4 Ford Escape Liftgate Problems: How To Fix It?

There are five common Ford Escape Liftgate problems:

  • The liftgate is jammed
  • The power liftgate bounces back
  • The liftgate is not opening due to battery or electrical issues
  • The liftgate is not opening due to a malfunctioning internal or external switch. 

This article breaks down all the Ford Escape liftgate problems and ways to fix these problems. So, stick with the article to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • The Ford Escape liftgate can often face some common problems. For instance, jammed liftgate, liftgate not closing, electrical problems, or switch problems. 
  • You can fix these problems by adjusting striker, replacing remote batteries, checking on wiring connection, or cleaning electrical parts.
  • If the problem still persists, it is recommended that you consult a manufacturer or someone who is professional. 

Problems And Solutions Of Ford Escape Problems

Ford Escape Problems
Source: Wards Auto
Problems Reasons Solution 
Stuck Or Jammed LiftgateActuator failure Liftgate latch issue Obstruction in the liftgate Wiring issueManually release the liftgateCheck for any obstructions Check the wiring
The Liftgate Won’t Cinch To A Fully Closed Position  Adjustment of the striker, liftgate margins, or striker wings.Adjust the striker wings or striker margins.
Battery/Electrical Issues Worn-out remote batteryDamaged wiringsSensor problems Fuse failure Replace the batteryRepair damaged electrical wiringsReplace sensor and fuse Clean the electrical components
Internal and External Switch  malfunction Faulty wiring Dirt and debris built up Water damageReplace the power buttons Clean the button contacts. 

Elaboration Of The Problems And Solution

Here is an elaboration of Ford Escape Lftgate’s problems and how to fix them:

Problem 1: Jammed or Stuck Liftgate


  • Liftgate actuator failure: The Ford Escape liftgate uses an actuator motor to open and close. So, when the motor fails, the liftgate may get stuck and not open. The liftgate actuator isn’t necessarily risky for your car. However, it is recommended not to drive with a failed actuator motor. 
  • Liftgate hatch issue: If the liftgate latch is stuck in the closed position the liftgate may not open. This could be caused because of a faulty latch mechanism. 
  • Obstruction in the liftgate: Any obstruction like a piece of luggage or debris may prevent the liftgate from opening.


  • Manually release the liftgate: If the liftgate is stuck because of a latch issue, try releasing it manually using a screwdriver.
  • Check for obstruction: If there is an obstruction in the liftgate, removing it may allow the liftgate to open.
  • Check the wiring: If there is a wiring issue, check the wiring connections and repair the damaged parts. 
  • Check the liftgate actuator: If the problem is because of a faulty actuator, you have to replace it. Here is a step-by-step guide to replacing the actuator:
    • Open the top portion of the liftgate and remove the plastic panel.
    • Locate a small lever beneath the actuator.
    • Lift the lever manually. 
    • Remove the 4 screws holding the panel in place.
    • Detach the actuator by unscrewing the screws that are holding the actuator in place. 
    • Carefully disconnect the wires attached to the actuator by releasing the clips. 
    • Replace the faulty actuator with a new one. 

For visual representation here’s a video

liftgate actuator

Problem 2: The Liftgate Won’t Cinch To A Fully Closed Position/Bounces Back


  • Striker wings or striker margins issues: The liftgate won’t cinch to a fully closed position because of adjustment problems with striker margins or wings. 


  • Adjust the striker wings: To resolve the problem adjust the striker position or the striker wings. Here are the steps to adjust strike wings in a Ford Escape (2017-2019) model:
    • Protect the plastic trim panel of the striker with a towel. 
    • Gradually put a small of wood on the striker and tap the wood with a hammer to adjust the striker. Move the striker no more than 0.079 inches. 
    • If the liftgate doesn’t close completely, move the striker forward another 0.039 inches and test again. 
  • Adjust striker bumpers: If the problem is still not resolved, you can try installing striker bumpers. Here are the steps to install striker bumpers (2017-2019 model):
    • Remove the package cover by sliding it to the side and lifting it up.
Adjust striker bumpers
Source: Ford Service Content
  • Then remove the floor covering of the luggage compartment.
floor covering
Source: Ford Service Content
  • Remove the retainers that hold load space storage compartments in place.
hold load space storage compartments
Source: Ford Service Content
  • Locate the liftgate weatherstrip and gently move it out of the way to access the area behind it.
liftgate weatherstrip
Source: Ford Service Content
  • Take out the liftgate scruff panels by separating the pin-type retainers and releasing the clips.
liftgate scruff panels
Source: Ford Service Content
  • Separate the striker bumpers using your hand from the striker.
striker bumpers
Source: Ford Service Content
  • Bend the striker wings with a wrench in an outward direction. Both sides have to be equally bent. Try to attain a distance of 3.327-3.346 inches.
  • Set the striker bumper in the liftgate striker. To place it back on, follow the removal process in reverse. 

Problem 3: Battery/Electrical Issues


  • Worn-out battery of the remote: A worn-out remote battery can cause the liftgate to not open. So, it needs to be replaced. 
  • Wiring issue: If there is a problem with the wiring that controls the liftgate, it may not open properly. Wiring issues like short circuits or damaged wires can caused due to water leaks. This can lead to the liftgate not functioning properly. 
  • Sensor problems: Door sensors in the liftgate area can also experience issues because of water damage and corrosion. Sensor failures can result in incorrect signals being sent to the car causing the liftgate to malfunction. 
  • Failed fuse: The Liftgate on the Ford Escape is power-operated and has its own fuse. Fuse number 7 is responsible for powering the liftgate latch. If this fuse is not working or is blown then the liftgate will have problems too. 


  • Faulty wiring: Check the wiring connections and repair any damaged wires. 
  • Replace the remote battery: Replace the battery in the remote and check the remote for further problems. Make sure the distance between the remote key and the car is between 3 ft to 25ft. Further distance than this and the liftgate won’t open. 
  • Replace the sensor: If the sensor isn’t working properly, clean the sensor if there is dirt and debris using an electric contact cleaner. If the sensor is damaged replace it with a new one. 
  • Check and fix the fuse: 
  • Open the front hood and locate the fuse box.
  • Unclip the cover sign on the side clips.
  • Check the small fuse diagram on the cover for reference.
  • Find the blue 15-amp fuse labeled for the liftgate latch. 
  • Replace the fuse if it’s burnt to restore power. 

To prevent any electrical issues, make sure you clean all electrical components of the liftgate. Otherwise, dirt and debris may cause it to malfunction and cause corrosion. 

Problem 4: Internal and External Switch Malfunction


  • Faulty power button: The power button may malfunction because of faulty wiring or a damaged switch though this is a very rare problem. 
  • Built-up dirt and dust: Built-up dirt in the button contacts can cause it to malfunction sometimes. 
  • Water damage: A faulty exterior switch can be caused because of water-related damage. Leaked water causes the switch to split inside due to poor sealing. 


  • Fixing power button malfunction: Replace the power buttons if it is unresponsive.
Product NameFeature 
CRC 05103 QD Electronic CleanerMade from petroleum distillate and alcoholQuick-drying, plastic-safe, residue-free featuresIdeal for even sensitive electronics
  • Reconnect the buttons and test if they work properly.
  • Fixing water-damaged switch: 
  • Inspect the door ajar switch and the liftgate switch for corrosion. If the switch is damaged, replace it with a switch. 

Take help from this video for visual help to fix the fuse, and actuator and clean the liftgate.

This was all about the problems the Ford Escape liftgate may face. However, another common problem of Ford Escape can be that the driver’s side floor gets overheated. In that case, consult with your manufacturer to fix the problem. Also, learn about common car engine problems and how to fix them. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): 

How Do I Open The Ford Escape Trunk From The Inside?

Look for a button on the side of the dashboard. This will be on the left side of the steering wheel. Press the button and the hatch will open up. If you are still confused, look for the manual of your car. The manual can easily guide you. 

What Are Common Ford Escape Problems?

Common problems of the Ford Escape include issues with the power-operated tailgate, where buttons might not function properly. This will prevent the tailgate from opening fully. Electrical problems related to burnt fuses or wiring can lead to malfunctioning tailgate controls. Moreover, some models may experience transmission or engine-related concerns. In that case, consult professionals or manufacturers.

What Year Ford Escape Model Should Be Avoided?

All the Ford Escape models are great options for a commute. However, some model years have some major problems. Some models to be avoided are 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014. 

Closing Words

Now that you are aware of what your Ford Escape liftgate problems can be, inspect them and fix them accordingly. If you are still facing other problems visit the manufacturer or consult a professional technician.

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