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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Could this have something to do with the ABS? Have you ever owned a car with ABS before?
  • lkiershlkiersh Posts: 3
    All my cars have ABS. I was just curious if this sensation was normal, I guess not. Thanks
  • Hi all:

    I've been quite pleased with my used 01 DX 4cyl 4wd 5-banger since I bought it last October. Over the last 2 months, an odd intermittent stalling/idling problem has happened 3 or 4 times. Basically, the truck will shut off immediately after starting it, and will not idle at all unless you keep your foot on the gas a little. The really odd thing is that it seems to resolve itself after the truck is parked for a few hours.

    The first time it happened, I was trucking around a bunch of high school volleyball players and it would not stay going after I had started it. As soon as I turned the key, it would start, and then the engine would die. After several times of trying to get it to idle, I just kept my foot on the gas a little and managed to get where we needed to go (after stalling 3 or 4 times on the way). Since it is a manual, it is a minor feat of aerobics trying to keep the engine going by feathering the gas, and then braking at stop lights and then working the clutch! After the volleyball game, I came out expecting the truck not to start and almost even called a tow truck during the game. Oddly, the truck started right up and worked great for 3 weeks or so.

    It has happened twice since then -- again, after parking it for a few hours, it goes away and the truck works fine. The crappy thing is that it only happens after hours or on weekends when the dealer is not open. Both times, it happened at night, so I dropped the truck off at the dealer and called them the following morning about the problem. Since the truck sat on their lot for the night, the problem went away and the dealer said that it worked fine for them when they tried it out. The service manager basically told me that unless one of their technicians can "experience" the problem in the vehicle, it was pointless to bring it to them for service. .

    Well, it happened again last night on the way home. After grabbing a few things at the store, I came out and the truck would not idle at all -- as soon as it started, the engine would quit. So, again, I kept the gas to it and managed to sneak across town to the dealership 5 mins before closing for the day. The service manager tried to start it a few times and it quit each time. After talking to one of the technicians, he grabbed a small hammer and tapped on something he called the IAC module at the back of the engine. After that, he started it and it idled fine in neutral. He said that antifreeze circulates through the IAC module and it sometimes can stick. Tapping it apparently fixes it or so he claimed.

    The last week or so, I have noticed that the truck appears to surge when cruising along at a constant speed. It is almost like someone is giving it repeated shots of gas here and there but it is rolling at a constant speed.

    I'm fairly engine-savvy, having built a few 5.0 Mustangs several years back. At first, the dealer thought the fuel filter was dirty so they checked that and it was clean. Then, they thought the fuel pump might be getting voltage surges but everything checked out fine (might be the source of the surging problem). The only thing they have not done is to put a fuel pressure gauge on the fuel rail and see if the pressure is constant. They have not checked the fuel regulator yet I don't think... A friend of mine recommended that I toss a can of fuel injector cleaner in it but the dealer mentioned that Mazda does not recommend the use of engine or fuel additives at all.

    Anybody else ever run into these problems?

  • Also: Since the check engine light does not blink at all during the stalling issues, the dealer has deemed it to be a "minor" issue and is pretty reluctant to help out. They told me that the check engine light should blink for almost anything out of the ordinary... so I guess this is ordinary!

  • The IAC? That's probably your Idle Air Control unit. It's a necessary part that gives us that nice, smooth idle that modern cars have. An IAC is usually just a butterfly valve on a solenoid that controls secondary airflow into the engine. It provides the engine computer with a way of controlling the engine throttle/idle without interfering with your gas pedal. I've seen IACs before on the last 3 cars I owned, all the way back to a 1987 chevy.

    Unfortunately, I have the V6 engine, so placement of mine will be different, and don't know how difficult it is to get to the 4cyl one.

    If you trace out the air passageways, you should find a secondary air line that bypasses your throttle body, and runs straight through the IAC. Basically, you get one butterfly valve (Main throttle body) and the computer gets one (IAC), both of which control the speed of the engine (to different degrees).

    I'm guessing that you either have deposits on the butterfly of the IAC that is keeping it from moving freely, or the solenoid is on its death bed. Since you've worked on 5.0 stuff, you know what happens when you get a jammed or stuck carb linkage - that's pretty much what's happening here.

    Since your vehicle already has 5 years on it (01s came out in fall 00), and you don't know the maintenance habits of the previous owners, I'd probably give the intake system a thorough cleaning, or have it cleaned at a tune up shop if you don't have time.

    Make sure that the recalls have been done on that vehicle. As I remember, there were several recalls on the 01 models, a couple dealing with engine shut off problems. I believe the engine/tranny computer had to be reprogrammed for some problem with the engine shutting off at odd times.

    Good luck in your endeavors!
  • huttotxhuttotx Posts: 1
    My wife and I purchased a brand new 2002 Ford Escape XLT in October 2001. We have about 55,000 miles on it and I have noticed some transmission problems. I've noticed some slight slipping while driving at high speeds as I slow down/up between 60-65 mph. My father-in-law who drove it this past weekend noticed some problems at lower speeds. Fortunately, I bought the premium extended warranty. I'm taking the car in this Friday to get it checked out. According to the maintenance schedule and transmission model, the fluid does not need to be changed until something like 150,000 miles. So it is not service related, but mechanical.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    Well, minor till it drives me nuts....
    I have just over 1000 miles on the Tribute now, and creaks from the driver's door, and less often the passenger front door, are becoming more and more frequent. What is really bothersome is that hitting bumps does not always bring out the noises, but more often they occur "out of the blue". As well, sometimes when I am decelerating, there is the sound of some movement within the door itself. I don't want to chalk this up to poor bodywork integrity just yet. I hope the Escape / Tribute / Mariner are better built than that. So I am hoping someone else out there has already addressed this issue, and can direct me as to how to eliminate the creaks. If I can't get rid of them, that, and the thirst for fuel, may drive me back to another Japanese-built product. I am still being zapped unbelievably by static when I exit the vehicle. Now I am wondering if the sheepskins are the culprit.
    As an aside, today for the first time, even though it is May, I had to use the defrosters to clear the windshield and rear glass. I had very thick frost. They both did their jobs very quickly. So with the 4 cylinder at least, heat comes quickly.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Bought my '01 Escape XLT V6 in July 2001. No tranny problems yet, but I'm keeping a close eye on the posts here. By way of information, I've had my tranny fluid flushed every 25-30K whether it needs it or not. Currently, I'm running Mobil 1
    Synthetic ATF which is compatible with any other fluid or transmission. I will be doing another complete flush at about another 15K miles. I just turned over 70K miles. Apparently according to previous posts it does make a difference to keep
    fresh fluid in tranny to keep torque converter shudder to a minimum (the reason
    Mercon V was developed). I would definitely exchange the fluid for starters and go
    from there. Good thing you picked-up the extended warranty just in case.
  • al_2003al_2003 Posts: 26
    I have a 2001 Escape XLT with FWD. It's generally in great shape, with apx. 96k miles. Brakes were replace in October 2004. I believe I am sensing a sublte grinding noise or vibration when turning the car, whether or not the brakes are applied. For example, if I'm making a turn through an intersection or am driving n a long, slow curve I feel "something." There is no vibration through the wheel, and I am not noticing any unusual tire wear.

    Any thoughts as to the source/cause?
  • al_2003al_2003 Posts: 26
    Hi...just curious - why are you replacing tranny fluid so frequently? I have the same year model, with 96k freeway miles on it. I'm going to change the tranny fluid in a couple of weeks because it looks brown to me (may be burnt?); hopefully there's nothing wrong with it
  • ryan41ryan41 Posts: 21
    My 05 Tribute V6 is still making a ticking noise from the engine w/6,000 miles. After 2 adjustments to the cap journals, dealer tells me that the engine is breaking in and the ticking noise will go away soon. If the car is driven at highway speeds for about 10 minutes and comes to a stop, the car will be ticking away. As the car idles, the noise starts to subside. I just saw the second TSB for this problem from alldata. It appears that the first TSB did not work. Have another appointment with a different dealer and will bring the new TSB. Anybody else know about this?
  • fredriktfredrikt Posts: 4
    I have a 2004 V6 XLT with 10,000 miles. I find that gear shifting to 2:nd and 3:rd gear is quite jerky. Is this normal? Somebody told me that the oil in the transmission might not be the correct one, but this is not something that has been changed since i bought the car (1:st owner). Does anybody know anything about this?
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Was informed by several reliable sources that's it's cheap insurance (but no guarantee) to avoid potential problems. With some of the previous posts, there seems to have been a pattern (particularly with early model Escapes) that frequency of tranny-fluid exchange seemd to help performance. For instance, changing every 30K miles should be sufficient, but waiting to change the fluid at the factory suggested intervals may result in slippage, or hard-shifting qualities.

    Again, I'm no expert, but I do listen to good advice, and I think that this is good advice. 70K miles and no problems to speak of. A mechanic friend hooked-up
    his $4K scan tool the other day to the Escape. Absolutely, no codes were pulled, which he said was strange, as his experience shows that most vehicles will store
    codes and eventually either get fixed, or continue to be a potential problem. I think he was quite surprised, because he's a Chevy-guy all the way. He's trying to convert me over, but I'm not there yet. I may end-up getting another Escape again
    eventually, which would probably chap-him.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    My '01 V6 XLT Escape dipstick was labeled Mercon V. I was informed in previous posts that the Ford made a boo-boo with early(ier) Escapes by putting the wrong dipstick in at the factory. After several talks with the purchasing dealership and Ford Quality Care (both pretty useless, because neither would admit if this even was a remote possibility) I decided to split the difference and if I couldn't find-out the truth at least I'd try and nip in the bud. I exchanged the Mercon V (or what I assumed to be Mervcon V in the transmission) with Mobil 1 Synthetic ATF. It's double the price of Mercon V, but I've had no problems in 10K miles since I've had it in. Of course, I really didn't have any tranny problems to speak of anyway, just retentive I guess.

    I haven't experienced any problems between 2nd-3rd gear as you mentioned. Transition shifts seems to be smooth so far.
  • I've had my '03 Escape for almost two years & was fairly happy with it until now! The reverse went out on the transmission with only 18,000 miles. I took it to the dealer & they're replacing the transmission. Good thing it was only reverse, although driving it home from work was a bit unnerving, as it was making a lot of noise when I eased up on the throttle. The transmission should not have gone out – I never abuse it & when I start the vehicle I always let it idle down before I put it in gear. When I brought it to the dealership they said they never have problems with the Tribute transmissions.
    I had the throttle cable replaced (recall) & the only other problem I've had is the cheap Continental tires they put on the Escapes & Tributes. They rumble, they're out of round, but they won't replace them. Their excuse is "they can't hear the rumble".
    The guy waiting in line behind me said, "his girlfriend has a Mazda 6 (5 speed auto) & her transmission went out at 12,000 miles". What's with the Mazda transmissions?
    My wife has a '04 Mazda 6s V6 & we've had a lot of problems with it also. 600 miles & the main seal started leaking. They replaced it, then a line from the transmission cooler started leaking. They put a screw clamp on it behind the factory clamp, but didn't tighten it enough, so it still leaked when she brought it home. Took the car back & started inquiring about the lemon law. They got defensive & never fixed the transmission leak. Their excuse was it wasn't leaking & it was obvious they didn't want a paper trail on problems with the car. I jacked the car up & fixed the leak my self. The screw clamp wasn't tight, so I tightened it 1-1/2 turns, hasn't leaked since! Good mechanic huh! The dealership is POLAR CHEV/MAZDA IN WHITE BEAR LAKE MINNESOTA. We've had problems with these vehicles, but I like the way they handle on the road. We also have a '98 Honda Accord V6, not one problem since it was new. But the new Honda's also have problems with their 5-speed auto tranny.
  • As i read all of the comments about the Tribute/Escape i sometimes wish i would have never bought mine. I purchased the 03' Tribute with 45 miles on it thinking "wow this is great, a brand new vehicle at a great price!". Boy was I wrong! After finance chargers almost doubled the price of the vehicle, the problems started after about 6 weeks . First, the power steering tension pulley broke as my wife started the car on a cold morning. Then I had several problems with the transmission and took it to the dealer. Each time they would say they could not find anything wrong with it. The bad thing is the rentals they gave me were not any better. Finally, they decided to replace the transmission at 18,000 miles but it did not stop there. Now, if feels like it is skipping but i replaced the spark plugs and it did not get any better. One thing i have learned out of the experience....NEVER BUY A MAZDA AGAIN!!
  • idntnvuidntnvu Posts: 251
    I'm looking at a 2001 XLT Escape, and I was wondering what you owners have to say about it. I have a '99 Explorer, and I'm looking for something to get a little better gas mileage. That said, what are some "realistic" figures on a V6 Escape around town and on the highway? I do most of my driving around town, and right now my 4.0 V6 Explorer is getting 13.5, and on the highway it gets about 18. It hit 20 one time, but that was it. Stays between 17-18. I love the room my Explorer has, but I'd give up a little space to save a little on gas. I know that the Escapes haven't been all that reliable, but I'd probably compare it to my Explorer. What problems have you all experienced, with the stalling issue being known beforehand? The one I'm looking at has 46k miles, and they are asking $12,9 for it. It sounds reasonable to me, but I'm just wondering if there aren't a few skeletons in there somewhere. Thanks!
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    You should get better gas mileage, but not by much (maybe 3-5 more mpg).. I am averaging between 16-18mpg city and 22-24 highway. Most of my driving is city, so I rarely get more than 19-20mpg. Most of the issues should be taken care of by TSB's by the dealer (such as stalling). Without knowing what options are on it, the price sounds pretty good.

    Definitely recommend you have a trusted mechanic give it a thorough inspection before buying though. Good luck.
  • fredriktfredrikt Posts: 4
    Just went for a longer day trip (~ 500 miles) and my 2004 Escape got 25 mpg even though I had the cruise control set to 80 mph most of the time (even up through some really steep mountain passes & reaching the 100 mph stop several times).
    My brother has a 99 Explorer, and the cargo area is bigger, but I must say back seat passengers have way better leg room in the Escape, not to mention how much better the handling is compared to the Explorer (Escape feels like a sports car in comparison).
  • bravelaxbravelax Posts: 1
    I cannot locate the "block drain plugs on each side of engine". Can someone explain to me where they are and look like?

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