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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • Thank you for your assistance - it is much appreciated.
  • jz2jz2 Posts: 1
    awd 2005 tribute V6 --- had to use the ac the other day (hey, it's los angeles) now the ac won't switch off. I'll take it to the dealer, but wondering if anyone else has had this problem. I think its a defective switch, green light stays on regardles off how I press the button. ac is off when the two controls (air direction and fan) are off but remains on even with heat. Other than that I like it.
  • I also have a 2002 Ford Escape which was bought brand new. All highway miles. I also need a new transmission. Ford says there is nothing they can do for me. If I would have known that the vehicle would now only be worth 50% what I had paid for it; and now have to replace the transmission after 2 years; I would have bought used for 1/4 of the price. I will not do business with Ford again. I didn't know that regardless of mileage that vehicle life was only 2 years. I am disgusted with the whole situation.
  • My 2003 Escape makes a soft (but annoying) ticking sound when I accelerate. Does anyone have the same problem or know something about it? I have had it in three times and they don't seem to know anything.
  • It is highly possible that it is an exhaust manifold with a cracked flange. If the tick is louder when you have a cold startup then quiets down some when the engine warms up, that is your problem. I've had both exhaust manifolds replaced on my 02 Escape at 74000, and 84000 miles. The cost per manifold replacement is about $850 per manifold. It is a real cheasy design.
  • After owning two great Taurus's. A 91 with 250K miles and a 96 with 190K and only minor problems with both, I bought an 02 Escape XLT. (Note never driven off road, oil changed every 3K miles, 95% of milage is highway.)


    At 1500 miles, I noticed oil in my coolant overflow. Engine needed replacement.


    Brought back 2 more times to have radiator flushed as oil kept reappearing in overflow. Finally got disgusted and flushed system myself.


    At 12K had problem with radio and power port taking 2 to 5 minutes after starting car to come on. All relays replaced by dealer twice.


    At 15K the cigarette lighter popped into the dash.


    At 28K miles transmission died (fluid was never low or changed).


    No more major problems till 74K miles. Both exhaust manifolds needed replacement. 1 had broken flange. The other had a cracked flange. Cost me $1750.


    Had multiple alignments and usually tires would start wearing 4 to 6K miles after alignments.


    At 84K miles needed another Exhaust manifold with 1 broken and 1 cracked flange. Cost me $850.


    Between 84K and 89K had to replace two taillights, a headlight (connector was seriously corroded out), another cigarette lighter that popped into the dash, a delay relay for radio power, an ignition coil, the rear manifold is making noise again (haven't replaced it yet) and tire growl getting loud enough to cause concern.


    Today (89600 miles) needed BOTH front hubs replaced for burnt bearings, brake rotors replaced (warped), and a rear hub bearing replaced. By bye to $700


    Still has bearing growl on left side. Dealer says either new left hub they installed is defective or a transmission bearing is toast and would require transmission replacement at a 3500+ cost. They are going to try replacing the hub again tomorrow.


    I have NEVER owned a vehicle that has needed so much repair and even trivial repairs like replacing a water hose can cost $200 or more.


    If my current problem is the transmission then I will be saying goodbye Ford and hello Dodge.


    If you are as stupid as I was to buy a new Escape, please purchase the 100,000 mile warranty as you will need it.
  • I am in an exact situation with my Tribute currently! I also have an '02 Tribute 4WD that turned 64k miles last week. On my way out of town my rpm's shot up without the vehicle reacting with movement when the gas pedal was pressed. My O/D light flashed rapidly for a split second (so quick I questioned whether I really saw it!) I coasted to the side of the road and tried to shift to another gear to get a reaction. There were no warning sounds, lights, or oddities prior to this happening.


    The dealership told me I needed a new transmission which would start around $3400. They would not work with me on this price. (although I have referred 3 new Tribute owners to them!)


    When I found a $1200 quote from a transmission shop I was advised from my dealership that it would be a wise decision for me to take it elsewhere!!


    I have just picked it up from the transmission shop with a $1400 bill. They knocked off $400 from the total bill since it was more than they had originally anticipated!! (and they dont know me from Adam!)


    They also had to replace the Torque Converter, which had gone bad and in turn burned out the transmission. The dealership had not even quoted or diagnosed the Torque Converter! So this leads me to believe that they would have either charged me much more than quoted ...or not fixed it and I would have run into the same problem with the new transmission!


    I have always loved my Tribute but now have to question the credibility of the entire scenario.


    I wish you luck in getting satisfaction for your situation. I have been sitting here on line this evening and reading many similar situations with Tributes. I was truly hoping that I had just gotten a lemon and considered just trading it in for a new one. After reading the letters tonight, I am reconsidering!


    Being a woman, I already feel that I am at a disadvantage when dealing with car repairs. I do, however, feel very strongly that although I dont possess a great knowledge of cars, I can be safe in thinking that this should have not happened to a well maintained vehicle with only 64k miles!


    Good luck in finding an answer to yours! I wish much less frustration for you than I have experienced!


  • Help a girl out. My roommate has a 2004 Tribute. Upon going to the dealer for a recall service she was told she had to replace her "air filter". She called me at work to let me know she was going to be later because they were replacing it @ $97. This was out of line to me because an engine air filter cost about $15. I told her to tell them that she wanted the old filter before she left. The tech that worked on her truck said that there was not one in there. Upon looking of the repair order we see that he did indeed "replace" the cabin air filter for the 1200 mile inspection. I have found this part on the mazda web site for $25 (she paid $58 @ the dealer for the part plus labor). To avoid a hassle they are taking it out and refunding her money. I am good with cars. How hard is it to install the part? Thanks for any input
  • Does anyone have anything to say about Ford's Escape Hybrids? I'm thinking about buying one, but maybe I'm better off with a Honda CRV? Got any info.?

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,095
    Use the Browse By Message Board to your left to find the Hybrids board. There is a Ford Escape Hybrid discussion there.

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  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Tech was correct, these vehicles don't come with factory installed cabin air filters, but the housing is there, so you can install one. People use fram engine filter which fits perfectly into the housing. The filter is around $4, installation is very easy.
  • Grabbed this from another forum:

    How To Do It

    1. Turn your Tribute or Escapes key on and then turn on the windshield wipers. Turn the key off when the wipers reach their full 'up' position. This allows you to get to some screws a little easier.

    2. Along the base of the windshield on the passenger side you'll see some plastic caps that cover phillips type screws. Remove the plastic caps using something like an eyeglass screwdriver or pointy object. Be careful you don't let these caps fall into the engine compartment.

    3. Remove the screws under the caps and pop the hood

    4. Along the front of the plastic cover you just removed the rear screws from you'll find half a dozen more screws. Remove them by pressing 'up' from the bottom while turning with a phillips type screwdriver. You can use a flat bladed screwdriver to do the pushing. Once the screws are removed just pull up the keepers and stash everything in a safe spot.

    5. Remove the cover. Under the cover you'll notice another good sized black box. This is the air box. Slide the top cover of the box forward and remove it. Now you're on target. This is where the filter will go.

    6. Insert the filter with the 'large' side facing down. It will be a nice snug perfect fit. With the filter in place slide the cover back on, install all other parts in the reverse of the way you took them apart.

    7. You might want to make a note someplace in your maintenance records to check the filter in a year and see if it needs replacing. In some parts of the country these things collect all kinds of pollen, seeds and other things that float through the air. Off roaders will probably collect a lot of dirt. Many of us will be able to use the same filter for years.
  • I had the same thing happen to me. I was told I needed to have my cabin air filter replaced as it was passed the 12,00 mile mark and it had never been done. I went to Ebay and had 2 filters (with directions) sent to my house for about $15. I followed the directions and opened the cabin air compartment and guess what? I didn't nave a cabin air filter and 01 Tributes never have them. I phoned the dealership and spoke to the head of the repair shop and he admitted that they work off a list that isn't model specific. It's all generic. He admitted that unless you do off roading or live in a dusty part of the country you don't need to have the filter at all. I'll use the 2 filters I have then ....never again. I won't have work done at the dealership again either.
  • I had that noise on my Tribute. I went to start it back in November and it had the same sound with loud clicking. We are having tranny issues on and off. It feels like it is struggling sometimes to gain speed and also seems like it is jumping while in Drive when stopped at a light. Been to Mazda 3 times and they can't duplicate it. We have less than 48K on the vehicle and it is a 2001 LX 4x4 6 cyl.
    I have the extended warranty and now they don't want to pay for my rental car that they provided since they can't find the problem. I am fighting that at this time.
  • I have a 2001 Tribute 4x4 that had a similar problem. It turns out that the rear differential was bad and had to be replaced. Fortunately it was still under warranty so I did not have to pay anything for it.
  • Have a '01 Escape V6 2WD bought new in August '01.
    At present I've logged ~66K miles. Other than the standard recalls and some TSB issues I've not had any of the major symptoms of tranny failure, tie-rods, surging, etc. I don't know, I may be one the few (so far) who haven't posted a lot of problems on this board. Could be my problems may be starting down the road yet.... hard to say. First-off, I'm no mechanic by any stretch, but am interested in how things work, who makes them, etc.. I do know that a modified modified CD4E is in use in the Escape/Tribute. Originally, Mazda made this trans. and there have been numerous, documented complaints about trans. failure from
    60K-90K mileage in mostly Mazda 626's. Ford supposedly enhanced the CD4E for placement in the Escape/Trib., maybe not enough it seems.

    My issue is that my dipstick says Mercon V while the owners manual says Mercon. So, I changed out with Mercon V with a complete flush, being informed that the dipstick has the final word. Maybe not too. One complete flush later to complete Mobil 1 synthetic ATF and seems to be no problems so far. I am flushing my AT system on average every 22K. As there is no problem manifesting itself now, I may be able to get by.
    My advice is simply to flush the A/T every 20-25K. All of the other flushes can be done at 30K.

    So far so good, but we'll see down the road...
  • V6 Escape sometimes cranks and cranks when cold starting. I have been using 85 octane. Only 40k on odometer
  • I'm having very similar problems with my 2001 Mazda Tribute. Last May the transmission had to be replaced at 40,000 miles. Since then, I've had an intermittent problem where the car has difficulty starting, the key locks in the accessory position, and frequently when I put the car in reverse, it just sits there and does nothing! It took 3 trips to the service department before they could recreate the problem. They told me that the column cylinoid(sp) needed replacing and that the ignition problem is separate. That, I'm told is the ignition lock and assembly. Of course, the warranty supposedly doesn't cover that part but I'm finding lots of information that the ignition for the Ford Focus, Ford Escape, and Mazda Tribute are all known to have problems and the same part is used for all 3. Good Luck with your problem.
  • I solved the problem with my Lemon Yellow 02 Escape. I am now a happy 05 Dodge Durango owner.
  • You may have jumped from the frying pan into the fire. There's a reason they are practically giving them away. Check this site and elsewhere about the Dodge Durango. They get terrible gas mileage and have steering problems, ball joint problems (recall) and engine failures (sludge) galore.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Don't burst his bubble, LOL
  • My 2001 V-6 w/42,000 went into the dealer today with an intermittant check engine light, when the light was on, it would idle more roughly, when off, ran like always. Dealer called this AM, said compression in #4 was around 100, not the 150 or so of the others...the fix he said, is to remove head, look at valves, repair or replace, 5 hrs labor. We'll see, I have ext. warr. luckily.More later
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Did you ask your dealer what the error code was?
  • I have an 02 Escape and we have just noticed the same thing in ours... We had a preliminary free inspection at the dealership and they said it might be the steering knuckle but we would have to pay $45 at least to get the specialist to look at it. We have about 38k miles so we are just past our warranty.
  • I'm going to help a lady friend purchase a car who wants an Escape. Are the problems that bad on this car, or are these problems few and far between? Any years to avoid??

  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    Don't rely on single forum to decide and consider that lot of trolling going on these forums...
  • Kybear : I don't believe that the Escape in and of it self is jinxed or made any worse than a lot of other vehicles. Just search the message boards and you'll observe that there are worse problems and challenges for other vehicles. I have an '01 V6 model which has been by and large as good a vehicle as I've ever owned (Hondas, Toyotas, Mazdas, Kia, GM, other Ford products
    included). Before you buy new, just make sure it's mostly what she wants or needs in vehicle. For instance, my wife thinks that my Escape is 'too big' while her RAv4 is just right, though both vehicles are roughly the same size inside with minor differences in size on the outside.

    If buying new, do a thorough test-drive or better yet ask if you can keep the car overnight for a better feel. If buying used spend the ~$100+ and have it checked over with a fine-toothed comb by a trusted mechanic. A thorough check should take at least a couple of hours.
  • How do you use the door lock to open the door. I tried and can't figure it out.
  • I have an 05 Escape LTD. Occasionally the ignition key sticks when I turn the key to start. It is as if the wrong key was in the ignition. The car is under warranty but the dealer claims that since it happens so infrequently it will be difficult to find the problem. I think they should replace the entire lock. When it does stick, I try jiggling the steering wheel but it does no good. Eventually it frees itself but it is very annoying.
  • Which Fram air filter fits the Tribute cabin air filter box?
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