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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • racenutracenut Posts: 10
    I work for autozone and we still lend the scan(DTC) tool
  • ggrreeggggrreegg Posts: 1
    I have a 03 with a 2.8 V6 and with a moderate load on vacation my last recorded MPG going into Ks was 30.5 (with a tail wind) coming back to Az going from denver to grand junction (thru the rocky mountains) I avg. 28 MPG. In town and around with A/C I always get 20-21 MPG. It was a salvaged vehicle that I rebuilt. I have to run 25 psi in the front and 24 psi in the rear tires around town cause of the rough streets. On the highway they are 34 front and 32 rear and I drive 65 mph.

    You have a I-4 and you are under powered. Some suggestions I would offer you are: Air up your tires as high as you can stand them. Don't drive over 65, don't use the cruise control on any hills, coast up them and slowly regain speed going down a hill. Put a vacuum operated A/C clutch cutout so when you accelerate your extra 6-9 hp used on the A/C compressor is available or turn the A/C off when accelerating. Take the worthless luggage rack off of the roof. Don't stop light to stop light race. Switch to full synthetic everywhere, diff x 2, trans, motor. Switch to Bosch plus four platinum plugs and change ur air filter every 5K miles and do not use K&N unless you oil and rub the inlet side in powdery dirt prior to reinstallation, other wise they don't work.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    WOW! are you in California? I have been to three different ones in So Cal and all three told me the same thing..."we don't lend them out anymore, but you can buy one starting at $59.99"
  • peter0688peter0688 Posts: 3
    I have a 2002 Ford Escape XLT V6 automatic transmission and my brake light, ABS light, and airbag light are always on (airbag light blinks a few times then stays on) and I discovered a couple of days ago my cruise control isn't working either. I have already replaced the fuse at location 5 for the ABS unit, ASC unit, and "restraints control module" but the lights are still on and the cruise still doesn't work. I also tested the battery and alternator to make sure they weren't going bad, they are fine. This is probably a simple repair but I don't know where to start. Any ideas?
  • I have a 03 Escape. I would have a computer scan of your system and that can be done free at Auto Zone. But my guess is that it is time for a brake job. That may take care of all three sensor lights...Good Luck
  • peter0688peter0688 Posts: 3
    just checked the new fuse I had put in and it blew also. Something must be either overloading it or shorting it out. It looks like that fuse is a main part of the cruise control system. Besides a bad wire, could anything else be causing this?
  • oldsalt3oldsalt3 Posts: 1
    I have a 2004 Mazda Tribute with 120,000 miles. Just replaced the serpentine belt and wanted to change the water pump belt. The Haynes Manual said to release the tension pully but I don't see one. The belt goes from the cam shaft pulley to the water pump pulley. That's it, and it's tight. ?? How do you get the old one off and the new one on? I thought this would be the easy one but it has me confused. Thanks
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    Per Ford repair manual:

    -Remove the water pump belt cover
    -Cut and remove the water pump belt. Discard the belt
    -Install the belt on the water pump pulley and position it on the camshaft pulley (sort of like when trying to get a bicycle chain back on the large sprocket)
    -Rotate the crankshaft clockwise to seat the belt on the camshaft pulley
    -Install the water pump belt cover

    Hope this helps!
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    Just bought this mazda, it rides nice, has alll the options 'cept heated seats. was a 2 owner, 1st put 52k on it, 2nd 48K. no idea what maintenance has been done, since I got if from a dealer. extremely clean inside, been garaged since the underside is super clean and corrosion free. Body looks like new. paint shows no defects. originally built in august of 2003.

    What does it need, what would be good to do preventively, what would be wasted money "it's not broke don't fix it"?

    never owned a Mazda before, looks like I've overlooked a good thing in the past.
    thanks, in advance, for the help.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    My suggestion:

    Trans Flush
    Coolant Flush
    Spark Plugs
    Oil Change (if it wasnt done)
    Drive Belts
    Fuel Filter
    Air Filter
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    Thanks for the list, it's a big help. Any internal hardware that requires changing like perhaps an internal timing belt/chain? Water pump? I'm not looking for stuff to fix, just want to catch likely problems if possible, when it's convenient for me, instead of in the middle of nowhere, after dark, with no phone. I got a good deal on this, under $7000.00 because of the miles, and if i can add a couple hundred $ on likely maintenance items fixed because they are well worn, I'm going to consider it.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    The Edmunds Maintenance Guide may be of interest too.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    yeee haawww!!! thanks for pointing that out, it's what I was looking for. brought my Tribute home from dealership, 130 miles. did a rough mpg analysis, looks like hiway with no AC running is 25mpg. rides very nice.

    can anyone give me an dealer cost for changing plugs? I have lower back problems, oil & tranny fluid changes is about my physical limit, in most cases, unless it's an emergency. then I do it anyway, and pay with pain later........

    Thanks again for the help/info.
    (my other car is a 1996 Honda Shadow 600..)
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    I looked there, and got the list for my Tribute.

    Why do they publish that utter nonsense about a $30 labor charge for plug change?I specifically put in that I had a V6 tribute, 4WD. a reputable local non-dealer repair shop quotes $250-$260 for the plug change. Given his expanation about removing the intake, I don't know if it's reasonable or not. I haven't called Mazda, they can't possibly be cheaper.
    What say ye?
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I did the plugs on my 2004 Escape V6 because I could not bring myself to pay $200
    for plugs and labor. So I printed a step by step instruction sheet (I work for a Ford dealership) and did it myself. It really sounds more complicated then it is. It is time consuming (2hrs for me) but not difficult at all. I saved myself the $140 in labor and that was cool for me. By the way, if you do it yourself, you will have to replace the (6) intake plenum o-rings as well.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    Labor charges are pretty well established by all the rate books out there. If you think there's an error, please use the Contact Us link at the bottom right and someone will check it out.

    (I'm nowhere close to the data people in Santa Monica so I can't walk down the hall and ask myself).

    Enjoy the new ride!
  • nitrous93nitrous93 Posts: 17
    Are you close to Louisville, KY because I will do it for $200.00 (assuming you have a 3.0Liter V6).+ parts. The dealer will charge you $400.00 or better just to change the plugs. and while your at it, you might as well change your PCV valve because its right under the upper intake that the dealer has to take off just to get to your back 3 plugs. Trust me, I have done over a Dozen of them. It also wouldn't be a bad Idea to change your upper intake gaskets as well. They are oval individuals not expensive about $20 for all of them. Hopes this helps. I have a 2002 Ford Escape with 98,000 and I already changed my plugs, also I do routine Transmission fluid chages, Coolant changes, and these vehicles are amazing, but just like any vehicle you have to do preventive maintenance on them and they will run seemingly forever. Later
    Dave :shades:
  • steverstever Posts: 52,462
    It's Motrcyclr that needs plugs Dave (and I'm out in Boise at that).

    Sure you won't do it for $33 though? :shades:
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    This isn't steve, but thanks for the offer, I live in the Akron, OH area. I'm waiting on a call back from a car-repair place owned by an in-law, depending on what that cost is, I'll probly ask my son to help me, he's working in Transportation division of the Ohio National Guard. And he has some auto-tech background from senior year of high school vocational school. At least, he'll be able to bend under the hood, without wrecking his back. He's working Nat. Guard full time, but some saturday...

    And yep, I'll replace the EGR valve, and all fluids (coolant/differential/tranny) when we go at it. I did think it was interesting that someone posted the Mazda manual stating that the serpentine belt was changed by cutting off the old one & popping the new one on like I used to do with changing tires on a bicycle.......
    I'm definitely going to do the sequential flush technique on the tranny fluid, dump out 4, put in 3, etc. I've not had any hint of shifting problems, and want to keep it that way.
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I posted how to replace your water pump drive belt. I though it was interesting as well when I read it on the Ford Factory Shop Manual but that is the way to replace that particular belt. Just cut off old one and place new belt on water pump pulley and start a lead on the cam pulley, then finish mounting the belt completely on the cam pulley by turning it clockwise or counter clockwise depending on which side you started the lead manually. Funny but true!
  • vg33e powervg33e power Posts: 314
    I tried replacing my PCV valve when I replaced my spark plugs and even with the upper plenum off I could not access the PCV valve easily. Needless to say I tried and tried and failed so I just left it alone. I would have needed to remove the fuel rail in order to replace the PCV valve and that I did not want to do. I even tried accessing the PCV the way the Ford Factory Shop Manual says to do so and there is no freaking way to get to it that way either. I still have the PCV so one of these days I may just have to pull the plenum off again and do it. Any tricks you have to do this???
  • laurenlvlaurenlv Posts: 1
    I have a 2002 Ford Escape and I too have the reoccuring issue of the airbag light coming on and staying on. When I take it to the dealership it ALWAYS turns out to be a simple glitch under my front passenger seat. Apparently the airbag light sensor is in close proximity to the shocks which ultimately cause the sensor to think that the airbag on that side has been deployed.
    I have dealt with the same issue 5 times in the past since purchasing the car in 2002. The inspection and correction was always free when my car had a warranty, Now that it's not, the dealership informs me it would cost $100-$200 to fix it!

    Another issue I have is that once and a while, the brake light will be dimly lit but never fully. It comes and goes and I have no clue why...neither did the dealership.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    Steve, i used the "contact us" link, got back a reply that said post in a member forum or some idiocy like that, no direct comment about incorrect prices.

    I'm not impressed with the "contact us" response.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    I appreciate the list. Thanks very much. I went to the Amsoil web page for info about their synthetic products. found a reminder bulletin about complete flush tranny fluid changes, and doing damage to the tranny because the filter is not a screen, but a felt material. Can someone confirm for me exactly what the filter on a 04 Trib 4wd automatic is made from? I'm intending to change fluid in the tranny, I want to do it the most short-term & long term effective & efficient way. This vehicle runs/rides like new, even with 100k miles. I see no reason for it not to continue, if I do my part and maintain it. I'm lookin' to do exactly that.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    What is the bolt pattern/spacing for the Tribute wheel? I have 16" alloy wheels. measured the center to center between two lugs, it's about 3.5" I think. 235/70 R16 tires (contininental contritrac, going to change those soon ) and I'd like to get steel wheels with a more agressive tread for occasional use, don't want to spend a lot of cash. What other wheels will fit ? thanks for the help.
  • I have an 03 Escape but the basic same auto. I'm not a mechanic and I don't know what the transmission filter is made of, but I do know that you cannot replace it ( wasn't designed to be replaced by the brilliant engineers) unless you apparently take the entire transmission apart. So, although changing the trans fluid is good ( I do it every 50K) you are again running new fluid thru a dirty filter. I think Amsoil products are good but I don't know their costs and considering that, it may not be worth the additional price. Thats my opinion....
  • rascal69rascal69 Posts: 3
    The media used in the CD4E transmission and the majority of higher quality transmissions today is a Polyester Felt material that cannot be flushed. Anyone who tells you they can flush debris from this material is not telling you the truth. The media acts as a barrier into which the contaminants embed into the Felt at various depths. The need to remove the debris relates very closely with the increased use of electronics and precision controllers found in today's premium transmissions.
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    rascal, thanks for the info. do you(or anyone else with experience at this, )know what is involved in changing the filter? I've noted several owners had problems with tranny's after a "flush" change, or a "drop the pan, drain & replace with 3-4qts type change, at a "speedy service" type maintenance facility.
  • rascal69rascal69 Posts: 3

    Unfortunately, this is a "split-case" design transmission which requires dis-assembly of the unit in order to work on the internals, including replacement of the filter. One of the reasons these designs are used is to eliminate access through the pan area and prevent damage that may occur during removal or installation of components such as the filter. Ford experienced an increasing rate of warranty resulting from scratches on the bore on the inlet, often caused by screwdrivers being used to remove seals.

    Until the transmission actually has problems in shifting or performance, it is probably best to leave the filter, etc. in place. It sure wouldn't hurt to replace the fluid, but as I said earlier, this won't remove debris from the system since it is embedded in the felt. If replaced, the fluid would probably be at least 80% to 90% clean and the filter is designed to hold a fair amount of contaminant under normal circumstances.

    Hope that helps!
  • motrcyclrmotrcyclr Posts: 12
    rascal, thanks for the info. So with 100k miles, I disconnect the input/output lines at the tranny cooler, run a extra hose from the input line to a 5gal can with tranny fluid in it, and the output from the tranny to a disposal container. Have a helper turn on the engine, and run until the fluid coming out is clean, I'll have removed everything harmful, won't have dislogded anything detrimental from the filter, and be ready to go for another 25K miles? feel free to point out anything I've overlooked. thanks.
  • timo888timo888 Posts: 2
    Yesterday, with ~65K on the odometer, the transmission on my 2005 Ford Escape blew up. The dealer says there's lots of broken pieces of metal in the pan and they're recommending a complete replacement.

    Very little to complain about with the Ford Escape. I bought it new and liked it very much from day one. I was just thinking recently how nicely it was riding.

    I had all services performed by the dealer, changed the oil every 3000 miles, and drove the car in a civilized manner. I liked the car so much I planned on keeping it and bought the premium extended warranty (72 months/60K miles).

    Unless the dealer gives me some sort of break because it blew up so close to the end of the extended warranty period, it's going to cost $3600 for parts and labor.

    I've been reading on the internet about this same thing happening to other Escape owners at approximately the same (fairly low) mileage. Is there a central place where such reports are being gathered? Or is this forum "it"?
  • maussiesmaussies Posts: 1
    I have a 04 V6 escape that stalls when the engine is hot. Engine stalls when foot is OFF gas pedal. Continues to run when gas pedal pressed. Starts right up. Can drive the vehicle fine with two feet if I maintain 1000+ RPM's. Once get to higher speed then problem goes away. Air flow Valve? Looking for answers Dealer not willing to help without $$$
  • asus29asus29 Posts: 5
    I don't think its the Idle control valve is the problem, you are having one or two things happening

    1. If it stalls when its hot you are getting vapor lock it may be due to the new gasoline called E-10 Ethanol, the alcohol in the fuel can cause more vapor lock when heat is present then non-alcohol blend of gasoline,

    to solve the problem you need to insulate the fuel rail and fuel lines, fuel filter if under the hood from the heat. and switch to a higer octane fuel. and add octane booster.

    2. What may be happening is Ethanol fuel has lower lower fuel vapor rating, the time the fuel is injected in the fuel port then the valve opens to allow the fuel in, the fuel vapor has degraded€ to a lower rating, when the spark plugs fire the vapor is to low to burn and keep car running so the computer adds more fuel to keep car running, doing this it causes car to stall. and black exhaust will be noticed by the tail pipe, or the tail pipe will have black residue inside the pipe.
    this is unburn gasoline.

    so salve this problem you need to have the computer retuned, or a ethanol conversion kit.

    take care

    And Ethanol companies are pushing for a 5% increace to 15% Ethanol. some stations has 20% Ethanol or higher in there fuel so becareful where you gas at.
  • :cry: I have a 2007 Ford Escape I absolutely LOVE my escape. however over the past couple of days it has acted like there is no power in first gear. It will finally shift hard into second gear once you rev it up... when you first take off in it there will be no power and you will barely go anywhere but once it gets out of that gear it will be perfectly fine in other gears.It also shifts really hard when you put it in/out of reverse. Has anyone had this problem? I really don't want to get rid of my escape but i have a 10 month old and i really don't need to have an unpredictable vehicle.
  • mickmoss,

    I hate to tell you this but my '01 Escape with a 3.0 was having the same exact issues, no power, bad idle wouldn't go uphill hardly at all. I changed cylinders 5 and 6 injectors (as the computer said) changed O2 sensors changed IAC changed plugs and wires. Which It may have needed all of that, but, it turned out to be the catalytic converters. Notice the plural on converters. Ford was really using their head with this one. There are 2 pre-catalytic converters and 1 standard catalytic converter. I replaced the standard one and the muffler while I was at it. Problem still existed, so I disconnected the exhaust from the manifold for testing and it the car ran fine.

    So now I try to get to the other two pre-cats. Guess what! you have to buy the entire assembly which includes parts from the exhaust manifold. The cheapest I could find it was $500 (the Ford garage wanted $1,000) So I'm going to sell the thing and let someone else worry about it. I've already dumped $1,000 in the thing and it's only worth about $2,500 anyways.

  • i had the same problem it was two fold the wires under the passenger side seat got pinched in the track and shorted out the number 5 fuse in the inside fuse panel. i seperated the 4 wires taped them with electrical tape and replaced the number 5 fuse, it worked perfect.
  • sylviahsylviah Posts: 7
    I have a 2005 Ford Escape - it got broken into last week! I got it fixed and now had a alarm installed on it. Now the Parking Lights don't work - the shop that installed the Alarm said they can not find the problem - all the fuses are good. Blinkers work - just no Parking Lights. Any idea's - just spend a lot of money and I really don't have to much left :-( The breakin was the Passenger door window was broken and the door dinged. Nothing else - you guys helped me out before so I hope you can do it again!!! Thank's a lot - Sylvia :cry:
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Did the parking lights work before the alarm was installed?

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • sylviahsylviah Posts: 7
    Well that's the thing - I thought that they did but it has been sometime that I had driven at night so I am not sure. The Alarm place tells me that they did not work when they did the equipment check. What do you think that it could be?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    If the fuses check out then the next things I'd look for are (a) burnt out bulbs, (b) problems with the switch or (c) wiring issues.

    It's not likely that both bulbs would be burnt out at the same time but it's still worth checking. My money would be on the switch as the root problem. Wiring issues would be the hardest to trace.

    tidester, host
    SUVs and Smart Shopper
  • I just purchased a beautiful (skin deep?) 2003 Tribute ES. A is usually the case after a purchase I have found the tranny noise to be high but the worst thing is the intolerable 13MPG city and 15 MPG combined. It's got 60k mi and my mechanic says everything looks good as far as fluids, filters, etc. The mech mentioned perhaps a bad ECT sensor or other HO2 dowstream sensors. Would that affect mileage that much?
    '03 Tribute almost for sale!
  • Walstone,
    First of all make sure you are running synthetic blend 5W-20, ford motorcraft is what I always used, but any brand of same viscosity will be fine. I have an 02 escape and changed oil in mine to a 10W-30 and got very bad gas mileage. Changed back to 5W-20 and is fine now.Read your owners manual on this, it says it in there, I promise. Also I dont care what any mechanic tells you, change the Plugs now, dont wait to 100,000 miles. and while your there your PCV Valve as well. Hopes this helps. :shades:
  • Thanks for the suggestions. The oil does sound wierd but if it will increase the mileage so be it. Same with the plugs. Any recommendation on brand?
  • Stick with Motorcraft, that is what it originally came with. Using the recommended oil weight will improve MPG, stick to 5W20 Synthetic Blend or Full Synthetic. Heavier weight will bog down your MPG.
  • Same with the plugs, use Motorcraft, Dont buy those quad fire, splitfire, they are garbage,(My Opinion Only). If you want the best MPG's out of your ride, always try to use OEM stuff. Have a good One :shades:
  • wctobywctoby Posts: 1
    Howdy, seems like my escape is in second all the time when first pull out.
    slow to start with then seems ok. its like to shift into high gear going up hill slow.
    have to give alot of gas to get it to down shift.Now it will go in to first if i shift it myself but still slow take off at first then it will pick up speed, it has 113,000 mile. 2.3 cyl auto.
    maybe needs tranny filter? or overhaul?
    any help or ideas?
  • We have a 2001 Ford Escape. It has a very rough idle, especially when the engine is cold. The vehicle acts like it's going to stall when it's idling at a stoplight. We've replaced all the spark plugs, all the intake gaskets, the PVC valve, the IAC, the fuel pump, the fuel filter, the air filter, and had the fuel system cleaned. So far, we've spent over $1000 on this problem, and it's still not fixed. It isn't showing any codes right now, but it has shown codes in the past for an engine misfire, as well as a code for a faulty PVC valve. After replacing the plugs and the PVC valve, the codes are gone, but the vehicle still runs as rough as ever. If ANYONE has ANY suggestions, we'd appreciate it! I really hate this vehicle, and unfortunately, I have to drive at night with three children in the car.
    I also have problems with the air bag sensor coming on, and the back hatch not opening (it stays locked once it's locked).
  • Three things come to mind...

    1. Bad coil/s (although I would imagine this would through a misfire code)

    2. Did you ever overheat the engine? if so, you may have a blown head gasket.

    3. Bad PCM or it needs to be reprogrammed.
  • My issue was finally solved when my dealer did the following (on the invoice): "overlay LG/W wire at PCM PIN 26 CKT 1024 connector C175". The error code they kept getting was P0351 Misfire on No 1 Cyl. It took 13 visits to get this fixed (but they fixed it for free - finally). My car would shutter like it was going to die at a stop light and then the check engine light would come on. This usually happened when it was a very hot day and the air conditioning was running.

    Also I have the same issue with the airbag light. For my car, if something (kid's toy, water bottle, etc) is pushed under the driver seat the light comes on - it must be a short or something. Hope this helps - good luck!
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