Howdy, Stranger!

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

Howdy, Stranger!

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

Did you get a great deal? Let us know in the Values & Prices Paid section!
Meet your fellow owners in our Owners Clubs

Mazda Tribute Transmission Problems

I'll give you a little history on my Tribute experience. In March 2005 I purchased my brand new Mazda Tribute. Like many others I felt like I got a lot of car for the $, now I know why. I drove my Tribute off the showroom floor with 4 miles on the odometer. Two days later I had to return the vehicle to the dealer because the transmission was junk. After experiencing the worst experience possible with the dealership, I contacted Mazda Corporate. The Consumer Compliance Specialist that was assigned to my account was wonderful and supplied me with a vehicle buy back. I had my NEW Tribute delivered within a few days and said good riddens to my other one. My NEW Tribute now has 45,000 miles on it, and once again the transmission is starting to go out. I took it to the dealership and they advised the vehicle has some serious issues, but they couldn't pinpoint the problem. They had requested that I leave it with them so they could run a diagnostic online with Mazda Corp. technical service. I just got the call today from a differenct Consumer Compliant Specialist and he advised this is a characteristic of the Tribute. Keep in mind, my car is almost out of warranty. After disputing with the dealership, they advised their hands are tied by Mazda Corp., meaning they won't fix it under warranty. To say it like it is, Mazda is waiting for my warranty to run out so they won't have to fix it. When I replied back to the Consumer Compliant Specialist that the dealership advised this was abnormal and a serious defect he replied back that it doesn't matter they call the shots, and this is what he decided. He also noted that he has to do everything in his power to lower the cost of warrant repairs for Mazda. On top of this, he advised the dealer would make a note on the ticket stating, "if the transmission fails while the car is out of warranty they would possibly fix the problem". After talking to a lawyer friend of mine, this statement would not hold up in court. After confronting the Specialist on his comment he laughed and said too bad. I will never buy a Mazda ever!!! I soon will be paying approx. $3000 for a new transmission.


  • The torque converter went bad on mine at 45,000 miles. At 45 mph the car would shake. Mazda put in a new transmission. They busted an axle while doing it, so it went back to be fixed. A few weeks later transmission fluid started coming out. I was told the torque converter seal needed to be replaced. I just picked the car up Of couse they busted the other axle this time while taking the transmission out again. When the transmission problems first started I explained to Mazda that I was told the story of "this is a charteristic of the car" from Toyota with a 2004 Camry. They started to tell me the same thing and acted as if they would not fix the transmisson in the beginning. I stood there and had a melt down until they agreed to fix the transmission the first time. Do not back down from Mazda......they know they have a problem with these things. Go to the Ford dealer they will tell you the same thing about the Escapes.
  • Thank you very much for the information. I am actually bringing my car back in on Monday because I am now getting approx. 8-10 mpg. The dealer responded by saying, "your transmission problem could be caused by a sensor in the fuel line". The dealer and Mazda are full of it. I have lost complete faith in Mazda. I've owned Honda's in the past, and I think it's time to go back. Unfortunately I am upside down on the hunk of junk. Good luck with your Tribute and thanks again for the info.
  • mitso1mitso1 Posts: 1
    I also own a Tribute it is a '02, my transmission lasted me 75K miles, and when I called the dealer for an estimate to rebuild it, their response was that Mazda does not recommend to rebuild a faulty transmission and that I should get a brand new one instead, I laughed and told the guy that Mazda had screwed me once when they sold me the car and that they were not going to do it again, and hung up. :mad:

    I found out that Mazda does not sell replacement parts to rebuild a transmission, in order to rebuild existing one they have to use aftermarket parts, which I am hopping are better than Mazda’s so I don't have to worry about this happening again before I am ready to buy a new car.

    I was very pleased with my purchase until it crossed over the warranty miles and suddenly it seemed like everything started to fall apart, it is almost as if them SOBs made them with a 5 year life expectancy. :lemon:
  • I'd take a second thought about Honda automatic transmissions. They are, by far, the worst in the industry. If you're interested do a search for "transmission problems" on the following Honda's: 99-05 Odyssey, 03-07 Accord, 99-04 Acura TL. Honda made a huge impact on the US car market for at least 2 decades. I'm guessing that the people in charge of that impact have now retired.
  • bachmanbachman Posts: 31
    I had problems a while back (2003 EX model) and the trans felt like it was surging and not wanting to shift even at 3000 rpms or more !! They found it to be a ground wire or shoddy connection somewhere in the transmission. It's a CD4E and a friend of mine told me he rebuilds them often and the box of parts has all kinds of '' check this , don't do that'', kind of suggestions .... very touchy to diagnose and service apparently. I did lots of homework to give the dealer some hints on what to check hoping it would get caught and repaired correctly. They did good since it was indeed an intermittent problem.
  • Guys are talking about issues with automatic transmissions? How about manual transmissions, does anybody know about issues with this type of transmission?
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    The Tribute does not have a manual transmission.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    Oops! I goofed. The 4 cylinder certainly does have a manual transmission. I was thinking of the V6.
  • wedding1wedding1 Posts: 3
    Sorry for such a delayed response to my first comment on my Tribute. FYI - I actually pursued this issue over and over with corporate, meaning I literally bugged the crap out of them, and they actually gave me a 100,000 mile, total care package, with a 0 dollar deductible, extended warranty at their cost. I actually had a Mazda Corp. Maintenance Tech come from out of town to test drive my vehicle, and after that I got the call from Mazda Corp. Consumer Compliance stating they would give me the warranty. I was willing to pursue this issue with the Corp. CEO if I had to. My vehicle still runs horrible and it literally feels like someone is rear ending me while I drive, but I have a little less worry now, knowing it's covered for 100,000 miles. Keep pursuing this issue with them and don't give in. FYI - they also replaced the fuel sensor line in my car and it didn't fix the problem. I am also extremely upside down on my vehicle and can't afford to get rid of the hunk of junk. Keep telling Mazda Corp. that they will be getting a letter from your lawyer if they don't comply. You may be better off to spend a few extra $ and have a transmission shop run a diagnostic. I kept telling Mazda corp. that I was going to do this and once the shop found the problem I would be sending them a lawsuit. I agree - I have had the best luck with Honda's Never again will I buy American. Good luck and keep me posted. If you need names or more info. let me know. Also threaten your dealership that you are going to make an appt. everyday to have your vehicle looked at. Trust me it works.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I notice no one here mentioned doing preventive maintenance on thier automatic transmissions?? I have owned both an Escape that went over 70,000 hard miles/towing/hauling with no transmission issues. Wife owns a Tribute with just over 50,000 no transmission issues. I know it is because I had the transmission flushed on both at 30,000 miles.
  • jules20jules20 Posts: 8
    I have a 2001 Tribute and have about 110,000 miles on it. It has been good to me and currently I am having the issue mentioned previously of the transmission surging and not wanting to shift. I actually have had this happen for most of the years that I have owned this car. It will do it for a period of time then go away for a long period of time and come back. It is going on about 2 weeks now and I am getting ready to take it in to get checked out. I have kept up with the maintenance of this car and have done a trans flush. Anyway - hope this isn't the end of this vehicle for me. I used to work for Ford corporate - quickest way to get a response is to get to the big wigs of the company. Things happen if you get through.
  • azdaneazdane Posts: 1
    I bought my 2001 Tribute June15, 2001, by July 6, 2001 it was in the shop. Apparently there is a very touchy screw on the four wheel drive transmission connection and this one was screwed too tight. It got replaced. The whole four wheel drive!
    About 6 months later the fuel sensor light went on. Faulty, got replaced.
    A few other minor items replaced through warranty in the next few months, sensors, four wheel drive stuff, free, but a pain in the butt. I did always have a free rental, though.
    Then right around 25K miles when I accelerated going 60mph or more, the engine would just rev and no gear would catch. Well, we got a new transmission, which they say was rebuilt, because they couldn't get new(??whatever - man-talk). I had it in for this four times until the service guy finally went on the highway with me and then he saw.
    I still have the ole girl, she's topping 120K. She is still cute and since the design hasn't really changed too much, doesn't look old and dated.
    She will have her belts, hoses and fluids changed in the next couple of weeks.
    I have been using synthetic blend oil since 50K miles.
  • jules20jules20 Posts: 8
    If mine ends up having to replace the transmission I will buy a new vehicle. Too much work for a vehicle with 110,000 miles on it. I see that there is going to be a Hybrid Tribute next year - it is being sold in CA currently. I would like to check out the Escape Hybrid too. But - after reading all of the posts with the transmission issues I may turn back to Toyota.
  • Here's my take (based on my limited mechanical aptitude) on the problem I've got with my Tribute.

    I retrieved my Tribute this weekend when some family borrowed it to go on a road trip. I've only got 60,000 miles on the car, so it seemed like a reliable car for the trip. While they were driving on the freeway, the engine revved a little. The driver turned off the cruise control and the car started slowing down. When he hit the gas to get the car going again, the car had no power. With the car in drive, the engine revs, but doesn't move. Tried the same thing in reverse.

    When the tow-truck pulled the Tribute into the out of town dealer, the dealer looked at it and said that there was some metallic noise in the transmission and they'd need to take the transmission out to diagnose the problem ($600 to pull it out and put it back in). They also noted that the transmission fluid was very high - looked like it had been overfilled. Instead of having the out of town dealer do the work, I hauled the Tribute home on a trailer.

    When I took it to a local transmission shop, they said that most likely the "pump shaft" was broken in the transmission. The high transmission fluid level was one of indicators they used to diagnose the problem because when the engine turned on, the transmission fluid wasn't getting pulled down into the transmission. The guys at the shop were also surprised by the transmission used in the Tribute. I think they said it was the same transmission as the one in the Explorer?

    At the end of the day, the transmission shop said they needed to rebuild or replace the transmission. The bill was $2300 minimum to rebuild the transmission. If they put a new transmission in, the bill is closer to $5000 or $6000. Depending on what's broken when they pull the transmission apart, I'll need to pay for additional parts in the transmission.

    For a car that I bought new and had all the regular service done, 60,000 miles is an absurdly low number to lose the transmission. The transmission work is starting today. I'm way out of warranty and haven't been impressed with the dealer service here locally. Any other options? Anybody else have a similar problem? I saw one post that almost looked similar, but there weren't enough details to know if the problem was the same.
  • jules20jules20 Posts: 8
    First I am happy to say that I purchased a Toyota Prius and traded my bad transmission Mazda Tribute in. My transmission fluid was also too high. The transmission is the same as the Ford Escape. They are built on the same line in the plant. The Tribute has a history of transmission issues and to have the issues you are having at 60K - that is tragic.
  • Tell me more about the high transmission fluid? Was that before your transmission went out?
  • jules20jules20 Posts: 8
    It was during the transmission issues. My Tribute wasn't accelerating properly. It would stick and not shift into gear. So I had a friend look at my car and he said that my transmission fluid was too full. I also had my car at the dealer for over a week and they concluded I needed a new transmission. I kept driving the car for about 6 weeks though - Prius had a waiting list. Fortunately it didn't break down before I got my new car.
  • jds427jds427 Posts: 6
    I have an 02 tribute with 85,000 miles. When it is shifting into or out of overdrive around 50 mph sometimes the transmission makes a rumbleing sound for a few seconds. It feels like the car is going over the rumble strips. Does anyone know if this is a major problem. It has been doing it for about the last 10,000 miles and doesnt seem to be getting any worse. what would it cost to fix? Also, I am not sure if the transmission fluid was ever changed. i got the car with 45,000 miles and it now has 85. I was thinking about changing the fluid and am not sure if i should change any of it, all of it, or just half of it. i have heard stories of transmissions failing because dirt get loosened up.
  • tveilleuxtveilleux Posts: 15
    For the rumbling problem you are describing the fluid change is a good starting point. I was having this problem much earlier in the transmission' s life (30,000 miles) at I eventually changed the fluid and the problem disappeared. Other forum members and those on other forums have had similar results which is why I tried it.
  • I'm just now reading this because our 2003 Tribute is in the shop getting a new transmission put in - at 60K miles. The truck has been good to us, and we have done all regularly scheduled maintenance on it - basically everything that we could do to ensure it would last a long time. We even did the transmission maintenance at 32K. The dealer called it a "fluke". For something that is going to cost almost $4000, I have another term for it... :cry:
  • Wow, I am just in awe. On Monday, our 2004 Mazda Tribute (87,000 km) konked out. My husband was driving on Highway 1 to Calgary, cruising at 120 km/hr. He pressed on the gas a little, heard a bang, the car slowed down. It picked back up and when he got to the first traffic light, he pressed on the gas - nothing. The Tribute was done. AMA (thankfully!) came and got him right away, sent him to the Mazda dealership and voila - we need a new transmission! Apparently gears 4 and 5 were shot. So the Mazda is in the shop right now, getting the transmission rebuilt. Total: $3900CAD. Awesome.

    Is it just me, or should a 2004 vehicle with only 87,000 NOT be brought into a shop to get a new transmission?!

    Soooooooo just out of curiosity..... can we sue?? Does it not seem like there should have been a recall?? Can we do ANYTHING? Can we contact head office?? Anything?? This just seems like it's WAY too common to go unmentioned!
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    This is rather low kms for a transmission to fail. You say that gears 4 and 5 were shot. Is this a manual transmission? Automatics only had a 4 speed.
  • My 2003 Mazda Tribute had performed beautifully since I bought it new. I have the 2WD model. It has 105,000 miles on it, and I have had the transmission oil changed twice. The transmission died on a trip to Santa Fe. Luckily family lived there. It took 1 week with expedited shipping and $4500 to replace the transmission. I was also charged 16 hours of labor. Seems like this should have been a recall item, seeing what is listed on this web site. I also was told that there is no successful "rebuilding" of the transmission as the transmission is "baked" after assembly to set the parts; therefore, a rebuild shop can't do the job correctly. It's sad, I love the car, it fits my needs perfectly. Now I have a year warranty to shop for a different manufacturer of the same style to avoid future transmission problems.
  • I have "had" a 2005 Tribute and yesterday I was driving in rush hour traffic and after coming to a complete stop, I tried to hit the gas and I got RPM's but nothing else. The dealership is now telling me $3500 to put a "new" transmission in or they can sell me one that has 58k miles on it (almost identical milege to the one that went kaput) for $2995. I am at a loss for words, its just out of warranty and Mazda unlike nearly every other car manufacturer does not have a powertrain warranty. I ahve no idea what i'm going to do. I just want a new car at this point and I think Mazda needs to eat what I owe on the vehicle!! i'm pissed!!!!! :mad: :mad:
  • I hope this makes you feel better...
    My Tribute has 58 K on it and I had the same thing happen to me on New Year's Eve. Here's the kicker.....Out of warranty and 3 months left on my lease. The repair guy said the Ford transmission is at fault....
  • They say exactly what was wrong? In my case it was a broken pump shaft but the symptom sounded the same. The solution was to replace the transmission. The mechanic also said it was typical because the Ford transmission on the SUV was designed for a Ford sedan (I forget which one). Apparently it has some issues when they put the transmission in an SUV.
  • I am having the same problem with my tribute and i was just wondering if you found out what was wrong with it or if it is just something that it does. I am a little concerned because i dont have the money to fix a transmission right now.
    Thank you :confuse:
  • jds427jds427 Posts: 6
    I changed all of the transmission fluid and have not had the rumble since then. I have driven about 7 thousand miles since changing the fluid.
  • I just took my 2009 Tribute (3 wks old, 525 miles) into the dealer with the check engine light showing. After about 15 minutes I was told I needed to have the transmission replace. They are sending a new transmission from the factory and will replace rather than repair the current one. He said there was a recall or bulletin on them. Has anyone heard of this. Can't find anything on the internet for the 2009.
  • bdymentbdyment Posts: 573
    What model Tribute do you have? V6 or 4 cylinder?
Sign In or Register to comment.