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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    the roof rack syndrome. The dealerships at one point were putting these on backwards. This was causing one heck of a howling noise at speeds above about 50MPH. Check your manual they show a picture of how the racks should be on the Escape. Its kind of a crude outline but you can see which way is supposed to go forward. I changed mine the day I got home from buying my Escape. I read about this issue here at Edmunds and knew what the sound was on my way home. Other than that.. the Escape/Trib are a bit noisy inside..
  • zaimonzaimon Posts: 124
    I've found that the Tribute's side mirrors make a lot of sound as well... I have an '01 Tribute and I believe Mazda/Ford changed the side view mirrors halfway through 02 (although I've heard the new models are just as noisy)...

    35,000 miles and nearly flawless performance!
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    I found a really nice remedy for the outside noise. And it only cost me about $40 in parts.
    I got alot of the Dynomat self stick sound padding from circuit city.

    1. make sure it's a nice day before you start and that you have alot of extra time.
    2. make sure you have a second car or buy stuff before you begin.
    3. you have to remove your headliner, door panels, side panels, rear hatch panel. (but not all at once, there are alot of screws)
    4. stick the Dynomat anywhere there is exposed metal (you have to cut some to fit)
    5. replace headliner, door panels, side panels, rear hatch panel when your done with each.

    Not only does it reduce the noise from outside, but you don't lose alot of sound from you stereo either.

  • firstovfirstov Posts: 31
    Did anyone try to reduce the engine noise?
    I wonder if I change the tires to less noisy that would decrease the road noise significally or not..
    Any comments?
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    Questions you need to ask yourself before switching tires...
    1. Am I going to need traction in snow / mud.
    2. Am I going to go off-road (back-yards, dirt-roads, gravel-roads, beach sand)

    Go to they have a nice selection of tires for SUV's, I myself got the Goodyear Wrangler RF-A (Rotation Free - Aquatread), I had the dealer that I purchased my Escape at put these on because I didn't want the Firestones or Continental Tires. what is really nice is Goodyear has their lifetime warrenty on their tires, plus every 6000 miles you get FREE Re-balance and Rotation, even though I don't need the Rotation I still get the Re-Balancing.

  • firstovfirstov Posts: 31
    thanks for your comments. All I need is just a quieter ride. I got 20K trouble free miles (almost).
    But on the long trips (12+ hours) the road noise is killing me. And I wonder if someone has experience with less noisy tires. Will they (tires) decrease that noise ?
    The only noise that bothered me is related to engine and tires.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    if you never go offroad or into the snow, what is the quietest tire you can buy for this thing? There is a lot of tire noise at highway speeds.

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

  • gheimurgheimur Posts: 88
    I've posted in the past and the car had about 3 minor problems that were fixed under the
    warranty. The car is a fully loaded 2001 Escape XLT except for the sidebars, It is now over
    2 years that we have owned it and 36,500 miles. It feels solid, has no squeaks. Same goes for
    my 96 Ford Taurus 122k no squeaks either and engine runs great. Everything works including the AC. My teenage daughter says its BRRRRRRRRRRRR cold
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Nice to see your post. This room has really slowed down over the past 6months to a year. No where near the people popping in and reporting problems with their Escapes/Tribs.
    Hey, I also own a 2001 XLT, I just passed 24,000 trouble free miles. Wow! 36,000! Don't forget to get your transmission fluid changed and check those brakes out...
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    I'm just shy of 30,000 trouble free miles. I got my 30k service coming up on 4/25. But as of yet, I have NOT had any problems with my 2001 Escape XLT 4wd

  • Picked up a '03 Trib ES last fall. 11,000 trouble-free miles so far. I held off until the 3rd model year to ensure all the major bugs worked out after watching the boards. My last car ('99 honda) was first year out and lots of annoying recalls...i've lost count. When wife and I went to buy our next vechile had 3 criteria: higher profile for all that highway driving, fun to drive, and decent mileage. Have not been disappointed in the Trib. Great truck for 4 passengers. If you need more space I'd consider the Honda Pilot. Larger than Trib and gets better mileage and has more horsepower. Drawback: It's $8,000 more. Good mileage on Trib is possible...hit 27 mpg cruising at 70mph on the highway after break-in period. The Trib feels very much in control even in deep snow. If I could change a couple things I'd like the radio controls on the steering wheel and move button for heated seats to dash (sometimes don't know if seats are in on/off mode and yellow light on switch is hard to see). Overall we love it.
  • Overall I am a little dissapointed in quality of the trib. The car has been squeaking for like the last 10 k miles, and the dealer wont do anything about it. Also my tires went bald after liek 21k miles, what a shame, At the same time, there was a problem with startup after the car had not been driver after 2 weeks. The car however is a blast to drive, btu wish quality was looked at closly. Good tires are the bridgestone dueler a/t, where u get an agressive thread that also has proturding side walls to protect the rims. I have noticed an increae in traction, wet and dry. Also the tires fill up the whellwells better so it looks nicer. But ii heard the cross terians, even though expenive are amazing tires.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Just remember the tires are not made by Mazda/Ford.. Were these the OEM tires? Firestones or Continentals? I Have about 23,000 on my Continentals and I would bet I'll be buying tires by 30,000 also...
    Squeaks and rattle.. Look at your latch on your tailgate. This is whare alot of the 01's have had problems. latch needs adjusting.. I adjusted my own and no more squeaks..
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    Many people who have never owned a 4wd vehicle dont realize that tire rotations are VERY important. If you don't do it often, you will go through tires quickly.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    what's that????? I've forgoten all about Tire rotation and I got 30,000 miles on my escape. But then again I don't need to rotate my tires. LoL

  • gregrasagregrasa Posts: 3
    I just took my '01 Tribute to a trusted independent shop to get the brake pads replaced, at 43,000 miles. The shop discovered that the rotors had worn down past the minimum, in a sort of tapered way (the rotor was visibly skinnier out at the edge). I'm not talking the pads here -- I'm talking the rotors!

    The pads were fine, in need of replacement, but with material left on them and no metal showing.

    No one at the shop had ever seen anything like it. They theorized that it's a design problem -- too-hard pads against a too-soft rotor, most likely. They suggested I take the worn parts to Mazda and complain.

    Has anyone experienced this problem? I've seen vague references to brake problems in other postings, but nothing as specific as what I've just described.

    And yes, like other Trib/Escape owners, I've experienced the excessive brake dust on the front wheels, which has corroded the chrome. The shop thought that this was related to the rotor problem.
  • rachelcrachelc Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Tribute , made it past my 30,000 mile check up and it is at the dealership now getting a new tranny at 34,000 miles.

    The only other problem I've had with it is the brake dust and a defective brake master cylinder cap.

    The dealership has been very accomodating , but the transmission problem scares me. Although it is still under warranty, It won't be for 34,000 more miles!

    I'd like to see how big this problem really is. My dealership says there was no recall on the 2001 Tribute, but I've heard the engines are too powerful for the transmission.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    I have 46,000 miles on my 2001 Escape with continental tires. I do need to buy a pair before we go on vacation this summer, but with rotating every 5,000 miles I have gotten the most out of mine. The brake dust was horrible with my first set of rotors and shoes, but at around 36,000 miles I replaced both the rotors and new pads (Ford) only available, and have seen little dust since. Too bad the rotors are made today to replace with every set of brake pads. As for the tranny mine began to chatter around 30,000 miles. I replaced the fluid and had an additive added and have had no further problems with mine.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Where did you hear the engine was too powerful for the transmission?
    Negotiate with Mazda for an extended warranty..
  • mhaynie1mhaynie1 Posts: 15
    Rachelc, what was wrong with the transmission and what problems did you notice while driving. I have a 2001 Trib with over 30k miles and I experience rough shifting, vibrations and a whining sound. My dealer said there was nothing wrong and the problems could not be reproduced during a test drive.
  • RE: fewer Escape/Trib problems....

    I agree, I've owned an Escape for almost 40,000 miles now and I check this board out at least once a week. Glad to see overall the number of reported problems is way down. I'm about to trade my Escape, but I'm holding out for the new 2004 model. Its coming out a bit earlier than normal this year. Since I work for Ford I got an advance copy of the brand new 2004 Escape info book! If anyone wants a copy of it just let me know. I'm at I'll try to get hold of a copy of the brand new 2004 Tribute booklet too as soon as possible.
  • carguydccarguydc Posts: 46
    I sent you message for the brochure - thanks. What do you do for Ford?
  • Had to replace tires at 23K because front end was out of alignment. Went with Goodyear Eagle TR since we never go off road, and the road noise got a little better. Been back twice for fuel smell and it still smells. Replaced DPFE for a ck engine light. Replaced leaky master cyl. Replaced front brake pads, but did it myself and used high end Wagner pads. Brake dust problem went away. Now I have a rattle noise from the front end. Sounds like a sway bar link. It's going in Friday. Dispite the problems, I do like this little truck, but I think I'll buy a Honda next time.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Why a Honda? Go to and try to access the Honda TSB list. See what message pops up. Honda is not without problems, they just hide them better than Ford. I plan on dumping my wifes Accord this summer.. hate it. Its been in the shop 3x, my Escape 1x and it was for bad fuel.
    I agree, this board has slowed way, way down over the last year or more. If you get out on the net and find other chats, you will see the Escape/Trib are reliable vehicles.
  • bren008bren008 Posts: 1
    I have to press my brake pedal to the floor. When the car is turned off I can pump the brakes and have resistance, so I don't think it's a vacuum problem. It's only when I turn the car on. Has anyone had the same problem? I took it to a mechanic and they seem to think it either the Master Cylinder or the ABS Module...Not sure I do know if it's the Module, I'll have to dig deep in my pockets.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    to look at TSBs: (1) hiding problems with the vehicles or (2) stepping up to fix problems as they become known, thereby taking care of customers. Take your pick.

    My friend's '02 Trib has just about reached 20K...not a single prob, and this is not a guy who believes much in maintenance. I think he has changed the oil once or twice. His is an LX V-6.

    I glance in here every once in a while, and frequently notice mention of brake dust. My friend's Trib has thick black [non-permissible content removed] covering his front wheels - clearly a heavy coating of brake dust. Is there something special about Trib disc brakes that causes this, or is it just because those big alloy wheels show it so clearly that it gets mentioned a lot?

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

  • wgdad3wgdad3 Posts: 1
    My 01 Trubute LX V6 is at approximately 53K so far, I am very pleased with this truck. Granted these are almost exclusively highway miles. My continental tires are holding up great id like better traction in the snow. The brake dust is annoying but pads and rotors are holding up fine. No tranny problems to speak of and the fit and finish have not let me down. After reading this board I wonder if im driving the same vehicle as alot of these other people. the only thng im am disappointed with is the sevice department at my local dealer. Unfortunaltey it is obvious that the bottom line is the almighty dollar.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Brake problems.. There is a TSB for the "old style" cap to the master cylinder. I have had people in other chats around the net with the same problems as yourself. Make sure you don't have fluid leaking around the master cylinder. What I have heard is the cap cracks and fluid will ooze out. I have an 01 Escape and went to the dealer and asked for a new cap. Mine was not cracked but was the "old style". They handed one over no questions asked.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    well, I've had my 1st problem, which of coarse I found by mistake... lol. On Fri while taking my wife to the hospital for Labor but not Delivery, I had to swerve to miss a 6" spike that can off a dump truck trailer. Needless to say I didn't miss the spike, it got my driver front tire. But thanks to the Goodyear tires I have, it didn't blow out. So I pull over into a parking lot to check the tire. I didn't see any damage. (luckily) So I get back into the escape and open the door to slowly move forward to make sure the spike is not stuck on he underside of the tire, nope, But then just as I back into the parking spot, I hit my door on a nice little concrete barrier, and now the driver door doesn't want to close correctly. So I get my wife to L&D, and we sit there for about 2hours and they send her home to progress at home. So we go over to Goodyear, the check he tire, and repair under warranty. (yay!) Well then I take Julie home and head back to the Ford Dealer and go to the body shop, They look at the door, Luckily there was NO damage to any of the body work or hinges. (BIG YAY!) So they just re-adjust the door so it closes good. But then comes the bad part. I have them look at a nice chip in my hood next to my pass. washer sprayer. Figured get an estimate while I'm there. Well turns out it is NOT a chip, but a factory defect in the paint. Apparently the Medium Wedgewood Blue paint has a problem with peeling away from the primer paint underneath. So now I lose the escape for 1 week and I get a Full vehicle repaint front to rear and I get a loaner vehicle all under warranty. Hey I'm glad I asked about the hood. I'll let you all know how it turns out.

  • bjachaibjachai Posts: 2
    Hi All,

    Just bought new 03 Tribute LX. Love it, but having troubl with what feels like a pinched nerve in right thigh while driving. Am tall - 6'3'', any suggestions????? HELP. I really want to love my new car.
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