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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • bessbess Posts: 972
    I meant to post my above question the the CRV v Escape board.. doh.
  • I'll continue to monitor the Escapes and Tributes, and I may end up springing for one yet, who knows. One advantage for me would be that the Ford dealer is much closer than any foreign motors dealer, even though the last time I was there, their service sucked (my dad was getting a part). I'm also going to keep looking at explorers and mountaineers as well. I plan to head out and do some testing tomorrow. Thanks for the info!
  • I wonder if any Escape 2003 V6 owners have had any problems with stalling? They've been out now about six months I believe (came out sept 02?) Owners of 01s and 02s posted lots of such problems and Im wondering if the 03s have been fixed. Thanks
  • Well, what can I say, other than to add my two cents based on having owned an 01 Trib since Sept. 2000. First problem happened in November 2000 with the wiper motor failing. The car was in the shop for 29 days that first time. I was upset but later convinced myself that all first year vehicles have some glitches. After that, a number of warranty items were repaired including replacement of the master brake cylinder (leaking) and a broken front stabilizer bar. There were also ongoing problems with the engine and transmission which finally became obviously apparent in early January when both the engine and transmission left me stranded once again. Now, after about 45 days, the dealer is still trying to fix the vehicle. A second engine is now being installed as the first replacement appears to have had problems to. I would RUN away from these vehicles based on my experience unless reliability is not an issue. For what it is worth, I should add that I love the vehicle when it works.
  • I thought I would also mention that we were at the Toronto car show yesterday and have narrowed our replacement vehicle to a 03 Honda CRV. Just have to to a test drive now. I even have a hard time believing it. But, our experience with the Tribute makes a person look beyond the cosmetics of a vehicle. Lets be honest, the Tribute looks much better than the CR-V and what is the deal with the tailgate mounted spare - pure stupidity. However, no vehicle is perfect - a la Tribute. Looking beyond the CR-V skin, it offers a nice interior with I would say almost as much rear legroom. Much more than the RAV-4. It also offers to deliver a decent ride and from our side of things the most important quality - BOTH SHORT AND LONG TERM RELIABILTY. The only thing I feel sorry about is the person that eventually ends up with our POS.
  • Sat in the drivers seat of a new ES V6, leather, for the first time this morning. A new fully loaded vehicle I didn't buy because the drivers seat felt like I was sitting on a rock. Since this is my first posting am I being overly critical or are the seats comfortable? Let me hear from you people because I would love to take advantage of the 0% financing.
  • In their testing the escape had one of the insurance agency's worst test results of a head on off centered crash of any vehicle tested.
  • I think you are making a wise choice. If you want reliability, definitely go for a CRV. You'll also get better gas milage, but you'll also note less power, since the CRV doesn't come with a V6. However, the little 4 banger is pretty peppy, with 160 or 165 horses, can't remember now. When either C&D or MT first drove it, they said the tires would bark all the way through 3rd gear (manual tranny). My sidekick 1.8 has 120 horses, and is about the same weight. I can believe that. The styling may be a bit rounded, but it's clean and nice looking.

    what is the deal with the tailgate mounted spare - pure stupidity.

    Personally, I like the spare tire on the door. That way, it isn't inside the car taking up precious cargo space, and it isn't underneath the car, so when you are stranded with a flat, in 20 degree weather, wind blowing 30mph, in the dark, that you have to crawl underneath the vehicle and retrieve the spare tire before you can even change it. With the spare on the door, it saves that from happening. However, the drawbacks are decreased visability through the back window, and the possibility of backing into something with it. Those can be prevented, but a flat tire often cannot. My sidekick has the tire on the back door as well, and at first it took some getting used to by not being able to see very well out the back window, but I don't mind it now. I use my side mirrors more anyway. Good luck! Hope you get your trib back soon so you can get on the road in a Honda.
  • After spending an hour browsing through these town hall messages I wouldn't purchase either on a bet. Hello Honda or Toyota. Quality and reliability are job one.
  • bessbess Posts: 972
    To base a purchase decision (or non-purchase in your case) based solely on what you read on a forum labeled, 'post any problem you've had here', is your choice.

    As with any tool you used to do research with, its my opinion that you should weigh the source of the information.

    Does Toyota and Honda have a numerically higher 'reliability rating'? According to many publications, they do have an edge over Ford. So is your criteria to only buy the vehicle that has the 'highest' rating?

    Does this mean that any other vehicle is 'unreliable'?.

    Is that vehicle also rated 'highest' in other categories that might be important to you such as: value, performance, appearance, and dealer service?

    Also sidekick:
      You imply that the Escape spare tire is under the vehicle, it is not. If spare tire location was important to you, and you were really considering buying an Escape, then I would have thought you would be aware of this fact.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    those comments on the door-mounted spare were in reference to the CRV, I believe.

    Anyone who thinks that Toyo/Honda drivers have no complaints about their vehicles ought to check out certain other threads on these boards. that point is well made.

    Ford botched two new-model deliveries very badly a couple of years ago - the Escape and the Focus. After three years for Focus and almost two for Escape, most of these problems have been addressed and rectified, so if you are contemplating buying either new now, chances are pretty good you will find yourself in a reliable vehicle (this is more true for Escape, however - still one or two lingering things with Foci).

    It is the style sometimes of the Big 2.5 to use their first-year customers as their testing guinea pigs, probably saves some R&D $$, but once things are sorted out they will mostly run with the best of them.

    Rabuck: get a Tribute! Quicker handling and a firmer ride. I borrow my friend's Tribute occasionally, and it makes my 4Runner feel like the Queen Mary.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I posted the following statement back on Dec. 7, 2000 when we had our little defective wiper motor problem.

    'There are people out there who might consider purchasing another poor quality Mazda/Ford product after this experience, we however, will not. When our vehicle is finally fixed, we will be waiting for the next thing to go wrong or wonder if that trip out-of-town will include a breakdown.'

    If I had only known what could go wrong back then I would not have waited to replace the vehicle.

    I think everyone realizes when they buy a vehicle that they could be getting one with major problems. Everyone has their opinion on what is the better vehicle. Mine is based on experience with a number of cars over the years and talking to lots of people about their experiences. I have yet to find one person that regrets buying a Toyota or Honda. Also, I have looked through the problem areas for both the Highlander and CR-V and can assure everyone that a little wind noise, squeaky doors and the like are not a PROBLEM from my perspective.
  • I was posting a message, it was long, and for some reason, it dissappeared when I clicked "post my message." Don't have time now, but I'll be back later to finish it. I hate this thing sometimes.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    I can appreciate exactly what you are saying, and it truly sucks to get stuck with a "lemon" when you plunk down so much $$ for a new vehicle.

    But you should travel over to the Camry thread, and ask how many of those owners regret their purchase. I know how some of them will answer, because they have already posted that they regret it. Why? Because of all the squeaks and rattles in the '02 after it was released. Toyota has a handle on many of these now, and will fix cars for no charge, but the damage is done for a few of these folks, and they won't be back. Same thing for stinky '03 corollas using the high-sulfur fuel of the other 49 states (and no fix there yet).

    I bet some of the folks with the affected transmissions in Honda Accords, TLs, and more have had second thoughts about ever buying Honda again too.

    A lot of car buying comes down to playing the odds, and no carmaker is immune from producing a bad batch once in a while. Some are more prone to it than others, that is all. In general, it is best to avoid a first-year run of a given model, especially if it is an American make.

    Regarding those owners of HLs and CRVs with wind noise and squeaky doors you mentioned: it may not be a problem to you, and I know you are suggesting they get some perspective, but believe me, it is a problem to them.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    You'll also be surprised by how many times you read the words "I thought this wasn't supposed to happen to Honda's." in regard to a "problem" if you take the time to read their boards. I'm betting that the same goes for Toyota.

    nippononly is right, some manufacturers are more prone to failures than others when you compare new models (as a whole the percentages may even out a little more). You're taking a chance no matter what you buy. Just make sure you're happy with the vehicle before you buy. You're the one who has to drive it every day. You don't want to end up driving something you hate for many years to come.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "You'll also be surprised by how many times you read the words "I thought this wasn't supposed to happen to Honda's."

    True, but when you ask many of the same posters what they expected, you get, "zero problems for the first 100,000 miles", which we all know is unrealistic. Honda's reputation as a solid car maker has fooled some people into thinking that it's possible for them to be a perfect car maker.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124 and ask yourself why Honda is hiding TSB information?? There have been questions as to whether Honda hides information. I own both a Honda and a Ford. My 2000 Accord has been back to the shop 3x, the 2001 Escape 1x. Get out on the net you will find plenty of peeved off Honda/Toyota owners.
    In a second note, get out on the net and you will also find plenty of satisifed Escape/Tribute owners.
    Sorry about your Tribute. But I own a 2001 Escape with just over 21,000 trouble free miles. It has performed wonderfully. I also conducted a personal non-scientific poll. over the last year I approached well over 30 Trib/Escape owners of different models/trims/years. Not one had such huge problems it would cause them to dump their vehicle or never buy a Ford/Mazda. And with sales on the upward, looks like the word is spreading. These are reliable/quality built vehicles.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    is the number one selling small ute, I believe...they moved more than 11,000 in January.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • I do not want this to sound mean, please don't take it as that, but honestly, 21k miles isn't long enough to judge a certain vehicle's overall reliability. If it has been nearly problem free thus far, that's great, I hope it continues to do so well, however some people can't afford a brand new vehicle. They always buy used (like myself) and the vehicles they are looking at on the used lots are ones such as your Escape, with 20k to 40k miles on them. It may have performed great for you, nary a problem. But when the next poor soul buys the vehicle, it becomes a problem on wheels. Thats hypothetical, but it does happen. Ideally, if a vehicle is going to have major problems, it should get them over with in the warranty period, and be taken care of for free. However, some of them don't, so I look at how the vehicle performs in the long run, 100k or better, because I expect to keep and drive the vehicle for that long. I can't afford a new car every 2 or 3 years. That is also why I research exactly what I want, because it will be a vehicle I intend on keeping a long time. So yes, I want to be happy with driving it, but, most importantly, I want it to get me from point A to point B, and not get stuck in between.

    Also, nippononly, you are exactly right. Last night I went to post a message and it disappeared, and it was saying the same thing you are saying. All car companies have Lemons. Its hard to avoid. But, its sad that one bad car turns some people against going back to that company. I have had some trouble with my Suzuki, and I at times have said I'd never buy another one, but I really like the XL7. The reliability rating on it isn't great, but its just below the industry standard at -6% (industry standard is 0%), versus the Escape/Tribute which is -32%. The Honda CRV is 30% above industry standard, via consumer reports. So, to make this shorter, reliability and dependability should be "job one," not whether it looks good, rides good, or performs good. IF you can get all of those in one package, good for you, but I doubt it happens very often.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    According to Autosite, the Tribute sold ~4,000 copies in Jan. so total sales for the twins was about 15,000. The CR-V moved 10,797, with the Liberty right behind. But only the Escape/Tribute were trending upward for these 4 models.

    Steve, Host
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    "Honda's reputation as a solid car maker has fooled some people into thinking that it's possible for them to be a perfect car maker."

    You think?! :)

    What's the term scape always uses? I think it's "Brain washed by Honda" or something to that effect.

    "So, to make this shorter, reliability and dependability should be "job one," not whether it looks good, rides good, or performs good."

    If that's what you look for in a vehicle, then so be it. On the other side of the coin is someone like me who loves to drive. I don't care if it can get me from A to B reliably. Especially if that rating came from a magazine. I'd rather enjoy each trip in a vehicle I love than look forward to ending them in a vehicle I don't really love, but will last for a long long time. I don't think I could ever live with one vehicle for ten plus years anyway. I'm ready to push our 96 Civic off of a cliff just to have an excuse to get something new!

    Not to add any fuel to the fire, but...
    I just ran a CarFax report on our 96 Civic the other day. Guess what it said at the bottom under 'Recall Information'. You guessed it. I don't have the report in front of me for the exact words, but it went something like this: 'Honda Motor Co does not report recall information to CarFax...'. From what I've gathered, most if not all other manufacturers do.

    The only place that you can find Honda recall/TSB info is on the NHTSA's web site. So it's not completely hidden. But it does seem to be hidden from all the popular consumer sites where you have to pay to see the info.

    Just thought it was interesting how these little "hidden info" messages keep popping up.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    "What's the term Scape always uses? I think it's "Brain washed by Honda" or something to that effect."

    In my experience, the people in question have frequently been first time Honda buyers. They got wind of Honda's reputation through others who have had "perfect" experiences and expected the same. So I doubt it.

    "Brain washed" are those who feel that Honda can do no wrong. "Brain washed" are those who cannot accept that FWD cars can handle as well as some RWD cars. "Brain washed" are those who assume that ladder frames are safer than unit-bodies. "Brain washed" are those who (despite personal reports, statistics, industry commentary, and the writing on the wall) believe that the Escape is perfectly reliable.

    You can find brain washed people for every car make, design, or model.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    With all due respect, the phrase "I don't care if it can get me from A to B reliably." coming from the owner of a '96 Civic tends to carry less weight than it would coming from, say, the owner of an early 90s Land Rover, or 80s Jag, or something like that. You have what is statistically one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. Try driving one of the below averages and having a few towing experiences for a while - you may speak differently!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    Our other vehicle is a 2002 Ford Escape which replaced a 98 Escort ZX2 (one of the first off the line in the Spring of 97) when we bought a house and needed extra cargo space.

    The Civic was bought solely by my wife, before we were married, because she thought it was "cute". She was going for looks, not reliability and I had no say in the matter. I would have never picked it myself which is shown by my choice of the ZX2. I could have just as easily bought a Civic. Sorry for the confusion.

    "You have what is statistically one of the most reliable vehicles on the road."

    The Civic's engine has been very reliable. Unfortunately I can't say the same for the rest of it. If things keep breaking or falling off of it, we'll have a nice replacement lawn mower engine in the future.

    So no, I don't care if my vehicles get me from A to B reliably. The Civic will now most likely be replaced with a 2004 or 2005 Mustang. CR is probably already rating its reliability at about 50% below the average. ;)
  • The cars are not perfect and they never will.
    I'm pursuing the case with my wife's 2001 Toyota RAV4.
    We have tons of problems with RAV4 and every month dealer "could not replicate the problem".
  • I admire a person who can honestly say they don't care if their vehicle doesn't get them from point A to point B. I'm cursed with this "needing reliable transportation" thing. There are so many vehicles out there that I would love to have, but they aren't rated as reliable. However, sometimes you'll get one of those that is rated thus, but will be the best car you've ever owned. It just depends on what kind of luck you have. Mine is always rotten, so I just about expect problems. However, it's been good lately. Don't want to jinx it.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    The dealer can only duplicate the problem you say you had AFTER the warranty expires, that way YOU have to pay for it. LOL

  • They always do that. Of course, when you get a lawyer involved, they sometimes change their tune.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Carfax also states that Honda does not supply TSB/recall information to Carfax?? please give me the link or web site. Time to let this one fly around the net too! I wonder if the car/review industry is taking note of this garbage Honda is pulling. I never received a recall notice on my wifes 2000 Honda Accord LX either for the iginition switch. I had to bring it in after I heard about here at Edmunds..
    I agree 21,000 miles is not that many miles. There are other web sites around the net with people reporting upwards of 40K - 50K on their Escape/Tribs and not having any problems. So far my 2001 Escape XLT V6 4wd has performed flawlessly after 21,000 miles.
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