Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair

bshapbshap Member Posts: 23
I know that the Tribute is made with only US and
Japanese parts due to Mazda's policy. The Escape
parts (yes they are different) come from the lowest
bidder in any country. Does the fuel line Escape
recall affect my Tribute? Also, what should I do
about the tires? (On my Tribute they are Wilderness
AT's.) Any other recalls that you know of?


  • paul1741paul1741 Member Posts: 10
    edited February 2016

    Anyway. The engine and drivetrain are the same, just badged differently. The only exterior part that is the same is the roof panel. Many of the parts are sourced from the same supplier, but are styled for each vehicle. (the seats, for instance.)

    All of the main Escape recalls have affected the Tribute to this point. It is possible that some future problems will be vehicle specific.

    The Tribute should come with Wilderness HT's. They are not part of the recall and I haven't found any Chicago-area dealer who would trade them out. You might have some luck switching them out at a Firestone dealer. Check out the following link and take a copy of it with you to the dealer:

    Hope this helps.
  • charleywbcharleywb Member Posts: 3
    The fuel line recall has nothing to so with quality. Some fuel lines may have been damaged during installation. The damage only becomes a problem when the fuel filter is replaced. Miata is the only Mazda that isn't loaded with Ford parts. As far as Japanese parts go, many are made by (lowest bid) jobbers, who contract with middlemen in Hong Kong and Taiwan, who contract the job out to sweatshops in third world countries where the police beat and jail striking workers.
  • oberfieldwebeloberfieldwebel Member Posts: 52
    What about the transmissions, arn't they a potential problem or already a problem? An Escape owner reported that he (or she?) had to have the transmission replaced at 2,500 miles.

    I believe that, from all I read, that the transmission is the weak link in these vehicles. No matter how nice a vehicle may look and feel, what good is it if a major component fails?
  • dyl2000dyl2000 Member Posts: 1
    I just got an XLT 4X4 V6 and am getting under well under 20mpg on the highway as opposed to the 24 stated. I know that the vehicle has to be broken in but all the other owners are claiming mileage close to the estimates at the early stages of the vehicles' lives. Could it have anything to do with the fuel line? My dealer told me the car was cleared to go.
  • alexpalexp Member Posts: 70
    Fuel lines have nothing to do with quality? "Some fuel lines may have been damaged during installation.." Installation does not requires quality? "As far as Japanese parts go, many are made by (lowest bid) jobbers..." where you get this stuff from? It is forbidden practice for the Japanese automakers to use any other parts but their own plus parts from the country where they build their cars! Toyota uses only Japanese or US parts! Mazda brings their own parts from Japan or local sources, same as Mitsubishi. Lowest bid? Look at the Ford practices (if you know anything about it) they bring anything from anywhere as long as price is right. Sweatshops? Striking workers? What are you talking about?
    Escape will be a great car if Ford will let it be a great. Few more requests for the price cuts from their suppliers and there goes quality! Escape is already being redesigned (nothing big) for 2002 and it will go hybrid for 2003.
  • wukywuky Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone heard of transmission problems. We test drove the car today and like it but are concerned about reliability. Any comments?
  • csapm3csapm3 Member Posts: 6
    What are these rumors about trannys? I only heard of the one guy whose tranny failed - that doesn't mean there is a universal problem with them. A defective part from the factory was probably the problem . I put a new tranny in my 98 Grand Prix when it had 3500 miles and the new trnny has been fine ever since (knock wood). These forums are an incubator for rumors. I've read so much BS here from all these people expressing their opinions as fact without researching anything. If anyone has heard about anyone else besides this guy please post. My tranny shifts fine and smooth. I don't think I'll be replacing it every 2k miles. The Taurus is only about 150 lbs lighter than the Trib.; will that 150 lbs bust a tranny? I don';t think so.
  • kate5000kate5000 Member Posts: 1,271
    the concern is that although both engine (Duratec V6) and transmission (same as Mazda 626 auto 4-cyl, not Taurus one!) have been around for a while, it's the combination of engine/tranny that's not been time-tested yet. And some think that mating this tranny to 6cyl engine may indeed put an undue stress to it.
  • paul1741paul1741 Member Posts: 10
    The transmission was also used in the Ford Contour.
  • bshapbshap Member Posts: 23
    i called modern mazda in connecticut, and my sales guy said the tributes suffered from the weak nut on the steering wheel, but all were fixed. the fuel line recall for the escape does not apply to the tribute, because they were mad on two different assembly lines. the exhaust smell is rare (one in 30) and can be fixed easily.
  • drew37drew37 Member Posts: 62
    While driving by a local Ford dealer today, out of curiosity I stopped to see if the sticker price on the Escape had the same $275 overcharge as the one someone here had a link to. It did. But also, there was a handwritten note taped over the fuel gauge that said "new fuel gauge has been ordered, tank is full". I don't know what the exact problem or cause was but I hope it is an isolated incident.
  • jaycee798jaycee798 Member Posts: 1
    i havent heard anything about the ford escape's offroading/4x4ing capabilitys. i was wondering if anybody has any info as to how they handle on the rougher roads when need be and if there are any problems with their awd systems. i live in canada where there is a lot of snow in the winter and in my particular area there is need for an awd on some roads. i guess i was just wondering if i needed to get something bigger to go through the snow or can i rely on the ford escape to get me through those snow banks/drifts. if anybody has any info on this topic, it will be greatly appreciated.
  • oberfieldwebeloberfieldwebel Member Posts: 52
    Why should we expect the Escape or Tribute to be capable of towing a #3,500 trailer, or even endure with no towed load if the transmission used in these vehicles is the same as that used in a 626 or a Contour?

    Is the transmission the same or has it be redesigned to carry a heavier load? There is all kinds of data on the Duratec engine, but none on the transmission. If someone out there really knows about this transmission, please advise us.
  • willymacwillymac Member Posts: 5
    A Dealer in Toronto told me that the tow package consisted of additional cooling. How that is done I didn't get into because I am not considering this option.

    I would be concerned about the capability of this transmission for towing. I would also be concerned about it handling a 6 cyl engine putting out 200 ft/lb of torque past the warranty period. Is it possible to get some info on the design limits of the transmission or durability ratings, etc.? Finally, how does the Duratec engine rate for durability/reliability? I gather it was the Taurus engine for years.
  • csapm3csapm3 Member Posts: 6
    What is the fix for the fuel smell?
  • joecaltranjoecaltran Member Posts: 4
    The Mazda Tribute has the same recalls that the Ford Escape has had. If you do not believe me check out the NHTSA web site for recalls.
  • paul1741paul1741 Member Posts: 10
    The towing package adds an oil cooler. (Sort of a radiator for your oil) That keeps the temperature level in the the engine lower. I ordered the tow package strictly to get that installed at the factory. I don't anticipate towing anything anytime soon.
  • paul1741paul1741 Member Posts: 10
    Thanks for the site info. When you do the vehicle search, you have to enter "Mazda Truck" instead of just "Mazda" in the search field or will get no information.
  • oberfieldwebeloberfieldwebel Member Posts: 52
    If the Duratec engine is the same as employed in the Taurus, it is an excellent engine.
  • bshapbshap Member Posts: 23
    the smell should definitely be gone by 2000 mi. it comes from the shipping. if its not gone, go se your dealer
  • galvanggalvang Member Posts: 156
    Its too Bad. Its such nice looking SUV. I got this from This time its the suspension, where corosion can weaken and eventually snap the suspension. Go over a bump or a pot hole may cause the suspension to snap.

    This further solidifies my position in not obtaining one. Since Ford is the owner of Mazda I put major responsibility on Ford. They should have done more testing prior to shipping the SUVs out into the market. In the long run this will only hurt Ford/Mazda reputation as being a quality car Mfg. When I was at the Ford dealer, it was a ghost town. Its not just the Escape with Recalls its other Ford models as well. The dealers are P*** Off at Ford Corporate. The Mazda dealer was normal in terms of customer turn out. Good Luck, you will need it.
  • oberfieldwebeloberfieldwebel Member Posts: 52
    I believe the lack of quality at Ford Motor Company can be directly credited to Jac Nasser, President and CEO of FMC. It's my understanding that the engineering staff at FMC has be cut to the minimum (or further) to reduce costs and increase profits. I also believe that cost cutting of materials and components as well as quality control has also been high on Mr. Nassers list of thing to do at FMC. Profits will not go up if car buyers go elsewhere.
  • willymacwillymac Member Posts: 5
    (Item # 21) The release, dated yesterday, said "Certain 2000 Ford Escape models built from January 31, 2000 through July 26, 2000 will be recalled for front sway bar replacement. Certain affected vehicles were built with a front stabilizer bar that may have a high stress concentration and corrosion near the right hand attachment clamp. At the point of high stress, the powder coat paint may peel off, exposing the metal surface. With the powder coat paint protection absent, the stabilizer bar may rust at this location. The stabilizer bar is weakened due to corrosion and may eventually fracture. The potential for a fracture is most likely to occur at high mileage, during significant off-road use, and/or at a point in the vehicle's life outside of the warranty period." What is troubling are the words "high stress concentration." I am not an engineer, but this means too much energy at a point where it shouldn't be. It does not indicate the effect of the sudden loss of the stabilizer bar on control, but it could occur at a moment of "high stress", i.e., cornering, the worst possible time. How is this defect remedied by the recall or in subsequent construction? Was the stabilizer bar redesigned/strengthened? I sure would like to know before I buy a Tribute. If I owned one, I would be on the phone to the dealer asap, whether or not I was in the recall.
  • csapm3csapm3 Member Posts: 6
    I have 700 miles on the truck. The smell seems to be less concentrated and occurs less frequently. I hope it's just some shipping chemical burning off. I will keep my eyes on it and keep you posted. We plan to put about 300 miles on it this weekend - I'm very excited. Outside of that smell the truck has been trouble free and we love it! Does anyone find a thumping when the left side of the car hits a bump. It's only on the left side and is no big deal it just sounds like a muffled thumping.
  • jonathan_rjonathan_r Member Posts: 2
    Now, I probably am coming in to this way late, but isn't it just possible that the exhaust smell is the catalytic converter "breaking in", so to speak? I know every new car I have test driven (and by test drive I mean push and push HARD) has had that exhaust / burning smell afterwards.
  • galvanggalvang Member Posts: 156
    I am an engineer but not an expert in suspensions in autos. But do have the fundemental knowledge in chemestry and physics to know what is going on here.

    High stress concentration maybe indicative to high speed cornering, potholes, bumps at a certain point where the stabilizer is weak. It seems the problem is more long term than short term. Depending on the type of corosion, the thicness, and the material of the stabalizer bar its an issue that may happen later in life after the warranttee peroid. Which is only 36k miles. It would seem from the effective dates of the recall that Ford knew about it in advance and have implemented a fix as of July 26. You are right I would like to know what was done to impliment the fix. Some of these car MFGs do not give out the whole facts and ramifications of the recall and leave it up to he customer to find out.

    With all the recalls No thanx. FMC/Mazda needs to clean up its act. They need to avoid these types of issues before they ship it out to market. Going after BMW X5 or a RX300. Good luck Slick.
  • tomsrtomsr Member Posts: 325
    Ford has used it's dollar sign to build this SUV.
    Power is the appeal,but they skimped on the
    details which will bug you after the new wears off.Maybe it's time to not get starry eyed over it
    to the point of paying more than you need to.I
    have an Acura Cl which I love and if Acura had
    a wagon I'd have one too.
  • xena60cxena60c Member Posts: 1
    I am looking for more information on the fuel smell. I just bought a Tribute and noticed the smell when I started the vehicle with the AC on. Please respond with any info as well as recall information
  • robertt64robertt64 Member Posts: 1
    Xena60c: We just took our new (2 weeks) Tribute ES 4wd to the dealer today because of the fuel smell. It turns out it was the fuel injector o-ring which was leaking. They need to remove the intake manifold to get to the injectors and must put new gaskets on the manifold to put it back. Trib is out of service for 1 day but the dealership gave us a new DX Trib as a loaner.(too bad, no leather)
    I've had great service from the dealership in the past as I've owned 4 Mazda's and I trust their workmanship and honesty. I went into the new Trib knowing that there may be problems as it is the first year of a new model and we have one of the first ones off the assembly line. Overall, it is a great vehicle and yes, the wind noise is higher than expected.
    FYI: We traded in a Subaru Outback for the Tribute
  • abzabz Member Posts: 13
    I agree with the posts above about complete lack of quality. I was very eager for the Tribute/Escape to hit the market, and have been following all news eagerly for the past year.

    My reason for replacing my current car is the fact that we just had our first child and I wanted something larger and safer to transport her around town. Unfortunately, steering wheels falling off, rear wheels separating, sway bars snapping, fuel leaks, and sticking accelerator cables don't instill confidence.

    I hope the bean counters at Ford quickly realize the mistakes they have made and fix quality so the Tribute/Escape lives up to potential. Unfortunately I will not have the patience to wait for year two to see if they can get it right. I am ordering a Subaru Outback very soon. Yes, the style is not the same, and towing capacity is smaller (2000 lbs vs 3000). Still with the manual transmission I will get 0-60 in 9.1 seconds vs a quoted 9.0 with the auto Tribute. Also, the Outback is a much plusher vehicle with a tremendous safety record.

    I hope someone at Ford stumbles across this post. As a marketer, I would like to say you screwed up this launch "in a big way." I finally know why people claim FORD: Fixed Or Repaired Daily.
  • doublewingdoublewing Member Posts: 16
    Hey, buy whatever you want, but this kind of ill informed rant against Ford adds nothing of worth to this thread. Instead of reacting hysterically to the fact that there is a recall, learn the facts of the recall. Then consider that these are cases of could fall off, or could leak, or could jam. Further, the number of units affected has been very limited.

    What these recalls really indicate is that Ford did encounter some production problems, and they have a procces to correct them.
  • jerseydriver2jerseydriver2 Member Posts: 2
    I think I have heard that Ford has one highest owner loyalty rates in the business. I have purchased 3 new Ford products and have not had any problems with any of them. One of them was a 1994 Mustang (The first year of the new design)I Never had a problem.
  • alexpalexp Member Posts: 70
    All cars can be affected by recalls, but NATURE of the defects makes the difference.Rattling door handles or peeling paint, may be annoying but will not cause accidents. Streesed sway bar is an indication of the bad PROCESS or MATERIAL, not just bad part. Soft (unhardened) steering wheel nut is an indication of the bad PROCESS and LACK OF CONTROL. Rattling door handles will not sent you to the hospital, where exploding fumes from the fuel leak, stock trottle cable or wheels peeling off will send you and people around you not only to the hospital, but maybe even further. I don't think that anybody is bashing Escape, because Escape is a great vehicle. However, there were very few vehicles that had 3 UNRELATED SAFETY recalls DURING THE PRODUCTION and 4 SAFETY UNRELATED RECALLS in the first 6 months of production.
  • ruahruah Member Posts: 1
    Does anyone have any info on what safety rating (5 stars?) Ford expects to earn for the Escape/Tribute? Thanks.
  • drew37drew37 Member Posts: 62
    I'm getting steamed about how people have let Mazda, Ford, and their dealers off the hook on this Triscape thing. People keep complaining about the fuel smell. If you read the nhtsa recall report for the fuel line problem you will read that an indication that this fuel line problem exists is a fuel smell. This affected about 5500 or so Tributes. If your dealer tells you they checked it out and everything is fine, and you still smell fuel (and not just that "new" smell of an engine breaking in) then what do you think it might be? THE FUEL LINE PROBLEM. It could be the smallest leak with no visible signs of liquid fuel. If I had an actual fuel smell I would demand that the dealer change the line. Don't take their word for it. They will lie until they can lie no more. Gee, I wonder what that fuel smell is in my brand new car the has had a fuel line recall? DUHHH !!!!

    And while I am steamed, I have to comment about the guy who let the dealer slip in an extra $299 (or whatever the exact amount was) at the very end of the deal at signing. This is nothing personal against this guy, I'm sure he's a nice guy and all that, so please don't take this personally but, HE LET THE DEALER GET AWAY WITH IT. HE PAID THE MONEY !!!!!! Instead of getting up and walking out, HE PAID THE MONEY!!!!!. The dealer told him that "everybody was paying it", if he didn't charge him he would be "liable for a class action law suit". HE DIDN'T LAUGH IN THE DEALERS FACE AND GET UP AND WALK OUT. HE SAID OK, AND HE PAID THE MONEY !!!!!!!
    People, when you buy a vehicle YOU are in charge of the deal. It kills me to hear that someone let these scummy salespeople get away with this BS - and even when they know it is BS. GET UP AND WALK OUT (and while you're walking check and make sure you still have your wallet), AND YOU WILL SEE HOW FAST THEY CHANGE THEIR TUNE. In all fairness I must say that I have known many honest and trustworthy car salespeople. Okay.....I feel better now.
  • paul1741paul1741 Member Posts: 10
    Drew37, calm down, breathe in, out, in, out, count to 100. Okay? Feel better now? Good.

    Another possibility for the gas smell (hopefully not another recall) is a faulty O-ring on one of the fuel injectors. I read a post on the Yahoo boards from someone who had the gas smell problem and replacing the o-ring was the solution for their vehicle. IT WAS NOT THE FUEL LINE. At least people now can suggest something else to look for if they have the problem.

    By the way: I did walk out of two dealerships before I found one willing to sell at the price I wanted. I am still awaiting the arrival of my Trib.
  • joecaltranjoecaltran Member Posts: 4
    Drew, thanks for stating (ranting) what I have been thinking.
  • drew37drew37 Member Posts: 62
    the official report says, "The O-ring seals in the fuel line connector at the outlet end of the fuel filter were damaged when the line was connected to the filter during vehicle assembly. In some cases this damage could result in fuel odor, or possibly in fuel dripping from the connection"...... "Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace the fuel line".....
    You don't think for one minute that a dealer is going to replace the fuel line unless they see fuel dripping from it do you? Maybe to get a better view they need to light a match.
  • chuckmachuckma Member Posts: 1
    Dealers and mechanics make more money replacing parts than checking for leaks. I work for a company that supplies ford dealers - so far every escape has had its fuel line and sway bar parts replaced - 100%.
  • crum2crum2 Member Posts: 1
    I'm glad I didn't buy the tribute I had my eye on recently...At first< I was mad...3 trips to y local dealer and they didn't even have a brochure available...finally after some research, I decided I had better test drive the vehicle...well, wasn't I surprised...I have waited 3 weeks and I still haven't been able to test drive...apparently, the tributes are in such demand..they are all spoken for prior to even arriving at the dealer....well, after reading about all the problems the new tributes are having...I am grateful that I didn't jump the to speak....I wouldn't buy one now if the chairman of Mazda/Ford came to my front door!!! Thanks for all the info...this site saved me from making a very costly mistake.....
  • mrmadmaxmrmadmax Member Posts: 1
    I test drove a Tribute this past weekend and found the seats to be very stiff and uncomfortable for driving any distence. Has any one else experienced this or is me?
  • flat_landerflat_lander Member Posts: 1
    I have been waiting the arrival of the Tribute since May. In September I test drove one and loved how it handled. The only thing I didn't like were the seats. I would have to agree with mrmadmax, they were very stiff. Decided to wait until December to buy one. Good thing I did considering all of the problems which the Escapes/Tributes have been having. I am still on the fence on whether to buy one. Today I test drove an Xterra. The ride was good, but it didn't have as much pep as the Tribute. Can anybody offer any advice on what I should buy? 20+ is a big investment.
  • kate5000kate5000 Member Posts: 1,271
    I really enjoy mine... soon will post pix of great off-roading in that little beast.
  • michanthmichanth Member Posts: 38
    I concur with other test drivers of Tribute and Escape vehicles, the seats are a little on the stiff side and are uncomfortable. I've test driven the cloth and leather variations of each vehicle and have come to the same conclusion. Any one else????????????
  • escapistescapist Member Posts: 1
    I was set with my check in hand to by my XLT at a
    killer price then I test drove my car before
    signing. I was boxed in a parallel parking spot
    shifted back and forth from D to R about 8 times
    finally made it out of the very tight spot. I
    pulled about 30 feet forward to the intersection
    and the tranny or transaxle locked I was stuck the
    sales man tried it and called the mechanic over who
    could not even push it Whatttts Uuuup! was this a
    lemon? the parking brake was off and it was stuck
    like a dog! Should I still want an escape anyone
    else have this problem maybe the switch from auto
    to 4x4 on was 1\2 way any other ideas? What should
    I do by an ugly forester or a poor repair record
    jeep I want utility and ability to drive on deep
    fluffy sand in Long Island NY
  • oberfieldwebeloberfieldwebel Member Posts: 52
    Too bad, I liked the Tribute and intended to buy one but with all the problems I think it is a risky proposition. Possibly in a year or two the vehicle will be perfected and a safe buy, but I don't believe I will wait that long. So now it is back to the market place.
  • hailmailryhailmailry Member Posts: 2
    I have my Tribute ES for two weeks now. Two annoying problems: (1) The center storage console is too wide. The fit between it and my right side while wearing a heavy coat, creates an entangled struggle to latch in the seat belt. (2) The steering wheel is too far forward which makes it necessary to hold out ones arms as though sleep walking. Is anyone else experiencing these two annoyances? By the way, a Tribute fitted with ABS brakes, has four wheel disk brakes while without ABS the set up is front disk and rear drums.
  • hailmailryhailmailry Member Posts: 2
    I have the Tribute ES with a six-way electrically adjustable leather seat. The seat does get uncomfortable after a half hour of city driving, no matter how I set or change its position. In my opinion, the back rest needs a little more lumbar support to correct the discomfort.
  • mazdaonemazdaone Member Posts: 3
    Take the vehicle to your dealer and tell them exactly how and when you smell it. If they get to smell it after testing your truck they will fix it. A good dealer shouldn't give you back your truck smelling like fuel. I don't think this fuel odor has anything to do with the recall on the fuel line. The recall line is attached to the gas filter which is under the rear part of the vehicle. The odor is coming from the engine. Pop the hood and let the technician smell it. They'll fix it once they smell it.
  • jswindlerjswindler Member Posts: 2
    I got a 4x5 Tribute LX-V6 a few weeks ago and love the car, except for one thing. I have only been getting about 15 mpg, with mostly city driving and some highway. This is significantly lower than the 18 to 24 as advertised. At first I figured I just had to break in the new engine (I also like to accelerate quickly), but now after reading these posts I think there may be fuel leakage. I'll take it to the dealer to have it checked soon.
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