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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    "I think all car dealers are crooks, Mazda, GM or whatever."


    I totally agree but not all of them, majority of them.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    I hoped You gave lowest possible evaluation mark to that finance guy...:-)
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I also wrote a letter to the owner of the dealer, but never heard anything back. Not surprised since I am sure the finance guy was told to do this to make more money for the dealer. I watched an undercover special on Dateline, and it turns out they try to pull this stunt (we need you to refinance at a higher rate) more often than you realize (especially to women). It is a total scam. Buyers beware! My wife works with a bunch of lawyers and they were drooling to sue the dealer, but I did not want to go through the hassle for a few thousand dollars and all the stress...
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    That is why I do all of my negotiating over the Internet and also get loan rates from my credit union and other banks. When you do this, it puts you in the drivers seat when it comes time to finance, and most dealers will either match or beat the bank. In the case of my Tribute, they matched my bank and gave me the $1000 Mazda finance rebate :)


    I have to wonder that had I not done my homework (knew current lending rates and my credit score, and about the $1000 Mazda finance rebate), if I would have gotten such a sweet deal. But to be honest the Browns Alexandria Mazda finance person I worked with was very pleasant, and this was the easiest purchasing experience I have ever had :)
  • suvshopper4suvshopper4 Posts: 1,110
    "When they want your sale they will even make a donkey your father" ???


    "As for their service, I would'nt personally take my dog in there."
  • I can only find 3 or the 6 spark plugs on my 2001 ford escape. Any ideas?
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    The 'other' spark plugs are on the back-side of the engine and very hard to get to without the right tools. You are correct that the front three

    (3) plugs are within easy reach, in-view, and

    a breeze to get to if necessary. I've changed the plugs once with a friend who's a mechanic. I'd rate the difficulty on a 1-10 scale, a 7-8. I don't believe that I could've done it without his help. Luckily the plugs don't have to be changed that often. Ford says that the plugs are

    good for 100K. I changed mine at 50K anyway. Cheap investment for a better running engine. The lower or backside intake cover must be removed and new intake gaskets (about $6.00 total) put in too. Took about 1.5 hours total time. So at a regular shop a basic spark-plug change could cost a couple of hundred dollars, mainly on labor.
  • Looks like I spoke too soon about the oil leak being fixed. Just to recap - 05 Tribute FWD - V6, brought in last week whereby dealer replaced the oil pump. Noticed it still leaking motor oil the next day. Obviously these mechanics are playing the hit-and-miss game. Off to another dealer tomorrow. We'll see if the guys at Gyro Mazda in Toronto are more competent than the mechanics at Erin Mills Mazda.


    Good help (and dealers) are hard to find. Any one in the Toronto area have any service experience with Gyro Mazda on Laird?
  • You should try Westowne Mazda in Etobicoke (Kipling subway area). I used to take my 2001 Mazda Tribute there all the time even though I bought it elsewhere. I was happy with their staff and service. Easy to get to. See how it works for you.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    This has been discussed on this and many other Escape/Tribute boards but I want to ensure that everyone in this forum is aware. If you own an Escape/Tribute it is imperative that the service center uses Mercon ATF transmission fluid vs. Mercon V. After some research, I have found that many owners of Escapes/Tributes (usually between 2001-2002) have had serious transmission problems (sometimes replacement) because the wrong fluid was used. A Ford transmission engineer was very clear when they said that these transmissions should only use Mercon ATF. I have also read that many techs are recommending that the transmission fluid be replaced (whether that be by flushing, or simply draining) every 50K miles.


    I checked my Tribute manual and it clearly states to use Mercon ATF fluid for the transmission. Hope this information is helpful!
  • j30j30 Posts: 30
    My 05 owners manual says replace every 150k for schedule one or every 30k for schedule two. That sure is a major difference, 50k sounds like a good interval to me...
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Ummm. I think they meant every 50K for schedule one. I think flushing or draining every 30K is correct for my area as well (I cannot imagine performing this any earlier). Just make sure they replace with Mercon ATF..


    Thanks for pointing that out!
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Having 30K interval is like playing with fire. For some reason Ford has been giving these unrealistic intervals in manuals. But my experience with Ford cars says differently.

    I have 4 years of Ford experience from my X 00 Taurus which has more reliable transmission (with MerconV) than Escape.

    During my ownership, I realized that after 16-18K usage, transmission oil was starting to smell gasoline (contamination) and getting darker quickly. So that, I was following 20K/2 years interval. I never had any issue with it.


    My advise to you guys, check your oil often and smell it and check its color. Don't wait 30K or 50K or whatever interval you want to follow. If necessary replace it.


    It is very easy to replace transmission oil on Escape/Trib line. If you are inclined to replace your engine oil, you can replace our tranny oil as well.
  • lsu79lsu79 Posts: 2
    I bought a 2005 Tribute S last month, and just realized the tailgate does not have a mechanical lock that can be opened with a key. Ordinarily this wouldn't bother me, but the keyless entry broke on my last Ford tailgate, so now I'm concerned, if this one goes out, how does one open the liftgate?
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    Unlock the driver door with a key and unlock all the other doors with the unlock switch on the door.


    Or just spend the $50 and get another remote.
  • lsu79lsu79 Posts: 2
    The liftgate does not have an unlock switch like the older models and doors have. And on my old Ford the problem wasn't the remote, it worked fine on the doors, it was the electro-magnetic switch in the liftgate itself. If it goes out on the 2005, I can't see anyway to open it to even repair it.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    I see. In that case, you would have to climb into the cargo area from the inside and remove the plastic panel from in there to fix it. I'm not able to look at it right now, but IIRC the plastic panel does not get wedged in the drip channels when the door is closed so it should just pop right off when you remove the screws from the inside.


    If that fails a dealer or a really good mechanic will probably have to jimmy the hatch open somehow.
  • Good morning from Mulege in Baja California, 200 miles north of the nearest Ford dealer in La Paz. I have a 2001 Escape XLT 4x4 auto transmission. 40,000 miles, out of warranty, transmission serviced by Ford at 30,000. At 60 mph on Highway 1 the transmission failed without a sound or feeling. Coasted to stop, no foward gears engage, reverse okay, no lights on dashboard, transmission oil level normal, full of camping gear, no trailer. Could there be a reasonable explanation, or do I perhaps need to tow it to the Ford dealer in La Paz for a rebuild? Probably too complex for local mechanic. Thanks you so much for any advice, I'll check this forum regularly from the internet cafe here. Sincerely, Don Weiler
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I agree about the sparkplugs.. Getting ready to change mine! Did you find instructions someplace? Do you still have the gasket part#?
  • prakspraks Posts: 4
    Hi Guys,


    I have an 01 LX Trib. and from time to time the

    red light from the dash board for coolant comes up,

    and I checked the coolant tank it is still in the

    full level. Anybody knows why?? Please let me know...




  • bri66bri66 Posts: 220
    Sounds like your in quite a fix. Where it's out of warranty you may be better off having a reputable transmission dealer take a look at your Escape. I have just recently had my transmission completely rebuilt by Ford @ 78,000 miles. In the past year they have worked on my transmission several times. The invoice's I have signed for Ford's payment to the dealer have totaled over several thousand dollars now. Thank God I have the 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The shudder that goes away with the 30,000 mile flush only is delaying bigger problems down the road for some. Your problem sounds quite severe. Sounds like you either need a Ford dealer or a good transmission specialty shop. Good luck.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Don't want add anything counter-productive to the

    transmissionn discussion, however, I just changed to Mobil 1 Synthetic transmission fluid at 60K.

    This fluid is compatible with any transmission and fluid combination. Previously I'd been running Mercon V as previously posted because the diptsick was marked as such (manual said Mercon ATF). Multiple mechanics that I talked to were divided on their opionions as well. Some said always go with the dipstick, some said the manual. Currently I've got nearly 64K on my tranny, which is a modified-enhanced CD4E that Ford used from a 90's Mazda 626 platform for the Escapes/Tributes. Effectively, my transmission has never skipped a beat despite what I was running in it. Not to say that it won't, I'll just have to wait and see. But from this point on, until I get rid of the vehicle, I will be flushing with the Mobil 1 at $50/case every 20-25K miles. Cheap mechanical insurance if it stays working past 100K miles.


    Ford will not blink an eye if my tranny fails d/t their other multiple problems and recalls with other vehicles. I've talked with dealer service advisors and Ford Customer Care. Both effectively were distancing Ford from any responsibility eventhough if a 'dipstick' at the factory put in the wrongly labeled disptick then Ford should 'fess' up to it. But they never would I don't think.


    I still enjoy my Escape very much and want to keep it for several more years if possible even with potential repairs/replacement starting. It's paid for and cheaper tham new car payments. '01 XLT V6 2WD.
  • Man I am so glad I found this - I took my Tribute in for the 60K service and they said I needed sparkplugs - it was going to be $300 but I just had the services which was $487 - I can't see why everything cost so much - and I was a little skeptic when they said I need spark plugs - If Ford says I don't need it until 100,00 I'm not getting it until then.
  • You have to replace the coolant overflow tank. This happened to me about six months ago. The level detector in the tank is failing, giving an intermittant low level alarm.


    If you are mechanically inclined, order the tank from the dealer and install it yourself. Cost about $53. Took me 20-30 minutes. A couple of nuts hold the tank to the fender. There are two hose clamps and an electrical connection.


    I undid the tank from the fender first then positioned it to catch the coolant, so it did not spill everywhere. You will see the coolant out of the tank is pretty nasty with alot of crud. I strained it thru cheese cloth before recycling it back in the tank or you can put some fresh stuff in.


    The replacement tank included a new pressure cap too. Cannot just get a float. You don't want to get into ensuring a proper pressure seal if you were able to replace just the float.


    Hope this helps.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Actually, I changed my spark plugs at about 55K

    miles for peace-of-mind. The vehicle specs. state

    that plugs are not needed before 100K. I've always been used to changing my plugs every 30-35K

    previously. So I just extrapolated a little further out to 55K and did it. My Escape wasn't running bad or anything yet, but again for my peace-of-mind, or maybe I'm little too retentive, but it doesn't necessarily have to be done, especially at that price.
  • Thanks bri66 for response. Best advise so far is to have a rebuilt bused down here for local installation, if I can find a qualified mechanic, or that looonnnnggg tow to La Paz Ford Dealer.



  • Hello. I am from Leavenworth, Kansas, and I experienced almost the same symptoms on my 2001 Ford Escape XLT 2WD. Last night I was enroute to see friends and my vehicle lost acceleration while driving uphill. I noticed the needle on the rpm gauge fluctuate between 4 and 6 rpms. I heard the engine rev up when I pressed on the accelerator pedal, but I received no response from my vehicle. I safely pulled to the shoulder of the road, turned off and restarted my vehicle with no problem. However, my front wheel tires did not respond when I shifted to drive, neutral, gears 1 or 2. My vehicle can move in reverse; however, I am not sure if that includes the front wheels. I had Triple A tow my vehicle to the same Ford dealership; the same one that serviced my vehicle this past December. Right now my vehicle is getting looked at. The service tech thinks a snapring came loose on my front axle. I don't know much about vehicles so I have been surfing the net looking for similar cases. In addition, the tech had to ask permission to take out the transmission so he can confirm the problem. He said that it was necessary. I have extended warranty so hopefully it will cover whatever the problem is. Lessons learned: Triple A towed my vehicle for free to the dealership; thank goodness I renewed my membership; I plan to trade my piece of junk for a Honda or Chevy; I have heard bad things about the friend traded her 2002 Escape after it stalled while she was driving on the highway. Thanks, Z. Danseco
  • Before you buy a Honda you may want to check out their problem boards (CRV's are catching on fire and pulling to the right, and Equinox has problems with its hoses and the vehicle basically smells like it is rotting). Bottom line is that there is no perfect car out there and at least you got the free tow and have the extended warranty.
  • I have the same problem. I found this by searching the web. "Coolant leak: The low coolant light may come on in vehicles with the 3.0-liter engine because the float sinks in the coolant recovery tank and a revised assembly is available. (2001)"


    Also Mazda TSB 0101703 DEC 03 "Instruments - False Low Coolant Level Warning Lamp" appears to address this but I have not found a copy yet.
  • Masidan-and Dweiler:The old "Expert" here with one last post to all the Tribute folks. You can read back of some of my many troubles with my '02 Tribute LX/4wd, that I took excellent care of. I've accumulated some interesting info along my journey through MAZDA USA- Irvine, Ca. their reps and my local south Altanta dealer. My transmission just quit at 45 mph-Dec.9th '04. motor revved- car wouldn't go forward or reverse-quit. Towed in to dealer. Had just turned 62k miles, but we had it in for trans problems, since 30k miles, at just over a year old. Was in 3-4 times- they couldn't/wouldn't fix trans. Another ASE tech said torque converter was going out, which is exactly what happened- took whole trans with it. They won't fix it - they replace with new one. Wanted $3500- sorry fella- just barely out of warranty- your dime! My dad brought me up to do what's right, and it took me nearly 2 months- but I got the dealer do what was right.First, I was told MAZDA was out of customer assistance money-but they might come up with a portion of it, I pay the rest. I said NO- that's not right! This car is defective- the owner and service managers all admitted they knew of lots of Tribute problems, and I want it fixed under waranty. About 2 more "deals" were offered to me. Finally I found another dealer who agreed to put in a new transmission for $3000, and told them I'd just have it towed off, fixed, and let the lawyers have at it. I got a call in 2 days- a miracle happened- MAZDA USA found some cash and I got a new trans-at no charge! I picked it up this afternoon and immediately traded it, getting $4000 more than the dealer offered me to trade it in at his store. Bottom line- here's my take- perhaps this SUV isn't correctly designed to work with a lightweight Taurus motor and transmission- my entire front end had to be replaced at 1 year, brakes, rotors and tires all went at 2 years- trans at 2 1/2 years. I too had the problem of having it cut off, or not starting up sometimes. They took it in and "flashed" my PCM-what ever that is. After they did that, my gas mileage dropped from 19-24mpg to 13-17mpg. If they do this to your car, note the gas mileage difference. I won't go into the $400 I had to pay to replace 1 door lock. Kids- it ain't built right- never will be right, and MAZDA knows it- They are replacing it in 2007 with an all [non-permissible content removed] built SUV-something FORD won't have a hand in. Oh, as I got my car from the dealer today- the 34th recall came in!! Gas cable sticking wide open-causes extreme power surges! Y'all please be careful in these SUV's. They look cool, work ok awhile, then look out! ZOOM-ZOINK!
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