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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Have 60,000 miles on my 2001 3.0 XLT and have had a slight problem with starting and performance as of late. Decided it was time to change spark plugs. Has anyone attempted this 2 hour project? Not an easy task by no means. I wasn't even aware there were no spark plug wires on this SUV until today. Discovered a small oil leak aroung the last spark plug removed. Gaskets not available at local Ford dealer. I gonna inquire if gaskets will be covered under Ford ESP powertrain warranty. Does anyone know if it is covered under warranty?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    "Have 60,000 miles on my 2001 3.0 XLT and have had a slight problem with starting and performance as of late. Decided it was time to change spark plugs. Has anyone attempted this 2 hour project? Not an easy task by no means. I wasn't even aware there were no spark plug wires on this SUV until today."

    What type of starting/performance problems? I doubt plugs are your problem. Can you be more specific.

    " Discovered a small oil leak aroung the last spark plug removed. Gaskets not available at local Ford dealer. I gonna inquire if gaskets will be covered under Ford ESP powertrain warranty. Does anyone know if it is covered under warranty?"

    Should be covered, but what gasket? Valve cover? Head?
  • I feel for you about getting flim-flammed at the dealership. Having worked for mazda dealers as a cerified tech of 17 years, I can vouch for you that some dealers will try to sell items or services that are not needed from time to time, but this is not common practice at any of the dealers at which I have worked. It starts with the flat rate tech that wants to make the quick buck, but lacks the skills to make money on more complex jobs. I have seen it done and dont agree with it, but it happens. Service managers either just don't know it is happening or they look the other way because some of them are in it for the quick buck, or just dont know how to run a shop correctly/successfully. Most technicians however, do NOT perform their duty this way at the dealerships. Always ask to see the faulty part(s) on the vehicle while it is on the lift if you are able. Most people obviously dont have time to be there when their car is being worked on so they usually ask for the parts to be saved, which is a good idea. My point is simply this: Everybody is in it for the money,including myself, and money can make people do the wrong thing just to get it. I can proudly say that I have never sold anyone anything that wasnt needed on their car, and I am always willing to speak to customers to explain what I did and how things work. Finding a good tech to take care of your car exclusively is the ideal situation. I have many customers that almost bypass the service writers completely when they bring their cars in, and only talk to me when they call etc., Also, find out the credentials of the tech working on your car. Request that your car be worked on by a certified mazda tech. Not all the people working in the shop are certified by mazda, but they do have to have at least one or two working there.
    As for Mazda buying you a new set of tires, you have a better chance of seeing my Red Sox win the world series. I have only seen mazda buy tires ONCE in my career. As for something leaking from the rear brakes, whatever may have been leaking, should have been covered under warranty. I will just take a guess that your mazda dealer is a conglomerate of car lines. Any mazda exclusive dealer should know much better about selling things that are covered under warranty. Perhaps the dealer just hasnt had the mazda car line long enough to know better. I find that some of the people in my store forget that mazda has at least 3yr 50k on all the cars we see. They are used to that domestic warranty of 3yr-36k on that great GM line we also sell. (just kidding about the great part). Try another dealer if possible- depending how far the next one is. Continue making a stink to Mazda and the district rep and let them know you still arent satisfied. Let them know that you probably wont buy another mazda again because of your experience.(they dont like to hear that).
  • What was I thinking for not reviewing the Edmunds Town Hall in the past. I now realize that I'm not alone. For over a year and half I have been trying to find out what is causing the brake pedal of my Tribute (2001) to make a hissing sound upon releasing the brake. Every time I brought my car to the dealer the sound would stop. I looked like a fool. Do you think the service rep could have taking a minute to call Mazda Tech Services to see if this problem had been reported? No. I was told to bring it back when it made the noise. After several attempts of trying to get a service rep to treat me like a sane person and with my warranty expiring today,I made another attempt. Again I was told to come back when the noise was apparent. I almost drove away, but then I chose to speak with the service manager. He planed to call Mazda Tech services and get back to me, but just then the technician walked in and he said the booster rod needs replacement. Then I come to Edmunds Town Hall today and sure enough I see several message about this. Intermittent problems are the worst. Maybe Mazda will learn to train their reps to be a little more conscientious. A phone call to Mazda Tech Services might have save me almost two years of aggravation. Now I've learned how to how deal with these matters, Read Edmunds. Thanks.
  • My son bought an '03 Escape back in April, and has complained about hearing a bubbling or gurgling noise high up in the dash after every rainfall since. The dealer's service people can't find a cause for it. Called Ford and they suggested resealing the "cowl area". Their body shop spent like 10 hours disassembling the hood, fenders, bumper, and resealing everything in sight. All he got for their trouble is an Escape that Still gurgles, and some pretty bad scratches on the hood. Dealer claims Ford won't research it any farther until they get at least 25 complaint reports on the same problem. Gave him an 800 number to call to lodge a complaint . I'll have to get that number and post it on here for others with the same problem. If someone finds a cure for this, please post it.
  • I purchased a new '02 Escape in August '02. I have about 16,000 trouble free miles. Then the oil drops appeared on the garage floor. The Ford dealership put dye in the crankcase and looked at it about 3 weeks later. The leak was from the rear valve cover gasket. I thought it was an easy fix until the service manager said to get the cover off, the motor, transmission and drive train needs to be taken out.There is not enough clearance to change the gasket. This is quite a drastic remedy for an easy repair. My concern now is that the engine and drive train are put together correctly. I have a feeling this is going to be a long and extended relationship with the Ford dealership. The service writer could not explain why the leak occurred nor is there a technical service bulletin covering the flaw. Oh well......
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    Has anyone out there noticed a horrible smell coming from their AC vents? My 2003 Trib ES puts out a dirty diaper stink for the first 10-20 minutes on hot days. Now that the weather has cooled off, I don't really notice it anymore (yes, the AC is still run some days).
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Usually that's the result of an A/C evaporator drain plugged by years of mold+mildew buildup. But on such a new vehicle, that's unlikely. Most likely a drain assembly was incorrectly assembled somewhere and water has pooled up and mildewed. Hard to speculate without opening things up, so take it back to the dealer if it's under warranty. Just hope it's not a dead mouse in your air ducting.
  • The service manager told my son that he should call Ford directly to lodge a "formal complaint" abput the gurgling waterfall noise that they haven't found a cure for yet. Supposedly after they receive 25 calls about a specific situation, they will investigate it further. You will need to have your VIN# for verification purposes. The number is 1-800-241-FORD. Let's see if we can get some action started.
  • I am writing to see if anyone else is having these problems. I had taken my tribute in for service for a vibration, engine turning cutting off/ noise from the driver door/ radio not working/ speakers and subwoofer not working/ vehicle pulling to the left and then to right. SMELL OF ROTTEN MILK from the air conditioner/ Rattle noise that the service department can not find. Not to mention my tribute only has 6000 on it. I have spent months trying to figure out, how did I go wrong with this vehicle. I have done early maintaince on my tribute. I have talked with mazda care about these items I followed all recommend suggestions, The dealership did repair TSB recalls for this vehicle. Please let me hear from you
  • Unless there is some type of completely different setup on the escape vs. the tribute, there is no need to remove anything but the intake manifold and minor items to replace the valve cover gasket. I'm gonna guess that it was something other than the valve cover gasket but the service writer did not explain it correctly or he/she was misinformed altogether. Personally, I have removed and replaced the rear gasket in about 20 minutes myself. Not bragging, but just giving real world info.
  • I contacted the service manager this morning. He confirmed that it was only the valve cover gasket that needed replacement. He also defended his position that the motor had to be removed.The motor is now in, but the car doesn't run well. They suspect a wire on the wiring harness is pinched, they have to find out which one.
    Thanks for the response, I am considering contacting Ford and lodging a complaint.
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
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  • I would go down to the dealer and have him show you the workshop manual. it explains in detail how to perform such an operation. would definitely bring my vehicle elsewhere next time. of course this is assuming that the engine setup is the same as a tribute, and i am 99% sure it is.
  • I have a Mazda Tribute LXV6, 2002, 24000. At around 12000 miles the battery went. There was an internal short which caused battery not to recharge. Got a new battery under warrantee. Two weeks ago, my emergency break light would not go off. (23000 miles). Took it in, they removed front brakes and resurfaced front rotors. Warrantee did not cover and was charged $318. (they give me a deal because I raised a stink). This morning, went out and my windeshield wipers were dead. Was snowing out so really needed. Half an hour later they worked, so ended up not going to dealer. Has anyone had problems with windshield wipers?? Really thinking of trading for a Saturn.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Were the wipers frozen to the windshield?
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
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  • I can see you are frustrated with the trib, but let me go over a few things first before you make any drastic moves. The battery having an internal short is far from normal for any car and is just bad luck. The brake light coming on was due to the low fluid level in resorvoir caused by worn brakes. Anyone attempting to machine/resurface rotors on a tribute should pay close attention to rotor thickness since I have not seen one set that could be machined due to being too thin. these rotors wear at the same rate as the front pads and they both are replaced as sets. Thirdly, the wiper not coming on may have been due to an ice condition and the wiper motor will not activate after sensing stuck linkage. internal fuse/circuit breaker may have tripped and then reset itself. this is a better scenario than breaking wiper linkage or burning out the motor.
  • I don't think they were. I did clean the glass of the snow (about one inch) before hand, and they were completely dead. Not even a trying to get started noise or nothing. I've had frozen wipers before, but I've always got the humming noise when trying to go.
  • RotaryKid, thank you for your reply-- you do make the most sense-- however I never had rotors go at 23000 miles. From reading these messages, it seems that the Tribute does have a break/rotary problem and Ford should address that problem. It is frustrating when on a busy schedule to be stuck in some parking lot, especially when 20 degrees out. Your explanation of the wipers does make sense. They have been OK since yesterday.
  • I believe you about never having rotors go at 23000, I have never sold a brake job in 16 years where the car had less than 60k and needed rotor replacement. but this is the NEW ford. try explaining to a customer that they need new pads and rotors, the pads are $95 and the rotors are $135 each. ford is the worst thing that ever happened to mazda. I can almost understand having disposable rotors, but that would only make sense if the pads were made of some type of material that allowed them to last at least 60k. anyone who doesnt think paying for rotors on their trib @ less than 25k is sensible should argue with the service dept until they warranty the rotors at least. I have seen it done. good luck.......
  • I drove a 2000 FORD Windstar also experienced the noise like you blow bubbles with a straw in the water.
  • rotarykid, sounds like you are a good mechanic. Unfortunately, I gave up the fight and decided to switch already. Now I am looking for something more reliable. Three times stuck is enough. Any ideas? I figured if Ford and Mazda wanted me as a customer they would have covered the rotors since they know they are a problem. They loose.
  • Rotarykid, as one of the victims of the rotors problem, I appreciate your honesty - more than I can say about my dealer, who (obviously knowing about the problem) quoted me about $250 for a brake job, only to tell me about the rotors (in a way that suggests that it was totally unexpected) and the additional $250 expense while my Tribute sat on the lift with the tires off.
  • mckee4mckee4 Posts: 47
    The beauty of this forum is that everyone has
    access to information that is useful and helpful
    for Escape/Tribute owners. I posted on the other
    the site about 1 yr. ago concerning the issue I
    had with brakes/rotors on my '01 Escape XLT.
    Mine lasted to 29K miles. Ford dealership replaced both for ~$460.00 total. Service advisor did not know that the rotors were unturnable either. I believed him. Bottom line
    is you may get dinged once, but start researching
    aftermarket pads /rotors (Raybestos, Bendix) so
    it doesn't happen again. I plan on keeping my
    Escape (currently 43K miles) for at least 100K+
    miles or for another 2 -3 yrs. I'll probably
    need another brake job this next year anyway. I'll just change out to ceramic pads and hopefully
    turnable afternmarket rotors. There are a lot of
    manufacturers that are apparently going to this
    set-up, probably d/t cost-cutting and standardization. I don't agree with it, but I
    do have a good, reputable, non-dealer mechanic
    that I can take the Escape for service and advice
    on best procedure, etc. Recommend that everyone
    do the same, if they can once out of warranty
    and servicable items. Don't want to take work
    away from Rotarykid though, he's a good one for
    Mazda. Otherwise my Escaoe has been a commendable
    vehicle, once I got past the IAC problem. As
    said before it's better than most vehicles I've
    owned before, including imports for service and
    most aspects of reliability.
  • My 2002 Tribute lx AWD with 10000 km mileage stalled on busy 4 lane bridge going downhill about 70 km My dealer replaced air intake valve and flushed the pcm claiming this will fix this problem permanently.It scared me a little bit being on a busy highway and no power.So I wonder should I get rid of this vehicle or believe Mazda dealer? I like the Tribute, runs well otherwise is there Anybody with the same problem which was fixed ? Please advise
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    Just remember a very important skill to recover from the stall (while moving), just drop into neutral and recrank the engine, pop right back into drive and keep going. You don't have to pull over or nothing.

    I wouldn't have even believed there was a stall problem (I've never had it happen to me) until I was riding in my friends Tribute and he stalled on one of the back roads behind our development. He said it only did it on this one particular hill, and he noticed the RPM gauge was running very low before it happens, now he double foots on the hill and hasn't stalled since.

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  • i recently purchased 2004 tribute lx... after i drive the car, i hear the clicking noise that goes on for few minutes after the engine has been turned off... is that normal or should i be concerned?
  • Anybody else have or hear of this problem? I have an '03 ES V6 (top of the line one, the ES, right? I always forget) anyway... I've noticed that when getting off the highway as the speed drops to about 55 my headlights dim. Sometimes also around 30-35mph too. Always when slowing down. ((It's much like when you are putting up a power window and you keep holding the button when it's up, it drains power for a second or two)) then they brighten up again - the dash lights go too.
    Asked the dealership about this when they changed my oil. They checked my altenator and battery (both fine) and they did a s/ware upgrade of some sort as well but the truck still does it. It doesn't do it all the time, but it probably shouldn't at all, correct?
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