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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    A friend who's a mechanic checked my Escape's record using my VIN#. He pulled everything up that Ford has done to it for warranty repair, four (4) things. He did give me a 'head's-up'
    that there will be a new PCM upgrade for my '01
    Escape V6 coming-out soon. I don't know, nor did he tell me, if it'll covered in a campaign or recall. I'm just wondering if this has anything
    to do with seemingly recurring engine stalls and
    gas-mileage, which for me went down 2-MPG when they re-flashed the PCM the first-time ? He seemed to think that this may be the case, but he's not totally sure.

    Still running Mobil-1 synthetic ATF in my tranny since ~55K. No problems as of yet have surfaced.
    Previous posts are correct in that if a transmission does fail, then a lot of the failed components can be replaced at substantially less
    than a completely rebuilt transmission. Unfortunately, as we all know there are still a lot of bad repair shops, including dealer service.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    As you suspect the procedure is simple, I would try to be on top of this. Tapping is not good for an engine, it may create bigger problems in future.
    Mine has 1500 miles, haven't heard anything yet.
  • Karen_CMKaren_CM Posts: 5,020
    As with any post on any message board, its validity can always be questioned as there is frequently no way to verify each claim. It is up to the individual to use their own judgement to believe it or not. As for statements of "facts", it is usually best to provide the source of this information so the statement will not be repudiated.

    If you have any further questions, please address them to me in an email.

    Community Manager If you have any questions or concerns about the Forums, send me an email,, or click on my screen name to send a personal message.

  • I and my dad recently bought a Mazda Tribute. Approximately three weeks ago and at first the noise was not heard at all but a week later when releasing my brakes lightly and when pressing them a loud clonking type noise can be heard. I took my Tribute to Mazda for inspection and they found nothing wrong with it and the manager of the shop simply told me the brakes are fine, and that's just a noise that they can't make go away and a noise most of their cars make. I was told the brake disks are just pressing tight and thus make the noise. They allowed me to test a Tribute that was on display and the noise wasn't heard until I drove it some more and you could hear the same clonking noise when applying the brakes.

    Now I'm no car expert and this does not make sense to me as my brother bought a Mazda 3 and no noise has ever been heard when he uses his brakes so is this a common problem with the Tribute? My dad is thinking of taking it back to Mazda to have it looked at again but I'm positive they'll tell him and I the same thing "there's nothing we can do about the noise".

    I would like feedback on Tribute owners and see if their car makes this noise and also any suggestions as what I can do. I don't think it is normal to accept that a car "simply makes that noise" and I have to live with it. This is a brand new car I bought and shouldn't do that in my opinion. Please any help would be appreciate. I work hard for my money as does everyone else.
  • I am "in a Pickle". In Jan 05 I was in a flip over accident in my PT Cruiser. Loved that car and thought that I would replace it. It did not feel right, so the search began. Somehow I ended up with a Mazda 3sp. Cute car, but with 12 miles it is sitting in my driveway. It feels wrong, too. Maybe everything will feel wrong for awhile, but I had looked at the Tribute. Obviously this might give me a bargaining chip with the dealership, but I will go without wheels for now if I have to .
    I am very active, take my 80 pound golden in the car, transport 100 lb bags of deer feed, so an SUV is smarter. (What was I thinking)

    I would love to hear comments about safe feel of the Tribute.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Your dealer is right about it. Not just Tributes do that but many other brands have the same sound. In my opinion nothing to worry about. Let your breaks worn little (like driving 1K ) and you'll hear less noise...
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Personally, I think the Tribute is a safe car, but it is an SUV and has certain disadvantages over a car. From a safety perspective mine has, ABS, AWD, front and side curtain airbags, and has a cage that was built to withstand rollovers. If you go with the Tribute I highly recommend that you get one that has side curtain airbags.

    But, it sounds like you could also be happy with a wagon like the Mazda 6, or a Subaru Outback. I strongly recommend that you thouroughly drive a variety of different vehicles before you buy.
  • I appreciate the knowledge and insight. Wish that I had spent more time here before jumping into a car. Took the Mazda 3sp for another drive today and it does handle well. Tribute ok but Mazda 3 was much tighter.
    Again, thank you for the insight.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712

    Too be honest, the Tribute and the Mazda3 are too completely different animals :) Out of all the SUV's I drove, the Tribute handled the best and is still somewhat quick with the V6. I love the cargo capacity of the Tribute and have extremely pleased with its ability to handle inclement weather (both rain and snow). Do you live in an area that has inclement weather? If so, the AWD comes in handy and certainly adds to the safety factor. The good news about the Mazda3 is that these cars are very hot right now, and you should have no problem selling it down the road if you find it does not meet your needs.
  • drurex99drurex99 Posts: 10
    You know, I think I've had enough. I have had 2 Mazdas... a 1988 626 that I traded in for a 2001 Tribute. I have had the usual stupid stuff happen in both vehicles but the only common repair has been the broken driver's side door latches. I have to open the driver's window and open the door from the outside. In 17 years they still haven't fixed this weakness in their basic design. Now it's a even more expensive repair, from what I understand, than it was in the past. In 1994 it was $275 and I think that it has to be $400ish now. I'm very frustrated....
  • packers4packers4 Posts: 1
    my escape front signal lights do not work and back signals blink vey fast. emergency flasshers work fine as do all othe lights. i assume i need to replace the front signal bulbs. however, the manual says to see my dealer. i have attempted to remove the head lamp assembly to no avail.
    is there a correct way to remove assembly so i can replace the signal bulbs????

  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I monitor a number of different Tribute forums, and this is probably the first time I heard about this problem. Not that I am down playing your issue, but no matter what type of car you buy there are going to be similar types of repairs after five years. I just had to have my brakes done in my 2002 Nissan Altima that only has 28K miles. But I live in DC which is mostly just stop and go traffic (mostly stop) :) That said, I was not surprised when the dealer told me I needed brake work. I asked for a quote, and then drove down to the local Midas dealer down the street and they beat the price and gave me a lifetime warranty on the pads.

    So, I would get a quote from the dealer and then drive over to a local shop and get another quote. You may end up saving $200 (or more)! Like I said, I understand your frustration, but which is better paying $200-400 for a door handle, or having a hefty car payment on a new car?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,119
    The reason why I question so many transmission issues is because here at Edmunds they have noway to tell whether Ford haters are posting stories in order to create fear, or whether someone who is having problems is posting more than one story to create what looks like a problem. When I take my Escape to the dealer for service I make it a point to ask the service rep about how Escapes are doing in general. I asked about this so called major transmission failure on all Escapes... He said nothing of the sort. There are failures but not at the rate some would like to believe..
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712

    One of my good friends manages a service department at a very large combined dealership (Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia) and he bought an Escape for his wife last year. I asked him if they see an excessive number of failed transmissions on the Escape (2001-2005) and he told me that the number of transmission issues for Escapes is not a major issue, and no more than other manufacturers. I mean, he could have used his dealer discount to buy his wife a Honda, Toyota, or Nissan and he bought her the an Escape (ironically, they sold their problem plagued Honda to buy the Escape).

    I have no doubt that some of the people on this message board are having transmission problems. I can only assume that some of them are maintenance related, some of them are just the law of averages, and some of them are people who have general problems that the dealer should be responsible for. Go read the Honda Accord forums, they have just as many transmission problems as Escapes.

    People who visit these forums should not panic when they read these posts. For every Escape/Tribute owner who has problems, there are thousands that don't and do not post in these forums. C'mon, if the majority of Escape owners had failed transmissions after 50K miles, it would be all over the news. It is the same way in every other car forum. Every forum has posters who told their story about how horrible car x is, and that nobody should every buy one. I think some people have had some bad experiences, but it is unfair to claim that the majority of Escapes are going to have transmission problems. Go read some of the other Escape forums on the Internet. Yes, there are reports of failed transmissions, but it is certainly not an alarming rate, and no more than any other high selling car.
  • The reason why questions were raised about driving habits and maintenance compliance WRT transmission problems is obvious: It is not possible to judge the individual situation without knowing these things. Anecdotal information is basically useless, and is completely useless without supporting facts. What's more, it is common practice to make up stories about cars on boards and newsgroups, it is done all the time. Trashmouthing each others' products is a game played by all levels of the car business. NHTSA reports are fabricated or ginned up in order to provide support for phony excuses about car accidents. "My car suddenly went to the right and hit a tree." That sort of thing. These forums are largely anonymous and the information is unverified. It is not only appropriate, it is essential, to ask questions and to take everything here with large grains of water softener salt. Nobody called anybody a "liar" that I can see, but to pretend that everything you read here is accurate and meaningful is just plain foolish.
  • Let me add this: It's time that useful information be made available on the subject of car reliability. Consumer Reports publishes "surveys" of car owners which appear to be self-selected polls .... a form of polling that no good pollster takes seriously. So owners of Car X say their cars are more reliable than the owners of Car Y? Completely worthless information. Let's see the aggregate dealers' service report data and judge for ourselves. Only the manufacturers really know what is going on in the area of reliability with their products, and they keep the information to themselves. Anecdotal information is completely useless.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    "Only the manufacturers really know what is going on in the area of reliability with their products, and they keep the information to themselves. Anecdotal information is completely useless."

    Amen to that....
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    "Nobody called anybody a "liar" that I can see, but to pretend that everything you read here is accurate and meaningful is just plain foolish. "

    Thank you... It is nice to have forum members who can see the real value of some postings...
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I completely agree. I truly hope that people who visit these forums really put things into perspective before they purchase a Tribute/Escape. Truth be told, these are wonderful vehicles and should definitely be on any short list when shopping for a new SUV. I would say small SUV, but I think the Tribute/Escape is anything but small. :)
  • jchandrajchandra Posts: 12
    Yesterday I took my 2005 Mazda Tribute GS V6 for it's 1st oil change to Erin Mills Mazda in Mississauga, Ont. Canada. I had made the appointment 2 days earlier; I wanted the oil from the 1 litre plastic jugs not the wholesale oil from the big drums. I was qouted a price of $50.94 CDN.
    I got to the dealership on time early in the morning, I told the Service Advisor that it was my 1st oil change and that I wanted the plastic bottles and the price which I was quoted. After waiting for almost an hour, I see a kid come out looking for my car. There was a van parked behind my car by one of those idiots who think that they can park their vehicles any where they desire. The kid starts my car; there is barely 2 feet of room on all sides; instead of moving the van he starts to back up almost hitting it. Then he starts to rock back and forth going over the snow bank in fornt of my car. At this point I dashed out of the showroom and screamed at the service technician to stop. I indicated that he should have the van moved before he backed out my car, he already had hit the snow bank twice and I was picturing big scrapes at the front end of my vehicle. Anyway after about 15 minutes of abusing my car, he finally backs out the car. All this time I am watching him real carefully.
    After about an hour when I got the car back the final bill was approx. $65 CDN. When I asked the Advisor why the price had jumped over $10, he said that they had used the plastic bottles etc and this is why it was higher. When I showed him the written e-mail from them showing $50.94, he did not have anything to say. There were a lot of people standing around so to make matters simple I paid up the full amount. On my way back home I was looking at the Invoice and it stated that they had used 7 litres of 5W20 oil. Now I am not an expert but I do know that the V6 engine does not take 7 litres. I called back the parts dept and asked them how much oil my car took. The man stated "I gave the kid 7 litres and that's what your car took". I turned around and went back and asked for the Service Manager. I then told him that I was charged for 7 litres; and my car only took 5.7 litres per the manual. My only concern at this point was that the kid had purposely over filled the crankcase because I had yelled at him when he was backing out my car. After a few minutes the Manager came back and said that yes the SUV only took 5.7 litres, that they had only used 6 bottles and I was inadvertently charged for an extra bottle. He gave me back approx $4 for 1 bottle in cash.
    I am left wondering how many customers they inadvertently overcharge every day. In my opinion an oil change is the simplest service on any car. I used to change my own oil when I was in college. Even though I got back the money for the overcharge, I just don't trust this dealership for any future service. I was already overcharged $10 from the original estimate. I don't know how many customers even look at their invoices to make sure that the charges are correct.
    I guess these days you cannot trust anyone; these are Mazda dealerships, all they do is Mazda vehicles. If they do not know how much oil to put in their vehicles, its a sad day.
    All I can say is that I am looking for another Mazda dealer in my area hopefully who knows how much oil my Tribute takes. Any one knows of a honest dealer in the GTA Toronto area, please let me know.
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