How to update maps on Ford Escape Sync-3 navigation system

You can update the maps in your Ford vehicle’s navigation system by downloading the latest software online or using the dedicated USB drive sent to you by mail.

Ford Escape, fourth generation – (photo by Ford)

First, to check to see which version of sync you have and your serial number, or ESN, use your touch screen to go to settings, general, and about sync. In older models it may say “About”.

Disable auto engine shutdown first

Due to the length of time needed for this update, we need to make sure that the automatic engine shutdown feature is disabled. Only certain vehicles are equipped with this option. So check to see if yours has it and turn it off if it does.

Newer vehicles

For newer model year vehicles, press Settings in the touch screen. Then Vehicle, 30min max idle, and slide to disable.

Older vehicles

If you have an older Ford vehicle model, use the left-hand steering wheel controls to scroll to settings in the information display. Choose Vehicle by pressing okay. Then uncheck the Auto Engine off box.

Update Navigation

Now you’re ready to begin the update process. So be sure your vehicle is parked in a well ventilated area with the engine running.

  1. Insert the accompanying USB drive that contains new sync three navigation software into one of your vehicles front USB ports.
  2. A “Software Update Detected” message should appear shortly. Read the information and press Next button to continue.
  3. Another message will pop up that reminds you to leave your vehicle running while the USB drive is connected and asks if you want to proceed with the installation. Press Yes to begin installing the maps update.
  4. Keep in mind, if the software update is interrupted during this installation process, the update will need to be restarted from the beginning.

Your vehicle can still be driven during this time, but some sync functions will remain unavailable until the update is completed.

Once the installation is finished, “Installation Complete” pop-up will appear to let you know you may remove the USB drive from the port and the navigation updates will take effect after you restart your vehicle’s engine.

Video Demonstration

Author: Nabeel K


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1 year ago

Why does the engine need to be running? Why can’t you just have the key in the accessories position? Having the vehicle sitting around idling for an hour just to get an electronic update loaded seems to be quite contrary to any effort to make your vehicles more environmentally friendly.