Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    34th recall...?

    I am not sure you know what you are talking about...
  • He is talking about TSB's (technical service bulletins) not recalls, and these typically only affect a small percentage of owners.


    Just to put the 2001 Escape's 34th TSB into perspective, the 2002 Honda CRV has had 33 TSB' s...


    Hey, at least the dealer/Ford fixed your problem well after the warranty was over.. I had a Volkswagen that was about 1000 miles over warranty and they would not even meet me halfway for an expensive repair.


    Good luck on your next vehicle.. Just remember there are no guarantees in life, or in cars :)
  • Thanks Z, please let me know what it was. I've turned mine over to a private mechanic here, and we're holding off shipping a rebuilt transmission down til we hear more advice on this fine forum.



  • Guys,


    I have two 01 tribs that were bought in 01 and 02. The first one was one of the first vehicles delivered to the dealership and the second was left over inventory with 6 months no payments and 0% interest. Both these vehicles have been VERY good to me.


    Problems I've had:

    1. Transmission - small oscillation when shifting at 45 mph - ECM update and tranny flush fixed this.

    Same issue started on the second trib at about 35K miles, tranny flush fixed it.


    2. Leaky brake fluid cap, dealer replaced on both tribs


    3. Coolant fluid sensor bad on both tribs, warranty replacement of entire tank. I had to take a video of this for them to see that it was actually happening.


    4. Airbag light on - bad connector under drivers seat - warranty covered


    5. Engine light - bad EGR sensor - warranty covered at 67k miles, yes that far our of warranty!


    6. Brake light on on both tribs, kids spilled soda on the break lever in both vehicles, my problem! I sold the kids to a sweat house!


    Pros -


    Gas mileage with 5 people and gear to Iowa 19-22 mpg. When I travel in Colorado by myself I get between 25-27 mpg with the V6 4WD.


    I pulled a 6X6X12 motorcycle trailer from Iowa to Colorado. The trib came with a tow package and this was a large trailer. Head wind in Nebraska and I could only hit 75 mph when drafting a semi. The tranny spit out a bunch of fluid because the dealership over filled it! Once it was down to the 'full' mark and I stopped for dinner it was at the correct level and I had no more problems.


    I have 80K on both tribs and I'm please as can be with their performance.


    I had one stolen last sept and I was about to go buy a third one.
  • i have a 05 mariner, and I can't find info on this anywhere. I bought one and had them add the towing package. They put the hitch on, and the wiring harness wasn't there. They ordered one and said it was the wrong one because all that I needed was the one that plugs into the plug behind the bumper because that plug back there has power to it. Now they are saying that they are going to put the other one on, the one that has to wire up to the fuse box and other places because thats the only part that ford or mercury lists for it. My question is, if that plug has power to it, why go to these lengths to put this module thing on it, that is going to take them 3hrs to put it on, why don't they just tap into that plug and wire it up that way?
  • jjpeterjjpeter Posts: 230
    We love our 05 Hyundai Tucson. Just have about 600 miles on it, but on that forum, very few complaints from owners who have had theirs since the fall.


    Gas milage isn't the greatest but for a V6, its about average.


    They are an excellent value, zippy and handle great, look sharp and are loaded with safety features.


    Worth a look for those who are shopping this segment.


    And no - I don't work for them - just a satisfied customer!
  • Thanks for the advice. I talked to the service tech yesterday and he informed me that I had to do some 'research' as far as digging up my old receipts. He said I needed to find the receipt where I had my transmission serviced at 30,000 miles. That really frustrated me--you would think that Ford dealerships would pull that info from their computer database. My vehicle has been in the shop since Tuesday; I'd to make the phone calls to their shop to get an answer. The tech says I have to fax my receipt in order for the shop to get a new transmission--they have to replace the entire transmission. What the heck is a extended warranty for? I am fed up with the run around by Ford and will definitely trade my lemon for a Honda.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Dealerships only keep data beneficial to them.;)


    They are probably just following procedure, because even with an extended warranty the scheduled maintenance is required. At least they're not trying to deny your claim. If it were mine, I would hang on to it after the new transmission is installed. Once you get the stalling problems, torque converter problems, and ball joint problems resolved they're pretty reliable cars (no I'm not being sarcastic). If you trade for another used car you may be buying somebody else's problems all over.


    By the way, what part failed in the transmission?
  • We received a notice earlier this week that our 2004 Tribute is involved in a recall. It has to do with the acceleration cable. I left the notice at work so I don't have the exact wording here with me. I have to schedule an appointment to have it checked out. They said that it would take about 1/2 of a day. That means that I will have to get a loaner again and deal with the inconvenience. Still waiting on the Lemon Law Lawyers to get back to me. Initially, Mazda came back with an offer of $1,500.00 to settle. What a joke.

    I want out, the only problem is that for the past few weeks I have been looking into other SUV's and it seems like they are ALL having problems. Not so sure which way to go now.


  • I took my 03 Tribute to the local Mazda dealer yesterday and they did the accelerator cable in about 30 minutes.
  • Sorry for the delay in responding. I don't have much time on my computer at home to get on the site and respond. Thanks for the warning. What do you mean run out of money? Interesing that they are dropping the Tribute. All the things I read make me really think. Where would I find a list of the recalls associated with the Tribute. I am not so good at surfing the web and don't have much time to either. We are broken up about getting rid of this SUV, we do like everything about it except the problems. What can we do? I can't be left with a huge repair bill. That was the reason for purchasing a NEW car. I would rather start off fresh with something new again. Good luck with your situation. Kibbles
  • That's not bad at all. Maybe I'll just wait while they fix it if it is not going to be a 1/2 day. Thanks.
  • Sorry for the delay in my response. I don't have much free time. I see now when re-reading your posting that you have a recall. Is it the same thing as the Tributes recall of the accelerator cable? My repair people are saying this isn't common. Liars!! LOL I don't believe the service department people when they say they haven't had any other complaints about the type of problems we have had. After my transmission was replaced, I can say that I have only experienced the problem with the stalling 1 time and that was about 2 weeks after I got it back as I wrote in an earlier posting. I haven't experienced any new problems lately. I am just waiting for something to happen. Sorry to post negativity here but, when you go out an by a NEW car, problems shouldn't start so early in the game. I purchased a new car for the same reason, reliability. Are you sure about your Lemon Law options? Kibbles
  • Just because you buy a new car does not mean that it is going to be 100% reliable :)


    That was the point I made earlier when I mentioned that I traded in a somewhat problematic Saturn for a very problematic Volkswagen. At least Mazda gives you a loaner, VW would just strand me, and I would have to arrange for friends to pick me up and take me to the dealer.


    If you feel like your Tribute is unreliable and is causing you this much grief, then maybe you should trade it in. But like you mentioned, you are finding problems with every SUV out there, and believe me there are. The question is, what is the dealer doing about it if there is a problem. To your dealers credit they are trying to fix the problem and they offered you a loaner car.. Not sure how buying a Honda or a Toyota is going to be any different. My other car (aside from an 05 Tribute) is a 2002 Nissan Altima which has had 3 recalls and two other warranty covered problems but I am not complaining. I love the car and the dealer has resolved the issues and the only inconveinence has been dropping off my car and picking up a loaner.


    You might be the perfect candidate to lease a new car every 2-3 years so you do not have to worry about warranty issues or resale.
  • i have an 02 escape and i need a new transmission too. i am wondering how many out there are having the same issue and how can we can get ford/mazda to make it right. anyone with a similar story can contact me at let's see if we can get the critical mass needed for a recall.
  • I have a 2004 Escape with a leaky transmission. It has been to the shop twice. They say it was a problem with a grommet on the dipstick. It was replaced and it still leaks. It is back in the dealers shop today for the 3rd time. Has anyone else experienced the same problem?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    If it's blowing fluid out of the top of the dipstick, you have bigger trouble than an o-ring. The drain pan area in the transmission is pressurized, which usually means you have a valve body leak or some other problem.
  • I am leasing this vehicle. Answer this, do you think that it is acceptable for a manufacturers to charge the amount they charge for vehicles and have the seriousness of transmission and engine problems at such low mileage? I don't. I'm a pessimist that bought a NEW car so I didn't have be inconvenienced by having it repaired, at least for the first few years. I already have an old car that goes to the shop once in a while that has 328K miles on it. Guess what, it is the original automatic transmission. Hence the need for a NEW car. Regardless, as you said, none are 100% reliable. Next time I won't get my hopes up. I don't think I will ever buy a new car again, only lease. I would really be upset if I had bought the Tribute and had problems since the beginning. I would have demanded another one to replace it. Hope I didn't offend you. Kibbles
  • I am not offended. I definitely feel that modern engines and transmissions should last 100-150K miles as long as they have been properly maintained. Believe me, I too would be upset if I had a transmission go out if the car had less than 100K miles and I had properly maintained the vehicle.


    I am a member of several other Tribute and Escape boards, and truth be told, while there have been other reports of transmission failures, this only seems to affect a very small minority of owners. One of the common themes that keeps popping up with the users who have had transmission problems is that the wrong transmission fluid was being used (Mercon V vs. Mercon).


    I did not lease my Tribute, but before my warranty runs out, I will need to decide whether or not I need to purchase an extended warranty, get a new car, or keep the car and do nothing else. So far (4700 miles), I have had no major issues to date.
  • Thanks. Don't know much about this stuff and don't want to get snowed by the Ford dealer. Is this a repair thing or a new transmission.
  • In everyones opinion if you had to choose between the 2, Tribute or Escape, which would you prfer and why?


    Thanks, buying in next 2 weeks.
  • Help...Please!!

    I own a 2002 Tribute ES V-6, with 30,000 miles.

    It is hard to write such negative information, about such a fun vehicle (...though thirsty!).

    I have owned about 40 vehicles, in the last 25 years; including a 1980 RX-7, a 1989 MPV 4x4, and my daughter's 1999 Protege ES.

    I have had nothing less than incredible service, and treatment...and all but the RX-7 were purchased at Foothill's Mazda, in Spokane, WA. My sales rep has been the same...and incredible...and my service advisor has been helpful, and very understanding of my dealing with Multiple Sclerosis.

    Now, to the bad news...

    The dealership has "lost" all of my service records. Fortunately, I keep EVERYTHING!! Unfortunately, I do not have the service advisor's notes...

    Beside a couple of recalls, and a new one rear hatch glass still rattles; the transmission, when in cruise control mode, shifts down...but refuses to shift up, without my manual shifting of the column shifter, or "re-setting" the overdrive. The dealer has not been able to "duplicate" the malady...and I had hoped, a previous recall, would have identified, and solved the problem! Silly me! Hmmm...I wonder if this has anything to do with the transmission fluid issues to be discussed soon?!

    The column shifter often fails to "fall" into the park detente position, and I must position it, with deliberate manual placement.

    I do drive fast, and on curvy, paved back roads...but the car is serviced every 2500 miles; and tires rotated every 5000 I always follow factory recommendedations, in regard to other service; with the exception, that I never go more than 25,000 miles between transmission flushes, and fluid replacement (more if towing often). I have towed a 2000# fishing skiff, approximately 1500 miles.

    Back to the issues at hand! I reported, what I considered to be a "ticking" in the valve train, at 2500 miles...and the good news is, the service advisor "finally" heard it; and scheduled the car to be checked, while the passenger side windshield washer was being fixed, for the second time, in a month...

    After the tech removed the head covers, and whatever else; the factory service people, indicated the cams needed to be adjusted?!

    The noise is finally gone (...though I still occasionally hear the "tick!!" ...but ever so slightly!). I wonder how much "damage" was done, over the 29,000 miles; that the noise was only noticeable to me...well, and one other person, soon to be mentioned!!

    I hit a deer this summer, with essentially no real damage to my vehicle...other than breaking the bug deflector. I did however, and am embarrassed to admit it, finally, myself, did a thorough inspection of the car. I noticed the inside edges of the Continental tires, on the front, were "shot;" and the rears were close behind!! I, also for the first time, noticed the "knock-kneed" appearence of the suspension. The vehicle, other than what I reported as "high rolling resistance," never showed any indication of misalignment?!

    I took the car in for service, and was told the tires must be replaced, and the wheels , re-aligned.

    My transmission fluid was "tarnished," and the brake fluid was "corroded?!"

    It was then, in July, 2004, I noticed that at my most recent service, in May, 2004...the tech had indicated my tires were at 50%+!!

    I had worn out my tires, in about 2000 miles?!

    I was upset with the dealership; so I took the vehicle, to my friends/clients, Perfection Tire.

    They mounted the new tires; and aligned the vehicle (minor adjustments to "toe in/out," and caster), but indicated all four wheels exhibited "severe" negative camber...and could not be adjusted.

    They suggested the vehicle was is very full of fishing gear, and my dog's supplies; but it is all bulk, and no weight. The vehicle weighs far below the GCVW!!

    The tech also pointed out, "you have an unusual 'tick' in the valve train!" What great news...I was not hallucinating!!

    They had no explanation of how the transmission fluid, and brake fluid could be so "tainted;" but they did flush the systems, and change the fluids.

    The dealership said brake fluid could go bad, because of condensation, etc., or that I was hard on the brakes...though the pads, rotors, drums, and shoes, are all indicating 50%+.

    I took the vehicle to another Mazda dealer for service, about 6 weeks later...and had them check the alignment. They found as the tire dealer had...the negative camber of the wheels was excessive; and could not be adjusted to factory specification...though I could not get from them; after three requests, their final readings. Hmmm...

    A week later, I took the car to Foothills Mazda, and paid for my THIRD alignment, in less than two months...and their brand new, state-of-the-art machine, "released" the vehicle as "acceptable!!"

    It was odd to see their adjustments had been very slight, in comparison to the tire shop...and that they had made NO, or NEGLIGIBLE changes to the camber!!

    I am having the tire shop rotate the tires, and check for excess wear this week...though they will only have to rotate the passenger the Foothill's tech rotated the driver's side tires, mistakenly, last month; after they had adjusted the camshaft, and valve train...

    I forgot!! It was, previously encouraging, when they determinded the battery to have failed (...replacing it, at "no charge!")!! I had started complaining about the charging system, at 15,000 miles?! Again, I was happy to find, I was not "imagining it;" however, AGIAN, hmmm....

    It was just an oversight, during his "general vehicle inspection," I guess, that I drove away that day...with a bad headlight?!

    It was good, that I happened to notice it(...via my reflection in the dealership window) as I left the service department!

    It was also good that the service advisor came out to help me install the new headlamp; and just happened to finally "hear" the valve train noise! Isn't it great, how things "happen for a reason?!"

    There have been several other minor problems...but I am being told so far, that the tire issues was normal wear, and tear; and that the suspension is "fine."

    I was also assured, no abnormal wear and tear, had occured in the "maladjusted" valve train!! I am very confident!! ;-)

    Mazda online, has said they must stand behind the dealer...and their judgment.

    I must reiterate, my service advisor, and sales rep; have been exemplary, in their outward attitude...but I am feeling as if, either they think I am "nuts," or "Ford's mentality," has firmly been implanted into the "Mazda Psyche?!"

    I would love to hear what anyone out there, thinks?!

    My 36 months of warranty (...remember, only 30,000 miles on the vehicle!!) expires tomorrow...and I am trying to "brace myself," for the total, "vehicular collapse," I feel "lurks" in my future?!

    I am afraid...very afraid!!


    Joe Guske
  • Sorry Jag,

    Looks like a lemon to me, although they appear to be fairly helpful. If the vehicle is in such good shape see what they will give you on trade in. My guess is less then expected. I have not purchased my new vehcle yet but will in the next 2 weeks. I have been reading posts between the Escape and the Tribute to help my decision. The only way the dealership loses your paperwork is if the entire computer system goes bad or if they remove it.


  • jgaryjgary Posts: 2
    I have a 02' Tribute 3.0 and 4WD with 64,000 miles on it. Tuesday, 2/8/05 I was heading to work when I noticed the rpm's shoot up very high and the vehicle not moving. I was able to manual shift it to low gear and manually shift it to get to work. After extensive diagnosis I now am told I need a 64,000 miles!?! Of course Mazda's warranty runs out at 50,000. They refused any help at all with warranty coverage. This is a $3,000 repair!!!!! I offered to pay labor to install if they provided the transmission, but they still refused. I am heading to see the GM of the dealership. Martin Mazda in Newark, De. to see if they will do the right and honest thing in this situation. When I originally bought this vehicle, my wife and I purchased (2) Mazda's, the Tribute and a 626. We have also referred several people. I am really regretting this decision. There is no way you should have to replace a transmission with this low mileage on the vehicle. I am going to try to get satisfaction on a local level first. Anyone who has experienced a similar problem with transmissions can you please e-mail me. Thanks
  • jgaryjgary Posts: 2


    I have the same vehicle and am at 64,000 miles, I need a new transmission and they are denying my claim. The %@#!'s are hiding behind the warranty of 50,000 as it is written, rather than make the morally right decision and satisfy a loyal customer. My wife's 626 had similiar problems, it was in and out of the shop constantly. If I were you I would be afraid as well!!!
  • Hello DC Driver - I have a Mazda Tribute I was wondering if you could offer some assistance on a good mechanic - I took my truck in for service and they are saying I need brakes & rotors before I took it in - no noise - now - a whole lot of grinding - I really believe they did something to my truck and I'm not a happy camper.
  • Hmm. That sounds a little strange.. What year is your Tribute and how many miles? Is this a Mazda dealer? If I was you I would get a second opinion at a Midas type garage that specializes in brakes (not a dealer). My 02 Altima needs some brake work, and I cannot believe the difference in $$ between the dealer and my trusted mechanic down the street (about a $150 difference).
  • Did you ever have any transmission work done by the dealer (PCM flashed, fluid changed, warranty work, etc)? If so, and you kept your receipts, I think you definitely have a case. There have been many reports of problems with the 01-02 transmissions on other Tribute chat rooms, and the underlying theme has been improper fluid replacement (Mercon V used instead of Mercon) at the dealership. If you can prove that the dealer used the wrong fluid, then I think you have a great case.
  • I have a 02 Tribute - it has 62k on it. They want $515.00 for the Brakes & Rotors.
  • I would definitely shop around. That seems kinda high.
Sign In or Register to comment.