Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    I guess when you design a vehicle cheaply from the standpoint of component cost and assembly, the end result is something less than world class. That certainly applies to the interior of this trio of vehicles.
    The interior creaking and snapping will force me to get rid of the Tribute. I tried to go UAW, and it is not going to work.....unless someone can solve this riddle...
    I am now finding that even in colder temps, as long as the vehicle is in sunny conditions, heating the body, the interior is silent. But as soon as the weather is overcast, as it was Saturday, and again today, the chorus of nerve rattling sounds comes back. Yesterday, which was nice and sunny, the interior was quiet. Could this mean that the lower body cladding is the culprit? It's hard for me to believe it could be, but who knows. I have had others in the vehicle who confirm it is all around, on both sides.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    In own a 2001 Escape XLT V6 FWD, with 80K mikes on the odo. I just replaced tires (all-4) with 255-65-16's that I got on special price. They fit, look good and ride even better, don't know why I waited so long to change them out. My other tires had ~39K miles on them and were super loud on the road. The tread pattern was not aggressive either.

    In answer to your question, I replaced my battery almost exactly 36 mos. after I purchased the vehicle, so July 2004. The average life-span of a battery in the Texas Gulf Coast area is about 30-36 mos.. The heat kills batteries here, big-time.
    When my alternator went it was quick, no warning lights, no nothing.... my radio went dead first, and then about 30-seconds later my dashboard lit-up like a Christmas-tree, then the vehicle went dead. I was on the way to work and called my emergency-service for a tow. I had it towed to closest shop that was reputable, and they diagnosed it within 10-minutes after arrival that it was the alternator. This happened about 4-months ago now. The shop had never replaced the alternator on an Escape before, so it was first for them. They followed the necessary procedure by pulling the wheel, CV-axle (or half-shaft) and getting the alternator from below. It cannot be gotten from the top d/t the alternator proximity. The vehicle was ready later that day with a re-built alternator. Total bill $495.00:

    Tow- $65.00 (I got a refund from the vehicle service)
    Alternator- $265.00
    Labor+Misc. shop b.s.- $165.00

    Was it worth it? Had to have the alternator, but the cost(s) particularly for re-built, are a bit high in my opinion. You can order alternators online from various sources, but you run the risk of it not being right, etc... for some reason. My best advice is get it tested if you're in doubt. Bad alternators can be diagnosed reasonably quickly. But don't discount that there may be an additional problem too.
  • ok ok ok, heres the deal, my 02 tribute has been thumping, squeeking, crackling,this all is from the front drivers side wheel and my hubby has checked alot of things but didnt seem to know what was wrong. Has anyone had the same problems? I am so unhappy with all of this and can't seem to get the help I need. :sick:
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Some things come to mind based on my own experience(s) or others I've heard about:

    - Bad CV-joint (clicking or craking sound when wheel is turned w/power on).
    - Bad Control Arm which contains the ball-joints and bushings.
    - Bad struts or connection points (make sure all of the nuts/bolts are tight).
    - Bad front-stabilizer bushings.
    - Bad strut-links (these caused thumping and cracking noises until they were
  • We recently purchased a 2006 Mazda Tribute and really like it except for the wind sounds. The wind sounds are heard primarily after 55mph and at the upper right rear of the vehicle. It was taken back to the dealer and their thoughts on the problem involved the luggage rack. Has anyone else experienced this problem?
  • stigstig Posts: 4
    I read a post either on this site or one of the other Escape/Tribute sites, that mentioned this problem. If I recall correctly, check the cross-over bars on the luggage rack and make sure they are not installed backwards (front facing back). It is supposedly pretty hard to tell, so you need to take a close look.
    Hope this helps. :)
  • They are pretty easy to tell which way they are supposed to face if you can remember what way you are facing. If you want realize how much noise they make...remove them entirely and take a drive on the freeway.
  • I have a 2005 Tribute LX V6 which I bought last Oct. Right from day one there was excessive road noise on the highway...over 100 KMH (55 MPH). I spent days analysing the source.

    The Continental Tires that came with the truck were in my opinion garbage. I spent $700CDN to buy 4 Yokohama Geolandar's. These are Japanese you know that they are quality product. Right away the noise decreased by about 60%.

    The rest of the wind noise was being created by the Roof rack. I took off the 2 middle panels and left the 2 side ones on. Since I do not carry anything on the roof, they were just there for show. When I went back on the highway, there was hardly any noise left. Now even at 130 - 140 KMH, there is not much wind noise.

    Granted, it's not as quiet as my 2004 BMW 325i, but then again I paid 40% more for the car then this SUV.

    Try it, see if these things work for you. My wife on the other hand could not have cared less. She is just happy to drive anything. I on the other hand am a perfectionist....every little sound/creak makes me upset.

    Good luck with your problem
  • dex100dex100 Posts: 3
    I had a similar problem with my 2002 Tribute (automatic V6, 56K miles). Engine would not start if hot -- sometimes had to wait a full half-hour before engine cooled enough -- then it starts right up. Also had intermittent low speed stalling (even after the recall re-programming) and periodic hesitation when driving at freeway speeds. Dealer had vehicle for four days (with much discussion with Mazda) and finally settled on replacing the Crank Position Sensor. Have had it back for a week and no problems.
  • bmbsdbmbsd Posts: 2
    We have the same question. Did you ever receive a response?
  • Thanks for the worked! That was the solution to our problem.
  • I noticed right after buying my 2004 Tribute that there was an aftershock after going over bumps. This caused the ride to be bouncy and harsh. This was a really annoying problem which I did not want to have with my new Mazda. What I finally realized was that the rather heavy exhaust system was hung at just a few points by single rubber hangers. When I bounced the tail pipe, I noticed that due to these single rubber hangers the whole exhaust system would continue to bounce and shake several times. This is what was causing the aftershock and bad ride. I solved the problem by wrapping the back two rubber hangers (around the metal brackets) with #12 electric cable. This keeps the exhaust from bouncing and led to a huge improvement in the ride. This problem is the same on Escapes, and any car with a poorly supported exhaust system. If you think your Tribute/Escape has a poor ride, give this a try.
  • I replaced the fog light on a 2001 Tribute about 2 years ago. You do not have to remove the bumper. Taking the front tire off helps access. Traded it in recently so I cannot look at one to tell you how. Was not difficult. Sorry I could not be more help.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    Problem: Incessent and growing interior creaks
    Solution: Sell it

    I've reached the end of my rope in putting up with and trying to get rid of the creaking gremlins inside my Tribute. I don't blame Mazda; I blame Ford for design and execution. Next go round, I am buying 'real' Japanese. No wonder when my Honda Accord was test driven by a private buyer, they came back and said it was like being in a limousine. To me, it what was expected of a car. And yes, it was Japanese-built, previous generation, unlike the current Accord which has its share of interior issues.
    Anyway, no matter how pretty the Tribute is or how competent it might be on the road, it reminds me daily how bad some vehicles can be. I want to be reminded how good vehicles can be.
    So, it's going into the paper. And if I really get anxious, it might be traded. Mazda is still on my list, Mazda 5 that is. Not to worry, I drive manuals, so I don't think spontaneous combustion will be a worry for me...
  • For the last three years we have had this problem once a year. It has just happened again. They replaced the sensor and on my way home it died 6 times again. I nearly it a tree when it died while turning. I have just filed a complaint with This is the office of Defects Investigation. I picked up my car yesterday and returned it yesterday. Haven't heard from the dealership yet. I have read so many complaints in this form you should go to the website I wrote and make our complaint official. My husband bought a Mazda B2200 in 1990 had for 10 years till drunk driver hit him. Never had a problem with it. Since we bought the tribute, three days after buying alternator had to be replaced and it has been in for the above problem 4 times in last three years. What a nightmare.
  • The problem pertains to a 2003 Escape XLS 6 cylinder:

    I will have my climate control selector set for the dash vents. During acceleration the air flow will change by itself and the air will be directed to the defroster. Then, when de-accelerating the air flow returns to the dash vents. This will also happen if I have to the selector set to the floor vent, air will be directed to the defroster.

    What I have found out so far is that the defroster is the default mode of the climate control. If anything goes wrong with the control all air is directed to the defroster for saftey reasons (ice, fog on windshield).

    The direction of air flow is controled by vacuum. If there is a vacuum leak anywhere in the climate control system the symptoms I have stated will happen.

    I have been told to look for a few things, neither of them could I find on the vehicle. One a vacuum check valve device which directs air to the defroster in case the unit screws up as described above. Two, to look for the vacuum source and reservoir? where are these? More importantly to look for the vacuum junction block on the left side of plenum and check that the vacuum hoses are securely plugged in???

    I think I found the plenum under a plastic cover on the passenger side under the windshield, the same spot where you would change the cabin filter if you use one. I found no vacuum junction block anywhere in that area.

    Sometimes the air flow will change at anytime, but I can always make it happen during hard acceleration.

    Can someone direct me to the area where this check valve is located and where the vacuum junction box is located (if there is such a thing). I am not 100% sure if either of these two things are the source of my problem.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks..
  • wcw1wcw1 Posts: 44
    Finally got the problem fixed. It had nothing to do with the steering. I wrote in another later post that my battery died. The battery finally completely died. Turns out it was a bad alternator. The bearings in the alternator would make noise when they got hot. Picked up a tested used alternator for $40 and a mechanic I know put it in for $200. Whoever did the design had their head where the light does not shine. The front end has be partially disassembled to get to the alternator. No more crunching noise now. Mazda had me change the power steering pump which I had done myself. I wonder what Mazda would have done if I had them put on the power steering pump and it did not fix the problem. Stick it to me would be my guess.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,210
    Just to follow up on this, I took our '05 Limited to the dealer two weeks ago for scheduled maintenance, the hatch recall, and the engine pinging (second time for the pinging).

    Long story short, they test drove and did hear the pinging this time. A PCM update was loaded and we haven't heard the pinging since. I'll try to remember to report any updates as they come but hopefully you won't hear from me about this again. ;)
  • I feel your pain about the alternator. I replaced mine over 6-months ago to the tune of ~$500.00, including the tow. The alternator placement is a totally inept design in my opinion. The replacement alternator I got was a re-man'd model. In my case as well as your's the front-passenger half-shaft has to be removed and several other things to access the alternator. Because of the hassle with this, whatever vehicle I purchase next will have easier alternator removal/install. I really like the Excape/Tribute, but am not sure what Ford/Mazda engineers were thinking when they placed the alternator that low. I think that sometimes they believe that people will be getting rid of their cars before it comes time change key parts, etc.. So far, 81K miles, with re-built alternator, new-battery, new IAC, a few other things. The vehicle has not been as problematic for me as others in the posts listed. I will replacing the plugs again in about another 10K miles which is a major deal (at least on the back-side of the engine, underneath the intake-manifold). I'd buy another Escape, but am not sure knowing what I know now, if I would.
    Also, replaced the muffler itself with a Magnaflow high-performance one. I believe I picked-up an extra 10-15 HP, but have not dyno'd it yet. I left the resonator on the back-end. It has a nice, mellow, low-noise, rumble. Kinda cool. I replaced the stock-size 235-70-16's with 255-65-16's, and the tires fill the wheel-wells better with some room to spare too. I realize I changed my speedo somewhat by doing this, but not by much. I replaced the struts/shocks within a month of each other and can really notice a difference in handling and ride-quality. If you haven't done this and your mileage is getting up there, then this is a worthwhile investment if you plan on keeping the vehicle for a few more miles like me.
  • bmbsdbmbsd Posts: 2
    Thanks so much for the response. We will give that a try.
Sign In or Register to comment.