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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • my 03 tribute v6 engine races up to 2500 rpm when cold and it take 3-4 sec to slow down it has been doing this for about 3 months no codes
  • totally normal, my 2004 Escape Limited 4WD does it too.
  • I have an 05 Escape with 70,000 miles. Tonight it appeared to be possessed by some poltergeist. It wouldn't start and when I turned the ignition on different things happened each time. Only the interior lights would come on, another time the alarm went off, another time the airbag light was faintly lit. I eventually had to disconnect the battery (which I tested and was reading 12.5 volts) because I locked it with the key and began to walk away only to see that the interior light mysteriously came on. We had begun to notice some issues with the powerlocks recently, but this is at an entirely different level.

    Also, can I unlock the steering wheel and shift the auto transmission into neutral without power? I need to move it from its current location.

  • friend and I have the same...hers has similar miles, did some weird stuff also, it was a problem with the anti theft system. theres a small tab to the left of the gear shift on the console...pry it up with a flat head and onder there you can do something (not sure what, press, turn or something) and you can get it into neutral. the tow guy told me about it.
  • laptevlaptev Posts: 18
    I have 55k on my 05 tribby and it has been virtually trouble-free (knock on wood). I even still have the original brakes. Original tires still had tread but I couldn't stand the noise so changed them out at 51k miles and what an amazing difference!

    On the fuel filler problem someone mentioned: this is a common problem. They had a TSA on this and fixed my filler nozzle for free. You might want to check into it. This problem still occurs for me, but pretty infrequently now. It helps to pump more slowly.

    One question I had is on the cruise control. Mine stopped working recently but I think it is just because the switch is stuck. Does anyone know how to get at that switch in the steering wheel? I'd like to try and clean it out without paying the dealer $300. Any ideas?
  • Hey there laptev, I am no technician but I have taken off steering wheels in the past before plus I have worked in a parts dept. for 8 years. I believe that your cruise control switch is accessed after taking off the airbag module. Before you do anything make sure you disconnect the battery and when you remove the airbag module to be careful not to drop it or hit it harshly. All airbag electronic connections will be in yellow there should only be one or two behind the airbag after removing the screws that hold it in place to the steering wheel. I am not sure where the screws are but there should be 2-4 small plastic access panels on each side of the steering wheel, remove them and you will have access to the screws holding the airbag. After removing the airbag you should have full access to the steering wheel switches. At least that is how it has been the few times I removed an airbag from a steering wheel on my past Hondas. Hope this helps.
  • I have the exact same problem. I took it to the dealer suspecting bad bearings. They said it was the tires. I wrote Continental a nasty email criticizing their bad OEM tires. They directed me to a specific tire shop for evaluation and the tire shop wrote up a paper stating it was the bearings. I went back the dealer and they again insisted it was definitely not the bearing but cupping. They made no attempt to fix the cupping or even explain why it is occurring. The sound is so annoying but if I fix it with new tires and it just starts again I may go crazy.
  • Hi-
    I have a 04 Tribute with 31K miles on it (warranty ended 8/1) that has pulsing of the breaks occasionally. I brought it in to the dealer and they told me that the exciter ring was cracked and to fix it I would have to replace both axles... $1K to repair.

    They also told me it was time for a break job and that would be another 450 because the rotors need to be replaced....

    Can anyone give me some advise? Is it possible to repair the exciter ring without replacing the axle? Also, why would both axles need to be replaced??

    Thanks for any information!!!
  • the exciter ring comes on new rotors also you can buy cv axles at auto zone or advance auto for about 65 dollars each the rotors are only 42 dollars and brake pads 18 dollars
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    which bearings?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    sounds like you should try another repair place.
    i think the exciter ring is part of the ABS system.
    my non professional opinion is that you would also get a warning light.
    when you say occasionally, what does that mean?
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • Hi explorerx4-
    I think you are right. The dealer is trying to get this covered under the warranty that expired in August (not sure how hard he'll try).
    It only happens at low speeds about every 20 times that I use the breaks. If I release and let it reset it will stop.
    I am reading that Mazda can not replace only the exciter (or tone) rings and they have to replaced the front right and left axles. It really sounds crazy to me for me to shell out a G note for a vehicle with 31K miles on it.
    If I can't get the rep to warranty this I will take it elsewhere forever...
  • thanks! It is crazy the mark up they put on these parts... They wouted me 330 each axle and 3 hours labor @ 96 per hour. The crazy thing is that they say I only need the axles replaced because they are unable to install a new exciter ring with out replacing the axle. What kind of design flaw is this? I should have bought a chevy.
    I may be able to find someone that can install them.

    Has anyone else who owns a Tribute or Escape had this issue?
    Thanks to all!
  • test7test7 Posts: 1
    Just an FYI, I also have a Ford Escape. I have also had to replace both front axles because of the exciter/tone ring issue. Next car will be a Honda. FYI, i was quoted $240 per axle to repair @ the dealer. Hope this helps.
  • LOL! Next car will be a Honda huh? Try replacing the hub/bearing assemblies or complete axles as well when this goes out. Newer Hondas have the "tone ring" built into the hub/bearing assemblies which are pressed into the steering knuckle or spindle assembly which have to be removed completely to be pressed out and in. So cheaper part but more labor, take your gamble. Exiter or tone rings built into the axles are quite common, that is why when you go out to Autozone or the like, they always ask if it is ABS or not. Can you get them cheaper somewhere else besides a dealer? Most certainly. If you are mechanically inclined, replace them yourself, it is very easy as well as your brake pads and rotors, and yes rotors have to be replaced when brake pads are needed. The rotor material is not as hard and durable as other vehicles and they cannot be turned.
  • Hi Test7-

    Just curious... what state are you in? and what milage did your exciter ring go at?
    Thanks for the info...
    THanks! Tom
  • I've got an '02 Mazda Tribute ES (AWD) automatic with tow package that I bought new. 115K miles later, I'm wondering if there are any class actions in the works.

    Here are some the problems I've had.
    O2 sensor failed leaving me stranded on highway.
    Brakes: dealer (Phillips Mazda, Laguna Hills, CA) reported rotors were not turnable and had to be replaced at first pad change. No way did I run the pads to the rotors. $600 for a brake job?
    Alignment & OEM Contintental tires: really bad road noise, bad tire wear Took to dealer many times but they didn't find anything wrong. Finally, took car to a Big O, they found alignment to be WAY off on all 4 wheels - required two shim kits to fix. Conti's were destroyed. Yoka Geos perfom much better.

    Catalytic converters: There are three. One behind the engine cracked (or was venting?) at 79K, thankfully dealer did the right thing and replaced the unit. However, right after 100K miles I started noticing a major power reduction (had to drop to second to get up hills). Dealer diagnosed the problem as the alternator. Turns out it the other two catalytic converters were disintegrating and clogged the exhaust flow. $1300 not covered by warranty. No one knows how that happened. Hopefully, engine was not damaged.

    Transmission: at about 105K miles, check engine light went on at the start of a road trip. Trany was burned up and one of the OD gears was broken - I have trans cooler. $3900 at independant shop

    Brake calipers: warped and needed replacement $600

    I really like my Tribute. I've done all the scheduled maintenance, but it has seemed to have a LOT of expensive repairs. My last car was an Acura Integra that never had an expensive or major repair in over 200K miles.

    I'm in the market for another small SUV and I'd considser buying another Tribute or Escape, if they have solved these problems. Are the later models more dependable?
  • I`ve got a `03 with 60k and a 01 with 85k no problems with eithe knock wood I would buy another
  • I have an '01 Tribute that had the exact catalytic converter problem around 100K. One minute it was fine and the next I was limping it home on the back roads at 5mph. After a tow to the dealer, they found all the converters were clogged and had to be replaced...expensive! Will be interesting to see if this is a recurring problem with this model.
  • Hello:

    I have an '05 AWD 6 cyl with 52K. I drove it on the highway yesterday (in very rainy weather) and I used the cruise control for about an hour. Everything was fine, but on my return trip home, the cruise control wouldn't shut off. Even though I pressed the Off button, the car still ran at 65 miles per hour all by itself. When I got off the highway, l braked as hard as I could, and I could barely hold the Tribute back from going through the intersection. When I put it into neutral, the revs got to 4000 and stayed there. I managed to get it home.

    This morning, I started it up in park, and it was not revving, so I put the car into drive. I didn't press the gas pedal, and the car coasted along slowly. I braked and put the car into neutral and it didn't rev high. Then I put the car into drive, put my foot on the gas pedal, and the lurching/high rev problem started again.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    another case of a single post. another 1 and done. i would ignore it.
    you asked some good questions and got no reply.
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 11,858
    if i were you, i would sell my vehicle and walk everywhere for the rest of my life.
    hope this helps. ;)
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2014 Ford F-150 FX4
  • I have a 2002 Tribute LX V-6 with 122K that is well maintained and has been running fine. Unexpectedly, the steering wheel started to shake at 65 mph, the engine felt like it was running rough at 1800 rpm and below (but the engine was smooth above 1800 rpm), and the Check Engine light started to flash. I drove home right away and the engine ran rough the whole way. Opened the hood and there was no obvious problem. Turned the engine off and called the tow truck. The operator restarted it and the Check Engine light did not flash but the engine ran a little rough. Had it towed to the local Mazda dealer. They ran the computer diagnostic check the next morning and found no codes had been recorded (strange!) and no problems were found after driving it around during the day. Any ideas???
  • I have just joined so this is a late response. I have a 03 Escape. I was vacationing in the south. Same thing, had a coil fail. 19 days later, 2 more failed. Reason? The boots failed and let moisture in. On the 2nd repair I told the mechanic as long as the engine was apart to replace the plugs and other boots. He agreed it was a good idea! I had 75,000 on the vehicle. Total bill $1200. I contacted Ford and after lengthy conversations, letters, support from my dealership, and copies of the repair bills, they refused to admit there was a problem or contribute to the bills. I was requesting 1/2 of the repair. So a word to the wise, while they claim the plugs are good for 100,000, the boots won't last that long and you'll be paying for expensive coils. Change the plugs and boots early. I just found out the other day from a dealership they have changed the compound of the boots. Don't know why if the originals were fine?? While my dealership is fine (for a dealership) Ford Customer Relations really put off this customer for $550 bucks. I'll remember that when I purchase a new vehicle again.
  • deaundeaun Posts: 6
    Back in the day I had any number of cars that did not have power steering. I built up some pretty nice bicepts for a girl. Imagine how glad I was to have those muscles when the big ol' Pontiac Lemans I had lost the power steering on a sharp curve.... I feel for you and can well understand how your darling wife must feel right now (vulnerable).

    Ignore the guy who thinks you are "making it up"; he must be either very young and foolish--or very lucky.
  • deaundeaun Posts: 6
    Hey guys and gals,

    I traded my RX-8 ("internal engine failure" :lemon: ) in yesterday for a 2005 Mazda Tribute. This is my third Mazda, and I have never received a single TSB or recall notice from Mazda. This is especially troublesome when I purchased new, but now I am wondering where/how I can get my hands on the TSBs or recalls for the Tribute. Any suggestions? I know from experience that is worthless as far as posting them.

    Thanks for your input!

  • steverstever Posts: 52,571
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide has summary TSB and recall info.
  • Last night my car gear shifter stuck in reverse and wouldn't move when sitting parked at a traffic light.(had to have it towed to the garage) The mechanic says he can repair my shifter cable for $396 this seems very high just for a cable repair - they are not replacing it. Has anyone had a similar problem that can share any insight on what it cost/took to fix theirs?

  • I highly doubt the mechanic is going to "fix" the shifter cable, I am almost positive that he is going to "replace" it. Most faulty parts now are just replaced and not fixed as the old days, and I am truly sorry if I offend a mechanic out there, but most mechanics are not really mechanics like before they are technicians that replace parts.

    In anyway, here is the Ford part number and price.

    Part# YL8Z-7E395-BA
    List $64.99

    2-Hour Labor at $85.00 (average) = $170.00

    Part - $64.99
    Labor - $170.00

    Total - $234.99

    I think your are getting overcharged.
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