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Mazda Tribute Transmission Problems



  • Wow, I am just in awe. On Monday, our 2004 Mazda Tribute (87,000 km) konked out. My husband was driving on Highway 1 to Calgary, cruising at 120 km/hr. He pressed on the gas a little, heard a bang, the car slowed down. It picked back up and when he got to the first traffic light, he pressed on the gas - nothing. The Tribute was done. AMA (thankfully!) came and got him right away, sent him to the Mazda dealership and voila - we need a new transmission! Apparently gears 4 and 5 were shot. So the Mazda is in the shop right now, getting the transmission rebuilt. Total: $3900CAD. Awesome.

    Is it just me, or should a 2004 vehicle with only 87,000 NOT be brought into a shop to get a new transmission?!

    Soooooooo just out of curiosity..... can we sue?? Does it not seem like there should have been a recall?? Can we do ANYTHING? Can we contact head office?? Anything?? This just seems like it's WAY too common to go unmentioned!
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    This is rather low kms for a transmission to fail. You say that gears 4 and 5 were shot. Is this a manual transmission? Automatics only had a 4 speed.
  • My 2003 Mazda Tribute had performed beautifully since I bought it new. I have the 2WD model. It has 105,000 miles on it, and I have had the transmission oil changed twice. The transmission died on a trip to Santa Fe. Luckily family lived there. It took 1 week with expedited shipping and $4500 to replace the transmission. I was also charged 16 hours of labor. Seems like this should have been a recall item, seeing what is listed on this web site. I also was told that there is no successful "rebuilding" of the transmission as the transmission is "baked" after assembly to set the parts; therefore, a rebuild shop can't do the job correctly. It's sad, I love the car, it fits my needs perfectly. Now I have a year warranty to shop for a different manufacturer of the same style to avoid future transmission problems.
  • I have "had" a 2005 Tribute and yesterday I was driving in rush hour traffic and after coming to a complete stop, I tried to hit the gas and I got RPM's but nothing else. The dealership is now telling me $3500 to put a "new" transmission in or they can sell me one that has 58k miles on it (almost identical milege to the one that went kaput) for $2995. I am at a loss for words, its just out of warranty and Mazda unlike nearly every other car manufacturer does not have a powertrain warranty. I ahve no idea what i'm going to do. I just want a new car at this point and I think Mazda needs to eat what I owe on the vehicle!! i'm pissed!!!!! :mad: :mad:
  • I hope this makes you feel better...
    My Tribute has 58 K on it and I had the same thing happen to me on New Year's Eve. Here's the kicker.....Out of warranty and 3 months left on my lease. The repair guy said the Ford transmission is at fault....
  • They say exactly what was wrong? In my case it was a broken pump shaft but the symptom sounded the same. The solution was to replace the transmission. The mechanic also said it was typical because the Ford transmission on the SUV was designed for a Ford sedan (I forget which one). Apparently it has some issues when they put the transmission in an SUV.
  • I am having the same problem with my tribute and i was just wondering if you found out what was wrong with it or if it is just something that it does. I am a little concerned because i dont have the money to fix a transmission right now.
    Thank you :confuse:
  • jds427jds427 Posts: 6
    I changed all of the transmission fluid and have not had the rumble since then. I have driven about 7 thousand miles since changing the fluid.
  • I just took my 2009 Tribute (3 wks old, 525 miles) into the dealer with the check engine light showing. After about 15 minutes I was told I needed to have the transmission replace. They are sending a new transmission from the factory and will replace rather than repair the current one. He said there was a recall or bulletin on them. Has anyone heard of this. Can't find anything on the internet for the 2009.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 549
    What model Tribute do you have? V6 or 4 cylinder?
  • mfortmfort Posts: 2
    We just picked up a 2005 Tribute S - 6 cyl with 56,000 miles and haven't noticed anything about the trans, just a lot of tire noise we are trying to resolve. Anyone have any idea how wide-spread the transmission problem is? There do seem to be a lot of good reviews on this car but not necessarily on ones with higher miles on them. Just wondering if we should try to sell it before anything goes really wrong. I know that there are lemons in any model line, just wondering if anyone's got any insight into what the likelihood of this happening may be...thanks.
  • I have a 4 cly. Just called the dealer and was told there is a bulletin on them. When the chech engine light comes on and they get a certain code, they are to replace the transmission rather than repair it to avoid further problems.
  • if you have continetal contitrac tires that is your road noise problem. I had them and the car would shake when i would go over 40. Look at the reviews for the tires at
  • mfortmfort Posts: 2
    Thanks...we do have Continental and are aware that they need to be replaced with a better tire. We are also looking into the camber and toe adjustments before we put new ones on, since apparently the Mazda specs tend to cause more wear on the inside edge. Supposedly they are set up that way for handling purposes.
  • I took my car (156K miles) in for an oil change and transmission fluid change and tran filter change after a 800 mile round trip after traveling through the west virgnia/virgnia mountains...due for both services. I told the service dealer not to flush the transmission. Long story short, I got a call asking if I had been having problems with my transmission...I told them no. Well when I picked it up, as they said the car was having a hard time going forward when acclerating but once up to 30mph it was fine, and that it was hard to put into reverse. I thought all of this to be strange being that the mechanic backed my car out of the parking space and drove around the back to bring into the bay. Now my car is at a transmission expert (Aamco) because the car will not move when put into reverse and as they said the car is having a hard time in 1st and 2nd gear but drives fine after I get up to 30 mph. Can someone tell me what when wrong here. I've never had any other problems outside of recalls.
    Single female in Ohio looking for honest answers.
  • smontysmonty Posts: 1
    as i sat here reading these messages, i was thinking - this is as if everyone has read my thoughts, has heard my concerns, or has driven my car. we just paid to have major transmission work done on it, but my car is back at the mechanic's, doing the same thing it was doing before. not only does it not move when it's put in gear, but the O/D continously flashes. if so many people are having the same problems, why has there not been a backlash on mazda from the consumers? from what i've read here today, these problems aren't isolated to any particular year. some attorney general shouldve already been contacted by someone, somewhere in the country. does anyone know if this has been done? :sick:
  • pg08pg08 Posts: 1

    I have been reading a lot of stuff on transmission problems with the Tributes for various years, but I havn't found anything for the 2008 Tribute. I noticed that maybe 3 months after I bought mine brand new there was a little bit of jerking of the vehicle when I would stop and then contine driving for about a minute, then it would go back to normal. Of course by the time I made the appointments with the dealership, this jerking would stop and they couldn't detect the problem! Problem is, it has happened 3 more times this past year and I was wondering if anyone else has had the same problem?
  • tork49tork49 Posts: 4
    Had a similar problems with my MPV. After a minor fluid and filter change, trans acted as if it dying. I had been in the auto repair business for over forty years. So hopefully, I can honestly explain what "may" had happened? Either they had used the wrong fluid, there is no such thing as universal fluid! Or used the incorrect bolts while installing the trans filter? The trans filter has different sized bolts, what I means is that one is slightly longer than the other by 1-3 mm (they are different). and they are placed just below the trans body. An incorrect placement of a bolt will touch a sensor and will create the. lack of power or correct shifting. Correct placement or pattern is very, very important! What they did wrong, I had to correct! I had to drain the fluid and correct the bolt pattern to the filter. Did not have to buy or get another transmission. Also, the the idiot, did not notice the bad vac line to the trans mod. Hopefully, this would be of some help to you?
  • bronxsotobronxsoto Posts: 1
    Thanks for the information, i had my trans fluild change at pep boys and having the same signs. I will get this check as soon as possible.
  • momesq33momesq33 Posts: 1
    The transmission on our 2004 Tribute just failed at slightly over 70,000 miles--days after being serviced--$4,000 to replace it, so we elected to get a new vehicle (NOT a Mazda or a Ford). Sadly, we had just been talking about how the car had never needed a major repair. Bottom line: this should NOT happen. We are very upset about it!
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