Q: I took my 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid to my regular mechanic five weeks ago with a broken brake line. He kept it for two days, then gave it back to me with no functioning antilock braking system and the brake pedal barely engaging near the floor. He handed me his bill, then said he could not fix the problem any better, and I needed to go to Ford. He did replace the brake line. Could you give me any advice on this? I really don’t want to take this out-of-warranty car to Ford if I don’t have to.
A: I did a lot of reading on this problem. It is in no way unique to your ’06 Escape. They are having a lot of brake-line failures. After the line repair, the bleeding of the system must be done using Ford computer software. Many of your better independent repair shops have this software, and of course, all dealers do, as well. A technician without knowledge of this system should in no way be working on the vehicle. You have regenerative brakes, which has to do with a 30-volt charging system. Lack of knowledge could lead to personal injury. So, if you can’t find a qualified repair facility, then I advise you to bring it to Ford.
Reader’s input: I am a regular reader of your column, which I find excellent, by the way. A writer asked about a banging noise in the front end of a 2007 Honda Ridgeline. I have the same vehicle, which I have owned since new and have done all my own service. I had a similar issue with my Ridgeline two months ago that was driving me crazy. After listening and trying to pinpoint where it was coming from, and then tugging and inspecting the entire front of the vehicle numerous times, and yes, checking the heat shields, I was amazed at what I found this banging to be on my truck, and here it goes: