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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    I just read the posted messages above about the
    '01-'03 V6 Escape-Tribute recall. I called my
    dealership of purchase and they essentially told me to bring it in (w/appointment) and they'll re-scan the TCM/PCM. I've got an '01 Escape XLT 2WD
    V6 which I've had for almost three (3) years. Other than my gripe about the front brake/rotor
    change at 29K (~$480.00), and an IAC problem,
    the car has been very reliable with ~50K miles.
    I am very satisfied so far with the dependability. The interior and exterior trim is holding together nicely and the car seems almost
    as tight as the day I bought it with few exceptions.
    I just changed my spark plugs (Ford OEM Platinum,
    100K plugs) with the help of a mechanic friend.
    Not that they necessarily needed it, but I've just been used to changed plugs every 30K miles
    before. After inspecting the plugs they were
    wearing well, other than what my friend called,
    'leakage' around the ceramic tower. This would
    indicate that some blowby was getting past the
    plugs. I'll probably change them again in another 50K miles. The original plugs were obviously degraded to a point where it may've cost me in mileage, drivability, etc. ~75% of my
    driven miles are city, but I sure like taking the Escape on Texas farm roads to let the engine breathe a little.
    I will probably be changing my front brakes again
    soon and upgrading to a rotor that can be turned
    and a ceramic pad which will not shed as much dust as the Ford OEM pads. Believe or not the rotors and pads (Raybestos) are cheaper, price-wise, than OEM. Should be able to re-do the front brakes for ~$200.00 for parts, a far cry from the $300.00+ the dealership charged for the OEM parts this last time.
    Good luck to everyone with their PCM upgrades.
    Hope it solves the problem(s) once and for all.
  • I am having problems with the brakes on this vehicle. With only 5,000 miles on it, the dealership had to change out the master cylinder, it was leaking. Then at 15,000 miles I had to have the front right rotor replaced and the brake pads because they were causing vibration upon braking and they kept trying to tell me it was the tires!!! Now, at 30,000 miles I had to have the brake pads and both rotors replaced again, they could not even grind the rotors down to give some more wear time, there was no metal left to grind! I went to Ford dealership and all they said was that this is a known problem with the Escapes and that I would have to live with it - I don't think so! Now, my emergency brake makes a funny grinding sound when I apply it in a parked position. Has anyone else experienced this similar type of problem?
  • bjd2bjd2 Posts: 1
    Hi All,
     My step-daughter just bought a brand new 04 Escape XLS V-6, 4x4 last week. She has 725 miles on it and it is in the dealer for a complete transmission change-out!
     She was driving home yesterday and the Overdrive light began to flash and the engine RPM started fluctuacting significantly up into the 4,500-5,000 RPM range...
      The dealer has ordered a new tranny for it to be installed tomorrow. I am concerned for her, but I also just bought a new 04 Escape XLT, V-6,4x4 before Christmas w/ only 1500 miles on it. Is mine next to have problems? Any other similar 04 Escape V-6, 4x4 tranny problems ??
      This vehicle was clearly not "Quality...Job One".
  • jrc346jrc346 Posts: 337
    750 miles tells me it is a defect from the factory.
  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    It's been a long time since i've been on Edmunds. Even a new way to log on. I just made my appointment today for my Escape. I'm sorry, but I just can't resist. A year ago this was a way over blown problem by only a few. I don't think so anymore.
  • ron_69ron_69 Posts: 2
    Hi, like all Tribute owners, I also have a list of problems occuring on my 2001 Tribute.

    1- Tires get extremely low traction in wet conditions, and are worn out within 50,000kms or about 30,000 miles. Replaced the oems with toyos. (strongly recommanded)

    2- Engine lights comes off almost once every month. I had a couple of incidents where the dealer plugged in the computer to check, but no faults was found. One time where this sensor was blown. One time for low coolant.

    3- Sometimes the battery lights come off for the first 1-2 minutes after starting up. But I have noticed that it mostly occurs during cold weather, so I guess that may be the contributing factor.

    3- There are noise when I turn all the way and with considerable speed. For example: when making U turns.

    4- Brakes lock up easily during panic braking on the hwy which causes the vechicle to loose control at that moment. For people planning to make a purchase, I advise you to get ABS. I thought it was standard when I bought it, how naive.

    5- High fuel consumption. 1 tank full of gas = 330 kms.

    6- Knocking sounds are noticable after riding on the speed bumps. When I mean by this is that after the vechicle goes over the bump and down, you may notice a sort of knocking sound. It sounds like the shocks are on a loose mount or some sort. But that could be mainly because of the age of my vechicle. I have been driving this thing almost the day it came out.

    7- The brake pads and rotors do wear out fast on this car. They cost around $600 CDN to replace both front pads and front rotors from the dealer.

    8- The handbrake cable on the Tribute can get loose easily, especially if you have rear drum brakes like I do. I actually have to goto the dealer 4 times to fix the handbrake alone. I also found that not too many mechanics have the proper knowledge to repair them. There was this repair that made it worst, causing me to go back.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    1. 30,000 miles out of OEM tires isn't great, but it's not unusual. I got ~36,000 on the ones on my minivan (now riding on Toyos too <g>).

    3. I always heard it was best not to cut the wheel all the way over for any longer than necessary.
    " Turning the steering wheel to the full right or left will increase system pressure and belt squeal." (Integrated Publishing)

    4, 5 & 7. If you are making panic stops that often, you must be a spirited driver, which would explain the lousy mileage and short pad life on your brakes. Lighten up and enjoy the ride!

    Steve, Host
  • My 01 tribute needed new tires at 42,000 kilometers....they were done! I have 56,000 kilos on my 03 Tribute & they are not even 1/2 done yet. They still had about 9/32 of tread life left in em!
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    The OEM tires that came on my Mazda Protege, a set of Bridgestone Potenza RE92s, were bald by 20,000 miles and hydroplaning like crazy. I replaced them with a set of Dunlop SP Sport A2s with a 60,000-mile rating that lasted only 25,000 miles, despite rotations and balancing every 5,000 miles and an alignment check that returned in-spec measurements.

    Finally wound up with a set of BFGoodrich Touring T/A VR4s that look like they're going to go upwards of 40,000 miles.

    My friends, these days, 30K miles on a set of tires ain't bad -- in fact it's probably about average.

  • norrmanndonorrmanndo Posts: 81
    I have a 2002 Tribute with about $25K miles. the tires don't show any wear to speak of and I haven't had any problems with anything. It's been a great vehicle. I've only been on one serious off-roading drive and had to place in 1st gear and lock 4 wheel drive on, but the road was very steep. Traction and braking have always been excellent, but I do have ABS. ron_69, If you don't have ABS, standard procedure is to pump your brakes. I still find myself pumping my brakes even though I have had ABS on my last two vehicles. But I used to drive in a lot of snow, so you get used to pumping your brakes and it's hard to "brake" the habit.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    1. Yes, some Tribute/Escape owners have reported rapid tire wear, but that is often due to the quality of the tire itself. Your quality replacement set is the best bet for longer tire wear. Just remember "traction" and "treadwear" are two different grades. Decide which is most important when purchasing a set.
    2. Low coolant sensors were common problems on the first E/T models. If you are still getting check engine lights, then it needs to be diagnosed. ANY time the CE lights, there is a code stored. There are different methods of retrieval and some techs are not well trained enough to retrieve the intermittent codes. Or too lazy. If they can't read the codes, take it some where else!
    3. It is common to confuse the coolant lamp and battery lamps, this is a typical complaint, and partly Ford's fault because they made the two lamp cutouts too similar in shape. Are you sure you're not seeing the coolant light? If it is the battery light, then your belt tension needs to be checked. You may have a slipping alternator drive belt. Often the case when the light only comes on after startup in cold/wet weather.
    3 (b?). I'll give the old Dr Bob Newhart psychiatric advice: "Don't do that!!!" Steve is right, you shouldn't hold any steering all the way at the stops. Ford steering pumps tend to be a bit noisier that other makes, but it's usually normal.
    4. Don't do that!
    5. Since I don't know how big your tank is, I can't confirm that you mileage is low. But if you are certain it is, then it could be related to your check engine light. There were a lot of PCM programming issues and a few other things like intake leaks on the first E/Ts, you could be having a problem like that, assuming you've eliminated all the obvious stuff like driving style or bad gas.
    6. Don't know. You could indeed have a loose suspension bolt, bad bushing, loose exhaust parts, etc. If the noise gets worse, have it inspected.
    7. DON'T give Ford any more of your hard-earned money for their crappy rotors! They use a lightweight, expensive alloy in their rotors that, when everything is lined up perfectly, works great. But if you have a lug nut mistorqued, a hub miscut but 1/1000 inch, a tire slightly off balance, etc., what you have are a ridiculously costly set of rotors that chew up like tinfoil. Do yourself a favor and buy a good quality set of aftermarket rotors, like Bendix, next time, and save over half your cost while getting better parts.
    8. Some late model Fords have the parking brake adjustment actually mounted in the handbrake assembly. I don't know if that's the case with the E/T, but if so, then the handbrake istelf has to be replaced because no amount of adjustments at the wheel will fix it.
  • 4bib4bib Posts: 17
    got engine, battery, and oil lights on this afternoon - not driveable. it has only 14k. All this in addition to recall letter I got a week ago from Mazda. Now this 'excellent' zoom-zoom going to the dealership (not for the first time of course) :(
    I'm definetly not buying mazda again.
  • njdevilsrnnjdevilsrn Posts: 185
    To start, I am neurotic about vehicles not making noises.

    My wife's 2004 XLT is making some noises that I don't know if I should just live with them or have them looked at.

    1) When parked on even the mildest incline with the rear end facing downhill, the emergency brake will creak and groan whenever you put something in the vehicle (including an occupant)

    2) Steering makes a ratcheting type sound when turning at slow speeds (i.e. around a corner in the city, pulling into a parking space)

    3) Front shocks pronouncedly "whoosh" when going over speed bumps.

    Maybe it's just me, but I thought $25000 vehicles that were 4 months old should run quiet.
  • odie6lodie6l Hershey, PaPosts: 1,172
    the ratcheting sound is actually your lug nuts..they need to be torqued a little tighter because they are loose (or come loose over time of not properly torqued). I had this problem and found out. the service manager didn't even have to write up a ticket, and also told me it's best to have you nuts torqued to 110 lb-ft rather than the normal 100 lb-ft.

    Hope this helps

  • aspareteamaspareteam Posts: 1
    It just so happens that my Tribute's check engine light went on last week. It was having trouble accelerating and felt like it would stall. So I took the vehicle in today, first available day, and was told that if the problem was related to the recall that was issue a couple weeks ago, I would still have to pay because my Tribute was out of warranty. I have over 80k miles on it. Does anyone know what my rights are in this matter? I'm in Illinois. I always thought that when there is a recall, the manufacturer had to pay for it because it was a defect in their design. That's how it's been with my other cars but the dealership told me it was a Mazda policy.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Recalls and Warranty are not related. If there is a recall, they have perform it regardless of your mileage. You can call Mazda and ask, if they say the same thing contact NHTS and your local authorities.
  • norrmanndonorrmanndo Posts: 81
    Your sleasy dealer probably just wants to get paid twice. My dealer told me that Mazda requires them to fix a recall even if it was only dropped off for an oil change. In other words it is madatory. Recalls are tracked by VIN and every vehicle is expected to be fixed.
  • kozikowskikozikowski Posts: 19
    I think that my problem has finally been resolved after multiple trips to the dealer and a transmission flush. I had a BG transmission flush at a local shop in early April, but the hard upshift and shudder did not get any better. Around the same time I had a recurring problem with the check engine coming on and had this looked at during my 60K service at the dealer. The problem was attributed to a fouled plug and after paying about $200 (in addition to the $450 that I spent for the 60K service) for a set of platinum plugs and the labor to remove the intake and exhaust manifold the car ran much better. I spoke to the service writer about the continuing transmission problem and asked if reprogramming the PCM would have any impact and was told no.

    I began to doubt whether this repair was legitimate when the check engine light came on just two days later. I returned to the dealer and they found a problem with the EGR, IAC, or MAF (I forget which one) and they fixed this for free, even though the car is 4K miles and six months out of warranty. Since they had the car for more than a day I questioned if they were just covering for something that they missed last time, but I felt that they were trying to make things right and it didn&#146;t cost me any more. I also got a free rental of a GMC Canyon, so it gave me a chance to test drive a potential car for my daughter.

    A few weeks later I received a recall notice from Mazda stating that the PCM needed to be reprogrammed to fix a problem that other Tribute/Escape owners were having with their vehicles stalling during deceleration. While I had not experienced this problem, I took advantage of this since reading several message boards I found references to transmission problems like mine being resolved by flashing the PCM. I also had the check engine light come on for a third time which was attributed to a pinched (crimped?) plug wire which was fixed at no charge. Well, after a week the car runs great, with much smoother shifting and no recurrence of the shudder that I felt when the car was in overdrive. I also had a small increase (8%) in gas mileage and look forward to seeing if this improves during a trip to Philadelphia this weekend. I have been getting around 17mpg with local commuting and 23mpg on the highway.

    As mentioned previously, if you receive a recall notice from Mazda, the PCM flash is FREE!!!. I don't know, however, if the recall affects every 2001 Tribute, so you may need to check the NHTSA website to verify which VINs are included.

    Overall, we still like this car and just hope that the PCM flash has cured the issues that we have been having. With luck the upgrade corrected a bunch of ills that were causing problems.
  • normkolnormkol Posts: 135
    I was just told by my Mazda dealer that my 02 Tribute with 27k miles needs a new steering rack, the present one is leaking.

    I'm kind of dissapointed at having to replace the rack at such a low mileage. They had the rack in stock, but are waiting for a new seat track to come in so they can do both jobs at the same time.

    BTW, they did the PCM reflash, even though I wasn't having any problems. Can't say I really feel a difference.
  • yellowperilyellowperil Posts: 22

    Do you guys think that this list reflects real world? I am surprised that the Escape is fifth worst because it's regarded as one of the best small SUVs. We want to buy an Escape, but such (bad) news scares me.
  • steverstever Posts: 52,683
    Nope, I think it's just an ad for a law firm.

    The complaint index is based on a ratio of the number of complaints for each vehicle to the sales of that vehicle.

    The problem with this is that any one can make multiple complaints with the NHTSA, whether you own the car or not. The web site doesn't make it clear whether the dupes have been weeded out and VINs etc. aren't required to be entered when you file a NHTSA complaint.

    So I think you have to take the complaint index with the usual grain of salt. Ditto advertising.

    Steve, Host
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Hmmm...Kimmel and Silverman?

    Jimmy and Sarah???
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    That's the lemon law firm that zueslewis was working for, last we heard from him.

    [Aside: Where'd he go, and why?]

    One of the law firm locations in the linked ad is in my neighborhood, but the sign outside the building has been changed. Appears they're not located there any more.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    I recently replaced the rotors abd front brake pads on my '01 Escape XLT 2WD V6 with 51K miles
    with aftermarket. I went with the ProStop brand sold at Pep Boys for boh components. The total
    cost for parts was ~$110.00 and I had a mechanic
    friend do the work with me. The pads are ceramic- enhanced and the rotors are turntable, unlike the Motorcraft brands. Guess what ? After one (1) week no brake dust on the front wheels and stopping power seems as good as before. If I had
    gone to the dealer as before, then I'd have paid $300.00 for the parts alone. Definitely worth it to go with aftermarket, though Raybestos and EBC
    make pads and rotors at a higher price, I opted to go with the store brand. I paid my mechanic buddy $100.00 for his time, so I still came out
    $260.00 ahead of the last front brake job from the dealer. Rear brake shoes have ~50% wear left on them at this point.

    Since I changed my spark plugs @50K miles, I've been getting worse gas mileage than before. ~16-17
    mpg current in town to 18-19 before. Spark plug
    type is correct Motorcraft part, can't figure out why. Truck runs fine after PCM upgrade at dealer,
    but plugs were changed after PCM flash. Mechanic
    friend seems to think it may be oxygenated fuel for the area/summer months. I pour a bottle of
    BG 44K in the gas tank every 5K miles to keep carbon build-up to minimum. Any ideas ?
  • norrmanndonorrmanndo Posts: 81
    Did you check the spark plug gap? Maybe the gap is too wide or too narrow.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    When the plugs were changed my mechanic friend gapped the plugs, but I never told him what the
    plug gap was until after installation. It is
    .054 for the 100K plugs. He couldn't remember
    what he set the plugs at, but he thought it was .054. Well, you may be right, I'm going to
    pull a front-plug tonight and check the gap.
    The three front plugs are easy to get to once the
    decorative valve-cover is removed. The three
    rear plugs are a pain because you have to remove
    the upper/lower intake manifold and replace the
    gaskets. The process took about 1-hour because so much plumbing had to be disconnected and
    reconnected again.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Just a 'head's-up' concerning a part which may
    wear out and start causing underpinning noises,
    i.e, clanking at low speed, coming to stops, and going over bumps. Originally thought it may be springs or shocks. However, it turns out to be
    a part simply called a 'link-assembly'. It connects to the front strut and front sway bar
    parallel to the strut. The units are 'ambi' and and cost $20.15 each from a Ford dealer. Worn bushings and clanking sound are the result.
    Since there are no grease-fittings, I tried injecting some grease, which worked for about 1-week, but the noise is back. As I understand, it is not a safety issue but just a
    noise annoyance. However, the dealer warned that
    when changing the links, my alignment may be affected slightly. Shouldn't be a big deal changing them out though.
  • drurex99drurex99 Posts: 10
    I love my Trib and have absolutely no real problems with it up to now. I have replaced the original tires at about 50,000 miles and now like a lot of you are faced with a front brake job .I will have a brake shop do them as I really don't have the space,tools,time or knowledge to do a good job. I also have a weird stiffness in the accelerator that may be the throttle body needs either cleaning or replacing. Can anyone tell me if this is something that a weekend warrior can attempt? I have gotten a long (4 items) laundry list of things that my Mazda Manager wants to do on the truck. It would really make my day if I could take some things off it like the throttle body and the cabin filter replacement.
    Since I haven't had many problems I really haven't had my hands inside the engine compartment. Any comments on the difficulty of these repairs? Thanks!
  • mtnbiker2mtnbiker2 Posts: 6
    2001 LX. When the car is cold/cool and I make a left hand turn under power I get a weird whirring/grinding sound from the passenger side front. If I stop and idle, the whirring sound varies as I rev the engine. Very strange. Almost sounds like something rubbing. Any ideas?
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Go to a competent shop to do the brake job and ask them if they can provide you with non-Ford
    parts. The Ford brake pads cause excessive dust
    and the rotors are non-turnable. Ask for Raybestos brand and if you can afford it, the ceramic enhanced pads, they're worth the money.
    You may wnat to have the shop (if they do other mechanical work) if they can do your 50K service, it may be cheaper than at the dealer. But ask them specifically how much each service costs. Usually you get a better price in bundle package of services. Cleaning the throttle body and changing the cabin filter aren't difficult, but can be frustrating especially if your engine drowns out in intake-cleaner fluid of you can't get the cowl off to replace the filter element.
    May be best to pay the labor since they're doing some other maintenance items anyhow.
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