I would recomend using a Roll-back type truck, do not use a conventional tow truck that picks up by the wheels, especially if your vehicle is Awd.


If you are having tire noise issues, check to see if the tires are wearing out or chopping on the inside (this is usually the case). this is caused by aligment issues, there are aftermarket components that can be installed on the rear suspenion to correct toe/camber issues that wear out the tires like this.

Edited by John Crouch on 5/2/2010 at 9:14 PM EST
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

yes, even with new tires and a readjustment after that, they are still noisey.


Since the sound of something breaking was so distinct, and then there was a lillte clattery-ringy noise while coasting, plus the previous sounds while driving, doesn't that sound more like a brake shoe coming apart? The big mysery to me is the heavy clunk while backing up. I hope that doesn't mean transmission.

Expert:  John Crouch replied 7 years ago.
I would say from what you have told me that it will be something to do with the brake shoes. I seriously doubt that the trans is the issue here.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
OK, then. I will let you go. Just called AAA and I can get it towed this eve w/o the garage being open to receive it, so we're good to go. Thank you. If you'd like to know what happened, tell me how to contact you just for that.

Thanks again,

Expert:  John Crouch replied 7 years ago.

you can post it here to let me know if you like. Please dont forget to hit the accept button if you think that I have helped you. that is how we get paid for being here.



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