19th May 2009, 14:35

My 2002 Tribute bought new. Has 152,000 miles. My list of problems: engine coils replaced several times. transmission went at 102,000. Front stabilizer rods went bad. Catalytic converter. Still get the check engine light going on in damp weather from time to time and rough acceleration when on. O2 sensor. Fuel filter. Alternator. Moon roof switch faulty. Power window switch rear passenger side fell inside door. Oil leak due to faulty oil pan. The transmission, catalytic converter and engine problems alone have cost $5000. The engine is making a knocking sound these days. Only a matter of time until something major goes. Then off to the junkyard you go. Not another penny for major repairs.

19th May 2009, 21:13

It is cheap to BUY the parts from FORD as an Escape for the same year, for the MAZDA TRIBUTE, as it is made by FORD. You will SAVE very much.

19th May 2009, 21:17

I have 2001 Mazda Tribute. I will not buy a Tribute.

28th May 2009, 11:24

First off, I am quite relieved, although a bit nerve-wracked, to read that I'm not the only one experiencing problems with Mazda Tributes.

I've got an '01 Tribute with 139,000 miles, I bought it with 102,000 in November of 2007. The previous owner had changed all the fluids, replaced the broken driver's side door handle, shocks, and brakes shortly before I took it over. For the first 10 months, everything was fine. I'm fairly good with maintenance.

And then...

And then...

Fall came. I live in Northern Michigan, so around October the nighttime temps start dipping down into the 30's. The snow started sticking in November. Around that time, I noticed that every time I started my car, generally in the morning, but also if it had sat for more than 5 hours, it would shake and chug and the tack would jiggle all over the place... until it got up to operating temperature.

After a week or so I took it in to a local shop where at first they couldn't duplicate it and thought I was crazy, then replaced the EGR. That fixed it for about 2 days, then it came back with a vengeance. The engine light would come on sporadically, and shut off a few days later. It started to get insanely cold outside, -10 to -20 degrees at night, and most mornings I would start it and it would instantly stall. On the next start-up it would idle up to 3000rpm before resuming its awful chugging.

In February I took a chance, and went on a 6 week road trip, putting about 12,000 miles on it. Miraculously, I thought, there were no issues. It still chugs, but nothing serious seems to have come from it. Reading about all these transmission failures is making me rrreeaallyy nervous, though.

The newest problem now is electrical. The passenger side headlight and turn signal can't seem to work at the same time. Either the headlight will be out and the turn signal will work, or vice versa. No amount of new bulbs makes a difference.

Anyone else getting electrical malfunctions?

I am selling (or scrapping) as soon as possible, and gettin' me a Jetta.

1st Jun 2009, 09:27

I have never considered myself a lucky or particularly fortunate person, but after reading some of the stories here feel like I may have won a lottery of sorts.

I bought a 2001 Tribute V6 AWD ES, brand new and after replacing the rack on the steering at 80,000 miles (Ford wanted $1400 and an independent shop did it for less than half that) have had a relatively trouble free 228,000+ total miles out of it. So much so that I bought a 2009 Mariner a few months back as a "spare" for when the inevitable happened.

I can't help but analyze my good fortune. It seemed that a lot of these complaints came from Australia; could it be that for once the American assembled versions were superior to their Japanese counterparts. Or was it that my brothers down under really needed a rugged 4WD, which the Tribute clearly is not. Then places like California and Michigan started to come up, so much for that theory. Maybe I am just lucky.

I was surprised to hear of any trouble with the engines, although most were not specific to say if they had the four or the six. I have owned 4 vehicles with some form of the Mazda V6 (both the OHC and push rod versions) and have had over 700,000 trouble free miles on them (the 626 with only 44,000 really brought down the average, fuel injected engines are not prone to flooding but when you get 4 inches of rain in 45 minutes you really shouldn't park near a drainage ditch). The rest were still going strong when the transmissions failed or I rammed the back end of a delivery truck.

Hope my luck continues as my day of reckoning has arrived, the transmission on the old Tribute seems to have failed today. Will see what the postmortem reveals. God bless the Tribute, long live the Mariner!

1st Jun 2009, 11:47

You got to be kidding. Don't even bother giving it away.

3rd Jun 2009, 19:40

I likewise have seen some of these problems, but chalk it up to owning a car in todays world of high pressure & little time. I am happy to report that I have been able to reach 204k with only minimal problems since 85k. This is really a tough little vehicle. I have taken it off road many times with BFG All Terrain Tires, getting as much as 80k miles out of them. I have never babied this truck only to give it oil changes at 4k intervals. Most days drive it very hard 0-80 within minutes of cold starting & always enjoying the quick Jack-Rabbit starts out of the light. I have beat Corvettes & others many times.

Now for the bad this 2001 Tribute has never, since day 1 with only 5 miles on it, ever, given more than 18MPG. Since 108k it has gotten a lot worse averaging 14MPG & since 195k it is now returning 10-12MPG. The engine might finally be starting to show its age, but it is still just as quick off the line & freeway ramps are a blast!!

The only other problem, is a constant shutter when idling & a manifold exhaust leak which both started around 140k. Neither one throws the codes & would be too expensive to fix. Has always passed tough emissions with no problem.

After growing up with 70s & 80's parents cars always having to be traded in around 75-100k, I will take todays Mazda over any of those any day. ZOOM ZOOM!!!

10th Jul 2009, 10:28

My car has 115,000 miles on it and I have noticed a "chug" around 40 miles per hour, like it wants to switch gears or something. My check engine light came on and I had test done, the only thing it showed was that it needed to have an 02 sensor replaced. I have never had major problems with my tribute until now, which is the "chug". It acts weird to begin with at a stop light, like it wants to shut back off, but once I get going it acts normal.

I have had the CD player light go off, where you have to push it to see it. Also the back glass latch is broken, but that's the only problems I have had.

I am worried about the "chug" that it does when around 40 miles per hour and don't want my car to leave me stranded at a red light. I don't even know where to tell a shop to start with it doing this. Any suggestions?