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Mazda Tribute Transmission Problems



  • I own a 2005 Tibute and have not had any major problems with it. I had to have the battery jumped this past weekend and decided to replace it (it was the original). Upon changing the battery and an oil change I noticed that my tribute now revs/jumps/jerks (call it what you want) around 30 MPH...only on accelaration not when I slow down. It revs up about 1000 RPMS and just a fast goes right back down, so there is no change in my speed or any feeling of failing or pulling. Has anyone expierenced anything like this? I am just not convienced its the tranny...maybe something electrical, as it started right after I changed the battery.
  • Hi, I also posted this new in the Forum, but wanted to ask you about the problems that you had. I own a 2005 Tibute and have not had any major problems with it. I had to have the battery jumped this past weekend and decided to replace it (it was the original). Upon changing the battery and an oil change I noticed that my tribute now revs/jumps/jerks (call it what you want) around 30 MPH...only on accelaration not when I slow down. It revs up about 1000 RPMS and just a fast goes right back down, so there is no change in my speed or any feeling of failing or pulling. I am just not convienced its the tranny...maybe something electrical, as it started right after I changed the battery. Any thoughts?
  • bachmanbachman Posts: 31

    I've been told that any change of battery can mean a number of things if not done properly. I assume properly means having a secondary power source so the computer controlled functions do not have to be reset or re- trained.
    Also, the shifting of an automatic may have to be re-learned based on some new driving habits being monitored.
    Of coarse, this is all hearsay as I'm not a mechanic but I've experienced a few electrical or shifting anomalies that ring true to these characteristics I'd heard of.
    In fact, on my last occasion of seriously bad transmission failure, I unhooked the battery thinking it might reset something important and correct a problem. The trans shop my buddie told me to take it to just for a code read told me I had wiped out any codes by unhooking the battery so a diagnostic code read would be a waste of money.

    My advice is try driving it very normal and not under undue strain a bit and see if a few days of re learning will get it back in normal order. If not check with a shop familiar with these kinds of things and they may repeat a simulated battery swap starting over using the preferred and safe procedures.

  • camapicamapi Posts: 1
    I bought a used 2006 Mazda Tribute in June 2010. The first problem I noticed was on a trip in October. After driving on the interstate for about 100 miles, I pulled over to let my niece drive. Before I could put the car in park, it died. I could restart it fine, but when I put it into gear, it would die again. I had NO IDEA what it might be, and had to be towed 100 miles back home. While home, I had the battery replaced because a Valvoline oil place told me it needed it, but that still didn't solve the problem. I had learned how to gun the motor after throwing it in gear and basically get where I needed to go--once I got going, especially at a good speed, there were no problems at all, so I resumed my 400+ mile trip that I'd started the day before. The dying problem still happened sometimes, but not always. I was told it sound like I'd gotten a bad batch of gas, so I used a gas treatment. Then I had it looked at by a guy who's serviced Mazda's for 25 years, and it never acted up for him. I drove it the 400 miles home with no problems. In December 2010, the transmission completely failed. It was in the shop for 3 weeks and caused me to miss out on some of my Christmas travels because of hassles between the company that holds my Vehicle Service Contract, the dealership, and the rental place. I ended up paying over $200 as my part of the repair plus around $200 extra for the part of the rental that was not covered by my service contract. Earlier this month, guess what? The transmission went out again!!! I was on Spring Break, more than 400 miles from home. I was unable to get home on time, missed 4 days of work, and had to cover some of the costs again for the repair fiasco. Again, it took 3 weeks to get my car back! I am VERY unsatisfied with the Mazda transmissions and with my Vehicle Service Contract provider! It has been a HUGE mess!
  • cjadcjad Posts: 6
    Here's a warning friend, get rid of it! I also have a '03 Tribute AWD and I'm on my 3rd. tranny with 64,000 miles on it! Second was under warranty, but I paid White Bear Mazda $3,000.00 to install the third tranny! It was only about a thousand miles over the warranty...4 yr. That's how Ford/Mazda make their money, by putting in cheap transmissions. It even has an oil cooler, but they still go out because they're cheap! I only haul leaves twice a year on a light trailer...that's all I have ever pulled with this vehicle. I have one more year on the third tranny warranty & I won't be buying another Mazda! I wanted to give this vehicle to my daughter, but I don't want her to take the chance the 3rd. transmission will go out. Lately, a couple times it has shifted weird like the 2nd. one did! When the dealership puts in a new transmission (whether under warranty or not) it's not's rebuilt! That's probably why my 2nd. one went out so fast! New ones will cost more than $3,000.00.
  • cjadcjad Posts: 6
    I have an '03 Mazda Tribute with 64,000 miles and am on the third tranny! People get rid of your Tribute's and never buy another! Mine is starting to act up again! Honda CRV will be my next vehicle because of the snow in Mn. I also have a Mazda 6 ('04) with very many problems when it was new! It now has 16,000 miles on it after 6-1/2 yrs. Main seal was leaking when we had only 600 miles on it! Pwr. steering pump also leaked and was replaced, but is leaking again after the warranty expired! Too many problems to explain. I don't have confidence in Mazda or Ford because that's what you're buying if you buy Mazda...the engine (V6) that is!
  • cjadcjad Posts: 6
    I know your pain, I have a '03 with 64,000 miles and am on my 3rd. transmission. Tributes are junk!
  • bachmanbachman Posts: 31
    If I wasn't clear in my previous reporting of my experience, it is clear to me by a talented mechanic friend that many trans problems are design problems and rarely get re-designed for the fix. The only solution is aftermarket kits that actually come with details telling you why is sucked and how their products fix it or modify it telling you why it works! Add that and a good mechanic and all should be well. If you are stuck with a dealer or regular shop doing it with factory parts .. bury it with Osama. I got my one time fix for about $1500 paying a friend almost $700 for the labor. I will not get rid of that thing now and will run it per durability and longevity against anything new off the line in the Trib - Escape family.
  • wwestwwest Posts: 10,706
    edited May 2011
    Ford and Mazda should be very well aware at this point that these "new" F/awd systems are putting too much stress on the drivetrain, rear clutch/diff'l/PTO/transaxle/torque converter.

    Pull the F/awd clutch fuse except for times of need, TRUE times of need (KNOWN slippery roadbed), and the drive train life will be indefinite.
  • eabbotteabbott Posts: 1
    thinking about buying a 2009 mazda tribute what do you think i should buy it or not and why?
  • tadd380tadd380 Posts: 1
    I own Mazda Tribute 2005 AWD. Just after 105,000 and over having it for five years I had transmission problems. I was able to drive with it like that for a few months, I just couldn’t do any fast accelerations without causing it to red line. It would only change gears if you took the foot of the pelt. I took it to a few local shops and they said it was a real common problem and that even though it was never officially acknowledged that ford and Mazda changed the transmission in 2008 or 2009. They said using a rebuild kit based off that fixs the problem so it will not happen again.
    I did have it fix last June, didn’t fix the problem as it keep returning every few months. Turns out there was a bad washer from the rebuild so they took it all apart again and fixed it, It has worked fine ever since. So I had to have 2 rebuilds to fix the problem, lucky for me that the shop offered a warranty so the second rebuild was free to me minus the time I spent taking it in to get fixed. I looked at different websites and found it is common to have problems getting the transmission fixed.
    To the person asking about getting a 2009 one, I really enjoy the tribute but wish I had better gas mileage; currently I am debated to invest more money in to getting new tires, more money on up keep or get a new car with better gas mileage. I am now thinking of keeping it and hope it last a few 2 more years without anything major happening to it. I would do a search of mazda tribute 2009 problems and see if anything major comes up as well.
  • bachmanbachman Posts: 31
    edited May 2011
    I think once your transmission problem is fixed properly (sounds like it is) the gas milege factor is not typically a primary motivator for getting different wheels. If you get 18 - 24 mpg city / highway for the 3.0 six, that is in the range of normal in my opinion.
    Unless you are looking for an excuse to get something else, I'd say do the math first. Going from 19 mpg to 35 mpg will save you around $30 a month considering 600 miles of driving or commute a month. That does not account for a loss of equity in getting out of the Trib (if that would be the case) or the cost and related finance for a different car and if newer, probable higher insurance rates. One of reasons for the Trib as my choice was the side air bags and the sense of safety with an SUV that sits a bit taller in the case of a crash or tee-bone hit. (Been there).
    I think the typical 35 mpg car ( best case highway not apples to apples against the 18 -19 mpg city on the Trib) is not built as solid or safe for a crash rating either.
    Just my .02 cents.

  • I'd keep hounding them or the dealer or go to a different dealer even until they do something about it... i.e. switch out fluid, take out the fluid and look at the pan to see if there's shavings, etc... :D

    How many miles are on it? Still in waranty?
  • chemicalschemicals Posts: 3
    I now have 24,000 miles on the car, drive alot because of a sales job, and in the car alot. Problem still there, but have not felt it as often. Everytime I go to the dealership for maintenance, I asked if there has been any recalls, NOTHING LISTED ANYWHERE????
    What will shavings show? I have not had this done, but if I do, should I do it at the dealership or thru another shop?
    Thanks for your comments.
  • tribute65tribute65 Posts: 1
    well friend we own tribute also with shifting problem for abt two years taking to mazda they keep saying no trouble found ...we took they to Lemon law
    Mazda is giving us 8 years watty with no without any cost to us ...or replace the tribute ..... file the lemon law let me know please
  • tribute8tribute8 Posts: 1
    I am experiencing similar problems with my Tribute 2009 4 cyl. Please read into the Lemon Law Manual and find the Manufacturer's phone number and address and write a letter to them describing the problem. Also if you are planning to apply for the Florida Lemon Law or whatever state you reside; you have to also file a complaint to the BBB Auto Line as well.
    You need to send copies of all the services you have had and letters to all of these places mentioned above. Please start this process before the vehicle is 2 years/24 months.
    I am in my final process of the solution of this situation and I am getting 4 more years of Warranty or repurchase of another vehicle and pay the difference of the vehicle I chose.

    Hope this information can help you.
  • sgb46sgb46 Posts: 1
    I will NEVER buy a Mazda again after the transmission went out on my 2006 WELL MAINTAINED Mazda Tribute with 46,000 miles!! After having it towed to the dealer they tried to get Mazda to cover it under the 60,000 mile powertrain warranty. Mazda refused to cover it. The dealer quoted a price of 3800.00. With a price that high, I chose to have it towed to another service facility who fixed it for 2450.00 So far so good, however, I won't be keeping the Tribute and will never buy another Mazda again.
  • esyouveeesyouvee Posts: 3
    My 2005 Tribute XLT / AWD has around 85K miles and has held up fairly well. The tranny was making some rattling noise last year, but had the fluid changed and that was the end of that. My Tribute doesn't get used a lot though, so who knows how it would fare if it were being used for the daily grind.
  • Brian,
    When you lost drive, and then shortly after lost 1st and 2nd, what exactly was the problem? Where can the parts be purchased from? My friend has had exactly the same thing happen with her 2002 Tribute AWD V6, (besides countless other problems!)
    I'm sure I can get someone to pull the transmission out, and there are lots of small mechanics and machine shops that are good that could put it back together if the local transmission shop is being stupid.
    All I basically need is where you got your rebuild parts from? Or what exactly they are, so I can look around for them.
    Thanks! :)
  • bachmanbachman Posts: 31
    The kit might have been by Trans Tech so that is what I'd search for. The forward drive hub is not part of a kit so far as I know so I suppose it's isn't always the culprit but I think it was the key to my failure. It's pricey and hard to get over the counter but if you deal with a trans shop, I assume they can get it if needed. I wouldn't assume anything until the experts pull that thing apart though. The CD4E a tricky gizmo so the kits are usually spot-on for directions and 'rituals'. I also think it comes in more than one version so warn the shop about that or look for one who does lots of Ford/Mazda trans work. If I recall correctly, one of the o-rings in the kit was not the right size and later found to be due to some slight variations in design or application. Aside from trans expense, downtime, I like everything else about the Trib though. Good luck and post the final outcome so others can benefit too.

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