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Mazda Tribute



  • another problem, teh windshield wipers stopped working, how great, when there are supposed to be 29 days of consecutive rain and clouds. My parents called this as a learnign expereince, he wishes he got us a bimmer instead, not a bad idea but a litte late.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    I just traded in my 2003 Cavalier Junk Coupe for a 2003 Tribute ES. I was at a disadvantage to the dealer because I had to get rid of the Cavalier before it completely fell apart, but still paid only $1300 over invoice, kept the $2500 rebate and got more than I paid for the Cavalier. If I hadn't needed to trade the Cav, I probably could have gotten the Trib at invoice, but I guess I can't complain. Now I hope that the Tribute is more reliable than the Cavalier.
  • HI, Actually no, I took the $2,000 Rebate and not the 0.0% financing.
    If you do the math you should save more by taking the Rebate versus the Financing. This all depends on your credit rating of course. I managed to get 3.99% financing.

    Good luck
  • just got 2003 es 2 days ago so far very happy :)listed out at $26,869. pretty much loaded. invoice for $25,000 and change.Paid $300. over invoice thru Costco Price Club no hassle pricing didn't even have to to meet sales manager and all the other bull they put u thru at other dealers.took 60 months 0% financing. ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM :)
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    Just picked up a 2003 ES. Love it so far but there are a few small complaints:

    1. The ignition key is almost under the steering column and doesn't light up making it even more difficult to find. Also, inserting the key is very difficult. It doesn't go in easy, it is very stiff. Checked another Tribute and it is the same.

    2. The gas pedal is either too close to the brake pedal or too close to the center console housing because I find that when I lift my foot off of the gas, the left side of my shoe gets caught on the brake pedal. Anyone else notice this?
  • phaedrysphaedrys Posts: 37
    Congrats on your new Tribute! I picked mine up about three weeks ago (already have 1400 miles on it).

    As for the ignition bugged me at first too. Now that its been a few weeks I hardly notice it, although when my gf drives (rarely) she still has a little trouble finding it. As for the gas pedal I haven't noticed that problem. It might be because I am coming from a vehicle where I am more used to the pedals being closer together.

    Hope this helps a little. Good luck with the Tribute!
  • not to thrill with position of ignition. as far as gas/brake petal I have size 13 triple e shoe and have no problem
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    I have a 2003 Trib. with 300 miles and have noticed a high pitch squeak above 35 mph. It is not the brakes because if I step on the brakes, it doesn't change. Could it be a wheel bearing? Anyone else have this?
  • tribstertribster Posts: 20
    Hello everyone... New here... I bought a new 2003 Tribute LX with Tow Package and other Goodies. It has 800 miles on it now in about a month. I need help from anybody who can offer it.

    I had my first problem a couple of days ago. I started noticing oil under my car. It is engine oil for sure(not red in color). I looked under the car at the engine oil pan area, and sure enough it is leaking oil. There is a cavity located right where transmisson(i think) meets the oil pan. It has a very cheap looking piece of rubber covering another cavity. The leaking oil seems to be coming from one/two bolts located in the oil pan. Not sure if it is leaking from the engine side or the Pan side. I am very disappointed and very upset. only 800 miles and one month of use.

    Has anyone else experienced such an oil leak problem? Taking it in to the dealer tomorrow. Any help would be appreciated. I guess in my case, Ford forgot about "Quality is Job one".
  • tribstertribster Posts: 20
    Well... this place seems to very slow...

    I took my tribute in for the oil leak problem. After keeping the car for three days, they said they replaced the oil pan seal as it was leaking oil. Just as I was driving the car back, I noticed it was still leaking oil. Took it back, I was surprised to see it was missing the rubber boot which by the way is used to cover the cavity which houses the fly wheel. They told me that it was fixed(the rubber boot). Right!!!. Anyway they took a rubber boot from another tribute and put it in my car. (they did not have one in stock). What a poor job of engineering. Put rubber in such a hot environment.

    Anyway it is still leaking oil... and I am supposed to take my summer vacation trip starting this weekend. I hope this is not a sign of things to come. Just venting I guess.

    If others have had such a problem.. please let me know how you fixed it. Thanks.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    This may make me sound like a bit of an alarmist, but you might want to start researching the "Lemon Law" in your state. In some states, the dealer gets only 3 chances to fix the same problem and then they must buy back the car. I recommend researching your state's laws now just in case you have to exercise your right to return the car. Many states require the problem to be EXACTLY the same, so be certain to have the tech write up the problem using the EXACT SAME words each time.

    Hopefully, they'll just get it fixed correctly so you don't have to worry about it on your trip. Good luck.
  • alwaysedalwaysed Posts: 55
    I have not had this problem on my ES, but have the dealer check the oil cooler which is part of your tow package-especially if the dealer installed it.
  • domettgdomettg Posts: 55
    The high pitch noise I am hearing between 35 and 45 mph has been solved. It is due to the plastic bug guard that I installed on the front of the hood. It is the Mazda bug guard for the Tribute. Don't know why this is happening. It obviously has changed the air flow characteristics enough to cause this noise. Anyone else notice this?
  • tribstertribster Posts: 20
    Thanks for your responses. I really appreciate it.

    Well.... I was able to take my tribute back so the dealer can check it again. They found out that two of the bolts used to keep the oil pan in place were still leaking oil. They tightened the bolts. These bolts are located in the cavity in the oil pan and not on the edges of the pan. I'll have to keep an eye on this to make sure it does not start leaking again.

    I will be honest with you... I am not used to oil leaks, especially in a new car(I have owned 4 Hondas and never had to worry about problems like this). It has turned me off towards the car. Anyway, I do like the power of the engine(when it not leaking oil) and the 6 disc player. I was able to take my trip to Colorado and the Tribute was able to tackle some of the tough climbs with ease. It has power to spare in passing situations.

    One thing I am puzzled about is that we can put a man on the moon, why can't we build cars that are on par with the foreign(Japanies, German) automakers. Don't get me wrong I love my country just like the next guy but it's high time we start concentrating on quality rather than quantity. Just my two cents worth. Thanks.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    Glad to hear your Tribute didn't let you down on your trip.

    It might interest you to know that American brands already compete pretty well with the Germans (e.g. Chevy and Cadillac beat out Mercedes in the latest JD Power quality survey). Another factor that goes unmentioned is that most Japanese cars sold here in America have been available for years in Japan before they are released to the US. They get years to fix any problems before we ever see the cars--they SHOULD be better than US cars (at least initially). Add in the fact that we only see the best of Japan's cars and it's not really a fair comparison. Trust me, you wouldn't even consider driving about 90% of the cars sold in Japan.

    That said, we have some of the best engineers in the world and greater resources than the rest of the world combined, so we should be able to build better cars.
  • scottdudescottdude Posts: 177
    I'm assuming that a lot of Trib owners also considered the Esacpe when they made their purchase, since the cars are so similiar. I was just wondering what made you go with Mazda? Was it just the longer warranty?
  • phaedrysphaedrys Posts: 37
    I just posted something in the Escape forum about this...but the long and short of it is that the Tribute still has driver's lumbar support, which the Escape doesn't. I also felt it drove more like a car than a truck, and had a nicer interior.

    The two vehicles are incredibly similar, and I actually prefer the exterior styling and wheels of the Escape. But for the money and the options and the interior, I had to go with the Tribute.
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    Although I preferred the looks of the Tribute, I really wanted to buy the Escape (so I could keep at least one car with an American nameplate). After visiting three Ford dealers and two Mazda dealers, I found that I could buy the Trib for about $1,000 less, got a better trade-in allowance (about $500) AND a longer warranty.

    So, I guess I'll have to buy a Cadillac CTS when I trade my TT if I want to keep proselytizing about "buying American". Damn, now I feel like a hypocrite!
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    Made in Kansas City...85% American content...Made in Kansas City...85% American content...Made in Kansas City...85% American content...Made in Kansas City...85% American content...

    My new mantra.
  • larry51klarry51k Posts: 35
    not sure this is the right place to ask this. anyhow, anyone know the replacement cost of a rear trib bumper? my fault and don't have time for a few weeks to get to a repair shop. guess i just want to find out the cost and be mad at myself since i have a high deductible.
  • jkarlssonjkarlsson Posts: 1
    This is in response the Tribute owner with the high pitched squeak. I have a similar problem, but it is a "whistle" and folding back the left side rear view mirror eliminates it. Also recommend you leave both roof rack crossbars at rearmost location to reduce noise. My 3-year lease on my 2001 Tribute is almost up. Overall I've been happy. I'm looking for something a little bigger, maybe Highlander or Pilot, but might also purchase mine.
  • scottdudescottdude Posts: 177
    Could a Trib owner tell me if Mazda uses the same instrument panel lighting as the Esacpe, which I guess is a mostly green display?
  • vinnynyvinnyny Posts: 774
    Yup, ugly green and you can't change them without major hassles.
  • chimpsnestchimpsnest Posts: 27
    Curious to how much of the Mazda Tribute is really a Ford Escape (Explorer?).

    Just how intertwined are these two vehicles when it comes to their parts?

  • dg13dg13 Posts: 3
    I'm new here, so forgive me if these questions have already been asked and answered. On my 03 Tribute ES, I don't have the brushed rings around my speedometer and tach. Was there a design change during the model year somewhere? Also, I noticed that with the power doors locked, you can still open the inside front handles (I've never owned a car where you could do this when the doors were locked.) I'm guessing this might be a safety feature for easier exit in an accident? Thanks for your help!
  • bl28bl28 Posts: 1
    I have the 01'ES 4WD tow package ... I was wondering if anyone uses their trib to tow anything. I am considering on using my trib to tow a small tent trailer, and could use some pros and cons from anyone who can give it.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,726
    pretty much everything mechanical is Ford, except that Mazda tweaked the engine tuning slightly, and made the suspension a bit more sporty.

    The other major mechanical difference is that on the V-6 models, the Mazda has a quicker steering rack for more responsive handling.

    Most of the cosmetic stuff is Mazda though, which is why they look quite different.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • Looking for any info on a DIY aftermarket hitch for a Trib 02 ES. How tough is it to install? Will be making college move-in trips the next 4+ years, and could kick myself for not getting factory installed item. Class 2, less than 3500 lb trailer will be pulled.
  • My 2003 Tribute was parked on the street one night when a guy smashed into it. Needless to say I took my car to the Dealer for the repairs. After the dealer had my car for two weeks the send it to the body shop to get fixed, they went threw 6 different quarter panels until they found the correct one. The first four that were order didn't fit the car, the next one was a ford escape panel and that was to small for my tribute and finally the last one they found in Virginia was the right one for the car. The problem was that the supplier was placing the wrong quarter panels in the right boxes, CAN YOU BELIEVE THESE INCOMPETENT PEOPLE!!! Anyway finally after only having my truck for 5 months and in the shop for 2 1/2 months I finally recieved my car looking and driving great. I hope none of you guys have to go threw the headaches that I had to go threw these past two months. By the way Mazda headquarters didn't seem to care very much for the problem... P.S. I love my truck ;0)
  • I had a 01 tribute with tow package & recently traded in on a 03 ES with tow. I pull an enclosed 2 place snowmobile trailer with 2 sleds in the winter(approx. 2200 pounds) & in the summer my 19" Mariah inboard boat( about 2800 pounds) Never, ever a problem plus i get 18 mpg. Canadaian(15 mpg US) towing the boat at 65 mph.
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