Ford Escape Dashboard Warning Lights

Ford Escape Dashboard Warning Lights

These are the dashboard warning lights for the Ford Escape. Included are the latest three generations of Ford Escape. Dashboard instrument display layout and warning light location will vary depending on your year model of Escape.

It’s normal procedure for many warning lights to illuminate when the ignition is switched on and go off shortly after, or when the engine starts. This is either a bulb check or a system check. If a warning light remains on, or comes on while driving, refer to the symbols below for further information.
SymbolWarning Light Description / Action
Ford Escape Airbag Dashboard Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape airbag warning light.
Description: The airbag warning light should briefly illuminate when the ignition is switched on and go off when the engine starts. If the airbag warning light fails to illuminate with the ignition on, continues to flash or illuminates while driving, it indicates a malfunction. This means the Airbag Control Unit has seen an issue with the system and to avoid accidental deployment, has disabled the system. It's unlikely they will operate in the event of a collision. This is often a sensor fault, involving:
• Accelerometers
• Impact sensors
• Side door pressure sensors
• Seat occupancy sensors.
Occasionally cables and connections related to the SRS (Supplemental Restraint System) under the front seats become dislodged triggering the fault.
Ford Escape BRAKE Dashboard Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape brake warning light.
Description: The Ford Escape red brake warning light stays illuminated due to:
▷ The parking brake not being fully released.
▷ Low brake fluid.
▷ A brake system fault.
First check that the parking brake is fully released. If it is, open the hood and check brake fluid levels. A sudden loss of brake fluid may indicate a leak, though brake fluid level will fall over time as brake pads wear low. If brake fluid levels are acceptable, it may indicate a fault with the brake system. In this instance, the ABS warning light may also illuminate. A warning message such as 'Service brake system' or 'Brake service needed' may be displayed - See Ford Escape warning messages. This may be a simple procedure to fix or a serious issue where a loss of braking occurs. If the brake pedal feels spongy and a lack of braking occurs, prepare to use the parking brake to help slow the vehicle. Typical brake fault issues with the Ford Escape is the hydraulic control unit, brake system module harness or the master cylinder that need to be replaced This can be a very expensive repair, potentially costing thousands of dollars. Have the vehicle hooked up to a diagnostic tool to have fault codes read.
Ford Escape ABS Dashboard Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape ABS warning light.
Description: The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety system developed to prevent the wheels from locking during emergency braking. Dues to the wheels not locking, it means the driver can continue to steer the vehicle. If the Ford Escape ABS warning light comes on, it means that only the ABS system has malfunction and that the vehicle brakes will not be affected. However, if the BRAKE warning light also illuminates, it's potentially a far more serious situation (refer to BRAKE warning light above). ABS faults often relate to wheel speed sensors or wiring due to these components being situated at the wheels and subjected wear from the environment.
Drive with caution
Though normal brake will continue to work, be cautious particularly if braking hard as there's an increased risk of wheels locking.
Ford Escape Start Stop Dashboard Warning Light
Start Stop
Warning light name: Ford Escape Auto Start Stop warning light.
Description: The green indicator light illuminates when the engine has shut off. The Ford Escape Auto Start Stop system helps reduce fuel consumption and exhaust emissions by automatically shutting off and restarting the engine while the vehicle has come to a standstill. In order to initiate, the system runs a set of vehicle checks. If these checks are not passed, Auto-Stop will be inhibited and the Auto Start Stop unavailable warning light illuminates Ford Escape Start Stop Unavailable Dashboard Warning Light
Ford Escape start stop system not working
If your auto-stop system frequently seems not to work, see Ford Escape start stop system not working for possible reasons why.
Ford Escape Battery Dashboard Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape Battery warning light.
Description: The red battery warning light should illuminate with the ignition switched on and go off when the engine starts. If the Ford Escape battery warning light illuminates while driving, it indicates a charging fault. Typical faults relate to:
▷ Alternator.
▷ Ageing battery.
▷ Connections / wiring.
▷ Drive belts.
Check any of the above if possible. If the battery warning light is illuminated while on the move, immediately switch off any non-essential vehicle utilities that consume electricity. When the battery becomes drained of charge, the engine will shut down. Make your way immediately to a vehicle repair shop.

Ford Escape Blind Spot Monitor Dashboard Warning Light
Blind Spot
Warning light name: Ford Escape blind spot warning light.
Description: On each side of the vehicle is a blind spot - an area that cannot be seen in the mirrors. Using sensors located on each side of the rear bumper, the blind spot monitoring system warns the driver of approaching vehicle by use of a warning light in the corresponding side of an external mirror. A warning light illuminates on the dashboard when a fault has been detected. Ensure the sensors are free from dirt, snow etc and avoid covering them with stickers. If your vehicle has received an impact on the rear bumper, it may damage the sensors.
Ford Escape Adaptive Cruise Control Dashboard Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape adaptive cruise control warning light.
Description: The adaptive cruise control system may not function for the following reasons:
• A blocked sensor. Ensure the sensor is clean. It's located behind a fascia panel in the front lower grille.
• High brake temperature.
• A failure in the system or a related system.
• Poor visibility or lighting conditions.
• Bad weather conditions.
Ford Escape Electric Parking Brake Dashboard Warning Light
Parking Brake
Warning light name: Ford Escape electric parking brake warning light.
Description: Your vehicle has an electric parking brake if it's operated with a switch rather then the traditional lever. The brake warning light flashes
Ford Escape BRAKE Dashboard Warning Light
when the parking brake is being applied and remains on for as long as the electric parking brake is applied.
Electronic parking brake fault
If the brake warning light continues to flash or does not illuminate at all when the electric parking brake is applied, the system has malfunctioned. Low battery charge may be the reason for failure. In this instance, Hill Start Assist (if equipped) may also malfunction. Have vehicle checked immediately as the vehicle will not be secure when parked.
Ford Escape Oil Level / Pressure Dashboard Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape oil level / pressure warning light.
Description: The red oil warning light is one of the most urgent lights to come on. If the Ford Escape oil warning light illuminates while driving, it's important to take immediate action as severe engine damage may arise.
1. Safely pull off the road and stop, ideally on a level surface and switch off the engine.
2. Wait a few minutes for the engine oil to drain into the pan of the engine.
3. Open the hood and using the dipstick, check engine oil level.
4. If the oil level is satisfactory (within the MIN. and MAX. dipstick markers), do not continue your journey and do not restart the engine. This indicates low oil pressure - continuing to drive will severely damage the engine.
5. If the oil level is low and you have added oil, restart the engine and check that the oil warning light goes off.
6. Only continue your journey if the oil warning light goes off. If it remains on, switch off the engine as this indicates low oil pressure. Low oil pressure is an engine lubrication fault that results in extreme heat and engine seizure. Arrange to have the vehicle towed.
Ford Escape Fog Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape fog warning lights.
Description: These symbols illuminate when the front and/or rear fog warning lights are activated.
1. Front fog lights (if equipped).
2. Rear fog lights.
Ford Escape High Beam Warning Light
High Beam
Warning light name: Ford Escape high beam warning light.
Description: This blue warning light illuminates in the dashboard display when the main beam / high beam headlights are activated.

Ford Escape Information (i) Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape i warning light.
Description: The 'i' warning light stands for 'information' and illuminates when a message is available to read. Messages range from informational to warnings. The information / message warning light illuminates in red or amber depending on the importance and how serious the message is. For further information, see Ford Escape warning messages.
Ford Escape Low Tire Pressure Warning Light
Tire Pressure
Warning light name: Ford Escape low tire pressure warning light.
Description: The low tire pressure warning light illuminates for the following reasons:
▷ Briefly when the ignition is switched on as a function check.
▷ Stays on indicating low tire pressure. If driving, reduce speed gradually and avoid harsh steering or braking. Check tire pressures or replace flat tire with spare.
▷ Flashes then stays on indicating a malfunction with the system. Tires are fitted with pressure sensors inside them. Due to the spare wheel not being fitted with this device, the warning light will indicate a malfunction when it's installed.
Ford Escape Parking Lights Warning Light
Parking Lights
Warning light name: Ford Escape parking lights warning light.
Description: This green symbol indicates that the parking lights are switched on.
Ford Escape Check Engine Warning Light
Check Engine
Warning light name: Ford Escape check engine warning light.
Description: The Ford Escape check engine warning light illuminates with ignition cycle as a bulb check then goes out. If the check engine light stays on, it indicates a fault with the emissions system. Also referred to as the 'service engine soon' or 'malfunction indicator light (MIL)', the warning light may illuminate or flash:
Illuminates: The on-board diagnostics system has determined that there's a fault in the emissions system.
Flashes: A flashing check engine warning light is often more serious as it indicates an engine misfiring. This can result in extremely high temperatures that can damage the catalytic converter or other engine components. Immediately reduce speed and avoid high engine loads. Have engine serviced and checked soon at a Ford workshop. Whether the check engine light is illuminated or flashing, faults can be related to numerous issues and so requires diagnostic equipment to locate. Diagnostic tools read faults codes that are stored by the vehicle computer.
Certain models of Ford Escape
On certain models of Ford Escape, the check engine warning light illuminates due to a temporary fault including:
• Poor fuel quality.
• Water in the fuel.
• Loose gas cap.
• Fuel level extremely low or running out of fuel.
• The vehicle electrical system is wet due to for example, driving through deep water.
• Engine overheating.
Reduced engine power
Certain conditions where the check engine warning light is on may induce reduced engine power mode. The is a self-protection software mode that prevents the engine from reaching higher speeds.
Ford Escape Stability / Traction Control Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape stability / traction control warning light.
Description: The Ford Escape comes equipped with stability control which helps to reduce oversteer and understeer when cornering and also traction control which helps to prevent wheel spin. The warning light may illuminate or flash:
Illuminates: This means that a fault has occurred with the stability / traction control system. As it uses the same sensors as the ABS, it may be a sensor issue.
Flashes: This means the system is actively working.
Switching traction control off
The stability / traction control system is on by default. Though it's recommended to keep it on at all times, certain situations such a being stuck in mud or snow may benefit from switching traction control off.
Ford Escape Immobilizer Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape immobilizer / anti-theft warning light.
Description: The car and lock symbol is the Ford Escape immobilizer / anti-theft warning light and should flash every 2 seconds when the ignition is off to indicate that the system is armed. If there's a fault with the system, the warning light will rapidly flash or remain constantly on. Sometimes switching the ignition off then back on resolves the issue. Alternatively, try starting the vehicle with a second key if possible. Other issues that can cause starting problems are having metal objects, cell phones, other coded keys within close proximity to the vehicle key. A dead key battery that requires replacement may also be the issue, or that the key requires reprogramming. Certain older models of Ford Escape can have the anti theft reset by removing the positive cable from the battery, switching on the ignition, then replace the positive cable, switching off the ignition, then back on again.
Ford Escape Throttle / Powertrain Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape throttle control / powertrain warning light.
Description: The Ford Escape wrench warning light is an indication of a faulty throttle control body that requires replacing or an issue with the powertrain. Due to there being numerous potential fault reasons, diagnostic equipment is required to read fault codes. The engine may enter reduced power mode when the wrench light comes on. Occasionally, restarting the engine clears the fault, though this is usually temporary.
Ford Escape O/D Warning Light
Warning light name: Ford Escape OD warning light.
Description: The OD warning light flashing is an indication of a transmission fault. Faults are numerous and range from oil or sensor issues, up to a complete transmission failure where it requires replacement. Diagnostic tools are required to read fault codes to locate the error.

35 thoughts on “Ford Escape Dashboard Warning Lights

  1. All of my dash lights come on. They stay on. After I turn the car off it will not start again. Dead. Even roadside assistance cannot boost it, it will not take a charge. This has happened 4 times since I bought the car and I bought it almost new about 2 years ago. Dealer cannot find the problem. Any suggestions

    1. I have a 2014 Ford escape, my screen on the dash by the speedometer that shows your speed, mileage, trips etc. It started glitching and was only about half visible… Also my check engine light and the [ I ] info light were always on even after getting it checked several times and there was nothing wrong…. Come to find out it was a fuse!!! I would take it to a mechanic u trust tell them the problem and I guarantee it has something to do with the computer system, u may need new fuses which r cheap or u may have another problem, not sure just sharing my experience and hopefully it’s helpful to someone in need!!

    2. My 2021 escape does the same thing and the first time was with only 396 miles on the car. Second time was with 7400 miles on the car.

      1. On the dash I have 3 yellow lights tht come on cant find anything that tells me what it means trying to add fliuds but cant find transmission fluid dip stick either

    3. Push in on key hard as ypu can and turn key hard as you can escape are bD about the ignition cyl wearing there’s a short cut to fixing it just google it

    1. Hi Sue,
      Are you getting any warning message such as Hill start assist is not available?
      Or is it just not working?
      If it’s a fault, you’ll ideally need to see if there’s any fault codes. These can be scanned for using diagnostic tools. Hill start assist faults can relate to battery problems, brake problems including brake fluid or pads, sensor issues such as wheel speed sensor. Can also be problems with the ECU that controls it.
      Or it could be manually disabled if you’re not getting errors.

    1. Hi Kathy,
      Sound to me like hill decent assist (or some other name). The system essentially helps to control the speed of your vehicle while going down a hill by automatically applying the brakes.

  2. My 2021 Ford Escapes dashboard turned red when I started up my car today. The entire middle portion of the dash. Never seen this color before. Any thoughts?

    1. Hello Kt23,
      The first and easiest thing to check is tire pressure. If it pulls to the left when you’re not braking, it may be due to wheel alignment being out. Going further, it could be a steering or suspension related fault. Hitting curbs, potholes etc can cause these issues.

  3. I just bought a 2020 Ford Escape SE and the blind spot picture stays on, on my dash screen. I have looked and looked for the sensors but can not find them. When I bought the car the salesman didn’t show me anything because it was snowing and cold out. So I’m lost. Any info is appreciated .

  4. Own a 2014 Ford Escape Titanium AWD all kimds of lights have been coming on and everythimg cannot possibly be wrong at least 6 or more sensors lighting up…when I accelerate my car hesitates then will go what is up with all this shit at once? Do not love this car and never have. Only 63,000 plus on miles .

    1. Hi Gail,
      Sounds like an electrical fault that’s sending things a bit crazy. Best to have diagnostics and check for any fault codes that might help point you in the right direction.

  5. I have a 2011 escape.. all the dash lights were flashing /power steering gone .and the battery was constantly drained. Bought a new battery.. same deal.. now I have a new symbol, not even listed in the dash light information. Started today. It’s a rectangle with a circle in it above the speedometer. It is a whitish silver color , fading in and out as I drive. Anyone else seen this symbol and know what it is?

  6. I have a 2011 Escape. For some reason my dash lights flash.. battery light comes on. and no power steering.. Brand new battery, (as I thought was the problem) Now I have a new symbol on the dash above and just left of the speedometer.. It’s tall , rectangular, with a open circle at the top.. it fades in and out while driving.. Anyone have info on it?

    1. Hi Rapheal,
      It’s likely a charging system fault. When there’s a lack of charge, everything starts to fail. Take a look at your charging system, generator / alternator, drive belts, battery state of charge / condition, wiring etc. Probably best not to drive the vehicle in its current state.

  7. Thanks! My wife was on the road and saw the light–this helped me confirm is was a check engine light and not a “pull over and wait for me to come get you before the car explodes” light 😉

    1. Hi Renata,
      The Ford Escape yellow wrench light means there’s a problem with the powertrain. The powertrain is anything that drives the vehicle forwards and includes anything from the engine to the drive wheels. As such, there a numerous possibilities of what the fault might be. The best action to take is to connect a scan tool which will search for fault codes. When fault codes are found and read, it should hopefully help to locate what and where the fault is. You can either purchase your own scan tools or have an auto repair workshop do scan your Ford for you.

      1. I started my cat this evening and all the lights remained off except one headlight! No dash lights, no turn signals or tail lights. The I in the little triangle box came on with the symbol of a car and sliding. The up hill something was reflected. I continued to drive home and everything came on again. Got home, shut the car off and all symbols disappeared! What the heck was that?

        1. Hi Gail,
          Multiple electrical issues can often be related to battery / alternator issues, but as you said it was fine after a restart, it doesn’t sound like the problem. Sounds more like a short circuit in the electrical system. It could be something simple such as a loose fuse. Always worth checking the simple things first; battery, battery connections, alternator belt and check that all fuses are firmly seated. If the problem persists, further investigation will be required to locate the short circuit.

  8. I have a 2018 Ford Escape. I noticed something in my display section I had never seen. It’s a vertical line with a portion of it highlighted towards the top of the line. I’ve looking in my owners manual and can’t find a picture indicating what it is. Anyone know?

    1. Hi Nancy,
      Is it a dashed line? If it’s that, I think it might be the menu location status that can be controlled with the up/down arrows on the steering wheel.

  9. I have a 2014 Ford Escape and a warning came on saying INST FUEL ECON.
    Can you let me know what that means.

    1. Hi Judy,
      It’s not a warning, it’s a setting for your display readout and stands for Instant Fuel Economy. Rather than average fuel economy which calculates your average fuel economy by dividing miles travelled by gallons of fuel used per 100 kilometers travelled, instant fuel economy tells you the MPG at that exact time.

  10. We have a 2018 Escape. The change battery in key fob light is on and has remained on since we purchased the vehicle and no one can tell us how to reset it. Also the washer fluid light has come on and has remained on since refilling the washer fluid container. Is there a way to reset this light?

  11. On my 2013 ford escape titanium there’s a button next to my flasher button it lights a little spot red what’s that button for ?

    1. Hi Bonnie,
      Not entirely sure if this is the button that you’re referring to, but it might be there to tell you if the doors are locked.

  12. I have a 2007 Escape Limited with the 3.0 engine. I was driving yesterday and I saw a “check 4WD system “ alert on the dash? What does that indicate?

  13. My Ford escape 2016 icing road warning light illuminated. How do I reset it. I think it has stopped the A/C from.working. The car is in Africa and we don’t have icing conditions on our roads. Please help.

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