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Old 11-24-2008, 07:25   #1 (permalink)
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Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

Hi, I am hoping someone can shed some light on this.
Our 2008 Escape Hybrid suddenly had a huge drop in it's fuel economy, and the engine is rev'g rather high.

I know mileage drops during the winter but we have dropped from an average of 40MPG to 29mpg on the last tank. This seem excessive. We did not get that poor mileage in March when we bought the truck.

One of the things contributing to this is it seems, it does not kick into hybrid mode, even when the engine is at full operating temp. (the heater controls are set for econo) I will be driving along on a flat road at 50kph (~30mph) and the engine is rev'g at 2500rpm. This is much higher than normal. The engine also idles in park at 1300rpm most times now too. Even when warm. If it does enter hybrid mode at a stop light, it only last for a little more than 30 seconds.

This has all happened with in the last week..
I don't know if it's a computer issue, Engine or CVT issue.

Has anyone heard of similar issues with the FEH?

Thanks
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Old 11-30-2008, 20:53   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

I'd take it to the dealer. There might be a TSB (technical service bulletin) issued with a fix to the problem. Otherwise going from 40 to 29mpg in winter conditions isn't bad. All the reviews I've read over the years state around 25% decrease in mileage in winter conditions. Don't forget..when the battery pack gets cold it becomes less efficient than if it was warm outside.

If you can stand it; try keeping the fan 'off' and the rear windows down a notch so the interior doesn't fog up and see if the problem persists. Driving with the fan in 'defrost' mode will also run the A/C compressor by the way, which may also explain the drop in mileage.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:32   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

Well just incase anyone is interested..

Here is a quick update. The problem seemed to fix itself for about a week and a half and then came back...

It got so bad that yesterday even after running for 30 minutes or more the engine would idle at 1700rpm in park.

I've take the truck to the dealer this morning.. I'll let you know what happens.
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Old 12-09-2008, 07:24   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

Hi Everyone, Well I thought I'd let you all know about the latest in my saga..

Turns out the vehicle is operating as it should.
The excessive rev'g is caused by the PCM (Power Control Module) telling the Gas engine it needs the generator to spin faster to generate more power to charge the batteries. In colder weather there is more power required to charge because the batteries become less efficient. Just like a normal gas powered car we can expect a 25% to 30% drop in fuel economy during the winter months.

The Gas engine runs longer to get to operating temp, and the batteries need to be at a certain temp to charge more efficiently, this also take more time and power. (they don't warm up if they are not charging)

I've found a couple of trick to get the ICE and the batteries to the point the truck will switch in to EV mode sooner.. We'll see if they work..

FYI.. just a piece of information passed on by the hybrid tech yesterday.. The Gas engine is only used to turn the Generator, it does not provide direct power to the wheels. All propulsion is provided by the Electric motor.

Cheers
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Old 01-11-2009, 10:42   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

I have had a similar problem with my hybrid: In september my milage went from 35 to 31; next tank to 27; then to 23. this is NOT cold weather in the Washington DC area. no problem found from Ford. Since then it has gone up slightly to 26 in the winter months, but a "slight" increase from a drop of over 30% just does not seem ringht. I am now getting an "estimated" 370/tank, almost 100 miles less then when I purchased the vehicle in June 2008. Any help would be appreciated. PS I also heard of a filter going to the battery as a possible cause of low mileage.
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Old 02-09-2009, 11:47   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

Unfortunately. I can't coment on the latest gas milage on our 08 FEH anymore...
It was totaled in an accident Mid Dec..

Even though the insuance paid out the Invoice price, the price difference between an 08 and similar 09 was too high to justify buying a new one. We picked up a Gas powered 09 4 Cyl. XLT 4WD Escape. With the price dif, and saving in financing interest (6.9% for Hybrid... 0% for non-hybrid) we saved $15K... Oh well....

Have to say though... after driving the new 09 FE 4WD.. I still prefer the ride of the FEH.. much quieter, even with the gas engine running...
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Old 06-14-2009, 20:09   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Sudden poor mileage and excessive rpm in Escape Hybrid

Quote:
Originally Posted by Muad_Dib View Post
Hi Everyone, Well I thought I'd let you all know about the latest in my saga..





FYI.. just a piece of information passed on by the hybrid tech yesterday.. The Gas engine is only used to turn the Generator, it does not provide direct power to the wheels. All propulsion is provided by the Electric motor.

Cheers

This is only true when you are in reverse. Forward propulsion is from the ICE, the generator and/or the hybrid batteries. The cold weather issues is related to the hybrid battery temperature. In extreme cold--near and below zero --after the vehicle has been sitting for 8 hours like at work--the vehicle will run a series of charges and discharges in an attempt to raise the battery temperature. This creates noise. What is interesting is the 2005-07 FEH have a connection to the hybrid battery heater! When one installs an engine block heater, they also have this connection to the hybrid battery heater done. Thus, using the engine block heater will heat the hybrid battery pack and in bitter cold winter temperatures, the vehicle operaters almost like in summer temperatures. Ford Motor company dropped the connection to the hbyrid battery pack heater early in the 2008 modely production run.
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