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Ford Escape Mazda Tribute Maintenance and Repair



  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    You need to remove those bolts and repair or replace the lower manifold. If there is a helicoil kit that will apply to that intake, it's worth a try. If you leave it like it is you'll end up with a warped upper intake and leaks.
  • bjsteelbjsteel Posts: 1
    Hey dananderson, was this ever resolved? I'm having the same problems with my 01 Escape. It has 46000 miles and just recently started to crank but not turn over, although sometimes it works fine. It's currently at the mechanics shop and starts for him everytime, figures!
  • I have to respond to your (scrape2's) comments about Tribute/Escape Transmission failures being a bunch of Hype... I have been a loyal Mazda man since 1977 and all the Mazdas that I have owned have been problem free; But, I currently own a 2002 Mazda Tribute with just over 100K and just yesterday picked it up from the Shop after replacing the 4th Transmission, "Total Meltdown" Replacements!!!! I no longer have any faith in this vehicle (Transmission) an regret to say have lost a lot of faith in Mazda (Ford Drivetrain) in the process. My failures have nothing to do with proper maintenance, I have always pampered my vehicles and treat them to the Mazda recommended maintenance schedule. There is never any warning of impending failures and they have cost me considerable grief and inconvienience. IT IS NOT A BUNCH OF HYPE... you have just been lucky (so far).
  • Hi Tmerch.

    New clusters and odometers are set at zero as a default. There is no way to programme in a predetermined reading, other than zero. (Actually, it can be done, but only at the factory programming level). As long as you retain the service record of the replacement, which should also record the odometer reading at time of service, then there should be no (legal or other) problems. If the service centre has not included the odometer reading, then ask them to add it.
  • tpeterstpeters Posts: 4
    Can anyone diagnose this one: Half way through a trip from VA to WI, Tribute (2001 v6 x4 auto w/83k mi) started to hesitate on acceleration? I was pulling a light trailer, but the Tribute has tow package. Because it started right after refueling I thought I had gotten poor fuel quality, but it never went away. The engine light did not come until about 100 miles later. Shortly afterward it started to miss and the light began to flash. I ran fuel dryer, injector cleaner, sea foam; you name it through it thinking I had something related to the fuel system going on. It ran rough and idled rough, but always ran, even at highway speeds. This happened once before on a long trip but just went away; so then too I thought it was fuel. This time it's not going away though. When I got home I changed the fuel filter, plugs, upper intake manifold gaskets, checked connections and hoses in the engine compartment, and changed one hose that was bad going to the EVAP canister. After the plug change and resetting of the PCM it ran good for a short while, about 50 miles, and then the light came back on the next morning and the poor idle and stumbling with acceleration started up again sometimes flashing, missing with hard acceleration. It seems to stumble consistently at a gear change at around 48 mph (don't recall rpm's) and acceleration after releasing the peddle to slow down. I can work through it by feathering (lightly pumping/ tapping) the gas peddle; it runs fine while holding a consistent speed. Fuel consumption seems higher than normal. When idling, it runs rough. In park its better but when it’s cold you can hear a slight back fire/miss out of the exhaust pipe. I'm about to spring for the code reader and find out what the computer is saying but didn't want to spend the $80 to find out a dealer had to take it anyway. Any ideas?
  • timltiml Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a pre-owned 02 Escape and wish I never had set eyes on the thing.

    The second day I had it, we had some torrential rain, so I didn't do any driving, just left in the driveway. The next morning, I found both the driver's side and passenger's side floorboards covered in rain water. No water anywhere else to indicate a leaking window, windshield or moonroof. Just in the floor.

    I took it back to the dealer the next day and he agreed to fix it. Turns out, Ford has known about the problem for awhile now, but just doesn't wan to issue a recall because it affects Escape, Explorer, Expedition, Excursion, and the new Mustangs. Seems the factory either didn't use enough sealant between the seams at the front of the cab or in the Mustang's case, none at all. Both fenders had to be removed and sealant added to the seams. Al all day job.

    Anyway, the dealer did this for me at no charge, so I can't really complain about it.

    However, now it seems there is another problem. Twice now I have hopped in and turned the key over and nothing happens. This morning, my wife and son were getting ready to leave for church when it happened for the first time. I tried to jump start it from my truck but still nothing. Engine would not turn over, starter did not spin, nothing, all the lights on the dash lit up and that god-forsaken seat belt chime was in fine working condition. Anybody know where I can locate that thing so I can disconnect it?

    Anyway, we drove my truck to church. When I got back a couple of hours later, it started right up. In fact we drove around town, visited her granddad, left again and drove to my folks house in another town about 40 miles away, drove back, no problem. Came inside to drop off some groceries and were heading back out to go to her parents house down the street and nothing. No engine turning, no starter spin, nothing. Just like before.

    Now, knowing that the dealer took off the interior panels to find the leak, I thought maybe the fuel pump inertia switch. So I took it out. It works fine. Then I thought well maybe it is some funny code in the computer, so I disconnect the battery for about 20 minutes, hoping it will reset to factory defaults. Still nothing. I switch around my fuel pump relay and starter relay with the defroster and cooling fan relays, they are all the same part numbers. Still nothing. I check my cables, they are fine, I pull of the aircleaner and throttle body hose and check the connections at the starter, they are fine, still nothing.

    In all, I spent about an hour and a half just checking things and it still will not make a sound. I know the fuel pump is working, I can hear it turn on when I turn the key. I even took the advise I found on this message board and "jiggled" the transmission shifter, hoping that would engage the interlock switch, still nothing.

    I don't know what to do. If I take it to the dealer, I'm sure he will say that I bought it as is and he has already helped more than he should have. I'd like to be able to fix this myself. It seems like it should be something really simple.

    As a side note, the keyless entry has never worked on it. I know it has keyless entry, it's an XLT and loaded, I can't imagine it wouldn't have it. And the THEFT light come on in the dash each time I turn over the key, so I'm sure it is equipped. Perhaps the two issues are related?

    Anyway, any advice would be appreciated. Please e-mail to Thanks.
  • tpeterstpeters Posts: 4
    Thanks, took care of that and didn't have to helicoil though. It turned out the bolt snapped. I was surprised at that as I really didn't think I was turning down that hard. I thought the insert would give way before the class 8 bolt (was pleasantly wrong). Still have my engine light and acceleration problem though after plugs, fuel filter and hours of frustration thinking what could be going on with this temperamental machine. Please see my post under engine light if you want a challenge, and thanks again for your help.
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    Sounds like an IAC (Idle Air Control motor) problem I had early on at about 25K miles. The IAC replacement solved the problem for me. But it could be a different problem altogether because I'm not a mechanic. I changed out the IAC (sits on top near the air intake) in about 5-mins. My '01 V6 has performed great without the above mentioned problems since.
    If you do replace the IAC, try and go to a parts-house, you'll get it cheaper
    that going through the dealer-parts dept. I got mine for about $54.00, it would normallyrun about $75.00 at the dealers at least. Do not buy an aftermarket IAC. Only go with Motorcraft brand.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Since you have an engine light on, best course is to go ahead and have it read. Probably a misfire code, and the reader will tell you which cylinder is misfiring. Could be something as simple as plug wires.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Definitely sounds like an alarm problem First step is to identify if it's factory or aftermarket, then go from there.
  • tpeterstpeters Posts: 4
    Thanks again. I'm off to buy that reader, but have a question regarding those plug wires should that be what I find to be the problem. Will I have to replace those upper intake gaskets again after I pull the manifold?
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    I hate to say "will be" so and so. I jsut meant you need to find the code before wasting time with guesswork.

    I just now realized you're the same guy with the intake and the misfire. I thought it was two different posters. Could you go way back through everything that's happened causing you to replace the intake gaskets, misfire code, etc? Thanks.
  • gaspig1gaspig1 Posts: 3
    I just recently purchased a 2001 Tribute ES. Its got the V6, leather, moonroof, the works.

    I love absolutely everything about this SUV, although, I havent had a chance to try the 4WD out yet as we have not had any snow since I bought it.

    My only problem with it is the gas mileage. I am averaging 13 MPG in the city, about 18 MPG on the highway. This thing is costing me a fortune to drive. I've tried fuel injector cleaners, gas additives and stuff like that. Nothing helps. Mileage has not gotten better at all. I drive it like a little old lady in hopes of improving the mileage.... nada.

    Also, on occasion, when I start it, the engine revs really hard for about 30 seconds, its almost like the gas pedal is stuck down. It doesnt happen every time, but often enough to cause some concern.

    Anyone have any ideas as to why this is happening?? Any suggestions on how to improve the mileage? At this rate, I just may have to get rid of it to get something more economical. :mad:
  • rcinmdrcinmd Posts: 139
    Interestingly, I signed on this morning planning to discuss gas mileage as well. It seems based on many comments that the Escape / Tribute / Mariner family is simply not fuel effiecient, SUV status notwithstanding. While they are not small vehicles, they certainly are not outsized either. Mine is an '05 4 cylinder, 5 speed, AWD. In comparison to yours, I guess I should be thanking my lucky stars, yet I also feel based on the way I have been driving to this point that there is something not quite right with the results I am getting. To date, I have averaged about 21 mpg, but it has been my style of break-in driving, which is with eggs under my right foot, and using 3000 rpm as redline. What I have noticed is that on downhill stretches, both on interstate and secondary roads, where the speed is around 50 miles per hour, when I place the transmission in neutral, the vehicle continues to slow as though I had it in gear or was braking. Granted, it's a non-aerodynamic box, but I am now thinking that there must be tremendous drag in the drivetrain, and I have to give it gas simply to maintain speed even while going downhill. That can't be good at all for fuel efficiency. I wish I had taken the FWD version I test drove on similar stretches in order to compare. This may very well be the first vehicle I have ever had which won't achieve the rated fuel mileage. We'll see once it is "broken in". But in my experience, the additional miles will not result any measureable increase at all.
  • gaspig1gaspig1 Posts: 3
    **What I have noticed is that on downhill stretches, both on interstate and secondary roads, where the speed is around 50 miles per hour, when I place the transmission in neutral, the vehicle continues to slow as though I had it in gear or was braking. **

    I've noticed that too with mine, it seems to drag if you're not contstantly giving it gas, but not all the time. If I'm on a flat road, it coasts along nicely,even gathers speed to the point where i have to brake sometimes.

    Like I said, I drive it very carefully so as not to use a lot of gas, but it still does. From work to home and back, round trip is about 30 km, I use almost 1/4 tank daily just driving to work!!! I had a lead foot in my other cars, drove the bag outta them, drove everywhere and have never had fuel economy this bad!
  • escapenutescapenut Posts: 117
    The Ford 3.0 V6 has been around in various iterations at least for the last decade. It is not a very fuel-efficient engine in the Escape/Tribute/Mariner clan but seems to do better in the cars that it's placed in, for example the new Ford 500, Mazda 626, Mazda MPV, etc.. This is probably somewhat d/t the gearing differences between the SUV's and cars noted. I could be wrong but I don't believe the 500,
    626, MPV, or Freestyle are rated to tow 3500 lbs. like the Escape/Tribute family.

    My current City/Hwy. mileage is about 17/20 mpg. I've achieved nothing better
    in last couple of years on my '01 Escape V6. I guess if greater mileage is desired then we may all have to live with a 'Freestyle'-type vehicle which mileage rating is
    EPA 20/27. I guess if I got on the highway and kept it below 70 mph I might be able to get 21-22 mpg if I was lucky. However, I have a tendency to wring the
    V6 because it seems like it crys for it to done, so my mileage will be on the low-side.

    Of course if gas prices continue to climb I may be back in a compact-car getting
    25/35 mpg and not liking it one bit.

    What I really wish, is that Ford would plop a torquey clean-burn diesel in the Escape a la Jeep Liberty. This would raise the mileage figures by at least several
    mpg for city and hwy. I definitely would consider a purchase as opposed to the
    Escape Hybrid which considering the extra initial cost would take several years of gas-purchases to pay-down.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    I'm afraid it won't get much better than low 20s with AWD. there's a lot of drag on the rear wheels with the AWD gear, even when it's not engaged.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Sound like a bad Idle Air Control. Change it with a new Ford part and see if the fuel economy improves. Also ask you dealer about available reprograms for the PCM for the mileage problem. Just a word of warning, though: a lot of 2001 Escape/tribute owners had trouble with intermittent stalling, and the reflash program cured it but many owners reported poor fuel economy afterwards. You may have bought a reprogrammed Problem Child. It will have to spend some time in the dealer service dept for diagnosis either way
  • isisisis Posts: 6
    My '03 Escape Limited 4x4 has 32,500 miles and is on it's 2nd set of OEM front rotors and 3rd set of front brake pads from the dealer and they dust like crazy ! I can wash my Escape and by the next morning I'm having to wash my front wheels already from the brake dust !
    Do these Escapes and Tributes LAST ? I mean are they dependable when they get milage on them? i bought mine new in April of 2003 and have had problems with the front brakes, it's been in the dealership 5 times now and this Monday coming up It's scheduled to go back into the dealership AGAIN and this time not only for the brakes but the Automatic Transmission is acting up on it ! I'm 100% disabled with a spinal disability and can't have this thing breaking down on me all the time and Alan Vigil Ford in Morrow, GA. where i bought it is NOW trying to stop the loaners and force me into "renting" cars from them for a $50. deposit which I'm supposed to get back if I don't go over 100 miles no matter how long I have the "loaner" ! I paid CASH for the Escape with the insurance settlement from my accident for my spinal cord and was left with enough to pay off my old cars so we gave them away hoping to help out other people. The 1997 I gave away was the BEST vehicle I've EVER owned and wish I still had it. I told the owner of the Explorer that the ONLY catch was they could NEVER sell or trade it and it had to come back to me if they ever got a new car and they signed a paper saying so. He called me last month saying that gas prices in East TN where they live now are getting to be too much for the 4.0 V6 in the Explorer and they'll be giving the Explorer back soon, I CAN'T WAIT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a 2WD Explorer with the big V6 with LOTS of power, it was that ONE truck off the assembly line that had the EXTRA Mojo and it recently turned over 100,000 miles for a 19971 and the guy said it will STILL spin the back tires if you're not careful on the pedal !
    When it comes back I'm going to try my hardest to get a 3/4 or 1 ton diesel pick up to tow 5th wheel trailers hauling vehicles for Repo lots and auction houses between Macon and Atlanta which I notice a BUNCH of people doing here lately in this area. I can still drive an Automatic transmission if it's equipped with right kind of seating which most newer trucks are. I can't wait to start working again if it's Gods will !!!!!!!
    Does anyone know anybody who has a diesel pick up they'd want to trade even for an '03 LIMITED 4X4 Escape with the Tow Package and Reverse sensors, leather interior, power sunroof, heated seats and side mirrors, power drivers seat with power side mirrors, luggage rack, fog lights,ALL the "03 option are on this escape including the running boards and Medically exempt window tint for my migraines that I suffer from. It Dark metallic Grey with tan leather interior. I have a 7 yr old so the interior has been kept up but needs to be vacuumed ! I instaled a K&N Air filter and a Tornadoe Air& Fuel Mixer for better fuel mileage and HP. It NEEDS after-market slotted front rotors and ceramic brake pads to make it just short of perfect. We've taken it to Myrtle Beach 4 times, Disney in Orlando, Florida once, Pensacola Beach, Florida twice and a round trip up thru the Appalachian Mtns of East TN. on thru N.Carolina East all the way to the coast and south to Brunswick,GA and back north to Atlanta where we live just south of. MANY of the miles on it are Interstate miles and as stated earlier it only has 32,500 miles on it. everyone complains about the small fuel tanks but I've never come close to running out of gas thru ALL of my travels and that includes MANY back road trips being tourists in other states ! when i take into the Dealership this monday I'm having the Transmission fluid drained and Synthetic fluid added, I'm told it will add 2 to 3 miles per gallon in fuel mileage.
    If this little SUV has ONE Redeeming quality it's that it has NEVER (knock on wood) let us down,EVER ! We took it out on the muddy tidal flats in Florida once where a bunch of others were testing their SUVs and trucks in the mud so i had to follow suit. It's the ONLY time we've ever had it in the 4X4 mode and it never spun a tire in the wet mud one time and had no problem in just driving thru the tidal mud when others after us in Toyotas and Honda were sinking and spinning in one spot !!!!! i was proud of my little Escape that day and lots of people were impressed with it since we did have EVERYTHING we'd brought with us on the trip inside the thing. Being a disabled Veteran the Navy guys at Pensacola washed our Escape for us even though I was in the ARMY and they ;) power washed ALL the mud out from under the truck for us as we were carrying an extra couple hundred lbs of mud with us !
  • isisisis Posts: 6
    Just unplug the Red Battery Cable and re-install it ! That'll reflash it , I know it sounds crazy but ALOT of my neighbors have Escapes and I've heard from more than a few of them about this "quick do it yourself fix ". Try it, it WON'T hurt anything. I had to do it with my '03 2500 Ram Quad Cab Hemi and it worked on it as well. It's like re-starting your computer at home , it just re-sets it.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    "flash" programs are hard coded into the PCM memory. Unplugging the battery won't delete the re-flash done by the dealer any more than turning off your PC resets your BIOS or hard drive.
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    A friend of mine has a 2005 4 cylinder Escape 2wd that developed a problem just off-idle that felt like a throttle cable seizing. The dealer repaired it under warranty by replacing the throttle body. I can't remember if it was a TSB or secret "program" or an actual recall, but if anyone is experiencing the same symptom it will be covered under warranty at the dealer.
  • serkanserkan Posts: 2
    I just Purchased a pre-owned escape 2002. It was quite clean when I left the dealer but in two weeks rust started to develop on the paint (In small orange dots) specially at the rear gate just under the glass. The pain seems to be original but I don't understand how a rust can develop on a 3 year old car. Does anyone else experianced such a problem. I am quite worried to be honest. This happened in two weeks I can't imagine what happens if I keep this car for couple of years.
  • serkanserkan Posts: 2
    I have an Escape whic I purchased pre-owned two weeks ago. I started to see rust developing on the paint right under the rear gate window and rear left window. For a three year car i found it quite unbeleivable. I am suspecting a paint problem. Please let me know if anyone experienced the same and how manufacturer or dealer responded. Thanks
  • Ok, well where to start... I bought my escape used from Hertz with 27,000 miles on it. Had no problems with it at all until i shipped it here to Germany when i got back from Iraq in March of 04. When I picked my car up it had a engine light and it was only an oxygen sensor that needed to be replaced.

    In August I was getting ready to go to Austria snowboarding when the engine light came on (48,000 miles) . The car seemed to shake when the engine was a low RPM or an idle. So i canceled the trip and took it to the AAFES (Army Air Force Exchange Service) Mechanics and they said that they checked the plugs, wires and coil packs, finding no solution to the problem. other than that the fault code was 304, or a misfire on the 4th cyl.

    So i took it to the ford dealer in downtown Bamberg. After a week the called me back and told me that the spark plug in the 4th cyl had burnt off and fallen inside the cyl. They estimated that the cost of repair would be about 2.800 euros, which is about 3,600 dollars. Which as a Private I can not afford. So I had to settle for paying them 300 euros for a new set of spark plugs.

    Then I Called my dealer in California (Salinas Valley Ford) and asked how long the spark plugs last in the escape. He told me that they were good for 60-100k miles. I asked him why they were not changed during my 50k service which I did on my leave while I was in Iraq. I emailed him pictures of the spark plugs. He told me that they do not replace the spark plugs during the 50k service.

    So i called Ford's 1-800 number and after waiting for a long time, talked to a perky person who in a very polite way told me that the 60-100k spark plugs (ford motorcraft) were not guaranteed for 60k miles. And that since I was in germany I needed to deal with ford Europe.

    So i called ford Europe's 0-800 number and after some language problems, was told that since i was an American, with an American spec vehicle. I needed to deal with ford USA.

    So i called ford again, asked them if there was any way they could help me, pay part of it because of bad spark plugs. and in the most polite way i was told to go pound it..

    So I had no choice but to drive it to get to work and such. and with the new spark plugs it was running much better. So here I am 8 months later. The vehicle started to lose some power over the months. but last month, i had a massive power loss on the autobahn going about 120kM/hr, turns out my EGR Valve blew... literally.. so i bought a new one online for 55 dollars instead of 200 Euro that the Ford dealer wanted here in Germany. and replaced it.. Car ran like it did before. 100 miles later, I had another massive power loss, the engine still had some power, but giving more gas did little. almost like it was in an "8th gear" So now I am trying to get it running again, getting it 60 miles to the POV shipment point so i can send it to texas when I leave next month....

    So my question is.... What can i do? Is there a way i can get ford to help me? Should i just get a new engine if i have been driving it this long? Rebuild it? I am just not sure what i should do?

    Thanks for your time, sorry I am so long winded...

  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    Ford platinum plugs are designed to last to last to 100,000 miles, so the dealer was correct in not servicing them. If Ford has already said "no" to any financial assistance, then that's the answer. You didn't mention at what mileage the plug broke off.

    I don't understand how the broken plug required a new engine one minute, but ran fine for another 8 months. What part of the engine was damaged causing them to recommend replacement?
  • They broke off at 52,000 miles. The Ford Dealer in Germany said that the 4th cyl had no compression. and to fix it they would have to take the entire engine apart fix what was broken, and put it back together. They estimated it to be about 2800 euros, mostly for labor.

    It ran "ok' for 8 months.. but at lower speeds and at an idle it still shook a bit... and eventually i had to go over 50MPH or so in 5th to keep it from shaking and the engine light from blinking...
  • I have a 2001 Ford Escape V6 4WD and have been having this problem for the last several weeks. When I take my foot off of the break pedal a high-pitched whistle comes from that area of the car. The whistle usually goes away if I tape the break pedal a few times, although sometimes it continues for quite a while. In addition, sometimes the high-pitched whistle is replaced by the sound of leaking air.

    It is really annoying, and is starting to get on my nerves.

    I have taken it to the dealer and they said they cannot figure out what the problem is.

    Any ideas?
  • My symtoms were much the same, turned out to be a burnt valve, No. 4 cyl. with low compression. The fix was a new valve head, took 2 weeks to get all parts in. Was apprx. $1800, but had ext. warr., so was out only $50 deduct. Good luck, M
  • wijocowijoco Posts: 462
    The reason I asked is if the cylinder walls are not scored then the engine can be repaired. At worst you would need a new head and piston, and I don't see it being anywhere near the cost quoted.

    I would be interested in having another dealer or independent shop pull the head and give his analysis without knowing the previous dealer's diagnosis. If he sees damage consistent with a foreign object, then you were getting the real story. It won't cost too much labor just to pull the head and have it looked at. Then go from there.
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