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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • I have had this problem for years on my 2002 4WD. I recently read (on this or perhaps another forum) that the problem can be cleared up with a transmission flush. I did this a month ago and the problem has not surfaced since.

    The scheduled transmission fluid change is more often than what I am used to (every 25,000 miles?). However, I waited until about 50,000 to do the work, which is more in line with my previous vehicles.
  • Never thought that flushing a trans would clear up this problem. I'll give it a try.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    Fluid change, flush or power flush?

    I keep hear two sides to the power flush argument, but it's worth considering the pros and cons. Here's my usual example of the con:

    amigo_john, "Isuzu Trooper" #8070, 30 Jun 2003 6:46 am
  • maltbmaltb Posts: 3,572
    I wouldn't reccomend flushing the transaxle. Flushing should really only be done on the cooler lines. Just drain and replace fluid in the transaxle.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    According to, the 2002 Ford Escape 4x4 with the 6 cylinder gets a trans. fluid change very 150,000 miles! This is what is called a sealed for life trans.

    I have heard horror stories from people trying to flush the trans at non dealerships as its supposedly not easy to do.

  • I own a 05 Tribute, I have found many gas stations where I have to manually hold the nozzle in at strange angles and fill slower then normal to keep from shut-off triggering. It's not just you, it happens to me all the time
  • Yeah, I definitely read reports of filling problems before we got the car, so I made sure ours was okay right after we got it. I haven't been able to take it in yet because our second car ('96 Ford Escort wagon) decided to pack it in the other day. We're getting by on quarter tanks because it's too cold to stand out there and do more (-30C windchill here all weekend)! A lot of gas station pumps won't even go slowly enough to get gas into the tank. You can hear it backing up and slowly coming back up the spout before it sprays out.
  • I'm seriously considering purchasing a 2005 mazda tribute GT (fully loaded v6) but i'm now feeling a little skeptical after reading some of the posts within this thread....

    Should I continue with the mazda purchase? or go with a 2003 toyota highlander instead. Which I found for the same price.

    2005 mazda tribute GT(v6) 39,000km
    2003 toyota highlander base 78,000km

    I've researched the heck out of these two vehicles and am most concerned with build quality and reliability.

    any insights would be much appreciated.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    What is the asking price of each vehicle? Probably asking more for the 2003 Highlander than the 2005 Tribute. We have owned A Ford Escape and 2004 Highlander V6. Both are reliable. I actually enjoy the Escape more. Smoother, better transmission. Of course the Highlander had a few more luxury features.
  • Get on the Highlander forum via Edmunds and you will see as many post/problems with it as you see for the Tribute. The people who typically post on these forums are those with problems, not those who get on to say they are having no problems. The Edmunds Editors and Consumers ratings are nearly the same for both vehicles. For the same price I would go with the vehicle with 2 years less wear and tear. I have a 2002 4WD with all the bells and whistles and have had only a few problems (most have been the typical minor ones found on this forum) that were taken care of inexpensively. Overall I am very pleased with the vehicle, my wife likes it as well. It still looks and rides almost like new after 60,000 miles.
  • Read my post 3530. The problem still has not been resolved thanks to Mazda Canada's intransigence. Despite a warning on Transport Canada's website re ABS problems - ABS can be too sensitive; if so, take the vehicle to your dealer - Mazda refuses to do anything until the dealer confirms that this INTERMITTENT problem exists; ie. they won't honour the cost of a rental car provision in my very expensive Mazda extended warranty, nor will the factory rep. meet with or talk to me!
    I will never purchase a Mazda vehicle again.
  • I have the same problem with a 05 Tribute. Mazda has looked at it 4 times and can still not fix it.
  • I have almost the exact same problem with my 2005 Escape 4cyl stick shift. Didn't start until about 20K miles as well.
    The accelerator refuses to move almost everytime I shift and from stand still so either have to tap it multiple times or STOMP on it. And like you, after about 10 miles will work ok. Much worse now that its very cold weather.
    The dealer said 'they could not replicate problem' (the odometer also had the same mileage as whe I dropped it off so I doubt they tried very hard!!!) I"m still under warranty so I wonder if they are just being cheap.
    green escapist
  • yarekyarek Posts: 1
    Did you flush the trans or simply replace the fluid? Did this solve the problem?
  • My key fob quit working. Would this be caused by a dead battery and if so how does one go about getting the key fob apart? Thanks
  • gussguss Posts: 1,181
    Try some light pressure with a screw driver inserted by the ring.

    If you need a new one try e-bay. They will have your model for under $15.
  • I purchased a 2006 MAZDA TRIBUTE I on Dec 2006. It is a 4 DR., 2.3L L4 PFI DOHC 16V / 4 WHEEL DRIVE.
    I live at Nebraska and the temp in Jan and Feb 2007 is about -10F to 10F. The standard MPG is 21/24 for city/highway, however, my city/highway MPG is only about 14.x/16.x using #87 gas and current odometer reader is 2000 miles. Is it normal, especially for highway MPG, giving the speed for highway is constantly 75~80 mile/hour and continually driving for 3 hours? If it is not normal, is there anyone can give me some suggestions on how to fix it?
  • mario10mario10 Posts: 4
    I had the same problem. Follow the throttle cable under the hood to the throttle body intake (where the rubber air intake hose meets metal), unscrew the hose clamp, and separate the rubber intake hose from the throttle body. You will see the throttle plate that opens and closes when you pull on the cable or press on the accelerator. Mine was gummed up and I used carburetor cleaner on it. Nice and smooth again.
  • I have a 2005 Mazda Tribute S with the 3.0 liter Duratec V6. I was checking my oil and fluids this afternoon and it seems I am low on Power Steering fluid. The manual says to only use MERCON ATF fluid. I am having trouble finding this. Can anyone tell me where to find it, or if there is a safe alternative to use without voiding the warranty? The engine has 18,990 miles on it. Any help would be great...thanks!
  • tveilleuxtveilleux Posts: 15
    Mercon is one of the common ATfs around. A quick check on the Internet shows Valvoline, Chevron, Exxon, Castrol, Havoline, Shell, Motorcraft and Penzoil all aupply it. It is often advertised in conjunction with the name Dexron III. Go to a Ford or Mazda dealership for the stuff, or any repair shop that does transmission work will have it. Your local parts store should carry it.
  • normkolnormkol Posts: 135
    Change the ignition cylinder. If you ask locksmiths who do alot of automotive, they will tell you the Focus and Escape/Tribute have a poorly designed ign. cylinder.

    There is a Strattec aftermartket cylinder that avoids the problems, and should work fine.
  • semagsemag Posts: 1
    Sorry if this is so old !

    But did you ever find the cause to your issue of the running lights blinking ?


  • I just wanted to know if the bumper for a Ford Escape will fit to a 2006 Mazda Tribute. I'm looking for the front and rear bumpers and for the trunk door. I just wanted to know if the parts will fit because I need to replace them and I found some cheap Ford Escape parts.

    Thanks for your help.
  • rg8729rg8729 Posts: 3
    I also had the same problem, I thought it was the key or the lock... in my case it was the steering wheel preventing me from removing my key. I just gave the wheel a slight turn and the key comes free.
  • Hi! I just started experiencing the exact same problem a month ago on my 2003. It was intermittent but now it is happening at least once every day. Since it is intermittent my dealer won't do anything either! Apparently if the light doesn't come on and tell these yahoos exactly what is wrong with the vehicle they are incapable diagnosing anything. This is also not my first problem that they have refused to fix -- I had a stalling & failure to start problem but learned here at Edmunds what was causing that. Have you been able to find out what is wrong and get it repaired? I am afraid one day the brakes won't hold. This is not my first Mazda but since Ford bought the company and can't put together a safe vehicle, this is definitely the last!
  • genome1genome1 Posts: 6
    No luck. After 2 weeks with the dealer, during which one of the staff drove it home and back to work a few times, they could not duplicate the problem. A Transport Canada rep. also drove it and the problem didn't occur. I had no choice but to take the vehicle. The problem has recurred sporadically. I believe the ABS is too sensitive and it looks like I'm stuck with the problem. The other side of the coin: the ABS does behave properly on icy/rough roads; however, I hate it. I'd rather skid than plow into the back of another vehicle or slide into an intersection. This is my first and last Mazda!
  • rhiannon1rhiannon1 Posts: 6
    I took mine in to the dealer & they said the most likely cause was uneven tire wear so I bought new tires and had a front end alignment done and it has had no effect. The ABS still deploys for no apparent reason on dry pavement and low speeds. Last week I almost rear-ended someone because I couldn't stop. So I spent hundreds and still am no closer to getting this resolved. If anyone has any ideas I really can use some help. The warranty expires in 2 months and my dealer is in no hurry to solve any of the problems I have with this car.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    Cleaned up the wheels on my 07 Limited 5400km. Noticed corrosion around the hubs/centre cap area. Dealer ordered three new rims. The driver's front seems okay, but I will keep watching it. Dealer will replace if it goes bad. This must be a bad batch of rims. Just one winter and not driven on a daily basis. Washed weekly.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,859
    do you mean chipping around the center cap?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 570
    Chipping and corrosion on the wheel rim around the cap.
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