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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    but lately I see new members with existing Escape/Tribute vehicles that are running problems.


    I find interesting that, as an owner why they couldn't get their membership before to post their existing car problems to seek solutions? As, 2-3 years old escape /trib with 20-30K mile, according to owner,problems have been there since purchase, and when I look at the profile, membership is created either today or yesterday.


    Another interesting part that some of them never shows up again after posting couple messages.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    That is precisely why you don't use web forums to judge the quality of anything.
  • 05 Tribute Problemos Update:


    Just to clarify, it took as long as it did to fix the problem due to a back-order on the speed sensor. Erin Mills Mazda did not provide a loaner for the day that my vehicle sat there for nothing. They did provide a rental that evening for the following day while the service was being done.

    Now with the service completed, everything seems fine. No more ABS indicator light or oil leak.


    As for the veteran posters asking "why they (new members) couldn't get their membership before to post their existing car problems to seek solutions?" - simple, you're supposed to first go to the dealer to resolve problems. If the problem is not resolved, then you turn to forums to see if i. anyone else is having the same problem, and ii. if and how it was resolved.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I could understand your frustrations with it taking so long for the parts to come in. I had a similar problem with a local Nissan Dealer (not responsive) and now I go to a different local Nissan dealer that has won awards for their customer service. I noticed that my Mazda dealer has won numerous awards, and has been very courteous and resposive (although I have not had major issues). If you go to Mazda's website, there should be a list of local dealers and what awards they have one. If it is still convenient for you I would recommend trying another dealer. Also Mazda is supposed to provide a loaner for any warranty work that is being done, whether it is for 8 hours, or 8 days :)
  • Yes, I will definitely try another dealer for service next time.

    As for the loaner, they said they only had 1 and that there was a waiting list for it, with not even a rough estimate as to when it would be available. Not wanting to continue driving with a brake problem and driveway staining oil leak, I just wanted the problem fixed and had made arrangements to work from home. So I was stranded at home with no vehicle only to find out that nothing had been done all day when I went back to the dealer via shuttle van. It was only at this point that they coughed up a rental.

    Based on a conversation with an insider at the dealer (title withheld to protect individual), many customers are unsatisfied with the service. The problem is unlikely to change any time soon however, since these vehicles sell themselves, especially the 3's. It would be nice to equate high sales volumes to high levels of service, but this is not the case here at Erin Mills Mazda in Mississauga Ontario.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Just so I understand, are you stating that you put 50K miles on your vehicle in 2 years? Or did you buy it used?


    There were not 33 recalls for Ford/Mazda Escape/Tribute. I think you were referring to technical service bulletins (TSB's) which are not the same as a recall. And to put this in perspective, Mazda Tribute has 33 and Honda CRV has 32.. Fact is, every car that has been around for several years is going to have TSB's, and the majority of these TSB's only impact a minority of owners. My Tribute has never had any issues due to to a TSB, but I have only had it for about 4K miles now :)


    I understand your frustration with your Tribute, but if you bought this vehicle used, is it possible that the original owner abused the vehicle or did not keep up with the maintenance? The reality is that the Escape/Tribute is the best selling vehicle in it's class and there are going to be problems for a minority of owners. Go read the CRV boards, they have just as many issues (engine fires, cars pulling to the right and cannot be fixed, etc).


      I respect people's right to complain and the fact that they want to share their experiences with other owners. At the end of the day if you have had frustrating experiences with a vehicle to dealer, it is important to let others know. At the same time, people who read these boards need to put this in perspective. To say that every single Escape or Tribute is a piece of junk because of a handful of users who have had bad experiences is not fair either. The fact is there are hundreds of thousands of happy Escape/Tribute drivers who have never had a problem (two of my co-workers bought their Escapes in 2001 and 2002 respectively and have had no major issues to date). These users typically do not post to forums though, because they have no reason to..


    Anyway, just my .02 cents..
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    My post didn’t mean that you were a phony forum member. Since you have a new car and new forum membership...

    I meant some others…

    For the loaner dilemma, don’t forget that you paid for loaner car, this option is listed on your windows sticker. If they don’t have any availability, they gotta go to Enterprise and get you a loaner, period.
  • Re Loaner - Next time I won't be so accommodating, and believe me, I've got a short fuse when it comes to lousy service - not next time. You gotta make noise (not unlike their products) in order to get heard, get a loaner, and get things fixed!!!
  • I had a 2001 Mazda Tribute V6 LX which was on a 4 year lease. I sublet it to my brother 6 months ago, and I leased another 2005 Tribute from Dufferin Mazda in Toronto, Canada.

    Today my brother returned the car back to Dufferin Mazda; even though I had taken so much care of the vehicle they still charged him $350 for a cracked fog lamp. So the security deposit of $425 is now only $75.

    I think all car dealers are crooks, Mazda, GM or whatever. When they want your sale they will even make a donkey your father; as soon as the cheque is cashed it's a whole new ball game.

    All I can say is that you pay your money and take your chances; and hopefully find 1 honest dealer amongst the thousands out there.

    I have also visited Erin Mills Mazda in Mississauga, Ont to purchase vehicles. Kept me waiting for 1 hour just to see a salesperson. As for their service, I would'nt personally take my dog in there.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Good for you, if a dealer gives you bad service, then I say boycott that dealer. When we purchased my wife's Nissan Sentra several years ago (which is now a 05 Tribute, and we are loving it!) we had a really bad dealer experience. The dealer tried to pull a fast one after two weeks of owning the car and told her that Nissan Credit could not finance her car at the low rate we got at signing. So, I called Nissan Credit directly and they told us there were no problems and we made a payment right then and there! We called the dealer back and told him we talked to Nissan Credit and had already made a payment. The finance jerk actually cursed at us and then slammed the phone down! Needless to say we took our car somewhere else to be serviced, and I bought my 02 Nissan Altima at the dealer that gave us excellent service..


      I am a pretty easy going guy, but I am no sucker, and I certainly am not going to let a car dealer take advantage of me.


      You must have liked your 01 Tribute to purchase another 05 Tribute? I really like my Tribute, and was very satisfied with my dealer experience. They gave me a great price, great trade in (Kelly Blue Book after quite a bit of negotiation), and also did not pressure me when I told them that I did not want any additional warranties, undercoating, etc..
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    "I think all car dealers are crooks, Mazda, GM or whatever."


    I totally agree but not all of them, majority of them.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I hoped You gave lowest possible evaluation mark to that finance guy...:-)
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I also wrote a letter to the owner of the dealer, but never heard anything back. Not surprised since I am sure the finance guy was told to do this to make more money for the dealer. I watched an undercover special on Dateline, and it turns out they try to pull this stunt (we need you to refinance at a higher rate) more often than you realize (especially to women). It is a total scam. Buyers beware! My wife works with a bunch of lawyers and they were drooling to sue the dealer, but I did not want to go through the hassle for a few thousand dollars and all the stress...
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    That is why I do all of my negotiating over the Internet and also get loan rates from my credit union and other banks. When you do this, it puts you in the drivers seat when it comes time to finance, and most dealers will either match or beat the bank. In the case of my Tribute, they matched my bank and gave me the $1000 Mazda finance rebate :)


    I have to wonder that had I not done my homework (knew current lending rates and my credit score, and about the $1000 Mazda finance rebate), if I would have gotten such a sweet deal. But to be honest the Browns Alexandria Mazda finance person I worked with was very pleasant, and this was the easiest purchasing experience I have ever had :)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    "When they want your sale they will even make a donkey your father" ???


    "As for their service, I would'nt personally take my dog in there."
  • I can only find 3 or the 6 spark plugs on my 2001 ford escape. Any ideas?
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    The 'other' spark plugs are on the back-side of the engine and very hard to get to without the right tools. You are correct that the front three

    (3) plugs are within easy reach, in-view, and

    a breeze to get to if necessary. I've changed the plugs once with a friend who's a mechanic. I'd rate the difficulty on a 1-10 scale, a 7-8. I don't believe that I could've done it without his help. Luckily the plugs don't have to be changed that often. Ford says that the plugs are

    good for 100K. I changed mine at 50K anyway. Cheap investment for a better running engine. The lower or backside intake cover must be removed and new intake gaskets (about $6.00 total) put in too. Took about 1.5 hours total time. So at a regular shop a basic spark-plug change could cost a couple of hundred dollars, mainly on labor.
  • Looks like I spoke too soon about the oil leak being fixed. Just to recap - 05 Tribute FWD - V6, brought in last week whereby dealer replaced the oil pump. Noticed it still leaking motor oil the next day. Obviously these mechanics are playing the hit-and-miss game. Off to another dealer tomorrow. We'll see if the guys at Gyro Mazda in Toronto are more competent than the mechanics at Erin Mills Mazda.


    Good help (and dealers) are hard to find. Any one in the Toronto area have any service experience with Gyro Mazda on Laird?
  • You should try Westowne Mazda in Etobicoke (Kipling subway area). I used to take my 2001 Mazda Tribute there all the time even though I bought it elsewhere. I was happy with their staff and service. Easy to get to. See how it works for you.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    This has been discussed on this and many other Escape/Tribute boards but I want to ensure that everyone in this forum is aware. If you own an Escape/Tribute it is imperative that the service center uses Mercon ATF transmission fluid vs. Mercon V. After some research, I have found that many owners of Escapes/Tributes (usually between 2001-2002) have had serious transmission problems (sometimes replacement) because the wrong fluid was used. A Ford transmission engineer was very clear when they said that these transmissions should only use Mercon ATF. I have also read that many techs are recommending that the transmission fluid be replaced (whether that be by flushing, or simply draining) every 50K miles.


    I checked my Tribute manual and it clearly states to use Mercon ATF fluid for the transmission. Hope this information is helpful!
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