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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair

bshapbshap 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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?
  • 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 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 Posts: 1
    Has anyone heard of transmission problems. We test drove the car today and like it but are concerned about reliability. Any comments?
  • 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 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.
  • The transmission was also used in the Ford Contour.
  • bshapbshap 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Posts: 6
    What is the fix for the fuel smell?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • If the Duratec engine is the same as employed in the Taurus, it is an excellent engine.
  • bshapbshap 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 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.
  • 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.
  • (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 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.
  • 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 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 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.
  • 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
  • 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 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.
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