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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    My suggestion:

    Trans Flush
    Coolant Flush
    Spark Plugs
    Oil Change (if it wasnt done)
    Drive Belts
    Fuel Filter
    Air Filter
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    Thanks for the list, it's a big help. Any internal hardware that requires changing like perhaps an internal timing belt/chain? Water pump? I'm not looking for stuff to fix, just want to catch likely problems if possible, when it's convenient for me, instead of in the middle of nowhere, after dark, with no phone. I got a good deal on this, under $7000.00 because of the miles, and if i can add a couple hundred $ on likely maintenance items fixed because they are well worn, I'm going to consider it.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide may be of interest too.

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    yeee haawww!!! thanks for pointing that out, it's what I was looking for. brought my Tribute home from dealership, 130 miles. did a rough mpg analysis, looks like hiway with no AC running is 25mpg. rides very nice.

    can anyone give me an dealer cost for changing plugs? I have lower back problems, oil & tranny fluid changes is about my physical limit, in most cases, unless it's an emergency. then I do it anyway, and pay with pain later........

    Thanks again for the help/info.
    (my other car is a 1996 Honda Shadow 600..)
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    I looked there, and got the list for my Tribute.

    Why do they publish that utter nonsense about a $30 labor charge for plug change?I specifically put in that I had a V6 tribute, 4WD. a reputable local non-dealer repair shop quotes $250-$260 for the plug change. Given his expanation about removing the intake, I don't know if it's reasonable or not. I haven't called Mazda, they can't possibly be cheaper.
    What say ye?
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I did the plugs on my 2004 Escape V6 because I could not bring myself to pay $200
    for plugs and labor. So I printed a step by step instruction sheet (I work for a Ford dealership) and did it myself. It really sounds more complicated then it is. It is time consuming (2hrs for me) but not difficult at all. I saved myself the $140 in labor and that was cool for me. By the way, if you do it yourself, you will have to replace the (6) intake plenum o-rings as well.
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    Labor charges are pretty well established by all the rate books out there. If you think there's an error, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom right and someone will check it out.

    (I'm nowhere close to the data people in Santa Monica so I can't walk down the hall and ask myself).

    Enjoy the new ride!

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • nitrous93nitrous93 Posts: 17
    Are you close to Louisville, KY because I will do it for $200.00 (assuming you have a 3.0Liter V6).+ parts. The dealer will charge you $400.00 or better just to change the plugs. and while your at it, you might as well change your PCV valve because its right under the upper intake that the dealer has to take off just to get to your back 3 plugs. Trust me, I have done over a Dozen of them. It also wouldn't be a bad Idea to change your upper intake gaskets as well. They are oval individuals not expensive about $20 for all of them. Hopes this helps. I have a 2002 Ford Escape with 98,000 and I already changed my plugs, also I do routine Transmission fluid chages, Coolant changes, and these vehicles are amazing, but just like any vehicle you have to do preventive maintenance on them and they will run seemingly forever. Later
    Dave :shades:
  • steverstever YooperlandPosts: 39,936
    It's Motrcyclr that needs plugs Dave (and I'm out in Boise at that).

    Sure you won't do it for $33 though? :shades:

    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    This isn't steve, but thanks for the offer, I live in the Akron, OH area. I'm waiting on a call back from a car-repair place owned by an in-law, depending on what that cost is, I'll probly ask my son to help me, he's working in Transportation division of the Ohio National Guard. And he has some auto-tech background from senior year of high school vocational school. At least, he'll be able to bend under the hood, without wrecking his back. He's working Nat. Guard full time, but some saturday...

    And yep, I'll replace the EGR valve, and all fluids (coolant/differential/tranny) when we go at it. I did think it was interesting that someone posted the Mazda manual stating that the serpentine belt was changed by cutting off the old one & popping the new one on like I used to do with changing tires on a bicycle.......
    I'm definitely going to do the sequential flush technique on the tranny fluid, dump out 4, put in 3, etc. I've not had any hint of shifting problems, and want to keep it that way.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I posted how to replace your water pump drive belt. I though it was interesting as well when I read it on the Ford Factory Shop Manual but that is the way to replace that particular belt. Just cut off old one and place new belt on water pump pulley and start a lead on the cam pulley, then finish mounting the belt completely on the cam pulley by turning it clockwise or counter clockwise depending on which side you started the lead manually. Funny but true!
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I tried replacing my PCV valve when I replaced my spark plugs and even with the upper plenum off I could not access the PCV valve easily. Needless to say I tried and tried and failed so I just left it alone. I would have needed to remove the fuel rail in order to replace the PCV valve and that I did not want to do. I even tried accessing the PCV the way the Ford Factory Shop Manual says to do so and there is no freaking way to get to it that way either. I still have the PCV so one of these days I may just have to pull the plenum off again and do it. Any tricks you have to do this???
  • laurenlvlaurenlv Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Ford Escape and I too have the reoccuring issue of the airbag light coming on and staying on. When I take it to the dealership it ALWAYS turns out to be a simple glitch under my front passenger seat. Apparently the airbag light sensor is in close proximity to the shocks which ultimately cause the sensor to think that the airbag on that side has been deployed.
    I have dealt with the same issue 5 times in the past since purchasing the car in 2002. The inspection and correction was always free when my car had a warranty, Now that it's not, the dealership informs me it would cost $100-$200 to fix it!

    Another issue I have is that once and a while, the brake light will be dimly lit but never fully. It comes and goes and I have no clue why...neither did the dealership.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    Steve, i used the "contact us" link, got back a reply that said post in a member forum or some idiocy like that, no direct comment about incorrect prices.

    I'm not impressed with the "contact us" response.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    I appreciate the list. Thanks very much. I went to the Amsoil web page for info about their synthetic products. found a reminder bulletin about complete flush tranny fluid changes, and doing damage to the tranny because the filter is not a screen, but a felt material. Can someone confirm for me exactly what the filter on a 04 Trib 4wd automatic is made from? I'm intending to change fluid in the tranny, I want to do it the most short-term & long term effective & efficient way. This vehicle runs/rides like new, even with 100k miles. I see no reason for it not to continue, if I do my part and maintain it. I'm lookin' to do exactly that.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    What is the bolt pattern/spacing for the Tribute wheel? I have 16" alloy wheels. measured the center to center between two lugs, it's about 3.5" I think. 235/70 R16 tires (contininental contritrac, going to change those soon ) and I'd like to get steel wheels with a more agressive tread for occasional use, don't want to spend a lot of cash. What other wheels will fit ? thanks for the help.
  • I have an 03 Escape but the basic same auto. I'm not a mechanic and I don't know what the transmission filter is made of, but I do know that you cannot replace it ( wasn't designed to be replaced by the brilliant engineers) unless you apparently take the entire transmission apart. So, although changing the trans fluid is good ( I do it every 50K) you are again running new fluid thru a dirty filter. I think Amsoil products are good but I don't know their costs and considering that, it may not be worth the additional price. Thats my opinion....
  • rascal69rascal69 Posts: 3
    The media used in the CD4E transmission and the majority of higher quality transmissions today is a Polyester Felt material that cannot be flushed. Anyone who tells you they can flush debris from this material is not telling you the truth. The media acts as a barrier into which the contaminants embed into the Felt at various depths. The need to remove the debris relates very closely with the increased use of electronics and precision controllers found in today's premium transmissions.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    rascal, thanks for the info. do you(or anyone else with experience at this, )know what is involved in changing the filter? I've noted several owners had problems with tranny's after a "flush" change, or a "drop the pan, drain & replace with 3-4qts type change, at a "speedy service" type maintenance facility.
  • rascal69rascal69 Posts: 3

    Unfortunately, this is a "split-case" design transmission which requires dis-assembly of the unit in order to work on the internals, including replacement of the filter. One of the reasons these designs are used is to eliminate access through the pan area and prevent damage that may occur during removal or installation of components such as the filter. Ford experienced an increasing rate of warranty resulting from scratches on the bore on the inlet, often caused by screwdrivers being used to remove seals.

    Until the transmission actually has problems in shifting or performance, it is probably best to leave the filter, etc. in place. It sure wouldn't hurt to replace the fluid, but as I said earlier, this won't remove debris from the system since it is embedded in the felt. If replaced, the fluid would probably be at least 80% to 90% clean and the filter is designed to hold a fair amount of contaminant under normal circumstances.

    Hope that helps!
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