I have a 2004 Mazda Tribute (top of the line) & I will never buy another. The back window leaked when it was delivered; the cassette player played in reverse; the rear window screeched when operated; the heating system was inconsistent for the first few years; the head light burned so hot it melted into the socket; the differential leaked; the screws on the rear door are rusted & the antenna is rusting; the sunroof takes many attempts to close; there is a leak in the front engine & Mazda would not cover it as it was 10 days out of warranty. It's got 65,000 km & it is the worst vehicle I have ever had. I swear it was started on a Friday night & finished on a Monday morning!I make sure I let everyone I know how disgusted I am with Mazda & their product. Bye bye Mazda.
Our 2003 Mazda Tribute has had some interesting twists go on with it. AT 130,000 k we are one our 3rd alternator. What person would put an alternator next to the exhaust system.
When we first got it it ran o.k. then started to gradually lose power over the course of about three days. Of course, no time to look at it. One the third day it just stopped. When I stepped out the heat coming from under the hood was incredible.
Turned out the catalytic converter had welded itself shut.
Back ordered for 2 months from somewhere. They rented us an Escape. By the way. To change the alternator is about 4 hours labour. It is in an impossible location. Not a bad vehicle--not a great vehicle--lots of mickey mouse problems.
August 24, 2007.
2001 Mazda Tribute V6, 2 wheel drive, auto, bought with 72,000 km - lease end.
June 05 - Front suspension was making noises - needed front stabilizers when bought - 175.00
Did regular maintenance: oil change, filters, coolant flush, brakes, etc.
Feb 07 - 120,000 km Had transmission oil changed (maintenance).
Aug 07 - 140,000, Transmission, when backing up, started to lag in engagement and later shuddered when accelerating in reverse.
Most of my km driven are highway. Have towed 5 times a year, less than 2,000 lbs, less than 100km each time.
It seems that this premature failure problem has been experienced by many others and is a result of poor quality manufacturing.
In buying a Mazda, I thought I was getting Japanese quality. My judgement was bad; it's mostly a Ford.
Having researched (before I bought) MSN Auto, in the used car reliability ratings, I was disappointed to have this problem, and have lost some faith in this rating system.
2003 Mazda Tribute 6cyl ES; transmission failure at 80000 miles; no warning, 3000 bucks! Alternator failure at 78000 miles. Brakes; what a ripoff! Rotors are shot and can't be turned; 400.00. Now, the sensor for transmission is intermittent, and I can't get it into gear.
I drove a 1984 Mazda PU for 230000 miles with no problems. Never buy Mazda again!
2001 Mazda Tribute, 60,000 miles - lost compression in a cylinder and needed a valve job. Mazda corporation said they would see what they could do, then never called back. It is clear they didn't want to deal with it. My last Mazda.
Mazda Tribute ES 2003 - Transmission Failure!
I bought the Tribute new on July 4, 2003. I have kept up all maintenance on the vehicle.
While I was driving to work, the transmission failed - the engine runs, but the Tribute will only drive in reverse.
I just got the Mazda service rep phone call - for a $3900 rebuilt transmission to be installed. The service rep had no answer as to why a transmission would fail at 110,000 miles.
I asked the Mazda service rep for the price for a new transmission and he said they no longer have new transmissions available for 2003 Tributes.
The Tribute has been a good vehicle - I've had no major problems until 110,000 miles (4 years of driving) and now a transmission failure.
Warning: Passenger side air bag may deploy without collision.
2001 Mazda Trib. ES V6 Frnt. WD. Around 65000 miles and bought it with 32000 in 03.All was good until just past 50,000.
The list: The moon roof switch went. The rear windshield always leaks in hard rain and the car wash etc. The idle goes form rough to calm in the same day.
The engine light will come on with different brands of gasoline and of couse when a coil goes bad. The #4 cyl. coil has been replaced at least 3 times. Many different shops looked at it after the dealer wanted $2000 for a valve job that might or might not be the solution. The interior door pannels are "peeling off" - the vinyl is separating from the foam.
And last, but not least the passenger side air bag just deployed all by itself, with no collision. This just happened in Sept 07 at 64550 miles. Grand total for that was just over $1300.00 My insurance covered it minus the deductible, but Mazda will not take any responsibility for anything. I called the Mazda USA phone number listed in the owners manual. I told them of the airbag problem. They didn't even want my name.
Toyota, here I come. Drove a Toyota or two in the past. One word comes to mind: reliable. Like most of the others here, I am going to try to sell or trade and move on and away from all this.
Bought 2001 Tribute in December 2000. I have had my share of problems, but generally it has been a decent vehicle. I had the problem with the leaking windshield that Mazda/Ford covered. Fortunately I found it in only a month's time of ownership before it could cause problems. A windshield replacement company came to the dealer and found that the original seal was incompleted at the factory. Hopefully this was reported to the Kansas City assembly plant.
At 35K miles. I lost two coils and my local dealer in Concord, NC replaced all coils and spark plugs. Since the coils were down, the plugs were fuel fouled. Haven't had any problems since.
As for the transmission issues, preventive maintenance goes a long way. Every 30K miles. is the recommendations for transmission flush and fluid replacement. I have 115K miles. on mine only a little shutter going into overdrive. The overdrive kicks in at 45 MPH and sometimes shutters at that shift point. I have found that if you are driving around that speed you should turn off overdrive. I believe this is due to engine and transmission management from the onboard computer. Simply override the computer by turning O/D off until you get out on the open road. Also when the dealer replaces the fluid, there is an additive they need to use that helps. The additive is an old Ford thing that Ford knows about. It helps the transmission shift firmly. Also since the onboard computer manages the shifting and performance of the engine, higher octane gas and fuel injector cleanings really improves this shift issue.
I feel the woes of the peeling interior panels on the doors too. Hey, it's Ford. Ford's have squeaked and leaked since I can remember from the 1960s. Best thing to do is to be innovative and figure out how to stick the vinyl coverings back on and adjust the rubber seals on the windows and doors.
Good luck, the 'Bute hasn't been too bad. I pull 3500 lbs of boat all the time and run it in the sand of the North Carolina Outer Banks. It's gotten me places I needed to go.