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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • packers4packers4 Posts: 1
    my escape front signal lights do not work and back signals blink vey fast. emergency flasshers work fine as do all othe lights. i assume i need to replace the front signal bulbs. however, the manual says to see my dealer. i have attempted to remove the head lamp assembly to no avail.
    is there a correct way to remove assembly so i can replace the signal bulbs????

  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I monitor a number of different Tribute forums, and this is probably the first time I heard about this problem. Not that I am down playing your issue, but no matter what type of car you buy there are going to be similar types of repairs after five years. I just had to have my brakes done in my 2002 Nissan Altima that only has 28K miles. But I live in DC which is mostly just stop and go traffic (mostly stop) :) That said, I was not surprised when the dealer told me I needed brake work. I asked for a quote, and then drove down to the local Midas dealer down the street and they beat the price and gave me a lifetime warranty on the pads.

    So, I would get a quote from the dealer and then drive over to a local shop and get another quote. You may end up saving $200 (or more)! Like I said, I understand your frustration, but which is better paying $200-400 for a door handle, or having a hefty car payment on a new car?
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    The reason why I question so many transmission issues is because here at Edmunds they have noway to tell whether Ford haters are posting stories in order to create fear, or whether someone who is having problems is posting more than one story to create what looks like a problem. When I take my Escape to the dealer for service I make it a point to ask the service rep about how Escapes are doing in general. I asked about this so called major transmission failure on all Escapes... He said nothing of the sort. There are failures but not at the rate some would like to believe..
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712

    One of my good friends manages a service department at a very large combined dealership (Ford, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, Kia) and he bought an Escape for his wife last year. I asked him if they see an excessive number of failed transmissions on the Escape (2001-2005) and he told me that the number of transmission issues for Escapes is not a major issue, and no more than other manufacturers. I mean, he could have used his dealer discount to buy his wife a Honda, Toyota, or Nissan and he bought her the an Escape (ironically, they sold their problem plagued Honda to buy the Escape).

    I have no doubt that some of the people on this message board are having transmission problems. I can only assume that some of them are maintenance related, some of them are just the law of averages, and some of them are people who have general problems that the dealer should be responsible for. Go read the Honda Accord forums, they have just as many transmission problems as Escapes.

    People who visit these forums should not panic when they read these posts. For every Escape/Tribute owner who has problems, there are thousands that don't and do not post in these forums. C'mon, if the majority of Escape owners had failed transmissions after 50K miles, it would be all over the news. It is the same way in every other car forum. Every forum has posters who told their story about how horrible car x is, and that nobody should every buy one. I think some people have had some bad experiences, but it is unfair to claim that the majority of Escapes are going to have transmission problems. Go read some of the other Escape forums on the Internet. Yes, there are reports of failed transmissions, but it is certainly not an alarming rate, and no more than any other high selling car.
  • The reason why questions were raised about driving habits and maintenance compliance WRT transmission problems is obvious: It is not possible to judge the individual situation without knowing these things. Anecdotal information is basically useless, and is completely useless without supporting facts. What's more, it is common practice to make up stories about cars on boards and newsgroups, it is done all the time. Trashmouthing each others' products is a game played by all levels of the car business. NHTSA reports are fabricated or ginned up in order to provide support for phony excuses about car accidents. "My car suddenly went to the right and hit a tree." That sort of thing. These forums are largely anonymous and the information is unverified. It is not only appropriate, it is essential, to ask questions and to take everything here with large grains of water softener salt. Nobody called anybody a "liar" that I can see, but to pretend that everything you read here is accurate and meaningful is just plain foolish.
  • Let me add this: It's time that useful information be made available on the subject of car reliability. Consumer Reports publishes "surveys" of car owners which appear to be self-selected polls .... a form of polling that no good pollster takes seriously. So owners of Car X say their cars are more reliable than the owners of Car Y? Completely worthless information. Let's see the aggregate dealers' service report data and judge for ourselves. Only the manufacturers really know what is going on in the area of reliability with their products, and they keep the information to themselves. Anecdotal information is completely useless.
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    "Only the manufacturers really know what is going on in the area of reliability with their products, and they keep the information to themselves. Anecdotal information is completely useless."

    Amen to that....
  • snowmansnowman Posts: 540
    "Nobody called anybody a "liar" that I can see, but to pretend that everything you read here is accurate and meaningful is just plain foolish. "

    Thank you... It is nice to have forum members who can see the real value of some postings...
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I completely agree. I truly hope that people who visit these forums really put things into perspective before they purchase a Tribute/Escape. Truth be told, these are wonderful vehicles and should definitely be on any short list when shopping for a new SUV. I would say small SUV, but I think the Tribute/Escape is anything but small. :)
  • jchandrajchandra Posts: 12
    Yesterday I took my 2005 Mazda Tribute GS V6 for it's 1st oil change to Erin Mills Mazda in Mississauga, Ont. Canada. I had made the appointment 2 days earlier; I wanted the oil from the 1 litre plastic jugs not the wholesale oil from the big drums. I was qouted a price of $50.94 CDN.
    I got to the dealership on time early in the morning, I told the Service Advisor that it was my 1st oil change and that I wanted the plastic bottles and the price which I was quoted. After waiting for almost an hour, I see a kid come out looking for my car. There was a van parked behind my car by one of those idiots who think that they can park their vehicles any where they desire. The kid starts my car; there is barely 2 feet of room on all sides; instead of moving the van he starts to back up almost hitting it. Then he starts to rock back and forth going over the snow bank in fornt of my car. At this point I dashed out of the showroom and screamed at the service technician to stop. I indicated that he should have the van moved before he backed out my car, he already had hit the snow bank twice and I was picturing big scrapes at the front end of my vehicle. Anyway after about 15 minutes of abusing my car, he finally backs out the car. All this time I am watching him real carefully.
    After about an hour when I got the car back the final bill was approx. $65 CDN. When I asked the Advisor why the price had jumped over $10, he said that they had used the plastic bottles etc and this is why it was higher. When I showed him the written e-mail from them showing $50.94, he did not have anything to say. There were a lot of people standing around so to make matters simple I paid up the full amount. On my way back home I was looking at the Invoice and it stated that they had used 7 litres of 5W20 oil. Now I am not an expert but I do know that the V6 engine does not take 7 litres. I called back the parts dept and asked them how much oil my car took. The man stated "I gave the kid 7 litres and that's what your car took". I turned around and went back and asked for the Service Manager. I then told him that I was charged for 7 litres; and my car only took 5.7 litres per the manual. My only concern at this point was that the kid had purposely over filled the crankcase because I had yelled at him when he was backing out my car. After a few minutes the Manager came back and said that yes the SUV only took 5.7 litres, that they had only used 6 bottles and I was inadvertently charged for an extra bottle. He gave me back approx $4 for 1 bottle in cash.
    I am left wondering how many customers they inadvertently overcharge every day. In my opinion an oil change is the simplest service on any car. I used to change my own oil when I was in college. Even though I got back the money for the overcharge, I just don't trust this dealership for any future service. I was already overcharged $10 from the original estimate. I don't know how many customers even look at their invoices to make sure that the charges are correct.
    I guess these days you cannot trust anyone; these are Mazda dealerships, all they do is Mazda vehicles. If they do not know how much oil to put in their vehicles, its a sad day.
    All I can say is that I am looking for another Mazda dealer in my area hopefully who knows how much oil my Tribute takes. Any one knows of a honest dealer in the GTA Toronto area, please let me know.
  • Front turn signal replacement requires removing retaining bolts, screws and nylon fasteners along the wheel well trim in order to gain access to the turn signal bulb receptacle. Removing the receptacle will require some patience and a bit of manual dexterity because a wire harness partially obscures access to the back side of the receptacle. You will need to twist the receptacle gently to detach it from the head lamp assembly. Total cost per side: $2.25, plus 45 minutes labor. I hope this helps.
  • There was a recall to remedy sudden power losses. The very same scenario occured to me. Please ask your local Ford Dealer to research applicable recalles based upon your VIN #. I cannot remember precisely the component that was replaced, but after paying for the repair, later that same year Ford issued a recall and refunded to cost of the repair.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    "Nobody called anybody a "liar" that I can see, but to pretend that everything you read here is accurate and meaningful is just plain foolish."

    Snowman's original post:
    "My personal opinion is that there is massive trolling going on here since January. Looks like winter months are "national transmission gone bad" months for some fictitious escape owners."
  • normkolnormkol Posts: 135
    My 2002 ES-V6 was in for the accelerator cable recall last week, so I had them do an oil change. When I left, I could smell burning oil, which I figured was from the oil hitting exhaust and them not wiping it up. When I opened the hood, I also found they had spilled oil on the engine when filling it, and had not wiped it up.

    What slop, and from a Mazda dealer, yet.

    I've also had a similar experience after an oil change from a Honda dealer. Being a dealer doesn't mean your'e guaranteed high quality work.
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    I have always changed my own oil. In a rush before Christmas, I took my Accord to a Firestone dealer for a change, and sure enough, as I had expected, there was the smell of burning oil for a few days following the change. The Tribute with the 4 cyl is the perfect type, with the filter hanging vertically. I will be able to fill it before spinning it on. Read the message from a fella in Canada who had a dealer change his oil on his Tribute. Very expensive, exchange rate and all, and also sloppy work. Must be the school these guys have to attend...... There are some great mechanics out there, but in order to make big profits, they have to cut the little corners we don't when we do the work ourselves.
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    Let's steer away from making this a debate about others' honesty and personal accusations.

    I like to think the majority of our members are intelligent enough to weigh the pros/cons of each situation and decide for themselves.

    Edmunds Manager UGC Click on my screen name to send a personal message. Need help navigating? Check out Getting Started in Edmunds Forums.
    Need help picking out a make/model, finding inventory, or advice on pricing? Talk to an Edmunds Car Shopping Advisor

  • cparkercparker Posts: 1
    I have a '02 Escape XLT 4WD with 39,000 mi. It's currently in the shop to have the torque converter replaced for the second time. First time went up at 21,000 mi. This vehicle has been nothing but problems. The bearings were replaced last week. I have had it serviced per Ford specifications. The following has been replaced...throttle sensor, manifold, some kind of modulator, rear wiper assembly, sunroof switch, and all recalls have been done. More has been done but I can't remember them all. The rear window still leaks from time to time and I have had problems with the starter. I only drive 11 mi. to work each day and have only needed 4WD to get out of my driveway on four occassions. I do not abuse my Escape. I actually pamper it. I have contacted the National Hghwy Trans. website to file a complaint about the torque converter. I was informed that that is how many recalls are initiated. My dealer also told me that the transmission dipstick has the wrong spec.'s on it regarding the type of fluid to be used. The dealer has been working with me to lessen the costs for these repairs because they have been the only mechanics to work on it.
  • ryan41ryan41 Posts: 21

    You are the only person who seems to have expierenced the same ticking/tappet noise that both of my Tributes have had. Traded in my 02 when the warranty was expiring because of the noise. Dealer kept telling me that it was normal. Bought the 05 after two months same exact noise when the engine was warmed up. Did some research and found the TSB that describes it exactly. I am bringing mine in next week along with the bulletin. I would like to keep this Tribute for a long time. Is that what they did for your car? Did it work?
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    You mean you actually got your dealer to admit that the dipstick label is wrong? I've asked my purchasing dealer about this and they disavow any knowledge of there being a problem. I've called
    Ford Quality Care, and been told the same thing.
    However, the person on the other end of the line didn't seem too knowledgeable anyway.

    If there was a mislabeled, misplaced, tranny dipsticks placed in the filler-tube on a bunch of
    Escapes or Tribs., then the truth will eventually come out, may take awhile but it will. But then again it could be a silent-type of admission, with no repecussions.

    As mentioned in previous posts, no problems at 67K
    miles on my '01 XLT V6. Currently running synthetic Mobil 1 ATF for the last 6K miles. Will continue to do so, unless otherwise notified. Shift points seem normal and functioning properly,
    with no skips, or hard-shifts. Will keep everyone posted if anything crops up.
  • akgirl1akgirl1 Posts: 1
    My car has only 30,000 miles but is almost four years old so I'm doubly mad about this problem and wondered if anyone else has it- the alarm system seems to be very touchy- opening the driver door just a little too quickly or too roughly triggers the alarm- it happens about twice a week- but never when it's at the repair shop! Today it went totally blotto and cannot be over-ridden with panic button or anything else- blasts repeatedly for five full minutes each time the doors are opened. I took it in and they said it's part the 3 year mark and it will cost $400!!! to fix. Has anyone else had this problem?
  • Can anyone help me. I have a 2002 Mazda Tribute. There is a humming noise when I put on the brake. I only hear it when it's in drive and reverse and when I put on the brakes. When I turn the steering wheel it makes it as well. I've taken it to a mechanic and they can't find anything wrong. Has anyone else had this problem.
  • mazdamadmazdamad Posts: 3
    I bought my 2002 Tribute on a Saturday and didn't drive it again until the following Tuesday where it died in the middle of the freeway. After it was towed to the dealership I was told nothing's wrong; 2 months later they found the battery was never tied down and was split in 1/2 leaking battery acid. Six months later it was in the shop because the gas cap indicator light wouldn't go off - found out the seal to stop fumes from coming in the car was defective. Then the parking brake light wouldn't go off - oops this time the master cylinder had fluid on it- from where - who knows. Finally made it to 29k miles - took it in for a check up - they found an axle broken - interesting since the suv is only driven 26 miles on the hwy a day. Then the brakes went bad - only to be told by the dealership that the brakes are European and tend to wear out because they can't support the weight of the vehicle - interesting...and finally it will be back in the shop again for the parking brake light -this time the dealer thinks there is a break in the brake fuel line. My Lemon-Law attorney has agreed to take my case. Mazda/Ford can have their vehicle back...give me a Toyota.
  • Car is back, two weeks to round up new head assy, gaskets, etc. from all over U.S.A. Diag. was burnt valves and seats on cyl. #4. (oil changed faithfully every 5k mi.) Seems to run good, fingers crossed, thank goodness for Ext. Warranty.
  • jag617jag617 Posts: 2
    Sorry, to have not written sooner...
    I have a post, somewhere around #2800?!
    I had the same problem with my 2002 Tribute...and finally, at 29,000 miles; they service writer "acknowledged" it.
    They removed the head covers, and removed, and re-torqued the least this is my understanding. That's all...and voila; no more valve train noise!
    In talks with the service manager...I learned there was a recall for this, in December, 2003.
    Good luck!
  • ryan41ryan41 Posts: 21

    Thanks for the info, I went into the dealer that used to service my 02, service writer knew exactly what I was talking about and said it is a cap thrust adjustment, he said they did a 05 last week and said that it was no big deal. I am taking the car there on Wednesday for the adjustment. Its funny it is the same exact noise as my 02. Hope this works. Thanks again for the info.
  • ckohlerckohler Posts: 1
    light in dash panel comes on& off ,have to tap
    on inst panel to get it to come on.
    what type of bulb is in instrement panel ,and how do you get axcess to it.
    on 2004 trib.
  • laalaa Posts: 4
    This weekend we test-drove three 2005 Tributes (V4 and V-6) and all three seem to have the tires squeak or bark when ever we turned. Is this normal for a mid-size SUV or Mazda vehicles. We also drove the Ford Escape, Santa Fe. Outlander, CRV and none of these made the noise with the tires. Has anyone else ever had this problem? I read of noisy tires on other forums about the Tribute but no one explains what the noise is. Would different tires make a difference? I was not turning fast or turning to sharp or even accelerating through the turn. I drove all the others the same way. We really like the Tribute but not sure if I could put up with noise EVERY time I turn. Anyone else experience this?
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Hmmm.. This sounds rather strange. For a test, I took my Tribute out for lunch today (05 AWD V6), lowered the windows (thankfully it has finally warmed up a little here in Northern VA), and listened. No weird squeaking or barking during routine turns.

    The fact that multiple Tributes did this is weird, but perhaps that dealer has their tires inflated improperly. I had to add some air to all of my tires after purchase (I like them be at the higher side of the recommended PSI).

    The problem that most people talk about with regards to tire noise and the Escape/Tribute, is that the tires that come standard have some noticeable road noise at highway speeds. I have noticed it with mine (it is not unbearable, mind you) but will definitely replace with better tires when the originals need to be replaced. My co-worker recently put on Michelin's on his Escape and has noticed a definite decrease in road noise and better handling. I would suggest going to a different dealer and test again.
  • laalaa Posts: 4
    Thanks for the advice. I will try another one and have them check the tire pressure. I will also watch to see if I am turning to sharp or acclerating into the turn. Any one have actual mpg on V4 and V6 that they are getting? Thanks again?
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    Now mind you, I have the AWD V6, and it is not broken in all the way yet, but here is what I am averaging:
    15-18mpg city
    23-24mpg highway
    19-22mpg mixed

    This is about normal for a V6 Escape/Tribute, but I also should mention that I live in DC and the cold weather, and stop and go traffic definitely affect my numbers. Some V6 owners average higher than mine, and I also have a case of the lead foot sometimes :)

    I figure if you pay for the V6, you may as well enjoy it:)

    For comparison, my Tribute gets almost identical mpg to my V6 Nissan Altima.
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