2001 Ford Escape Roof Seems Flimsy

Just wondering if other Escape owners have had any problems with the roof buckling a bit over the front half?
Mine will do that puh-plunk thing whenever there is a bit of pressure
on it. Laserwash and hand wash will make it flex. Is this normal?
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"Harrison" wrote

OH, MY GOD!!!!!!!! STOP DRIVING IT IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Does it "plunk" back to it's original shape? Does it keep the rain off your head? Don't worry about it. It's just a BIG slightly curved metal sheet, and big slightly curved metal sheets do that. The hood on my T-Bird looks like it's turning inside out when the air dryer hits it.
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I asked a simple question. I didn't ask for a simpleton to answer. If someone of reasonable intelligence, experience, and ability would like to answer my question, please feel free.
On Sun, 05 Oct 2003 10:46:11 GMT, "MasterBlaster"

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You may not like the answer, or don't get the humor in it..............he is correct though. Large areas of sheet-metal act that way. Even other areas of a car will do the same as pointed out by the Blaster. It is not a safety, quality or structural issue and is not an Escape only condition. What is this your first vehicle? Have you not washed your own vehicles? It would seem to me that some one of "reasonable intelligence" and someone who has "experience" just washing their own vehicles would understand that and have had come across it before.
wrote:

head?
slightly
inside
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The fact is I have owned many vehicles and this is the first one to have sheet metal this flimsy. It even buckles at Interstate speeds when passing semis. That is why I posted the question, and that is why I'd hoped for an intelligent answer and not some dimwit telling me to never drive the vehicle again.

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Really? What did you own? Did you wash the vehicles you owned? How do you know the sheet-metal buckles at interstate speed when passing semis?
wrote:

your
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Yes, really.

I don't know why I'm humoring you, but here goes. 1971 Oldsmobile Cutlass S 1969 Chevrolet 1/2 ton stepside 1976 Chevrolet 1/2 ton stepside 1978 Chevrolet LUV 1982 Chevrolet LUV 1986 Ford Ranger 1992 Ford Aerostar 1995 Honda Civic 1998 Honda Civic 1999 Plymouth Breeze 2000 Toyota Tacoma X-cab and of course the 2001 Ford Escape.
Oh yeah... I also own a Trek 2300, but I've had no problems with it. I have washed it twice.

Yes, I washed them all. None of them buckled as easily as the Escape does. The Escape is an otherwise great vehicle, but the buckling sheet metal concerns me. That is why I posted the original message.

Because I can hear it from inside the vehicle. The weak part is directly on above the front seats. It's plenty load when it flexes.

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This is how just about every new car is. They don't make the metal as thick and often use lots of plastics and such. Modern cars are also designed to crumble around you and leave the passenger compartment stiff/intact. In other words, it's normal.
My girlfriend was crawling over the hood and trunk of my '67 when we wash it and the roof will bend a little under her weight, but always pops back... The hood on my '68 has never bent when my girlfriend and I sit on it at the drive-in movies. I once had 4 people sitting on the hood of my '67 and it didn't flex. New cars are built to be lightweight and easily crushable... That means typically if you lean on a body panel while pumping gas it will often bend or even 'pop' in. If it stays in, that means you've bought a car that is too new. ;)
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That don't sound normal to me. You may have a bent brace under the sheet metal. I would look at another Escape and see if it is the same way.

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Thanks you for the one reasonable and intelligent response I have received to my question. I didn't think it was normal either, but I thought I'd check with other Ford owners, mechanics, etc.
Thanks again.
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Harrison wrote:

The first thing I noticed about my 97 Bird when I bought it was the flimsy roof. In one of those really dumb impulse moments I decided to entertain my granddaughter by driving under a torrent of water coming off a supermarket roof during heavy rain. Didn't realize till later that I had caused an indent on the roof in the process.
A couple months later I was involved in an accident that was 100% the other guys fault. I made a deal with the body shop to fix the roof while they were repairing the front end. When I wash it now I don't notice it that much but it made me real nervous in the beginning.
Frank
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Thanks. I know there are crumple zones, but this one seems way too weak. I'm going to check out a few on a dealer's lot later this week.
On Mon, 06 Oct 2003 17:05:36 GMT, "F.H."

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The roof is NOT a crumple zone! If you roll, I should hope the "cage" above you stays intact. The skin, though, is not part of that structure. It's true, the only purpose of a roof is to keep the rain off you and keep the warm air inside(if it's cold out). Sheet metal gets thinner all the time. The reason, I assume, which hasn't been mentioned yet, is that Ford(and everyone else) is CHEAP! O.K., to be fair, weight is a factor these days, too. It wouldn't surprise me if Ford added a brace there after a sufficient number of owners came in and asked why the roof is so flimsy( I mean adding this part in production, not adding it to cars already built). You know, P.R. and all that stuff. There's nothing wrong with it, but if people think the car is poorly made then sales would presumably suffer. Just thinking out loud. sorry for the wordiness. Not to be critical, but as an outside observer I noticed that you characterized the first reply that agreed with you as "intelligent" and all the others as "dimwitted". just looking for a particular answer?
--
-brad-
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I'm assuming you don't have a moonroof? My 2002 is quite sturdy on top, but then, I have the retractable moonroof. Tom F.
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