your trans has lectronic controls to operate the shifting of your trans. If there is a defect, a fault code will be stored in the computer, called a DTC. You need to have someone with a scan tool check for the fault code. It is likely a solenoid that is not working or stuck.
Get the codes first. Autozone can run the test for free on engines, maybe trans codes too. Call your local Autozone or big parts store and ask them.
SECTION 307-01: Automatic Transaxle/Transmission
2001 Escape Workshop Manual
DESCRIPTION AND OPERATION
The CD4E automatic transaxle is a four-speed, front wheel drive automatic transaxle with electronic controls for:
- Electronic pressure control (EPC) solenoid for shift quality.
- Shift scheduling.
- 3-2 shift timing.
- Coast braking.
- Torque converter clutch control.
The transaxle features a four element torque converter with a torque clutch and a geartrain that includes:
- Compound planetary gearset.
- Chain drive.
- Planetary gearset final drive.
- Pinion and side gear differential.
The hydraulic control system of the transaxle has five solenoids that control:
- Shift feel, through line pressure control.
- Shift scheduling, through shift valve positioning control.
- Modulated application of the torque converter clutch.
- Timing of 3-2 shifts.
- Engine braking during coast operation.
Solenoid Valve Body Assembly
The solenoid valve body assembly contains the transmission fluid temperature sensor (TFT) sensor, as well as five PCM controlled output devices:
- Electronic pressure control (EPC) solenoid.
- Shift solenoid A (SSA).
- Shift solenoid B (SSB).
- 3-2 timing/coast clutch solenoid (3-2 T/CCS).
- Torque converter clutch (TCC) solenoid.
You may need your PCM, Powertrain Control Module reflashed by a Ford Dealer.
Try disconnecting your battery for 1/2 hour and then reconnect and see what happens. It will run a little rough and shfit hard until it relearns your engine/trans characteristics.
Let us know results of tests and DTC codes if you get them.