20th Jan 2008, 09:42

Never Mazda (and Ford) again. Tribute 2001, replaced engine 96K $3,500, now transmission $2,500. Worst MPG I ever seen.

22nd Feb 2008, 13:15

Wow! I am not alone. If only I read this stuff before buying my 2004 Tribute. At 27K, the air bag light is on which I've read on other posts is a common problem. On top of that the vehicle stalls/shuts down for no reason. I'll be taking it in to the dealership, but I am already contemplating selling it. I also have a 1994 B2300 truck that has over 175K and it still runs great. No more Mazda's for me.

7th Apr 2008, 14:16

2001 4WD Tribute - jeez where to start. Check engine light @90K miles, coil, oil leak into cylinder. Does anyone know anything about moisture and the engine running rough. Our mechanic thinks we're crazy, but it has consistently been a problem. Good advice so for from you peeps. Also, last Mazda ever!

12th Apr 2008, 19:35

I love driving my 2002 Mazda Tribute; when it's working.

Unfortunately, I've had to rely on our 1991 Toyota Previa on multiple occasions to rescue me when the Tribute left me stranded. (I'm glad we didn't trade the Previa in for the Tribute!) We've had many of the problems identified; O2 sensor, sunroof, radio, transmission, etc. The dealership has even accused me of not knowing how to load the CD changer. Most repairs last for 14-15 months, just long enough for the warranty to expire. The only good things that came from owning this vehicle are 1) finding a reputable mechanic (you have to deal with them often and can weed-out the bad ones quickly), 2) increased appreciation for actually making it to your destination, and 3) realizing just how reliable Toyota's can be. No more Mazda's for me or mine.

12th Apr 2008, 21:13

Mazda Tribute ES 2002. Had strange noise when going uphill at 12K miles. Dealer did not find any problems, since this was happening rarely and they said they cannot reproduce it. Suddenly it disappeared after one of the services. Many interior plastic parts like door handles easily break, and are $200 to replace. Today, suddenly the transmission refused to work on D but works on 1 and 2. I'll try to fix it in order to sell it. I'm done forever with Mazda and Ford. I have a Honda Accord 1997 LX and I never had serious problems. (130K miles) I guess the answer is obvious.

14th Jun 2008, 11:04

After reading these comments...wow. Sounds like this Mazda is the biggest piece of crap on the face of the earth. Mazda and Ford should be ashamed of themselves after selling this junk to the unsuspecting public. If only people would educate themselves before buying, them we could force these crap can companies out of business, unless they step up to the plate, and start building real cars again.

19th Jun 2008, 12:53

My husband & I just bought a 2001 Mazda Tribute with 58,000 miles and thought we were getting a reliable vehicle. The very next day, we had to take it to the shop, because the engine oil started leaking. Turns out to be a minor problem, but now we're told there's a "clunk" in the transmission. (I haven't noticed any problems as I've been driving it, though.) We have an appointment next week to take it back to the shop to fix the oil leak and check the transmission. Am very concerned about this transmission issue after reading all of these comments! We had no idea that Mazda was such a poor quality vehicle. Am considering selling this one already and going back to Toyota.

3rd Sep 2008, 17:51

I've got the 2002 V6 Tribute. Bought it with 41k miles on it and it's probably around 69k now. No problems with the engine though after reading here I'm definitely getting the transmission flushed.

The radio face has been goofed since a month after I bought it. We press on it and eventually can see what time it is.

The sun roof switch apparently is a regular problem for others as well as us. Went through the carwash and forgot the switch had been wonky the last time we opened and closed the sun roof. Turns out the seal hadn't closed all the way.

Not as big a pain as losing the transmission though.

After reading this forum I'm going looking to see what I can get for it before the transmission goes out.

9th Oct 2008, 13:57

Anyone that is considering selling their car "before the transmission goes", DO IT! Don't wait another day.

My other comment would be "ditto". I have managed to get 125000miles out of this car. But, I too have most of the same issues as everyone else, except the airbag deployment. We had started to look for a new car, but we are too late. Transmission just went, well almost, now it is a manual shift? ARGH. No more Fords or Mazdas.

13th Oct 2008, 14:31

After owning nothing but Toyota's and getting them over 200k, I purchased a 2001 Mazda Tribute LX V6. As we know its really a Ford Escape, and although I actually have 174,000 miles on it and still running strong, here is my list of Failures:

Rear wiper doesn't work...

Cruise control broken...

Inside driver door latch...broken..

Rear hatch glass hinge broken..

Constantly up shifting around 40 mph.

Sunroof switch intermittently working.

Spark plugs have individual coils.. Cost of a new plug $95. So if you wanted to just change plugs/wires, it would cost over $600.

DO I stop now???

Solution....Going to buy a Toyota Tacoma when this finally dies...

30th Oct 2008, 21:28

I have a 2001 Tribute with 182,000; of course a lot of highway miles here in Atlanta...

Was leaving work and coming out the parking space, and then my truck went idle and then wouldn't move. Found out it's possibly the transmission - $2000.. Just paid for a $400 alternator about a month ago. Being a single parent this is just killing me!!! Looking for a Honda now just to get to work!!!

8th Mar 2009, 18:54

I got our 2001 4x4 V6 Madza Tribute in 2003. It has been a good SUV, but less than a year with it I had to replace the front brake rotors! It goes thru tires like a teenager thru sneakers! Today it just stopped moving. After reading what was written about this car I decided to just trade of get rid of it. FYI it does get the worst gas mileage I have ever had on any Car, Truck or Hummer! It does have high mileage, but it does not give any warning when it decides to stop moving!


Ministerofhumor/Danville, Virginia.

26th Mar 2009, 09:56

Wow, wish I would have read this site before the purchase of my 02 Tribute.

Looked nice, drove nice at the time. Purchased with intention of lot of highway miles, in that I travel between 5 states from time to time, and hence need a reliable vehicle.

Vehicle had about 70k miles when purchased end of last year, now about 93k. Since I have had same emissions and engine missing problems everyone here has. Vehicle began missing cylinders and the EGR valve burned clogged up. This was start of the problem.

Replaced all plugs and boots to find out the Tribute did not like Bosch plugs and burned them up. Took to a reputable shop, they replaced all plugs with "motorcraft" (which they said will only work), replaced 1st, 2nd coils, EGR valve, rear catalytic converter. Drove OK for awhile, 3k miles.

Then on a vacation from MI to AL, broke down in IN. Got a rental car, left the Tribute. Came home, engine problem was now worse. Went to dealer, charge for diagnostic since I figured maybe dealer could put an answer. Wrong. They did advise me for $85 that the 3rd, 4th cylinder was missing now. They wanted to charge $700 to replace 2 more coils? LOL. No thanks! Took vehicle home and replaced myself. Not that difficult, just have to remove manifold, as I had already done this once. Firing order on Mazda Inline 6 in event you have to replace coils is 1,2,3 back row and 4,5,6 front row.

Engine ran a bit better, but now appears to fail at about 5k RPM and there is no power under hard acceleration. Took back to a reputable shop, they now advise me need to replace the 2nd catalytic converter, which Ford/ Mazda charge $600 for part alone. Shop recommended I try to have one fabricated @ a muffler shop cause it will cost less. I just hope the lack of power is not a transmission problem now, because it feels like that. I still have to replace the second converter now, only to find out who knows?

Anyway, bottom line from my experience is:

The catalytic converters are clogging up, causing emission and carbon buildup, destroying EGR valve, coils, plugs. If there is a running problem like above it is originating from converter/s and causing further problems. Problem is is the O2 sensors don't sense this and there is no fail safe warning system to tell you this until you've spent... well between $ 1200 - $2000 to find out. God forbid you go to a dealer to have this resolved; you'll be paying some serious look. The dealer I went to anyway.

Move on, no Mazda or Ford for me anymore. I'm a Physical Damage Supervisor and I get around. Too bad I will have no positive comments or recommendation's for those companies.