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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Many thanks for clarifying your answer with response 3304. I went ahead and asked about 2005 Escapes, wanting to be sure as to whether or not your previous statement applied only through 2004 models.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    1st problem sounds like an IAC (Idle Air Control motor) problem. Have you ever changed it? If not a Motorcraft replacement costs $50 and you can replace it in 10-15 minutes. If you can't do it, find a friend who knows how or take it a shop. You can clean the IAC with carb-cleaner and it'll help, but it'll have to be replaced soon anyway. The inside of the IAC gets all gummed and carboned-up (you'll notice it once you take it off) which hinders the controls actions. Couldn't hurt.

    2nd problem I had when my '01 Escape was new, but filling the overflow tank to full mark cured the light coming on. In your case this could be the overflow tank sensor or possibly another sensor. You'll need to take this into a shop for them to diagnose or scan.

    3rd problem may be a big one as you say. I'd take the Escape to a reputable tranny-shop instead the dealer if you can help it. The dealer will probably recommend complete replacement to the tune of $3K+. It may need it anyway, but at least a good tranny-shop can give you a few options. The CD4E transmission is known to be problematic if not pampered but maybe so anyway. I've done flushes about every 25K miles since new. Kind of expensive over the long-term, but I think it's provided some peace-of-mind and maybe some actual preventative help.

    I'm not a mechanic, but have been on this board long-enough and have owned my Escape long enough to have seen quite a few of the same issues / fixes crop-up over the last several years.
  • tclinetcline Posts: 5
    I know about the radiator fill light, I had the exact same problem with my 2001 escape. Unfortunately you have to replace the overflow tank. It is a one piece sealed unit that houses the sensor. The sensor is nothing more than a ball that floats in a tube inside the tank. I guess over time the ball gets gunked up and sinks on it own, making contact with the sensors so the low light is constantly on. I tried at first to take the tank off and clean the ball/sensor but it is also enclosed (no way to get at it). Dont go to Ford on this one, they wanted close to 80.00 for the tank alone. I went to some ford parts stores online and ordered it for about 50.00. It is easy enough to put it on yourself. There are two screws holding it down and the tube is attached by a clamp. Hope this helps.
  • tfznytfzny Posts: 1
    hi everybody. I work at AAMCO and I actually came across this website because a friend of mine is looking into buying a new mercury mariner and asked me to see what I could dig up about it-- if anyone has any info, please let me know

    anyway...about that od light -- you need to get that thing into a tranny shop FAST!!! escapenut is right, the CD4E really ought to be called the CD$E. We see a LOT of car owners replacing these-- at low mileage, as compared with other domestic transmissions. But, if you go to a shop where they actually repair the transmission onsite, and if you catch the problem as early as possble, you can save yourself some money. Just FYI: the base price including torque converter should be $2621.18 or less (depending on labor rate)... most places will give you this information if you push for it -- ask @ least 3 times. As far as worst case goes... just hope you don't get there. I honestly think it was some kind of joke that ford stuck this transmission into this vehicle... it really does not seem appropriate given the other transmission options they have.
  • Wow thanks for the input... Taking it to see what I can get for trade-in tomorrow... :| Luckily I got it for pretty cheap...
  • Well, traded in for a new Ford Focus. For trade in, they gave us exactly what we bought it for.. ($7000) :D
  • sfaguysfaguy Posts: 2
    Did cleaning/changing the IAC work for you ?
  • sfaguysfaguy Posts: 2
    Did filing a complaint work for you ?
    Have you tried the IAC replacement, and did it work ?
    I have basically the same problem.

    I have had to change my PCM because of a burned out capacitor. Does anyone know if this is common, and what causes it ?
    The capacitor is the largest or 2 beige w/ a brown stripe surface-mounted capacitors w/ markings 476/10k/125 near the back of the PCM.

  • If you are referring to me, I did not fill out a complaint.. if there is a way, do tell me. I don't have the lemon escape anymore, but I still think Ford should know people are having problems. I didnt have anything fixed, I was just happy how much they gave for trade in, cause it was as much as we originally paid for the Escape in the first place a year ago.
    My problems were more serious... transmission was slowly going out on top of all the other things I mentioned up above.
  • pdc2pdc2 Posts: 15
    Just lucky I read this post. I am about to do a flush and refill for transmission on my 02 XLT 4WD and the technician in a Ford dealership quoted the refill to be Mercon V. Thanks very much.

    Is there a need for a flush and refill for the power steering system? The price quoted is Can. $139. I don't remember having this (or the transmission work above) done in all my previous cars.

    Thank you again.
  • tonyfordtonyford Posts: 15
    The Ford technicians at the Ford Dealerships don't jack poop about transmission fluids, special service messages, techincal service bulletins. They could care less, they go to their job everyday just waiting to for the day to end so they can go home. These guys are just like anyone else who has a boring job.

    As far as the power steering system, I have never done this on any car I owned. I am not saying it might not be a bad idea to do it, but it really isn't necessary. The Ford service manual says nothing about flushing the power steering system. It just tells you to make sure the fluid level is where it is suppose to be.

    On a normal car with a good transmission, you are right, all this flushing and refilling is unnecessary, but the Ford Escape CD4E transmission is very problematic and even with extensive maintenance with the flushing and refilling thing, the trans still will likely go before its time. From what I heard, the CD4E is not engineered sturdy enough for the weight and V6 engine of the Escape. Ford used this trans in their smaller 4 cylinder cars and did some minor modifications so it could be used in the Escape. Ford needs to use a better and stronger transmission in future Escapes.
  • pdc2pdc2 Posts: 15
    Thank you very much and thanks also to all those who have given so much information on transmission fluid; difference between draining and flushing and quantities, etc.

    I think it best to describe my experience of my visit to the Ford dealership this morning. I brought the Ford work estimate dd Mar. 29 which is -
    headed "Flush Automatic Trans CD4E"
    10 FOCXT-2-LM12 FLUID-TRANSMISSION 4.33 43.30

    (Plus labour $81 and shop supplies $8.51) 89.51

    As the actual bill came to only $119, I asked and was told that they only do draining and refill (about 5 litres)which they claim to be the maintenance service required by Ford. Since 50% of the fluid would be old oil, I protested and the service manager helped me dialed
    The lady at told me that the ford dealership service staff are the technical experts on maintenance services and if they say "flushing" means draining, backs them 100%.
    The service manager asked me for my proposal and when I said I was prepared to pay the bill but that they should omit "flush" and correct the quantity of 10 to 5 litres (to prevent misunderstanding by other customers) in their estimates, he said that "flush" was in their computer system and difficult to change but that the quantity of 10 was incorrectly entered in my works estimate. He then graciously offerred to wave my payment entirely and also rejected my offer to make a charity donation giving him the donation receipt - he said he wanted his customers happy.
    I post this message because I feel that the works estimate was misleading (indeed, I would never have questioned such maintenance bills had I not been reading this column) and this might alert some other owners.
  • nitelitenitelite Posts: 4
    I'm Still waiting but have filed two complaints, I also wrote a letter to Mazda and got Told they don't care. I have had the PCM repaired twice, Pcv hose replaced, new idle air control valve and fuel pump. Car runs but has now power and stalls. Told I need a new engine, refuse to pay 6,000. I've been collecting information and I'm considering going to a media watch group to get this disaster of a car in the news. To file complaints go to office of defects Investigation, also auto, The more complaints the better.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I am an owner of a 2001 Escape XLT v6 4wD that has about 70,000 miles on it. I have towed regularly about 2,500 lbs with this vehicle over these miles.
    I visit this room often to see problems people may be having. I visit other Escape/Tribute/Mariner chat rooms around the net. I am wondering where the data is coming from about the Escape/Tribute transmissions? I called both an AAMCO and A Cotman transmission shop and they both told me they have seen very few Escapes/Tributes. I also called 1 large Ford Dealership and spoke to the service manager and they said the transmissions are rarely a problem. I visit other net chat rooms, and yes there are some transmission issues but not nearly as bad as what this room makes it out to be. I am not trying to be-little anyones problems. I don't have any transmission issues on my Escape and its been worked pretty hard. Granted, I have had my fluid changed at every 25-30K.. It just seems to me that what I read around the net the transmission is actually pretty reliable. I also visited MSN reliabiltiy data and they don't mention any transmission issues.
  • sdalesdale Posts: 1
    has any one had their 2003 v-6 motor detonate on them? it had 3108 miles on it and was just over 3 years old.
    I do not know what has happend to the motor yet as this happened on April 7th and by the time the truck was towed to the nearest dealer it was closed. However oil was draing from a large hole in the oil pan. Has any one had this happen to them and any luck getting Ford to cover an engine replacment under and expired warrenty (just under 29 days)?
  • snavysnavy Posts: 1
    I also have an 01 Tribute that died yesterday. My story...about 3 weeks ago, I took it in to the dealer for an oil leak. It was a slow one with only a couple of drops a day and never needing to add any when I checked. I came home with a new oil pan and dip stick and the leak was gone. When I did get home, the engine sounded like a diesel. I drove it only a couple of days thinking maybe the noise was that they didn't tighten everything down or maybe the noise would just go away since I had never had an oil pan replaced. It didn't, so last week, I took the car to dealer again complaining about the noise. The kept it all week running diagnostics and found nothing except that I lost 3 cylinders. They assured me I would be fine driving it. This was on Friday and then yesterday on my way to work, It just died. I had it towed to another dealer and they said the engine locked up. Funny thing, I wasn't having any problems until I took it in for the oil change. Now the dealer that did the work is offering to install a new engine for $2000 less than the dealer that has it now. My thought is maybe the first dealer is wanting the work to cover up a bad oil pan replacement. I am feeling lucky after reading some of these posts because my Tribute made it to 99,600 miles.
  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    Many thanks to you, scape2, for your positive information flow! I have a 2005 Escape that I bought a year ago, new. It has about 6K miles on it, and runs great-- no problems. I really appreciate your input on the transmission question.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    I caught the tail end of a news report regarding a safety recall on the Escape without sunroof and curtain bags. I am assuming the same applies to my Tribute. Does anyone have any detailed information as to what needs to be done? I just phoned the dealer, and they have not heard of the recall as of yet.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    The stories I've seen just say Escape and Mariner. The interior trim packages could be different on the Tribute. More here:

    Ford Recalling Nearly 150,000 SUVs (

    Steve, Host
  • falvarezfalvarez Posts: 5
    Has anyone out there had an issue with the rear hatch and window intermitently not working...ours is a 2001 escape...
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Try a little silicon based lubricant spray. Available at any car parts store. Also, don't forget to give your door hinges, locks, hood hinges a squirt too... :)
  • pdc2pdc2 Posts: 15
    Escape XLT 4WD V6 2002 with 50,000KM. There is a low pitched 'whining noise' whenever the steering wheel is turned, left or right. This whining noise is slight and only heard at very low speeds e.g. when parking, turning into the garage (the noise might be there at higher speeds but obscured by engine and road noise). I think I first noticed this noise some weeks/months ago and have been listening for it whenever I remember to; that's how slight the noise is.

    This noise is only heard when the steering wheel itself is being turned; if the steering wheel is held steady, no whining is heard even if the car continues to turn.

    The fluid level at the power steering reservoir is ok. I would appreciate information and advice on this. Thanks.
  • falvarezfalvarez Posts: 5
    Thanks...I have actually tried is more of when you press either the key fob or the unlock button in the hear all the doors unlock EXCEPT for the rear hatch...
  • It is possible that air got into your power steering system. A power steering purge (ie apply vacuum to the power steering resevoir with the car on and turning the wheel from stop to stop for a few minutes) is fast, easy, and cheap. If that doesn't work, changing the fluid from Mercon to Mercon V may help, as there is a TSB on this.

    After that, it gets harder to find and more expensive to fix. Don't put it off, since it isn't going to fix itself, and you don't want to lose your power steering.

  • I have a 2001 Ford Escape that I bought the first year it was out. I have had problems off and on since I got it.
    1. The motor in the passenger door for the window went out, so the window wouldn't go up or down.
    2. The back window rattles and when you close the door it sounds like it's going to fall apart.
    3. The motor mount came apart and had to be ordered and replaced.
    4. There is an irritating rattle that comes from the frame of the truck when you come to a stop and hit the brakes (soft or hard brake).
    5. The seat belt was on recall and had to be replaced.
    6. There was a recall to replace/update the computer software in the dashboard of the car.

    I am sure there is more but I became numb with the issues after a while. It's paid for and basically I am just hanging on to it as a secondary vehicle.

    Would I purchase another FORD or recommend it? NO NO NO!!!
  • There is a Ford TSB for this item that involves two steps:

    1) Remove the boot for the steering column where it goes through the floor, and then spray this area with silicon spray.

    2) Change the steering fluid.

    I would specifically recommend that you NOT use WD-40 on plastic parts, especially anywhere near electrical components. There are a number of those adjacent to the steering wheel, including those for airbags, horn switches, turn signals, headlight switches, shifters, and so on. I cannot emphasize this point enough.

    Also, seat of the pants here, but I'd guess that performing only step 1 will most likely solve your problem. I'm going to try it on our 2002 tonight.

    If you don't have silicon spray, get some. It's great for squeaky doors, sunroof mechanisms, caliper boots, and so on. You should have one anyway.
  • rknopp1rknopp1 Posts: 6
    Is it normal that the rear power windows on the 2005 Escape only lower about half way ?

    Is there a way to lower them all the way ?

    Thank you
  • You'll be hard pressed to find any vehicle that lets you roll down the rear windows all the way, as there is some safety requirement. Something about kids falling out the window. :P

  • wtd44wtd44 Posts: 1,211
    So now you have to boost them... ;)
  • galsfly2galsfly2 Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Escape with 10,000 miles and have never had a problem until Sunday, when the O/D light started flashing and the car just stopped. It would surge forward about every 5 minutes. The dealership tells me they are "rebuilding" the transmission. My question is - shouldn't they replace such a new transmission with a new transmission vs. a "rebuild" or is this the same thing???
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