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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Sorry, my links are not compatible with Edmunds usage policy. I have tried to help by posting links before but every time my posts were removed.


    However, if you focus on Taurus and Escape forums over the internet, you can find it.

    Basically there were two types of dipstick issues; one is shorter dipstick (on taurus)which makes you believe your engine has less oil than what it should have...

    The second one is dipstick shows wrong oil type (Taurus and early Escapes).Some G3 and G4 Tauruses came with Mercon dipstick that was suppose to be Mercon V. And some escapes came with a dipstick marked with Mercon V instead of Mercon.

    Escape tranmissions are modified mazda 626 transmissions (I believe CDNE4 or some thing like that) and they are absolutely not compatible with Mercon V. This can be verified by any Ford dealer.
  • tidestertidester Posts: 10,059
    Thanks, Snowman. I thought there might be something "official" published either by Ford or an automotive magazine.


    tidester, host
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Here is a different link which doesn't interferre with Edmunds policy...
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    why many service places go with what dipstick says?

    They gotta go witht the service manual which says Mercon.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117


    You're starting to scare me now... Does this mean that Ford may owe me a transmission if it's verifiable that the wrong dipstick was used ? I'm

    calling Ford Customer Service immediately to check....


    Called Ford. They monitored the conversation and according to them it's the first time that they've heard of this particular issue. They can

    find no official documentation on this issue.

    I was advised by the customer care rep. to continue doing what I've been doing on the transmission. However, it doesn't make it right yet. I'd like a little more surety that this is not a real problem.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Customer reps are telemarketers that just happen to work for (fill in company name here). They read from official manuals on their desks and probably couldn't change the oil in a lawnmower. The three Ds of customer service are "Defer, Deflect, and Deny."


    According to Ford transmission mechanics on another website that-dare-not-speak-its-name, Mercon III (or just plain "Mercon") is the correct fluid for all Escape/Tribute transmissions. Manual right, dipstick wrong. Maybe that's why the word "dipstick" earned such a bad rap?
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Maybe I've been the dipstick for trusting that Ford could use the right dipstick. However, the CCR at Ford said they could find no verifiable

    substantiation for the purported claim. You may be right, about the DDD's, don't know yet.


    Currently I'm running Mobil 1 synthetic ATF which I just put in several weeks ago, ~10.5 quarts were exchanged. This brew is supposedly compatible with any transmission /fluid. I have to admit that the trannie has not been acting out of the ordinary after 3.5 yrs. and 63K miles, but only time will tell. I've been judicious about the flushes and maintenance.


    To be frank, if it was a screw-up at the factory, then :

    1.) I'm owed a decent, cogent explanation from


    2.) I may be owed a new trannie, if this can be


    3.) If substantiation occurs and Ford does not

        comply, then a lawsuit will be forthcoming,

        probably with a settlement.


    My premise is simple, if Ford messed-up then Ford

    should pay period. However, I still like my Escape. I'll keep y'all posted... this may take awhile.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    You need to prove that Ford made the mistake first.

    Even tought they screwed up, you won't be able to prove it. They even may claim that you changed the dipstick...


    Beyond that, nothing has been damaged yet or at least you don't know...


    You might wanna get it replaced with Mercon asap thought...
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    This topic has moved to its new home in Ford Escape/Tribute Owners. If you are currently subcribed to the discussion, the move should not have affected it.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
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  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    I placed a call to the purchasing dealership this morning before I had to go into meetings. The Service Advisor has been very helpful so far, but

    we're playing phone-tag at the moment. He does have some answer for me, either yea or nay, I'm not sure. I'll let y'all know what and when I find out something or whether it will be pat-answer.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    They are NOT going to give you a new transmission, especially of there's no damage to the current one. I wouldn't even try and pursue that.
  • go323go323 Posts: 5
    As a newbie this forum is difficult to follow. u suggest using the search feature to narrow search. OK, I can do that (Yuk!) Not only do i think separate rooms for the 04 and 05 years for the twins is a good idea ( i certainly hope there is a difference in the 04 and 05 Escape years as the 04 had some problems)...but, I also wish the twins could be surgically separated as I really don't want to read through all those Trib problems to get to the 05 Escape problems! please, use your scapel!
  • kibbles- Stay alert in a Tribute! In about 1 year, my whole front sterring sector was replaced, tires were eaten up, brake pads and rotors had to be replaced. Now at 2 years,and just over mileage warranty, transmission is gone and dealer says Mazda has run out of customer assistance money- can't fix. Want over $3000- Mazda USA won't return my phone calls and I can't speak to regional rep.Won't answer emails either. My car shut off at 40mph- lucky no one hurt. Mazda is dropping the Ford/Mazda SUV in 2007- bringing in a complete Japan built SUV- guess they've had enough. Check out the 33 recalls, and hopefully you'll be lucky enough to deal with a dealership that recognizes Mazda has a problem, and will do the right thing for you. Looks like my problem goes legal now-whoopee- the lawyers win! Mazda ought to be ashamed.
  • Hello,


    I have an 03 Tribute DX (5 speeds), 36k miles, and overall I'm satisfied with it.


    The only problem I have with it, since I bought it, is a knocking sound coming from the front right side of the car. It's as if I try to start the car in the 3rd speed.


    Funny is that this noise can be heard every morning, but only when I start driving the car. It lasts for 1-2 seconds, after that is gone for the whole day.

    I keep my car in the garage. First thing is to put the car in reverse and drive it backwards out of the garage to the front of the house. Then I start moving forward and this is when the noise can be heard.


    Went three times to the dealer. First time they changed something at the stabilizer. Then they could not find anything wrong. They said they can't reproduce the problem. But my wife, me and some friends all noticed this problem, so I'm sure there must be something.


    Anybody has a similar problem?


    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Talked to purchasing dealer Friday at length about the dipstick/trans. fluid issue. Their last word is that is if there is no problem now

    or has been no problem with my maintenance schedule, fluid used, etc., then don't worry about it.

    Wijoco: You are right, without litigation involved

    Ford would do nothing. Plus all manufacturers are getting real sticky about records and paper back-up and I don;t have all the paperwork to back me up, so I'm really SOL. I'll just keep tooling along and keep the vehicle for as long as necessary or needed. I still like the way it drives/handles/true-roominess for four (4), but the gas-mileage is not that great. Currently, I've got 63K+, and it seems to be running/shifting fine for now.


    Just had the rear-brakes cleaned and adjusted with a brake-fluid flush. According to mechanic rear-brakes have about 1/2 wear left on them. Front ceramic-enhance brakes perform well and do not dust-up the wheeels like the OEM pads did. After two (2) OEM pad-changes I decided to go after-market and try the cermic-enhanced pads. It's been worth it and the pads were actually cheaper than OEM's. The aftermarket rotors are turnable too unlike the OEM rotors. I would like to add a Gibson or Magna-Flow exhaust system, but do not know if I'll have the vehicle long enough to justify the cost. I may trade for a pick-up by this time next year. I do between 18-19K miles per year, so I'm raking-up miles pretty fast. Like I say, I don't anticipate anything happening to the Escape mechanically, but you can never tell. All machines are prone to wear and breakage.


    The exterior is in great shape, if I do say so myself, with a couple of wax-jobs a year with

    frequent washes. Luckily it's warm enough with few exceptions to wash vehicles year-round here.
  • I had a similar problem on my 02 Ford Escape. Drove me crazy. They changed the stabilizer bar too but it didn't fix it and eventually it got worse. Turns out the engine mounts were bad! They changed those and then the tie rods went.... I'll spare you the details. I got rid of the car but do have them check the engine mounts... It may be what's making your clunk noise.
  • Kibble,


    I have a 2004 Escape with 29K miles. The car stalls when it is put in Reverse, and sometimes in Park.


    I have been to the dealer 4 times already. I have had the PCM module reprogrammed twice already, the accelerator plug (recall) changed, and one other fix. I just picked the car up yesterday and I've stalled 4 times since then.


    A friendly FORD mechanic told me that this is something that is happening often. Not sure what to do. I am over the 2yr/18k lemon law option, FORD customer relations has suggested that I work with the dealer. I am at my wits end here.


    I have owned 2 Toyotas with no major problems (190K and 130K) and upgraded to an SUV because of my growing family and the lure of new car reliability. BOY was I fooled...
  • 2005 Tribute - Auto, FWD, Purchased Fall 04

    1st problem noticed around 10K Km

    1st Problem - ABS Indicator - intermittent on/off. Also intermittent brake pedal vibration.

    2nd problem noticed shortly after 1st:

    2nd Problem - Oil Leak - steady droplet flow.


    Brought vehicle in for service before Christmas, whereby they stated that a speed sensor needed to be replaced for 1st problem and new oil pump for 2nd problem. A month later, still waiting to get problem fixed.

    Vehicle is in the shop as I type, so can update later as to whether the problems were fixed.


    As a side note, not impressed with the level (or lack there of) of service from the Erin Mills Mazda dealer. Vehicle was brought in yesterday for all day service, yet nothing was done since 2 out of 5 mechanics did not show.


    Update and impressions to follow.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Mazda provides rental car for Trib, why don't you take your car to a dealer that has better service department?

    It sound complete nonsense that these repairs take 2 months. First repair at most 1 hour, second repair I guess around 3 hours. Parts can be ordered over night as well.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    but lately I see new members with existing Escape/Tribute vehicles that are running problems.


    I find interesting that, as an owner why they couldn't get their membership before to post their existing car problems to seek solutions? As, 2-3 years old escape /trib with 20-30K mile, according to owner,problems have been there since purchase, and when I look at the profile, membership is created either today or yesterday.


    Another interesting part that some of them never shows up again after posting couple messages.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    That is precisely why you don't use web forums to judge the quality of anything.
  • 05 Tribute Problemos Update:


    Just to clarify, it took as long as it did to fix the problem due to a back-order on the speed sensor. Erin Mills Mazda did not provide a loaner for the day that my vehicle sat there for nothing. They did provide a rental that evening for the following day while the service was being done.

    Now with the service completed, everything seems fine. No more ABS indicator light or oil leak.


    As for the veteran posters asking "why they (new members) couldn't get their membership before to post their existing car problems to seek solutions?" - simple, you're supposed to first go to the dealer to resolve problems. If the problem is not resolved, then you turn to forums to see if i. anyone else is having the same problem, and ii. if and how it was resolved.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I could understand your frustrations with it taking so long for the parts to come in. I had a similar problem with a local Nissan Dealer (not responsive) and now I go to a different local Nissan dealer that has won awards for their customer service. I noticed that my Mazda dealer has won numerous awards, and has been very courteous and resposive (although I have not had major issues). If you go to Mazda's website, there should be a list of local dealers and what awards they have one. If it is still convenient for you I would recommend trying another dealer. Also Mazda is supposed to provide a loaner for any warranty work that is being done, whether it is for 8 hours, or 8 days :)
  • Yes, I will definitely try another dealer for service next time.

    As for the loaner, they said they only had 1 and that there was a waiting list for it, with not even a rough estimate as to when it would be available. Not wanting to continue driving with a brake problem and driveway staining oil leak, I just wanted the problem fixed and had made arrangements to work from home. So I was stranded at home with no vehicle only to find out that nothing had been done all day when I went back to the dealer via shuttle van. It was only at this point that they coughed up a rental.

    Based on a conversation with an insider at the dealer (title withheld to protect individual), many customers are unsatisfied with the service. The problem is unlikely to change any time soon however, since these vehicles sell themselves, especially the 3's. It would be nice to equate high sales volumes to high levels of service, but this is not the case here at Erin Mills Mazda in Mississauga Ontario.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Just so I understand, are you stating that you put 50K miles on your vehicle in 2 years? Or did you buy it used?


    There were not 33 recalls for Ford/Mazda Escape/Tribute. I think you were referring to technical service bulletins (TSB's) which are not the same as a recall. And to put this in perspective, Mazda Tribute has 33 and Honda CRV has 32.. Fact is, every car that has been around for several years is going to have TSB's, and the majority of these TSB's only impact a minority of owners. My Tribute has never had any issues due to to a TSB, but I have only had it for about 4K miles now :)


    I understand your frustration with your Tribute, but if you bought this vehicle used, is it possible that the original owner abused the vehicle or did not keep up with the maintenance? The reality is that the Escape/Tribute is the best selling vehicle in it's class and there are going to be problems for a minority of owners. Go read the CRV boards, they have just as many issues (engine fires, cars pulling to the right and cannot be fixed, etc).


      I respect people's right to complain and the fact that they want to share their experiences with other owners. At the end of the day if you have had frustrating experiences with a vehicle to dealer, it is important to let others know. At the same time, people who read these boards need to put this in perspective. To say that every single Escape or Tribute is a piece of junk because of a handful of users who have had bad experiences is not fair either. The fact is there are hundreds of thousands of happy Escape/Tribute drivers who have never had a problem (two of my co-workers bought their Escapes in 2001 and 2002 respectively and have had no major issues to date). These users typically do not post to forums though, because they have no reason to..


    Anyway, just my .02 cents..
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    My post didn’t mean that you were a phony forum member. Since you have a new car and new forum membership...

    I meant some others…

    For the loaner dilemma, don’t forget that you paid for loaner car, this option is listed on your windows sticker. If they don’t have any availability, they gotta go to Enterprise and get you a loaner, period.
  • Re Loaner - Next time I won't be so accommodating, and believe me, I've got a short fuse when it comes to lousy service - not next time. You gotta make noise (not unlike their products) in order to get heard, get a loaner, and get things fixed!!!
  • I had a 2001 Mazda Tribute V6 LX which was on a 4 year lease. I sublet it to my brother 6 months ago, and I leased another 2005 Tribute from Dufferin Mazda in Toronto, Canada.

    Today my brother returned the car back to Dufferin Mazda; even though I had taken so much care of the vehicle they still charged him $350 for a cracked fog lamp. So the security deposit of $425 is now only $75.

    I think all car dealers are crooks, Mazda, GM or whatever. When they want your sale they will even make a donkey your father; as soon as the cheque is cashed it's a whole new ball game.

    All I can say is that you pay your money and take your chances; and hopefully find 1 honest dealer amongst the thousands out there.

    I have also visited Erin Mills Mazda in Mississauga, Ont to purchase vehicles. Kept me waiting for 1 hour just to see a salesperson. As for their service, I would'nt personally take my dog in there.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Good for you, if a dealer gives you bad service, then I say boycott that dealer. When we purchased my wife's Nissan Sentra several years ago (which is now a 05 Tribute, and we are loving it!) we had a really bad dealer experience. The dealer tried to pull a fast one after two weeks of owning the car and told her that Nissan Credit could not finance her car at the low rate we got at signing. So, I called Nissan Credit directly and they told us there were no problems and we made a payment right then and there! We called the dealer back and told him we talked to Nissan Credit and had already made a payment. The finance jerk actually cursed at us and then slammed the phone down! Needless to say we took our car somewhere else to be serviced, and I bought my 02 Nissan Altima at the dealer that gave us excellent service..


      I am a pretty easy going guy, but I am no sucker, and I certainly am not going to let a car dealer take advantage of me.


      You must have liked your 01 Tribute to purchase another 05 Tribute? I really like my Tribute, and was very satisfied with my dealer experience. They gave me a great price, great trade in (Kelly Blue Book after quite a bit of negotiation), and also did not pressure me when I told them that I did not want any additional warranties, undercoating, etc..
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