Ford Escape & Light: 10 Questions Answered (For Newbies)

Ford Escape was introduced in the year 2000 as an affordable and fuel-efficient SUV.

It offers a decently powerful engine for a smooth driving performance, impeccable exteriors, a comfy interior, and standard safety features.

The Escape’s lighting system provides visibility, security, and vital information for drivers and other motorists. Should you buy the Escape, you’ll need to learn how the lights work.

This article outlines everything involved with managing the lighting system on your Ford Escape.

Which Light Bulbs Sizes and Types Do Ford Escapes Use?

The Escape has different light bulbs for its taillights, headlights, and parking lights.

We list them below:


The size of the Escape headlight varies with the model year and each has a specific number code.

For Ford Escape from 2001 to 2007, the headlight for both high beam and low beam use the 9003 bulb. Escapes from 2008 to 2012 used the H13 headlight bulb (high beam and low beam).

For Ford Escape from 2013 to 2016, the headlight (Bulb High Beam) uses H11 and Low Beam uses 9005 bulb. If the headlight has a titanium bulb, the high beam uses H1 and low beam bulbs use the D3S.

In 2017, the headlight bulb are halogen lights and HID lights. The high beam halogen headlight uses the H9 bulb and the low beam halogen headlights use the H11 bulb.

The low beam with HID headlights uses D3S, and the high beam with HID headlights uses H1.

From 2018 to 2019, the headlight bulb low beam (without projector-type headlights) uses H11, and the headlight bulb low beam (with HID headlights) uses D3S.

The headlight bulb high beam (without projector-type headlights) uses 9005, HID headlights use H1, and projector-type headlights use H9 bulb. In 2020, the headlight bulb high beam uses 9005 and the low beam uses H9.

Check here for the best deals on Ford Escape headlight bulbs on Amazon.


For taillights, the 2001 to 2005 Escape tail light used were 3157R bulb. From 2006 to 2012, the taillight used the 4157R bulb.

For 2013 to 2016 models, Ford went back to the 3157R bulb. From 2017 to 2020, the taillight bulb uses LED bulbs.

Click here to find the cheapest Ford Escape taillights on Amazon.

Parking Lights

Escape models from 2001 to 2007 used parking light bulb 3157A. It changed from 2008 to 2012 to light bulb 3457A.

The Escape parking light bulb from 2013 uses bulb 194 and from 2014 to 2017, the 7441 bulbs.

Finally, from 2018 to 2020 the parking light bulb uses 7443 and 7444NA.

Check here for affordable Ford Escape parking lights on Amazon.

How to Turn Off Daytime Running Lights on a Ford Escape

In a Ford Escape, the daytime running lights can be turned on or off.

You can do this using the instrument panel or the five-way control switch on the left side of the steering wheel.

Use these four simple steps to turn off your Escape daytime running lights:

  • Scroll to settings
  • Select vehicle
  • Scroll to lighting then select daytime lights.
  • Finally, there are 3 options, ON, OFF, or Automatic under the daytime lights. Select the daytime running light off as shown on the information display.

Ford Escape Light indicator Symbols Explained

Light indicator symbols on the dashboard are designed to let you know when there’s a problem with your vehicle.

The Escape model has a range of indicator lights and alerts. Most dashboards have three bright colors: yellow, red, and orange.

The more extreme warnings are highlighted in red. If you see a red warning sign, pull over as soon as it is safe to do so.

Examples of red light indicators include the “Check Engine” and “Low Engine Oil” lights, which signify critical issues with your vehicle.

Yellow lights usually signify a less critical issue. Don’t ignore a yellow light because it can easily become a big issue.

Green lights usually indicate that a component is active, such as when you switch on the indicators to show other drivers you want to make a turn.

Also read our article about where Ford Escapes are made.

How Do You Adjust the Light on a Ford Escape?

The primary method of adjusting the Escape’s light is the vertical aim adjustment.

It includes the following steps:

  1. Locate the vertical adjuster on the headlamp.
  2. Park the vehicle directly in front of a wall or screen on a level surface, approximately 7.6 meters away from a horizontal reference line
  3. The center height of the lamp to the ground should be 2.4 meters. This should be marked on the screen or wall as height. Mark the center of the lamp as a 3mm circle.
  4. Open the hood and switch on the low beam headlamps to light the wall or screen. An opaque fabric should be used to cover the left-hand-side headlamp.
  5. A light pattern with a distinct horizontal edge of high-intensity light towards the right would be visible on the wall or screen. If this edge is not parallel to the horizontal reference line, the beam must be modified.
  6. Use a 4 mm socket to adjust the vertical adjuster on the headlamp anticlockwise (to adjust up) or clockwise (to adjust down), aligning the upper edge of the light pattern to the horizontal line on the wall or screen.
  7. If your car has been involved in an accident, it is advisable to consult an expert.

Do Ford Escapes Have Automatic Headlamps?

Some Ford Escape models have automatic headlamps, which are called Autolamps.

The autolamp system is configured to switch the headlamps on or off automatically based on the visibility outside of the vehicle.

When the system senses the exterior of the vehicle getting dark, it activates the headlamps automatically.

You can, however, adjust the sensitivity of the automatic headlamps from low light to extreme darkness.

Make sure to also read our article about how long Ford Escapes last.

How Do I Turn Off the Lights On a Ford Escape?

To turn off the lights on a Ford Escape, look to the left side of the instrument panel. You’ll see the multi-position headlamp switch.

To switch off the headlamps, simply flip the switch to the off position.

How Do I Turn Off the Ford Escape Trunk Light?

Normally, the Escape trunk light will go off when the trunk is closed.

However, the trunk light may stay on if the power liftgate isn’t latching upon closing.

So, if the trunk light does not turn off after closing it, you may need to replace the lock actuator or realign the liftgate.

How Does the Auto Light Sensitivity Work?

If your Ford Escape is equipped with autolamps, they will illuminate if the car senses darkness outside.

However, you can change the sensitivity of the light sensor by selecting one of five settings: Max, High, Mid, Low, and Min.

Can I Use Headlight Covers On an Escape?

Yes, the headlight covers are an excellent way to shield your Escape’s headlights from damages.

They can serve as a great insurance package to prevent replacing expensive factory or aftermarket Ford Escape headlights.

However, make sure to check that headlight covers are legal in your state.

Please also read our article about 11 Ford Escape statistics you should know. 

The Dome/Interior Light Isn’t Working

Some basic problems with dome lights include burnt bulbs and blown fuses. Below are some steps to check minor dome light problems.

Check the dome light switch in front of the dome light fixture. In most cases, the lighting option is usually: “Off,” “On” and “Door.”

Selecting the “Door” option will make the light come up only when the door is opened. Change the lighting option by flipping d switch to “Door”. Test if it works by opening the door.

If the above step doesn’t work, try checking and replacing the bulb. Remove the dome light cover with the aid of a flat-head screwdriver to access the bulb.

If the bulb does not work, consider replacing the fuse. The last step should be done with caution. If the fuse is faulty, it is advisable to consult an expert to fix this.

Do Ford Escapes Have LED Lights?

Some model years of the Ford Escape, especially recent models, have LED lights.

Starting from 2013 to 2016, the Escape used LED bulbs for the center high mount stop light bulb, trunk or cargo area light, dome light bulb, and the map light bulb.

Model years 2017 to 2019 also had LED bulbs for the trunk or cargo area light, dome light bulb, map light bulb, center high mount stop light bulb, and brake light bulb.

The tail light bulb, trunk or cargo area light, dome light bulb, and map light bulb were also LED.

The Lights Come On but the Car Won’t Start

If your Escape headlights light up, your battery is fully charged, but the car won’t start, either the starter or the ignition is faulty.

Sometimes, your battery may not have enough charge to crank the engine which means your car won’t start.

A starter motor can be jumped using a charged battery if the starter or ignition is faulty.

However, it is better to change the faulty ignition or starter to avoid a recurring issue.

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