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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • We have an '01 Tribute ESV6. It has 30k miles on it now. So far, our "idiot" lights have gone whacko--they blink or stay on all the time; right now, it's the airbag one that's acting up. The transmission started slipping and grinding back in the summer, at about 25k. It sounds terrible. In the past month, the truck lost all power at 25mph, under normal driving conditions. This was very scary; I've spoken to a mechanic who says he has seen this twice now in a Tribute--some valve gets "carbed up." Any comments on this? Also, the windshield wipers stopped working a few days ago. We are pretty frustrated at this point.
  • The hybrid escape i was mentioning is that if u are willing to give up on ur color choice and don't mind owning a ford instead of a Mazda.. then the 04 has a good choice via Ford Escape Hybrid model.. which is will give about 35mpg in city driving.. ;-)

    available in late summer 2004. so later than when u want one... it will be a new model year for 2004.. but since the hybrid is part of the powertrain.. the powertrain warranty will take care of it.

    it is really worth it if u r putting high miles on ur cars. I calculated the price... and for my use.. where in put < 10k miles a year.. the price premium was not worth it... so i decided not to wait for it.

    since u r planing to buy in Mar 04.. u should definitely consider it. The prototype had a light ice blue color.. which was pretty new and cool. if production versions also have it.. it might be a nice alternative for ur light tundra mettalic ;-)

    Have fun researching in the mean time.. ;-)
  • ...... just went to the web site and WOW !!
    This Hybrid is gonna be a red-hot seller.... betcha' there will actually be a long waiting list. They claim the "power" of a V6 and fantastic mileage figures.... definitely a "vehicle of the future - here today" (or summer '04).
    F.Y.I. - I just changed oil & filter in my '00 Acura TL today (Mobil 1), a "dirty" job but I get to make sure all is done right, plus I can "inspect" too, and during my inspection I found gobs of grease thrown out of the driver's side C.V. joint boot (I must fix this A.S.A.P.) I just purchased and installed a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S tires, PowerStop cross-drilled front rotors and ceramicool pads (all wheels), then just recently the S.R.S. light has come on and my TL has only 35K miles. Let's hope this Winter in Connecticut will NOT be nearly as brutal as last year, so at least my TL will make it thru until Spring '04 without major problems. Remember, the "Acura transmission timebomb" !! I sure do wish I can "dump it" down here (in Florida) and buy a NEW vehicle for the drive up to Connecticut next month.
  • Anyone have their V6 Escape Explode on starting??
    Mine backfired, smoke and flame from under hood and plastic intake manifold was totally blown apart. Dealer said no fault codes, but they had a "bulletin that suggested" could adjust PCM computer to reduce chance of backfire. Had previously done intake gaskets and PCM reprogramming.
    And since just off warranty, this "normal" failure was my cost to replace intake manifold, accelerator cable, and some ignition pieces. So now I have a new terrorist weapon, waiting for the next bomb to go off. THANKS FORD!!!
  • larryk5larryk5 Posts: 25
    My 16 year old daughter is about to get her first car and I was looking at a used 2wd Escape. I have not read this entire board but was surprised to see all the issues with this suv. Is there a year/model combo that has proven to be more reliable?

  • FWIW, I would strongly advice against getting a SUV for ur daughter's first car. Apart from '01 escape/tributes having some troubles because they were first year models.. , driving an SUV as her first car is not safe. get her a sedan and sleep peacefully. if she wants to look cool..get her a sports coupe like an older acura integra and and if SUV is a must. get a older RAV4 or CRV for better reliability for 01 model years.
  • I was going thru the manual for my '03 tribute.. and i was shocked that the sales guy gave me such a load of crapola info about the 4x4.

    He told me to switch on the 4x4 anytime i want for better traction during rainy days. well.. last weekend it was raining and i switched it on and back ed out of my driveway and as i was turning in reverse towards my "turn-around", my tribute was jerky and noisy.. and i got real scared that my transmission was hosed.

    I checked the manual immediately and it says NOT TO USE THE 4x4 button which puts it in 4x4 ON mode unless u are in a road where u cannot see any dry OR WET pavement.

    only to turn it on when u r offroad or when the road is completely covered with snow or ice.

    I presume my differential wouldn't have got damaged so soon.. but i guess i need to get them to check it when i go in for my 1st oil change.

    The manual also says that 4x4 is usually always in the AUTO mode - which means that it will kick in whenver it is needed.
    Does anyone have any experience with this.. have u noticed that it kicks in automatically ?

    since i dont' expect my wife to go offroad.. i am serioulsy tempted to put a tape on that button saying "do not touch" (remember Kevin Bacon did something similar in the movie - Apollo 13 :-) )
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    "The manual also says that 4x4 is usually always in the AUTO mode - which means that it will kick in whenver it is needed.
    Does anyone have any experience with this.. have u noticed that it kicks in automatically ?"

    Yes it does. You really should never need to turn it "ON", but it does help a lot in deep snow, sand, and/or mud. I've switched it to "ON" in all three and you do notice a difference. However, you do not need it to be "ON" in the rain and, as you've already read in the manual, it is not recommended by the manufacturer.

    I'd also go back and give that salesman and/or his manager an earful if I were you! You might get some free service out of it. ;)
  • clasleyclasley Posts: 16
    I have a 01' ES-V6 Tribute and it seems to have a issue when it sits for a long period of time usually when it is cold out. When I first start it and put it and gear all is fine until I try to accelerate. When I accelerate, the engine kinda hesitates then goes. This continues usually for a couple of minutes. I think until it warms up. I took it into the dealer last week for the same issue and they fixed a couple of things but it didn't help. Oh yeah, I don't know if this helps but the coolant light comes on also on cold start but eventually goes off. So the dealer has it and I have an ugly ford taurus as a rent-a-car until they fix it. I know I read some stalling issues that were earlier posted I just don't know if this is the same problem. Any ideas on whats wrong with my tribute??
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Yes, after owning an 01 Escape and taking it frequently into the snow along with finding my favorite fishing spots I can vouch the 4x4 Auto works just as the manual says. The only time I switch into 4x4 on is when I am in the snow all day, or am in situations that I know 4x4 is going to come in handy. If you only had the system on for a short amount of distance/time I doubt you did any damage.
    My advise just leave it in auto mode. The system will work when the front wheels sense the slippage. However, if you do plan on driving in the snow, mudd, ice whatever for extended periods of time then the 4x4 mode should be on.
  • My 2001 Mazda Tribute has 43,000 miles on it and has recently developed a start issue. If the vehicle sits for a long period of time say 24 hours or so it will not start. All the engine lights come on and it just doesn't keep power. If I push on the gas peddle it will run but as soon as I let off it dies. Any one else experienced this problem?
  • ryan41ryan41 Posts: 21
    I have a 2002 LX 2WD with about 15,000 miles on it. Runs fine, dealer serviced since new only one odd noise from engine. I haved used the 5W20 oil in the car and after a year of ownership I have concluded that right after the oil is changed I get a tapping noise from the engine sort of like noisy lifters, as the oil gets thicker over a month or two after the oil is changed it tends to go away. There is no noise when the engine is cold only after is warmed, seems like when the oil thins out. Is this oil too thin? I am thinking of switching to 10W30. The noise seems to be related to the thickness of the oil. Most of the noise is gone during the winter. Does anyone else experience this?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    Have you had your injectors cleaned? fuel filter changed?
    Oil, I have used 10W-30 in my Escape since day 1. I now have over 30,000 trouble free miles on this vehicle with no issues. The 5W-20 is more for fuel economy. 10W-30 is just fine for the Escape, as any Ford mechanic.
  • kijafakijafa Posts: 1
    I have a 2001 Tribute with 42,000 miles. At 39,000 during an oil change and routine check, the dealer said the front brakes were measuring 4 (out of original 12). So when I took it for an oil change today I was going to have him change the front pads. Not having read this board before, I was very surprised when I was told that the rotors had to be replaced also. He said this was characteristic of the Tribute, he thought it was not a good feature, but never the less one they see consistently. He assured me that we did not wait to long to bring it in, it was a character flaw of the Tribute.
      At least by now finding this board and reading the other posts regarding this same problem, I at least feel better.
      But, $529. later. . . . .

      Have a great weekend!
  • I don't know if this will help either of you, but we just replaced the air intake valve in my '01 Tribute ES due to same type of issues that you describe and haven't had any more problems with the loss of power on idle/slow start not holding power(knock on wood).
  • coolant light came on too when my problems started. They replaced some sensor and I haven't had it come on since ...I do think that it is very unusual that we both have the same type of problems and that the coolant light was coming on.
    Rep62ar...Thanks so much for the info I will mention it to the dealership on Monday they have had my car all weekend "sitting" so that they can try to look at it in a no start condition... for some reason opening the hood of the car or even the ride on the tow truck can jiggle or move or do something that will make it start. I am about ready to ditch it if they can't fix it.
    I have had many other problems. Both sway bar links replaced. Headlights that have condensation problems. Doors that wont open. Windows that wont go up and down. And the sad thing is that I love this car...I am just afraid after my warranty goes it is going to be a money pit. Thanks again for the info.
  • A couple of weeks ago my wife told me the battery light in her 02 Escape was coming on. However, on closer inspection I found out that it was the coolant light that comes on. It only stays on for about a minute and only when the car is first started in the morning. Any ideas on what is causing this?
  • You probably have a bad sensor. I have a 2001 Tribute that had the same problem, and the dealer replaced the sensor, under warranty. The Fords may have the same problem.
  • I have a 2002 Tribute V6 that has an annoying rattle coming from somewhere in the hatch lid or in the trim back there. Anyone else had this and fixed it? I tried silicon in all the seals to no avail.
    Also, my oil plug leaks a few drops a day and a new factory plug did not cure it - anyone have a similar problem/fix?
  • Just had oil changed at Mazda dealership and noticed a ticking noise similar to what you described after the oil change. Never experienced this before, and we always use the same dealership for oil changes - every 4000 miles.
    I assume they used 5-20 oil. I'll contact the service department and post their response on this.
  • nortsr1nortsr1 Posts: 1,060
      The rear hatch lid is adjustable and if the rear glass is where it rattles, there are two black rubber type nipples... supposedly to stop the glass from hitting the metal. If one of them is missing, just go to the dealer and ask parts dept. for a replacement...they just snap into the small hole. In my case, I merely took some sticky sided velcro and made my own.
  • 2001 Tribute, 51k miles - just spent over $500 to have the rotors replaced!! I had hoped to avoid the possibility of replacing the rotors after reading the previous post (by changing the brake pads when it was recommended), but my hopes were dashed when the service rep, obviously using his sensitivity training, told me that my rotors were bad (i.e., below spec). To push the sale, he and the mechanic said that they could not turn the rotors because they were already below spec and brake function and safety would be compromised; he also told me that the dealer could not legally allow my Tribute back on the road for liability reasons. For those of you who are about to have your brake pads replaced, you may want to bring a lawyer and engineer with you.
  • mckee4mckee4 Posts: 47
    For those that have replaced their brakes at
    various intervals, both pads and rotors...
    My '01 Escape XLT V6 needed both at 29K miles.
    Replacements costs are on par with those listed in these postings, ~$465.00. The Ford Service
    Advisor told me the rotors are 'unturnable' and
    that a lot of auto makers are going to the
    'disposable' type rotors, Mercedes, and the like.
    I've found a reputable independent shop that will
    replace the next set, when needed, with ceramic
    pads (minimal to no-dust), and turnable rotors
    both good after-market brands. I can certainly
    relate and commiserate with all who've undergone
    this expense so far. However, I'll have to
    do the same thing again in about another year
    or 20K miles, this time to a better solution

    For those with hard-start to stall problems,
    mine was the IAC sensor which a friend/mechanic
    diagosed in under two (2) minutes. I ordered
    the part (Motorcraft) from a parts-house which
    was about 15% cheaper than getting it through
    a dealership. The part will be about $60.00.
    This may not be the same problem or even the
    right fix for everyone, but it was for mine.
    The fix literally took 5-minutes tops because
    the IAC sits on top near the air intake closer
    to the engine.

    There have been a few other minor problems but
    overall this vehicle has been no more problematic
    that other vehicles I've owned and less than
    others. Independent mechanic shop has recommended
    de-carboning the intake throttle body about
    every 15K miles. They showed me how do it myself
    and save $60 - $70. They claim that this procedure will reduce carbon build-up which occurs
    in all autos but especially in a lot of Ford
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    Are you able to post the procedures for cleaning the intake?

  • rudy32rudy32 Posts: 3
    Have a 2001 Ford Escape with 57,000 miles. Car will start, but will not turn over. Takes up to 20 minutes for the car to start sometimes. In all cases I need to step on the gas to get the engine running. One time when the car finally started, I started driving it and it lost all power. Luckily, I was in an empty parking lot. This happened only once.

    Took the car to a local mechanic. He could not figure out what was wrong. Ran it through the computer tests. He replaced the fuel filter and the fuel pump relay -- said this was the cheapest route. Other alternatives would be more costly.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Were you able to correct it? What was the cost and did you go the Ford dealer?
  • Hi: I have a 2002 MY - V6, 4x4 .. with 36K+ miles.

    1. I have a noise issue with the vehicle. At about 35 MPH and at high way speeds, I hear a periodic noise from the right wheel area. Appears as though the bearings or something is gone. Took it to the dealer, he tell me that the tires are cupped and so on. He is refusing to fix the same. The tires are original tires, rotated and are in excellent condition.
    Apparently, at 34K+ miles, I had a similar issue and they had replace the wheel bearing, hub part etc. Now they are reneging from fixing the same on RHS. ANY ADVICE OR EXPERIENCE ON WHAT TO DO?

    2. The passenger side front window glass does not close properly at highway speeds. On other windows the problems is not a severe. I have taken the vehicle back to dealership to get the same fixed several times. They keep telling me there is nothing they can do? ANY IDEAS?

    Appreciate your input in advance, Thanks.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    I had that happen to my Goodyear Wrangler RF-A 60k mile tires at 28k. Lucky for me I purchased the lifetime warrenty FROM goodyear on the tires, so I got replacments free of charge.

    The techs at my local dealer that I get all my work done at said that the problem with the tires wearing out faster is the torque is too much for the size tire that ford is using, and there isn't anything that they can really do about it. The Guys at Goodyear told me the same thing, and that it was smart for me to have the warrenty on the tires. The Dunlop's I have now also have the full Lifetime warrenty on them and lets see if they wear out, I have 38,572 miles on my escape now, but only just over 10k on the new tires.

  • I have had the exact same problem with my 2001 tribute. I had it towed 4 times in the last month. I told the dealership that another member from this board had the same problem and they replaced the air intake valve. They found a bulletin on the "tech support line" that also suggested this fix. So...after months of this crap they replaced the valve and I have had not a single problem since. If it were not for this board I would not have known to mention it to the dealer .
  • There is a message above #2282 that refers to the IAC which is what was replaced in my tribute. Sounds like you can buy the part and fix pretty cheap. Good luck.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    please explain to me how brakes are a problem? These are a wearable item and greatly depends on how a vehicle is driven. Replacing brakes at 40,000, or 50,000 or 29,000?? depends greatly on the driver.... And I would in no way complaine at 40,000 for brakes... Don't forget folks.. The Escape/Trib rate the BEST in stopping distance in this class also....
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